Pipe repairmen perform many tasks for their customers, but few match the satisfaction of saving a fine old pipe that’s been so neglected that many smokers would discard it. The key is knowing the difference between abuse and neglect. While there is some crossover—some types of neglect can indeed cause damage—often a pipe is structurally fine “underneath” its rough appearance.This is the kind of thing I aspire to, but with my limited skill and knowledge it will be a long time before I can even pretend to approach this level of professionalism.
I highly recommend reading this article by a professional pipe restorer, complete with photographs documenting the process, of restoring a badly neglected pipe to its original, like new condition.
The Wally Frank Cavalier -- From Basket Estate to Centerpiece.