Daily Archives: May 7, 2016

Repairing and Restoring a KBB Yello-Bole 2070B Cutty

Blog by Steve Laug

I was contacted by Robb, a reader of the blog about working on an old Yello-Bole Cutty that he had picked up. He said it was in decent shape but had a cracked shank that someone had already done a repair on. They had glued the shank with wood glue but when the stem was inserted it cracked again. He wanted the shank reglued and banded. We talked about different options for repairing the pipe and the costs of doing it. Finally, in an email he offered to trade me the pipe in exchange for one that I had for sale on the blog – a Kaywoodie Signature Bulldog. The deal was done and the pipe was now mine.

As with many of the pipes I repair and restore I want to learn as much about them as I can. I did some work on the internet trying to find the shape number of the pipe and information on the stamping. After a pretty fruitless search I wrote to Troy Wilburn of the Baccypipes Blog to get some information on dating the pipe. Troy has become my go to guy when I want to learn information on this particular brand of American pipes. He wrote back quickly with a reply which I summarize below. In it he walked me through the meaning of the stamping and how that helped with the dating of the pipe. His quick first answer stated that the pipe was made between 1933-1936. Here is the main portion of what he wrote to me:

“I’ll break down the stamping and numbers for you. Starting with the left side of the shank the pipe is stamped with KBB in a clover leaf and next to that it says Yello-Bole. Underneath it is stamped Honey Cured Briar. Yello-Bole pipes that come from 1933-1936 bore the stamp Honey Cured Briar. On the right side of the shank it is stamped 2070B. The meaning of the numbers breaks down as follows. The number 20 tells us that the stem is black vulcanite with a push tenon made between 1932-1940s. The next two numbers, 70 gives the shape – a long Belgian and that it was made between 1928/9 and 1935. They made a regular 70 (it’s just called Belgian), a large Belgian 70B, and a long Dublin Belgian 70B.”

I took some photos of the pipe with the stem in the shank to highlight the issues that I saw with the pipe. Not only was the shank cracked but the tenon was also cracked and set at an angle to the stem making alignment in the shank impossible. The dimensions of the pipe to give some perspective to the photos are: Length – 8 inches, bowl height – 2inches, outer bowl diameter – 1 ¼ inches, inner bowl diameter – ¾ inches. You can see that it is a large pipe. The finish was crackled and dirty – almost opaque to the point that the grain was hidden. The rim had a lava buildup and the bowl had a thin, uneven cake that covered it top to bottom. The stem was oxidized and yellow. The stinger was glued in place in the tenon with the broken tenon anchored firmly to the metal insert on the stinger. It was also glued in sideways instead of upright.YB1 YB2 YB3I took a close up photo of the tenon and stinger repair that had been done to show the cracked and glue pieces of the tenon on the stinger. You can see in the photo where pieces of the tenon had broken free when I removed the stem from the pipe.YB4The crack in the shank arced from one side of the pipe to the other forming a closed crack. The chunk of briar had been glued in place by what appeared to be wood glue. The repair was not strong enough to protect the shank when the angled tenon was inserted in the mortise. Each time the stem was inserted the crack opened wide. Because it had a start and an end point there was no threat in the crack spreading upward along the shank. I had two options for repairing this. I could either insert a tube inside the shank thus internally banding the pieces in place or I could use a band on the exterior to the same effect. As I worked on the i decided to band the shank rather than do an internal repair. The thinness of the tenon with the stinger in place would make it impractical to reduce the size of the tenon further to fit in the inner tube repair.YB5I removed the stinger from the stem and broke away the pieces of the rubber tenon from the metal insert. The stinger was exceptionally long and once I replaced the tenon I would make a decision what to do with it.YB6I have an assortment of threaded replacement tenons that I use to repair broken tenons. I went through my container and found one that was a good fit in the shank.YB7I used the Dremel and sanding drum to flatten out the broken pieces of the old tenon on the end of the stem. I used the topping board to square up the end. I set up a cordless drill and a drill bit approximately the size of the threaded portion of the new tenon. I turned the stem onto the drill bit and slowly opened the airway to fit the new tenon. Once I had the airway open and deep enough to accommodate the threaded end I used a tap to cut threads into the inside of the stem. YB8I turned the new tenon into the threaded airway in the stem to check the fit. When it was correct I gave the threads a coat of slow drying black super glue and turned the tenon into the stem until it was tight against the face of the stem.YB9 YB10I set the stem aside to let the glue cure and began to work on the crack in the shank. It did not matter which way I chose to repair the shank I needed to clean up the previous repair and remove the dried wood glue. I needed a clean surface to reglue with super glue. Once I had the surface clean I pried open the crack and used a dental pick to push clear super glue into the crack. Once the glue was in place I clamped the shank until the glue set.YB11I sanded the glued shank with 180 grit sandpaper to remove the finish and the over flow of glue from the repair. I wanted to make the surface smooth so that I could either band it externally or do it internally and then refinish the shank.YB12 YB13The next two photos show the gold/yellow colour of the paint in the stamping of the shank on both sides. Once I stripped the bowl of the varnish coat this would disappear and I would need to recreate it.YB14I cleaned out the inside of the shank and the mortise with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. It was dirty but cleaned up easily. I repeated the same process on the airway in the stem. It too was easy to clean. I reamed out the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife to take the cake back. Underneath the light cake I found that they original Yello-Bole coating was still in place.YB15Once the glue on the shank had cured overnight I carefully put the stem in the shank to check the alignment of the stem and shank. I took the following photos of the pipe at this point in the process.YB16 YB17I wiped the bowl down with acetone on cotton pads to remove the varnish coat that was crackling. It took some scrubbing but the finish came off quite easily and left the colour in the briar.YB18I was careful to not wipe around the repaired shank as the acetone will dissolve super glue and I would be back to square one. I sanded the bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to further remove the finish.YB19I wiped the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil to see what the grain looked like.YB20 YB21I cleaned the shank and used European Gold Rub N’ Buff to restore the gold in the stamping. I really like how Yello-Bole and some of the older American pipes utilized the gold leaf in the stamping to make it highly readable.YB22I scrubbed the stem with Meguiar’s Scratch X2.0 to remove the majority of the oxidation and polish the stem. The residue of the oxidation is shown on the cotton pad under the stem.YB23I sanded the remaining oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper to remove it from the surface of the stem. There were some small tooth marks on the top and bottom sides of the stem as well that I sanded out with the sandpaper.YB24I wetsanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and gave the stem a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final rubdown with Obsidian Oil.YB25 YB26I drilled out the tenon to the diameter of the stinger apparatus that had originally come with the old tenon. I made it large enough that the stinger was removable in order that the pipe could be smoked with or without the stinger.YB27The band that Charles shipped me came on Friday and it was a good fit on the shank. I coated the shank with some white glue and pressed the band onto the shank. I wiped away the excess glue with a damp cotton pad.YB28 YB29I used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the area around the shank repair that extended beyond the band. The colour worked well with the brown/red colour of the stain on the rest of the shank.YB30I buffed the area around the band with White Diamond on the wheel to blend in the stain colour with the rest of the pipe. I buffed the entire pipe with Blue Diamond, being careful to avoid the nickel band. I have found that when I buff the band at the same time as the rest of the pipe the black from the nickel on the buffing pad is transferred to the shank and stem. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and then with a microfibre cloth to deepen and raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I really like the way it turned out and I am sure glad that I was able to work a trade with Robb for the pipe.YB31 YB32 YB33 YB34 YB35 YB36 YB37 YB38I took some final photos of the pipe. The first photo shows the stinger next to the bowl and stem go give an idea of the size of the stinger and the second photo shows the stinger in place in the stem. Thanks for looking. YB39 YB40


Troy Wilburn, one of our blog writers and good friend of rebornpipes sent me a shape number list for old Kaywoodie and Yello-Bole pipes. I found it very useful and typed it into a chart format. Troy said that he got the data for this came from the Kaywoodie Forums. If you have not visited the forums here is the link: http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/. I decided to post the chart here for easy access. Thank you to the KW forum for the information.

You will notice that some shape numbers are listed more than once as they got recycled over the 45 years of the Reiss-Premier/Kaywoodie two digit shape number era (1927-1972)YB1 YB2 YB3 YB4 YB5 YB6 YB7 YB8

2-digit prefixes for 4-digit pipes – you might find an odd ball or a rare one that is not on the list.
From the time of the first Kaywoodie until 1938 for Kaywoodie and for Yello-Bole, Kaufmann Brothers & Bondy used a 4-digit number system (plus a letter sometimes) to identify the line and shape number. The 4-digits were not used after 1938. The first two, which we’ll call the prefix, referred to the finish and the second two, the suffix numbers referred to the shape number.YB9 YB10Thanks again to the Kaywoodie Forum and those who have collected the information over the years. This information is extremely useful to those of us who collect Kaywoodie and Yello-Bole pipes. If you have not visited the forum I would encourage you to visit the great folks there. The forum contains a wealth of information.

Spotlight: Ladies Pipes, Part 2/7, a Clinton Straight Oval

Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, International Society of Codgers
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
Photos © the Author lady1

I came across a more subtle but still rather sexist yet humorous comment concerning the perceived relationship of women to pipe enjoyment, this time in the older ad above for Flying Dutchman tobacco. No longer in production, it was an aromatic blend of Kentucky Burley, Cavendish, Virginia, Oriental Turkish and “Other/Misc.” Sounds pretty good to me. But it makes me flash on an email I received from a friend on Smokers Forums UK. Her name is Liz. She wrote:

“I always wanted to smoke a pipe even when I was a child. I had seen photos of my dad smoking a pipe but he had quit smoking by the time I was born. I started smoking cigarettes in my early teens and the desire to smoke a pipe became stronger once I became an adult and started to do a lot of camping. I thought it would be very nice to sit by the campfire and smoke a pipe.”

Here comes the sad crux of Liz’ response. “But as a woman, I never felt comfortable or confident enough to go in a store and buy one. Finally in 2004 I got the nerve to go in the tobacco shop and buy a pipe. I used the excuse that I was buying it for my brother. [Emphasis added.] …I had no one to teach me anything about smoking the pipe so what I learned I found on the internet.”

I was struck by the eloquent and poignant plight of a woman I have come to think of as supremely confident and self-assured in all matters, albeit that our friendship is based in the ether world. This is a woman I should very much like to meet some day in person. Liz’ reluctance to purchase a tobacco pipe, at a tobacconist, for herself as a woman who had always wanted to partake of the pleasures she rightly imagined she would discover (around a campfire, no less, and as an alternative to the pernicious and addictive additives in cigarettes), plucked a mournful acoustic chord in my heart like listening to Albinoni’s Adagio for guitar alone on a torrential night.

This in turn sparked a connection to the woman in my previous blog of this series, the person who inspired me to tackle the subject in the first place with her soft-spoken, somewhat tentative inquiry to Chuck, at my local tobacconist, asking if he had any ladies pipes. After I read with delight and growing admiration for the fine woman Liz’ responses revealed her to be from the several questions I posed to her as a preliminary breaking of the ice in an ongoing interview process, I played back my mental tape of Chuck’s encounter with the good lady in search of a suitable pipe, and doing so recalled the trepidation in her voice and body language. With some amazement, I realized that she had probably worked herself up for untold years to that moment when at last she was determined to ask for that which she had always wanted!

As a man, I am compelled to declare that this clear and present state of social antipathy toward women who wish only to savor a pipe – and indeed the attitude must be widespread, or else I could not have come in contact with two ladies in hardly a month with the same reluctance to buy something so basic that they fancied obtaining – is intolerable. I mean good Lord, have we come so short a distance from the days when women on their own volition and in the strength of groups protested the double standard of cigarette smoking as chic by men while the practice was viewed as vulgar by females? Alas that science was not what it is today, and many beautiful pioneering civil rights women perished early from the intrinsic impurities and carcinogens of cigarettes. And let’s not forget the infamous bra burning demonstration so popular when I was a youngster (and to my natural titillation, no pun intended). With hope, therefore, these blogs will help to alleviate the barriers.

I noticed Peterson’s had at least one ladies pipe, and reader/blogger Mark Irwin, who read my previous blog on this subject, urged me to include some of them during the course of the series. Here are several samples of fine ladies pipes, starting with a Peterson I found offered in Italy, per Mark’s suggestion.lady2Paddy of SF let me know that his wife has a sweet collection of Savinelli 606 pipes, at least one for each day of the week, like the following example. BTW, Paddy writes, the missus also has “one Castello of a similar shape which she received as a gift.” Good company, indeed.Lady3 lady4And now, here is the Clinton Real Briar Oval as it came to me.Lady5 lady6 Lady7 Lady8RESTORATION
The Clinton, as well as the FRASA I restored for my first of these seven blogs, has an unusual stinger tenon, heightening my surprise that neither of them seems to have any discernible history, not even as seconds. In addition to the tenon, the Clinton also has a distinctive upside-down C on the bit.Lady9By way of synopsizing the pipe’s chief and obvious problems, the bit was badly discolored, there was a crack on the upper left side of the bowl extending from the rim downward (but not penetrating into the chamber), and the stain was far too dark for my taste, given the apparent decency of the obscured grain. And so I began by soaking the bit in an OxiClean bath and the stummel in some used Everclear I keep on hand for such occasions.Lady10The bit was ready first, about a half-hour later, and I removed it from the soak and rinsed it, then took out the stinger and ran a soft cleaner through the airway. I wiped the stinger clean with a soft cotton gun cleaner square and sanded both sides of the bit’s lip end with 200-grit paper. Then I wet micro-meshed the entire bit from 1500-12000 and had a nice bowl of D&R Two-Timer Gold in my Peterson Killarney Straight Bulldog Dress Pipe. I ordered the beautiful black “ebony” pipe online during a brief overwhelming fixation on these pipes that also landed me a sleek Nat Sherman. Both remain favorites.

That Everclear strip lasted just long enough for my consummate Burley mix to work its way down to a fine ash – or maybe I made it last the proper time, as was my prerogative! Whichever the case may have been, I had a couple more handy cotton cloth squares ready, one to stuff into the chamber with a pinkie and twist so I could clean out any residue there and hold the body in place while I scrubbed the still wet outside of the wood with the other. Look at the scum that would have ended up trapped below the stain I later applied. Some would ask what it would matter. I like to think the devil is in the details.Lady11With considerable difficulty given the tiny chamber diameter (1” in length and 1” deep but a mere 0.5” across), I coaxed a small, limp piece of 150-grit paper inside and somehow worked it up and down enough to make a difference, then switched to 200- and finally 500-grit., finishing with a cotton cloth square with a squirt of purified water to remove the extra char. On the outside, I used 200-grit paper to clear away the stubborn remaining stain and residue from the Everclear soak.Lady12 Lady13 Lady14I micro-meshed from 1500-12000.Lady15 Lady16 Lady17I was ready at last to consider the crack.Lady18It looks pretty nasty, doesn’t it? Again, the consensus was to shave down the rim. Having Executive Power of veto, I opted for a fix I never tried before with a little concerted sanding of the rim with 150-grit paper, it comes down appreciably.Lady19Then I got a wild hair to do the unthinkable. I retrieved my file, an old, wrecked briar stummel I’ve kept for several years knowing I would never dare to try restoring it and some Super Glue, and scrape off enough of the wood to make a nice pile of super fine particles. I’ll tell you right now, the first two attempts at mixing Super Glue with the briar particles and then moving the ultra-fast-drying gloop to the top hole in the Clinton didn’t turn out well. Eventually I conclude the trick is sprinkling some of the fine wood into the gap and then sealing it with a kiss of glue.Lady20I did hasten to scrape some of the excess glue into the hole and remove the rest using the edge of a business card. When it was dry, which was in almost no time at all, I retorted the pipe Before the finishing touches, I sanded it down to smoothness with 200-grit paper and re-micro-meshed.

Afterward, taking the matter under full advisement and consideration, I mulled over Lincoln Marine Cordovan (burgundy) to stain it, which might have been overkill, and a mix with that and two or three times more Feibing’s Brown. I chose the latter, of course. I mixed the two stains in my small Tupperware. Lady21Staining the surface of the Clinton stummel for the most part had a nice effect, not counting the serious accentuation it gave to the small remaining hairline crack beneath the one I sealed on the rim. Therefore, following the same process I so painstakingly learned before, only going straight to the effective method, I prepared more briar shavings and, Super Glue at the ready, set the stummel down left side up and sprinkled the dust over the area where the crack was forming. After using another business card (what else are they good for?) to get the most of the particles, I squeezed a nice precise dot of glue over the spot and spread it out to let it dry in a thin coat.Lady22Of course I was forced to sand down the resulting obnoxious big round shiny bump, and in the process some of the surrounding stained surface, but it was worth it knowing the integrity of the pipe would be sound and none of my pipe aficionado friends with their eagle eyes would spot the former crack. Here is after sanding and before touch staining.Lady23And now for the finished product, after buffing with white Tripoli, White Diamond and carnauba. Red and white Tripoli, White Diamond and carnauba gave this bit a higher than usual shine.Lady24 Lady25 Lady26CONCLUSION
However lighthearted the ad with which I opened this installment of the series was intended to be, women are not here to be led around by the nose in the pursuit of so-called manly pleasures. Granted, no doubt, for the most part the pleasure of partaking of tobacco pipes has always been more the purview of men, but to think that women are incapable of such finer sensibilities of life is sheer sophistry, and shamefully self-deceptive and fallacious reasoning at that.

Furthermore, women need not have masculine qualities to favor the subtle qualities of pipe appreciation. And although most humans are capable of normal synaptic reflexes, the electrical impulses generated do not produce identical stimuli tickling the pleasure centers of the brain and kicking out uniform reactions. On the contrary, the magnificence of the human brain is that everyone’s reaction to a given stimulus is unique.

Why, then, should anyone be deprived of the deeply personal reflections facilitated by the mere puffing of a favorite tobacco in a like pipe? These are propositions that we hold to be self-evident, that all people are created equal. I would no more give up my pipes than my gun. Call me a radical or a revolutionary, but don’t call me a redneck or late for dinner.

https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/single.cfm/post/top-pipe-picks-for-ladies Ladies pipes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo7IJY4ZjCU The Ladies of the Youtube Pipe Smoking Community



Making a tamper

Blog by Bill Hein

Besides restoring pipes I also like to make pens. As such I end up with a lot of little cut offs and scraps. I throw them all in a box with the intention of gluing a bunch of scrap pieces together to make my own unique pen blanks. I looked in the pile today and decided to make a tamper. I grabbed a piece of acrylic, Purpleheart, and Pau Rosa. I decided to put the acrylic in the center so I roughed up the ends of all the pieces and glued them together with CA glue. I then used a vise to hold the pieces together until the glue dried.tamp1Once dry I took the blank to my drill press and drilled a 7mm hole through the center. I decided I was going to run a bolt through the blank to have a metal end. I measured the length of the bolt and trimmed my blank to length. I then mounted it on my pen mandrel with some spacers.tamp2I turned the blank down with no real plan as to what it would look like. When it got to where I liked it I removed the blank and glued in the bolt. I then put it back into the vise and let the glue dry.Tamp3 tamp4When the glue dried I took the tamper over to my sander to round off the bolt and shape it a bit more. I then sanded the tamper by hand, starting with 150 grit and moving up to 600. I then took it to my buffer and buffed it with brown Tripoli. I then waxed the tamper by hand with Dactur no buff wax. Below is the finished tamper. Tamp5