Quick Chip Fill on a Patent Era Brigham 390 Smooth Canadian

I spotted this Patent Era Brigham 390 Canadian pipe on eBay and being the Brigham junkie that I am, I could not resist bidding. The listing was very scant on information and photos, but made mention of a chip/dent from a possible fall. When the pipe arrived in the mail, I had a chance to give it a good once-over, and was not disappointed.

The pipe was in overall excellent estate condition, with no tooth chatter or dents in the short tapered stem, and very few handling marks on the briar. This is a large Canadian shape, over 6.5 inches long, with a proportionate bowl and chamber. I knew this before purchasing, as I already own a Brigham 390 in a semi-rusticated finish. This smooth pipe will be a nice partner for it.

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The pipe is stamped with the old script “Brigham” logo over “CAN PAT 372982” on top of the long oval shank, with the shape number “390”, indicating a 3 Dot Brigham Exclusive grade pipe in Shape 90. The stamps are all in excellent condition, especially for a pipe this age (circa 1938-1955). The stem carries the corresponding three brass pins on its left flank.

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The only real damage to the pipe was the chip missing from the rim, as mentioned in the eBay listing. I’d clean up some smaller marks on the top of the rim at the same time I filled the missing briar.

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The pipe was reamed and cleaned before sale, but I’ve heard that one before so I always double-check. This time the listing was pretty accurate. A few pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol tidied up a small amount of remaining tars in the stem and stummel.

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I decided to top the bowl very lightly to remove the small rim dents and some of the chipped area. When I was done, I had a nice crisp outer edge everywhere except the larger chip.

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To fill in the missing briar, I mixed a small amount of thick CA glue with briar dust and applied it to the damaged area. I intentionally overfilled the chip so I could sand everything smooth after the glue cured.

You can see in the last pic below that the CA glue/briar dust mix had a few tiny air bubbles in it when it set, appearing as small round pits in the fill. A quick drop of clear CA glue filled the bubbles; I sanded everything smooth after the glue had cured.

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Stain markers are very useful things to have around the worktable. I used a few coats of the medium stain marker to colour the freshly sanded rim to match the rest of the bowl. Micromesh pads in 1500-4000 grits erased the sanding marks and brought up the shine.

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With the rim restored, it was time to buff and wax. The entire pipe was lightly buffed with White Diamond compound and then given several coats of Carnauba wax.This old Brigham Canadian looks nearly new again! It will take its place next to its semi-rustic sister pipe in my rack and rotation.

Here’s the finished pipe. I’ve included a few shots of both pipes together to showcase the pair.

Thanks for looking and until next time, Happy Piping!

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8 comments

  1. Beautiful bird’s eye pattern in the briar. Very attractive – I really like the long shanks of the Canadians – I have my first Canadian waiting in my help me basket which I look forward to restoring it and giving it a go. It’s an Algerian Briar Made in France. Enjoy your new Brigham!

    Liked by 1 person

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