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Questions on REFURBISHING from a MARINE

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leatherneck

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GOOD AFTERNOON, brothers. Recently I purchased a used DECATUR pipe stand on EBAY. Along with the stand came 3 pipes, that I am thinking of refinishing. The first pipe is a JUMBO Whitehall, the second a COLOSSAL from FRANCE, and the third a UHLES. The UHLES appears to have a well worn meerschaum insert. My question is, can one just clean out the used meerschaum insert and use the pipe that way. Any information on these pipes and possibly there value would be GREATLY appreciated.
 

ontariopiper

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I would advise against removing the meerschaum insert. Without it the chamber walls would be very thin and prone to cracks from heat.

If the meer lining is still mostly solid, scrapes, dents and cracks can be filled with Plaster of Paris and sanded smooth. Work with the meer gently - many of these bowll liners were made from pressed meerschaum (essentially meer dust and glue) and not block meerschaum. Pressed meer is very easily scratched and will dissolved in alcohol, so I'd stick to mechanical cleaning methods as much as possible.

Can't help much on the valuation end of your post. I suggest looking up sold prices on ebay for a rough guide. My guess is that your trio falls into the "well-made but not uber-collectible" zone of estate pipes. These usually restore and smoke well, and you don;t have to worry about getting things 100% as they aren't WWI-era Dunhills. :lol!:

 

Bonanzadriver

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One of the estates I refurbed fro myself had a meer lined bowl/insert.

It was pretty gunked up, so I gave it the typical alcohol bath and then proceeded to using various grits of sand paper to clean it up.

This wasn't a very expensive pipe and I was really of the opinion that if I screwed it up, wasn't that big of a deal.

Fortunately, it turned out great and is a great little smoker.

 

KevinM

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I'd contact Uhle's pipe shop (in Wisconsin) and ask what kind of meer your pipe might be lined with and what sort of DIY maintenance might be needed to get a mere-lined Uhle pipe back on active duty. Uhle also sells excellent tobacco, including an introductory sampler. As I recall, Meer lined pipes get mixed reviews, smoking hot being the most common complaint. But yours might be okay. I'd opine that, if a pipe is uncooperative, just move on to another. Don't prolong the agony. Plenty of fish in the sea.
 
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