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 Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes

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bentbulldog

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Age : 34
Location : Briarwood, NY (not joking)
Registration date : 2009-06-21

PostSubject: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:42 pm

Hello BoB

I have a Savinelli Second which I really like but would prefer to add a color and shine instead of leaving it natural. The problem is that I've already smoked the pipe a few times.

Is it possible to add color after it's been smoked?
How would I go about that? Can I do it at home or should I send it to someone here?




Many thanks,
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:13 pm

From your photo, it looks like it's been smoked quite a bit ( maybe not by you ) and has already started absorbing the tars and oils from tobacco which darken and "color" briars over time. I'm sure some of this will have some effect on the tone and looks of the stain without doing some sort of "stripping" so to speak and taking it back to raw wood as much as possible. If it were mine, and changing the color of it with a stain was what I REALLY wanted, I would send it off to someone like Mike at Walker Briar works. Personally, I'd just keep smoking it and watch it change color over the years. Additionally with the natural finish it now has the pipe will develop a "patina" and feel to it that a stained and finished pipe won't get. JMHO Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:20 pm

you could do it at home if you wanted to, The pipe should be sanded down, then stained, and buffed with caranuba, If you can't do the buffing properly you will not get a nice shiny finish
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bentbulldog

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Age : 34
Location : Briarwood, NY (not joking)
Registration date : 2009-06-21

PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:40 pm

Thanks for the replies.

monbla, I've considered keeping it as is, knowing it will develop its own unique patina. Do you have a photo of a Natural pipe after that many smokes?

BigCasino, it sounds like I would be best to send it off to someone. What do you think a job like that would cost?
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BigCasino

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Age : 49
Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:47 pm

Hard to say, the biggest problem is the stamping, cause you don't want to sand it off, I have never refinished a pipe but I am sure there are tricks known by the guys who do refurbs
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monbla256

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Age : 72
Location : DFW Metroplex, Texas
Registration date : 2012-01-15

PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:47 pm

bentbulldog wrote:
Thanks for the replies.

monbla, I've considered keeping it as is, knowing it will develop its own unique patina. Do you have a photo of a Natural pipe after that many smokes?

BigCasino, it sounds like I would be best to send it off to someone. What do you think a job like that would cost?

I'll try and find one of my Edward's for ya later and as far as cost, give Walker Briar Works a ring and they can fill you in with ALL the info you would need. They are good folks to deal with. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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bentbulldog

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Age : 34
Location : Briarwood, NY (not joking)
Registration date : 2009-06-21

PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:07 pm

Thanks monbal

If I don't stain it, what about polishing it? Would it be too late to add a coat of Wax?

Would my craftsman power drill and some type of wheel on a drill bit work?
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BigCasino

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Location : North of Pittsburgh pa
Registration date : 2012-11-27

PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:15 pm

it's tough to get a good shine with a buffing pad on a drill, or at least with my drill it was
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Blackhorse
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Location : Oregon City
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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:38 pm

I'm sure there are guys here that have done what you're thinking...me included. I've taken a number of bowls down and restrained them, etc. If you have a buffing wheel (felt wheel on a grinder motor, etc. is fine) can do it fine.

Procedure: Start out with the attitude that the pipe is going to dictate the end result. If you go in with a strong desire for one specific outcome you'll likely be disappointed. Be prepared to appreciate and enjoy however it turns out.

1. Sand wood down past external stain, etc. (220 - 320 - 400 - 600 - 0000 Steel Wool)
2. Apply stain. Do test patches on spare briar chunks for color testing. Use Fiebings leather dye or similar (Lincoln is OK) or waterproof drawing inks (I've used forestry green and red with very good results). Let the stain dry overnight.
3. Sand with 320 or 400 until desired level of stain vs. grain shows.
4. For two tone stain apply darker color first...dark brown, black, etc. then sand down til dark color is present on grain and you have dark stain sanded off 'background'. Let it dry overnight. Then apply lighter or brighter color and sand as in #3 above.

Note: I've used dark brown with green, dark brown brown with orange, black with red, black with reddish brown (mahogany), etc. All look good. This is art part so you can't go wrong, really.

5. Sand lightly with 400 or above grits to your preference ending up with 0000 Steel Wool taking care to not remove too much more stain.
6. Carefully buff on a clean soft rag or felt wheel with a very light load of white diamond or similar white compound.
7. Buff with a wheel dedicated to Carnuba if wax if desired.

Note: Wax is not required, but must be applied with a wheel of sufficient speed so that the friction melts the wax. Carnuba is very hard and needs a fast wheel. I've used a Dremel many times with good success... the secret with a Dremel is to keep the wheel moving lightly and quickly on the surface in the same kind of motion you would use in shading with a pencil on paper. Practice on scraps to get the right feel for it.

8. The level of surface shine you end up with is rather dependent on how high the grit of your final sanding is, I think. Some guys go into the high number grits like 1200, etc. I go to 600 or 800 tops, then the Steel Wool. But I don't like it to look like I put a coat of high gloss varnish on it, preferring a softer finish.

That's it. It's not hard, but you need the proper materials and tools. A drill will not work for this at all! You need a Dremel or a buffer/grinding motor!

If you don't want to do it, I would do it for you...pay me in tobacco...Gawith Dark Flake Scented...8 oz.! Or some such barter. Your choice of color(s).

PS: the stem, if ebonite (etc.) looks oxidized. I could also clean that up.

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Thomas Tkach

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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:29 pm

That's pretty much it above. If you have a decent buffer and some Tripoli compound, there probably not much need to go past 600 or 800 with the sanding, BUT make sure you sand thoroughly enough at each stage. If you are sloppy at 320, you'll have some scratches show through once you're done buffing.

I think I've read that the two-tow stain works best if one color is alcohol soluble and the other water soluble. That way you won't lift and muddy the dark color you've sanded back when you go to apply the tint to the lighter portions.

Also, for much more info, go to http://www.pipemakersforum.com/
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:57 pm

I would NOT use 220 or 320 to sand that stummel, most the time it only takes a bit of 400 to get most the wax finish off. If your going to go to a darker stain I see no need in taking all the stain off just scuff it up evenly and restain. If your worried about the stamping go lightly with a 3m pad over it. If the stummel hasn't any lacquer or shellac on it that should be enough but, if it does I would use lacquer thinner on a rag to remove it after you've scuffed it up a bit, it evaporates quickly and will not harm the pipe in ANY way.
A Dremel is Way too fast and will burn anything on the pipe easily. A 1700 rpm motor or drill motor will work with the proper rouges and wheels.
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Blackhorse
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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:53 pm

Yeah...220 might be a bit coarse. And sure, treat the stamping very gingerly. The photo didn't show any evidence of lacquer, etc. but that would come off via the sanding. It looked, and the comments led me to believe, it was one of those virgin finishes. Even so, with handling, etc. I would think there would be oils, etc. on the exterior of the strummel and I would want to get a totally fresh surface.

Some slight differences in procedure should produce the same result...a clean, smooth, fresh surface to work with. I would want to be below any oil taint as it would resist an even staining.

Of course, nothing beats having an item in hand to see what one would be working with in person. That might lead to a difference in approach. But the basics are there...get the surface down to where it will take a stain evenly and go from there.

Lots of good suggestions on this one. All of interest.

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Cartaphilus

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Location : East Texas
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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:59 pm

ISO Alcohol works well for cleaning the exterior before staining. I'll do it on fresh wood even just because my oily hands have been touching it. Yes, different strokes for different folks.
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Blackhorse
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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:03 pm

And then there are guys that wear nitrolon (or whatever it is) gloves to avoid getting hand oils on the briar...and the guys that flame the stain on with a soft flame, etc.

Johnny Torch! Pipe Maker!

Ouch. bom

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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:06 pm

Blackhorse wrote:
And then there are guys that wear nitrolon (or whatever it is) gloves to avoid getting hand oils on the briar...and the guys that flame the stain on with a soft flame, etc.

Johnny Torch! Pipe Maker!

Ouch. bom

I can't do anything in gloves and flaming the stain sets it quicker.
But, I don't flame anything, too much in my small shop that can KaBoom! Wink
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Thomas Tkach

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Age : 30
Location : North Dakota
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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:02 pm

+1 on alcohol killing the oils.

+1 on different strokes (see all the debates by established makers on PMF). All those little things like gloves probably make a difference once you get into artisan-level work, but aren't worth messing about on your first go.

I disagree with the dremel comment, though. I have used one to buff many pipes, and it wasn't that bad. It was slow going with such a small wheel, but that's what makes the difference. Though a dremel revolves faster, you're not mounting a 6" buff on it, but a 2" one (or smaller), which means the surface of the wheel is actually going 1/3 the speed as the 6" would. A 6" wheel at 750 rpm would run the same surface speed as a 2" buff at 2250 rpm.
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Blackhorse
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PostSubject: Re: Need Pipemaker help/advice: Staining Natural Pipes   Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:40 pm

A typical bench grinder/buffer rpm is about 3500 + or -. That gives a surface speed of about 5500 fpm with a 6" disc (buffer or grinder).

A Dremel can generate as much as 32,000 rpm at the shaft...not counting the added diameter of the wheel...so the Dremel wheel in the hands of someone not really familiar and practiced with it is a recipe for disaster. It will melt a nice furrow in a pipe step in a micro second.

However, that being said, since the friction is a result of speed plus the compound media...a Dremel will have no problem whatever with these tasks...again, it's more in handling or how it is applied to the surface in question. I find that about 1/4 to 1/3 power and a very, very, very light 'swirly' touch work well with white diamond compound works well for me. Under no circumstances allow the wheel of a Dremel buff to sit on the surface while rotating unless it is being moved over the surface...or lovely divots will ensue.

Further note: with the right head chucked in, they are useful for rusticating on occasion.


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