My earlier no name basket pipe post was pretty popular ( one of my most viewed ) . I though i would share another unmarked pipe i picked up and re-did back in May 2014. I originally posted the refurbish on Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum. I still own and smoke the pipe today.
I got the pipe from a co-worker who was selling her late fathers old pipes. She brought a box of pipes for me to look at one day at work. I did not see anything that really grabbed my eye but one unmarked Lumberman. Most were full bents and such that i just don’t care for . I agreed to purchase it and a nice twelve pipe inline rack that you can hang on the wall. I think i agreed to give her twenty dollars for the rack and pipe. I sent some pictures of the other pipes to a friend of mine and they worked out a deal and he purchased all the ten or so other pipes she had.
The Lumberman caught my eye because it was a really nice piece of briar with no visible fills , but that can change once you clean or strip one.
Here is the pipe as i purchased it. Its a large Lumberman , the bowl is 2 in.tall with just a hair under 1 inch wide chamber. The pipe is 6.5 inches long. The pipe has some heft to it . Its not a dainty pipe and well made. The stem is of good quality vulcanite but i don’t think it really fits the pipe well, i would much rather have a short Canadian bit on it. I have yet to find a spare Canadian stem to fit it well enough to adapt it to the pipe.
The cake was set up like concrete in the bowl and the shank was completely stopped up. I don’t think it had ever had a pipe cleaner run through it . So i opted to give it a long salt bath after i scrapped and sanded most of the cake i could.
After a couple of days soaking i was able to get most of the junk out of the pipe. I stripped all the finish off with a good wipe down with a green pad soaked with Oxy Clean and hot water.
I ended up re-drilling the shank ( by hand with a long drill bit just slightly larger than factory drilling) on this one as well for a couple of reasons . To remove the heavy tar build up, and to in large the small airway it came with .Not only cleaning it but making the draw much better. Be sure and take your time drilling .Slow and easy, its not a race.
One good thing about unmarked pipes is you can sand them as much as you want and not worry about obliterating any factory stamping’s. After the cleaning i sanded the pipe with 800 grit. As you can see there is no fills what so ever anywhere. Makes you wonder why it was ever a basket pipe.
I decided to contrast stain the whole pipe . So i colored the entire pipe with a black sharpie a total of three times. Letting the black marker dry between coats . Press hard with marker so it will get down in the grain well.
I then sanded it all off with alcohol .I first scrubbed it with a green pad and then 1000 grit sandpaper. You just want to sand off the black that’s not in the grain , so take it easy and do not sand too hard or too much. This is very messy and smelly . You might want to use some type of gloves and be sure to be in well ventilated area. Also it’s a good idea to plug up the camber with some cotton balls or a piece of a old rag ( like i did NOT do ) . I had to sand in there and clean it out with alcohol . I was still a novice at the time, i learned not to do that again.
After the pipe dried for a hour or so i applied some red/orange dye i mixed up . I applied light coats until i got the shade i wanted.
I sanded and filed out some tooth marks from the stem .
After dye dried i wiped it down with mineral oil to bring out the color, let the oil soak in for a while ( 1 hour or so ) before wiping whats left dry. I usually do inside bowl , shank and stem too . I dry them with a cotton ball and pipe cleaners.
I then applied three light cots of wax and rubbed it down with 000 steel wool . I did this a couple of times to build up a good base wax.
After i got a good base wax coat i buffed and waxed pipe several times.
Finished pipe ………..I still dislike that stem.
Notice the ding on the rim? I dropped it when i was taking pictures …. 😦 lol
The pipe is a great smoker . Its kinda heavy for a good hands free clencher but excellent for sitting around and enjoying a long smoke.
A friend of mine swears this is a English pipe , because of the look and small drilled airway. He says English pipes are usually drilled with small airway’s. He says he had a GBD that was identical to this pipe. Who knows ? I’m not familiar enough with English pipes to give a opinion on that.
You could easily do what i just did with a brand new basket pipe if you felt so inclined. In fact it would be easier as you don’t have to clean the years of junk that builds up on a pipe that’s never cleaned inside. Like this pipe i did.
Til next time,
Good smokes to you .