Daily Archives: November 7, 2013

Royal Falcon Full Bent – Comoy’s Shape 17


I purchased the Royal Falcon along with a Merchant Service pipe from an Ebay lot for a good price. They both looked quite good in the photos provided by the seller below. I was not familiar with the brand so I did some research on it and found that it was a Comoy’s line. The numbering and stamping on the right side of the shank were identical to Comoy’s stamping.
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The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank, Royal over Falcon as pictured below. On the right side it is stamped Made in London in a Circle over England. Next to that is stamped shape number 17 which is a Comoy’s number. In checking on Pipephil’s site on logos and stampings it is clear that the pipe is definitely a Comoy’s brand. The stem has the same logo as Phil shows on his site (second photo below). The pipe I picked up is exactly the same pipe that Phil shows in his logo list (third photo below).
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When the pipe arrived I took the following four photos to give an idea of the condition of the pipe. The finish on the bowl was in excellent shape. The rim was not as good. The bowl itself was gouged inside and the cake had been gouged away with what looked to be a nail. It would need to be reamed and sanded. The bowl was also out of round slightly. The outer edge of the rim toward the right front had a burn that damaged that part of the bowl. On the left back side the rim was dented and chipped from hitting the bowl against something. I would need to address the rim and the inner bowl damage when I worked on the pipe. The stem was in good shape but the white in the logo was gone. The underside of the stem had a gouge in it that at first glance looked like a breakthrough from a pipe cleaner (apparent as a white spot on the stem in the fourth photo below). Under a lens the gouge did not go all the way through the stem and would be easily repaired. The button and the exterior were in good shape with no bite marks or tooth dents. The tenon while dirty and tarry was nonetheless in good shape as well. It was a step down tenon like that used on Comoy’s pipes.
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I reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer to try to smooth out the gouges that were on the inside of the bowl. I took back the cake to the bare wood to minimize the deep gouges. They still were evident after removing the cake but they were definitely less intrusive. I sanded the inside of the bowl to further smooth out the deep marks and to rework the out of round bowl and inner rim.
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There was a burn mark on the outer rim right side toward the front of the bowl that damaged the outer roundness of the rim. It is visible in the poor photo below (first photo). There was also damage and chipping to the outer rim on the left side toward the back (second photo below). I could have ignored these in my restoration of the pipe and left them as marks of age but I decided against that given the relative good condition of the remainder of the bowl. It would need to be carefully topped and restained to match the rest of the bowl.
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I set up my sanding board and topped the bowl. The next series of photos show the process of topping and after the first turn on the board the burn and roughening damage are more evident.
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After topping the bowl I sanded it with a medium grit sanding sponge and then progressively sanded it with 1500-3600 grit micromesh sanding pads to smooth out the scratches from the topping process. After the surface was smooth I restained it with a dark brown aniline stain that I mixed with two parts isopropyl alcohol until it matched the colour of the bowl. I applied the stain, flamed it and repeated the process until the depth of the colour matched the remainder of the bowl. It took 5 or 6 applications of the stain until I was satisfied with the colour match.
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I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. The underside of the stem had a white spot that is visible midstem in the photo below. This spot was actually a gouge or divot. I was unsure whether it went into the airway on the stem. I have seen this kind of thing on pipes with this kind of bend in the stem. It can be caused by the pipe cleaner rubbing through the vulcanite at the bend on either the top or the bottom side of the stem. In this case it did not go all the way into the airway.
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I cleaned it out with Everclear both internally and externally. I picked the white material from the divot and cleaned it a second time with alcohol. I used a small drop of superglue to fill the divot and then sanded it with a medium grit sanding sponge until it was smooth and even.
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Once the stem was cleaned and only needing polishing, I used a correction/white out pen to refill the stamping on the logo. I have found that this works very well. I apply the white out with the pen tip and then let it dry before sanding with a micromesh sanding pad to remove the excess of the filler. I then sanded the entire stem with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 to polish the vulcanite. When I had finished sanding it I rubbed down the stem with Obsidian Oil and then buffed it with White Diamond.
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The final four photos show the finished pipe. I buffed the pipe and stem lightly with White Diamond and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax to polish it. The restain of the top is visible in the third photo. The colour is a pretty good match to the bowl and I was able to redeem the out of round inner rim with the sanding and staining. It is ready to smoke.
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