The PETE GEEK Mugs are here! See end of post for details.
A Peterson Patent NAP Reproduction
by Fletch Hiner
As a collector of pipes and lover of all things obscure and esoteric, I’ve long lusted after a Peterson System with a NAP stem. I decided I would try to make one myself, but having never actually handled an authentic NAP all I had to go on was pictures of them. I located a picture of a small billiard owned by Gary Malmberg online, I printed off and blew up a few pictures of the bit to work backwards from.
Amber stem NAP owned by Gary Malmberg
With my photo model in hand, I set about selecting a pipe to crown with a fresh NAP stem, I knew I wanted to use a System Standard and the older the better. But not being in the habit of removing good stems from Pre-Republic pipes I felt I should find one without a stem. An opportunity presented itself through some horse trading and pipe repair work with another Pete enthusiast, a grimy but overall good condition Pre-Republic (block COM) 12 System Standard 3, sans bit. While the pipe was filthy and well loved it did not show any outward signs of damage and looked to be a good candidate for a new stem.
Estate fresh System Standard 3 smooth 12
I went to work on the stummel in my usual fashion, first giving the pipe an initial salt/alcohol treatment. Then removing the lava and reaming. The amount of gunk in the well proved to be quite a monumental task but after about an hour of scrapping and de-gunking I had it sufficiently clean for its second salt/alcohol treatment to be repeated until no tar was found in the salt, this eventually took 4 soaks.
Future NAP pipe soaking alongside a Stanwell, two Dan Pipes, and PR Shamrock 936
The nickel band on the 12 was quite loose and incredibly filthy, I removed, pickled, polished, and epoxied back in place before continuing with the rest of the restoration. Once the stummel was clean, polished, and ready to go it was time to start on the stem.
I selected a piece of orange amber acrylic sourced from Vermont Freehand for my Amber NAP replica. I drilled the stock with a standard Peterson System tapered bore using a series of drill bits and tapered reamers. I then established the tenon extension before cutting the army mount to fit the pipe. Once the stem blank was prepared I drilled the NAP cross bore at the bit.
NAP blank fitted to pipe and ready for shaping, blue tape to establish button face.
Before shaping the stem, I had to form the reliefs on either side of the button that make up the outer limits of the NAP cross bore. This was done with a small round needle file. Once this was done, I shaped the profile of the stem with my 1” belt grinder. I cut the slot by hand with a very thin fine toothed hand saw.
Rough profile established.
Rough profile side view.
With the rough profile of the stem complete I started working on creating the shape of the NAP button itself. This was done with a specialty knife edge hand file and a divider to layout the lines.
NAP Button rough shaped
With the initial button shaping complete I started refining the shape of both the button and stem with sandpaper and a sanding stick.
Once this was complete, I polished and bent the stem to shape using the Peterson 1896 catalog reissued by the proprietor of this blog Mark Irwin as a guide.
Polished & Bent stem.
Below the 12 pictured:
I’m really pleased with the way this turned out but have made some notes as to things I will do differently the next time. I’m quite surprised at how well the pipe smokes, it’s an absolute pleasure. The button is not near as fragile as I had initially thought it would be, its quite robust.
Until next time Pete Geeks, keep it smokey.
THE 2024 IPSD (International Peterson [Pipe] Smoking Day CPG EVENT:
La Belle et la Bête / The Beauty and the Beast
Thanks to Martin Scwartz, CPG, for reminding me it’s time for the annual IPSD Pete Geek Challenge. This year’s theme was suggested by another Pete Geek (also one of the greats in the hobby), Mark Berman. In sharing photos of a NAP House Pipe recently, the remark was made that it was “a Beast!” as in not only a large pipe but a great smoking pipe. La Belle et la Bête, as I’m sure you recall, was a French fairy tale written by the French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve way back in 1740. I have to admit I’ve always enjoyed the 1991 Disney animated feature as well, but whether fairy tale or film appeals, there is surely in your rotation both a Pete “Beauty” and a “Beast.”
To enter this year’s challenge and take away the Coveted Certified Pete Geek certificate or a new IPSD Merit Badge:
* Send a photo of two your Petes, one “Beauty” and one “Beast.”
* Send no more than a 500 word description defining your terms: what do you mean by one of the pipes being a “beauty”? The other a “beast”?
* Your submission must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Monday the 19th at 12 noon Central Time.
THE PETE GEEK MUGS ARE HERE!
Ramsey in Forest Green w/ Sunlight Glaze (top left); Ramsey in black (top right);
Tall Belly in black (bottom left); Tall Belly in Forest Green w/ Sunlight Glaze (bottom right).
FedEx brought 5 boxes of Pete Geek mugs to the doorstep yesterday, just in time to be photographed for this morning’s post. As I hope you’ll agree, these turned out every bit as incredible as we hoped they would. Deneen Pottery is simply the best at this kind of thing. We spent a good half-hour just marveling at the differentiation between one mug and the next, as the hand-dipped glaze on the Forest Green mugs and the application of the medallions on black and green alike creates infinite variety.
We’re boxing the mugs up for shipping over the next few days, per Deneen’s meticulous packing directions. When your order is ready, Gigi will send you a PayPal invoice–look for it as soon as Wednesday, but maybe not until Thursday. Once paid, Your Humble Shipping Clerk will transport them to USPS (for US orders) or UPS (overseas). If you don’t receive an invoice by Friday morning, be sure to check your spam or junk folder, as the invoice may have be sent there.
There should be a few extra mugs left over. If you’re interested, drop me a line.