Yello- Bole was designed as an outlet for lower grade briar not used in Kaywoodie production. The Pacific Briarwood Company , a subsidiary founded for this purpose, began harvesting the burls growing on the slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Though this wood is botanically the same as briar form the Mediterranean countries, the smoking characteristics were not quite as good and the project was abandoned after the war. Was it for that reason? Advertising from the 's pictures the Yello-Bole "Honey Girl", who gently urges the pipe smoker to smoke the pipe with "a little honey in every bowl. It was said to provide a faster, sweeter break-in of the pipe.
I have worked on and smoked Medico pipes in the past but I have never worked on a Medico Crest Artisan in the past. I decided to look on the normal sites to see what I could find out about this line. I looked first on the Pipephil website and found some information on the Medico Crest line with a similar logo as this pipe but nothing on the Crest Artisan line.
The crest is similar but it has an M in the center and seems to have been gold.
New Listing 38 Boxes Genuine Medico Tobacco Pipes & Holder Filter NEW 2 1/4" Filters. $ or Best Offer. FAST 'N FREE. Watch. 3 Vintage MEDICO CREST Marxman Briar YELLO-BOLE SPARTAN Tobacco PIPES. $ $ shipping. or Best Offer. Watch. MEDICO Guardsman Imported Briar Vintage Smoking Pipe. This entry was posted in Pipe Refurbishing Essays and tagged bite marks, Bowl - finishing, Bowl - refinishing, bowl topping, contrast staining, finishing, Medico filter pipes, Medico pipes, Medico VFQ 76 Rhodesian, Medico VFQ pipes, Medico VFQ Rhodesian with a cumberland stem, micromesh sanding pads, Oxidation, pipe refurbishing, polishing. Learn about the history of Medico! When you trace the Medico tobacco pipes history, you have to trace it back to the origins of the company that created it. The company that originated the Medico brand is the S.M Frank & Co. This company dates back to the year In that year, a man named Sam Frank began selling pipes and related tobacco.
I quote:. Medico was created inand is still produced by S. The brand is famous for its pipe filters, which were launched in the same year. Sincesome models have been made in Brylon, a synthetic material, and others in briar. The brand was also sold by the English. The carving around the bowl is identical. Jeff cleaned the pipes with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. Once he finished he shipped them back to me. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box.
He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top shows some damage on the inner edge of the bowl.
I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable.
It is stamped as noted above. I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. The remaining oxidation is very visible. Now, on to my part of the restoration of this Medico Crest Artisan Freehand. I decided to clean up the damaged rim top and inner edge of the bowl. I gently topped the bowl on a topping board with grit sandpaper. I cleaned up the inside of the bowl edges with a folded piece of grit sandpaper.
Once I was finished the rim top looked a lot better. I polished the top of the bowl and the entirety of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads - wet sanding with grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I restained the rim top with a blend of Cherry, Maple and Oak Stain Pens to blend it into the colour of the rest of the briar. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine.
I rubbed it into the logo with a pipe cleaner and buffed it off with a soft towel. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth dents in the top and underside of the stem at the button. I started polishing the stem with grit wet dry sandpaper. There was still some oxidation around the logo and on the stem surface.
I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads - grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I left a little oxidation around the stamp so as not to damage it more. The mixed stain brown finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and works well with the polished vulcanite saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar.
I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Medico Crest Artisan Freehand fits nicely in the hand and feels great.
Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.
Later, Joe wrote this letter:. My in-laws came to Athens to visit Hannah and I last month. I gave Ben the pipe.
I showed him everything you wrote and documented about it. He absolutely LOVED how the pipe looked, and he was also deeply touched by the love, care, and respect you showed not just the pipe but his family. So many things you said in your blog triggered sentimental images for Ben about his grandfather, Sam Ellison. When Ben went back to Georgia, he went through the storage unit and found stacks of old pictures and articles.
What I understood from Joe, was that Paw essentially was the one who raised Ben. The other picture was Paw and Ben 45 years earlier. This is why I love what I call my work, The Pipe Steward - pipes are passed on, but also the special memories those pipes uniquely bring with them are also passed on to the following generations.
When doing a restoration and I will get to that! The other Kaywoodie is a Kaywoodie Natural Burl 33 - the finish is great!
Affordable pipes that would be the kind a person who had known life through the Great Depression and Great Wars - as a child then as an adult - often called, the Great Generation. After looking over the pipes, I decided to start with the Medico Apollo Brylon - the most challenging. With the Medico now on the worktable I take some pictures to get a closer look. During my communications with Joe about the conditions of the pipes he intended to send to me, I was assuming that this Medico was a briar that had dulled.
Sincesome models have been made in Brylona synthetic material, and others in briar. I discovered very quickly that Brylon was not a line and that the Medico Apollo on the worktable was not briar! Inan innovation was introduced by S. Frank of fashioning bowls from a synthetic material. Cracked shank? Blending repairs? The same Pipedia article continued later with this additional interesting information about Brylon:. The company ended up buying some of their main competition in That year the Kaywoodie brands came under the S.
Frank Company. The Medico brand continued production through this transition without many changes.
The next big change for the brand came in the late s. Inthe company developed a synthetic material that combined the traditional briar wood with resins. It is known as Brylon. At that time, all Medico pipes were made from imported briar wood. In order to keep production costs down, the company began offering some lines with Brylon. Today, that is still true.
As far as price, the briar wood pipes tend to be higher in cost than the Brylon ones. The pipes were cheaper and more durable, but heavier in the mouth and had a tendency to smoke hot and wet.
They are still made today and favored by some for their inability to be burnt out or otherwise damaged without significant effort and the ease of cleaning the pipe. Well, the unique characteristics of Brylon are becoming more evident.
They are less expensive, have differing smoking behaviors compared to their briar brethren and purportedly to be less susceptible to burning and damage compared to their briar brethren, BUT, I love the qualifier! I wonder if Sam took the durability billing of S. The question now is whether the issues of this Medico Apollo are addressed differently than my normal briar restoration protocols?
The significant issues start with the rim damage. I take a few pictures to show the aft rim damage. The shank also has a huge crack starting on the top of the shank running to the bowl crook. When I received the pipe, the stem and stummel were joined. When I gingerly extracted the stem from the mortise, I could see how the nickel had been bent.
When I tried to rejoin the stem and stummel, the fit was so tight that I decided to leave things like they were. I began to question whether the stem was the original for this stummel and forcing it had caused the cracked shank? The chewing of the bit is evident with severe chatter and bite compression. The oxidation appears to be minor.
While cleaning, I discover that the pipe cleaners are obstructed at the bit-end of the stem. I also use a shank brush to push through. The shank brush does push through but what becomes evident is that the chewing of the bit appears have closed the airway to such a point, the pipe cleaners are hindered from functioning. This is a problem for keeping the airway fully cleaned.
After a few hours, the Apollo stem is removed from the Deoxidizer and I squeegee the liquid off with my fingers then wipe the stem with cotton pads wetted with alcohol to remove the resulting raised oxidation.
Following this, paraffin oil is applied to the stem to condition the vulcanite and I put the stem aside for the oil to be absorbed. Turning my attention now to the Brylon stummel, the questions I asked earlier about how to proceed with the repairs have been clarified in my mind. My note to Charles describes my proposed working approach with Brylon:. I read one of your blogs where you worked on Brylon. However, it will probably be lighter than the hue of this brown.
Do you think adding a wee bit of dark brown aniline dye would work? Good to hear from you! I hope all is well with you and yours. I have not attempted to fill Brylon. To be honest I have avoided the stuff as there is limited resale value in it.
I think you are right - briar dust will show paler against the brylon. Mixing in some dye may do the trick. If not, you can always top the bowl afterwards. Good luck with it. The issue is the coloring. With this next day of quarantine in Bulgaria being beautiful, I work outside on my 10 th floor Man Cave balcony.
The first two pictures are marking the start - looking at the inside of the rim and then the outside. After preparing my plastic mixing palette by covering it with some scotch tape to help in the cleaning later, I place a small mound of briar dust on the palette and next to it, a small puddle of BSI Extra Thick CA glue.
Not able to take any additional intermediate pictures to chronicle the mixing - the clock starts ticking when the briar dust is introduced to the CA glue. When the mixing came to a point where the resulting putty was about the consistency of molasses, I troweled the putty to the rim to fully cover the damaged area. This picture shows the progress at this point and a bit of wind-blown briar dust on the Man Cave! I use an accelerator to hold the patch material to the rim - it did want to move a bit.
It appears to be very, very close to the Brylon at this point in the process. With the same approach now as with briars, I start with the outer rim and file the patch mound down to near-flush with the Brylon surface.
Before moving to the inside and top of the patch, I use grade sanding paper on the external rim patch. As I sand, pockets do appear in the patch area in this rough state. Switching to the internal rim patch area, I mount a sanding drum to the Dremel and bring the patch down to flush.
Carefully, I use the drum on the top as well. I do not want to be too aggressive by sanding below the plane of the rim with the more powerful mode of sanding. Following the sanding drum, continuing with paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen, the chamber is sanded to help blend the patch area and to clean the chamber.
Then sanding paper is redeployed to fine tune the rim contours and to smooth the patch. Having reached this point in the repair on the rim, before doing more sanding to improve the rough patch area, I address the shank crack.
The question rolling around in my mind regarding Brylon is whether I should drill a counter-crack creep hole at the end of the crack? The two pictures show the crack and a closeup of the end of the crack. Working on the Man Cave balcony, the best angle of sunlight to see the crack was in the flower box hanging over the edge of the balcony with signs of early spring sprouting in Bulgaria!
Marking the end of the crack with an arrow, the crack has turned the vertical corner and is on the bowl side - just slightly. Earlier, I had decided not to reinsert the stem because it seemed that it was too tight and may have caused the crack. Following this, carefully reinsert the tight stem and allow the nickel filter housing to expand the crack allowing thinner, regular CA glue to seep into the cavity assuring a stronger bond.
To prepare to drill, I use a sharp dental probe to create a guide hole for the drilling. It took the use of a magnifying glass to identify the end of the crack. Unfortunately, there was a bit of collateral damage, but nothing serious. When I applied pressure to the dental probe to imprint the indentation for a guide, I discover the Brylon to be much harder than briar and with the additional pressure that was needed, the probe skidded off to scratch the stummel.
Next, after mounting a 1mm drill bit onto the Dremel, I carefully drill a hole using the guide hole - a great help in keeping the hand-held drill bit from dancing around! With the hole drilled, with fear and trembling I coax the filter housing into the mortise and as expected, the terribly tight fit helps expand the crack for a more effective application of CA glue.
I will address the fit later after the shank is repaired and stabilized. With the crack expanded, a line of regular CA glue is run starting from the hole down the shank to the shank facing.
After laying down the glue, the stem is extracted, and the crack again compresses with CA glue in the cavity. For some cosmetic help and to keep the glue in place, I sprinkled the glue line with briar dust. I put the stummel aside to allow the glue to cure. With the Brylon bowl on the sidelines, I turn my attention to the stem. I take fresh starting pictures of the upper and lower bit to show the carnage. After each of these, is the comparison picture after using the heating method to minimize the damage.
Using a Bic lighter the bit is painted with the flame heating the rubber and helping it to expand to regain some of its original disposition.
I think the heating definitely improved the minor chatter so that for the upper bit, sanding should be all that is needed with some filing to freshen the button.
For the lower bit, again, chatter was minimized but patching will still be required for the compressions. Medium-Thick Black CA glue is used to do the fills.
After filling the deep compressions, I set the stem aside to allow the CA glue to cure. After the fills have cured, a flat needle file is used to file down the patch mounds and to shape and refresh the button. The upper bit also is the recipient of the filing to file out the more severe chatter and shape the button.
After the filing, grade paper is used to further smooth the upper and lower bit. The repairs on the lower side are looking good. About mid-way on the lower side of the stem there is a dent and a divot.
I expand the paper sanding to the entire stem to address these issues and to remove any oxidation hanging on.
To address this, I start a new pipe cleaner down the airway while warming the bit with the hot air gun. I warm it on the upper bit avoiding the fills that are on the lower bit. I do this to avoid dislodging the fills which will not expand the same as the rubber. It works like a charm. As the vulcanite warmed it becomes supple and I move the pipe cleaner gradually through the airway as the compressed area relaxes.
When the pipe cleaner is moving freely and normally, with the pipe cleaner remaining in the airway, I run the stem under cool tap water setting the expansion in the vulcanite airway. Next, the entire stem is wet sanded using grade sanding paper followed by applying grade steel wool as I normally do with briars. The nickel stem facing and filter housing also receive attention from the steel wool and clean up very nicely. Putting the stem aside, I focus on the shank repair. The glue has cured, and I use grade paper to clean away the excess patch material from the surface of the shank.
The half-rounded needle file helps to remove the thicker patch buildup at the crook of the shank and bowl. He found that Brylon does not polish up like briar but remains somewhat speckled and a dulled finish. Will the area of Brylon that has received more focused sanding appear differently from the other areas in the end?
To avoid this, I decide to encourage overall blending beginning with wet sanding the entire bowl, including the patch, with grade paper. This is followed with applying steel wool.
The following pictures show the result - a darkening of the Brylon finish and with the uniform blending that was my hope. This result encourages me to continue the fine sanding on the Brylon surface but also to continue blending the patches. Before moving forward with sanding and polishing of either the stem or stummel, one more technical challenge has yet to be remedied: the fit of the stem into the mortise. With the shank crack glued, the last thing I want to do is to crack it again!
The picture shows the irregular shaping of the nickel housing.
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I use needle-nose pliers to do this. First, I heat the nickel with the hot air gun to encourage movement in the metal without splitting it. After heated, with the closed needle-nose pliers inserted into the nickel housing, I slowly turn the stem and apply gentle pressure to coax the nickel into a more rounded orientation.
Patience is key! Not perfect, but much better. No surprise - I try a half-hearted attempt to engage the stem and stummel but fit remains too tight. The next step is to relieve the internal mortise pressure. I find a drill bit small enough to accommodate being wrapped with grade paper and able to navigate the mortise.
Once, I get the best fit, I sand the mortise and attempting to fit the stem as I go. After returning to the hot air gun and making further adjustments to the nickel housing, I achieved a round housing that fit BUT the adjustment now left the housing lose in the mortiseugh. The restoration nightmare - repairing a repair. The solution I decided on was to rebuild the internal mortise grip by painting the mortise with acrylic nail polish.
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I paint the mortise walls with the small brush provided, wait for it to dry and then paint it again, adding an additional layer. This was not part of the plan After several revolutions of adding layers of acrylic polish, the grip in the mortise was restored. A detour but moving forward! The full regimen of micromesh pads is applied to the stem starting by wet sanding with pads to followed by dry sanding with pads to and to Between each set, Obsidian Oil is applied to condition the stem and protects it from developing oxidation.
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The stem is looking good! I decide to run the Brylon stummel through the full micromesh battery as well. Wet sanding begins with pads to and is followed by dry sanding with pads to and to The results are good. The surface did shine up and the color deepens.
Before applying Blue Diamond compound, I want to apply some cosmetic touches. The crack in the shank is visible as a lighter line. The large rim patch is speckled as well. Using a walnut colored dye stick, I apply it to the shank and to the rim with very nice results.
The dye helps the blending. After completing the application of Blue Diamond, one more cosmetic project awaits attention before applying wax. I apply a small dab of white acrylic paint over the stamping. Then, with a cotton pad, I tamp the paint drawing off the excess paint leaving a thin layer of paint over the stamping which dries very quickly. It looks good! Finally, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted onto the Dremel, set at the same speed, carnauba wax is applied to the entire pipe.
Because of this, very little wax was needed on the surface. This restoration was a challenge but worth it! Working with Brylon has unique challenges but it was good to learn more about how it behaves in case I have another S.
Frank innovation come across my worktable! Thanks for joining me! About a week ago I received a call from a woman who had been referred to me by a pipe shop here in Vancouver. As is often the case here in Vancouver, the woman was calling on behalf of her husband. I told her to bring it by for me to have a look at.
A little later the same day she showed up at the front door with a small plastic sandwich bag clutched in her hand and somewhat gingerly handed me the bag. The pipe inside was in rough shape. It had been smoked hard and had a thick gooey cake in the bowl, overflowing onto the rim and down the sides of the bowl.
The rim top was damaged and slightly out of round. The stem was not even the correct stem and it was broken off. The diameter of the stem was less than the diameter of the shank. I looked at the pipe in the bag I could see the tars oozing out onto the sides of the bag.
It smelled pretty sour. She said he wanted a straight stem on the pipe. Could I do the work?
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We agreed on a price and she left the bag with me. I took the pipe out of the bag and took some before photos. I wanted to get rid of as much of the smell of the pipe as possible - believe me it was sour and it was dirty.
I wiped the exterior of the bowl down with alcohol soaked cotton pads and remove the thick grime and sticky tars off the side of the bowl and as much from the damaged top as possible. Sadly I was in such a hurry to do that I forgot to take photos. Once the exterior was cleaned it was time to tackle the inside of the pipe.
I scraped out the inside of the mortise with a dental spatula and remove a lot of hardened tars from the walls of the mortise. The airway into the bowl was clogged with thick tars so I used a paper clip to push through and open the airway.
I cleaned out the mortise, shank and the airway into the bowl with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I cleaned until the inside was clean and clear. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and the second cutting head.
I took the cake back to bare briar so I could check out the inside walls of the pipe. I finished cleaning up the remnants of the cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. The inside walls look surprisingly good, but the top and inner edge of the rim had damage from repeated lighting of the pipe in the same spot. To minimize the damage to the top and edges of the bowl I lightly topped the bowl on the topping board with grit sandpaper.
I was able to remove much of the damage. I worked on the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of sandpaper to smooth out the burn on the front right side. There was some darkening to the rim but it was solid and looked better.
With the internals cleaned, the externals cleaned and rim damage minimized it was time to work on the new stem for the pipe. I went through my assorted stems and found one that would work. It had approximately the same taper that the shank had so it would continue the taper back to the button.
I sanded the stem and the shank with a medium grit sanding block to make the transition very smooth. I carefully avoided the stamping on the side of the shank so that the Medico over Husky over Imported Briar was undamaged. The stem fits the shank very well and the transition from briar to vulcanite is smooth. The next series of photos show the pipe at this point in the process. The shank on the pipe was not quite round, so I had to do a bit of reshaping to get a round stem to fit it.
When you trace the Medico tobacco pipes history, you have to trace it back to the origins of the company that created it. The company that originated the Medico brand is the S.M. Frank & Co. This company dates back to the year In that year, a man named Sam Frank began selling pipes and related tobacco products. Obviously this pipe has no shank markings. The bowl is covered with some synthetic fur (or a piece of wall-to-wall carpet). Gold Crest (Left side) Medico, Gold Crest, Imported Briar . This material was immediatly used for Yello-Bole pipes, and millions of these pipes have been sold in the decades since then. They continue to be part of the Yello-Bole and Medico brands. At the moment Yello- Bole offers 4 lines of Brylon pipes: Ebony, Nova, Burley and Standard (Prices $
The stem only fit one way and there was a divot where there had originally been a logo. I filled in the divot with black super glue and set it aside to cure. With the repair to the stem curing I turned my attention to the bowl. I used a Cherry Stain pen to touch up the sanded areas on the rim and the shank.
The colour matched the existing colour on the rest of the bowl so I figured it would be a good match. I buffed the bowl with a soft cloth to raise a shine and blend the stains on the briar. I took the following photos to show the overall condition of the bowl at this point in the process. I rubbed it in with my finger tips and worked it into the shallow blast on the bowl and the smooth areas as well.
I buffed it with a shoe brush and then with a soft cloth to remove the excess balm. I sanded out the scratches in the vulcanite with grit sandpaper and adjusted the fit to the shank of the pipe.
I cleaned out the airway in the stem using alcohol and pipe cleaners. The stem was fortunately not very dirty so the cleanup was very simple. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads - wet sanding with grit pads and dry sanding with grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil on a soft cloth.
I buffed it with a soft cotton pad. This small, lightly sandblasted Medico Husky pipe looks a lot better now than it did when I started working on it. The rim top looks much better than when I started. It was chewed up and heavily caked with lava.
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The newly fitted stem is high quality and shined up well. I buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish to raise the shine on the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The rich brown stain allows the grain to really stand out on this little pipe and it works well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem.
This restemmed Medico is ready to go back to the pipeman who sent it to me. I will be calling his wife shortly so that she can pick it up for her. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me. My brother Jeff and I visited an antique mall that was in an old grainery along a railroad track not too long ago.
We went through the display cases and booths on two floors and found a few pipes. I have been told that VFQ means V ery F ine Q uality and underneath the grime it appeared that this one may have lived up to the stamping.
The stem is a Cumberland like material with swirls and striations in a mahogany coloured stem. In classic Medico style the pipe was made for their paper filter and had a hollow, adjustable tenon.
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The tenon has a split on both sides that can be expanded should the stem become loose in the shank. The pipe was in rough shape. The bowl was thickly caked and had remnants of tobacco in it. The rim top was covered with overflow from the bowl and there were some large chips on the top and inner edge of the bowl on the right side.
The finish was shot with the top varnish coat peeling all over the bowl. The ring around the bowl was dirty but was undamaged. The pipe was stamped Medico over V. It also was stamped with the shape number 76 on the right side. The stem bore the V. The stem was oxidized, dirty and had tooth chatter on both sides at the button. There was an old paper filter still in the tenon and the inside of the shank and stem were filthy. We scrubbed the mortise, airway into the bowl and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.
I took photos of the cleaned pipe when I finally brought it to my work table in Vancouver. Notice the angle of the rim top on the bowl. It was not flat and the damage had left the front higher than the back.
The next two photos show the condition of the tenon and bowl when taken apart and the damaged rim once all the cake had been removed. The rim had damage all the way around but the biggest damage was on the rear right side where there was a large chip missing. The stem shows some wear in the next photos and the striations of colour are almost not visible due to oxidation. I decided to even out the height of the rim cap by carefully topping the bowl.
Since the back side was higher than the front I was pretty sure I could remove most if not all of the chipped area on the rear right. I topped it on a board with grit sandpaper and carefully leveled the bowl by applying more pressure to the rear of the bowl than the front and lifting the front edge off the paper as I remove the damaged and excess on the read of the bowl.
It took some work to level the bowl properly and end up with an even top both from a vertical and horizontal view. I used a folded piece of grit sandpaper to bevel out the inner edge of the rim to remove the remaining rim damage and clean up the appearance of the rim.
I sanded the rim with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge and with grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratches. I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the remaining finish and stain on the bowl in preparation for matching the newly topped rim with the colour of the rest of the bowl.
I did a more thorough cleanup of the mortise and airway into the bowl to remove all of the sanding dust and remaining debris that was there. I scrubbed it out with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I also ran pipe cleaners through the airway in the stem and cleaned the mortise with cotton swabs.
The bowl had many nicks and scratches. I sanded it with micromesh pads to remove the majority of them but decided to leave some of the deeper ones as beauty marks of the old pipe. In the photos the bowl looks pretty richly coloured but in reality it was faded and apart from the flash the grain did not stand out. I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain, flamed it and repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage on the bowl.
The look of the bowl in the next two photos is really odd. I think that it is a phenomenon of the flash because it did not look like this in person. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on cotton pads to remove some of the opacity of the stain and make it more transparent.
In the photos below you can see that it is lighter but still to heavy to show the grain to my liking.
I buffed the bowl with red Tripoli, sanded it with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge, then polished it with grit micromesh pads to remove some more of the dark stain and leave behind some nice contrasts in the grain of the bowl. The next photos show it after I had buffed it with Blue Diamond to polish it. I set the bowl aside for now and turned my attention to the stem. I have found that these Medico stems are not fully vulcanite and are a bit of a bear to polish.
I have often been left to do the polishing by hand as the buffer can generate too much heat if I am not careful. The heat damages the material of the stem and forces you to start over.
I sanded out the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem and reshaped the button edges with grit sandpaper. The flow of the top of the shank to the top of the stem was interrupted in that the height of the stem at that point was higher than that of the shank so I sanded the top half of the stem to make that transition smoother.
I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads - wet sanding it with until I removed the scratches left behind by the sandpaper. I dry sanded with grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each sanding pad to give the pads more bite and allow them to really polish the stem. Between the and grit pads I buffed the stem very carefully you have to have a light touch against the wheel. I gave it a final rub down of oil after the grit pad.
I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed bowl and stem with Blue Diamond a final time. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. To me the stain goes really well with the polished Cumberland like stem. They play off each other very well. The contrast on the bowl raises the highlights in the stem and vice versa.
This pipe will soon be on the rebornpipes store if you wold like to add it to your rack. It is very lightweight and comfortable in the hand. I think, judging from the condition of the pipe when I got it, that it will be a great smoking pipe, with or without the Medico filter. In the ongoing adventure of discovery of the quest for the drier smoking pipe I keep finding new ones that intrigue me.
This latest addition that my brother Jeff picked up is unique even if it was not part of that adventure of discovery. It is stamped Medico over Double-Dri and it is unusual to say the least. The base of the pipe I believe is made of Bakelite. The bowl is painted briar or at least looks to be. The bowl is friction fit into the base and is held in place by a cork or composition ring around the edges of the base.
The bottom of the bowl is a hard clay or ceramic material. By the early s, there were some concerns about the tars and nicotine found in tobacco smoke. In order to mellow out the flavor of hot tobacco smoke as well as to capture the tars and nicotine, the S.
This is an absorbent paper filter that many people still use to this day. In order to accommodate the new filter, the company developed an accompanying brand of pipes known as Medico.
That line of pipes continues in production today. The company ended up buying some of their main competition in That year the Kaywoodie brands came under the S. Frank Company. The Medico brand continued production through this transition without many changes.
The next big change for the brand came in the late s. Inthe company developed a synthetic material that combined the traditional briar wood with resins. It is known as Brylon. At that time, all Medico pipes were made from imported briar wood.
In order to keep production costs down, the company began offering some lines with Brylon.