View Full Version : My New Project

01-27-2012, 01:31
Ok, this will be my first refinishing project.

The pipe is a manufacturer's seconds from Pipe&Cigars.com which I used pretty extensively but after a month or so the lacquer/varnish finish started to bubble quite badly and rather than just hide it away in some draw I thought it would be an ideal pipe to try out a full finish restore.

I will be finishing with carnauba wax and not a lacquer or varnish finish as I prefer the look and feel with a waxed finish.

Here is a picture of the pipe when new from the P&C website:


I will be staining the pipe with 2 colors using leather stains. A dark contrast stain to bring out the grain and then a lighter color stain which shouldn't be much darker than natural. I have sanded 99% of the original finish off and will do some more before I apply the first stain (probably one coat of dark stain) after sanding that down I will apply 2 or 3 coats of the light stain.

Here is the pipe as it stands now:


Once the stain is on then I will buff the bowl in 3 ways. First with Tripoli then White Diamond and finally with Carnauba Wax.

I will post images as I go so you can see how it progresses.

Hopefully it won't be an unmitigated disaster LOL



01-27-2012, 01:43
That pipe looks like it has a lot of potential, Carl. I"ll be watching your post to see how it turns out.

01-27-2012, 01:47
Excellent shape! Sounds like fun..wish I felt a "talent" for such endeavors...I can clean the mess out of a pipe but stripping, staining and waxing? I'd probably get kicked out of the house by my wife! ;)

01-27-2012, 01:48
Have fun Carl, take your time!

01-27-2012, 02:00
Can't wait to see it.

01-27-2012, 02:06
When I get back to the UK I'm hoping to have a bash at making a pipe or 2 so I'll need Paul's input for that. Gonna get a lathe and bigger buffing/sanding machine for that tho ;)

01-27-2012, 02:24
I look forward to seeing the finished pipe. Enjoy the work on it. I really enjoy working on extreme pipe jobs as I'm always amazed how they turn out

01-27-2012, 03:01
We'll be watching Carl!

01-27-2012, 04:49
Off to a good start, can't wait to see it finished :) !!

01-27-2012, 10:24
Good Luck Carl

01-28-2012, 02:53
Ok, we have hit a slight snag here. My leather dyes are stalled in Miami and they have slapped a restricted cargo classification on it because it is inflamable, which I guess means that I am not going to see those bottles of dye anytime soon.

So I sat and played with the bowl, sanding it down with various grades of paper, I then carried on and put it on the buffing machine with some White Diamond compound and quietly cursed Dominicans and Cubans (who work at EPS) and like to pi*** me off when I'm expecting a parcel.

The bowl looked quite nice after the White Diamond so I carried on a gave it 4 goes on the buffer with Carnauba Wax and I must say I am quite impressed with the result after running over the whole pipe with a soft cloth afterwards.

Here is what I have so far:


If the stain does finally arrive here I'm not sure whether to rub it back down and apply a contrast stain to deepen the color or just leave the sucker natural.

Let me know what you think.

01-28-2012, 13:17
Carl I think I would leave it natural, it will darken as you smoke it. Great job!!

01-28-2012, 14:03
For sure leave it natural, looks super!

01-28-2012, 14:20
One thing I have noticed since refinishing the bowl with Carnauba rather than the original lacquer, the pipe smokes a lot cooler and also just seems to feel better in my hand. I wonder if I can get any unfinished pipes to play with as this is turning into a very nice smoker. The draw is very nice and it makes a good clencher, fitting naturally. All in all I'm glad I didn't relegate it to a drawer or dustbin because of the bubbling of the finish.

01-28-2012, 14:30
That is one reason I stay away from pipes like Grabow and others similar. I don't like pipes that are finished with Varnish and Lacquer because of the heat issue and I have heard a lot about bubbling of the finish. You did a great job! I think Savinelli has a line of unfinished pipes that are very reasonably priced you could look into Carl. They would be good to play with!!

01-28-2012, 14:36
Carl here is the link to Savinelli Natural (http://pipesandcigars.com/naturals.html)!!
On sale for $39.00!!!!

01-28-2012, 14:41
Thanks Bob, bookmarked for future reference :)

01-28-2012, 14:43
Carl those pipe could contain minor flaws, but for $39.00 you can't complain. Savinelli pipes are great smokers!!!

01-28-2012, 15:05
I must admit to taking off any varnish or lacquer and waxing my pipes. IMHO I believe it allows the briar to breath.

01-28-2012, 15:15
Just adding to the choir here, leave it as is Carl.
Looks GREAT now and as others have said it will darken on it's own and look grand when it does!!

01-28-2012, 16:51
Can't wait to see the finished product!

Steve Laug
01-31-2012, 21:09
Looking good Carl. Wipe it down with an alcohol damp cloth before staining to remove any micro dirt or grease. Then once you put your stain coat on - flame it. Touch a lit match or lighter to it and you will get the bowl engulfed in flame for a few seconds. This sets the stain before you lay it down.

05-07-2012, 17:16
Remember my little beater project?

After this weekend's restoration projects I wanted to play a little more with stain contrasts so grabbed my beater that I just waxed the bowl after sanding etc and took it back to bare briar again.

Here she is just after the first time I polished her a few months ago.


What I did this time was use contrast stains. I used my Med Brown initially to highlight the grain then I used a tan stain to go over the bowl. After a buff with tripoli, white diamond and carnauba she now has a more professional finished look and a whole new lease of life :)





05-07-2012, 17:36
Dang...Carl, looks a good as new...great job :) !

Steve Laug
05-07-2012, 17:41
You did great on that one Carl. Well done.

05-07-2012, 17:48
Thanks guys, this make me want to get back to the UK even more and try my hand at actually making a pipe from start to finish.

05-09-2012, 16:55
AWESOME! You definitely know how to put a shine to em!! Contrast looks great!

05-09-2012, 18:04
Nice job Carl!

05-13-2012, 00:51
Great Job!!!!

05-13-2012, 11:52
That is a great looking pipe... I have got to try some of these tricks on a few of the estates I have..