Daily Archives: October 15, 2016

Atwood 331C Restoration – Made by Comoy’s


By Al Jones

This pipe was sent to me for clean up by a recent convert to the joys of Comoy’s brand pipes. I had not heard of this maker before, and the owner shared some information about Atwood pipes, gleaned from Pipephil.eu

The Atwood pipes were equipped with a permanent aluminum cup at the base of the chamber, with a bore hole. Atwood M. Tempe (Los Angeles) invented the system about 1950. The patent (U.S. PAT. 2652062) was granted in 1953 and the author partnered with Comoy’s to produce the pipes. See drawings and description in document.

While researching this brand, I found that forum contributor, Robert M. Boughton, had restored an Atwood “Hall of Fame” pipe earlier this year. The pipe had a different Country of Manufacture mark, which is interesting (circle). This COM is a in a block format. The briar on tis piece also appears to be of a higher quality. I did not find any other refernces to Atwood pipes.

Below is a picture included with Atwood Timpe’ Patent which shows the design of the metal bowl cup. The nomenclature was a bit faded, but it appears to be a shape 331C, which is indeed a Comoy’s squat, quarter-bent bulldog.

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The pipe had some build-up on the bowl top and the stem was heavily oxidized.

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I used a cloth with some Oxy-Clean solution to remove most of the heavy buildup on the bowl top. Then, 2000 grit wet paper removed the remainder of the build-up and some mild scorching. I reamed the interior of the bowl down to the metal cup. The bowl was quite solid, as was the cup feature. I have no idea what the cup does for the smoking experience, but it is in there for good. I filled the bowl with Sea salt, put a cork stopper in the shank and filled it to the brim with 91% alcohol. While the bowl was soaking, the stem was soaked in a mildy Oxy-Clean solution.

Following the soak, I cleaned the stem shank with some wire brushes and fresh alcohol. I screwed a paper towel soaked in alcohol into the bowl, which did a nice job cleaning the metal cup.

I mounted stem on the bowl to clean the briar. It had a few minor dents, which I was able to lift with a flame from a lighter. The heavy oxidation was removed with 800 grit wet paper, than working my way through 1000 and 2000 grades. Finally, 8000 grade micromesh was used. The stem was the buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The bowl was somewhat grimy and I used a mild soap solution to clean it. The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and then several coasts of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe. The light stain is quite handsome. Typically, I’m not a big fan of Comoy’s 2nd’s lines, as I find the pre-molded stems lacking. However this stem has a better feel to it compared to an Everyman, The Guidall, etc. I’m curious as to how the owner finds it smokes compared to his Comoy’s of a similar era.

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I was gifted an ugly pipe by a good friend.


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years I have been the recipient of quite a few gift pipes. Some of them have been pipes that I had previously given away and that came home to me like one I had given to Mike Leverette many years ago. Others were gifts from friends who saw a pipe that they thought I would like and picked it up for me. Those pipes were just right and always came with a ready story attached. Besides pipes like those mentioned above I have also received pipes from my daughters as presents over the years. Those come with a special kind of love attached that exceeds the value of the pipe. Those too have been just right. These kinds of gifts are ones that speak their story to me every time I pick them up for a bowl. Each one reminds me of the giver and the circumstances of the gift.

Yesterday all of that gift goodness radically changed for me. There is no doubt that this gift will also always have a story attached but it will always be one that causes me to laugh when I pick it up. Ahhh, I am getting ahead of myself with my story. Let’s begin at the beginning as my daughters used to say when I read them stories as little ones. This story begins with a friend, Dallas coming by my office so that we go to lunch. We try to get together and have lunch and often share a bowl together at least monthly when I am in the town.  We always have a great time and some great conversation.

Off and on he has brought pipes for me to repair or I have brought pipes I thought he might be interested in that I have repaired. Well, yesterday he out did me. He came to my office and said he had a gift for me if I wanted it. The “if I wanted it” should have been a clue. He reached into the pocket of his coat and took out his offering. He handed me a Glad Sandwich Bag. He opened the bag and took a pipe and lighter combination out and handed it to me. The pipe and lighter we covered with a patterned paper or vinyl that was downright ugly. He laughed and said that someone had gifted him with it and he was passing it on to me. We had a good laugh as I took it from him and turned it over in my hands. It was something that only he could have gotten away with without so much as a smirk or a laugh as he came through the door. It is certainly a gift that I won’t forget and it will have that story attached to it.

We went and enjoyed a great lunch and conversation and I took the pipe home from the office with me that evening. My daughters cracked up laughing when they saw it and one of them even said they kind of liked it. I took some photos to share with all of you. I don’t think that this is a pipe that I will ever smoke but it is certainly unique.bling1 bling2The pipe is made wood and appears to be pear wood or some other hardwood. It is very light weight and is light coloured. The bowl has a metal insert in it that has five holes in the bottom of the bowl. It extends probably half way down the inside of the wood pipe. It is the kind of bowl I have seen in cheaper Chinese knockoff pipes. I am pretty certain it was crafted for smoking something other than tobacco.bling3The photos show that the pipe is covered with what looks like wallpaper or even gift wrap. It is even uglier in person than it is in the photos. The paper covers the bowl leaving a small ring of wood around the end of the shank. It is also wrapped around the stem leaving the end of the stem uncovered. The wallpaper/gift wrap comes up to what would have normally been a button on the stem. The entire surface of the pipe is covered with a heavy coat of urethane or some kind of shiny plastic coat. The end of the stem was painted with black shiny paint and a coat of urethane to protect it. The lighter sports a matching covering and is just as shiny. It is a cheap plastic butane lighter. I would be afraid to fill it and strike it for fear of it melting in my hand.bling4I decided to explore the pipe a bit so I took the stem off to have a look. There was a metal stinger apparatus/filter tenon inserted in the stem. The whole apparatus functioned as the tenon. Inside the shank the mortise was polished. The fit of the stem to the shank was off slightly because of the paint and urethane that covered the shank and stem end.bling5Over all it is one weird-looking pipe. Thanks Dallas for this one. It has changed the way I look at gift pipes. I am already thinking about who I will pass it on to. Maybe it will be a gag gift one day. I can say this with some certainty it is a pipe that is destined to be passed on again.

A Great Looking Wimbledon 810 Author showing promise


Blog by Steve Laug

The pipe pictured below is a Wimbledon Author. It is stamped on the underside of the shank on a smooth patch, WIMBLEDON over the shape number 810. The sandblast finish is craggy and the contrast of dark brown and reddish-brown give it even more depth. My brother took the following photos when he received it from the EBay seller. The finish looked to be in excellent shape. There were no worn spots on the bowl. The rim had some tars in the grooves but it was quite clean. The bowl had a thin cake but nothing too thick. The stem did not seat in the mortise properly and there was a gap between the end of the shank and the stem. The stem was oxidized though it had no tooth marks or chatter.briar1I had seen the brand before but could not remember what I had read about it. I turned to pipephil’s site and found a picture of the same pipe – the same finish, the same stem logo and the same stamping on the underside. The site said that the pipe was crafted by Briarcraft as established by the stem logo. I have included a photo of the listing on the pipephil site.wim1That led me to look on pipedia.org to do some digging on Briarcraft pipes. Here is the link: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Briarcraft. There I found the following information. I have included the part of it here that includes a reference to the Wimbledon line.

Briarcraft Pipe Company was very prosperous between 1920 and 1940 and their pipes usually feature a diamond shield logo. They also produced a line of seconds under the following names: Airo, Arcadian, Briarmeer, Smokemaster, Cavalcade, Hallmark, Sterling Hall, and Wimbledon (emphasis mine). They closed their doors in 1950. Briarcraft was started by Richard Kliethermes Sr. and located on Pipetown Hill Rd, Spring Valley, NY. It received its power from a dam on Hyenga Lake, later it moved to 66 Central Ave., Spring Valley, NY. At first it was housed in a 2 story frame building and later a 2 story stone building was added. Upon the death of RK Sr., business was run by Richard Jr, between 1920 and 1940 it was second in size to Frank Medico pipes. All the briar root was imported from Africa, with the start of WWII, imports stopped and a briar like root was imported from S. Carolina. Richard Kliethermes Jr. was the inventor of a pipe known as Smokemaster, which used a doubled up pipe cleaner in the bit to absorb tobacco juice. With the decline in business during WWII and the following 5 years it closed its doors 1950.

Jeff took the following close up photos to show the bowl and rim condition and the stamping on the underside of the shank. The third photo below shows the oxidation on the otherwise clean stem.briar2 briar3Jeff did his usual great clean up on the mortise and airways in the shank and stem. He reamed the bowl back to briar and scrubbed the externals with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. He rinsed it under running water. When the pipe arrived in Vancouver in the last box I received it looked like the photos below.briar4 briar5There was some rim darkening around the inner edge of the bowl but the briar was solid with no crumbling or burning. The finish had lightened with the scrubbing but would be easy to bring back to the original colour.briar6The oxidation on the button end of the stem was pretty light but on the tenon end was quite heavy. For some reason it rose to the surface and was almost white in colour.briar7I wiped down the rim with some alcohol on a cotton pad to clean it up and prepare it for restaining to match the bowl. I stained it with a dark brown stain pen.The colour of the stain pen was a perfect match to the bowl.briar8I wetsanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to cut through the surface oxidation. I dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads to further polish it. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads and with the final pad set the stem aside to dry. I took the following photos of the stem and in them you can still see the residual oxidation under the flash of the camera.briar9 briar10 briar11I decided to use some more of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and Fine and Extra Fine Pipe Polish and see if I could draw out further oxidation. I am still experimenting with the product to check out its effectiveness so this seemed like another good test. I rubbed it down with the deoxidizer and a paper towel and was able to remove even more oxidation from the stem. I was impressed by what it brought out of the vulcanite.briar12I rubbed the stem down with the Fine and Extra Fine Pipe Polish and saw the shine on the stem increase and the oxidation disappear. So far so good.briar13I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to futher polish it. The oxidation was gone. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine on the pipe. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a great looking pipe and one that has great feel in the hand. This one will also make its way to the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested let me know – send me an email at slaug@uniserve.com or a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.briar14 briar15 briar16 briar17 briar18 briar19 briar20 briar21

Sometimes you get lucky and it’s an easy cleanup – a Royal Danish 930 Acorn


Blog by Steve Laug

It seems that over the years I have picked up a lot of hard case pipes – pipes that need lots of TLC to even make them usable once again. Somehow, lately my brother has been picking up some pretty sweet pipes that don’t take a lot of work and if you saw my refurbishing bin you would understand why that really makes me thankful. The current pipe I am working on is one those easy ones. He did the lions share of cleaning work on it. He reamed the bowl and scrubbed the internals – the mortise and airways in the shank and stem. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe so that added to the ease of the cleanup. The pipe is a Stanwell second or sub line. It is stamped on the underside of the shank in a smooth patch Royal Danish over Made in Denmark. To the left of that stamping is the shape number 930 which to my mind is the classic Danish acorn shape. The pipe has a shallow sandblast finish with two smooth patches on the sides of the bowl. The graceful stem gives it a classic look. There is some light oxidation on the stem and some light cake in the bowl and lava on top of the bowl. My brother took the next photos to show the overall look of the pipe.danish1 danish2He also took some close up photos of the rim, the stamping and the stem logo. The first photo below shows the light cake and lava on the rim. It should clean up nicely. The second and third photos show the stamping on the shank and the stem. The crown logo on the stem is faded and worn but still quite legible.danish3 danish4When I brought it to the work table I took the following four photos to show the state of the pipe before I cleaned or polished it. You can see from the photos that the finish was in good shape. The stem was oxidized but otherwise clean with no tooth marks or chatter.danish5 danish6I took some close up photos of the rim and bowl. The rim is in good shape. My brother cleaned off the rim with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime and tars. He reamed the bowl and cleaned it. There was some lightening of the stain on the rim.danish7The stem was in great shape other than the oxidation. There were no tooth marks or chatter on the top or the underside of the stem.danish8I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 micromesh sanding pads to loosen the oxidation. I scrubbed the stem with the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and paper towels. I scrubbed it with Before & After Pipe Polish Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil to protect and give life to the stem. I buffed it with carnauba wax and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth.danish9 danish10I buffed the bowl lightly with Blue Diamond and the stem with a bit more pressure. I was careful around the stamping on the stem and shank. I gave the stme mulitple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand polished the stem with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The pipe will also one day be listed on the store. It is for sale now if anyone is interested. It would make a great addition to your collection.danish12 danish13 danish14 danish15 danish16 danish17 danish18 danish19