Restoring a Unique Kaywoodie Flame Grain 23C

Blog by Bill Hein

Today I have an interesting Kaywoodie on the bench. This particular pipe is an early Flame grain. It has a shape number of 23C. This is interesting because 23C was used for two different pipes in the same era. 23C is a two panel apple shape. One is half bent, the other is a square shank. The one on my bench is a square shank. I imagine it is quite rare as this style was only made in 1947. This still has its 4 hole stinger. Below are the before pictures.KW1 KW2Starting off I disassembled the pipe and tossed the stem into a oxiclean bath. While the stem was soaking I reamed out the bowl and filled it with salt and alcohol. After a few hours I removed the stem from the oxiclean bath and rinsed it off. To my surprise there wasn’t much oxidation. I knocked the salt out of the bowl and gave it a good rinse before setting it aside to dry.

Kw3While the bowl was drying out I ran alcohol soaked pipe cleaners through the stem until they came out clean. This can be tricky with Kaywoodie pipes as quite a bit of sludge builds up inside the stinger. The ball on this pipe wasn’t too nasty but I found a very narrow pipe cleaner, a piece of wire, or even a toothpick can come in handy cleaning out the holes. I took some heat and 500 grit wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and lift the few tooth marks near the bit.

I buffed the stem, stinger, and metal shank insert with white diamond. I then buffed the bowl and stem with carnauba wax. I finished the pipe up by buffing by hand with a microfibre cloth until I achieved a near mirror like shine. Below is the finished pipe.KW4 KW5 KW6




4 thoughts on “Restoring a Unique Kaywoodie Flame Grain 23C

  1. Robert M. Boughton

    Nice! I love the shape, which is indeed unique, and particularly enjoyed your salt and alcohol cleaning and bit buffing techniques. In the before shots, the shank insert looks like it’s bent, but afterward its perfect. I’m wondering if you had to fix anything or if it just cleaned up.

    1. Bill Hein

      The shank wasn’t bent bit the stem wass slightly underclocked. When I cleaned the gunk off the stinger and threads everytjomg lined up as it should.


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