Restoring a Unique Brigham 5-Dot Bent Brandy

Today I’m back digging around in the estate lot of pipes I purchased last summer. Along with the Brigham 5W1 I wrote about last time, the lot included another Brigham – an interesting 5-Dot Bent Brandy. I have pulled it out of the refurb box several times since I acquired it, trying to get a…

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Refreshing an Interesting 1990s Brigham 5W1 Short Brandy

After slogging through a number of more complex restorations recently, I’m rather relieved that this week’s Brigham 5W1 refresh is at the other end of the estate pipe spectrum. With no major dents, dings or missing parts, this 1990s-era pipe was in pretty good estate condition, though it needed some attention. Apart from a layer…

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Reclaiming a Damaged 1960s-vintage Brigham 229L Large Author

I’m asked fairly regularly about where and how I source the estate pipes featured in the blog. I have bought many individually or in small groups from antique shops and fairs, but every now and then I buy an estate lot. Last summer I did just that, bringing home a mixed batch of about 60…

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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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Making a Hand-Cut Acrylic Stem from Rod Stock for an Algerian Briar Bamboo Rhodesian

This project was a first for me – hand cutting an Acrylic stem from rod stock. OK, not quite rod stock, as the chunk of acrylic I used was actually an off-cut from a 1″ diameter by 4″ long acrylic stem blank, so the airway drilling was already done when I started work. A stem,…

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Freeing a Seized Stem and Freshening Up a 1990s Brigham 218 Pear

Here is another estate pipe from my box of refurbs-in-waiting. This Brigham 218 Pear had been buried at the bottom of the pile for some time when I dug it out and decided it was time to work on it. Here is the pipe as it looked when I brought it to the worktable. Although…

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A Shank Band and a New Look for a Jeantet Leather-Clad Scoop

This French-made Jeantet leather-clad Scoop came to me in an estate lot I bought last summer. At first glance the pipe appeared to be in good shape, requiring only a light cleaning to make it ready for a new pipe steward. First glances, however, are sometimes not as accurate as we would like. This series…

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Reviving a 1990s Brigham 303 Billiard

It’s been a while since I worked on a pipe from my own box of refurbs-in-waiting, so today when I found myself temporarily in between other jobs, I dug through my pile of estate pipes and pulled out this 1990s vintage Brigham 303 Billiard. As you can see from this first series of pictures, the…

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