Monthly Archives: October 2014

Kaywoodie Supergrain Churchwarden (Shape 95)

Blog by Al Jones

I’ve never owned or smoked a Churchwarden style pipe.  Last year I added finding the right one to my pipe wish list.  When I started investigating vintage Kaywoodie options, I learned they are somewhat rare and that I would face some fierce competition.  I had just about given up hope on finding one and I did a generic search on Ebay for a Churchwarden pipe.  I thought that it would be necessary to settle for Savinelli or Peterson.  To my surprise, in the middle of my 100+ pipe search list, was this Kaywoodie Churchwarden, complete with box and bag.   I had somehow missed this pipe on my daily Ebay search results.

The pictures show some promise, but the bowl top had seen some abuse.  I didn’t know at the time if the pipe had the stinger intact.  I won the auction and waited in anticipation for the pipe.  When it was delivered, I was pleasantly surprised as the stem and briar looked to be in terrific condition.  And the icing on the cake was an intact 4-hole “Drinkless” stamped sting with a small ball.    The pipe is just under 12 inches long and weighs a svelte 32 grams.   Cleaning the briar and stem was a little nerve wracking as I didn’t want to damage the fragile looking pieces.

After the pipe was delivered, I exchanged some communication with the seller.  I learned that original owner was the Great uncle of the sellers wife.  His name was Harvey Shue and he was from Spring Grove Pennsylvania. Harvey worked for the PH Gladfelter Paper Mill. He passed in 1971 at the age of 64. His wife Florence held on to the pipes. Florence passed away in 1996 and the family found 50 pipes in a dresser drawer from their home.  It’s pretty rare to find out the history of a pipe.  Now I know a little bit about this one.  Harvey lived pretty close to where my brother currently lives in Pennsylvania.

This is the pipe as it was delivered.  The box is in great shape and a literature piece was also included.  The stem only had light oxidation and the nomenclature was like new.

Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Before Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Before (1) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Before (2) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Before (4) Kaywoodie_95_Supergrain_4-Stinger (1) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Before (3) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Before (7)

I used some alcohol to remove the build up from the threads on the stem fitment.  This allowed the stem to fully seat in the correct position.  I reamed the bowl, which still had some remnants of tobacco inside.  The bowl was then soaked with some alcohol and sea salt.  A little Mag & Aluminum auto metal polish took the rest of the oxidation off the stinger.  This one has the smaller ball and no Registration number, a style used by Kaywoodie after WWII.

I learned thru the Kaywoodie Forums that the side placement of the stem logo was used in the late 1940’s.  The brochure included with the pipe advertises “97 Years of Pipemaking” Kaywoodie was founded in 1851, which would place the brochure as being used in 1948.  Kaywoodie also placed the grade of the pipe (Supergrain) above Kaywoodie until 1955.   Thanks to the forum feedback, an educated guess is that the pipe was made sometime in the late 1940’s to early 1950’s.  I haven’t yet learned why this one does not have the Shape number stamped on the pipe.    Below is a page from the 1947 Kaywoodie catalog, showing the Shape 95.


This picture shows the detail of the “Drinkless” 4-hole stinger.  Earlier 4-hole stingers used a larger ball.


After the bowl soak was complete, I scrubbed the inside of the slender shank with some bristle cleaners soaked in alcohol.  I also ran some cleaners with alcohol thru the long stem and stinger.

The scorched material on the bowl top was removed with a mild solution of Oxyclean and distilled water.  The lighter used had damaged the inner portion of the bowl but a worn sheet of 8000 grit Micromesh removed most of the scorch marks without removing the stain.   The rest of the bowl only required a light buff with White Diamond (staying away from the nomenclature) and some Carnuba wax.

Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Finished (3)

I mounted the stem onto the shank and stared with a sheet of 800 grit wet paper to remove the oxidation.  I proceeded thru 1000, 1500 and then 2000 grit paper to bring back the shine.  The button was amazing like new.  Finally, I used 8000 and 12000 grit sheets of Micromesh.  The stem was then buffed lightly with White Diamond rouge.

I always chose a unique pipe to smoke on Christmas Eve and I’ll save this one until that special night.  Here’s the finished pipe.


Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Finished (10) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Finished (9) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Finished (4) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Finished (2)

Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Finished (5) Kaywoodie_Supergrain_95_Finished (6)




Restoring a Frozen Kirsten Companion K Straight Pipe

Blog by Steve Laug

The last pipe I picked up on my recent Alberta trip was a Kirsten style straight pipe. The metal shank is stamped on the left side Companion and on the underside it is stamped Made in U.S.A and then K. On the top of the shank the previous owner scratched in his initials FWE. The bowl was stuck on the shank. The finish on the bowl was worn and dirty. The rim of the bowl had a thick tarry buildup and had some deep dents in the surface. There was a thick cake build up on the inside of the bowl that was shaped like a cone – the bottom was very narrow and the top was wide open. Normally the bowl on Kirsten pipes are more U-shaped with the walls similarly open to the bottom of the bowl where the drilled screw goes through. The stem had a tooth mark on the top and the bottom side near the button. The stem was frozen in the metal shank and I could not twist it at all. The airflow adjustment end cap that normally twists to either open or dampen the airflow was also frozen in place. The metal barrel and end cap had scratches and marks on it. The end cap ridges were worn and looked like someone had used a pair of pliers on it to try to break it free.IMG_2531 IMG_2532 IMG_2533 IMG_2534 I was able to twist the bowl off the barrel by carefully turning it back and forth slightly to break it free. The tars in the barrel threads and on the drilled out screw in the bowl were really gummed up and dirty.IMG_2535I put the barrel in the freezer and left it there during dinner. After dinner I took it out and was able to twist the stem from the barrel. Once I removed the stem and the metal tube plunger it was extremely tarred and sticky. The second photo below shows the black tars of the interior of the barrel and plunger.IMG_2536 IMG_2537The end cap was still frozen in the barrel. I filled the barrel with alcohol and set it in an ice-cube try to let it soak. I knew that the tars on the plunger were also what held the end cap in place binding the metal of the barrel and the cap to each other. Typically the end cap had a rubber grommet on it that held it in place with a friction fit. In this case it appeared that the rubber grommet was compressed against the metal on the inside of the barrel and bound it in place.IMG_2538I cleaned the plunger and sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the hard tarry build up on it. I wiped it down with alcohol and then sanded it until the plunger was shiny and clean. I cleaned out the inside of the stem and the plunger with both bristle and regular pipe cleaners.IMG_2539 IMG_2540I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and used all sizes of the cutting heads to ream back the carbon build up in the bowl.IMG_2541 IMG_2542 IMG_2543The bowl was badly dinged and hammered leaving some deep denting. I topped the rim with a topping board to clean up the damaged top edge.IMG_2544 IMG_2545I wiped down the bowl with alcohol on cotton pads and then used a flat blade screwdriver to remove the screw from the bottom of the bowl and remove bottom cap on the bowl. I wiped down the inside of the cap and cleaned the screw with a brass bristle tire brush. I wiped it down with alcohol and then sanded the outside of the cap and screw with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish them.IMG_2546 IMG_2547The rim had two rather large fills that needed to be hidden with stain. I used the stain pens to restain the rim and the bowl. I started with the lightest colour pen and finished with the darkest colour.IMG_2548I buffed the bowl with White Diamond and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I put the metal cap back in place and turned the screw into the bottom of the bowl.IMG_2549 IMG_2550The end cap still did not come off after I had soaked it with alcohol. I used a Robertson head screw driver with a long shank and inserted it in the barrel. I hammered the end with a hammer and tried to drive it out of the barrel. It cam half way out but I could not budge it further. I boiled a cup of water and let the barrel and end cap sit in it to see if I could loosen the tars. I repeated this three times with the cooling of the water. I then inserted the screw driver and was able to drive out the cap. It was covered with a black tar build up and the inside of the barrel was also thickly coated. I cleaned out the inside of the end cap and the barrel with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. I rubbed down the rubber grommet on the stem and the end cap with Vaseline to soften them again and then inserted them in place in the barrel.IMG_2551I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and then medium and fine grit sanding sponges to remove the tooth marks and the oxidation. I then sanded it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. I gave the stem a final buff with White Diamond and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax to give it a shine.IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2554The finished pipe is shown below. I rubbed the stem down with some Conservator’s Wax – a microcrystalline wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush. I avoid using the buffer on metal as it turns the pads black and does not shine the metal. I put it back together and it is ready for its inaugural smoke. I have two other Kirstens that are great smokers and this one with be added to that number until the day I pass it on to someone along the way.IMG_2555 IMG_2556 IMG_2557 IMG_2558

Some Interesting Notes on Jobey Pipes – Chris Chopin

Blog by Chris Chopin

jobeylogoChris emailed me this piece while I was traveling and thought I would be interested in it. He was correct. Chris seems to dig up some interesting information when he goes on the information hunt. Thanks Chris.

Very interesting pipe! I’ve never seen a Jobey without the link. Apologies in advance for the wall of text to follow, I’m a Jobey fan.

Immediate thought is that it must be made before 1969, which I believe is when Wally Frank got the patent on the Link. Before that, the Jobey Company is a bit of a fun mystery. They made pipes, as Pipedia will tell you here: for a lot of different companies but the origins seem to be shrouded in mystery, and most people claim that the origins were in England, followed by American production, and then a later move to St. Claude. I think that’s wrong. Jobey’s Brooklyn Briar is present at least as of ’69. That’s where they patented the Link, that’s where the roots are.

There’s not a lot of chatter about it, but if you can lay your hands on a copy of “The Tobacco World”, Volume 61, from 1941, there is a brief mention that reads “Norwalk Pipe Expands” and in the body states that Norwalk Pipe Corporation, “manufacturers of Jobey and Shellmoor pipes”, is moving to larger offices at 218 East Twenty-Sixth Street, NYC, as announced by Louis Jobey, president of that company. Norwalk is listed as one of the alternate distributors for Jobey on Pipedia, but without mention of Louis actually working there at the time.

Before that, the first mention of Jobey seems to be back in 1915, when two guys named Ulysses and Louis Jobey of Brooklyn, New York had a neat patent for an odd sort of cavalierish pipe in 1915, here’s the link:

But less than four years later, in 1918, there’s a notice in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on November 6th to the effect that Louis Jobey declared bankruptcy in the District Court, with final hearing scheduled for December 1918. And in an even sadder turn, that same month sees a funeral notice for Lorraine Jobey, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Jobey, formerly of Brooklyn but now living in Moline Illinois at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George E. Hutchinson. The little girl evidently died in a fall.

I never found anything else on Ulysses Jobey except that he evidently had a “junior” after his name or a son by the same name. Because Ulysses Jobey, Jr. was listed as the vice president in New Jersey of Lakewood Pipe Company Inc., a maker of smoker’s articles, in the 1922 New York Co-partnership and Corporation Directory for Brooklyn. Given the timing I’m guessing Ulysses, Jr. was the brother.

Now this is just too much Brooklyn to be coincidence, so here’s my take on the real Jobey history. I think the company was started by two brothers in Brooklyn in the teens with a new idea for a pipe, and failed amidst terrible tragedy. I think one brother went to one company and another to the other, but it was Louis who continued making Jobey pipes through the 40s under that name, despite (I am guessing) no longer owning the company. And I think it was the Norwalk Company that was bought out by Wally Frank in the pre-link days. To my mind it’s always been American.

Now again, there’s a lot of speculation here. But I think it’s leaving too much to coincidence to read the history of Jobey without mention of those two brothers, I think they’re the actual Jobeys. Sorry for the wall of text, hope this was interesting and not excessive, lol.

A Spitfire by Lorenzo Mille Billiard – My First Dabble with Black Super Glue – Robert M. Boughton

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author

“There is nothing insignificant in the world. It all depends on the point of view.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German author, playwright and poet
Perspective is the key to everything, from the incredible diversity of the daily activities to the personal, often unique worldviews of everyone on the planet. Take, by way of an extraterrestrial example, the Sombrero Galaxy shown above, an edge-on spiral 50,000 light years from one side to the other (half the size of our own) and 28 million light years from Earth. Discovered hidden within the constellation Virgo in 1781 and named by French astronomer Charles Messier because of his point of view at the time, the Sombrero seen head-on would have a much different appearance. In other words, looks can be deceiving.

And so I present the initial side view (somehow I neglected to photograph the left side) of the Spitfire by Lorenzo Mille – which, compared to Starbuck’s Venti, meaning 20, translates in the same Italian to 1000 – that lives up to its name in terms of its huge size, and lasts far longer than any of the aforementioned coffee chain’s drinks.Robert1 The massive, gorgeous billiard (measuring 5-3/4″ x 2″ in length and height with an outer rim diameter of 1-3/8″ and chamber dimensions of 7/8″ x 1-7/8″), as seen in this photo side angle as I received it in a pipe lot I bought online, is nothing less than gigantic all around. Even the relatively flat shank leading into the stem is an inch across. But, as will be shown in the next part of this blog, from other angles the pipe, which at least on my screen is the actual size, had its share of problems.

Here it was from those other views.Robert2 Robert3 Robert4 Robert5 The blackened rim and badly caked chamber were easy enough to fix. I started on the chamber with my reamer and took out the majority of the carbon buildup, then switched to 150-grit paper followed by 400 before finishing with 800. The rim came clean with super fine steel wool before 1500 micromesh, then 2400, 3600 and at last 8000. So far, that is the finest grade of micromesh I have used, and it worked well.

Most of the stem cleaned up with 1500 micromesh and some 400-grit paper on the lip followed by 1500 again, and then 2400 to smooth it out.Robert6 Still, the tooth marks remained, and since my recent order of Black Hyper Bond, a.k.a. Super Glue, had arrived, I was presented with my first opportunity to try it on a stem. The hard part proved to be not squirting out too much.Robert7 A couple of hours later, long after I had prepared the nice hunk of briar for buffing, I returned to the stem and tried 2400 micromesh to remove the dried glue bump. After that, I finished it with 3600. Robert8 As I noted, this was my first time filling in a hole, so the result is not perfect, but I think it looked much better than before.

Every inch of the wood, to my continuing amazement, was as pristine and unblemished as the first side angle shows. This is the only pipe I have ever restored that had not even a single scratch on it, except for the rim, which ended up fine as I described. This was also one of the few times (all of the others on meerschaum restorations) where I only needed to buff the rim to make it shine again with its natural color, not needing to re-stain it.

This brings me, with rather unusual speed, to the final buffing, which I accomplished using my standard methods: red and white Tripoli followed by White Diamond on the stem, and white Tripoli, White Diamond and carnauba on the fine, already lustrous wood just for the sake of it.Robert9 Robert10 Robert11 Robert12 Robert13 Robert14 CONCLUSION
I was a little giddy trying out the Black Hyper Bond to repair the bite mark in the stem, and as I wrote before, the result is not as well done as I hope to achieve in the future and returning to some of my previous restores that some of you with excellent memories may recall needed similar work. But from my perspective, it’s a good start – better than government work at least, as the saying goes.

Grazzie Mille for your time and patience!

Pipe Mentoring and the New Pipe Smoker – BillyPM

Blog by Billy PM

When I read Billy’s original post on Pipe Smoker Unlimited I immediately wrote him and asked if I could post his piece here. It is a well written article that gives some basic startup advice to the beginning pipe smoker in a clear and manageable manner. I think that many of us have similar beginner pipe smoking stories like Billy’s. I asked Billy to write a bit of an introduction of himself to the rebornpipes readers. Thank you for letting me put this on the blog. I appreciate your willingness to let this be posted here. Without further adieu here is his article:


I’ve been a pipe smoker twice in my life. The first time was in college and I certainly gave it the old college try. I saved up for what I thought were reasonably good pipes, but that was the only thing I did right. I made it up as I went along, smoking fast and furiously. Years of tongue bite later I simply gave up. Nothing this painful, no matter how cool, could be worth continuing. Broke my heart.

Years later, around 2000, I came out of the cigar craze and decided to try pipes again. But THIS time I had the internet, which included a sweet little newsgroup called ASP. What a difference! There were dozens of experienced pipers more than happy to help me get my act together and tell me what I had been doing wrong. Which was just about everything. 14 years and many online forums later I’m a happy smoker, with a small collection of great performing pipes and a small cellar of my favorite tobaccos.

When I recently helped a good friend get started with a pipe and some tobacco, I thought I’d just set down some basic truths that I wish somebody had told me way back when. There’s always more to learn in our gentle art, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, either.

Pipe Mentoring
downloadI recently hooked up a good friend of mine, who expressed interest in our gentle art, with a sweet-smoking old Czech billiard, some Carter Hall, BBF, Pembroke, pipe cleaners, and a pipe tool, and the following start-up advice. There’s no need for any veterans to slog through this, but I thought I’d post it here in case it was of any use to anybody.

I emailed him this:

Pipe smoking is the only kind of smoking you have to actually learn. It’s an art and will reward you many times over once you get the hang of it. Trial and error is the way to go and plenty of both. It’s amazingly subjective, meaning that what works for me may or may not work for you. But here’s some good starting points.

— Packing a pipe properly is pretty crucial. Too tight a pack and the draw will be difficult and the burn a problem. Too loose a pack will burn way too hot and will taste nasty. Pack your pipe in thirds or so, smallish pinches that you push down with your pipe tamper (that metal tool) or your finger. Then draw air through the pipe. Too loose will feel like no resistance and too tight will feel like too much trouble. It should draw like sucking on a straw- a bit of resistance, but not a lot. Trial and error.

— Light the entire top surface of the tobacco with your trusty bic. Three or four good draws to get the top all charred. Then tamp down the surface gently, just to even it up (some tobacco may have risen up from the flame). Then light again. Don’t honk on it, just slow gentle draws.

— Here’s the fun part. You’re now smoking the son of a gun. The slower you smoke the better. Remember, you’re sucking on a fire through a 4 inch tube. Don’t burn your tongue if you can help it. If you do, wait til it heals up to try again. Slow smoking is the best flavor by far, and it means the smoke should be entering your mouth VERY slowly and gently. Just a mere trickle really. Novice pipers want to see a lot of smoke, but veterans want to see as little as possible. Keep the pipe barely lit. When it goes out, and it will, relight it. Do NOT try to keep it from going out by drawing rapidly. This leads to tongue bite.

–Use your tamper to very lightly press down the ashes on top of the embers. Maybe once every 5 or 7 minutes is enough. Don’t compress the tobacco much, just keep the embers in contact with the rest of the tobacco. And if and when the pipe starts to gurgle a little just run a pipe cleaner through the stem and rock on. No need to smoke all the way to the bottom at this stage unless you want to. Just use the spoon part of the pipe tool and dig the remaining baccy (called the dottle) out of the pipe. Don’t knock it out on your heel unless you want to break the pipe. Run one last cleaner through to dry it a bit and Bob’s your uncle.

— A briar pipe needs to be broken in when it’s new, and it’ll taste pretty heinous til it gets some cake built up on the walls of the chamber. The one I gave you is already broken in and is a pretty good, though cheap, pipe. Once smoked it’s a good idea to rest your briar and let it dry out — maybe a day or two minimum. So if you want to smoke a pipe more often than every couple three days, guess what? More pipes!!! If you get to that stage holler at me and we’ll go through that stuff. It won’t ruin your pipe if you smoke it a lot right now, but long term it’s not a good idea.

— There are like a bazillion pipe tobacco blends in the known universe, and finding your faves is part of the fun. I gave you three different blend from some of the basic categories. Sweet aromatics are OK, but not really the best tasting to most confirmed pipers, so I didn’t include any– don’t think I HAVE any. If you wanna try some I can recommend a few. But Virginia tobaccos are my fave, although they can be the hardest to smoke, being hotter burning and sometimes bitier than most. So don’t try the Best Brown Flake for a while. Carter Hall, a time-honored old burley blend should be your first pipeful. And your second, third, and fourth. It burns easily, tastes nice and won’t fry your mouth. The Esoterica blend I included is what’s called an “English” blend– meaning it’s got Orientals and Latakia along with some Virginias. Those first two are smoky, incense-like and delicious to those of us who like that sort of thing, but will send most women and small animals screaming from the room. Smoke at your own peril. I could go on and ON about various tobaccos. Be patient.

— Any tobacco you may buy should probably be dried out a bit before smoking. It’s generally sold too moist and needs to be air dried until it feels pliable but dry to the touch. Trying to smoke wet tobacco is frustrating. It won’t get lit, stay lit, and will fry your tongue. Steam is not what you want, both for best flavor and comfort. Oh, and don’t inhale unless you really want to. The smoke is alkaline and harsh to the lungs (which ain’t got no taste buds anyhow).

OK that’s enough for now. You should visit — a GREAT site with thousands of blends reviewed by hundreds of smokers. Also, try to find Pipe Smokers Unlimited forum (Google it). It’s a fabulous bunch of guys (and one girl) from all over the world yakking about this stuff. And I have been one of the regulars there for a while.

I hope he enjoys his new pipe. I’ll keep you posted if he checks in.

The Screwy Nature of the Jenkins Truly Dry System Billiard – Robert M. Boughton

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
— Confucius (551-479 BC), Chinese philosopher, teacher, editor and politician

I had two main concerns when another pipe lot arrived in the mail and I turned one of the diverse examples in my hands: the head of a screw tightened flush with the draught end of the bottom of the shank, just before the chamber, and my serious doubts that whatever purpose a screw might serve could be legitimate. In other words, I was afraid to remove the thing for fear the pipe, which otherwise had potential for elegance, would fall to pieces if I did so.Rob1 Before attempting to remove the ominous screw, I tried blowing through the open end of the shank, only to become red in the face and breathless with failure. Then I turned to running an alcohol-soaked pipe cleaner through the shank and found that it, also, was blocked, although the cleaner came out with only a light rusty color, a fact I told myself was promising. For the first time in my restoration experience, I had a structural problem with which to deal. I was elated.

Now, don’t go and think I’m some sort of nut who gets his jollies working on broken things. For the most part I satisfy myself making old, abused or “well-used” pipes beautiful again. From upcoming photos, the need for this treatment on the bizarre Jenkins billiard this blog is about will be obvious. It’s just that until this pipe, the only kind of restoration I had done was of the basic variety. At last, I had an opportunity to tinker around and make adjustments to a pipe’s infrastructure, if you will. Hence, I felt the butterfly effect in my stomach.

Before touching whatever was screwed into the bottom of the pipe – I only describe the device this way now, as at the time I had no reason to suspect it might be anything but an average screw – I thought it advisable to see if I could find a Jenkins Pipe Co. or the like anywhere online. I started with, my favorite first stop, but found no mention of the brand. And so I resorted to, which, as a user-generated source of information, can be more dubious in its reliability. Still I found no mention of the maker, despite the crisp, clear nomenclature including an elaborate brand stamp.Rob2 Having spent two days using more than every word combination in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy to track down the pipe’s origin, with both Google and Yahoo search engines, and finding everything but a plausible reference to the Jenkins who made this beautiful if weird pipe, my patience, wits and research skills (short of doing something crazy like going to the library) were exhausted. I must now hope for knowledgeable feedback from readers of this blog, or maybe our host.

The closest I came was a patent issued to one Eric G. Jenkins in 1959 for a wild but unique spring contraption to be used for tamping the spent ashes of pipe tobacco from the chamber into a suitable receptacle, without risking damage to the pipe or staining of the fingers, to which I gather pipe enjoyers back in the day had no other way to avoid. [See first hyperlink at the end of the blog. Thinking about it, the idea occurs to me that this is just the sort of Jenkins who could design the device used in the Ever Dry.

Remember, this was before the now ubiquitous three-piece pocket pipe tool was patented in the early 1970s.

My routine in these blogs has been to take a linear path showing, with words and photos, what it was like, what happened, and what it is like now. But this restore was far more indirect, and so to guide me in my description of it I organized my photos to prompt my memory of just what it was I did, and when, to fix this Jenkins TrulyDry system pipe. That noted I will nevertheless begin with what it was like: Rob3 Rob4 Rob5 Rob6 Rob7 Rob8 As some may have noticed in a few of the photos above, the stem and shank were uneven. In fact, I had to place the entire pipe in the refrigerator for close to an hour before I could even make the stem budge much less remove it. That feat came with more time in the cooler. The problem with the alignment, I soon learned, was remedied without trouble by cleaning off the buildup of some substance, with which I am not familiar, from the tenon.Rob9 Confident enough to continue with the removal of the screwy, old-fashioned tenon attachment-like gizmo that was over-tightened into the bottom of the shank, I did so with extreme care and slowness, listening all the while for something like a nut to come undone inside. But there was no such sound.Rob10 Right away, it was apparent that the object removed from the shank was not a regular screw employed in an ad lib repair but something designed for a purpose, however inexplicable. Able to blow through the shank, at least, I decided it was time to clean the pipe after reaming and sanding the chamber and using super fine steel wool on the rim to remove the blackness there.

Without much hope that the pipe would have any draw on it when I replaced the screw, I was, therefore, not disappointed to find I was correct. But an idea came to me, and I loosened the screw just one full turn, allowing me to blow and inhale through the intact pipe. I removed the ventilator again and set it aside for the remaining work on the wood.

I cleaned up most of the scattered scratches either with 1500 micromesh or 400-grit paper and then rubbed the entire area of wood with the 1500 followed by 3600. The result was, as one reader of another recent blog commented, baby smooth. I also only had to re-stain a few small patches of the wood, not counting the rim.Rob11The stem required heavy sanding with 400-grit paper to fix all of the scratches, teeth chatter and uneven bit, followed by 1500 and then 3600 micromesh.

When I had prepped the pieces better than I had ever done before, the buffing brought out a brilliant, dark reddish luster. Rob12 - Copy Rob13 Rob15 Rob16 Rob17 Rob18 CONCLUSION
I emailed my blog-in-progress to a retired engineer friend of mine, who looked over the text and photos and called me to arrange a meeting at McDonald’s the next morning. Armed with my laptop, an iced coffee and two printouts of the ash removal system patent that even I could see did not match the device used in the Ever Dry, I was relieved when I saw my friend walk through the door.

Confirming my conclusion concerning what the valve was not, my friend determined by the design and placement of the device that it was some sort of ventilator, however obtuse in planning and execution, that was intended to release heat and maybe even to collect moisture and small pieces of tobacco with the valve extended almost all the way. The engineer’s analysis made sense, and, happy to have an explanation of the atypical screw valve to present in this blog space, I embraced it.

At that time, I experienced another one of my moments of clarity. Seeing the intentional groove cut into the wood, I suggested that it would accommodate storage of the device with the valve retracted at times when the pipe was not being enjoyed. The engineer concurred.

Still later, while making the extensive but necessary revisions to my original version that had been debunked by the good engineer, I recalled an enlightening and lengthy online article concerning and titled “The Revolution of the System Pipe,” by Don Duco. The general knowledge and research behind the study of the evolution of system pipes around the globe is exhaustive.

I flashed on a description of the original Kirsten metal pipes with screw-on briar bowls and their inclusion of a closure system between the bowl and the shank that accomplished the same result of the screw valve on the Jenkins, and realized the design of the mechanism in the Jenkins pipe was nothing more than an adaptation of the early Kirsten, despite the newer, cruder method.

Still, whoever owned the Jenkins pipe brand must have been a frustrated engineer, if only by the aesthetic evidence, for being inspired by the notion of screwing something that, when the pipe is being enjoyed, dangles downward with an obvious and alarming attraction of attention. Besides, anyone, whether or not a connoisseur of pipes but not familiar with the Jenkins system, seeing one with the head of a screw in the bottom of it, would think it some sort of jury-rigged attempt to hold the pipe together.

As my father often pointed out, it takes all kinds.

WEBSITES TO VISIT (Click on View as PDF for official USPTO document.)

GBD 549 New Standard Restoration

Blog by Al Jones

This pipe came from the table at the recent Richmond CORPS show.  The seller, Ned Baylor, is a member of the club.  I always try and make at least one purchase from a club members table.  Ned’s daughter was helping him at the show and he was pretty enthusiastic about making his first sale.  He included a Savinelli box and a nice Mark Tinsky sock, which I needed.  One of the Christopher Morley club members grabbed the box for a Savinelli he purchased.  I already had this GBD shape but thought the pipe would make a fun restoration project.


As I mentioned the pipe was in pretty decent overall condition and this was not a challenging restoration, but with pleasing results.  The nomenclature was in very good shape as well.  The brass rondell and straight line “London,England” stamping indicate that the pipe was made before the merger in approximately 1981.

GBD_549_New_Standard_Before GBD_549_New_Standard_Before (6) GBD_549_New_Standard_Before (1) GBD_549_New_Standard_Before (2) GBD_549_New_Standard_Before (4)

The pipe was in pretty good condition, with a little tar build-up in the bowl and a few teeth marks on the stem.  The stem was only mildly oxidized.

I removed the cake from the bowl with my Castleford reamer and found the bowl to be in very good condition.  The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.

GBD_549_New_Era_Before (3)

I put a dab of grease on the brass rondell and soaked it in a mild Oxy-Clean solution for several hours to loosen the oxidation.  I started with 800 grit wet sandpaper, progressing to 1000>1500 and 2000 grades.  I then used the 8000 and 12000 grade Micromesh papers to finish polishing the stem.  There were a few teeth marks on the top and bottom of the stem.  A little heat almost removed the one on the top of  the stem and minimized the dent on the bottom.  The stem was then buffed lightly with white diamond rouge, with the stem mounted in the briar.  The stem was a little loose so I put some distilled water in the shank, which made the briar swell a bit and tighten up the stem.  I felt after smoking that the stem would tighten nicely.

I removed the tars on top of the bowl with some distilled water and a cotton cloth.  The a worn piece of 8000 grit Micromesh was used to minimize the rim darkening without lifting the stain.  The stem was already getting snug due to the water used in the shank.  It was just a little bit loose and I smoked one bowl of My Mixture 965 in the pipe during which time it snugged up nicely.  I had bought this one to restore and sell, but it smoked so nice, I almost changed my mind.  It did end up going to a member of the Allentown and Philly pipe clubs who is also on the forums.  I hope he enjoys it for many years.

Below is the finished pipe.

GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished (3) GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished (8) GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished (5) GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished (6) GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished (1) GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished (2) GBD_549_New_Standard_Finished (4)



The 2014 Peterson Christmas Pipe (‘Tis Not Quite the Season).

peterson pipe notes

B35 and box 2014smallI know it’s not even Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving. But trust me, you need this information now, while there’s still time to write Santa. This is the most spectacular Christmas pipe Peterson has released in the line’s six-year history, and the vagaries of the marketplace being what they are, I don’t want anyone to miss out on finding the shape he wants. Speaking for myself, I sent a FedEx overnight to the North Pole when I spotted the shape I wanted—the B35—because I just wasn’t seeing many of them out there.

It’s true the 2014 Peterson Christmas pipe began appearing in June or so, with an advance publicity photo out last February. I had thought this was (or has been) a U.S.-only release, but I’m looking at a 9mm version of the 220 on my desk, so there’s apparently hope for those of you across the Pond.*

Christmas Pipe 2014
Original Design for…

View original post 558 more words

The Case of the Danco Squat Diplomat Sitter – Robert M. Boughton

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
— Steve Jobs (1955-2011), U.S. inventor, entrepreneur and marketer and co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc.

Once again I found myself with an estate pipe that looked, without close inspection, ready to clean and sanitize and offer for sale. The squat Danco brand Diplomat sitter, which looks like the offspring of an apple that mated with a tomato (in terms of pipe shapes), had dark brown stain I suspected might hide fills or other flaws, and so, in particular given the shine and apparent smoothness of the finish, I saw no reason to mess with that. The stem was in the best condition I have ever encountered, and the bowl, at least, was already partly cleaned.

Then I put my dollar store 3x glasses on and took a closer look. I observed clear, deep lines all around the rim that I supposed were caused by uncouth tamping of smoked tobacco from the chamber and also found small but numerous scratches and dings all over the bowl and shank that would in all likelihood require more than micromesh to remove. Therefore, re-staining in patches might be necessary.

Information online about the Danco brand was sparse, but I did learn that the pipes were manufactured in Belgium, Italy and the U.S. Those stamped “Imported Briar,” as is this squat Diplomat sitter, are believed to have been made and distributed in the U.S. Also, the brand dates at least to 1946:

Courtesy of the Web

Courtesy of the Web

For more information on and examples of Danco pipes, see the hyperlinks at the end of this blog.

While the necessity of taking a restoration a step at a time is obvious, choosing the order is the trick.Rob2 Rob3 rob4 rob5 rob6 rob7 rob8This time, as I did with my WDC Full Bent Billiard, I decided to begin with the rim, which seemed to require little attention. The lack of blackening made it easier, but the crags called for sanding that would leave it even.

320-grit followed by 1500 micromesh made a fast, clean job of it. Venturing into the chamber, I switched to 150-grit to break through what I found to be more carbon than had at first appeared to be the case and was very rough to the touch. When the sandpaper proved to be insufficient for the job, I turned to my reamer and all but finished with the chamber in short order. The last step was to do an alcohol flush, which I let sit for about a half-hour.
While the chamber was clean down to faint briar showing through somewhat all the way down, the shank was still filthy. I used up about 10 bristly cleaners soaked in alcohol before the last one came out white.

Next, with a small piece of super fine steel wool, I rubbed clean the small round opening of the shank where the stem fits and put on my dollar glasses again for close scrutiny to plan a course of action for mending the bowl and shank.

Hoping against hope to avoid even a spotty re-stain, I started with 1500 micromesh, which in fact removed one or two shallow scratches, then 1000 and even 800, all of them with the effect of wet toilet paper.

I decided to notch it up (or down) to the limit I trusted would get out all but a few of the scratches and pits – 400-grit. I was not surprised that the coarser paper worked as I expected but that the resulting lighter color was more pleasing to the eye and also uncovered no blemishes. I buffed the wood with 1500 micromesh to eliminate the sanding marks and give it some shine.Rob9 rob10 rob11 rob12 rob13And so, taking a chance I knew I could correct if necessary, I removed the rest of the original waxes and stain to the same degree. Astonished to find not a single fill or other blemish that needed repair, but even more so at the apparent sloppy over-application of stain in some areas where it was so thick the wood looked black, I forthwith took off all of the offensive misuse of stain with more 400-grit and buffed the entire surface with 1500 micromesh.rob14 rob15 rob16 rob17 rob18 rob19I mentioned earlier that the stem was almost perfect as I received it, and so the minor sanding of the lip and micro-meshing of the rest was easy.Rob20 Rob21And then, the moment had come to put the prepped vulcanite and briar to the electric buffers. As usual, I used red Tripoli and White Diamond on the stem, and white Tripoli, White Diamond and carnauba on the wood.Rob22 Rob23 Rob24 Rob25 Rob26CONCLUSION
At the risk of repeating myself, I took on this project thinking it would be fast and easy. I will either give it to a pipe club friend who has a penchant for apples and whom I think might also like this shape, or donate it to the club’s raffle, one of which contingencies will happen this coming Thursday. Several times, I have restored three or even four pipes from start to finish in a single evening, but this was not one of those occasions. I ended up spending more time on this one “simple” pipe.

I have often heard that there is no such thing as common sense, which requires complex cognitive abilities beyond some humans. By the same token, to paraphrase Steve Jobs, simple ideas often, if not always, require hard work to formulate.


Here are some of the sources of information I gleaned on the Danco brand: Scroll down

Sasieni Stratford Ruff Root Restoration

Blog by Al Jones

This pipe was an acquisition from the recent CORPS Show in Richmond, VA.  The gentleman who sold it to me is a fellow member of the  I really wasn’t looking to add any more pipes at the show, but I can’t resist Sasieni pipes from the Family Era, which were made prior to 1979.  I think they offer a great value in an English estate and my others smoke wonderfully.  The stem and button work I feel is slightly better than Comoys pipes of that era.  “Ruff Root” pipes in particular are quite light, even in a large pipe such as this “Stratford” model.  While not as graceful in appearance as my Viscount Lascelles, it’s angular jaw has a sort of rugged appeal that grew on me as work progressed.   The oval bowl top is also a unique feature.

The pipe was in excellent condition and I knew it would only require a minor clean-up effort.   To my eye, the robins-egg blue four dot stem logo is one of the most appealing of any British maker.  Some dots fade over time but the one on this stem were perfect, as is the button.

Sasieni_Stratford_Ruff-Root_Before Sasieni_Stratford_Ruff-Root_Before (1) Sasieni_Stratford_Ruff-Root_Before (2) Sasieni_Stratford_Ruff-Root_Before (3)

There was a very slight cake in the pipe, which I carefully removed.  The bowl was soaked with Sea Salt and alcohol.  While the bowl was soaking, I dabbed some grease on the stem logo and soaked it in a mildy Oxyclean solution.  Nestled with the Sasieni is a GBD New Standard 549 that was also a CORPS show purchase.

GBD_549_New_Era_Before (3)

After soaking in the Oxyclean solution, I removed the oxidation from the stem starting with 800 grit wet paper, then progressing thru 1000, 1500 and 2000 grades.  I followed those with 8000 and 12000 grades of Micromesh paper.  The stem was free of any bite marks.

I make a collar to use between the briar and vulcanite stem out of light grade plastic.  Small boxes that hold auto fasteners or product blister packs work well. I cut out small circles then punch a hole for tenon using an office punch.  The collar allows me to remove the oxidation near the stem and briar junction without taking the edge off the stem.

20141012_221609 20141012_221526 20141012_221452

The stem was buffed lightly with White Diamond.  The briar only required hand polishing with Halycon II wax.  The nomenclature was in outstanding condition.

Below is the completed pipe.  Ruff Root pipes are light for their size and this one only weighs 51 grams.

Sasieni_Stratford_RR_Gallery Sasieni_Stratford_RR_Finished (2) Sasieni_Stratford_RR_Finished (1) Sasieni_Stratford_RR_Finished (5) Sasieni_Stratford_RR_Finished (3) Sasieni_Stratford_RR_Finished (4)