Burn through Repair – Salvage of a Worthy Stanwell Rouge 109 Sand Blasted Ball

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Blog by Dal Stanton

Stephen, a friend visiting Bulgaria from Rainbow City, Alabama, and I were walking through the Antique Market in the shadow of Nevski Cathedral in center city Sofia, when I my roving ‘pipe eyes’ spied an unbelievably nice looking, hefty, handful of a sand blasted Ball or Apple shaped pipe waiting on a table gratuitously mixed with WWII paraphernalia, old Communist memorabilia, skeleton keys and an assortment of cork screws, lighters and want-a-be Rolex watches.  This pipe, though, was the real deal.  With Stephen by my side, I did my best not to lock my eyes on the prize.  Finally, after I gave serious non-interested examination of the seller’s other offerings, I picked up the pipe and gave it a cursory, equally, non-interested look over.  As I looked down into the chamber, I saw my opportunity.  There was daylight at the bottom of the chamber – a…

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A Lady’s Choice – WDC Milano Swan Neck Billiard

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Blog by Dal Stanton

Is there a psychology in the choosing one makes when befriending a pipe?  A young Bulgarian lady, who also is a budding pipe lady, chose a pipe out of my ‘Help Me!’ baskets and boxes.  After looking at scores of hopeful candidates, there was only one – only one – that she held in her hands, looking at it and smiling. A beautiful, graceful, WDC Milano Swan Neck Billiard caught her attention, and it would seem, her affections.  Is there a psychology unfolding in the process, the evaluation, and the weighing of one pipe against another?  Or, is the process more like the lore of Harry Potter’s choice of one’s wand?  The young wizard does not choose the wand – the wand chooses his wizard.  Does the pipe do the choosing?

And is there any credence to the oft unspoken observation – do pipe stewards resemble…

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Acrylic Stem Repair – A Butz-Choquin Cadre Noir 1845 St. Claude France

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Blog by Dal Stanton

The next pipe on my work table is at 2 o’clock in this Lot of 13 I acquired from an eBay seller in Nevada.  There were several other pipes that attracted me in this lot as well, especially the Cherry Wood Ropp at the 4 o’clock position.  The LHS Purex at 9 o’clock is also an interesting shape – most of these are still waiting in my ‘Help Me!’ basket.  The Butz Choquin Cadre Noir got the attention of a couple who are in Bulgaria working with us for the summer.  Joy saw the pipe and wanted it as a gift for her brother.  I think it was the combination of the rustified Leprechaun shape and the gray marble acrylic stem that got her attention.When I bring the BC to my worktable, I take additional pictures to fill in the gaps. The nomenclature is stamped…

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Jen’s Trove No. 8 – Restore & Upgrade of a Dr. Grabow Omega Smooth Billiard

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Blog by Dal Stanton

I begin the restoration of the final pipe in Jen’s Trove before she leaves Bulgaria and returns to the US.  As I have posted eight times before this (I just figured out that I mis-numbered her pipes – two number 5s!), these pipes have been culled from my “Help Me!” basket and boxes to give as gifts to the men in her family.  I have been pleased to restore these pipes for Jen, especially because she knows each pipe she acquires benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria, help women and girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked.  Thank you, Jen!

Her final pipe is a Dr. Grabow Omega Smooth Billiard – Dr. Grabow’s humbler version of a Peterson System pipe or the WDC Wellington.  Similarities include the Military stem with a P-Lip, and band.  The Omega is a smart looking pipe.  The eBay seller had…

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Jen’s Trove No. 7 – A Trident Blasted Bent Billiard with a Question of History

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Blog by Dal Stanton

This pipe represents the 7th of 8 pipes that Jen rescued from my ‘Help Me!’ baskets.  She’s leaving Bulgaria very soon returning to the US after working with us for a few years.  She is not returning without gifts!  She has chosen a trove of pipes that have garnered her attention to give as gifts to the men in her family.  Each of these gifts has the added benefit of helping the Daughters of Bulgaria, our work here in Bulgaria with women and girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked in Europe.  My love of restoring pipes as The Pipe Steward is a way of shining a light on the tragedy of those caught in this modern-day slavery.

The ¾ Bent Billiard got Jen’s attention I believe, because of the blasted finish.  The only stamping is under the shank and it is marked…

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Jen’s Trove No. 5: Recommissioning a Mehaffey Cutty 6

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Blog by Dal Stanton

When I first saw this pipe on eBay, what drew my attention was the canted bowl.  I wasn’t sure then what shape it was, and when Jen recently pulled it out of the “Help Me!” basket to add to her trove of pipes she was collecting for restoration to give as gifts to men in her family, I still didn’t know.  After pulling it out on my work table, I took another look and started looking at my ‘go to’ sites for shapes charts.  My thinking was, “Chimney” because of the taller than usual bowl that can be canted, but “Cutty” was also in the running mainly because of the forward canted bowl.  When I sent my thoughts about the shapes and a picture to Steve for his input, his verdict was a ‘Cutty’ shape.  The forward canted bowl was the clincher and that my pipe’s…

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Jen’s Trove #5: A ‘Savinelli’? Villager Grecian Poker Rescued

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Blog by Dal Stanton

When Jenny fished this iconic shaped Poker out of my ‘Help Me!’ basket, her time of consideration was very short.  She added it to her Trove of pipes that she asked me to restore to gift the men her family when she returns to the US at summer’s end.  She has worked here in Bulgaria with us for the past few years and she will be missed!  All her Trove pipes benefit the work we do with the Daughters of Bulgaria, women and girls who have been sexually exploited and trafficked in Europe.  I really like the Poker shape.  It always elicits a ‘down home’ Mark Twain feel for me – I can easily imagine a vintage gathering of card players sitting around a poker table, dealing hands on a riverboat, and one old crust chewing on his ‘Poker’ as he considers his hand.  Taking…

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