Daily Archives: August 30, 2019

New Life for a Barling’s Make Ye Olde Wood “Fossil” EL 437 Canadian

Blog by Steve Laug

Not too long ago I received an email from a fellow in California who I have repaired a few pipes for over the years. He said he was sending me a couple of pipes to work on. The box arrived a few weeks ago and when I opened it I found this message in the box.

Hi Steve — Here are the two pipes as promised. The Dunhill Shell should be an easy resto, but the Barling’s Fossil is another story. This pipe appears to have been someone’s favorite and smoked pretty hard. Might involve a little reconstructive surgery as the inside of the rim has been chipped due to knocking on a hard surface. Looks like the cake has held it together. The stem is upside down and seized into the shank as well. Would like to keep the original finish on the stummels and shanks of both if possible… thanks — Scott

I decided to take a break from Bob Kerr’s Estate for a bit and work on Scott’s pipes. I took the Dunhill out first and did the restoration on it. It was pretty straight forward and cleaned up nicely. Give that blog a read if you are interested (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/28/new-life-for-a-1964-dunhill-shell-briar-250f-t-2s-billiard/). But now it was time to work on the second pipe – the Barling’s Make Fossil Canadian. I looked it over to check out its condition and what needed to be done with it. The finish was dirty but underneath all of the grime it appeared to be in decent condition. The edges of the rim top were virtually ruined on the front right side of the bowl. There were chips on the inner edge and damage on the outer edge. The rim top itself was scratched and nicked as if it had been knocked about.  The bowl had a thick hard cake inside and remnants of tobacco stuck to the walls. I could not even put my little finger in the bowl it was so clogged. The stem was stuck in the shank and was upside down. It was unmovable. I could still see the Barlings Cross on the top of the stem and Regd number on the underside. There was some calcification on the first inch of the stem on both sides. The stem was also oxidized and dirty. The stamping on the stem is very faint. The slot in the button was almost clogged up with tars and debris. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and the button. There was a worn notch on the top right side of the stem just ahead of the button. I took photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show the condition of the bowl and rim before I started working on it. The rim top was a disaster – it looked as if it was ruined and destroyed. There is some thick lava filling in the sandblast of the rim. The inner edges were very rough with large chips out of the right front. The outer edge was worn from being beaten against something hard knocking out dottle. The cake in the bowl is quite thick and hard so the bowl walls should be in good condition. I also took close up photos of the stem surface before I did the cleanup. You can see the faint stamping on the topside – a Barling Cross. On the underside it was also stamped and was faint – Regd over 98046 . The stamping on the underside of the shank is in great shape. It reads Barling’s arced over Make and underneath that it reads Ye Olde Wood with the shape number 437 on the heel of the bowl. That is followed by EL “Fossil” in script. That is followed Made in England and T.V.F. When I received the pipe the stem was stuck in the shank and was upside down. I put the pipe in the freezer for 30 minutes and when I removed it the stem turned easily in the shank. I removed it so that I could work on the bowl and soak the stem.I put the stem in a bath of Before & After Deoxidizer and left it to soak while I turned my attention to the bowl.I turned to Pipedia’s article on Barling pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Barling) and specifically read the section on the “Ye Olde Wood Stamp”. I quote as follows:

Sometime around 1913, the “Ye Olde Wood” stamp made its appearance on selected pipes. An example exists stamped on a 1913 date hallmarked pipe.

This logo will continue to be used in the decades to come. Initially it was used to designate a higher grade than the average, much as the “Special” grade would after the Second World War. Price lists show the “Ye Olde Wood” pipes as a separate grade from the basic BARLING’S MAKE pipe. Eventually, “Ye Olde Wood” came to represent the company to the world. The use of “YE OLD WOOD” as a stamp prior to 1940 was haphazard, at best, although the company used the slogan in advertising materials from the early teens onward. (Gage)

I also did further reading to understand the 3 digit model numbers which were designated on the site as Nichols Numbers. The article had this information:

Pipes intended for the US Market have a 3 digit model number. However, Family Era Barlings may have two numbers, not just three, and they may also have a letter following the model numbers. For example, the letter “M” following a model number would indicate that the bowl is meerschaum lined.

To further define the time period of the pipe I looked further in the article to the COM stamping on the pipes. This pipe is stamped MADE IN ENGLAND with a period at the end. Here is what the article said.

The “MADE IN ENGLAND.” stamp was in use in the 1930’s thru 1962. As with all things related to Barling nomenclature there are variations. Sometimes there is no “MADE IN ENGLAND.” stamp. Examples exist with a “MADE IN LONDON” over “ENGLAND” stamp. And, there are examples with “MADE IN ENGLAND” with no period after the word “ENGLAND”.

I also read the section on the size stampings and quote the pertinent part.

…In 1941 the published range of sizes expanded. Going from the smallest to the largest, they are SS, S, S-M, L, EL, EXEL, and EXEXEL. There is no “G” for giant. Giant pipes, or magnums, which are oversized standard billiards, were not stamped “G” but are commonly identified by collectors as such because they are obviously large relative to even EXEXEL pipes, and carried no size stampings (Gage).

There was a further section on Family Era Grades and Lines. This pipe was stamped Ye Olde Wood – sometimes referred to by collectors as YOW, which the article says may have a dark or plum stain. It is also stamped “Fossil” which denoted a sandblast finish. Most likely this stamping came into existence after WW2. The 1943 product line lists “sandblast” not “Fossil”.

This pipe was definitely made in the Family Era which ran from 1912 – 1962 and included pipes made by the Barling family while it either owned or managed B. Barling & Sons. I know that it was made after WW2 because of the “Fossil” stamp and before the close of the era in 1962. That appears to be as close as I can get to a date on this old timer.

Armed with that information I turned to work on this pipe. The cake was very hard and took a lot of elbow grease to ream it. I started by reaming the bowl to remove as much of the cake on the walls and the debris of tobacco shards as possible. I switched back and forth between that PipNet reamer with the first two cutting heads and the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to break away more of the rock hard cake. Once I finally got the thick cake removed I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel and also a Sharpie Pen to smooth out the walls and clean up some of the  damage to the inner edge of the bowl. I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean off the debris on the damaged rim top in preparation for rebuilding the damaged edge on the front right side. There were chips on the inner and outer edge of the rim as well as burn damage on the top at that point. Once I had it cleaned up I wiped the rim down with a cotton pad and alcohol to remove the remaining debris. I layered on a bit of clear super glue and used a dental spatula to add briar dust to the top of the glued areas. I pushed the dust deep in the chipped areas with a dental pick. I repeated the process until the damage rim top matched the height of the remaining rim top. The photos look far more intrusive than they really were. Once the repair had cured I wiped the excess dust off with a cloth (the dust in the bowl is just that dust and was cleaned out upon completion of the repair). I used a little more of the clear super glue to even out the top inner edge of the bowl. Once it had cured it was time to clean up the surface of the bowl. I continued my ongoing experiment with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Briar Cleaner to remove the dust and debris in the grooves of the blast on the bowl and the rim top. I rubbed it into the surface of the briar and let it sit for 10 minutes. I rinsed the bowl off with warm running water to remove the product and the grime. The grain really began to stand out clearly. It was a beautiful piece of briar. I used a Dremel with some sharp and round burrs to match the repaired rimtop to the rest of the rim. The key was to not do too much but just enough to blend it into the sandblast that remained on the rest of the rim top. Once I had finished I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean off the debris left behind by the Dremel.I used a Walnut and a Mahogany stain pen to touch up the stain on the worn outer edges of the bowl and the rim top. I mixed in some black Sharpie pen to blend it to match the bowl colour. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top. I worked it into the surface with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the wood. I let the balm sit for about 10 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth. I took photos of the pipe at this point in the process to show what the bowl looked like at this point. I am happy with the blend of the stain on the right side and the overall look of the bowl at this point. Now the bowl was finished except for the final polishing. I took the stem out of the Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it under warm water. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway to remove the deoxidizer from the airway in the stem. The deoxidizer had done a good job removing the oxidized stem surface. You can see that the stamping is quite weak on the top and underside of the saddle. There is were on the edge of the button on the top side and few tooth dents. On the underside the edge of the stem there was a notch on the side of the stem near the button. There was also wear on the button surface.Once the externals of the stem were cleaned I turned my attention to the internals. I cleaned out the mortise and airway to the bowl and in the stem with 99% isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I cleaned both until the cleaners came out white. It was a dirty pipe.I set the bowl aside and turned my attention back to the stem. I built up the deep dents and gouges in the button and the edge of the stem with clear super glue. I set it aside to cure.Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to recut the edge of the button and smooth out the button edges.I also sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the surface of the vulcanite and removed the rest of the oxidation on the vulcanite with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I followed the 220 grit sandpaper with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to minimize the scratching. I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish to take out the oxidation at the button edge and on the end of the mouthpiece. I buffed the stem with a microfiber cloth.I polished out the scratches with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. Scott was correct in his note that this was a more difficult restoration. Even so, I am finally on the homestretch with this pipe as well and I really look forward to the final look when it is put back together and polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish to begin the shine. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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 pretty nicely. The deeply blasted grain on this old Barling’s Make Ye Olde Wood “Fossil” Canadian looked good with the polished black vulcanite. This Family Era “Fossil”sandblast Canadian shape 437 was a challenging pipe to work on. I really like the look of the Barling Sandblast finish on this one and will need to keep an eye out for one for me. The combination of red and black stains really makes the pipe look attractive. It is a comfortable pipe to hold in the hand and I think that as it heats with smoking that over time the finish will develop even a darker patina as Scott smokes it and it will look even better. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 1 7/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I look forward to hearing what Scott thinks of it once he receives it. I now will need to pack up the two pipes and get them in the mail to him. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

A Simple Restoration of a “Jobey Filtersan # 690”

Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I am in a rush to complete as many pipes as I can before Abha, my wife, sends me another batch of 30-40 pipes to restore!! Her pace of completing the initial cleaning of the pipes is very difficult for me to match by completing the remaining restorations aspects of these pipes.

Well, the next pipe that I decided to work on is a straight pot (actually I feel it is cross between a Billiard and a Pot what with the bowl height of a Pot and the width of a Billiard!!),  Jobey Filtersan pipe in a beautiful black stained sandblast finish. The beautiful sandblast patterns can be seen all around the stummel and rim top surface, save for smooth surfaces at the bottom of the shank which bears the stamping on this pipe and the second that forms a band at the shank end. The pipe is stamped “Jobey” in cursive hand over “FILTERSAN” in block letters. Adjacent to these stampings, is another set of stamps in line with the above and reads “FRANCE” over “690”. The stampings are all crisp and prominent. I had previously worked on an interestingly shaped Jobey Original Bent Dublin Sitter; here is the link to write up (https://rebornpipes.com/2018/09/14/jobey-original-t1/), and had researched this brand then. To refresh my memory, I revisited the write up and also included some information from pipedia.org. Here are some interesting excerpts from pipedia.org…


English – American – Danish – French… Sadly, solid information about Jobey is scant…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as is known the following companies have been involved with the brand:

Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures:

“The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […] Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

Yet then there are partially really exciting Freehands mainly in the seventies, that Jobey – Weber owned back then – bought from Danish pipe genius Karl Erik (Ottendahl). These pipes were offered as Jobey Dansk – ’70’s pure! (BTW waning sales caused Ottendahl to discontinue exports to the United States in 1987).

In the very same year – obviously only as a ghost brand – Jobey was transferred to Saint-Claude, France to be manufactured by Butz-Choquin.

There must have been an abandonment of the fabrication, because in 2002 the message was spread, the current proprietor of the brand F&K Cigar Co. from St. Louis, MO had recently re-introduced the Jobey very successfully again…

From the above information and correlating the stampings on this pipe, it is safe to conclude that this pipe is definitely post 1987 and made by Butz-Choquin when the brand was transferred to France. With rough idea of the origins of this pipe, I move ahead to the next step in the process of restoration that I follow.

The pipe came to us in an excellent condition when compared to most of the pipes that I have worked on till date. It was maybe smoked a couple of times at best. The chamber is in pristine condition with a very thin layer of cake which is soft and crumbling. For Abha, my wife, this should be a breeze to clean. The sandblast rim top has a little dust and tar accumulation. The rim outer and inner edges are in excellent condition and without any damage.The sandblasted stummel surface has beautiful patterns with the cross grains and vertical grains forming a grid pattern. The stummel surface has dulled a bit and appears lifeless due to accumulation of dust and dirt within these sandblast patterns. A small quantity of accumulation of oils and grime is seen in the mortise and a thorough cleaning with pipe cleaners and alcohol should address this issue. The vulcanite stem is lightly oxidized and without any bite marks or tooth chatter on either surface. The tenon is made of plastic and houses a 6mm filter (came with a new filter!!). The insides of the slot and tenon have signs of accumulated gunk. The brass roundel with embossed logo of the pipe brand is intact, albeit oxidized. This should polish up nicely. INITIAL CLEANING BY ABHA…

The initial cleaning on this pipe was done by Abha, my wife (she has cleaned up around 40-50 pipes and these have now reached me for further restoration). She reamed out the complete cake and further smoothed out the chamber walls with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. She further cleaned out the internals of the shank with pipe cleaners and alcohol and cotton buds. She followed the internal cleaning of the shank with external cleaning of the stummel using Murphy’s Oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush and dried it with paper napkins and cotton cloth.

Next she cleaned out the internals of the stem air way and immersed it in “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution along with the stem of other pipes in line for restoration. Once the stem had soaked overnight, she cleaned the stem under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. She further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stem with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stem. She had removed the stinger from the tenon and cleaned it with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol.

Now that the cleaned up pipe is on my work table, I proceed to carry out my appreciation of the work that needs to be done on this pipe to restore it.

The chamber is odorless and the walls are solid without any signs of damage. The sandblast rim top surface is in decent condition with the inner and outer rim edge in excellent condition. I could still see remnants of the accumulated dirt and grime in the sandblasts of the rim top surface (hope Abha does not read this post!!). I shall remove this crud with a soft brass wired brush. The mortise and shank internals are nice and clean. The stummel is nice and clean. Once the stummel was cleaned up by Abha, I could see a small crack on the left side of the shank close to the smooth briar band at the shank end (marked in red circle). I probed it with my dental tool and found it to be solid without any give. I think this could be a flaw in the briar. However, to ally my worst fears, I shared the pictures of this flaw with Steve for his opinion and to my great relief, he concurred with my assessment. I would just fill it up with a drop of superglue and use a black sharpie marker to mask this flaw. There is, in fact, not much work to be done here save for some spit and polishing to make it nice and shiny again. The oxidation on the vulcanite stem has been greatly reduced, thanks to all the efforts put in by Abha. A bit of sanding to remove the deeper oxidation followed by micromesh polishing cycle should add a nice shine to the stem.THE PROCESS
The first issue I addressed was that of the flaw that I had observed during my inspection of the stummel. I spot filled the flaw with a drop of superglue and set it aside to enter in to whatever gaps that may exist internally and harden.While the shank fill was curing, I sand the stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and followed it up by sanding it with 400, 600 and 800 grit sand papers. This serves to remove the deep seated oxidation from the stem surface and also reduces the sanding marks of the more abrasive sand papers. I wiped the stem with a moist cloth to remove all the oxidation from the surface.I followed up the sanding regime with micromesh polishing to bring a shine on the stem surface. I wet sand the stem with 1500 to 2400 girt micromesh pads. Continuing with my experimentation that I had spelled out in my previous post on ROPP REPORTER # L-83 pipe, I mount a cotton buffing wheel on my hand held rotary tool and polish the stem with Red Rouge polish as I had read that this polish has grit in between 2400 to 3200 grit pads of the micromesh pads. Further, I mount a fresh buffing wheel on the rotary tool and polish the stem with White Diamond polish as it has grit equivalent to 3800- 4000 of micromesh pads. I finish the stem polish by wet sanding with 6000 to 12000 grit pads of the micromesh. I rub a small quantity of olive oil in to the stem surface to hydrate it and set it aside. I am really happy with this process of stem polishing as the results are excellent while saving me huge amounts of time and effort. The shank fill had cured in the intervening period and I sand the excess superglue with a worn out piece of 220 grit sand paper. I further mask it with a permanent black marker. The fill should be impossible once the stummel has been polished and buffed.Next, with a soft bristled brass wired brush, I gently scrub the sandblasted surface of the rim top and dislodged the dried up gunk. The rim top surface is now nice and clean and the stummel is prepped for the next stage in the restoration.Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful black sandblast patterns on full display. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. With the stem well hydrated at this point with absorption of olive oil, I wiped it dry with a paper napkin and removed any excess oil from the stem surface. I applied a small quantity of “Before and After Extra Fine” stem polish and rubbed it deep in to the vulcanite stem. This polish, purportedly, is supposed to remove the finer sanding marks left behind by the abrasive grit papers.Now, on to the homestretch!! I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply a coat of Blue Diamond to the stummel, shank extension and the stem to polish out the minor scratches.With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I apply a coat of carnauba wax and continue to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mount a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and give the entire pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe looks beautiful and should be an ideal combination with a black suit or a black tuxedo!! P.S. This pipe has already found a new piper to carry forward the trust posed in him by the previous piper and I am sure that this pipe will provide the new piper many years of happy smokes and will remind him of our association.

I cannot thank Abha, my wife, enough who not only supports my hobby of pipe restoration, but actively helps in this work by doing all the dirty work of initial cleaning and providing me a clean platform to work further.

Thank you all readers of rebornpipes who have spared a moment of their invaluable time in reading through this write up and as is always, your suggestions and advice on my experimentation is always welcome as this would also help the new pursuers of this art.