Something from Nothing – Creating a Mini Warden from a Junk Meerschaum Stummel

More than a few years ago now I was involved with an unfortunately short-lived local pipe club which held, among other things, a few swap meets where members could trade pipes, tobaccos etc. That is how this rather unloved-looking meerschaum pipe came to live in my box of refurbs-in-waiting. I have pulled the pipe out,…

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A Deep Cleaning and a New Stem for a Large Meerschaum Bent Billiard

This meerschaum Bent Billiard came in to the shop for a new stem, part of the same batch of pipes as the Nording freehand I wrote about last week. If you have read that post, the condition of this pipe when it arrived won’t be much of a surprise. As this series of pics shows,…

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Shank Crack and Chamber Burnout Repairs to a Nording 4 Freehand

I was recently sent a box of pipes for refurbishment that really worked out my restoration muscles. All of the pipes were very dirty and smelled strongly of OTC aromatic blends, and all needed new stems as the originals had been chewed up or bitten through. They also, as it turned out, were heat damaged…

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Tangerine Dream – A “New” Pipe From an Old Stummel

Temporarily in between repair jobs the other day as I waited for a parts order to come in, I rummaged around in my refurb box and came out with a rather battered and neglected Bent Billiard stummel. An old “Pipes by Lee” briar, the original stem had departed long ago; I had, however, recently jumped…

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A New Stem and a Good Waxing for a Capped Meerschaum Author

The range and diversity of meerschaum pipes never fails to impress me. From traditional shapes to intricately carved designs and figurals, there is a meerschaum pipe to meet any taste. The pipe on the worktable today is a traditional smooth Author with a bit of Teutonic flare in the shape of a crowned nickel wind…

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A New Stem for a Hardcastle’s Seaton 172 Billiard

This week’s estate pipe restoration is the fitting of a new stem to a Hardcastle’s Seaton Billiard stummel, which came to me as part of a large lot of pipes for repair. As this series of pics shows, the stummel was in very good, if not unsmoked, condition. It had clearly been without a stem…

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New Life for a Worn Old Pal Canadian

I was temporarily between projects the other day so I dug down to the bottom of my refurb box and came out with an old, well worn Canadian stummel. I brought it to the table and snapped this series of pics. Judging by the cleanliness of the chamber, I’ll suggest that this stummel was never…

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A New Stem and System Transplant for a Huge Brigham 3044 Oversize Billiard

I have had this late-1960s or very early 1970s Brigham 3044 Oversize Billiard in my box of refurbs for at least the last year if not longer. I’ve checked on it several times over that period, but I’ve never been able to tackle the work it needed until now. The problem has not been a…

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Repairs and a New Stem for a Unique Bulldog Figural

This pipe came to me in a large mixed lot of estates for repair. It is an attention-commanding fist-sized chunk of briar carved into an equally commanding bulldog figural pipe. As you will see in this series of shots taken when I first brought the pipe to the worktable, the briar was in pretty good…

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A New Stem for a Brigham 4W5 Freehand

The pipe on the worktable today is a good example of how Brigham made good use of old stock left over from discontinued product lines. I think this practice was very much in line with Herb Brigham’s penchant for tinkering with pipe shapes and his son Michael’s focus on efficiency and cost-savings in the 1980s.…

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