Restorations, Uncategorized

Tidying Up a Brigham 442 Oval Shank Bent Acorn

Back in July 2017 I posted the refurbishment of a Brigham 341 Bent Acorn pipe. Here now is its big brother, a Shape 42 Bent Acorn, this time in a 4-Dot grade.

The Shape 42 sports a full-on oval shank and a taller bowl than its Shape 41 sibling, and despite the two pipes being roughly equal in length, the 42 is a noticeably larger pipe.

This example of the shape arrived on the worktable in very gently used condition. Though there was a fairly thick coat of lava on the rear rim, I’m not sure this pipe was ever fully broken in by its previous owner, as only the top half of the tobacco chamber is blackened by smoke. The stem showed some small handling marks but was otherwise completely free of tooth marks or even chatter.


The pipe is stamped “442” then “Brigham” over “Canada” on the underside of the oval shank. These marks put the production era for the pipe somewhere in the 1980’s.

The stem is inlaid with four brass pins. Interestingly, the underside of the stem is also stamped with a “4”, something I have not seen on any other Brigham in my collection, and just visible in the above pics. You learn something every day!


As the tarry rim was the major issue to contend with here, I started by wiping away the majority of the crud with cotton pads dipped in alcohol. I followed up with a gently polishing with 800 and 2000-grit wet sandpapers.

The crowned rim cleaned up very nicely, revealing some nice cross grain and thankfully no scorch marks. I finished the rim work by polishing with a full course of micromesh sanding pads to deepen the colour and bring up a high shine on the briar.


A quick wipe with a scrap of sandpaper smoothed out the chamber walls, and a handful of cotton swabs and a few pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol removed the very light tars and dust from the stummel’s internals.


I gave the stem a short soak in an Oxyclean bath and then scrubbed the vulcanite clean with Magic Eraser. A quick going over with 2000-grit wet sandpaper brought up the shine on the vulcanite and left the brass Dots sparkling. All that remained was to clean the internals with pipe cleaners and a few more cotton swabs dipped in alcohol.


And that was all this gently used Brigham 442 Bent Acorn needed, other than a short polishing on the wheel. It cleaned up very quickly and looks great. It will take its place in my collection of vintage Brigham pipes.

Thanks for joining me for this quick cleanup. Here is the finished pipe, along with a snap of both the Shape 42 and the Shape 41 pipe I cleaned up last summer. They’re definitely related but, like most siblings, have their own defining characteristics.

Until next time, Happy Piping!