Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I brought to my table to work on was stamped on the left side of the shank The Guildhall over London Made and on the right side Twin Bore over Made in England. The stamping was readable with a light and a magnifier but it was faint. It was a nicely shaped long shank billiard or some would call it a Lumberman. I have worked on many Comoy’s The Guildhall pipes but never have seen one stamped like this. The stem indeed is a twin bore. It was in decent shape but it did not bear testimony to the point of the twin bore “bite proof” stem. It had a lot of tooth marks and chatter on the top and the bottom side of the stem. The tooth marks were quite deep but did not enter the airway in the stem. So I guess in that way the stem was “bite through proof”. The finish was quite nice. The pipe was in good shape with just some grime on the surface of the briar. The rim had been topped and restained sometime in its history as the stain is quite a bit lighter than the rest of the pipe. The outer and inner edges of the rim were darker than the surface of the rim. The bowl had been reamed but the cake was left uneven on the walls of the bowl. I took a close-up photo of the rim to show the previous topping and the darkening of the inner and out edges. You can see that it had been touched up and the rim edges not cleaned up. I also took some close-up photos of the damage to the stem in terms of tooth marks and chatter. I sanded the top and bottom sides of the stem to remove the tooth chatter on the surface and to clean up the area around the deeper tooth marks. I wiped the areas down with alcohol and then used black super glue to fill in the deep marks.While the stem repairs were drying I reamed the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar.I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the bevel on the inner edge of the bowl. I worked slowly to make sure that the bevel maintained the roundness of the bowl. Once I had it finished I stained the rim and inner edge with a medium brown stain pen to match the colour with the rest of the pipe.I used a dental spatula to scrape out the inside of the mortise as there was a ridge of tar and oil part way down the shank. I scraped out the grime and then scrubbed the inside of the mortise and the airway in the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until it was clean.By the time I worked on the twin bore stem the repairs were dry. I lightly sanded them and then cleaned out the twin bore airways.I sanded the repairs on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper until the surface of the repairs was blended into the surface of the stem.I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed down the stem with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I sanded it with the last set of three micromesh sanding pads – 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond and worked over the scratches that still showed up on the top surface of the stem. It did not take much to remove them and get a deep shine on the stem. I buffed the bowl as well, being careful around the stampings on the shank of the pipe. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine on the briar and vulcanite. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It shines and has depth to the finish. The stamping is faint but is my only example of a Twin Bore Comoy’s The Guildhall Pipe. It is a beauty in my opinion. Thanks for looking.