A good friend of mine and co-worker got chatting with me the other day about smoking pipes. He’s considerable older than I am so he actually had a decent, old, and beautiful pipe from Peterson. He said he’d had it like 15-20 years. He though he’d bring it in the next day and show me. I had just finished up a cherry pipe. He was clearly excited to see someone interested in pipes.
So he brings in this well loved Peterson. He doesn’t smoke it anymore and hasn’t in many years. He’s got children now and you have to think about setting that example. Anyway here’s the lovely pipe he brought in:
Its just like Peterson to have used such a beautiful tight grain briar. Seriously it was a beautiful estate pipe. But It needed some love. I find it hard to turn down something like this, especially with its condition being so good for a 20+ year old pipe.
So I went and did my thing.
I started with the bowl, I reamed it and knocked the char out getting the chamber back to original size. I then did an alcohol soaked salt bath. I used some Woodford reserve to give it a little bourbon flavor. This step really just cleans out the inside of the stem and airway/tenon, killing all the germs that might be there. Then I went over to my Beal Buffing system and worked the bowl back from raw wood to the high polished shine. I put a coat of Carnuba wax to seal and protect. I used a loose cotton wheel on my bench motor to polish the tarnish off of the silver tenon band. I then finished the vulcanite stem on the buffer as well, bring back the black high-polish finish from the dull and yellowing oxidation.
Its amazing how much you can revive a piece of history like this with 20 minutes of hand polishing and 2 hours of soaking in bourbon.