I found this BBB 2 Star Billiard at a local antiques and collectibles sale. It was in rather good shape other than a very tarry rim with a few visible dents. The stampings were crisp – the BBB 2 Star logo on the left shank, with “London Made” over “385” on the right shank. The original stem was intact, along with its own BBB logo stamping. The stem had a small bit of oxidation, mainly around the button.
I decided that the stummel was clean enough to bypass my usual isopropyl alcohol soak; instead, I used alcohol-dipped cotton pads to wipe down the exterior of the briar. This cleaned things up nicely and removed the old finish in the process.
I reamed the thin cake from the bowl and then cleaned the airway and mortise with alcohol and pipe cleaners. As you can see, it didn’t take a lot of work.
I moved on to the pipe’s rim at this point, after dropping the stem into an Oxyclean bath to soak. The cotton pads and alcohol had done a good job of removing the tars from the rim; this brought to light, however, the many dents and dings the rim had sustained – another victim of the careless “dottle knock-out”. I would have to top the bowl to restore a flat surface.
In the pic above, you can see a small burn mark on the inner rim at about the 2 o’clock position. I topped the bowl a bit more to minimize, but not completely remove, the mark.
This was a decent piece of briar – I found no factory fills, though I did end up drop-filling two pinhead sized pits on the right side of the bowl with tiny amounts of CA glue. You can see them in this pick – the two dots on the briar.
The stummel was now ready for stain, so I pulled the stem out of the Oxyclean and scrubbed it down with 0000 steel wool and 600 – 2000 grit wet paper to remove the oxidation and smooth out my scrubbing marks. Here’s the complete pipe at this stage.
The overall colour on the stummel was fairly even except where I had sanded – the rim and the two fills. These I corrected using a stain marker. I let the stain dry, then went over the entire pipe with Micro Mesh sanding pads from 2400 – 12000 grit to smooth out the finish and bring up the shine.
Then it was off to the buffer for Red Tripoli and White Diamond before giving the pipe several coats of Carnauba wax. Here is the finished pipe. This was a quick and easy clean-up for this old BBB 2 Star billiard. It’s now fresh and ready for years of use.