Reclaiming a Trashed Brigham 720

A recent eBay purchase left me wondering about the habits and motivations of a certain subset of old pipe smokers, specifically those that seem to show no care or concern for maintaining their favourite briar companions. The eBay lot was made up of five old Brigham pipes which included both high end and entry level briars. Curiously, the 1 and 2-Dot pipes in the box … Continue reading Reclaiming a Trashed Brigham 720

Repair and Rustication of a No-Name Algerian Briar Bent Bulldog

I picked up this Bent Bulldog as part of a random lot of estate pipes quite some time ago. I dug it out of the box after Christmas, and have been working on it in between other jobs for the last several weeks. The pipe was in a certain amount of distress when it came to the worktable. The stem had broken at the shank … Continue reading Repair and Rustication of a No-Name Algerian Briar Bent Bulldog

Tooth Dents and Rim Lava on a Blatter Rustic Bent Rhodesian

This is pipe #5 from the group of Blatter pipes sent to me from a piper in Iqaluit, Nunavut. This compact Rhodesian stood out to me immediately, the Rhody being one of my favourite pipe shapes. The rustication on this particular pipe is also quite striking – deep, craggy and very tactile. The pipe arrived on the workbench in pretty good condition. It had been … Continue reading Tooth Dents and Rim Lava on a Blatter Rustic Bent Rhodesian

Mission Impossible: Operation Long Shot

The door opened and a man walked into the bar, pausing briefly in the doorway to allow his eyes to adapt to the dim light inside. The place was what optimists would euphemistically call a dive. The establishment was empty except for a few drunks and a large, bored-looking man behind the counter wiping glasses with a rag that was presumably once white but was … Continue reading Mission Impossible: Operation Long Shot

My First Spare Parts Pipe and a Rustication Experiment

My estate pipe collecting must have hit critical mass this past month. Most of what I get in an average estate lot are complete pipes; of these, about 90% or more are able to be restored to close to factory condition. The other 5-10%, however, are too far gone and I end up salvaging what I can. This is why I have a box of … Continue reading My First Spare Parts Pipe and a Rustication Experiment

A New Vision for a Butz-Choquin Galion 1661 Sitter

This is a story about potential and a bit of risk-taking to fulfil it. When I pulled this pipe from the refurb box, I immediately felt that it wasn’t quite living up to its potential, not necessarily as a functional pipe, but rather as an “objet d’art”. Pipes, in my mind, fall into that rare category of things that serve a simple function but can also … Continue reading A New Vision for a Butz-Choquin Galion 1661 Sitter

Bringing New Life to a Scarred Butz-Choquin Supermate Major

This pipe immediately caught my attention when I first unpacked the auction lot. Pictured in the top left corner of the pipe lot pic below, this Butz-Choquin Supermate Major struck me by its elegant simplicity. No fuss, nothing fancy, just good grain, clean lines and a classic Lumberman shape characterized by its long, pinched-oval shank and saddle bit. Unlike many of its brethren in this … Continue reading Bringing New Life to a Scarred Butz-Choquin Supermate Major