This Peterson Pot came to me in a box of assorted estate pipes I purchased quite some time ago. I must admit that the poor old thing languished in that box for longer than I care to admit, but at the time I was caught up in the Brigham Shape Chart project, so a lot of restorations were put on the back burner for awhile.
When I finally brought this pipe to the worktable, it was in pretty grim shape. The P-lip stem was heavily oxidized to an icky yellow/green colour. The shank band was covered in grease, dirt and tarnish. I had to give it a preliminary scrub with a soft cloth to read the stamps you’ll see below.
The briar itself, also coated with grease and grime, showed a lifetime of use. The rim was riddled with dents and scratches, and the chamber itself was out of round with what looked like scorch marks on the front edge.
Under the dirt, the pipe is stamped “K&P” over “Dublin” on the left shank. On the same side of the pipe, the shank band carries the K&P three-shield logo over “Sterling” over “Silver”. On the right shank, the pipe is marked with a circular “Made in Ireland” COM stamp and the shape number, “207”.
According to the information at Pipephil.eu, the circular “Made in Ireland” COM stamp dates this Pot to a very specific production period of 1945-1947. Knowing the pipe is between 70 an 72 years old made me reevaluate its condition – perhaps it had earned those battle scars!
I started cleaning up this old Pete by polishing the dirt and tarnish off the sterling band. I used a very light touch with 0000 steel wool to cut through decades of crud, and finished up by polishing with a jewellery’s cloth to rub out the last traces of tarnish and bring up the shine. As soon as the band was clean it came loose from the pipe shank and fell off into my hand. I set it aside for safekeeping until it was time to reinstall it on the pipe.
Then I went to work on the briar, first reaming the tobacco chamber clean of the old cake and then wiping down the exterior of the stummel with cotton pads dipped in alcohol. The alcohol cut through the grease, grime and old wax on the surface of the briar very quickly and gave me my first glimpse of the grain on this pipe.
I used pipe cleaners, cotton swabs, alcohol and a shank brush to clear the mortise and airway of old tars and debris. Somewhat surprisingly, the internals weren’t in horrible condition.
The stem, meanwhile, had gone into an Oxyclean and warm water bath to lift the grime and raise the oxidation to the surface of the stem. When it came out of the bath, I scrubbed away the muck with 0000 steel wool and Magic Eraser. A few pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol made sure I had all the tars out of the airway. The stem was in very good shape for its age. All it would need was a sharpening of the button edge and a final sanding/polishing before the pipe went to the buffer.
I didn’t want to completely erase all signs of use from this old pipe, but I did want to tidy up the worst of the rim damage. With preservation in mind, I lightly topped the bowl, just enough to flatten the rim. The long, winding scratches on the left side of the rim are now smooth, but their ghosts remain.
To dress off the myriad nicks and dings on the outer edge of the bowl, I sanded in a very slight bevel. After sanding the walls of the bowl, the bevel is almost invisible.
I used clear CA glue to drop-fill a small constellation of pinhead-sized flaws on the stummel. When the glue had cured, I sanded everything smooth and brought up the shine with a quick hand buffing with 0000 steel wool.
I finished off the work on the stummel by applying a coat of Fiebing’s Dark Brown leather dye to the stummel. I thought the initial colour was a bit dark, so I wiped the briar with a damp cotton pad to remove some of the dye (I use water-based dye) and let the grain shine through a bit more.
Just before going to the buffer, I glued the sterling silver band back onto the shank. A light run of White Diamond compound smoothed out both briar and stem, and several coats of Carnauba wax brought up the shine.
This 70-year old Peterson K&P Dublin 207 Pot is certainly a senior citizen but just as certainly has many great smokes left in it. There are still a few small marks on the pipe that show its age, but that’s as it should be for a pipe that left the factory at the end of World War II. The stories you’d hear if this pipe could talk!
If you’d like to add this Pre-Republic Peterson to your own rack or perhaps gift it to another piper, it is available in the DadsPipes Store now.
Thanks for joining me for this restoration. Until next time, Happy Piping!
Here’s the finished pipe.