Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, International Society of Codgers
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author
The Kaywoodie White Briar line lasted from 1951-1989. Some elusive quality, including perhaps its rough condition and the fact that I can’t find the same shape shown anywhere online, makes me suspect my bulldog is c. 1960-1970. It’s alright, I’m aware of the virtual non sequitur I just committed, and stand by it as a sort of literary tool if nothing else. Call it a hunch. Maybe I’m just a romantic. No doubt about the last part, at least. RESTORATION
The bit was mostly just dirty.I put it in an OxiClean bath and began the process of cleaning the rest of the pipe by using my Senior Reamer to remove the fair amount of char from the chamber. I followed the reamer with 150-, 200- and 320-grit papers, and removed the excess soot with soft cotton cloth squares soaked in purified water. Then I applied a little purified water to the outside of the stummel with more soft cotton cloth squares, getting rid of considerable grime.
My main concern was the rim, which appeared to be scorched to the point of no return. I used still more soft cotton cloth squares with purified water to work away at the char before switching to 1800, 2400 and 3200 micro-mesh – and just as I thought it was coming clean realized to my horror that the blackened parts of the rim, which had turned a creamy brown color, were down to the briar! In hindsight, I don’t know if I should have left the tiny amount of the original finish that was left on the rim as it was, but I saw no reason. With sadness and reluctance, I removed it for uniformity. I replaced the bit, which I had removed from the OxiClean bath and used wet micro-mesh from 1500-12000 to return to a nice black smoothness, and retorted the pipe. All that was left to do was an unexpected stain of the rim using Feibing’s Brown and flaming it, then buffing with white Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnauba. I buffed the bit as usual, with red and white Tripoli, White Diamond and Carnauba. CONCLUSION
I’m always willing to face the music as far as responsibility for mistakes goes, but I honestly don’t know if the “mishap” I had with the rim is common with white briar restores. I didn’t use sandpaper – not until after it was already too late. But it was my restore, and so I will own it. As well as the pipe, most likely, unless anyone out there wants a good deal on a unique Kaywoodie White Briar Bulldog 12B with a brown briar rim!