I saw this on eBay several months ago and fell in love with the look. What I did not like was the long crack running from the bowl front back to the shank. It looked like it was repaired once then blew out. Hoping to get it cheap I took a chance. Now that I won I had to up my game so to speak to bring it back to service.
When it arrived the condition was worse than I thought. The cake inside the bowl hid a crevasse that went straight through the bottom. There was burnout in the bowl at the base. Now I had two challenges I had never attempted before. Crack and burnout! You can see in the next picture the plug that someone attempted to make a repair once before.
The crack went right through the Digby stamped impression.
The cake was built mostly from the middle of the bowl down to the base with a lot of lava at the top.
Using the Castleford Reamer I started to clean out the bowl to see if the crack went any further, but, it did go all the way leaving a split through from a burnout into the bend of the bowl shank connection.
After the reaming was done I pulled the plug out of the crack and found it went all the way through the briar. Using a small hand drill I went to each end of the crack and drilled a small hole to terminate the crack. I’ve used this technique in the past when trying to repair metal, so, why not do it here to try to stop the spread? I used a pick to clean out as much loose material I could to give the patch something to hold on to.
The next step was to use the J-B Weld epoxy to fill in the opening and get the the integrity back into the bowl. I pushed it into the crack with a toothpick to get it to go through to the inside. I used a pipe cleaner to keep the airway open while the repair setup. Note: (I failed to take pictures of the application).
The J-B Weld flowed very well and I gently filed it so as not to change the blast lines of the pipe. The makers lines are very attractive and I wanted to try and keep them as close to normal as I could.
Using a dark brown stain marker and dark brown leather stain I gave the entire bowl a going over after cleaning it with Murphy’s Oil Soap.
Here you can see the build up of the J-B Weld in the burnt out area of the base. Again using the pipe cleaner to keep the airway open I kept the epoxy purposely low as the epoxy was thicker to work with and I could not get as smooth an area as I wished to.
Instead I used “pipe mud” to smooth out the base of the bowl to give it the best I could. The pipe mud was made from cigar ash and saliva. Having never used this method before I wanted to see how well it worked as I have read other use it to great reesults. The mud is said to add an insulating factor to the repair.
With the briar done it was time to move on to the stem. It was in very good shape and required only minor work to bring it up. Using the sanding sponges I went from 600 – 12000 ansd finished up with the Obsidian Oil. Note: (again I failed to get all the pictures) Argh!
Next it was off to the buffer with several coats of Carnuba Wax to bring out the shine. I used some Brebbia Stem Polish to clean up the silver band at the end of the stem.
This was one of those refurbs that is very rewarding to have completed. It taught me several things I’ve not attempted before, but, made for a special time of learning. I can’t wait to light it up and give it a test smoke!