By Al Jones
This little Comoy’s billiard caught my eye as it was stamped “Tradition” but is a sandblasted pipe. The shape is the 168, a tapered stem billiard. The COM (Country of Manufacture) mark is also the circular “Made in London”/England that is used on smooth Comoy’ spipes. This COM mark with the 3 piece drilled “C” stem logo was used in the early 1950’s onward to the merger point in 1981-1982.
The pipe had a heavily oxidized stem but otherwise appeared undamaged. The dark area near the button shows that a bit guard was used. The bowl had a very thick cake build-up.
Upon receipt, I found the stem impossibly stuck in place. It was so tight that I feared it may have been glued in place. Freezing didn’t work, so I filled the bowl with alcohol and stuck a cleaner thru to soak some alcohol into the shank/tenon area. After several hours, I was relieved to find the stem released, with a perfect tenon.
The bowl was reamed and I found the interior to be in perfect condition, protected no doubt by the cake. The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. While it was soaking, I put a dab of grease on the C logo and soaked the stem in a mild solution of Oxy-Clean to loosen the oxidation.
I used Halycon II wax applied by hand to shine the bowl. The mild build-up on the bowl top was removed using a combination of a cloth and worn scotchbrite pad. The shank was cleaned with a series of brushes and alcohol. A thorough cleaning of the shank is necessary to avoid tobacco ghosts.
The stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 400, 800, 1000 and 2000 grade wet sandpaper. Next, 8000 and 12000 micromesh sheets were used. The stem was then machine buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.
Below is the completed pipe.