Sometimes They Fight Back. A Lee 3-star

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I'll say that you have made me curious about Lee pipes, and I would be willing to try one just because of your ruminations, which has inspired millions. But the ever changing story about Lee pipes isn't something that might be believable. The Lee is past and the story shouldn't be changing so much, with so little new information coming in. It is almost like a guilty man changing his story, about what, I don't know. All I've learnt from this is that Lee makes the sweetest smoking pipe in the world.
A Lee pipe, can, if not to abused, be brought back to service as a decent smoker, one you might reach for more times than not. It isn’t the choir of angels that Mr. Briar Lee would have you believe, but it is a decently reliable smoke and the pipe can be polished up to look very appealing. And yes, as parsimonous has said, it has a mystic.
 

MilesDavis

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 16, 2022
187
424
As the OP, I certainly did NOT want to cause any rancor in the ranks. Of the 230+ pipes I've worked on, maybe 3 have been Lees. I'm not picky as to pipe brands. I just work on them for fun. I'll work or a Dr. Grabow on a Dunhill with equal interest (okay, I'm lying there) The best Lee I worked on, for what it's worth, was a natural. I gave it away. It was a beautiful pipe.

I took the object of this post through my normal routine that begins with a thorough cleaning. Some pipes come through that process relatively unscathed. I'll do a light sanding, maybe add a touch of color, and polish them. Others, depending on age and whatever finishing products were used will turn out like this Lee, kinda naked looking, revealing all sorts of issues. Maybe the pipe had been banged around a lot and has all sorts of dents, or there's excess char around the rim. I enjoy a complete restoration, so sanding down to bare briar doesn't phase me. This pipe had a LOT of small fills covered by a layer of--whatever--and required lots and lots of sanding. I was actually looking around the shop for something stronger than 220-grit. I managed to get down to bare briar in a number of locations, but the stain ran deep on this one. I sanded out a good majority of the little fills and patched the larger ones--and I wasn't too keen on doing a great job at this point. Then I dyed it, covering--and recovering--a multitude of sins.

If I were to be given the same pipe today, I would gladly go to work on it. It's a fun hobby. Sometimes the pipe just fights back a little.
 
Briar lee isn't an old man.. It's given away in his post all the time.
Who he is is easily ascertained by a quick people search. I don’t know what you call as “old”. I wouldn’t call him old unless I called myself old.
Right! In the context of this thread, fact and fiction meld into one and the difference is immaterial!
Absolutely correct.
 
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Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,681
3,577
Humansville Missouri
I began to gray before I was thirty and gained weight and the summer I was 38 I lost 85 pounds and bought a bottle Grecian Formula, the one they advertise where the old man turns young and dives away with a girl in a red convertible.

Then one day an old man came in my office and he asked me, what happened to that gray haired big man that used to own this office?

I realized he meant me, and I asked him what he thought of him.

He said no offense to you young man, but the man that used to be in this office could have talked Christ right down off the Cross. Is he still lawyering?

I’ve been silver haired since.

Will a hearse horse snicker, carrying away my lawyer’s bones?

Once I appeared on television as a hero in 1993 for rescuing three little children from a house fire.

I did that, but I was a coward out on the street at almost midnight yelling

WAKE UP YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

But the children’s mother pulled up dressed to kill on the lawn with liquor on her breath, and said Oh My God, My God you’ve saved my children.

I said lady, get your ass and these three kids somewhere else because there’s about to be a hundred cops coming here you don’t want to explain why you let a 16 year old babysit so you could go out on a party.

I not only saved the kids, I saved the reputation of a hard working woman who had to work overtime on Saturday night to support three children.

Most noble lie I’ve told yet.

Maybe, she might have been looking for a job as a barmaid, how can I say for certain?
 

Parsimonious Piper

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 12, 2019
273
702
Very entertaining thread. My hipwaders haven’t seen so much use since my TN mountain trout fishing weekends in grad school. They needed a good dusting off.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,681
3,577
Humansville Missouri
As the OP, I certainly did NOT want to cause any rancor in the ranks. Of the 230+ pipes I've worked on, maybe 3 have been Lees. I'm not picky as to pipe brands. I just work on them for fun. I'll work or a Dr. Grabow on a Dunhill with equal interest (okay, I'm lying there) The best Lee I worked on, for what it's worth, was a natural. I gave it away. It was a beautiful pipe.

I took the object of this post through my normal routine that begins with a thorough cleaning. Some pipes come through that process relatively unscathed. I'll do a light sanding, maybe add a touch of color, and polish them. Others, depending on age and whatever finishing products were used will turn out like this Lee, kinda naked looking, revealing all sorts of issues. Maybe the pipe had been banged around a lot and has all sorts of dents, or there's excess char around the rim. I enjoy a complete restoration, so sanding down to bare briar doesn't phase me. This pipe had a LOT of small fills covered by a layer of--whatever--and required lots and lots of sanding. I was actually looking around the shop for something stronger than 220-grit. I managed to get down to bare briar in a number of locations, but the stain ran deep on this one. I sanded out a good majority of the little fills and patched the larger ones--and I wasn't too keen on doing a great job at this point. Then I dyed it, covering--and recovering--a multitude of sins.

If I were to be given the same pipe today, I would gladly go to work on it. It's a fun hobby. Sometimes the pipe just fights back a little.
Thank you for showing me that by artful use of stain or mud or something, Lee could use up every one of those briar blocks that had sat on the Hoboken docks just waiting for the war to end.

The more I accumulate Lees (a collector has a plan and purpose) the more I’m convinced what a briar selecting genius Lee was.

Judging by survivors, at least three of four orders were for the ten dollar Three Star, but rarely for a natural finished pipe.

The stain is so deep, he had to boil them in three different vats of oil, one clear, one tannish, and one a dark reddish brown.

The best clear natural blocks were reserved for high grades, and they also were the fewest.

The worst red brown stained blocks were for Gold Coasts up to Three Stars.

I’ll bet Lee reserved all the tan stained blocks for Two, Three, and Four Star pipes.

Not that it matters today, but it mattered to Lee.

That first briar batch he bought had to tide him over until he could buy more.
 

brian64

Lifer
Jan 31, 2011
8,075
8,997
I began to gray before I was thirty and gained weight and the summer I was 38 I lost 85 pounds and bought a bottle Grecian Formula, the one they advertise where the old man turns young and dives away with a girl in a red convertible.

Then one day an old man came in my office and he asked me, what happened to that gray haired big man that used to own this office?

I realized he meant me, and I asked him what he thought of him.

He said no offense to you young man, but the man that used to be in this office could have talked Christ right down off the Cross. Is he still lawyering?

I’ve been silver haired since.

Will a hearse horse snicker, carrying away my lawyer’s bones?

Once I appeared on television as a hero in 1993 for rescuing three little children from a house fire.

I did that, but I was a coward out on the street at almost midnight yelling

WAKE UP YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

But the children’s mother pulled up dressed to kill on the lawn with liquor on her breath, and said Oh My God, My God you’ve saved my children.

I said lady, get your ass and these three kids somewhere else because there’s about to be a hundred cops coming here you don’t want to explain why you let a 16 year old babysit so you could go out on a party.

I not only saved the kids, I saved the reputation of a hard working woman who had to work overtime on Saturday night to support three children.

Most noble lie I’ve told yet.

Maybe, she might have been looking for a job as a barmaid, how can I say for certain?
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,681
3,577
Humansville Missouri
My mother was very healthy and much alive in January 1993 when I saved the children from the house fire.

My first wife was a schoolteacher at the local school and I had a six year old son.

I was 34 years old driving my almost new pickup to be the night watchmen in the parking lot at the local Masonic lodge where a lot of my wife’s Eastern Star friends were hosting a sleep over for teenaged Rainbow Girls, and I was to relieve a WW2 veteran to take the midnight till dawn shift.

You drive along through this life never thinking that just one moment, may change somebody else’s life forever.

If I’d left five minutes early, to the Masonic Temple those three kids would have burned up in that home.

Five minutes later, and they’d have burned up, the same.

As it was I almost missed a turn preoccupied with something I’ve now forgotten and almost went one block down to make another right turn, but as I braked and made a right hand turn off our Main Street in town I noticed that a two story house on the corner still had Christmas lights on a Christmas tree lit in late January which struck me as odd.

I kept looking at the lower right side window of that two story house, and realized those weren’t Christmas lights, it was a small fire under a Christmas tree.

The windows up above were all dark, as was the room where the little fire was burning, under a Christmas tree in late January.

The carpet under the tree was feeding the fire, which doubled and then doubled again as I stood in the street beside my new pick up, door open.

I thought if I run in there I might put it out.

But running in a dark home in Missouri is an extremely good way to get shot by a homeowner.

So I stood there in the street yelling

WAKE UP YOIR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!

As I yelled the room burst into flames as the fire ignited the curtains.

Just then a light in the upper left side of the home turned on.

I ran up on the sidewalk, and a little girl, a taller little boy, and behind them a teenaged boy came out the front door.

In just that time, the fire on the right lower side was an inferno.

The oldest boy, maybe 16, said he wanted to go back inside to get his shoes and I screamed at him there’s nothing in that house worth dying for, get your ass on the lawn with the others.

Any illusions I had to play fireman were long over, as we watched the stairway they’d went down engulf in flames as the window in the room where the fire started burst from the heat and the house just became a wall of flame to look inside the open doorway.

They would have died that night, if I’d not timed my trip perfectly.

When I told my mother, she was delighted I’d saved the kids but not so happy I lied to preserve their mother’s reputation.

But bye and bye she decided I’d done the best I could, under the circumstances, and sang me this old song.


Most of life, is like those old songs.
 
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PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
2,503
11,693
The Aloha State!
@Briar Lee If you really know facts about Pipe by Lee, you should really take the time and help write up the Pipedia, because there is absolutely nothing.


I’ve looked around a bit, and I don’t know where you are getting the information from about Lee? ?

I can’t find much out there.

A few pipes listed here is about all.


@mingc what was funny? ?

@Briar Lee I know there isn’t much information, I was stating this, and suggesting, since you seem very knowledgeable about Pipes by Lee, you should seriously edit it and put in what you know.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
1,681
3,577
Humansville Missouri
@mingc what was funny? ?

@Briar Lee I know there isn’t much information, I was stating this, and suggesting, since you seem very knowledgeable about Pipes by Lee, you should seriously edit it and put in what you know.
The real expert should.

I’m a consumer of Lee pipes, nothing more.

And I preferred pre war Kaywoodies until my Scotch blood realized a Lee is much cheaper, but actually better than a post war Kaywoodie.

43455B6B-B583-4411-9DE6-4D224D1A6322.jpeg
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
2,503
11,693
The Aloha State!
I’ve never seen any talk of Lee since I joined, other than from you.

I’m not even sure there are any so called experts, and from what I can tell, if you are honest with what you are sharing, you seem to be qualified enough to edit up the Pipedia, don’t sell yourself short.

If you know the facts, then it’s good enough.

What does that toilet paper image have to do with this discussion? hmm ?
 
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