Daily Archives: August 31, 2014

Giving New Life to a Kaywoodie Connoissuer Dublin Shape 45C

This is the third old-timer I received in my gift box from Jim. It is stamped Kaywoodie over Connoissuer on the left side of the shank and 45C on the right side near the bowl. It was in rough shape. The finish was gone and the bowl was almost black with grit and grime. There were places on the sides and bottom of the bowl that had black spots of a sticky, oily substance. The rim was heavily caked and damaged as well. There were rough outer edges on the rim on the back right side and the front as well. The bowl was badly caked and appeared to be out of round from reaming with a knife. The stem was in pretty decent shape however. There was a buildup of calcium on the end of the stem about ½ inch from the button forward but there was only minimal tooth chatter and no deep bite marks. The stem even fit correctly and was not over turned in the shank.IMG_1710 IMG_1711 IMG_1712 IMG_1713 IMG_1714 I looked up an old Kaywoodie shape chart to make sure the shape number 45C was indeed a Dublin, in fact a Large Dublin. I found it in the second column, third entry down that column in the chart below. I think that the name is quite relative as the size is not that large and would easily be a group 3 sized bowl in Dunhill terms. I also found that the Connoisseur line was the top of the line (at least in this chart of pipes). Read the notes on the bottom of the page, the last line that shows a price of $27.50 – the highest priced KW on this chart. Kaywoodie_shapes70_71 When I removed the stem the stinger was black with buildup but was not damaged. It only had two holes in it, a flattened head rather than a ball and a space on the top of the stinger where the air went through. This was obviously a pre-Drinkless stinger. IMG_1715 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and used a dental pick to clean out some of the scale around the edges of the airway. IMG_1716 IMG_1717 I started with the smallest reaming head and worked up to one approximately the size of the bowl. I wanted to try to minimize the rim damage and bring the bowl back to as close to round as possible with the reamer. IMG_1718 The amount of damage to the edges of the outer rim and the broken spots on the inner rim required that I top the bowl. I set up a topping board and 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the top of the bowl. I press the bowl into the sandpaper, taking care to keep the rim flat against the board so as not to slant the top of the bowl. I worked it until the top was clean and the outer edge was sharp once again. The second photo shows the topped rim and the damage down to the roundness of the bowl inner edge. It was going to take some work to work this back to round as much as possible. IMG_1719 IMG_1720 I sanded the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to even it out and give it more of a round shape once again. I wiped the bowl down with acetone on cotton balls to remove the grime on the finish. I decided against using the oil soap this time around as the finish was basically gone any way so the acetone would make short work of removing the finish. I scrubbed it longer and harder than I expected to remove the grime. The next series of photos show the bowl after scrubbing. There was some nice grain under the blackness. IMG_1721 IMG_1722 IMG_1723 I sanded the bowl and the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and also with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge and fine grit sanding block to further clean things up on the surface of the bowl and stem. IMG_1724 IMG_1725 IMG_1726 The photo below shows the bowl after the work on the inner edge of the rim. It certainly has come a long way from the beat up inner edge pictured above. IMG_1727 IMG_1728 I dropped the bowl into the alcohol bath to soak out some more of the grime from the briar. I turned my attention to the stem. I cleaned up the stinger with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton balls until the aluminum shined once again. I continued to sand the stem with the medium and fine grit sanding sponges to remove the surface scratching. I cleaned out the area around the slot with a dental pick and finally after many pipe cleaners was satisfied with the cleanness of the internals of the stem. IMG_1729 I sanded the stems with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stems down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. I buffed the stem with White Diamond and polished it with a coat of carnauba wax to raise a shine. IMG_8249 IMG_8250 IMG_8252 I took the bowl out of the alcohol bath and dried it off with a cotton cloth. I sanded it lightly with a fine grit sanding sponge to remove the last of the grit and grime softened by the bath. The bowl is shown in the photo below. It is cleaned and ready for staining. IMG_8253 There were two areas that were dark on the bowl – the left side midbowl toward the front and the right side midbowl toward the back. I cleaned and stained the bowl with some Danish Oil and walnut stain and in the dark spots two small minor cracks showed up. At this point the cracks are not visible in the inside walls of the bowl. They may well be there and not seen in the darkening of the interior walls. Once the oil dried I exposed the two cracks with a dental pick to make them accessible. I then used superglue and briar dust to repair the cracks. I overfilled them with the glue and briar dust to ensure that the repair is solid and would have no pits in the surface once I sanded them. I sanded the repairs with a well used piece of 220 grit sandpaper and followed that with a fine grit sanding sponge and 1500-2400 micromesh sanding pads.IMG_1730 IMG_1731 I wiped the sanded bowl down and then gave it a coat of Danish Oil with Walnut stain to touch up the repairs and the entire bowl. IMG_1732 IMG_1733 IMG_1735 IMG_1734
When the pipe was dry I buffed it with White Diamond and polished the bowl and stem. I gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect and give it a shine. I buffed it with a soft flannel buff. The pipe is finished. It has come a long way from the pipe that I started with when I took it from the box. The repairs, though visible look pretty good. I expect them to hold for a long time and provide a quality smoke in an old Kaywoodie for whoever ends up with this old pipe. It is cleaned and ready for the next pipeman. IMG_1741 IMG_1742 IMG_1743 IMG_1744

One I had not seen before: Anabaso Genuine Meerschaum Absorbent Smoking Filters

I received a gift box of pipe bowls today and in the box was this little package of filters. It has a price tag of .25 for 10 filters. Someone had penciled in $1 under the .25 on the tag. The front is printed Anabaso in a globe over Standard Size. Next to that it reads Imported from Vienna, Austria over Genuine Meerschaum Absorbent Smoking Filters. Underneath it reads No Chemicals – Only Pure Meerschaum. Underneath all of the above it reads Pure absorbent Meerschaum is the oldest and best filtering material in the world. IMG_1670 On the back side of the box it reads: Made in Austria in a circle in the left corner. Next to that it reads as follows: these Genuine Meerschaum Absorbent Smoking Filters are a natural filter made from genuine imported Meerschaum they not only filter out tars and impurities but add a pleasant meerschaum flavor to this smoke the same as fine meerschaum pipes. Each filter is good for 30 smokes. Change the filter when it turns dark brown. In a band on the bottom of the backside it reads for Pipes, Cigar and Cigarette Holders. The last line reads U.S. Agents – Holland-Dutch Pipe Co., New York, N.Y. IMG_1671 Inside was a sliding tray. On each end it is printed 10 Filters. The tray holds 10 plastic filters. The clear plastic tube is filled with meerschaum chips with a blue plastic cap on the top. The cap and the tube both have two have moon openings for the smoke to flow through. The meerschaum chips collect the tars and the imperfections. IMG_1672 This is a great piece of Tobacciana that I had not seen before. In the back of my mind I vaguely remembered the Holland-Dutch Pipe Co. But I could not quite connect it with what they had made. I did some digging online to try to identify the Holland-Dutch Pipe Co. of New York and found a link to Theodorus Niemeijer Holland Dutch Pipe Co. NY. This was the company that made and imported Flying Dutchman Tobacco and the various blends of Sail Tobacco into the US. I have smoked quite a few of their blends over the years and have enjoyed them all at various times in my journey with the pipe. $T2eC16NHJIYFHNr7trBOBS!je0DN9Q~~60_57 $(KGrHqZHJBYFHyTwqIb7BSDuDu5nNg~~60_57

Restoring an Old BBK Hunter Pipe

In the box of pipe bowls that I received was a complete sitter with a silver shank band and windcap. Upon looking at the side of the bowl I could see that it was stamped Swiss Made and on the side of the shank it was stamped BBK. The finish was sandblasted and well done. The stain was either a dark brown or a black. The cap was in good shape. Under the cap the silver rim trim was also blackened and tarry. The end cap/band on the shank was also silver and quite nice. Inside the cap was blackened and the bowl was caked with a crumbly aromatic smelling cake. The inside of the shank was black with tars and oils and the stem was very tight in the shank. The stem was clean of tooth marks and dents but was badly oxidized. On the front of the bowl was a carved/pressed stag climbing the bowl. There were nails holding the top rim cap and the stag emblem on the briar. On the back of the rim cap was a small silver ring where a chain had obviously been sometime along the way. It was missing as was the place on the stem where it attached to the stem. I have seen these before on German-made pipes as a means of keeping the stem and bowl together.
IMG_8233 IMG_8234 IMG_8236 IMG_8237 IMG_8238
I have cleaned up several BBK pipes over the years. The last one was a square shank panel billiard that I have written about previously on the blog https://rebornpipes.com/2012/09/21/refurb-on-a-bbk-panel-billiard-swiss-made/. I had never done much research on the maker or the meaning of the BBK initials. I knew that it was a Swiss made brand as the shanks of all the pipes I had cleaned up and restored were stamped with that moniker. I did not however have any idea of the history of the brand. This time I decided to do a bit of digging and see what I could find out about the pipemaker. IMG_8245 I checked one of my usual sources of information, Pipedia and found that there was actually quite a bit of helpful information to be found there. http://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Bru-Bu. I have copied, edited and summarized that material below. I find the information quite fascinating to read and gives me more appreciation for the pipes themselves.

“Josef Brunner, oldest son of the farmer Konstantin Brunner from the hamlet Nieder-Huggerwald, belonging to the community of Kleinlützel (Canton Solothurn), was sent in 1871 to a pipe turner in Winkel/Alsace for his apprenticeship. As was usual at that time, Brunner wandered as a journeyman after ending the apprenticeship. Eventually, he went to Saint-Claude, France which was then the world’s stronghold of briar pipe manufacturing. There, Brunner was able to increase and deepen his knowledge in the field of industrial pipe making. When he returned home in 1878, he installed a small turner’s workshop in the house of his father. With the energetic support of his two younger brothers, he began to produce tobacco pipes of his own calculation, taking them to the markets in the surrounding area. In 1893, Bernhard Brunner’s wife inherited the mill in Kleinlützel. At this point, the pipe fabrication was transferred to an annex belonging to the mill. Now it was possible to drive the machines by water power – an important relief to the workers and a considerable innovation compared to the previous pedal-driven system.

On the Pipedia site they also had some photos of a catalogue from BBK that was interesting. They note that it was an early catalog and came to them courtesy of Guido Brunner, Josef Brunner’s grandson.” Unbenannt Unbenannt2 Unbenannt3

Also on the Pipedia site was a photo of a pipe that was very similar to the one I have but obviously older. The stem on mine is not horn but is rather a hand cut vulcanite that makes it much newer in age than the one below. However the shank cap, the rim cap, the Double Deckel wind cap (pictured on the last page of the above catalogue are the same. The one I have is also missing the chain from the cap to the stem but the finish and everything else about the pipe below is parallel to the one I worked on. It was interesting to see how they attached the chain to the stem. That gave me an idea on how to attach a new chain to the one that I have. The stem on this one however made me question whether the one that I had was an original or some newer replacement stem. More digging would be required to know whether my stem was original or not. BBK_9 A bit more digging revealed one for sale on EBay that had the exact same stem as the one I have. It also was missing the chain and the shape and top cap was slightly different but the stem was identical. Now I knew that the one I had was at least original. BBK Further information was found on the Pipedia site that spoke of the growth of the company. “The production was boosted, and business developed pleasantly. A new factory building was realized by 1896. Corresponding to another demand, a department producing walking sticks was added in 1900. The pipes from Kleinlützel were well appreciated and received many awards, e.g., a gold medal for outstanding craftsmanship at the National Swiss Fair in Bern in 1914.

The business developed so well after the turn of the century that even a lack of workers in Kleinlützel occurred. The problem was solved by founding a subsidiary company in the small nearby town Laufen an der Birs in the Canton of Bern. This plant didn’t exist too long. The disastrous economic crisis in the 1920’s and early 1930’s forced the Brunner family to restrict the fabrication of pipes dramatically. In addition the big French pipe factories in Saint-Claude – although suffering from the same circumstances – flooded the Swiss market with pipes at prices that couldn’t be matched by Swiss producers. By 1931 ca. 150 of 180 Brunner employees had been sacked – the rest remained in Kleinlützel, where the cheap electric energy ensured a meager survival.

In 1932, Mr. Buhofer joined the Brunner family. The company was named Brunner-Buhofer-Kompagnie, and, shortly thereafter, Bru-Bu. Buhofer had made his fortune in the United States but, homesick, returned to Switzerland to search for a new challenge.

Bru-Bu’s fabrication program was expanded with many handcrafted wooden art articles: carved family coats of arms, bread plates, fruit scarves, and – more and more – souvenir articles for the expanding Swiss tourism industry. Pipes remained in the program continuously, but the offerings changed from traditional Swiss pipes to the more standard European shaped pipes. Bru Bu is widely known as BBK.”

One further point of interest to me was found in the last paragraph of the Pipedia article linking BBK pipes to Former Nielsen. I have two of Former’s pipes so this stood out to me.

“At some point in the late 1970’s, Bru-Bu went out of business. Some of the Brunners, as far as known, continued as timber traders. But in 1986 new life filled the old Bru-Bu pipe workshop, when Dr. Horst Wiethüchter and “Former” Nielsen started to produce the high-grade Bentley pipes there.”

I am not sure why it works this way but once I have some background information on a pipe I move into cleaning and restoring it with more gusto. It seems to energize me knowing a little about the company or individual who carved the pipe I am working on at the moment. I took the next two photos show the inside of the lid and the front of the bowl before I started cleaning up the pipe. The tars and oils on the inside of the lid were rock hard did not come off with scrubbing with alcohol or oil soap. Instead it would take more work to remove it. IMG_1685 IMG_1686 I reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer (also Swiss Made by the way) to remove the cake buildup around the inside of the rim. Once the bowl was clean and smooth I wiped it out with cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. IMG_1690 IMG_1691 I scrubbed the briar with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and then wiped it off with a cotton pad. The finish was in great shape under the grime and once polished with a soft cloth and Halcyon II wax it had a rich glow to the sandblast. I wiped down the silver with a silver polishing cloth and the tarnish on the rim cap, the shank cap, wind cap and stag emblem came off very easily and the silver shone. IMG_1692 IMG_1694 IMG_1693 I scrubbed the inside of the windcap and the rim with 0000 steel wool to remove the tars and oils that had hardened on the surface of the caps and the inside of the windcap. It came off easily and then I polished with the silver polishing cloth. IMG_1695 I cleaned out the inside of the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. The tars that came out of the shank were black and thick. It took quite a few swabs before the shank and sump area were clean and the cotton was still white after I ran it through the shank. IMG_1696

IMG_1697 The stem had been soaking in Oxy Clean while I worked on the bowl. I removed it from the bath and dried it off. The oxidation had softened significantly and I was able to see the black of the vulcanite show through the brown oxidation. IMG_1698 I scrubbed the stem with Meguiar’s Scratch X2.0 and once dry wiped it off to see how much more of the oxidation had been removed. The second photo shows the stem after I had wiped off the polish. There was still a lot of work to do on this stem. IMG_1699 IMG_1700 I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and then with medium and fine grit sanding sponges to remove more of the surface oxidation. It took some careful sanding but the oxidation was finally coming off and the stem was moving toward the place where I would sand it with micromesh sanding pads. IMG_1701 I buffed the stem with red Tripoli and White Diamond before sanding with the micromesh pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. I buffed the stem with White Diamond and then rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil one last time. I buffed it with carnauba wax and then a soft flannel buffing pad to raise the shine. IMG_1702 IMG_1703 IMG_1704 I gave the silver caps a final polish with the silver polishing cloth, buffed the pipe by hand with a shoe brush and then took the final photos below. The finished pipe is ready to load a bowl and fire up its inaugural smoke. I still have to do a hunt for a piece of chain to connect the cap to the stem and make a strap or connector to hold it to the stem. IMG_1705 IMG_1706 IMG_1707 IMG_1708 IMG_1709