Breathing Life into a Chacom Paris Dress Black 43 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I finished the restoration of one of the pipes that Jeff and I picked up from a fellow in Pennsylvania, a Chacom Paris straight Brandy. I wrote about that restoration on the blog at this link: (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/03/22/breathing-life-into-a-chacom-paris-861-quarter-bent-brandy/). I had a second Chacom Paris in my restoration bin that needed some work. It had come to us from a fellow in New York who periodically picks up pipes for Jeff and me. It was a dress bent billiard with a shiny black painted coat around the bowl and shank. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Paris and there is Chacom CC logo stamped in the left side of the tapered, vulcanite stem. On the underside of the shank next to the ferrule on the shank was the shape number 43. It was very dirty with a thin cake in the bowl and a light layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top. From the photos it appeared that the inner and outer edges were in good condition. Other than a few small nicks in the black paint and a dirty finish it appeared to be in good condition. The stem and the shank end had a decorative metal ferrule that was supposed to meet once the stem was in place. On this pipe the stem sat well in the shank and there was no gap between the stem and shank. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the light overflow of lava. The cake was thin and the lava overflow is a thicker toward the back of the beveled rim. The bowl and the rim actually looked very good. The next photo shows the right side of the bowl and shank to give a clear picture of the condition of the dress finish on the pipe. It was in very good condition. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the shape number 43 on the underside of the shank near the ferrule to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. He also included some photos of the CC logo on the left side of the stem and the FRANCE stamp on the underside. The vulcanite stem was in okay condition other than some tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button.Just a reminder from the previous blog on the Chacom Paris pipes:

The brand Chacom turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independence from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …) (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html).

Pipedia gives a great historical overview of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom). I have not included that here but if you are interested click on the link and you can read about the company from its inception to its current status.

I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean the finish and the lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the cake and the lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. There was some damage to the rim top at the back of the bowl. The stem had some tooth chatter and tooth marks on the surface of both sides.I removed the stem and set it aside to address the issues with the rim top. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to polish out much of the damage. The finish on the rest of the bowl was in good condition. The rim top was worn and there was some paint missing along the inner and outer edges. I decided to rub the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The pipe had a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I used a black Sharpie pen to touch up the damaged areas around the rim top. I touched up both the inner and outer edges of the bowl.I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. The stem had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside. I sanded the surfaces with 220 grit sandpaper and was able to remove the majority of the damage. I filled in the one remaining tooth mark on the top side with clear super glue and set the stem aside to allow the repairs to cure.After the repair had cured I blended it into the surface of the vulcanite with a folded piece of 220 and when finished started polishing the stem with 400 grit sandpaper. The repaired area looked good at this point in the process. There was a faint light spot in the repair that I could not sand out but it blended in very well.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I polished Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final hand buff with a microfiber cloth. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I carefully worked the stem over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I was careful not to buff the bowl and damage the painted surface. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well and the rim top looked good. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. The Black Dress Chacom Paris with the metal fitments another very elegant looking pipe. The polished black vulcanite stem looks really good with the browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. The shape of the pipe and the bent stem give this pipe a great feel in the hand and the mouth. This one should be another great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!

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