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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Dressing up a Drab Imported Briar Oom Paul

I thought I’d squeeze in another post before heading out for a late-summer camping trip before back-to-school activities take over. This no-name Oom Paul pipe came to me in a recent auction lot purchase (second row from the bottom, centre column in the pic). It was in pretty good shape when it arrived. Compared to…

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My First Attempt at Pipe Carving – A Rusticated Nosewarmer!

I just finished up my first ever pipe build and am reasonably pleased with the end result. I’ve certainly paid more money on a cheap off-the-shelf pipe, and I get the bonus of claiming this one as my very own creation. I started with one of two briar blocks I bought from a local gent…

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Refurb & Rustication of an Estate WellPipe Full Bent

You never know what you’re going to get when you buy estate pipes online. This small WellPipe full bent pipe is a case in point. The auction listing looked good, and the pipe arrived in decent shape. On the surface it only needed a good cleaning. The bowl had a bit of rim char and…

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