Blog by Steve Laug
I decided to work on another pipe from the fellow in Kitchener, Ontario who sent me some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:
I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).
It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose The Everyman London Pipe 296 Canadian that was not included in the photos of the collection that he sent me. It was a surprise when it arrived.
When I unwrapped it the pipe it was a smooth finish Billiard. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read The Everyman London Pipe. On the right side of the shank it was stamped with the circular Made in London England COM stamp. Near the shank bowl junction on the right side it also had the shape number 291. The finish was dull and dirty looking but had nice grain under the grime. The rim top had some darkening on the top and the beveled inner edge. There was also a lava overflow from the cake in the bowl. The tapered stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also some calcification for about an inch up the stem. The stem also had the standard Everyman three silver bars on the left side. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and thick lava on the top and the beveled rim edge as well. You can also see the cake in the bowl. It is hard and quite thick. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very faint but readable. It reads The Everyman London Pipe on the left side and Made In London, England in a circular COM Stamp on the right. That is preceded by the shape number 291. There is some nice grain around the bowl and shank. I am including the information I also included on the sandblasted Canadian I just finished (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/03/06/time-for-a-change-of-pace-the-everyman-london-pipe-296-canadian/). I turned my favourite go to sites on background of brands. The first is Pipephil’s site ( http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-e4.html). There I looked up the Everyman brand and confirmed what I remembered about it being made by Comoy’s. From there I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy%27s). I went directly to the section on Comoys pipes. I found this shape chart. The shape number 291 is shown as a Basic Billiard. I have drawn a green rectangle around it in the photo below. (The red boxed pipe in the photo below was The Everyman London Pipe Canadian that I had finished prior.With this pipe I am working on another of this pipe man’s non-Brigham pipes from the nineteen pipe installment. I went to work on it immediately.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second and third cutting head to take the cake back to bare briar so I could inspect the walls. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good. I also scraped off the lava on the rim top and edges with the Fitsall Knife to begin the cleaning process. I scrubbed the surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit from the briar. I cleaned out the mortise area and airway to the bowl and shank as well as the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I scraped it with a dental spatula and followed up with the cleaners. It was obvious that this had been another one of his favourite pipes as it was heavily smoked. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the darkened rim top and beveled rim edge. I was able to remove the darkening and the remaining lava. I polished rim top and sides of the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris from the sanding. The bowl was looking very good after the final polishing pad. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. It really gives depth to the sandblasted finish on the briar. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation and the calcification build up. It looked a lot better. I sanded out the remaining tooth chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish, a red gritty paste and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris. I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine. I finally feel like I am making progress on this 19 pipe lot from Eastern Canada. With the completion of this one I have finished 12 of the pipes. I put The Everyman London Pipe Billiard back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain on both sides and rim standing out with stark clarity. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem with the shining silver coloured bars was beautiful. This nicely grained The Everyman 291 Billiard is nice looking and feels great in my hand. It is another light and well balanced pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 7/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Only 7 more of these pipes to do in this lot! Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next pipeman or woman.