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My Adventures of cleaning an estate Meerschaum Pipe

Ok guys so I'm thinking this might be a group effort in restoring this new to me estate peterson meerschaum pipe that I got off the bay. First off, any info you guys can give me on the pipe would be appreciated. Also got a few questions hopefully you guys can help me out with.

So i'm thinking that all I really need to do is ream out the bowl. But after that I'm pretty stuck at what to do. Do you do the S/A on meerschaums? How do I clean up the outside? The stem looks to be in pretty good condition, should I soak it in something like everclear?

anyhow onto the pics.

$IMG_0388.jpg $IMG_0391.jpg $IMG_0393.jpg $IMG_0394.jpg $IMG_0395.jpg
 

the_edski

Moderator Emeritus
Good luck, Boris! Be very careful reaming it out, don't actually touch the meerschaum, you can very easily dig into it and crack it without knowing. Don't do S/A treatment, the meerschaum is a very porous mineral and will soak it up, become very soft and probably get ruined. They don't ghost like briar, so once you ream it and smoke a few bowls of your favorite 'baccy, you shouldn't notice a problem.
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
The outside looks pretty good to me. It's African meerschaum so it's naturally dark. Some very fine pipe or cigar ash rubbed on the silver for a minute will clean up the tarnish.

You can ream that cake down most of the way and then use a knife to scrape it down the rest of the way. It should clean up very well.
 
That cake is way too thick for a Meerschaum. This might be a silly question but are you absolutely sure it is African meerschaum? I know there are some floating around but I was told my a knowledgeable pipe person that they are quite difficult to find although of course you could find them on Ebay as you did. It's a long story complicated by a lenghty hiatus from pipes and some forgetfulness but I had what I thought was an African Meer and it really turned out to be briar. If you've never had an African Meer, only regular Meers and briars, it might be hard to tell. What you have looks a lot like sandblown/rusticated briar to me, I recally that African Meer was more smooth and splotchy.

If it is Meer, do not use S/A in the bowl. I have dipped a cleaner in alcohol and run it through the shank but that's it.
 
One of my issues with meers is the process you are starting. You just can't do as much cleaning on a meer as you can on a briar. I've got two meers I picked up on the bay that I am thinking about selling for this very reason.

From reading, not experience, my understanding is that you can do a wax dip instead of soaking in alcohol. I'm not sure if the results would be anything you want though. Good luck!
 
What I do on my Meer to control cake is after every two smokes wait for the pipe to cool and take a folded bristle pipe cleaner and rub it around inside the bowl. Then I take the short blade on my Swiss Army knife and just gently scrape it against the inside of the bowl so the angle of the blade is nearly parallel with the bowl. I know this works by the particles that come out when I turn it upside down and the inside of the bowl feels smooth. I'm not sure this would work on cake so thick though.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Contributor
What I do on my Meer to control cake is after every two smokes wait for the pipe to cool and take a folded bristle pipe cleaner and rub it around inside the bowl. Then I take the short blade on my Swiss Army knife and just gently scrape it against the inside of the bowl so the angle of the blade is nearly parallel with the bowl. I know this works by the particles that come out when I turn it upside down and the inside of the bowl feels smooth. I'm not sure this would work on cake so thick though.
I do a pipe cleaner then wipe with a dry paper towel after every smoke. No buildup yet.
 

Commander Quan

Commander Yellow Pantyhose
I fold up a paper town and then twist as much of it as I can down into the bowl to softly ream out any remains.
 
This may sound disturbing, but it is your pipe: try a terry-cloth rag, frequently dabbed with spit. I've picked up 4 Meers, 3 from Germany, which saw HEAVY use (not as bad as my Count of Monte Carlo, from France, with the 1/4" diameter and totally plugged shaft, tho'). Rub in circular motion, without too much pressure, and dampen frequently. Worked wonders on the coal-black mouth of one Deutchlander.:001_cool: You can of course, lick the pipe, periodically, but I would advise not publicly admitting to such technique...

I do the twisted paper towel "ream" now, but when I was still cleaning out prevous gunk, I would use the pipe cleaner used on the stem, still lightly damp with EC, to whisk around the inside of the bowl, then use the paper towel.

YMMV, be careful, etc., etc..
 
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