Breathing New Life into a GBD Oom Paul 235


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a group of pipes that we purchased from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. It is a beautiful darkly stained Oom Paul pipe with a tapered vulcanite bent stem. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads GBD in an oval logo [over] Oom Paul. On the right side of the shank it reads London, England over the shape number 235. The dark stain hides the grain around the bowl. The finish had a lot of grime ground into it. The bowl was moderately caked and there was a light lava coat on the top and the inner edge of the rim. The edges looked to be in excellent condition. The stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There was a brass GBD roundel on the left side of the taper stem. The pipe showed promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.    He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the condition of the rim top and beveled inner edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like.      He took photos of the stamping on the shank and the stem. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe and bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. The rim top and inner edge of the rim looked very good. The stem surface looked very good with some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.    I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is a taper stem. It has a small stinger in place. I removed the stinger as it is short and loose in the tenon.   I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol and cotton pads to make the stain more transparent and make the grain more visible.    I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth between each sanding pad. The pipe was in such good condition that started by rubbing it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.    I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This GBD Oom Paul 235 Dark Stained Briar Pipe with a full bent taper vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The brass GBD Logo is inlaid in the left side of the taper stem and looks very good. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad which real brings the shine out with the wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished GBD Dark Stained Oom Paul fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 63gr/2.22oz. I will be adding it to the British Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Birth for a Paul Fischer Meerschaum Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a group of pipes that we purchased from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. Between us we pick up quite a few pipes for restoration. I try to work them into the restoration queue so that I can keep them moving. This next one is a cased Meerschaum. The case is stamped on the inside and reads Paul Fischer Genuine Block Meerschaum. The stamping on the satin lining was readable and clear. The exterior of the cardboard case was covered in a marbled brown vinyl and in worn condition with just a few nicks around the edges. The meerschaum was dirty but underneath the grime was a nicely developing patina on the smooth bowl. The bowl was caked and filled with tobacco as if it was laid down mid smoke. There was a light overflowing lava coat on the back side of the rimtop. The edges looked to be in good condition. The amber coloured acrylic stem was dirty and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There were also scratches in the surface of the stem. It did not have any identifying stamps. The alignment and fit to the shank is very good. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started the cleanup work. He took a photo of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see the half smoked bowl of tobacco that is left in chamber. You can also see the lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the nicks, scratching, chatter and tooth marks.  Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the meerschaum looked like around the pipe. The finish is showing some patina developing around the bowl. He unscrewed the stem from the shank to show the inset threaded metal tenon in the shank end.I turned to Pipedia and looked up the information on the site (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Fisher). I quote from there.

From Pipes, Artisans and Trademarks, by José Manuel Lopes’ – Paul Fischer was a well-known Austrian meerschaum pipe artisan who settled in downtown Manhattan, New York, and took American citizenship. Symbol: F. See Ed Burak who worked with Paul for 6 years in the 1960s.

On Smokingpipes.com there was a Paul Fischer meerschaum for sale and Bear Graves did the write up (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/italy/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=52153). I have included it below for the information it gives.

I know that it’s not all that often that we see a carved meerschaum in the American estate section, but there was a time when Turkey had little issue with exporting the material, nor carvers from other countries working with the same. Paul Fischer made meerschaums for Kaywoodie and (if memory serves) Ed Burak did some work for Mr. Fisher, early in his career.

Paresh Deshpande did some work on a Kaywoodie Meerschaum and included some helpful information on dating this pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/kaywoodie-meerschaum-pipes/). I include the pertinent section below.

Kaywoodie Block Meerschaums were made from 1938 to the mid 1960’s. The meerschaum pipe business by Kaywoodie was revitalized when Paul Fischer was hired and emigrated from Austria to run the meerschaum pipe department. Kaywoodie meerschaums were available in earlier years but not as prominently as when Paul Fischer came on board. He left in 1960 to make meerschaums under his own name. We continued to make them for several years after he left until we could no longer import meerschaum from Turkey”. (http://www.brothersofbriar.com/t21079-kaywoodie-block-meerschaum)

Given that information I knew that the pipe was made by Paul Fischer and Austrian immigrant to the US. When he first came he worked for Kaywoodie and then in 1960 left to make pipes under his own name. So I know that the pipe I am working on is at least made after 1960.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He carefully cleaned out the unsmoked and smoked tobacco and reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the stem with the Murphy’s Oil Soap and rinsed it under running water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It looked pretty good.  The bowl and rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed from the back rim top. The edges looked very good and there was slight darkening on the back top side. The stem surface had some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.      I took the stem off the pipe and took a photo of the pipe as a whole. You can get a clear picture of the pipe from the photo below.  I polished the bowl and shank with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads and wiping it down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and debris.   Even though this was a meerschaum pipe I have learned that Before & After Restoration Balm works really well on it as well. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the meerschaum. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.     It was time to wax the meerschaum now. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with a coat of Clapham’s Beeswax Polish. I heated the meerschaum and worked it into the surface of the bowl, shank and rim. I let the wax sit for a little while and then buffed with a clean buffing wheel to raise the shine and bring a shine to meerschaum. It is a nice looking pipe.  I polished the amber acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This smooth Block Meerschaum Bent Billiard, carved by Paul Fischer with an amber coloured acrylic taper stem is a great looking pipe. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Paul Fischer Meerschaum Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 48gr/1.66oz. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly in the Meerschaum Pipes – CALABASHES, SMOOTH & FIGURALS. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Breathing New Life into a Peterson of Dublin Kinsale XL13 Straight Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a group of pipes that we purchased from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. It is a beautiful rusticated Peterson’s Bulldog pipe with a tapered vulcanite stem. The pipe is stamped on the left underside of the shank and reads Peterson [arched over] of Dublin [over] Kinsale. That is followed by the shape number XL13. This is a nice piece of briar with interesting grain showing through the rustication all the way around the bowl. The finish had a lot of grime ground into it. The bowl was moderately caked and there was a lava coat on the top and the inner edge of the rim. The edges looked okay but we would know more after the cleanup. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There was a gold stylized Peterson “P” on the top left side of the diamond shaped taper stem. The pipe showed promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.   He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the condition of the rim top and beveled inner edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification and chatter and tooth marks.    Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the rusticated briar around the pipe looked like. He took photos of the stamping on the shank and the stem. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I am including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included some information on Kinsale pipes. Kinsale pipes are based on the Sherlock Holmes Collection, a quality larger briar. All shapes are available in either a smooth burnt orange or rustic finish. They have either a Peterson Lip or a Fishtail mouthpiece. I found the following Kinsale Shape Chart on the site (https://pipedia.org/images/e/e3/Kinsale.jpg). I have boxed the XL13 with red.I turned to the Peterson Pipe book by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg and could find nothing in the index. I wrote Mark for help locating the brand in the book and he wrote back that what I needed was on Page 306, toward the bottom of the middle column. Sure enough it was there. Essentially it confirmed what I have already included above with the addition of the details about the brass band and nickel inlay. It also stated that the pipe originally came out in 1997. Mark mentioned that as far as he knew it was more or less discontinued and he had not seen a new one since 2015. Thanks Mark. That gave me some parameters for the age of the pipe – made between 1997-2015. I was closer to a date and probably as close as I was going to get with this one.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe and bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. The rim top and inner edge of the rim looked very good with a bit of damage on the inner bevel of the rim surface. The stem surface looked very good with some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.     I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is a fancy saddle version. The pipe was in such good condition that started by rubbing it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.     I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.    This Peterson of Dublin Kinsale Straight XL13 Bulldog with a diamond shaped vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The brass shank adornment with the inlaid silver piece in the center looks very good. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad which real brings the shine out with the wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson of Dublin XL13 Bulldog fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 54gr/1.90oz. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Don Style Billiard with Vulcanite Military Bit Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is another mystery pipe for Jeff and me. It does not have any stamping on the bowl heel or on the shank. Jeff thinks he may have picked it up in Montana but it not certain. The pipe is a classic billiard shaped pipe with a bit of a cant forward. It could well be someone’s repair on a broken shank but there is something about it that makes me think it was originally made this way. There was a lot of grime ground into the finish on the briar. The bowl was moderately caked and the rim top had a light overflow of lava on the top and edges of the bowl. The rim top and the inside edge showed some damage. The stem was a straight military stem with a metal fitment on the bowl end. It was dirty and lightly oxidized. It had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge. It was small billiard shaped bowl with a pencil style military stem and it had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl. You can see the cake in the bowl as well as the lava and the damage on the rim top and edges. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the light oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks.   Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. There is some great grain under the grime coat on the bowl sides. I turned to work on the pipe itself.  Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime and all of the peeling varnish coat. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work.   The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top and outer edge of the bowl show some darkening and damage. There was damage to the inner edge and it was rough. The stem surface looked very good with a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I forgot to take pictures of the areas on the stem that were damaged before I filled them in with super glue but you can see the general condition even with the repairs.  I started my work on the pipe by addressing some of the damage to the rim top edges. I topped the rim on a topping board with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I also flattened the area where the stem inserted into the bowl as it was damaged.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled the deep tooth marks next to the button with clear super glue. Once the glue cured I flattened it out with a file to blend it into the stem surface.  I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to further blend them into the stem surface. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Billiard Shaped Bowl on a Don Style Pipe is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored and the stem reshaped. The grain around the bowl is quite beautiful and works well with both the shape and the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Don Style Billiard is another pipe that fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 16g/.60oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the Metal and Other Types of Pipe Section shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Don Style Brandy with Vulcanite Military Bit Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a bit of a mystery pipe for Jeff and me. It does not have any stamping on the bowl heel or on the shank. The stem was seriously over bent to the point of being impossible to smoke. The pipe is a classic Brandy shaped pipe with peeling varnish around the bowl sides and rim top. There was a lot of grime ground into the finish on the briar. The bowl was moderately caked with tobacco debris in the bowl. The rim top had a light overflow of lava on the top and edges of the bowl. The inside edges looked to be in good condition. The stem was dirty and lightly oxidized. It had casting marks on both sides of the stem. It had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge. There was some light oxidation on the stem surface. It was a large apple shaped bowl with a pencil style military stem and it had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and tobacco debris as well as the lava and the peeling varnish on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the casting marks on the side of the stem, the light oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks.    Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. There is some great grain under the peeling varnish coat on the bowl sides. I turned to work on the pipe itself.  Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime and all of the peeling varnish coat. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work.   The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top and outer edge of the bowl look very good. There were still bits of varnish on the rim top. The stem surface looked very good with a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.    I cleaned up the rim top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I scrubbed the bowl with alcohol and a cotton pad to remove the remaining finish on the bowl.   The bowl had been over reamed and there was a dip/pit in the bottom of the bowl that made the bottom seem quite thin. I mixed a batch of JB Weld and applied it to the dip in the bowl bottom with a folded pipe cleaner. I set it aside to allow the repair to cure.   I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad.    I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The over bent stem needed to be addressed. I took photos of the stem as it looked when I received it. I painted the vulcanite with a lighter flame to soften it. Once it was pliable I straightened it out leaving a slight bend in the to match the flow of the bowl.One the stem was straightened out I sanded out the casting marks on the sides and the tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button.  I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Don Style pipe with a Brandy Shaped Bowl is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored and the stem reshaped. The grain around the bowl is quite beautiful and works well with both the shape and the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Don Style Brandy is another pipe that fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 25g/.88oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the Metal and Other Types of Pipe Section shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Chunky Rusticated Champion Giant ¾ Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a fellow in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. The pipe is a classic Chunky rusticated Bent Billiard shaped pipe with an interesting rustication around the bowl and shank. It is a match in style to the large chunky Billiard I just finished. The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the left side of the shank and reads Champion [over] Giant. On the top of the shank next to the stem it is stamped FRANCE and on the underside of the shank it is stamped next to the stem/shank junction and reads ALGERIAN BRIAR. There were three small dots in a row on the left side of the bent saddle stem. There was a lot of grime ground into the rusticated finish on the briar. The bowl was moderately caked with tobacco debris in the bowl. The rim top had an overflow of lava on the filling in the rustication and the inner edge of the rim. The inside edges looked to be in good condition. The stem was dirty and lightly oxidized. It had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge. There was some light oxidation on the stem surface. It was a large, chunky pipe and it had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and tobacco debris as well as the lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the light oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks.    Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. The rustication pattern around the bowl is unique and interesting. It is a really tight pattern. The stamping on the left side of the shank and shank ends are clear and readable and read as noted above. I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c8.html) to get a quick view of the Champion Brand. I had worked on several of the brand in the past but could not remember anything about the brand. Turns out it is Swiss Made and the three dots on the left side of the stem in the first picture below match the one I am working on. The issue from me is that it is stamped France on the band around shank end. That leaves me with a question mark.    Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself.  Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work. The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top and outer edge of the bowl look very good. There was some debris in the rim top. The stem surface looked very good with a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.     The stamping on underside of the shank is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The wide taper stem is nice and the photo shows the stinger in the tenon.I cleaned up the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush. I scrubbed off the top of the rim with the brush and was able to remove the tars and lava in the rustication on the rim.   The bowl was in excellent condition so started by rubbing the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I pulled the pressure fit stinger out of the tenon. I would leave it out to improve the airflow in the pipe.I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Champion Giant Algerian Briar French Made Rusticated Chunky Bent Billiard is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The style of rustication that is used around the bowl is quite beautiful and works well with both the shape and the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Champion Chunky Bent Billiard is another pipe that fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 80g/2.79oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the French Pipe Makers Section shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Chunky Rusticated Champion Giant Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a fellow in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. The pipe is a classic Chunky rusticated Billiard shaped pipe with an interesting rustication around the bowl and shank. The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and reads Champion [over] Giant. On the top of the shank next to the stem it is stamped FRANCE and on the underside of the shank it is stamped next to the stem/shank junction and reads ALGERIAN BRIAR. There were three small dots in a row on the left side of the taper stem. There was a lot of grime ground into the rusticated finish on the briar. The bowl was heavily caked with tobacco debris in the bowl. The rim top had an overflow of lava on the filling in the rustication and the inner edge of the rim. The inside edges looked to be in good condition. The stem was dirty and lightly oxidized. It had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge. There was some light oxidation on the stem surface. It was a large, chunky pipe and it had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and tobacco debris as well as the lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the light oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks.   Jeff took photos of the side and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. The rustication pattern around the bowl is unique and interesting. It is a really tight pattern. The stamping on the underside of the shank and shank ends are clear and readable and read as noted above.   I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c8.html) to get a quick view of the Champion Brand. I had worked on several of the brand in the past but could not remember anything about the brand. Turns out it is Swiss Made and the three dots on the left side of the stem in the first picture below match the one I am working on. The issue from me is that it is stamped France on the band around shank end. That leaves me with a question mark.Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself.  Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work. The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top and outer edge of the bowl look very good. The inner edge has some damage on the front of the bowl. The stem surface looked very good with a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.     The stamping on underside of the shank is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The wide taper stem is nice and the photo shows the inner tube in the tenon.I cleaned up the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush. I scrubbed off the top of the rim with the brush and was able to remove the tars and lava in the rustication on the rim.   The bowl was in excellent condition so started by rubbing the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The rustication came alive. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and marks ahead of the button with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Champion Giant Algerian Briar French Made Rusticated Chunky Billiard is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The style of rustication that is used around the bowl is quite beautiful and works well with both the shape and the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Champion Chunky Billiard is another pipe that fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 83g/2.93oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store in the French Pipe Makers Section shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Jobey Asti Classic 470 Bent Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is one that came to us from a pipe hunt along the Oregon Coast, USA. It is a nice looking bent pot shaped pipe with a mixed finish. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Jobey over Asti. On the right side it reads France [over] the shape number 470. The vulcanite saddle stem bears an inlaid brass Jobey oval. The pipe has an interesting mixed finish – smooth upper portion of the bowl and shank is smooth and nicely grained while the bottom of the bowl and shank have a tight dark rusticated finish. The finish is fairly clean so the grain stands out well. It has a shiny top coat of varnish which makes the finish look good on both halves of the bowl. There was a light cake in the bowl and some spots of lava onto the rim top. There were some nicks on the outer edge of the rim and the top itself but none were too bad. The stem was lightly oxidized and it had some shallow tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem was screwed onto the shank with the Jobey Link system which was in excellent condition. I took some photos of the pipe before I did any clean up.    I took photos of the rim top and the stem. The photo of the rim top shows the cake in the bowl and the light lava on the top as well as the nicks in the flat top of the rim. The stem photos show light oxidation and some tooth chatter and tooth marks.   I took photos of the stamping on the right and left side of the shank. The stamping is clear and reads as noted above.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts to give an idea of the flow and form of the pipe. It is a nice looking bent Pot. I reread several of the blogs I have written on the brand in the past restorations of Jobey pipes and decided to include the material on the brand before I write about the cleanup of the pipe. Here is the link to the blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/04/03/restoring-jennifers-dads-jobey-asti-245-pot/). I quote:

I turned to Pipephil’s site for a quick review of the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-j3.html). I quote a section of the post on the Jobey brand: These pipes are made in St Claude (France) by Butz-Choquin (Berrod-Regad group) since 1987. Before this date some were manufactured in England and Denmark (Jobey Dansk).

I turned then to Pipedia to gather further information regarding the brand and quote the first part of the article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey).

English – American – Danish – French… Sadly, solid information about Jobey is scant…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as is known the following companies have been involved with the brand:

George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)

Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)

Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)

Hollco International, New York (1969).

Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)

The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […] Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel.   I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the damaged inner edge of the rim. I cleaned up the edge and removed the damaged briar on that portion of the bowl. Once I finished it looked much better than when I started.  With the externals cleaned I moved onto the shank. I scrubbed the internals of the shank and mortise, the vulcanite stem and the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I worked on them until they were clean.     I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad.     I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the rustication on the underside of the bowl and shank and the smooth portion of the bowl and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks and chatter and blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.    I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.      Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the Jobey Asti Classic Pot back together and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. It is a light weight pipe that could be clenched and smoked while doing other things. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 58grams/2.01oz. This one will soon be on the rebornpipes online store. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Comoy’s Sandblast Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

This Comoy’s Sandblast, Shape 5, immediately caught my eye, despite not having the original stem.  I’ve handled many Comoy’s Sandblast pipes, and this one, without a doubt, has the most rugged blast I’ve ever seen on a Comoy’s.  I made a modest offer to the seller and it was heading my way.  I was surprised to find the replacement stem to be of a very high quality, which was only heavily oxidized.  The bowl top has a lot of build-up and a mild cake.

Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used a worn piece of Scotchbrite to remove the bowl top buildup, and my reamer kit to remove the cake. The bowl was in excellent condition. 

The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.  The stem was then mounted and oxidation removed with 600/800/1000/1500 and 2000 grit wet sandpaper. Next up was 8000 and 12000 micromesh sheets.  The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I gave the bowl a “wash” using a heavily diluted Fieblings Medium Brown stain.  The bowl was then waxed by hand with Halycon wax. 

Below is the finished pipe.

Breathing Life into a Custombilt Imported Briar English Squat Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from an online auction in 2018 from Frisco, Texas, USA. The pipe is a classic Custombilt piece – a rusticated squat English Bulldog shaped pipe with some nice grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Custombilt [over] Imported Briar. On the underside of the shank on the left it is stamped next to the stem/shank junction with the shape number 17. There was a lot of grime ground into the smooth and rusticated portions of the finish on the briar. The bowl was heavily caked with tobacco debris in the bowl. The rim top had an overflow of lava on the smooth rim top and inner edge of the rim. The inside edges looked to be in good condition. The stem was dirty and lightly oxidized. It had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge. There were not markings or a logo on the saddle stem. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and tobacco debris as well as the light lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the light oxidation and the chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the side and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. The rustication pattern around the bowl is instantly recognizable as done by Custombilt. The stamping on the left topside and left underside of the shank is clear and readable and read as noted above.   I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c8.html) to get a quick view of the brand once again. I knew that I was working with one of the older pipes and probably made by Tracy Mincer himself. He stopped making the Custom-Bilt pipes in the early 1950s. The screen capture I included below shows a brief history of the brand. I quote from the side bar in the above screen capture and have highlighted in red the pertinent part of the article.

Chunky bowls with rough carving or gouges.

Tracy Mincer stopped making Custom-Bilt pipes in the early 1950s. The trademark was successively bought by Leonard Rodgers (1953), Consolidated Cigars (1968) and Wally Frank Co. (early 1970s). The later began to produce again his version of the pipe in 1974 or 1975 at Weber pipe factory (NJ). In 1987, the pipes were made out of the Butz-Choquin factory (France) and then Mexico until the late 1990s. Currently (2010), the Custombilt name is owned by Tobacalera of Spain which is part of Altadis.

It is generally admitted (but not proved) pipes stamped “Custom – Bilt” (with the hyphen) are from the Mincer era. The name might have changed from Custom-Bilt to Custombilt (without the hyphen) in 1946.

I turned to Pipedia and found the following advertisement for the Custombilt line that I am working on (https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Custombilt_Shapes.jpg). The logo on the advertisement is the same and the shape I have circled in red in the advert below is the same shape number as the one that I am working on.  The majority of the information on the rest of the site was two book reviews of the Custom-Bilt Story by Bill Unger. I did a screen capture of the stamping that matched the stamping on the pipe that I am working on. In the early 1970s, Wally Frank Co. bought the Custombilt trademark and began to produce their version of the pipe in 1974 or 1975. Hollco Rohr owned the Weber pipe factory, located in New Jersey, and produced the Custombilt pipes there.

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself.  Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work. The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top and outer edge of the bowl look very good. The inner edge has some damage on the front of the bowl. The stem surface looked very good with a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.    The stamping on top left of the shank is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The wide saddle stem is nice and the photo shows the step down tenon.I cleaned up the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage. Once I had smoothed out the edge the bowl was ready.   I polished the smooth briar around outside of the bowl and the rim top with micromesh sanding pads. I sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust.  The bowl was in excellent condition so started by rubbing the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive.  I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Custombilt Imported Briar Squat English Bulldog is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The style of rustication that is used around the bowl is quite beautiful and works well with both the shape and the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Custombilt Bulldog is another pipe that fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 48g/1.69oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!