Epic Peterson Salvage Operation Failure!


Well-known member
Quite a while back I posted about these sorry pipes https://pipesmokersdens.com/threads...dly-damaged-petersons.6693/page-2#post-272395

Being a contrary type and having a vision :rolleyes:, I thought I'd mess around and try to salvage these one at a time. I mean, they are the definition of "nothing to lose." I've finally given up on the first, which was the worst off. You'll see why....

Here are the "before" pictures:

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Well-known member
My idea here was to spackle up the gaping hole with some wood putty from the outside, then use a thick layer of cigar-ash pipe mud on the inside. Then after smoking it a while, the cake buildup would also help. So far so good - it seemed solid and like it was holding. To make sure, I scraped a bit to get lose bits out then added more putty. Did that a few times, then cleaned off the excess.

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Then to make it look okay, I wanted stain the pipe black then lightly sand the "peaks" of the rustication and stain it green. The black worked out fine and I was pretty encouraged at this point.

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Well-known member
The areas where the fill was lumpy or too smooth, I re-rusticated and it looked pretty good (forgot to take pics at that stage). I polished up the nickel mount, and cleaned the stem.

And then I ran into problems. If I'd stopped at that point, it might have been a usable smoker at least for a while. But I wanted those damn green peaks. So I did a light sand, applied the green.... and it came out black. So I had to start over and sand them again. This time I wiped off the green quickly and it looked good, and I even dabbed some more black to touch up some areas, thinking I was pretty freakin' fancy. Then I applied some pipe wax for a finish and to help seal the dye.... and it turned the green to jet black, indistinguishable from the black dye. I waited a few days to see if would dry and reappear or something but nope, it was just black for good. So one more time... light sand then green dye, then tried orange oil instead of pipe wax.... and it turned black again. So I decided to do it one final time, and not bother with any finish. 'Twas then I realized - the damn bowl was no longer rusticated! It was practically smooth, with a bunch of pits! All that "light" sanding to get the dye off had wreaked its havoc.

A normal person might have given up, and either junked it or smoked it as is. But I thought what the hell - it's practice and experimentation. So I decided to carve a nice stripey design in it. It couldn't really get uglier at that point, and I thought it might look cool with deep green wavy lines, almost like vines. Experimenting with nails and screwdriver tips and awls, I was starting to see how it might end up looking kind of cool and unique.... when BLAMMO! o_O:cry::hahaha-024:

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Well-known member
That bottom picture shows how there's basically one little patch of un-carbonized briar. The whole pipe was basically a lump of charcoal. In retrospect I'm surprised it withstood everything I put it through for as long as it did.

Upside - I now have a spare mount and a clean spare stem. And I know what to avoid for the next one.... I'm looking at you, Rusticated 309!


Well-known member
That's nuts, it would take starter fluid to do that to briar.
It explains the huge gash, at least, though I still have no idea how someone could smoke a pipe non-figuratively to death like that. Especially considering that the stem and draught hole were completely blocked with sludge. The smoker must have just kept going even when it was cracked open, and only stopped when he/she couldn't draw anymore.


Won't Curse You
Chico, there are no limits to what people will do.

I congratulate the OP for trying. I was excited right up to the carved green stripe photo.

I wonder if there is anyone on the planet who would look at any of these and think, "hmmm...let's see...yeah, that would work." I propose a contest where we give each of these pipes to one of our board pipe-makers, and then we vote on the results. Winner gets...something.