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Thread: List of Pipe refurbishing supplies

  1. #1
    PSU Member Steve Laug's Avatar
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    List of Pipe refurbishing supplies

    I posted this on another forum but thought I would add it here as well. Add your additions to the list if you want to. It would be great to develop and sticky list for this.

    List of supplies for refurbishing

    I have had several emails over the past years regarding supplies that I use for pipe refurbishing. I have broken the list below into 4 parts – two dealing with the bowl and two dealing with the stem. The first in each category is what I call field dressing the pipe. It involves the initial breaking down of the pipe and stripping and cleaning it. The second in each category is the finishing.

    Refurbishing stems:


    1. For the stems – field dressing

    - Oxyclean for soaking oxidized stems. I use it to soften the oxidation rather than remove it. It works great.
    - a pint jar for soaking stems (I use an empty Oxyclean container for the alcohol bath and for the Oxyclean wash.)
    - Micromesh sanding pads 1800, 2400, and 4000
    - 400 and 600 grit wet dry sand paper
    - Pipe cleaners – bristle and thick and thin
    - Dental pick for getting the corners of the button and the tenon
    - Pliers for removing stinger apparatus
    - Small microwave bowl or heat gun to lift bite marks and dents from the stem
    - Retort system – available on eBay or from Shield on the Forums.

    2. For the stems – Finishing

    - Sanding pads, 250 grit sand paper and 400, 600 wet dry sand paper and Micro-mesh pads as above.
    - Buffer with pads – Tripoli, then White Diamond and then Carnauba. These are used after the sanding process. I don’t use a Dremel for this as it can cause ripples in the Vulcanite stem.
    - The same Waxes as above.
    - Soft cloths for hand buffing
    - Bright light to identify scratches in the bowls and in the stems

    Refurbishing Bowls:


    1. For the bowl – Field dressing


    - Jewelers Loop to read hallmarks and stamping on the pipe before sanding
    - Reamer (I use a Pipnet Reamer that is available from Synjeco. It is also made by Castleford. It is a ‘T’ handle with four different blade heads that fit in the bowl. Very easy to use and maintain roundness of the chamber.)
    - Soft bristle tooth brush for scrubbing with the oil soap
    - Brass bristle tire brush for use in scrubbing on plateau and in rustication
    - 2x3 inch sanding pads of different grits. I found these at a paint shop as they are used in drywall patching and painting. Home Depot carries them as well. These are used to remove the tars and lava on the top of the bowls.
    - Murphy’s Oil Soap
    - Several soft rags for wiping and application of soap
    - 100s of pipe cleaners – fluffy, bristle and thin
    - Q-tips
    - Cotton boles
    - Silver polish for bands – both a liquid/paste application and a polishing cloth that is available through jewelry shops.
    - A pint jar for the alcohol bath
    - 99% isopropyl alcohol

    2. For the bowl – Finishing


    - 400 and 600 grit sand paper
    - Micro-mesh pads 1800, 2400, and 4000 available online at Lee Valley Tools and other wood working suppliers
    - A knife that can be heated or a cloth to use to steam dents from the bowls. You can use a knife – I heat the blade on my gas stove and then use a wet cloth on the dent and apply the hot knife to the dent and the steam lifts the dent. You can also use an iron to do the same with a damp cloth.
    - Stains – I use Feibings Shoe dye – aniline based stains that are far cheaper than labeled wood stains. I use Medium Brown, Oxblood, and Black almost all the time but it is available in other colours as well. Those three match most of the older English and American pipes that I rework.
    - Matches or lighter for flaming the stain once it applied
    - Rubber gloves for applying stain unless you don’t mind wearing it for a while
    - Q-tips or pipe cleaners bent in half for applying the stains
    - Soft rags for wiping off stains and applying them
    - You can get a polishing kit from Lee Valley that includes three buffer pads, and arbor and attachments for a bench grinder. That is what I have. It also comes with a bar of Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnauba wax in the kit. It will last a long time. I think it is about $70 or less for the kit.
    - I also have a jar of Halcyon wax for use on blasts and rusticated. It is applied by hand and buffed off with a soft cloth. They also have Paragon wax for smooths. It is available eBay for sale or you can Google it to get it – I think it comes from Fine Pipes.com

    Steve Laug 26 January 2012
    Why Worry! I am an old man, and have had many troubles, but most of 'em never happened.

    Click on the graphic to read my refurbishing blog - rebornpipes

  2. #2
    Founding Member Bob's Avatar
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    Great post Steve! As requested, it has been stuck my friend!
    Land Of The Free, Because Of The Brave

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Markw4mms's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, Steve!
    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."- Benjamin Franklin




  4. #4
    PSU Member IrishRover's Avatar
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    Oh wow.. how did I miss this!!??
    Thanks Steve!
    May your bowls always be full

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    Great post Steve! :eagerness:
    The reason people get lost in thought is because its unfamiliar territory

  6. #6



    List of Pipe refurbishing supplies

    Good info, thanks!

  7. #7
    PSU Member Coastie3202's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve. I was amazed to find that I have just about everything that you listed, and I learned a couple tips, such as removing dents from the bowl by steaming. Thanks for a great write up.
    John
    Lacks Self Control - VALIDATED.
    God please give me patience, if you give me strength I will just punch them in the face.
    Proud Member of the Walrus Club

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    Moderator morty58's Avatar
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    Fantastic list Steve. I have everything except the grinder/buffer machine. One day I will get one, till that time it is all elbow grease from this old gal. LOL!!!!!

  9. #9
    PSU Member Coastie3202's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morty58 View Post
    Fantastic list Steve. I have everything except the grinder/buffer machine. One day I will get one, till that time it is all elbow grease from this old gal. LOL!!!!!
    Up until this past Christmas I was doing everything with elbow grease. But then the wife bought me a wonderful buffing setup, and now I find myself buffing anything that doesn't move quickly, including the cat. I thought my pipes look good before, but it is amazing what a Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnuba treatment can do for briar......AMAZING.
    John
    Lacks Self Control - VALIDATED.
    God please give me patience, if you give me strength I will just punch them in the face.
    Proud Member of the Walrus Club

  10. #10
    PSU Member purplemotoman's Avatar
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    Great post. I have personally added Magic Erasers to my stem restore kit.

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