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! The 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.I then used some rolled up sandpaper to bevel the edges. I 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. After the oil soap bath, I gave the pipe a wipe of Watco Danish Oil Dark Walnut and then let that dry.While 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. I 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. Then 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!!!