By Al Jones
I picked up this Tradition Shape 17 over the holiday weekend and finished the restoration this evening. I’m not an Oom-Paul fan but this one looked in too good shape to pass up.
I found very little references to this shape,save on the Comoys Shape chart. I did find that Steve had restored a Shape 17 second line detailed on this blog.
The three piece, drilled “C” logo looked to be in terrific condition and the round Made in London/England stamping showed it was made between the early 1950’s to the merger year of 1981. Despite the bowl size, the pipe only weighs a svelte 34 grams.
The pipe had some tooth indentions and a few dents that I hoped would stem out. The button is really nice and fitment was very good. The bowl interior was also in great shape.
The bowl had a slight cake, which was reamed. My wife recently gave me a new Pipenet reamer set for Christmas, to replace my aging Castleford set. The bits on this shape are definitely of a better quality, something that I had been skeptical about in the past, having never held a Pipenet set.
The small dents on the bowl top did steam out nicely. The faded finish rejuvenated nicely with some White Diamond rouge on the buffing wheel. The nomenclature is in excellent condition, so I was sure to stay away from that area. “Tradition” grade pipes always have a nice gleam to the briar. I polished the inner section of the bowl with some White Diamond on a small felt wheel mounted to my Dremel tool on the low speed setting. The bowl was then soaked with sea salt and alcohol. The Comoys beveled edge feature was in very good shape.
The teeth indentions near the button popped out nicely with heat from a lighter flame, leaving only the slightest ripple. As mentioned,the button is slim and finished very nicely. There was a little oxidation around the stem at the shank end that was removed with 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper, then micromesh (8000 and 12000) on the entire stem. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The stem was completely clogged with residue, which took several bristle cleaners dipped in alcohol to remove.
As I was finishing the pipe, a pipe friend in India messaged me thru Facebook. I attached a picture of the pipe to our conversation and he ended up buying it, from across the world! The pipe community is a tight knit group!
Here’s the finished pipe, which will eventually be sent to my friend in India to enjoy.