Removing Years of Grease from a Pipe

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bigbeard

New member
Apr 9, 2020
49
173
Canada
I think you did the best job relative to their condition. Enjoy them! Did Granddad "move out" of the home, or the bigger move?
He's still going and is almost 90!

6 years ago, he left his home of 53 year to move in with us. That's when I brought the pipes.

Last year, he moved to a long-term care facility.

I can't wait to show him once the lockdown is over and I can visit him again.
 

karam

Member
Feb 2, 2019
292
977
Athens, Greece
Amazing job on the restoration!

Also, love this generation's approach to fixing things: if it works it works, and nothing is ever thrown away! I find the approach is the same no matter what country you're from, I'm from Greece and can vouch that my grandparents fixed stuff in exactly the same way, for example my grandpa used used glue and wire to fix his broken dentures :)
 

bigbeard

New member
Apr 9, 2020
49
173
Canada
Amazing job on the restoration!

Also, love this generation's approach to fixing things: if it works it works, and nothing is ever thrown away! I find the approach is the same no matter what country you're from, I'm from Greece and can vouch that my grandparents fixed stuff in exactly the same way, for example my grandpa used used glue and wire to fix his broken dentures :)
Thanks, Karam.

My Dad always called my Grandpa (his father-in-law), "The man of the $20 solution".

Grandpa could fix almost anything for $20 or less. Often $0 using parts from his shop.
 
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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
29,601
9,378
Don't be afraid to use water. Don't soak the briar, but running the tap over it is fine. Most pipe manufacture involves some use of water. Acetone is pretty volatile, so use it outdoors or with good ventilation, open windows or air circulation. Your grandfather was a real old time pipe smoker. Use those pipes and patch 'em up and use 'em some more. What a great tribute to bring them back to use. I think they're about broken in.
 

Country Bladesmith

Senior Member
May 2, 2020
406
1,327
I’m a bit late to this thread, but for future reference, I’ve had very good results with a cheap kids’ electric toothbrush and a high-octane libation. I put a little rum or whiskey in a shot glass and dip the toothbrush and go at it. It’s worked great for me, especially on plateaus with rim darkening. The toothbrush I use looks like a Crayola Crayon Cost me like $6.
 
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Dworkin

New member
Apr 24, 2020
17
37
Folks,

A slight side issue. I have been doing similar cleaning (to the OP) on old pipes and find an odd thing with the stems. A little soapy water and a toothbrush and the stems have changed colour! They have gone from near black to a light khaki. On another pipe just smoking it has changed the end of the stem to light khaki. These were old pipes, with no shine on the stems.

Weird. :confused:

D.

PS - Great job, OP, and a tribute to your Grandad.
 
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Country Bladesmith

Senior Member
May 2, 2020
406
1,327
Folks,

A slight side issue. I have been doing similar cleaning (to the OP) on old pipes and find an odd thing with the stems. A little soapy water and a toothbrush and the stems have changed colour! They have gone from near black to a light khaki. On another pipe just smoking it has changed the end of the stem to light khaki. These were old pipes, with no shine on the stems.

Weird. :confused:

D.

PS - Great job, OP, and a tribute to your Grandad.
Sounds like oxidation. Some of the members here have had good luck with micro mesh pads. I usually just buff them with some no-scratch compound. If that doesn’t work then I sand them as lightly as possible, finishing with 1,000 grit sandpaper, and then buff.
 

Buckler

Junior Member
May 25, 2020
79
60
Mate, that is a killer restoration!! Looks SO good now!!

Thanks to everyone for the excellent advice. It took a month of work.

Tonight, I had my first smoke out of the pipe I used to watch Grandpa smoke 35 years ago.

It's a Brigham 5-dot made in Canada with a vulcanite stem.

Vulcanite feels so good in the mouth.

Strangely enough, the stem won't go into shank with a rock maple filter. I smoked it without the filter.

View attachment 30100

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The pipe had a lot of cherry aroma from whatever Grandpa used to smoke. Captain Black and Half-and-Half were his primaries. I used Kosher salt and vodka. It reduced the cherry by about ¾.

View attachment 30097

I used Murphy's Oil Soap and a soft toothbrush for a LOT of scrubbing. It removed the grease and the finish.

View attachment 30098

A nice coating of mineral oil and a good buffing made the briar beautiful.

View attachment 30099

The vulcanite stem (left) was my biggest fear. Plenty of vodka-soaked pipe cleaners, oxiclean and micromesh cleaned it up beautifully. A bit of olive oil and buffing made it shine.

View attachment 30106

View attachment 30107

Thanks again to everyone.
 
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