Daily Archives: February 20, 2020

Cleaning up a Japanese Kiseru Pipe

Blog by Steve Laug

Every once in a while Jeff picks up a unique piece. This is one of those it is a Japanese Kiseru. The bowl and stem are brass and the shank is a piece of reed that is fairly long but could easily have been a replacement for a shorter piece. It is similar in size to the Kiseru that I have here but the reed insert doubles the length of mine. I wrote a blog on my own Kiseru and experience smoking it. Here is the link to that blog:  https://rebornpipes.com/2012/11/09/kiseru-pipes-a-unique-experience-but-if-you-blink-you-will-miss-it/. I am also including a more recent blog on a long Japanese pipe that I cleaned up and wrote about. Here is the link to that blog if you are interested in having a look https://rebornpipes.com/2019/02/03/i-am-not-sure-what-to-call-this-a-japanese-churchwarden/.

I have included a photo of a trio of Kiseru pipes and the tobacco that is smoked in them to give you an idea of the finely cut Virginia that is used in the pipe.When Jeff received the pipe it was dirty and tarnished looking. The brass bowl and mouth piece were coated with what looked like orange rust. The stippled area on the shank and mouth piece was dirty and the grooves were filled in with grime. The reed shank was dirty and had burn marks on the side where it was laid in an ash tray. The bowl actually had white cobwebs in it from sitting for a long time. Jeff took photos to show the condition of the pipe before he worked on it.He took some close up photos of the bowl to show the dried ash and cobwebs in it when it arrived. He took some photos of the stippled mouthpiece end and the flattened underside there and on the bowl end. You can also see the orange rustlike look of the stem and bowl.Jeff took the pipe apart so you can see the parts that make it up. You can see the wear on the reed and the burn marks mid read. There is definitely some potential in this one!Jeff cleaned the pipe in his usual thorough way – scrubbing the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and Soft Scrub to remove the grime and build up as well as the oxidation. He cleaned out the inside of the pipe with pipe cleaners, cotton swab and alcohol. You can see the brass is looking much better. When it arrived here in Canada it looked pretty good. I took photos of it before I started my part of the work.I took the pipe apart as well to show the ends of the reed shank. While the burn marks were still present the overall appearance of the reed was much better. The brass actually looked “brassy” and the stippling looked three dimensional! Nicely done!I took some close up photos of the bowl to show the condition now that it was clean. I have included photos from all angles. You can see the rust on the right side of the bowl.I polished the brass mouth piece and bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. That was enough to remove the rust and give the brass a shine. Once I had finished the shank tube I would buff it and give it some wax. I polished the reed tube with 1500-12000 girt micromesh sanding pads to raise a shine in the reed and to see if I could minimize the burn marks on the mid reed portion. It actually worked very well and I am happy with the polished reed. Once the parts were finished I buffed each part on the buffing wheel and then buffed the entirety. I first used Blue Diamond with a light touch on the stippled portion. I gave the entirety several coats of carnauba wax, using a light touch on the stippled portions and keeping the wax on the high spots in those areas. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a micro fibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 8 inches, Height of the bowl: 5/8 of an inch, Diameter of the bowl: ¾ of an inch, Diameter of the chamber: 3/8 of an inch. This is an interesting piece of pipe history and if you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog!

Selected Straight Grain Author (256) Restoration

By Al Jones

It’s  been several years since I’ve had the opportunity to restore a Selected Straight Grain pipe.  Selected Straight Grain pipes were 2nd line offerings from Comoy’s and represent a good value for a pipe that might have a few flaws or fills.

Pipepedia describes the line as:

Selected Straight Grain. These were in effect a “Specimen Straight Grain” second that exhibited some small flaw or sand pit. They were listed in the 1965 catalogue at $15 or $17.50 in Extraordinaire size.

This one had a little bit of competition on Ebay, despite somewhat poor photos.  It appeared to be in good condition with no visible issues.  On arrival, the condition was as expected, but I was somewhat disappointed to not find the shape 256 stamp (indeed, no shape stamp) and the Country of Manufacture stamp was also a bit odd.  When I pulled the stem, I was pleased to see the Comoy’s metal reinforcing ring in the shank and in the tenon.

The pipe has some slight build-up on the bowl top,  mild cake and a lightly oxidized stem.  The button only had mild abrasions.  Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used a worn piece of Scotchbrite to remove the black build-up on the bowl top, then 8,000 grit micromesh. The cake was removed with my Pipenet reamer set and a piece of 320 grit sandpaper to finish the interior of the bowl, which was in great shape.  The pipe was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.

Following the soak, the stem was mounted.  I removed the oxidation with 800, 1500 and 2000 grit wet sandpaper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets.  The stem was buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I lightly buffed the bowl with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. Below is the finished pipe.