WDC Milano

I caught this on eBay several months ago and just got round to working on it. The original eBay pictures only showed some minor issues. The reality was it looked like it’s prior life was that of a hammer.

DSCN1075DSCN1076DSCN1074DSCN1073You can see by the rim the damage done. When I removed the stem I found a surprise inside. A metal tube with a threaded insert baffle. It would not pass a pipe cleaner.


The knurled tip was threaded into the insert and came out easily. Looking at the bowl I was dismayed at the condition. The cake was thick and the rim severely damaged. I reamed the bowl using my Castleford Pipe Reamer.




Using a Tee handle holder and a drill bit I cleared the shank to the bowl and set it up for a salt and alcohol bath. It took 5 treatments to get the ghost of tobaccos past out!


Looking at the rim I was concerned about how much attention it would need. So I brought out the heavy files. Using a medium bastard file, made to file metal, I used long strokes and rotated the bowl with each pass.


After filing, I used a piece of old sandpaper to smooth out the top and a fine file to bevel the outer and inner edges. Next was to use cotton balls and alcohol to wash down the bowl. I gave it a coating of Ox Blood Leather Dye, flamed it to set it, then went over it with Dark Brown Leather Dye to get the desired color. Then using sanding sponges I wet sanded the bowl with 600, 800 and 1200 grit and rewashed the bowl with alcohol again.


Setting the bowl aside, I started on the stem. The stem was plugged from end to end. I used the Tee handle once again with a drill bit to open it up. The metal cap in the front of the stem came out easy enough. It took a number of times to use the drill bit to open up the entire shaft where I could even attempt to get a pipe cleaner through.  Once I cleared the metal tube it went into an oxyclean bath for 1 hour, using vaseline on the logo to make sure not to damage it.


The oxyclean done I rinsed it under a tap to clean the oxyclean out and deactivate it. This revealed an inner tube at the rear of the stem inside the larger metal tube. Pipe cleaners were still having a hard time passing, but eventually they did the job. I was using both bristle and tapered to get the job done.




Taking some 0000 steel wool to the metal tube cleaned and polished it up nicely. Then it was on to the outer vulcanite of the stem. Using sanding sponges from 600-1200 I wet sanded the oxidation then moved through the balance of the sanding up to the 12000 grit sponge.

An unintended occurence happened with this Reserection, the stem became loose. So I went in search of a suitable answer for finding how to tighten it. Now here is the problem, most bloggers and YouTube restorers deal primarily with the vulcanite meeting the briar in direct contact. After an extensive search I was unable to find a source that dealt with the metal to briar attachment. While there are plenty of suggestions on the aforementioned vulcanite to briar fix, I gleaned this to attempt to make the repair here. Using a CA (super glue) accelerator and CA glue. I lightly sanded the metal tube and coated it with the accelerator, allowed it to dry and then applied the CA glue and tried the fit.


It worked like a dream come true. Several sited suggested using the clear nail polish for this but, I thought that thickness would be a problem as the shank on the stummel was very thin. The thin CA glue worked perfectly. The stem now has a nice firm grasp on the briar. I think that with use the fit will only improve.

In doing this restoration I was curious about the insert used and went in search of information. On the PipesMagazine site I found a very nice interview done with Tom Clasen. I also found in my search, on Pipedia a patent for the William Demuth Company in the name of W.W. Hessen, from 1925 that showed the type of insert used in this pipe. It looks like Figure 2 in the drawing.

1925 WDC Patent




Author: ReserectedPipes

The name ReserectedPipes is a bit like me. While misspelled, it it reflects a small portion of myself, out of kilter in most areas! This blog was started to give me an outlet to share pipe restoration with others. Like several aspects in my life, it was daunting and confusing at first. Then when I really got down into it I saw just how uncomplicated it really is, I was pleasantly surprised. While some think the they need to keep all they learn to themselves, I prefer to share with others what I've learned. In this endeavor I will give a lot of credit to those along the way where I have "stolen" ideas from. (First I recognize the source, then I give a reference, and last it's "like I always said") Seriously, I would like to express Great Thanks to Steve Laug, Reborn Pipes, for the selfless teaching he has offered to me over these past several years as I began my journey. His blog has been the go to place for me to garner as much as I can and to unravel the mysteries of pipe restoration. My wife and I live in Springville, Alabama, a small town NE of Birmingham. We have a son living in Atlanta with his wife and daughter (our little pride and joy). Ive been told that I've reached the Age of Retirement! Well that's not quite right. It's no an age thing is it!! I'm working two jobs and try to relax with the pipe reserections I do. Which I don't do enough of... Being in the South I also have a passion for BBQ. Another part of the complex life simplified. Smoked meats are another passion for me as well as smoking cheese in the winter. After 90 deg F you will melt and not smoke your cheese. Pork, Chicken and Ribs!! My back yard smells GREAT!!

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