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runscott

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 3, 2020
530
1,164
Washington State
Once I've restored the pipe, just soft pipe-cleaners, paper towels and sometimes B&A Balm and t-shirt cloth for the stummel. Czech tool to get out unneeded stuff, but the paper towel generally suffices. But I clean my pipes after each smoke - makes a huge difference.
 
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mav

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 14, 2021
253
1,561
47
Chicago
Shanks and mortises take more work, simple as that. This is why most of the pipe cleaning jobs are lacking in that area. I've gone through well over 200 bristle cleaners before getting a couple of very reluctant airways really clean and neutral. Keep at it. Also, when it seems like you're close to the end, just slightly wet a fluffie, insert it into the shank and leave it in, hanging the pipe stem down, for a couple of days. Repeat this a few times to draw out some of the deeper shit in the wood. Getting the pipe to "new" isn't going to happen. That ship sailed with the first puff. But, you can get close.
This is really helpful, thank you. It's good to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel, or in this case, at the end of the shank :). It was a $12 ebay experiment that has been a lot of fun to work on and I ended up with a decent smoker.
 

mav

Starting to Get Obsessed
Nov 14, 2021
253
1,561
47
Chicago
Shanks and mortises can take more time to clean than the rest of the pipe.

A good strong light is a great aid to assess the state of the airways

If there is a lot of gunge, a set of small drill bits or small jeweller's screwdrivers will be more efficient and save on pipe cleaners

Shankbrushes, liquid soap and hot water flushing to clean out the inspissated :poop:

Finally alcohol-soaked pipecleaners left in overnight to soak up whatever is still left in.

I'm talking of badly gunged up airways here, of course.
Hot water flushes alone will be insufficient.
Thanks, I'll try this as well.
 
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runscott

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 3, 2020
530
1,164
Washington State
Shanks and mortises can take more time to clean than the rest of the pipe.

A good strong light is a great aid to assess the state of the airways

If there is a lot of gunge, a set of small drill bits or small jeweller's screwdrivers will be more efficient and save on pipe cleaners

Shankbrushes, liquid soap and hot water flushing to clean out the inspissated :poop:

Finally alcohol-soaked pipecleaners left in overnight to soak up whatever is still left in.

I'm talking of badly gunged up airways here, of course.
Hot water flushes alone will be insufficient.

It still chaps my butt when I receive a wonderfully-restored stummel and stem, but the 'restorer' has skipped the mortise and stem completely. Many of these ebay sellers claim in their listing that the pipe is ready to smoke...yes, but only by the last guy who smoked it.
 
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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,380
15,975
70
Sydney, Australia
It still chaps my butt when I receive a wonderfully-restored stummel and stem, but the 'restorer' has skipped the mortise and stem completely. Many of these ebay sellers claim in their listing that the pipe is ready to smoke...yes, but only by the last guy who smoked it.
Yep.
There are a few vendors on EBay that are noted for doing this. :mad:
Needless to say, once bitten is more than enough to give them a wide berth.
 

runscott

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 3, 2020
530
1,164
Washington State
Yep.
There are a few vendors on EBay that are noted for doing this. :mad:
Needless to say, once bitten is more than enough to give them a wide berth.

I contacted one guy twice about his 'sanitized' pipes having crap in the shank so nasty that you could smell it without really sniffing that hard. He said he must have forgotten...twice he said that.

I care a little, but not too much - I'm only buying 'special' pipes, as opposed to great deals, so in the end, I still have the pipe I wanted.

But as others have said, you gotta get after that mortise. The worst are the swan-neck meerschaums.
 
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aspiring_sage

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 7, 2021
291
517
Southwest of Mpls., MN
It still chaps my butt when I receive a wonderfully-restored stummel and stem, but the 'restorer' has skipped the mortise and stem completely. Many of these ebay sellers claim in their listing that the pipe is ready to smoke...yes, but only by the last guy who smoked it.
I hear you, but on the other hand:
I wouldn’t expect some picker / online estate-sale flipper to even know that pipes disassemble. I also wouldn’t want them to try, they’ll probably break their first few, unable to do it gently/patiently enough when the pipes are in bad shape.
 

runscott

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 3, 2020
530
1,164
Washington State
I hear you, but on the other hand:
I wouldn’t expect some picker / online estate-sale flipper to even know that pipes disassemble. I also wouldn’t want them to try, they’ll probably break their first few, unable to do it gently/patiently enough when the pipes are in bad shape.

I'm talking about self-described pipe 'restorers'.
 

runscott

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 3, 2020
530
1,164
Washington State
Ah.
I'm new to ebay. Got my first "win" 2 days ago.
Is there a list of good and bad sellers that you might be willing to share?
I understand if you'd rather keep it a secret, but odds are that we have different specific tastes...

"Good and bad sellers" can be a mix, as each has their good and bad points. Some get fantastic old pipes, but they sand off all the imperfections, so I have to keep that in mind;i.e-can I re-restore the pipe? Others have really super-great pipes, but use shill bidders - they get zero business from me. Still others do repairs, etc, that should be disclosed, but often are not. That bugs me, but I just look very carefully at their photos and ask questions. Finally, at least one comes to mind who somewhat hides cracks, fill, repairs, etc. in his photos, so I also ask him lots of questions before bidding.

On the other hand, there are some pure good sellers who I don't hesitate to buy from. Not sure I should post a list, as it might aggravate others who buy from the same guys.

My personal preference, as someone who can restore pipes, is to pay as little as possible, and acquire really ugly pipes that are covered with cake, dirt, etc., but that I anticipate not having any structural damage.
 

aspiring_sage

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 7, 2021
291
517
Southwest of Mpls., MN
"Good and bad sellers" can be a mix, as each has their good and bad points. Some get fantastic old pipes, but they sand off all the imperfections, so I have to keep that in mind;i.e-can I re-restore the pipe? Others have really super-great pipes, but use shill bidders - they get zero business from me. Still others do repairs, etc, that should be disclosed, but often are not. That bugs me, but I just look very carefully at their photos and ask questions. Finally, at least one comes to mind who somewhat hides cracks, fill, repairs, etc. in his photos, so I also ask him lots of questions before bidding.

On the other hand, there are some pure good sellers who I don't hesitate to buy from. Not sure I should post a list, as it might aggravate others who buy from the same guys.

My personal preference, as someone who can restore pipes, is to pay as little as possible, and acquire really ugly pipes that are covered with cake, dirt, etc., but that I anticipate not having any structural damage.
Thanks for advice.

You got me feeling better about passing up a meer yesterday. The photos seemed to be intentionally hiding a flaw where the stem obviously didn’t line up. I don’t like to do business with sellers that are obviously hiding something, even if I think I know what they’re hiding.
 
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OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,380
15,975
70
Sydney, Australia
Thanks for advice.

You got me feeling better about passing up a meer yesterday. The photos seemed to be intentionally hiding a flaw where the stem obviously didn’t line up. I don’t like to do business with sellers that are obviously hiding something, even if I think I know what they’re hiding.
When I first looked at estate pipes on EBay, I saw an Upshall I liked the look of.
Photos were poor and price looked high.

I reached out to Al (@ssjones ) who pointed out a few glaring faults (blurred/ out of focus pics, poor lighting, indistinct shots of nomenclature, ill-fitting stem, etc)
As well as the price being way too high for the condition.

Eternally grateful for his advice.
Lots of pitfalls for the novice.
 

runscott

Part of the Furniture Now
Jun 3, 2020
530
1,164
Washington State
Thanks for advice.

You got me feeling better about passing up a meer yesterday. The photos seemed to be intentionally hiding a flaw where the stem obviously didn’t line up. I don’t like to do business with sellers that are obviously hiding something, even if I think I know what they’re hiding.
I finished restoring a pipe yesterday that was loaded with years of unattended-to cake - it looked like a marmot hole - yet I could shave with the rim.

I've bought over 700 pipes on ebay. The ebay description/photos for this pipe yielded no clues (in fact, masterfully covered them up). It's going to happen every now and then. In the end, I was able to undo the issues, and now have a great pipe that was worth every cent, but the seller's deception still bugs me.

There are too many dishonest sellers - ebay and everywhere else - to avoid all of them. I don't buy from those who use shill bidders, but I admit to doing that once when I HAD to have the item :), and there was a pipe posted recently by a seller who uses shill accounts, that I don't know how I'm going to resist bidding. If I win, I might contact him and tell him I'm only paying the price I would have if he removes all of his shill bids! I wouldn't get away with that, of course, but I did try it with a Major League Baseball auction (several of the teams used shill bidders back then, perhaps even today) and they sold me the item at the lower price.
 

AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
2,037
11,169
Florida - Space Coast
When I'm cleaning up an estate, I have my favorite tools:

shank brushes - rather than get the overpriced shank brushes offered at tobacco shots I'll just buy a bottle brush set, as I've found use for different sized brushes in doing cleaning.

pipe cleaners and LOTS of them, tapered bristle, regular, fluffies. White Elephant brand when I need something with a stiff wire spine in it. BJ Longs for the rest.

Alcohol for scrubbing out the gunk. I'll use warm water for maintenance, but for the initial scrubbing out it's alcohol.

paper toweling

cotton balls if I'm going to do an s/a treatment

dental picks for hard to get areas of the mortise

a glass retort for doing a boiling alcohol flush with extreme cases. Not for the squeamish or those who can't stay focused.

glass paper for sanding down the shitty cake in the chamber. Wrap it over a piece of 1/2 inch doweling that's been beveled, or some other shape that is similar

If looking for a reamer, try and find a Pipnet. The Castleford knock off is a cheaply made piece of shit.

Micromesh pads for polishing the stem.

Some use toothpaste, so try other methods before going to the pads.

Simichrome for metal parts and sterling bands

After everything is cleaned and as polished as it's going to get, I'll use either Halcyon or Paragon microcrystalline waxes, literally rubbed on with my hands, no cloths, to add the final luster.

Here's a BEFORE and AFTER:

qu0JQs1.jpg


W9I9CK1.jpg

I was trying to navigate the world of “waxes and polishes” for pipes when came across a thread from a few years ago when you first started to use the Paragon wax, so i ordered a couple containers, are you still just using your fingers and rubbing it into itself and applying it and after so you buff it at all with either a buffing wheel or soft cloth? I do have some buffing attachments for a small chargeable drill so didn’t know if that was even needed, i see you say no cloths but assumed that was just for application.

Thanks for the 2016 post, it’s still coming in handy to those of us that google things!!
 
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sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
16,765
32,002
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
I was trying to navigate the world of “waxes and polishes” for pipes when came across a thread from a few years ago when you first started to use the Paragon wax, so i ordered a couple containers, are you still just using your fingers and rubbing it into itself and applying it and after so you buff it at all with either a buffing wheel or soft cloth? I do have some buffing attachments for a small chargeable drill so didn’t know if that was even needed, i see you say no cloths but assumed that was just for application.

Thanks for the 2016 post, it’s still coming in handy to those of us that google things!!
I still apply the wax in the same manner, a tiny amount spread using my finger tips and palms and then hand rubbed without either a cloth or buffer, just my hands, and I always get a mirror-like finish. It's all in the touch.
 

AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
2,037
11,169
Florida - Space Coast
I still apply the wax in the same manner, a tiny amount spread using my finger tips and palms and then hand rubbed without either a cloth or buffer, just my hands, and I always get a mirror-like finish. It's all in the touch.
Amazing it comes out with that finish just rubbing it in. I have a couple older crap briars I’ll practice on. Thanks again.
 

AJL67

Lifer
May 26, 2022
2,037
11,169
Florida - Space Coast
It's the friction of the polish being rubbed against itself as it sets up that does the trick. Just a little dab will do you.
I bought some renaissance to try and eh the smell was a turn off, even if it dissipates which i know it does then bought a bar of Carnauba and that stuff is just a pain in the ass. So then googled the Paragon post from you in 2016 and ordered that on eBay and set up returns for the other two ?