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 Kaywoodie Rustica 72B Billiard that is shown in the second photo below. I have drawn a green box around the Kaywoodie Rustica in the second photo. I have also put and X through all of the pipes that I have finished. I am making progress on the lot – I have finished 13 pipes now and this is the 14th. The Kaywoodie Rustica was probably the cleanest pipe in the lot. It had a rusticated finish and a smooth rim top. It was stamped on the underside of the heel and shank. It read Kaywoodie Rustica over Made in England on the heel followed by the shape number on the shank end – 72B. The rusticated finish was shiny and pretty clean and looks very good. The rim top had a darkening around inner edge of the rim and the bowl was out of round. The bowl had a light cake in it that was going to be an easy clean up. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also a three-hole Kaywoodie stinger/tenon set up that was a little dirty. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the darkening and damage to the inner edge as well. You can also see the cake in the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very readable. It reads Kaywoodie Rustica over Made in England with the shape number 72B readable as well. I also took the stem off and took a photo of the stinger/tenon apparatus. Before doing cleanup work on the pipe I decided to do some research on the pipe. I looked first on the Pipephil website and found some information on the white club inlay on the left side of the tapered stem. I did a screen capture of the pertinent information on the logo itself (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-kaywoodie.html). From there I learned that the logo was used until the 1980s. After the early 50s the logo was on the side of the stem.I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kaywoodie) and read the section on the rough outline on the history of the brand that links the brand with the English section of the company. I quote:
Again, demand for KBB pipes and especially Kaywoodie prompted another move for both the manufacturing facilities and the corporate offices. In 1930 the corporate office moved into the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue in New York. By 1935, the manufacturing operations moved from Union City to 6400 Broadway in West New York, New Jersey which, at the time, was touted as the largest pipe making facility in the world. At the height of production, there were 500 employees producing up to 10,000 pipes per day.
The corporate offices were relocated in 1936 to the International Building, Rockefeller Center, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York. The invitation to visit the new office reads, “Kaywoodie is now on display at the world’s most famous address – Rockefeller Center. Here Kaywoodie takes its place among the leaders of industry and commerce.” The move to Rockefeller Center coincided with The Kaywoodie Company’s emergence as a subsidiary of KBB. All of the pipes manufactured by KBB including the Yello-Bole line were also on display here. By 1938 Kaywoodie had opened an office in London to meet worldwide demand. Kaywoodie of London was jointly owned with another famous pipemaker, Comoy’s of London.
From there I turned to a link on the article to a section called Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes#NOTES_ON_.22OTHER.E2.80.9D_KAYWOODIE_PIPES).
English Kaywoodies. All of the catalogs reviewed in this research contained the following copyright notification: Printed in U.S.A., Kaufmann Bros. and Bondy, Inc., New York and London. Kaywoodie Pipe cases and smoker’s accessories were also marked with “New York and London”. The catalogs, however, do not present any information concerning Kaywoodie’s London operations, or how the English Kaywoodies might have differed from those manufactured and marketed in the U.S. Lowndes notes that he has several English Kaywoodies acquired in Vaduz and Zurich. English Kaywoodies are now made by Oppenheimer pipes. Lowndes notes that English Kaywoodies with the “screw-in bit” come in Ruby Grain, Custom Grain, Standard, and Relief Grain grades. The traditional push-bit models come in Continental Plain and Relief, London Made, Minaret, Air-way Polished No. 707, and Lightweight grades. Prices in 1985 ranged from 9.50 (pounds) to 26.00 (pounds). Lowndes notes that the Super Star was a special edition English Kaywoodie made of finest briar with a handmade silver band. Lowndes has two: one from Zurich with a large white-outlined logo, and beautifully cased; and one in walnut finish with the black-in-white logo. A recent catalog shows the Super Star without a band and the ordinary small white logo. A 1985 letter from Oppenheimer states that the black-in-white logo has been discontinued and only the regular white logo is now used.
From that information I now knew that the pipe in hand was made prior to 1985 in London by Oppenheimer. It had screw-in bit. It was time to work on the pipe now. I scraped the shank with a pen knife to remove the tarry buildup that did not allow the stem to seat properly. I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.
I reamed the light cake 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 used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the darkened areas on the inner edge of the rim and work it back into round. I was able to remove the darkening and get it closer to round. It looks a lot better. I cleaned the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. They were dirty but the pipe is clean now. I polished rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris from the sanding. The rim top was looking very good after the final polishing pad. I touched up the colour of the rim top after my clean up using and Oak Stain Pen. It blended I very well with the colour of the bowl and shank.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the rusticated 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. 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. It was looking 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 15 of the pipes. I put English Made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I 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 showing through the rustication on both sides and the smooth rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This nicely finished Kaywoodie Rustica is nice looking and feels great in my hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ 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 5 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 the trust to the next pipeman or woman.