1. This forum section is for discussing pipes, it is not for advertising in any fashion.
  2. If you cannot verify your email address or recover your password, you need to call your ISP and tell them to stop blocking your email from this site.
    Dismiss Notice

Briar pipe finishs

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Bob K, Aug 7, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Bob K

    Bob K Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    351
    Back in the 60s and 70s, most new English smooth pipes had a high polish from being buffed with wax. Around the time the pipe was broken in, the wax finish had largely cooked off, and you were left with a beautiful, dull patina.

    If the wax didn't cook off fast enough, you put some alcohol (bourbon) on a paper towel, and wiped the outside of the bowl. Pipes always seemed to smoke cooler without the high polish finish.

    I have a couple newer pipes, "reasonably" priced by today's standards (under $100), fully broken in, but the high polish finish remains, and they smoke hot.

    What is the high polish finish used today on moderately priced pipes? Can it be removed by my classic method? Am I the only person who has both experienced this phenomenon, and used the above cited cure?

    Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,598
    Why would pipes without the polished finish smoke cooler?
     
  3. cobbsmoker

    cobbsmoker Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    3,784
    I think a lot of pipes today have a light lacquer or shellac coating to enhance the finish of the pipe, I know mine are this way and they do not smoke hot for me.

     
  4. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,990
    With a few exceptions I have bought "natural" unfinished briars. I always enjoy seeing the palomino color of the new pipe darken as it takes on character from use. And, I've always felt they smoked better. A lacquered pipe, although it can be pretty, is sealed and unable to "breath" which tends to make them smoke hotter. That is my opinion -- and I'm stickin' to it. :puffy:
     
    Bob K likes this.
  5. Spillproof

    Spillproof Mostly Harmless Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Messages:
    12,672
    There are some super durable finishes out there, for sure.

    Alcohol will take off most finishes.
    Sandpaper will take off anything.
    A tripoli buff will take off the top coat (depending- might take some work).
    Steel wool is less aggressive if you just want to take off a little.
     
  6. WAMPipe13

    WAMPipe13 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    192
    Never thought about that one... wonder if in my restoration process it would be better to not use polish and just stick to what I have been thinking which is just use a little olive oil.
     
  7. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,990
    Sure, you could use a little olive oil, I suppose. I always felt like the "natural oils" from my hand were enough, so I have never added anything additional.
     
  8. Bob K

    Bob K Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    351
    Coastal, I completely concur. Pipes with finishes that don't "cook off" don't breath and smoke hot.

    There used to be a shop in Chicago called Victory Pipe Craftsmen. All their pipes were unfinished, and were a good value. The were sold under the brand name, "Cellini". Been gone for years.
     
  9. Hudson

    Hudson Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    967
    That's good to know. I scored one on eBay a few months ago and I wondered how it lost its finish.
     
  10. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,990
    Hearing a reference to Victory Pipe Craftsmen brings a smile to my face. I have a number Cellini pipes, and although I've been smoking MM a lot during the day lately I still start the morning with a Cellini and end the day with one or two others. The old man "Cellini" was a real character. I can't recall his real name. He picked Cellini because he liked the namesake writer and thought it sounded like a good Italian name for a pipe. My friend and colleague interviewed him once for a magazine story. One quote stays with me. He was asked about Dunhill pipes. He answer was something to the effect: "Harumph, Dunhill make furniture. I make pipes."
     
    Tony Malerich likes this.
  11. Bob K

    Bob K Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    351
    Coastal,

    I can't remember the family name either at the moment. When I think of it I'll post it. It was a good, old German-Jewish name. The old man did have a table at the Chicago pipe show in 2011.

    I just took my own advice and cleaned the finish off a pipe, (a nice Peterson billiard) and it's now smoking like a dream. YMMV.
     
  12. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Sales Account

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    4,909
    Out of curiosity, which range was that pipe from? I'm fairly sure they have a few different finishes depending on that.
     
  13. Coastal Bend

    Coastal Bend Get off my lawn...

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,990
    Yes, his name was a traditional German-Jewish name, but doggone if I can remember. He was always Cellini to me.

    You saw him at the pipe show last year? Really? That's wonderful. I had heard -- I can't remember my source -- that he had died several years ago and that was the reason the store closed. His sons could not, or did not want to, continue the operation. I'm happy to hear I was misinformed. Hope he is doing well. Wish the shop was still open. It would be worth a trip back to Chicago for that alone.
     
  14. Bob K

    Bob K Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    351
    Tony,

    The Peterson carries the name "Kenmare".
     
  15. Bob K

    Bob K Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    351
    Coastal,

    I just Googled Victory Pipe Craftsmen, and, depending on the article, the family name of the owner was Silber or Silbur. The company was formed ca. 1932, so the "old man" who ran the operation when I was a lad in the 60s was probably one of his sons. It was this chap I saw in Chicago in 2011. Must have been in his 70s or 80s.
     
  16. JuJu McMojo

    JuJu McMojo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    310
    One of my better smoking pipes is a lacquered $80 (at the time) LaRocca. hurmph, go figure. someone tell fred h. I'm finally tasting the briar.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.