By Al Jones
I picked up this pretty beat Kaywoodie as a parts pipe, but after receiving it, the pipe showed enough promise that I couldn’t dismantle it.
The pipe came equipped with the “Drinkless” stamped stinger, but missing the ball. This is an important detail in dating the pipe, so I was glad to see it. The “Drinkless” stamp on the stinger was dropped in the early 1950’s and the 4-hole stinger was dropped by 1954. So, this pipe dates before 1954, but could be as early as the late 1940’s. A member of the Pipesmagazine.com forums pointed out that the 98B shape had a flat top in the early 1940’s catalogs, then changed to a domed top in the 1950 catalogs. Below are two catalog pages from 1947 and 1955 showing how the shape evolved.
Below is the pipe as it was received. The stem was badly oxidized, with teeth marks. The briar was burned on top and it had some scorch marks on each side. The scorch marks on the bowl sides were the most worrisome. I was afraid if they were to be removed, the bowl shape might be altered. The pipe would definitely need to be restained.
I reamed the bowl and topped the bowl using some 320 grit paper on a flat surface. I used 600 grit paper, dry, to remove the scorch marks on both sides of the bowl. I then used a razor blade to redefine the bowl rings, and followed that with a needle file. I was pleased to get most of the scorch marks out without significantly adding any flat spots or loosing the bowl rings.
I soaked the entire bowl in an alcohol bath. The stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-Clean solution, with a dab of grease over the logo. Following the alcohol bath, I removed the rest of the stain with some Super-fine steel wool. I used a cloth on the nomenclature, which was already faded.
The bowl was then stained with Fieblings Medium Brown stain, at close to full strength. I was pleased to find that this covered the remaining scorch marks nicely. The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. The bowl had been reamed a bit out of round, but there was plenty of wood on that side. I didn’t feel compelled to do anything else and it shouldn’t be a issue in use.
Using the flame from a lighter, I was able to remove some of the teeth marks. I sanded the oxidation from the stem with 600 grit paper. I wrap the paper around a popsicle stick on bulldog stems to keep the stem angles from softening. This was followed with 800, 1500 and 2000 grit wet paper. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.
Below is the finished pipe. This one should be ready for another 60 years of service. I’ll most likely resell the pipe and recommend that the cut stinger be cut off completely. I left it on only to show the dating provenance.