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Oddball 9438 – Legacy


By Al Jones
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I have a number of GBD 9438’s in my collection and that is probably my most favorite shape. I thought that I had seen all of the different grades and finishes, but this Legacy model is a first. The Legacy finish is one of the lower grades. The Pipepedia site has the description of the Legacy, from the 1976 catalog as:

Legacy — England, unknown if also made in France: Oiled finish, matt “take off” stain, roughened rim, carved worm hole finish. Military style turned stem. -catalog ( 1976 )

At 60 grams, the weight is average for a 9438 but it is easily the longest 9438 in my collection.

The brass rondell and straight line “London, England” stamping identify as being made prior to the merger with Comoy’s in 1982 (or 1981). The pipe had some teeth marks on the stem, but the briar looked nearly new. The pipe was delivered with some mild cake and there were some small teeth indentions on the bottom of the stem.

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I reamed the bowl and gave it a light buff with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax. The stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-Clean solution, with a dab of grease on the rondell. I used the Stew-Mac black super glue product and accelerator to fill the teeth marks on the bottom of the stem and one small nibble on the top button ride. Those areas were sanded smooth with 800 grade paper, followed by 1,000 and 2,000 grade paper. During this process, the rondell fell off, a first for me. I used a tiny drop of the black superglue to set it back in place. Once dried, the stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

As shown in the “before” photos, the military style stem was not seated fully against the shank. After cleaning the interior of the shank, the stem was able to seat fully.

Below is the finished pipe.

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Savory’s Argyll 608 Stand-Up Restoration


By Al Jones
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This is the second Savory’s Agryll to cross my bench in the past few months. This one, stamped as shape 608, caught my eye as it looked in great shape and the stand-up feature was interesting. Savory’s is known as a Dunhill 2nd’s line but not much else is written about the brand. The pipe was a little dirty had a mildly oxidized stem. Other than that, it looked like an easy restoration.

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I put a dab of grease over the stem logo and soaked it in a mild-Oxyclean solution. Unfortunately, the logo paint came right off. It appeared to have just been painted on, with no impression. The briar had only a very mild cake, which was reamed and the pipe soaked with alcohol and sea salt.

The stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 800, 1,000 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper. Next up was 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. I hand waxed the bowl with Halycon II wax.

Below is the finished pipe (which nicely passes a cleaner, despite the bend).

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Comoy’s 109 Tradition Restored


By Al Jones

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This Comoy’s was seemingly star-crossed. After two round trips to the US from Portugal, it finally made it to my mailbox on the 3rd mailing. I’d just about given up hope but after getting the pipe in hand, however it was worth the effort. The 109 shape is definitely a classic British billiard, with the nice feature of being a “sitter”. The 3 piece “C” logo and circular Country of Manufactur mark meant that the pipe was made before the merger of 1981.

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The stem was mildy oxidized with only minor teeth marks. The briar had a few dings around the bowl and a little rash on the back of the bowl. I contemplated stripping the finish and making a superglue and briar dust repair to the bowl, but I wasn’t confident that I could replicate the finish and patina of the pipe. So, I chose a less evasive process.

The bowl was reamed and I found it to be in excellent condition. The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. While the bowl was soaking, I put a dab of grease on the stem and soaked it in a mild Oxy-Clean solution.

The stem was mounted and the outer layer of oxidation was removed with 800 grade wet paper, followed by 1,000 and 2,000 grades. Next up was 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

The build-up on the bowl top was removed with a damp cloth and then a piece of 8,000 grade micromesh. I smoothed the area of rash with some 2,000 grade paper and then an 8,000 micromesh sheet. The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. The area of rash blended in nicely. Tradition grade Comoy’s usually have a nice, deep luster to the bowl finish and I’m glad that I decided to not strip and refinish this one.

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A 1940’s Brigham Churchwarden for the Collection


This is the first Brigham Churchwarden I have ever seen. Charles did his usual great job. Thought I would share it with you all!

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Happy New Year, everyone! It has taken me a bit longer than anticipated to get rolling on restorations and other posts for 2017. Surgery just before Christmas and renovations to my pipe room throughout December have delayed such endeavours until now, but I’m finally able to get back in the saddle and I’m itching to share a fresh pile of estate pipes that has been building since November!

For this first post of 2017 I’ve selected a pipe I acquired over the Holidays. It’s both very familiar and compellingly unique for me – familiar because it’s a Brigham pipe; unique because it is a factory churchwarden! Here it is as listed on eBay:

Brigham CW 1 Never having seen a Brigham churchwarden (nor any reference to one’s availability) before, I was somewhat skeptical going into this.  Could it be genuine or was the long stem more likely an aftermarket modification?

A few questions to…

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Pinehurst Bakelite Zeppelin


Blog by Steve Laug

pine1aOne of the most unusual and unique pipes that my brother sent in this box of pipes was a pipe that was stamped PINEHURST in gold on the left side of the barrel. What made it unusual is not the fact that it was a Zeppelin or cigar type pipe but that it is made out of Bakelite. When I took it apart there is a diamond shape with a capital P stamped on the inside. The stem is vulcanite with a long tenon that fits into a mortise that is beveled inward. There is an aluminum nose cone with a single hole in the middle and in the Bakelite just below the cone are two parallel holes – one on each side. The Bakelite body of the pipe was scratched and the finish was dull. There were tooth marks on the top and bottom side of the stem and there some dried glue on the top of the stem near what would have been the shank. From what I can find out on the internet the pipe was made in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s. My brother took the following photos of the pipe before he cleaned it. The first two give a clear picture of the pipe as a whole.pinea1 pinebThe next two show the oxidized aluminum nosecone and the stamping on the left shank side of the pipe.pinec pinedThe next three photos show the pipe taken apart. It is dirty but not too bad for a pipe of this age.pinee pinegThe last two photos show what the stem looked like when he received it in Idaho.pinehI was unfamiliar with the Pinehurst brand so I did some research to see what I could find out. I looked first to see if there was any information on Pipephil’s website. I have included the link if you wish to read the article he has in full in his section on odd pipes. It is written in French and is worth a read. http://www.pipephil.eu/oddpipes/pipcig/pinehurst.html#markings

I am quoting a translated portion from that page pinpointing the information regarding the name: Pinehurst is the name of a city in Texas (USA). This stamping can take various forms and sometimes it is omitted. One possibility is put forward from looking at the logo that accompanies the stamp of some models. Inside the pipe there is a P in a sort of diamond shape that is characteristic of pipes made by Reiss-Prime Corp. called the “Premier”.

There was not much more information on the web other than lots of discussions on the forums about the brand and almost all linked it to the previous site. However, I did find a listing on etsy for a Pinehurst pipe where the seller included some helpful information on the pipe that was being sold. Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/243904288/1932-pinehurst-bakelite-zeppelin-torpedo. I quote the first two sentences of the description because the pipe in my hand perfectly matches the one that he is selling. Very RARE 1st generation 1932 Pinehurst Bakelite Zeppelin Torpedo – Estate Cigar Pipe. This…unique smoking pipe is in incredible near mint condition. Age Circa: Early 1930’s.

When I received the pipe from my brother he had cleaned the pipe thoroughly. He had cleaned the exterior of the pipe and the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap and rinsed it under running water. He had cleaned out the inside so that there were no tars or oils remaining. The aluminum nose cone and centre portion of the pipe which had a male aluminum threaded tenon that screwed into the female Bakelite thread portion were lightly oxidized but not damaged. He cleaned out the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. The stem had tooth marks and chatter on both the top and the bottom sides near the button. There was also some dried glue on the top of the stem. When my brother sent it to me I had not bothered to look at it. I did not take the time to look at it. Today when I was talking with him he said it was not briar and that he was a little disappointed. I took the pipe out of the box and looked it over – it was made out of Bakelite. There was no need to be disappointed as it was an old timer. I took the following photos when I brought it to the work table today.pine1 pine2The inside of the two parts of the barrel were very clean. There was no debris of tars and oils inside either half. When I took it apart I found some unique features of the Pinehurst Bakelite Zeppelin. In the stem half of the barrel there was a spring wire holding a clay filter disk in the shank. When I removed the spring wire I was also able to remove the clay disk filter. Behind the clay filter there was a rim that held it above three holes at the base – one on each side of the centre larger hole. The combination of the clay filter system and the gap between the end of the airway and the filter acted as a trap to cool the smoke before it is drawn into the mouth. The smoke was drawn from the front portion of the bowl around the clay filter where the moisture that could cause bite in the smoke dissipated on the disk. From there it was drawn through the four V-shaped openings in the clay disk into small gap between disk and the three air holes in the base where it was further cooled. The twice cooled smoke was then drawn into the mouthpiece and out the slot into the mouth of the smoker. It is almost like the chamber in a reverse calabash pipe of today or the cool smoking gourd calabash of time past.pineaThe outside of the two parts were dirty but the fit was perfect – no damage at the joint and the threads fit perfectly together. The threads on the inside of the Bakelite and those on the aluminum portion were in perfect condition. Once they were cleaned they fit together without any separation.pine3 pine5I took photos of the stem to show the condition it was in once it arrived. There was tooth chatter on the top and underside that can be seen in the next two photos. There was also some wear on the top and underside of the button itself. The mark in the first photo below that looks like a scar on the topside is dried glue – it was hard on the surface and sticky underneath.pine4I twisted the stem out of the shank of the Bakelite and was pleased to see that the there was no damage to the tenon. There was an inner bevel on the end of the Bakelite portion that made the stem and shank to fit snugly together.pine6The Bakelite was in perfect condition. There were no cracks or broken spots. I polished the Bakelite and the aluminum with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a wet cotton pad to remove the dust from sanding it.pine8 pine9 pine9aI sanded the tooth marks and chatter off both sides of the stem and the glue from the topside of the stem with 180 and 220 grit sandpaper. I cleaned up the top and underside of the button and the lines of the stem sides.pine10I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads and after the final set gave it a last coat of oil. I set it aside to dry.pine11 pine12 pine13I buffed the Pinehurst Zeppelin with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish more of the scratches out of the Bakelite and to shine the vulcanite. I gave the entire pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to give it a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The Bakelite has a rich shine and you can see the varied colours of browns and black in the finished pipe. The aluminum shines with all scratching and oxidation removed. The stem looks new with a rich black polish to it. Overall the pipe is a beauty and from what I can find online it is a bit of a rarity. So I think my brother has no need to feel disappointed in this old timer from the 1930s as it has a rich heritage and if it could talk a long and interesting story to tell of its journeys to this point in 2017. Thanks for looking.pine14 pine15 pine16 pine17 pine18 pine19 pine20 pine21

 

Love the shape of this Savinelli Classica 904KS Horn


Blog by Steve Laug

I have been cleaning up and restoring quite a few pipes over the holidays. I have had some free time and needed the space to relax and pipe refurbishing has always done that for me. Tomorrow I go back to the normal work week and then do some more traveling so my pipe work time will slow down considerably. I am hoping to finish a couple of more pipes this afternoon but we shall see. My brother picked up another interesting pipe for me to work on. The box he sent me before Christmas had a lot of unique and interesting pipes. This one is no exception to the pipes he sent me. I would call the shape of this Savinelli pipe a horn. It is a sandblast version that had a dirty finish and some overflow of cake and darkening on the rim. The pipe is stamped on a smooth part of the underside of the shank. It reads Savinelli in an oval over Classica. Next to that is the Savinelli S in a shield and next to that it is stamped 904KS over Italy. The stem is oxidized and there are tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button. There is a crown logo stamped on the left side of the saddle shank. My brother took photos of the pipe when it arrived in Idaho Falls and before he cleaned it. The first four photos show the overall condition of the pipe.  class1class2He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim. Note the light cake in the bowl and the tars and oils built up on the back side of the rim top. The crevices of the sandblast are filled in but the inner and outer edge of the bowl look to be in good condition.class3The next three close up photos, show the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is clear and readable. The S shield and the Italy stamp are the most hard to read but they are still readable. The fourth photo shows the gold crown on the side of the stem is also very clear.class4 class5The last two photos he sent to me show the tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button. The oxidation is light but in the curves of the saddle they are darker.class6My brother scrubbed the exterior of the pipe and stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap and rinsed it with running water. He scrubbed the rim top to remove the oils and tars from the grooves and crevices. He reamed the bowl, cleaned out the inside of the shank, mortise and airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. When I received the pipe in Vancouver I took photos of what it looked like. The oxidation came to the surface of the stem and the finish looked washed out.class7 class8I took a close up of the rim top and the bowl. The bowl was very clean and my brother had been able to clean up the crevices in the sandblast. The stain was worn on the sides and top of the rim.class9I took close up photos of the stem. There are some dents in the top edge of the button and along the sharp edge of the button. There were tooth marks on both sides of the stem and some tooth chatter.class10I started the restoration process by working on the bowl. I wiped it down with alcohol and cotton pads to remove and dirt or grime. After it was cleaned off I restained it with brown aniline stain, flamed it and repeated the process until the coverage and colour were even and what I was looking for on this particular blast.class11 class12When the finish was dry I lightly buffed it with a shoe brush. I took photos of the bowl after the staining.class13 class14I hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax and buffed it harder with a shoe brush. I was able to raise the shine on the bowl and it was beginning to look better and better.class15 class16I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the remainder of the stem at the same time to break up the oxidation. I was careful around the crown logo on the stem side. While the gold stamp was light the stamping itself was deep in the vulcanite and would be easy to restore once the stem was clean.class17I decided to scrub the stem with the Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and pipe stem polish starting with gritty DeniCare polish and then using Before & After’s Fine and Extra Fine Stem polish. While it cut through the oxidation on the flat and round portion of the stem it did not work as well in the curves of the saddle. I took photos of the stem after spending about an hour scrubbing the stem with the polishes. You can see the shadows of oxidation that still needed to be dealt with.class18 class19I used Rub’n Buff European Gold to rework the stamping in the crown on the side of the stem.class20I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the last set of pads I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.class21 class22 class23I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I gave the bowl another coat of Conservator’s Wax and buffed the bowl and stem with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a great looking pipe that has a lot of life in it. It should be a good addition to someone’s rack and provide years of good smokes. Thanks for looking.class24 class25 class26 class27 class28 class29 class30 class31 class32

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Blatter “Select” Gift


By Al Jones

This pipe showed up in my mail the day after Christmas. It turns out that a friend in Canada, Pat Russell, knew that the shape would appeal to me. He sent it down the the U.S. along with Christmas greetings, a very nice surprise! I had read about the famous Blatter & Blatter shop in Montreal many times on the PipesMagazine forum and on several Reborn Pipes blog entries by Steve. However, until this point, I had never seen one of their pipes first hand.

The pipe was in wonderful shape and quite large at 70 grams. There was some very mild oxidation and small teeth marks on the red dot stem. The bowl top had some darkening around the rim. The stem is a chair-leg style, similar to a GBD.

The stamping is still a bit of a mystery. Steve has previously posted the history of the Blatter & Blatter shop, but not much else is written about their pipes, grades, nomenclature, etc. This one is stamped “Select” and has a signature stamp for Robert Blatter. It appears that Robert Blatter may now be retired from the shop. It also has a number and dash stamped on one panel. If anyone knows the significance of the number sequence, please let me know.

From a PipesMagazine forum entry, one member wrote this about the Select stamping:

The interest, among their creations, is their Sélect line. You can’t miss them as the pipes are stamped “Sélect”. Very fine quality briar plateaux are used to create them and, obviously, the ebonite is of much better quality.

I’m a big fan of the Canadian rock band “Rush” and my wife had given me a copy of the 40th anniversary edition of their album “2112”. I thought it was appropriate to listen to it in my workshop as I worked on my first Canadian pipe.

Here’s the pipe after touching up the bowl top and polishing the stem. Thanks for your thoughtful gift Pat!

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