KBB Yello Bole Restoration

Blog by Al Jones (aka upshallfan)

This Yello Bole belongs to a pipe forum friend, Walt, who lives in Florida.  It is the first of that make to land on my work bench.

On examination of the pipe, it had some issues that took some thought and a little experimentation on how to resolve them.  Somehow in the pipe’s journey, the bottom and side of the pipe had been scuffed and scratched.  It was if someone had used some rough grade sandpaper or steel wool on the finish.  The top of the bowl top had some scorching and the stem had only a slight layer of oxidation.  Otherwise it was in excellent shape

Yellow-Bole_Before (1) Yellow-Bole_Before (3) Yellow-Bole_Before Yellow-Bole_Before (2)

At first, I thought the bowl would need to be stripped and restained.  I was preparing to soak the bowl in alcohol but wondered what effect buffing the pipe with Tripoli compound would do to the light surface scratching.  Tripoli is not a rouge that I use very often on pipes as it is too aggressive and sometimes can cause more damage than good.  (it is an important step when buffing metal).  At that point, I thought the Tripoli couldn’t make the issue any worse, as long as I stayed away from the nomenclature which was in great shape.  To my surprise, the Tripoli completely removed the scratching, without damaging the rest of the finish.

I used some worn 8000 grit paper on the bowl top to remove the scorching.  This method is also the least damaging to the finish.    There were a few dents and dings on the briar.  I used an iron and a wet cloth to minimize those marks but they would not raise completely.

There was  a slight discoloration in the briar where it was buffed with the Tripoli and micromesh.  I put on a coat of diluted “Medium Brown” Fieblings stain and let it dry.  That was then buffed to a shine with White Diamond and then several coats of Carnuba wax.  This gave the briar a nice luster without completely removing the patina (or exposing any fills as a restain might have done).

I removed the oxidation of the stem with some 800 grit paper, moving to 1500 and 2000 grades and finally 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets.  The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars plastic polish.  As I had not worked with a Yello Bole previously, I was pleased to find the inset stem logo to be quite durable, perhaps even more so than the Kaywoodie logo.

Here is the finished pipe.   Walt has received it in Florida and was also pleased with the results.

Yellow-Bole_After Yellow-Bole_After (3) Yellow-Bole_After (2) Yellow-Bole_After (5) Yello_Bole_After (6) Yello_Bole_After (7) Yellow-Bole_After (1) Yellow-Bole_After (4)




Breathing New Life into a Wally Frank De Luxe Saddle Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

I am slowly working my way through the gift box of pipes I received. The one that caught my eye next was a small Wally Frank De Luxe saddle billiard. The stem was not in too bad shape – just a bit of tooth chatter on the top and bottom of the stem along with a deep tooth mark on the underside near the button. It was lightly oxidized. The metal threaded tenon had a pressure fit metal stinger in place that was stuck. The stem was slightly overturned. The bowl was dirty – the finish spotty and damaged. There were scratches but they did not go deep in the briar. The rim had a thick build up of “lava” (tars and oils) that came out of the bowl and over the rim. The bowl was thickly caked. The left side of the shank was stamped WALLY FRANK over DE LUXE. On the saddle of the stem was worn and light stamping of what appears to be WF in a circle but the right side of the stamping is missing. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Imported Briar. The bottom of the bowl and the shank are flattened making the pipe a sitter.Wally1



Wally4 I took two close-up photos of the rim and the stamping on the left side of the shank to show the state of the pipe when I brought it to the work table.Wally5

Wally6 I unscrewed the stem from the shank and dripped alcohol on the stinger to loosen it from the tenon. Once it soaked a few moments I was able to carefully pull it out of the tenon. One side of the stinger insert was missing but it still fit in the tenon tightly.Wally7 With the stinger removed I heated the tenon with a lighter to soften the glue and correct the over turned stem. It did not take long to heat it enough to screw it into the shank and turn the stem on the tenon until it lined up correctly.Wally8 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working up to the head that would take the cake back to bare wood.Wally9

Wally10 With cake cleaned I scrubbed the rim with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the buildup of tars and oils. I was able to remove the majority of the overflow on the rim with elbow grease and persistence. There was some slight inner rim damage that would be easy to clean up with a light sanding. I also scrubbed the bowl with acetone on cotton pads and then with alcohol. It took off the grime and some of the mess but left the stain intact.Wally11 The shank was very dirty and the aluminum on the tenon, stinger and end of the mortise insert was oxidized. I scrubbed those with 0000 steel wool and then put the pipe back together in order to use the retort on it.Wally12 I set up the retort using a jar to lift the pipe up above the flame of the candle I used to heat the alcohol. I filled the test tube 2/3 of the way full with isopropyl alcohol and inserted the rubber stopper in it. I pulled the surgical tubing over the end of the stem and put a cotton ball loosely in the bowl. I heated the alcohol over the candle flame until it boiled through the shank and bowl. I changed the alcohol four times before I was able to get the shank clean and the alcohol coming out clean.Wally13


Wally15 Finally the shank and stem was clean. I removed the retort and ran pipe cleaners through the stem and shank. I used pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the leftover tar and oil from both. Finally they were clean and came out as white as they were when I put them into the shank and stem.
I decided to stain the bowl and rim with a oxblood stain. I applied it to the pipe with a cotton pad and then flamed it to set it in the grain. I reapplied it until I had the coverage I wanted with the colour.Wally16



Wally19 I set the bowl aside to dry for a while and worked on the stem. I sanded the tooth chatter and oxidation with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge. They were hard to remove so I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work on the tooth chatter and tooth mark on the underside of the stem. I had to use a small drop of clear super glue to fill the tooth mark. Once it dried I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and then began the work of polishing the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed it down between each set of three pads with Obsidian Oil before sanding with the next set of three pads.Wally20


Wally22 I put the stem back in the shank after sanding with the 12,000 grit pad and then buffed the pipe with White Diamond and Blue Diamond before giving the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I finished by buffing it with a soft flannel buff to raise a shine. The finished pipe is shown below. The new stain coat, the wax and the polished stem give it a new look and the cleaned interior a new life. This one should be a great smoker if the amount of cake and gunk I removed from the bowl and shank are any indication.Wally23










Sasieni Moorgate Rustic Restored

Blog entry by Al Jones

This Sasieni “Moorgate” shape in Rustic finish is the second pipe from the shop in Albany and part of the General Electric executives estate.  The nomenclature shows that the pipe is from the “Family Era” and made between 1946 and 1979.

The “Rustic” finish is a hand carved, rusticated finish done completely by hand.  This work must have been painstakingly slow with the carving following the briar grain lines.

The Moorgate shape is most typically seen with a saddle stem which adds an “S” designation after the shape name.  I also don’t usually see “Rustic” pipes with a polish bowl top, but that is a feature of every Moorgate shape I found in a Google search.

The pipe was smoked in the past, but there was still uncaked wood visible in the bowl.  The stem was nearly mint, with only some mild oxidation.

Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Before Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Before (1) 20150223_205814

I put a dab of grease on the dots and soaked the stem in a mild solution of Oxy-Clean.  I used 800 grit paper to remove the oxidation from the stem, which was more stubborn than it initially appeared.  I then used the 1500 and 2000 grade wet papers.  The next step was to finish with 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets.  The stem was then buffed lightly with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars plastic polish.  The Four Dots have a beautiful light blue sheen.   The bowl only required a hand polish with Halycon wax.

As I’m a fan of straight pipes or the Pot shape, I listed this one on Ebay and sold within 24 hours to a gentleman from Asia.  I suspect he will be very pleased with this Sasieni.

Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Finished Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Finished (3) Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Finished (2) Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Finished (4) Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Finished (5) Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Finished (1) Sasieni_Moorgate_Rustic_Finished (8)





GBD Tapestry 9438 K


I love the look John got on this pipe with the contrast stain. Great work.

Originally posted on reserectedpipes:

This is my latest eBay buy.

You can see that this is in need of more of a good cleaning than a reserection. The bowl is in good shape and the stem, while very oxidized, has no major dents or scrapes and the emblem is in good shape as well.

First up was to ream the bowl and give it an alcohol cleaning with pipe cleaners and Everclear. The stem I inspected and covered the logo with Vaseline to soak in an Oxyclean / water solution to loosen the oxidation. The next step was to immerse the bowl in isopropyl alcohol and let it soak for a couple of hours. When I took it out it went into a rice container to help dry it. The rice will pull out the moisture and dry it nicely. This is a trick electronics techs use when they get wet and you want…

View original 250 more words

Masking Fills in Briar Using Acrylic Paint

Blog by Troy Wilburn & Steve Laug

One of the things I love about rebornpipes is that I learn something not only in the refurbishing of the pipes that I do but also in the work of others who contribute here. I am always looking for innovative and untried by me ways to address issues in the pipes we refurbish.While reading Troy’s latest blog on refurbishing the Dr. Grabow Belvedere Apple there was one particular part of it that I wanted to highlight. Most of the steps he takes many of us use when working on estate pipes. But there was one step that was new to me – a different way in which he deals with fills to blend them or mask them into the finish of the pipe. I have found that for me when something like this is included in the ongoing text of a refurb it is easy to lose sight of and it is forgotten. I have never tried his method of masking the fills on the pipe using acrylic paint. I thought I would pull out the process he enumerated from his post and use his photos to show the step by step process that he employed. I wrote and asked Troy if I could do this and he gave his permission. With that all taken care of here is the process. The majority of the text is from Troy’s blog. I have added my comments to his or put them in parentheses following the text.

1. The fills are present in the pipe in hand and they are truly eyesores. I generally pick them out and refill them with my own dark mix or the pipe gets rusticated. But that is not Troy’s tact. He cleaned the surface of the bowl with isopropyl alcohol.Troy2

Troy3 2. The next steps are taken from his own description of the process in the original blog. Mineral oil is applied to highlight the damage to the bowl and the fills for examination.Troy7 3. I then took some acrylic paint from Walmart and mixed up a color that would help blend the fills in somewhat.Troy14

Troy15 4. I applied the blended paint to the fills using a small brush.Troy16
5. Once all the fills were covered by the paint I set the pipe on the heater for drying.

6. After the paint had dried I wet sanded the pipe again with mineral oil and 2500 grit sandpaper to blend out the paint. I sanded the paint very lightly though, as it does not take much to smooth it out. (In the photo below you can see lightly sanded fills. There were a lot of them on this bowl.)Troy18 7. I applied a couple of coats of wax to the bowl and shank and after that the fills don’t look too bad.Troy19 8. I buffed the finished pipe and though the fills are still present they are well blended into the surface of the bowl and shank. (The photos below show different views of the bowl and shank that match those shown above where the fills were very obvious.)Troy21






First Barling’s – “Special” 225 L

Blog entry by Al Jones

I struck British pipe gold at a shop in Albany NY a few nights ago.  They always have some decent estates and I try to stop by when I am working in the area.  On this visit, two pipes immediately caught my attention, this Barling’s and a Sasieni.  This is a “Special” grade,  Shape 225 in size “L” and my first Barling’s brand pipe.

One of the current authorities on Barling’s pipes is Jesse Silver.  Jesse co-authored the update to the Barling’s page on Pipepedia and participates on several pipe forums I frequent.  A few years ago, I learned to read everything he wrote about British pipes and saved quite a few of his threads for reference.  As soon as I saw the nomenclature, I knew this one was a winner.   I only occasionally encounter Barling’s pipes, but I’ve learned that bent pipes are rare.

The nomenclature reflects that this pipe is from the pre-Transition era.  It includes the “REGd 98046″ stamp on the stem, which was used from 1936 to 1949.    The “L” stamp indicates a Large sized pipe.  This one is about a Dunhill Group 3 and weights a svelte 29 grams.   The three digit shape stamp indicates the pipe was made for the US Market.

The shop owner told me that these pipes came from the estate of an executive at the nearby General Electric plant in Schenectady, NY.

Pipepedia referes to the “Special” grade as:


  • Ye Olde Wood Special (“Special” in script) – pipes with a nicer grain figure, often pipes with a combination of cross-graining and birdseye grain, and which were generally left natural or lightly stained, rather than stained dark.

The pipe was in terrific shape.  The stem had a slight layer of oxidation, but was free from any teeth marks.  Most importantly, the Barling’s cross was still visible in addition to the REDd number.  The nomenclature was mint.

Barling's_225_Special_Before Barling's_225_Special_Before (2) Barling's_225_Special_Before (3)


I soaked the bowl with sea salt and alcohol, but the pipe was so clean, I don’t think it was really necessary.

The stem was shined with 1500 and 2000 grit wet papers, than the 8000 and 1200 grade of micromesh sheets.  I was careful to stay away from the logo, which meant a slight bit of oxidation had to remain.   The flat section was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

The bowl was polished lightly with White Diamond rouge, again staying clear of the nomenclature.  Then, several coats of carnuba wax were applied.  I thought the bowl looked pretty good, but was surprised as to the depth of shine the White Diamond brought out.

Here is the finished pipe.

Barling's_225_Special_Finished Barling's_225_Special_Finished (3) Barling's_225_Special_Finished (4) Barling's_225_Special_Finished (9) Barling's_225_Special_Finished (6) Barling's_225_Special_Finished (5) Barling's_225_Special_Finished (7) Barling's_225_Special_Finished (8)




New Life for a Dr. Grabow Belvedere Apple

Blog by Troy Wilburn

I got this pipe from a friend on Facebook. He buys lots and sells pipes out of them. He sent me a message and said he had a decent Dr. Grabow Belvedere for $2.50 + $2.50 shipping. He stated it would clean up pretty good. I’ve known him for a while and have purchased a few pipes from him. I trust his judgment, so I told him to ship it to me. I didn’t even ask what shape number it was or finish. Heck for 5 bucks a good stem is worth that. That’s cheaper than a pack of smokes nowadays.

The next group of photos shows what the pipe was like when I got it. It has several fills and the back of rim is banged up. On a good note there are no cracks or such and the stem was in fine shape. It’s not the prettiest looking pipe, but it will make a fine smoker. With all the fills this will be a work horse pipe – a pipe I can keep in a tackle box, tool box, RV /camper, pickup truck glove box or just a for beating around outside when doing work. Because of the rook stinger this makes it an early Belvedere from around mid 1950’s.Troy1




Troy5 I took the bowl and gave it a good cleaning with Oxy Clean, a Scotch Brite pad and warm water. After that I cleaned out cake and shank with isopropyl alcohol.Troy6 I wiped down the bowl with mineral oil to get a good look at the damage.Troy7 Starting with 400 grit sandpaper I worked over the major damage on the bowl and slowly working it out with 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 2000 grit sandpaper. Then I used 2500 grit sandpaper over the whole pipe. I used mineral oil as a lubricant for the wet/dry paper instead of water.Troy8



Troy11 I set the pipe on a space heater to dry the oil out so I could work on the fills.Troy12 I scrubbed and cleaned the stem inside and out after a soak in isopropyl and then Oxy Clean. The stem wasn’t that bad. After using a shank brush on it I found that it only needed a few cleaners.Troy13 I then took some paint and mixed up a color that would help blend the fills in somewhat. It was just plain old acrylic paint from Walmart.Troy14

Troy15 I applied it on fills of course using a small brush.Troy16 I then set the pipe back on heater for drying. While it was drying I wet sanded stem with 400 grit sandpaper on up to 2500 grit sandpaper, just like I had done with the bowl. I also cleaned the stinger and male threads with steel wool.Troy17 After bowl dried I wet sanded the pipe again with mineral oil and 2500 grit sandpaper to blend out the paint. I sanded very lightly though, as it does not take much.Troy18 The fills don’t look too bad after a couple of coats of wax.Troy19 Here are some photos of the completed pipe.Troy20











Troy31 For a few bucks a little time and elbow grease I got me a fine daily smoker and work pipe that will last a long time and smoke great.

Ready for those “honey do” projects.Troy32