Briarville Tobacco Pipe Repair and Restoration

Smoking Pipe Repair

A Poem for Pipers by Seth Baker

Seth Baker

With fellow pipers advice heeded
I decided a grinder was what I needed.

Nothing big like a grinder of beans
I snagged a hippy device to suit my means.

This plastic disk for grinding pot 
At a couple dollars, oh why not?
Now the flakes and plugs so stout
Fall apart with a twist and neatly fall out.

Seventeen ninety two,

Gaslight and 10 Russians too
Even the most fickle to light
Dark star fires and takes flight

Heed my words if you can
Those hippies have some great tools man.


Seth can be found on the Facebook group Corncob Nation

New To Pipe Smoking?  An Entry Level Article by Eric Boehm

Had a neighbor express interest in smoking tobacco pipes. Coming from the cigar world, he is. Wrote him the following. Thought it may be of interest to other newbies, just starting the journey...

Hi Jim -

I've been enjoying smoking and collecting tobacco pipes since 1982. At present, I own sixty high end vintage briar pipes, and have a fully stocked cellar of aged tobaccos, some dating back decades. Like wine, tabac improves immeasurably with age. I also help run and manage a group on Facebook called the Gentlemen's Pipe Smoking Society. We gave 9,500+ members from all corners of the world. I'm on Facebook under my name, and on Instagram as eboehmjr. Tobacco pipes are pretty much a central focus of my life.

As for safety and historical legacy, many of the greatest minds of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were ardent pipe smokers, many living to their late eighties. Think A. Einstein, JRR Tolkein, M Twain, R Oppenheimer, E Hubble, AC Doyle, C Jung, P Casal, S Foote, B Russell, PG Wodehouse, CS Lewis, R Kipling, etc. And when I say ardent, I mean five to ten bowls a day. A Surgeon General's Report, issued some years ago, noted that there was no difference in life expectancy for pipe smokers (< 10/day), as compared to the non-smoking public. Cigarette smokers died 10 to 20 yrs earlier than the non-smoking public. There are numerous exceptions, but that's what the stats show. Too often, tobacco pipes (and cigars) are erroneously conflated with cigarettes. Most pipers I know do not inhale, and abhor cigarettes, which contain a plethora of carcinogenic additives, in addition to low grade leaf.

Coming from the cigar world, you'll take note of a myriad of differences between tobacco pipes and cigars. Although both involve quality leaf, with no chemical additives, and both do not involve inhalation, the two activities are strikingly different. Cigars usually cost a lot, and represent status among Type A personalities, are consumed socially often at a bar with alcohol - as compared to pipe tabac, which is dirt cheap in comparison (30$ to $50/lb), often consumed in isolation, usually with coffee or tea. Cigars are raucous and boisterous, involving usually billowing clouds of smoke, whereas piping, if done right, releases a minimal amount of smoke, and is downright taciturn in comparison. The comparisons with extrovert vs introvert are notable in this respect.

Where to shop? I do everything on-line. It's cheaper, the selection greater and they bring it right to your door. I use this company almost exclusively:

They are self contained, and in addition to pipes and tobaccos, represent a study site for all things pipe related, with blogs, articles etc. Look no further than smoking pipes for all your needs.

What you'll need from the get-go:

1. A briar pipe - I'd recommend you start with a Peterson pipe, out of Dublin, selling for between $85 - $150. Can't go wrong with a Pete, as has been said for the last 15O yrs.

2. Tabac - Here it gets complicated. In brief, you have:

(a) Aromatics - Try Captain Black in the White pouch or tin for a vanilla nougat flavor.

(b) Burley - Over-the-counter or OTC codger Burley has been around forever. For good reason. Try Prince Albert, Half & Half, Carter Hall etc.

(c) Virginia blends - Try McCranies.

(d) Virginia Perique or VaPer blends - Try Escudo.

(e) Balkan blends - Try Balkan Sasieni.

(f) English blends - Try Dunhill's London Mixture.

(g) Cigar blends - Try Key West or Billy Budd.

You'll also need:

3. Pipe cleaners, Qtips, paper towels for cleaning.

4. EverClear high proof grain alcohol or 91% Isopropanol rubbing alcohol for cleaning.

5. A decent lighter. No cigar torch lighters. A Bic will do, or any butane cool flame lighter.

6. A pipe tamper. A large nail will do, but a three way Czech pipe tool works best. Perhaps a pipe reamer for later.

That'll get you started.

Tobacco Reviews online reviews thousands of pipe tobaccos. It's truly mind blowing the number of tobacco choices available. A lot of newbies complain that the choices are overwhelming. That's why it's good to go on line a study your options.

Pipedia is the online encyclopedia for pipes, much like Wikipedia:

Another place to gather knowledge on line is Pipe Magazine. They have great articles, reviews, everything pipe related:

They also have the best on line forum for tobacco pipes. Join and introduce yourself and you'll have access to the world's greatest concentration of pipe smokers. Gents often willing to answer any question you may have.

So, have a look at these sites to gather up some knowledge. This will help you decide what kind of pipe you desire, what type of tabac you'd like to try, etc. Piping has a learning curve, to be sure, not too steep, but the rewards are tremendous. It's no small wonder that many of the greatest minds of the last two centuries ordered their entire lives around the act of pipe smoking. Don't hesitate to ask me questions, or join me on the porch for a smoke.


Eric Boehm
Eric admins "The Gentlemen's Pipe Smoking Society" on Facebook consisting of nearly 10,000 members. He has enjoyed the hobby as a pipe smoker and collector for the last 33 years.  Find Eric's Facebook page at

Press Release For Immediate Release


Contact Ric Farrah (844) JCPipes

Briarville is happy to welcome Treasure Pipes eBay Store to our family of clients. Treasure Pipes is well established on eBay with a wide variety of quality pipes and is a trusted eBayer with 100% positive feedback for nearly 9000 transactions. Briarville is proud to be working Treasure Pipes! Visit their store at 


Pipe Repair as Close as Your Mailbox™ 

Press Release For Immediate Release


Contact Ric Farrah - (844) JCPipes

Briarville Tobacco Pipe Repair and Restoration to attend the Chicago International Pipe Show May 3rd and 4th. 

The Chicago International Pipe & Tobacciana Show is an annual event at which exhibitors who are pipe makers, retailers, briar collectors, antique pipe collectors, and tobacco blenders gather to buy, sell, trade, educate, and exhibit. At 283 exhibit tables, the Chicago show is the largest gathering of its kind in the world and draws people from over 53 countries and six continents.

Please make plans to meet Ric in person at the Briarville table located on the main showroom floor.


The pictured re-stemmed and refurbished Castello Sea Rock Briar bent billiard along with other work and money saving promotion items will be on display at the show. 




Maintaining Vulcanite Stems

As you probably already know there are two primary materials used for making pipe stems, acrylic and vulcanite. The brand name for these materials are Lucite and Ebonite respectively. 

Vulcanite starts as a powdered rubber substance that is vulcanized and molded into rods for hand cutting stems or poured into molds of various stem shapes and sizes to be fitted as replacements when an original stem breaks.

Unlike acrylic, a hard plastic that can be either molded or hand cut into stems, vulcanite oxidizes which causes a bitter taste and changes colors anywhere from white, brown or even green. Consequently vulcanite requires a little maintenance whereas acrylic, not so much.
Nevertheless, because of tradition and a more comfortable smoke, vulcanite is still a favorite for about half of us. I've seen many polls and enjoyed many debates about the best pipe stem material and it's always pretty close with perhaps acrylic gaining very slight favor. 

Maintenance before the stem oxidizes is the best way to keep vulcanite from oxidizing at all. Obsidian Oil is the best product I've found to prevent oxidation. After smoking, simply wipe a few drops on the stem, let stand for about 30 minutes and buff clean with an old cotton tee shirt. Follow this regiment and your stems will never oxidize.  
But what to do with your estate purchases or when some of the stems in your own  collection are already oxidized?  For the do-it-yourself guys without professional buffing mandrels, tripoli and white diamond, a little elbow-grease and a few easily obtained materials are all that's needed.
Vulcanite oxidation, like rust to ferrous metals, feeds off the rubber. It grows into the stem and must be removed. You can remove or at least soften the oxidation by soaking your stems in either OxyClean or bleach. I prefer bleach but be aware, bleach will eat away stamping, logo inlays, threaded metal tenons and stingers! I would advise against using bleach with stems fitted with metal parts as are common with Kaywoodie pipes.  Stamping and logos can be protected with a dollop of petroleum jelly applied over the top of them. 

Let your stems soak over night and then rinse them with water. They will dry to a pale gray. What has happened is the beach has eaten away the oxidation leaving your stem covered with microscopic peaks and valleys. In fact, under a microscope they'd look like the Himalays. Those peaks and valleys absorb light and the stem appears dull. 

Light being reflected back off the stem is what we perceive as a shine so the peaks and valleys must go. In the shop we use a buffing mandrel  with 500 grit tripoli applied to the wheel spinning on the lathe at 1800 RPM to re-smooth the stem and then follow up with white diamond to bring out the glass-like appearance of a new, finely polished stem. 

Our buffing process can be reasonably replicated with micro mesh pads, wet and dry sanding pads in various grits. A set of micro mesh pads can be ordered on Amazon or eBay. The grits range is 1500,1800, 2400, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, 12000. Have a bowl water handy to wet sand the stem through the various grits. The magic comes between 6000 and 12,000 grits. 

Once the outside of your stem is to your satisfaction use some pipe cleaners soaked in denatured alcohol or your favorite high proof booze to clean the inside of the oils and gunk the bleach didn't remove.  Finally, apply the Obsidian Oil and buff with a cotton cloth. 

While this method won't bring the stems to "as new", it will get them close. 

Of course, you can save yourself the hassle... (Here comes the shameless plug) ...send your pipes for a quick visit to Briarville. Starting February Briarville is an online retailer of Obsidian Oil and all repaired and refurbished pipes with vulcanite stems will leave the shop with an application to retard future oxidation. 
Click Here to see the above stem and pipe after our 10 Step Process to restoring your pipes back to life

Press Release for Immediate Release


Contact: Ric Farrah - (844) JCPipes

After leaving the trucking industry in 2013, Ric teamed up with the world renowned, American pipe maker, Joe Case in a cooperative effort to expand the scope and reach of Joe Case Pipes. Briarville reaches out to both existing customers and new clients offering quality repairs and restoration services. 

The growth of Briarville has been nothing less than explosive. Q1-14 has nearly matched the entire first year business. Farrah attributes this stunning success to a quality - above average product, exceptional customer service, ease in doing business and a strong web/social media presence. 

Today, in addition to an ever-growing American client base, Briarville Tobacco Pipe Repair & Restoration receives a steady stream of international business. Pipes to be repaired, serviced or restored come from as far away as Australia, South Korea, Europe and our neighbors to the north in Canada.

 Update - On April 23, 2014 Briarville surpassed the total number of orders received during its first inaugural year beginning January 15, 2013.

"Pipe Repair as Close as Your Mailbox™"