Well ... I Ruined the Finish on this Grabow

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Winnipeger

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 9, 2022
604
3,712
Winnipeg
If I’m understanding correctly what is going on in the photo, the lighter lines are wax stuck in the cut crevices, not missing stain/finish; no dye needs to be introduced, just wax to be removed.
Actually...I had the same problem with a cheap rusticated no-name a while back. Whoever applied the finish went a little overboard with the carnauba wax, or whatever it was. The first time I smoked the pipe it got all sticky around the rim from the heat. I decided to remove the finish with sandpaper and smooth out the rustication. After sanding the rustication most of the way down, I gave up on trying to remove the wax from the pits because, A. it wasn't immediately obvious how to go about it; and B. I didn't care that much. I did re-stain it with a chestnut aniline and it looked fine. I mean the stain soaks into the briar and probably gets underneath the wax. The pits were shiny and a little darker than the surface.

Anyway...in retrospect, I probably would have used acetone if I had any handy at the time, and a toothbrush, to scrub away the wax before re-staining the pipe, which ended up in the bin anyway...to make a long story short.
 

Hillcrest

Lifer
Dec 3, 2021
1,378
6,679
Bagshot Row, Hobbiton
It seems to me there is too much overkill here. The problem is wax in the grooves ... just remove it with hot water and a toothbrush before trying harsh chemicals, sanding or re-dye. Start simple and work your way up the chain. It you don't want to use hot water try some steam from a tea pot to soften the wax and just wipe off. Or use a shoe brush and brush it off. Like a hedgehog for cleaning the bottom of boots.

A brush will only take a few seconds. I've done it before. Live and learn.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
2,197
5,042
Humansville Missouri
In the United States today there is one traditional briar pipe factory left, that makes hundreds of thousands of pipes a year, and that is Dr. Grabow, at Sparta North Carolina.


The more expensive Grabows have always been smooth pipes. Carving disguises a multitude of sins in briar.

The stained varnish Grabow places by machine on their pipes comes off easily. I watched Harry Hosterman remove it using a pocket knife as a scraper over fifty years ago. There are lots of ways to get it off.

Somewhere in Sparta is one man who is the master briar selector on the planet earth, the best at his craft there is.

Try keeping 40 people busy making a thousand natural briar products each working day of the entire year.

Each one must be a good smoker.

Under that stain, is a righteous pipe.
 

burleybreath

Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 29, 2019
708
2,505
Finger Lakes area, New York, USA
It seems to me there is too much overkill here. The problem is wax in the grooves ... just remove it with hot water and a toothbrush before trying harsh chemicals, sanding or re-dye. Start simple and work your way up the chain. It you don't want to use hot water try some steam from a tea pot to soften the wax and just wipe off. Or use a shoe brush and brush it off. Like a hedgehog for cleaning the bottom of boots.

A brush will only take a few seconds. I've done it before. Live and learn.
Always worked for me. Think I used a Zippo. Heat and wipe. Or brush. It's just f***ing wax.
 

Beowoulf

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 16, 2022
201
2,126
Thanks so much for all the advice! I decided to start with the easiest recommendations and move up the line in difficulty. The first thing I tried was simply brushing it with the soft toothbrush .. and it worked! Didn't require much elbow grease either! Have a look at the new, and shiny, Dr. Grabow:

IMG_4170.JPG
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,189
34,238
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
Congrats on the quick and easy fix! Here's a tip on how to avoid this in future when you want to renew the shine:

Do not use a cloth. Put a TINY amount of Renaissance (I use Halcyon) on the palm of your hand and spread it on both palms. Let it set up for 30 seconds to a minute then take the pipe and rub it in the palms of your hands. You won't get any residue in the recesses and you will get a much higher gloss than you get with a cloth. Works like a charm.
 
Thanks so much for all the advice! I decided to start with the easiest recommendations and move up the line in difficulty. The first thing I tried was simply brushing it with the soft toothbrush .. and it worked! Didn't require much elbow grease either! Have a look at the new, and shiny, Dr. Grabow:

View attachment 185377
I've got that exact same pipe. It was left to me by my Uncle who used to sleep on the porch with his pipe in his clench. He would wear a hole in all of his stems with his eye teeth, so that he could better grip the pipe while sleeping. He would smoke a pipe till it was caked up and then throw it away, and the Starfire that I have was his last one before he passed. I keep it in a drawer along with some of my other treasured pipes.

Glad you got that sorted out. I knew it wasn't messed up.
 

rustiepyles

Can't Leave
Jun 9, 2015
467
2,242
Mission, Ks
I've used ren wax on fine line carved grabows. A small stiff nylon bristle brush will do the job then buff it with a clean shoe brush. For future referance ren wax is a bit hard for blasted or rusticated pipes and a little bit goes a long way.
 
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Beowoulf

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 16, 2022
201
2,126
Are you crazy? That pipe looks amazing! Leave it alone.
Leave what alone? The pipe with the stain-colored wax stuck in it or the cleaned up version? I much prefer the cleaned up one. The wax-encumbered one made me cringe. It was just not made to look like that. It just screamed MISTAKE to me!
Again, thanks for all the help you guys and gals!
 
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Akousticplyr

Lifer
Oct 12, 2019
1,139
5,637
Florida Panhandle
Congrats on the quick and easy fix! Here's a tip on how to avoid this in future when you want to renew the shine:

Do not use a cloth. Put a TINY amount of Renaissance (I use Halcyon) on the palm of your hand and spread it on both palms. Let it set up for 30 seconds to a minute then take the pipe and rub it in the palms of your hands. You won't get any residue in the recesses and you will get a much higher gloss than you get with a cloth. Works like a charm.
If my wife saw me rubbing Renaissance into my palms she would immediately assume I am surfing porn.
 

Andriko

Can't Leave
Nov 8, 2021
338
779
London
Leave what alone? The pipe with the stain-colored wax stuck in it or the cleaned up version? I much prefer the cleaned up one. The wax-encumbered one made me cringe. It was just not made to look like that. It just screamed MISTAKE to me!
Again, thanks for all the help you guys and gals!

Aw, you 'fixed' it. Yes, you may have thought it screamed 'mistake', and it may have made you cringe. But the only thing that really matters is what I think.
 
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