This is my second LHS Superfine poker pipe I have added to my personal collection. The first one I acquired almost two years ago. The first one has beautiful grain with lots of bird eye. I really enjoy smoking the pipe but it’s one I try to take care of and it never leaves my home. I have been keeping my eye out for another one that I could use more as a carry anywhere /work pipe. Recently I saw on Ebay just what i was looking for. The LHS pokers are not a common pipe so it has been a long wait for my second one.
I usually do not like to talk about prices on pipes or what i have paid for them but for this budget pipe i think it is appropriate. The opening bid was $8.99 so i figured a bid on $10.00.dollars for a budget work pipe was perfect. There was another bidder but i ended up winning it for 9.50 plus the very reasonable shipping of $2.85.
The pipe looked to be in good shape other than a banged up rim and misaligned stem,but with no chew holes to deal with.
As you can see the shank collar has backed out some to cause the stem to be misaligned when screwed in all the way.
From the picture of the stem removed you can see the pipe had been stored for a long time uncleaned and tight causing the stem to corrode and stick. When someone broke the stem loose it was stuck tight casing the collar to unscrew some from the shank. This is why I say if your going to store a metal tenon pipe for a long time to not leave it screwed tight but just slightly loose.
The pipe was also in desperate need of a very good cleaning.
I was going to make a rustication tool and rusticate the whole pipe, but i decided to try a simple easy and inexpensive refinish on the pipe since i was going to use it as a carry around /work pipe. I can always refinish the pipe in a fancier rustication and finish at a later date.
When the pipe arrived the first thing to do was get the stem aligned correctly. I placed the pipe in the freezer overnight to see if i could take the collar all the way out , clean and oil it and reset it back in shank. The stem was very tight though and could not get it to back out any further. I then only had the choice to screw it back in the fraction it was unscrewed.
I heated the collar up over my gas stove and put the stem back in and screwed it back flush.
The stem is now properly aligned.
I gave the bowl a good cleaning and stripped the remaining finish off with acetone and a cotton ball.
The cake was very hard and thick so I decided to give it a alcohol salt bath for a couple of days.
I gave the stem a pipe cleaner soaked in alcohol to see how it was. It was very dirty so it will need to soak in alcohol for a while.
After a couple days of soaking and adding alcohol to the salt every few hours it was ready to continue work on.
I gave the inner bowl and shank a good cleaning. The salt manged to soften up the rock hard cake and remove most of it. I also re-drilled the shank a little larger for a increased draw.
I topped the banged up rim with some 220 grit.
What i thought was a bad ding near the top of the bowl was actually a large fill.
To completely remove it i would have had to take too much off the rim for me so i decided to leave as is and try to cover and hide it the best i could. I wasn’t really that concerned with it being this will be a budget burley burner for me. After topping the rim I went over it with 500 – 800 dry paper as well.
I decided to just give it a quick Sharpie refinish. I first covered the pipe with two coatings of black sharpie to contrast the the grain and rustication.
After letting the marker dry for about 15 minutes i wiped the briar with acetone and a cotton ball to remove most of the excess.
I then sanded it with 1200 grit and mineral oil ,avoided the stamping’s.I then went over the pipe again with mineral oil and 000 steel wool to remove the black but leave it in the grain and rustication. Wiping off the excess with a paper towel.
After giving the stem a long soak in alcohol then a Oxy Clean soak it was clean enough to sand out the tooth marks and fill one with Superglue and ground vulcanite powder from a old stem.
Then i wet sanded whole stem.
After letting the mineral oil dry from the the black marker removal I gave it a couple of coats of red Sharpie and then gave it a go over with mineral oil and 000 steel wool to leave a red tint over the briar and to help hide the fill.
The pipe is now ready for some buffing and a few coats of wax.
Now the pipe is not the best looking or show pipe but for less than $13.00 dollars I have a good take anywhere/work vintage pipe that i don’t have to worry about getting a ding in it,or charring the rim from smoking often.
The rim is out of around still,but again its something i can over look on this pipe.
I will not use the stinger on the pipe but have included it for pictures. At least LHS used removable ones.
The pipe is stamped LHS PUREX Superfine over Imported Briar. The Imported Briar on a LHS makes it post war 1946- 1960 era pipe. LHS closed its doors in 1960.
#15 (poker shape) is stamped on bottom of shank.
I really like the size of a LHS #15 poker. They are a larger bowl size then Dr.Grabow , Kaywoodie and Yello -Bole pokers but are quite a bit harder to find. The removable stinger and larger diameter opening on the metal tenon is another plus on the LHS models. I also like using the old screw in stem pipes as work pipes because they are very tough and dropping one will not snap a tenon like I have done on push stems before.
I have smoked the pipe for a couple of days now and its a perfect pipe for what i was looking for with just a few dollars, a little time and elbow grease. It’s a great ol’ smoking burley burner that will get plenty of use.
Til next time ,
Good Smokes to you.
Here is a link to the other LHS Superfine i have if you would like to see it as well.