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!

Dunhill Pipe Refurb

I have had the opportunity to work on a couple different Dunhills and they are always a pleasure to work on. Before you think to yourself, “Well of course it is because of the prestige and the price tag! It’s really more about the reasons that Dunhill maintains the prestige and such a high price tag: Quality materials and craftsmanship. I can tell the difference in vulcanite stems that I work on and overtime I touch a Dunhill, I can feel the quality. Well, this refurb was for a friend and I hope you enjoy the before-and-after pics and he enjoys the smoke. Cheers!

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Stem
The stem just needed a good cleaning with oxidation removal. I wet-sanded the stem with the grits of 500, 1000, and 1200. The stem was then sanitized and cleaned in the airway. The finishing touches were a buffing of both red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Bowl
I reamed the bowl and was surprised to find the first mistake I had ever seen in a Dunhill! When drilling the shank into the bowl, they slightly over-drilled and went a little bit into the far side of the bowl. It wasn’t by any means a large drill mark but when being smoked, it created a bigger “hole” if you will. I don’t usually like to bowl coat Dunhills but I did on this one. After the reaming, sanitizing, and cleaning, I put in a professional grade bowl coating to help prevent that imperfection from getting worse or spreading. I then worked on getting some of the grime off the top of the bowl without hurting the rustication. I used a lot of q-tips and vodka. The shank was also cleaned and sanitized. The finishing touches were again buffing with both red tripoli and carnauba wax. Man! That really made the silver shank band shine!

Here is the finished product:

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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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Golden Grain Pipe Refurb

This was another pipe that came to me in a lot of estate pipes. It’s a beautiful little Golden Grain. The grain in the bowl was gorgeous, so I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on the stem to make the whole pipe stand out again. Here are the before pictures:

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Stem
The stem had some fairly heavy oxidation, so I wet-sanded it with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. The tooth marks were shallow enough that they came out with the oxidation removal. The stem was finished up with a buffing of red tripoli and a buffing of carnauba wax.

Bowl
I reamed the char/layers out of the bowl and sanitized it with vodka. The vodka helped to clean out the extra carbon and dust. The shank received the same vodka cleaning with q-tips as well. The top of the bowl had some buildup, so I topped it by dry-sanding with 500 grit, 1000 grit, and 1200 grit. Then I re-stained the top to match the rest of the bowl. The bowl was also buffed with red tripoli and carnauba wax.

Here are the after pics!

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Thanks for looking!