Reclaiming a Wenhall Futura 87 Fancy Rusticated Miniature Billiard from a Shank Crack and Crushed Stem

The next pipe on the worktable I found on the online auction block in December of 2017.  I was drawn to the pipe by its unique shape and deeply carved rustication which could almost pass for an ‘extreme’ blasted surface.  As often is the case with online sellers, the pictures don’t always tell everything, and the seller’s description may offer some truth but not the whole truth.  Here’s a few pictures of what I saw that caught my attention. The seller from Glenhead, New York, gave the description, “Mouthpiece has slight crack.  Overall Good Condition.”  I could see the ‘crack’ in the stem in the picture above – barely, and began to deduce that the stem might be acrylic.  My bid was sufficient to add the pipe to the ‘For “Pipe Dreamers” ONLY! collection and when the pipe arrived in the mail, I put it in the ‘Help Me!’ basket without giving the pipe a close inspection.

Fast forward to 2021.  Ean, a West Virginia pipe man, reached out to me after having seen posts of my restoration work on the FB pipe group, Brothers by Briar, and had appreciated the fact that the pipes I restore help to benefit the work of the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Ean had been scoping out the ‘For “Pipe Dreamers” ONLY!’ online collection and wrote about commissioning a Swan Neck Billiard he had seen.  With the interest of full disclosure, the Swan Neck had a crack in the stummel that Ean had not seen.  After he decided to pass on the Swan Neck, he decided to commission the Wenhall Futura which prompted me to dig the Wenhall out of the ‘Help Me!’ basket and take a closer look – oh my….  This was part of my letter to Ean:

Ean,

West Virginia is a beautiful state.  My wife and I have traveled through there and visited friends who live there….  Not a problem with the Bent Swan.  The Wenhall is a very sharp pipe.  When I saw it online, I was drawn to the classic ‘smallness’ to it and the surface is amazing – it almost appears to be carved the grain lines are so deep.  YET, this pipe does have a small crack in the upper shank.  When I saw the pictures the seller provided, of course I didn’t see it because the pictures weren’t great.  And of course, the disclaimer is that the pictures tell the story.  So, when I first got it in 2017, I didn’t see it then, but later I did – ugh.  I believe it can be repaired and with normal TLC should not be a problem.  But, these are not new pipes and that why I call it ‘For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! 😊.  Again, not a problem if you prefer passing on this.

Ugh!  Two cracked pipes in a row!  Along with the crack in the stem, there is a crack that runs along the upper shank.  Ean’s response earns him the highest commendation of the ‘Order of the Pipe Dreamers Society’!  His response was indeed an encouragement to me:

Sounds great, brother! After all of the posts, I definitely trust your work and expertise. You also do it for a fantastic cause. Please go ahead and mark it commissioned for me. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

Thank you again,

Ean

Here are better pictures of the attractive, yet wounded, Wenhall Futura 87 that Ean commissioned: The nomenclature is stamped on the underside of the oval shank, Wenhall [over] FUTURA.  To the left of the name is stamped ‘87’ – most likely the shape number assigned by Wenhall.  There appears to be no COM stamped. The short-bent saddle stem is stamped with the logo, ‘W’ for Wenhall – the shank crack in full living color to the left. There is only a small article referencing Wenhall in Pipedia which is included here:

By the end of the 1970’s Wenhall approached Michael Kabik and Glen Hedelson, at that time operating from a farm house in Glen Rock, Maryland to create a line of freehands called Wenhall. The situation was favorable, because Kabik & Hedelson had ended their cooperation with Mel Baker of Tobak Ltd. to produce the famed Sven-Lar freehands shortly before.

Upon Wenhall’s offer the partners got a bank loan and set up a studio of 2000 square feet in a fairly new industrial park in Bel Air, Maryland and took on the name Vajra Briar Works. Wenhall initially wanted 500 pipes a week! But Kabik & Hedelson doubted that they could move that much product and told them they would produce 250 pipes per week. Happily, some of the old crew from Sven-Lar joined them at Vajra Briar Works, and thus they rather quickly met the production demands.

Furthermore during this time, Wenhall requested to create a line of pipes consisting of 12 different shapes. The line was called The Presidential and, while they repeated the same 12 shapes for this series, each one was freehand cut. Although they came up with interesting designs, mainly developed by Hedelson, especially Kabik was never really happy with the line or the concept, but, by this time, they had nine people on full-time payroll.

The stint with Wenhall lasted a couple of years, at which time they asked them to join Wenhall in a move to Miami, Florida. But by this time Kabik and Hedelson felt very uncomfortable with the owners of Wenhall and decided that they’d rather close the shop than make the move. Time proved that decision very wise, as Wenhall folded shortly after the move. All the same they had to close Vajra, but scaled down to the two of them and moved the operation to the farm house Glen was currently living in.

Presumptively for a shorter period only Wenhall had pipes made in Denmark by Karl Erik. (BTW K.E. Ottendahl ceased all sales to the USA in 1987.)

Wenhall also distributed pipes from Italy. By unconfirmed information Gigi and Cesare Barontini were mentioned as suppliers.

The article has no mention of the ‘Futura’ line and is primarily dedicated to the popular Freehands produced by Michail Kabik and Glen Hedelson working with Wenhall.  A quick look at Pipephil has no information dedicated to the Wenhall name which appears to be more of a business consortium.  Looking at Rebornpipes, Steve’s Wenhall restorations are Freehands – Karl Eric’s Langelinie line and Dane Craft – no Futuras.

As a result, I did a general search online for the Wenhall Futura and was pleased to find some examples of exquisite pipes. What I found were listings selling other Wenhall Futuras.  The interesting information discovered was that where a COM is given for the Futuras listed, they were produced in Italy.  The example below comes from an eBay listing. The shape with the acrylic stem, is very similar to the Wenhall on the worktable. The Pipedia article above gave passing information of Wenhall having an Italian connection: Wenhall also distributed pipes from Italy. By unconfirmed information Gigi and Cesare Barontini were mentioned as suppliers.

Looking again at the Wenhall on the worktable, there is no COM stamped, ITALY, that I can see.  Looking at both the Gigi and Cesare Barontini articles in Pipedia gave no listing of having produced a Futura line for Wenhall.  So, the possibility exists that the Wenhall Futura on the worktable was produced in Italy. Looking now at the condition of the Futura, the deep rusticated carving when I saw this pipe, I thought was sand blasted.  It is an eye-catching display of briar.  The chamber appears to have a trained cake in place and an inspection shows the last bit of unsmoked tobacco the former steward had packed in his bowl!  The chamber will be cleared of the cake to give the briar a fresh start.The stummel’s briar rusticated surface appears to be in good condition and in need of a general cleaning.  The deep burgundy finish looks good. The crack on the upper side of the oval shank will require some thought. The crack was most likely caused by the stem being pressed or dropped.  The arrows mark the crack from differing perspectives. The acrylic stem is also interesting.  It is very small and tightly bent.  There appears to be two cracks – one on the upper side on the outside bend of the stem.  Both cracks have been caused by severe clamping on the bit.  I’m hopeful that these cracks are not too far gone to bring back into the fold!  The acrylic appears to be a dark marbled hue, but it’s difficult to tell at this point.  I decide to begin the restoration working with the acrylic stem.  The reason I do this is because I have less confidence that this stem can be salvaged.  If not, I’ll begin searching for a compatible replacement stem.  I start with basic cleaning of the airway with pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 99% – we’ll see if a pipe cleaner can navigate the stem!  Thankfully, with a little effort, a pipe cleaner did breach the bend of the airway and emerge.  Sharp dental probes were also utilized to reach into the slot and to dig out crud which had collected.  I was also able to feel with the dental probe the internal contours of the airway at the crush points on the bit to determine whether the cracks have gone through to the airway.  It doesn’t appear that they have which if true, is good news. The dental probes are also used to clean the bite compressions and to dig into the larger crack on the underside. The external surface of the acrylic was scrubbed with cotton pads wetted with isopropyl 99%. Before sanding or doing other work on the stem, the cracks and compressions must be filled with CA glue to shore up the acrylic’s strength at these points.  I start with the upper bit repair.  To be on the safe side, the end of a pipe cleaner is wrapped with a layer of scotch tape and on this a bit of petroleum jelly is spread.  This is done just in case one of the cracks/compressions may have breached the airway.  The pipe cleaners will guard the integrity of the airway.  The tape and petroleum jelly help to keep the CA glue from sticking to the pipe cleaner.  Unfortunately, the pipe cleaner was not able to navigate the airway with tape wrapped around it.  The tape is removed, and the pipe cleaner is covered with Petroleum Jelly and is inserted.  I use regular clear CA glue to patch the larger compressions and crack on the upper side.  I will use extra thin CA glue on the hairline crack running up the stem.  First, the regular CA glue is placed over the two large compressions and the glue settles over the gaps.  After a few seconds, an accelerator is used to hold the patch in place and to quicken the curing. On hindsight, I should have used a black Sharpie Pen to color the lighter damaged acrylic in the compression.  This would have been a good cosmetic step. Next, Thin CA glue is run along the crack that expands to the shank.  The Thin CA glue is great for seeping into tight spots, but it runs like a rabbit as well.  Again, an accelerator helps to hold the Thin CA in place.  After applying the upper patches, I give the Petroleum Jelly laden pipe cleaner a little tug and twist to find out whether CA glue had made it to the airway.  It moved freely – good news. Flipping the stem over, the compression and crack on the underside are addressed only with the Thin CA glue.  I do this so that maximum seepage is achieved to fill and strengthen this damaged acrylic. The Thin CA is applied in layers.  The first application fills the crevasse like water filling a reservoir.  The thinness allows it to flow nicely filling in the compression.  An accelerator is applied to hold the patch in place. After a little time, another layer of Thin CA is applied expanding it toward the shank to cover the small hairline crack.  Unfortunately, this time the rabbits in the CA got loose and the glue spread over the stem.  Again, the accelerator is used to put the rabbit in its place.  This is not a problem for the acrylic stem, but it means that I have a bit more sanding to do later. Looking also at the lower button, the near side of the picture shows that it has been compress from biting as well. For this, Extra Thick CA glue is use so that is hold its place on the button. The stem patches have been applied and the stem goes to the side for the patches to cure. With the stem on the side, the general cleaning can begin on the Wenhall stummel.  To start, a fresh picture of the chamber is taken after removing the old tobacco I saw earlier.   It’s difficult to picture the dark chamber that seems to expand at the floor.  The chamber is narrow and deep, and the cake is thick.  The reaming commenses with the use of 3 of the 4 Pipnet Reaming Kit blade heads.  I attempted to use the fourth and largest blade head, but the blade seemed a bit too large.  I switch at this point to using my ‘Old Man’ reamer, the ‘Kleen Reem Pipe Tool’, which has adjustable cutting arms.  With the Kleen Reem Tool, I’m able to adjust the arms to scrape the chamber wall perfectly without digging into the briar. Following the Kleen Reem Tool, the Savinelli Fitsall Tool continues the scraping deeply into the chamber.  Finally, the chamber is sanded with 240 paper wrapped around the Sharpie Pen.  This does the final cleaning of the chamber revealing the fresh briar beneath. I’m surprised by the size of the chamber after the cake was removed – it’s not a small chamber for a pipe which is described as a miniature.  I do a quick measurement finding that the chamber width is 7/8 inches, and the depth is 1 3/4 inches measuring at the middle of the sloped rim/plateau.  An inspection of the chamber reveals healthy briar. Looking at the rim in the picture above, I detect a small chip on the shank-side of the rim.  This happened during the cleaning process because I didn’t see it in earlier pictures.  This can easily be masked, but it adds to my new awareness of the fashioning of this stummel.  It’s a classy presentation, without doubt.  The rim is thinner as rims go and the carving is certainly intricate, stylish and a bit of a showoff!  I say this because of the forward chamber interior pictured below.  What I like a lot about Freehand design is that the steward very often can enjoy a view of grain on the inside of the chamber below the plateau.  The craftsman of this Futura added a bit of carving on the internal side of the peaking forward rim.  What a nice touch.  I will capitalize on this view with sanding to bring this out more. Continuing the cleaning, the external rusticated briar surface is scrubbed using undiluted Murphy’s Oil and a cotton pad as well as a bristled toothbrush.  The toothbrush does a great job cleaning down into the rustication cuts and crevasses. The stummel is next taken to the sink and using hottish water, the internal mortise is scrubbed with shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap.  The internals are scrubbed well and after a thorough rinse, the stummel comes back to the worktable. Next, using pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl alcohol 99%, the cleaning continues with the internals.  A small dental spoon is also used to scrap the mortise walls, but this produced little results – which is good. After the pipe cleaners and buds started emerging lighter, I stop this phase of cleaning with the goal to later do a cotton ball/alcohol soak to further refresh the internals. With the basic cleaning completed, I take a closer look at the stummel to see where we stand now.  The finish has thinned through the cleaning the rustication and rim.  The nomenclature panel is also 2-toned now.  With the shank repair added to the mix, refreshing the finish will be needed.   I took another peek at the nomenclature panel to see if the COM, Italy, might appear after the cleaning – it did not.  These pictures show what I’m seeing. I’ve had some time to think about the approach to the crack on the shank’s upper side.  The first thing to do is to arrest the crack with a counter-creep hole drilled at the terminus point of the crack on the shank.  Then, applying CA glue to weld the existing crack – using thin CA so it seeps into the crack.  This is the first line, and most basic part of the crack repair.  The other thing I’ve been considering is mounting the shank with a shank ring that will reinforce the shank strength.  The challenge to this is that the shank is oval, and I only have round rings.  I haven’t done this before, but I have brass rings that may become more pliable after heating.  I don’t know if this will work or not, but I want to give it a shot.

The first step is to identify the end of the crack.  This is not as easy as it sounds.  The crack can narrow significantly and becomes difficult to see, especially in the forest of rusticated cracks and crevasses!  It’s easy to see faux cracks running through the rustication.  With the help of a magnifying glass, I was able to find the terminus point.  The next 3 pictures show a view of the crack from the left, right, then center.  An arrow shows where the end point is.  As can be seen, it’s not a walk in the park! To aid in drilling the counter-creep hole, again with the aid of the magnifying glass, a sharp dental probe’s point is used to mark the spot and to provide a guide hole to drill. The arrow points to the guide hole. Next, the rotary tool is mounted with a 1mm drill bit.  This is where the hand really starts to shake when you need calm!  After taking a deep breath, the drill does the job. Bull’s eye!  The counter-creep hole is right where it needs to be to guard the crack from expanding up the shank. Again, with a steady hand, Thin CA glue is used to fill the hole and to run a line of glue down the crack line to the shank facing where the crack is the widest.  Thin CA is used to deliver glue as deep into the crack as possible creating a better bond. This picture shows the shank after filling the hole with Thin CA glue and running a line of glue down the crack line.  The rustication helped the process by pooling the CA glue which can run like water and go where it’s unwanted.  I observed the CA leaching into the counter-creep hole and into the crack.  The crack on the far right, where it is widest next to the shank facing, fully absorbed the glue and is ready for more to fill in behind.  After a minute or so after applying the first line of glue, an accelerator is used to solidify the patch after having had time to penetrate the crack. The next picture shows the shank after the second application of Thin CA glue.  Notice, this round filled the crack on the right completely.  The rustication does a good job of masking the patch.  I had shown above that I had intended to apply briar dust to the patch to give the patch some texture but decided against this because the patch was practically invisible already. The next picture shows the inverted shank with the line of CA glue where it reached the mortise.  This is good because it indicates that there are no pockets in the patch, that it was filled with CA glue. With the shank crack patched, the next step is to see if I can fashion an oval shank ring or band to help to reinforce the shank repair.  I haven’t tried to fashion an oval ring before and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes!  I have a collection of brass rings, bands, caps of all sizes and shapes, but what size will work?  This was the question shaping the starting point.  In a totally unscientific manner, to size the oval I use a piece of red ribbon and circle the shank and mark it.  This ribbon then becomes my measuring tape as I wrap the rings that look like likely candidates.  As I said – unscientific. The next picture shows the candidates that I pulled from the search.  The problem that I will probably have is that each of these bands are actually caps – they each have a lip that will hang over the edge of the shank.  If they were simply bands, not a problem.  The tool below (I don’t know what it’s called) allows outward force as the tool is squeezed. As I heat a ring with the hot air gun, the plan is to gradually reshape the band as the ring heats and softens – at least this is the theory.  We’ll see if reality holds up. As the brass band is heated, gentle pressure is applied with the spreader tool.  I’m careful to be patient knowing that pressing it outward too quickly will cause a tear.  As the oval is shaping, I can see the problems develop.  The ‘lip’ of the band on each side where the tool is expanding, are crimping. If I were to do a snip at each crimping point and cut the metal at these points, that would relieve the pressure on the lip. After about 5 minutes of heating and gradually expanding, the band ripped into the pieces that are in the picture.  The idea was working, but the structure of the band/cap would not cooperate. Just to see how close the fit would have been, the parts are placed on the shank. Not bad, but the theory this time was more optimistic than the reality.  A straight round band with no lip would conform to the oval, but I do not have this in supply.  Actually, I do have some nickel bands but they are too wide and would cover part of the nomenclature if used. To get a bird’s eye view of the Wenhall to see how we’re doing, I reunite the stem with the repaired shank.  The stem is short of seating when the pressure is a bit too tight for comfort. The sealed crack would restore the pressure created in the mortise and it is probable, that trace amounts of cured CA glue in the mortise at the internal crack point, may be offering resistance as well. To remedy this, a pointed half-moon needle file is used to smooth the mortise and to file away obstructions. After some filing and testing, the stem seats very nicely. I like what I’m seeing at this point. Earlier I observed the ‘show off’ factor of the Wenhall Futura artisan that fashioned this pipe.  I saw that some rustication had been applied to the inner chamber wall just below the rim/plateau.  This is what I discovered after the reaming was completed. To enhance this view, the upper chamber wall is run through a regimen starting with sanding papers 240, 400, and 600 then the full set of 9 micromesh pads – 1500 to 12000.  Here is the result.  I like it. Just a subtle touch. I had decided to freshen the finish of the Wenhall after the cleaning thinned the finish considerably.  To prepare the rusticated surface for the dye process, I first sand the stummel with micromesh pads 3200 to 12000.  I bypass the first 3, more abrasive pads.  The purpose of this sanding is to clean up the surface and to open the briar up to the dye. To clean the surface before applying dye, a cotton pad wetted with alcohol is used. The original finish was black in the gullies and crevasses of the rustication with the peaks of the rustication bent toward burgundy and reds.  To try to emulate this motif I will apply two dye coats.  The first under coat will be using Fiebing’s Black Leather Dye.  On top of the black foundation, the over coat will be a reddish hue.  I will mix some Oxblood dye with red to create this hue.  First, Fiebing’s Black Leather Dye is used.  I begin the process by heating the stummel with a hot air gun to open the briar and to make it more receptive to the dye pigment. After the stummel is warmed, using a folded pipe cleaner, Black dye is applied to sections of the stummel and then flamed with a lit candle.  The flaming process ignites the alcohol in the dye, and it combusts leaving behind the dye pigment.  After the entire stummel is thoroughly dyed and flamed, the stummel is put aside to rest.  The under coat is in place. While waiting for the black under coat to settle, I turn my attention to the acrylic stem waiting in the wings. The plethora of patches on the upper and lower bit have cured.  Looking at the pictures below makes one wonder if anything good can come out of this! Time to begin filing.  Using a flat needle file, the patches are filed down to flush with the acrylic surface on the upper and lower bit.  The button rebuild patch on the lower lip is also filed. Next, 240 sanding paper smooths the acrylic further. Next, the stem is wet sanded using 600 grade paper and this is followed by applying 0000 grade steel wool. There are some pockets in the patch on upper side of the stem.  The patch shows the light area of the trauma below which could have been cosmetically darkened before applying CA glue.  The clear CA glue that was used, which is normal for repairing acrylic stems, allows what is under to show through to some degree.  Usually, that is good.  But this time it doesn’t look great. To try to remedy this, using a sharp dental probe, I dig a bit at the patch pockets where the lightened area is in order to clean the area.  This is followed by cleaning with a cotton pad and alcohol.  To try to mask the lighter area some, I fill the pockets with Black CA glue and see how it goes. After the black patch cures, the process of filing, and sanding with 240, 600, and 0000 grade steel wool is repeated.  I believe that the results are much better.  There is still lighter area present, but I’m hopeful that it will blend in more now. Next, the acrylic stem is sanded with the full regimen of micromesh pads.  Starting with wet sanding, pads 1500 to 2400 are used.  Dry sanding follows using pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Obsidian Oil is applied after each set of three because it looks good and gives the sanding a bit more bite to me.  After all the repairs to this acrylic stem, I can finally see it!  The acrylic is a deep slate, gray, black marbling that is very subtle.  What a difference! After setting the stem aside, I focus again on the stummel.  The undercoat of black aniline dye has been resting for several hours.  Next in the process is using a felt buffing wheel, Tripoli compound is applied.  This will give an initial sanding of the stummel which sands the peaks of the rustication giving definition to the deep rustication.  This is necessary so that the next coat, the over coat of reddish hue will add to the contrasting.  The rotary tool is slowed to about 35% full power. Midway through the unwrapping/buffing/sanding process, this picture shows the peaks of the rustication after the application of Tripoli with the felt wheel. To reach into the crook of the Wenhall’s junction of the bowl and shank, a cotton cloth wheel is mounted and using Tripoli, buffs the hard-to-reach area that the felt wheel missed. With the initial sanding/buffing completed, the stummel is warmed again. After mixing a small amount of Fiebing’s Oxblood Leather Dye and TransTint Red, another folded pipe cleaner applies the dye mixture to the stummel as a ‘wash’ dying.  What this means is that the dye mixture is simply applied with no ‘flaming’ as with the under coat of Black.  When the stummel has been thoroughly washed with the reddish dye, it’s put aside to rest for several hours. It’s time to continue bringing out the rusticated finish.  A cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the rotary tool which is dedicated to the application of Blue Diamond compound with a reddish finish.  Normally, I would reunite the stem and stummel at this point and apply Blue Diamond, but I’m reluctant to use the red dye wheel on the stem – probably would not be a problem, but I’m cautious. The picture below shows the process mid-way as the reddish hue over coat is buffed/sanded with the Blue Diamond compound.  Using a rotary tool makes it easy to rotate the wheel and rotate the stummel to guide the buffing action down the valleys and crevasses of the rusticated landscape. The Blue Diamond buffing is followed by wiping the stummel with a cotton pad and alcohol.  This helps to remove excess dye as well as to blend the new dye. After wiping down the bowl with alcohol, I again use the same buffing wheel without applying more Blue Diamond compound and go over the stummel once more continuing to remove excess dye and compound dust that may still be hanging out.  The new finish looks great. One more step in creating contrasting hues and shades is to give the peaks a very light sanding using the 2400 grade micromesh pad.  By sanding the peaks of the rustication lightly, this lightens the peaks a bit more.  I like this effect on rusticated surfaces.  It creates a very active landscape that is a pleasure to behold. After reuniting the acrylic stem with the stummel and mounting another cotton cloth wheel on the rotary tool, Blue Diamond compound is applied now to the stem. To remove any debris and dust in preparation for applying the wax, the stummel and stem are buffed with a felt cloth. One mini project remains before applying wax and that is to freshen the Wenhall ‘W’ stem logo. To spruce it up, Rub’n Buff’s European Gold is used.  Using a toothpick, a small amount of the paint is placed on the logo. As billed, simply rubbing and wiping with a cotton pad clears the excess.  The logo looks great. After another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the rotary tool with the speed set about 40%, carnauba wax is applied to stem and stummel. The application of wax is kept light so that it doesn’t get lodged in the rusticated surface.  After the wax is applied, the pipe is given a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to remove excess wax and to raise the shine. Before finishing the Wenhall Futura 87 project, to refresh the bowl to prepare for a new steward, an alcohol and cotton ball soak will continue the internal cleaning and freshening of the briar.  With everything completed on the exterior, I’m careful not to drip on or touch the outer surface!  Two cotton balls are used for the process.  One is stuffed into the bowl and the other is stretched and twisted to form a ‘wick’ that is guided down the mortise and airway with the help of a stiff wire. The cotton ‘wick’ helps to draw out the tars and oils from the internal briar after isopropyl 99% alcohol surfaces over the cotton in the bowl. After a few minutes, the alcohol is absorbed into the cotton and the alcohol is topped off.  The bowl is then set aside for several hours for the cleaning process to work. After several hours of soaking, the cotton shows soiling and the absorption of tars and oils.  To make sure all is clean, a cotton bud and a pipe cleaner are used to take care of any residual cleaning needed. I’m extremely pleased with the results of this restoration. This Wenhall Futura came to the worktable in rough shape.  The shank was cracked, and the stem bit was crushed suffering from cracks and compressions on the upper and lower sides.  The deep craggy rustication on this Futura pulls the gaze in and the contoured contrasting gives a lot to enjoy.  The acrylic stem has deep, subtle grays marbling with the darker tones.  The unique shape – a fancy miniature Billiard, has a surprisingly large bowl to enjoy much of one’s favorite blends.  Ean was certainly brave to commission this Wenhall Futura and as the commissioner, he will have the first opportunity to claim it in The Pipe Steward Store which benefits the work of the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Reclaiming a Wenhall Futura 87 Fancy Rusticated Miniature Billiard from a Shank Crack and Crushed Stem

  1. Reblogged this on rebornpipes and commented:
    This is such a unique pipe that I have to reblog this one. I asked Dal about the stem repair and why not a new stem – his answer was classic and one I have used before too!! IT HAS THE LOGO on it. Ah well give the blog a read. It is a beauty of a pipe and worth the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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