Restoring a Kaywoodie 61 Circus Pipe

Blog by Lance Leslie

My grandfather was a pipe smoker up until the 80’s. I can remember him plowing the field with his pipe and tractor smoking. His favorite pipe was a Kaywoodie shape 61. He called it his “Circus Pipe”. He called it that because of the odd shape of the bowl opening. It was an oval bowl opening and I have never seen one before and I had yet to find one after years of searching. That is until two weeks ago.

I was scoping out eBay one night and found the elusive shape no. 61 in an auction with 12 minutes left. I put in a ridiculous bid and then it was a waiting game. Twelve minutes later, the pipe was mine!! The bidding did not get too out of hand, so that was a plus, but it did go for a hefty price considering the shape it was in.

I remember my papa gouging out the cake with an old hawkbill knife. The oval bowl could not be reamed with a reamer due to the oval shaped bowl. This led to there being chunks carved out of the top of the bowl. This pipe looked to have the same problem. Here is the pipe as it arrived. BTW, it turned out to be a Super Grain!!!! Bonus!Circus1 Circus2 Circus3 Circus4 Circus5The pipe was in pretty bad shape. The bowl’s top was gouged just like my grandpa’s. I decided to top the bowl and use my Dremel stone sanding tool and put the bowl back in round. This was real nerve-racking because I could really ruin this pipe. But I bit the bullet and went for it.Circus6I then used some rolled up sandpaper to bevel the edges.Circus7 Circus8I then lightly wet sanded the outside of the stummel to get rid of the surface scratches and gave the pipe a rub down of Murphy’s Oil Soap.Circus9 Circus10After the oil soap bath, I gave the pipe a wipe of Watco Danish Oil Dark Walnut and then let that dry.Circus11While the Danish Oil was drying, I took the stem down sanding pad lane using 1500 through 12,000 to bring the stem to a showroom shine.Circus12 Circus13I reamed the pipe with a pin knife and uncovered some gouges inside the interior of the bowl. I mixed up some pipe mud using activated charcoal and sour cream. I mixed the two together into a creamy grey paste. I applied it liberally inside the pipe and let that dry.Circus14 Circus15 Circus16Then with the pipe clean on the inside and out, I shined the pipe using carnauba wax and my buffer. Here are the final results. This is one of my Holy Grail pipes!!!Circus17 Circus18 Circus19 Circus20 Circus21


8 thoughts on “Restoring a Kaywoodie 61 Circus Pipe

  1. Pingback: Kaywoodie SuperGrain Streamliner 66 | rebornpipes

  2. Aaron

    Interesting pipe…. Congrats on the find. I have seen a few oval bowls online but never one in person. Nice job on the restoration… it looks great.


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