From total train wreck to beauty queen - picture heavy!

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Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2015
Northern Germany
One of my favourite shapes - the Bulldog or Straight Rhodesian - seems to be a bit scarce on the german Ebay so I grab what I get. While Denicotea is not exactly the greatest brand of them all I didn´t bother as it set me back with the princely sum of 5 Euros. :mrgreen: I knew it would be rough but when it came it was a proper train wreck!
Lot´s of cake, burnt top, varnished bowl that was flaking off in spots, dents and a stem that wouldn´t budge! The stem wasn´t much impressed by the freezer so I used gentle force. When something like a stinger came in sight I stopped. Could it be that the stinger was lodged in the bowl? A quick Google research showed that this Denicotea Golf had a metal tenon in it´s bowl and a hollow stem - quite strange indeed! More force freed the stem from the tenon which was corroded and thus wouldn´t let loose.

The pipes condition was much more worse than the picture can show. But hey, that´s great as I can ruin this one if things go awry! :mrgreen: So I went to town...
There was a very even and rockhard cake inside the bowl and my reamer was too large to reach the lower half of it. Thank god I had my Sowbelly with it´s Spey blade (castration blade) :mrgreen: at hand!

A topping of the bowl on 400 grit emery paper came next.

The aluminium tenon looks better too now.

Stripping the varnish of the bowl was not easy at all. I read that nail polish remover would work and so I tried it but to no avail. Next was paint thinner, gasoline, MEK and alcohol. Varnish was not impressed... :roll: So back to the proven abrasive method: 000 steel wool did the job.

While there was still no finish to mess up I use the retort on the little Golf. Or to be exact about six retorts! 8O What followed was about as many cotton swabs I had, several pipe cleaners, demakeup pads and a fist full of cotton wool with about a liter of alcohol!

Did I mention that this was a dirrrrrrrrrty pipe?

While hot overflowing alcohol was sputtering and spraying all over the place I found out something strange. Where the hot alcohol had seaped over the stem the corrosion was gone! 8O How could this be as I was supposed to remoce it in hours of tedious sanding???? I spilled even more of the hot stuff over the stem and rubbed it with a paper towel. In this I was able to remove about 80% of the corrosion! :D

A little bit of sanding of the stem was needed though. I was able to remove the majority of the teeth chatter with my trusty heat gun as well.

Shiny dark black as it´s supposed to be!

About the remedy of the little dents I had a new idea. Steam was needed in a very concentrated area but how should this be done without an Italian Espresso machine at hand? I came up with the idea of using a wet paper towel and a soldering iron - worked like a charm!

Time to give the little Bulldog it´s color back! I stained it in a reddish dark brown and flame-set two coatings.

What looked dull at first really came to life on the bench buffer!

After two different polish compounds and a coating with Carnuba wax the little Denicotea looked just gorgeous! :D

From a total loss that you would toss in the fire place with no remorse this one became a beauty queen in just a few hours. I am very astonished how well it came out. If it would have been a fail I would have lightheartedly thrown it away and it´s this carelessness that made it possible. :puffy:
Go and get yourself a trainwreck! :mrgreen:


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Preferred Member
Feb 28, 2014
How about i just buy trainwrecks and send them to you? Lol, seriously though, great job on that resto it looks fantastic and should be a great smoker!



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
You really turned back the odometer on that one. It may mystify its next owner who may suppose

it's twenty or thirty years younger than it is, and lightly smoked.



Jan 14, 2014
New Brunswick
Impressive work stvalentine. It was great to see all the different techniques you used to refurbish this beauty. A real how-to for those interested in bringing new life to some well worn pipes.



Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
Very impressive save! I love to see old pipes given another life, regardless of the make. Keep up the good work!



Preferred Member
Jul 11, 2014
I love how you have thought so positively and creatively.

I can see how the process would be immensely rewarding and feel that I share, somewhat, in that reward vicariously.

There is plenty of room here on the forum for all the pictorials you want to share. Successes AND failures would all be welcomed as learning opportunities.

A wonderful presentation!


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