Elva Iris Style Pipe Refurb

New pipe for a new challenge! This pipe was certainly a one-of-a-kind to work on. I have never seen one carved like this. It is literally carved to look like an Iris flower. Plus, I had never heard of the Elva brand before, so that was new too. Check out the refurb process below!

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Stem
I knew that this stem would have to be patched, but to get down to a good surface, I have to clean off a couple of the oxidized surfaces. So I started by wet sanding the stem with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and then 1200 grit. The way the previous owner had smoked it had created an indent into the airway rather than a hole. I had to break out some of the indented material from the inside, which created a small hole that I would patch. I patched the stem using cyanoacrylate and activated charcoal. After a few layers, it was built up enough, then I proceed with the wet sanding of 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. I then sanitized the inside of the stem with high proof vodka and pipe cleaners. The stem was finished with a buffing of re tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

Bowl
This bowl was tricky! I started by reaming the inside of the bowl to remove charcoal buildup. The bowl was then sanitized and cleaned with q-tips and high proof vodka. The top of the bowl was charred pretty good, so I worked on topping the bowl with some light sandpaper. That was really tricky since the petals of the Iris stick up above the top of the bowl. One of the petals had been broken by the previous owner and glued back into place, the glue stuck out in a couple places. I decided to sand down the glue to make it a smoother patch. I then put a bowl coating on the inside of the bowl to protect it. I lightly re-stained the top of the bowl after the topping. The shank was also sanitized with q-tips and high proof vodka. The bowl was finished with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax (as best I could, it was really tough around those petals)! Here is the finished product!

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I hope you enjoyed the refurb! Let me know about the weird pipes you own or have worked on!

Golden Duke Dr. Grabow Refurb

This part of a group of pipes that were sent to me from a friend to be refurbished. I love the way it turned out! Check out the before and after pics. I apologize for the lighting in the after pics but you get the idea!

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Stem
To remove the oxidation from the stem I wet sanded it. I used 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. I then sanitized and cleaned it out with high proof vodka and pipe cleaners. To finish up the stem I gave it a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax. I used the adjustomatic feature to straighten up the stem with the bowl.

Bowl
I reamed the bowl to get rid of build up. I then cleaned it out and sanitized it with q-tips and high proof vodka. The shank was then cleaned with q-tips and vodka too. I lightly topped the bowl to get rid of blackening. The bowl was finished with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

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I hope you enjoyed the process and pictures!

Peterson Standard System Pipe Refurb

This was another pipe that I had the opportunity to clean up for a friend. Check out the before and after pics!

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Stem
The stem had a bit of oxidation and chatter on it so I started with wet-sanding the stem. I used 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit sandpaper. I then cleaned and sanitized the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and high proof vodka. The finishing touches on the stem are two buffings, one with red tripoli and one with carnauba wax.

Bowl
The bowl got a good reaming and during the reaming I discovered some unevenness in the bottom of the bowl. I cleaned out the carbon dust, sanitized the bowl, and let it dry. To even up the bowl I used a professional grade bowl coating. I slightly topped the top of the bowl to remove blackening. I then cleaned and sanitized the shank which took quite a bit of scrubbing with high proof vodka due to a build up of tar. The bowl was finished with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

Here is the finished product!

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Thanks for looking!

Peterson Emerald Pipe Refurb

I had the chance to get my hands on this Peterson Emerald and clean it up for a friend. Check out the transformation!

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Stem
The stem received my routine love. I wet-sanded off the oxidation using 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit sandpaper. I then sanitized the inside of the stem and cleaned out any gunk that had made a home there. To finish the stem it received a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

Bowl
The bowl received a reaming to clean off layers of unnecessary carbon build-up. After reaming it, I discovered that there were a couple of inconsistencies in the wood. I decided to sanitize the inside of the bowl and then put in a professional grade bowl coating to even it out. I then lightly removed the blackening from the top of the bowl. After that I sanitized and cleaned the inside of the shank very thoroughly to remove all of the tar build-up. The shank ring received a shining with some steel wool. To finish it up, the bowl also received a buffing with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here are the results!

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Thanks for looking!

JC Newman El Baton Robusto Review

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The reason this review comes about is because a customer asked me to bring this cigar into my shop. I try to be as accommodating as possible for my customers when I have the shelf space. I brought in the El Baton Robusto and Belicoso. Both retail for $6.99 which I think is a good deal for an “everyday smoke”. I decided to give the robusto a whirl and here we are!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
The El Baton website does not give specifics about what type of tobacco from Nicaragua they use, just that it is from Nicaragua.

Appearance & Smell
This has a toothy, medium brown wrapper. It has some veins but the veins seem very fitting and not overbearing. The smell is earthy and a little oaky.

Smoke Preparation
I used a Xikar X1 to put a flat cut on the cigar. The cut was good and appears to have no construction problems.

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Burn & Draw
The lighting process was easy and the cigar seemed to take an immediate and even light. The draw was nice, not too easy and not too hard, just an easy medium. As the cigar went on, it did start to burn unevenly a bit. You can see the unevenness in the picture above. Then it even back out which you can see in the next pic.

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Strength & Body
Immediate impression is that it is a medium. As it goes on, it gains a little more strength. So medium plus at max. There was not a lot of complexity in terms of flavor variation and transitions. It was rather bland overall.

Final Thoughts
This cigar had good construction which is expected of anything coming from JC Newman. When it came to flavor and actually enjoying the smoke, it really wasn’t there for me. I found it to be bland and boring. Would I smoke it again and give it another chance? Yes. The notes of earthiness and oak weren’t bad but it got boring. I would be willing to give them another shot to see if my palate picks up something new. At an “everyday smoke” price, it’s well constructed and would be one that I could give out at any occasion and not feel bad about price or strength. Perhaps I will give it another chance soon!

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Sourced: Locally
Brand Information: El Baton Website

Peterson Tankard Pipe Refurbish

A friend sent me a Peterson Tankard that he had picked up. He asked me to make it shine like new again. So here are the before and after pics of the process! It’s hard to tell in the before pictures but there was a decent amount of oxidization that had occurred to the stem. I usually get better pictures than this so I’m sorry for the poor lighting/pictures. Trust me though, it really was an awesome refurb!

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Stem
Even with the flash on my camera, it’s hard to tell that there was quite a bit of oxidation that needed to be removed. I wet sanded the stem using 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The stem was then sanitized and cleaned on the inside. The stem is finished with a buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Bowl
This bad boy was pretty clean on the inside. There wasn’t a lot of carbonation that had to be removed. BUT the bowl had some serious ghosting, whatever tobacco that was smoked in this pipe before was very strong. So I reamed the bowl down and added a professional grade bowl coating after sanitation to help dispel any remaining ghosting (per request of my friend). The shank was then cleaned and sanitized as well. The metal ring was shined up with some fine steel wool. The bowl was finished with a quick buffing of red tripoli and carnauba wax.

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I’m sorry that the lighting isn’t that great in these pictures. The transformation really was awesome! My friend will receive his pipe back soon and I can’t wait for him to light it up. Thank you for reading about this refurb and let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

Nub Connecticut Review

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The Nub Connecticut is not new for me but it has been awhile since I smoked one. I decided that I wanted a morning smoke with my coffee. The shorter size of the Nub line lent itself to be a great option for starting the day off right! Here are my thoughts on this cigar!

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Country of Origin: Nicaragua

Appearance & Smell
The pre-light appearance is a smooth, tan wrapper that looks delicious. The pre-light smell has creaminess and some cedar notes.

Smoke Preparation
I used my Xikar Xi1 to put a flat cut on the very end of the cap. I also used my Xikar Enigma double torch to get the cigar lit.

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Burn & Draw
This had a great draw for a morning cigar. It was a little bit easier to pull through than I like my other cigars but it was nice to have an easy smoke in the morning. Burn stayed mostly even. You can see some slight unevenness in the picture above but it was never enough that I felt like I needed to touch it up,

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Strength & Body
I found this cigar to be mild to medium. The Connecticut wrapper keeps it like but the Nicaraguan filler has a little more strength to it. The flavor was great! It stayed pretty true to the pre-light smell, lots of creamy richness, cedar notes, and a little bit of nuttiness.

Final Thoughts
This is definitely a smoke I would have again as a morning cigar. It paired very well with my coffee, the draw was easy, the strength was never overwhelming. Overall, I found it to be a great way to start my day and I would definitely buy some more of these! I will note that this cigar might be a little more mellow than other Nub Connecticuts because it was in my humidor since 5-18-16.

Source: Purchased Locally

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