Monthly Archives: April 2020

New Life for a Wally Frank Period Custombilt Bent Scoop


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years I have owned and worked on quite a few Custom-Bilt pipes from the hands of Tracy Mincer and also the various iterations that followed his demise – Wally Frank, Holco Rohr to mention a few. The stamping on this particular pipe identifies it to the Wally Frank Period. There is just something about the brand and the large rustic carving of the pipe that captures a lot of people’s imagination. This particular Custombilt is what I would call a Bent Scoop. It has a taper stem and is quite chunky. It is stamped both on the left and right side of the shank. On the left side it is stamped with the Custombilt over Imported Briar. On the right side it is stamped with the letter R in a circle. It was dirty and the fills in the briar really stood out with the finish as dull and lifeless as it was. There was a moderated cake in the bowl and a lava coat on the rim top and the inner edge. The pipe had a rich medium brown stain that highlighted nice grain on the bowl sides under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The vulcanite taper stem was in good condition with some oxidation and light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff captured the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in terms of the lava and grime on the rim and the cake in the bowl. The rustication patterns around the sides of the bowl and the contrasting smooth areas look very “Mincerlike”. Jeff took some photos showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. He captured the stamping on the sides of the. The Custombilt stamp is faint but readable. The Imported Briar stamp is clear and the R circle stamp on the right side is also readable.The photos of the stem show the stem surface. It is dirty and has pitting, light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I turned to Pipedia to the specific section on Custombilt pipes to try and establish a time frame for this pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Custom-Bilt). I did a screen capture of the section showing the style of stamp that the pipe I have on the table. From that information I knew that the pipe I had was made during the Wally Frank years of Custombilt history. I quote a pertinent portion of the article on this particular era of the history

…In the early 1970s, Wally Frank Co. bought the Custombilt trademark and began to produce their version of the pipe in 1974 or 1975. Hollco Rohr owned the Weber pipe factory, located in New Jersey, and produced the Custombilt pipes there. In 1987, the pipes were made out of the Butz-Choquin factory (France) and then Mexico until the late 1990s.

So it appears that this pipe was made in the early 1970s and before Wally Frank sold the company in 1974 or 1975. So at least I have narrowed down the time period to a few years between 1970-1975.

Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned up the bowl walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the beveled rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. Once Jeff removed the lava on the top and inside of the rim top all that remained was a little darkening that should be able to be polished off. Both the inner and the outer edge of the bowl look good. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean and there is some tooth chatter and marks on the button surface and just ahead of the button.I took the stem off the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It really is nice looking pipe with rugged rustication. After the clean up the fills blended back into the surface of the briar.I was happy with the way the rim top and edges looked so I did not need to do anymore except to polish them. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside at this point and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the tooth marks on the button edge and along the edge on both sides with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I blended it into the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I continued the polishing using Denicare Mouthpiece polish. It is a red gritty paste that feels a lot like Tripoli to me. It works very well  to polish out remnants of oxidation and smooth out fine scratches in the rubber stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This Custombilt from the earlier 70s is a handful just like all Custombilts or Custom-Bilt pipes that I have worked on. It is a big piece of briar that has great grain on the rim top. The shaping and carving is interestingly done and minimizes the flaws in the briar. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to highlight the stunning grain on the pipe. The black vulcanite saddle stem just adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel (lightly in the rustications) and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Bent Pot is quite nice and has the instantly recognizable look of a Custombilt. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This pipe will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

A New Lease On Life For A No-Name English Make Large Pot


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I had purchased this pipe lot of two unmarked beautiful looking pots on eBay with the intention of either selling or gifting. The price was very low and from the pictures, the pipes screamed quality and appeared solid. Here are a couple of pictures of this pair that were posted by the seller. Once the pipes were delivered home (my work place is away from where my family resides), Abha my wife, checked them out and informed me of the following;

(a) Both pipes are similar with only difference being in the size, one is large Pot while the other is a medium.

(b) The only stamping seen is on the right side of the shank and reads “MADE IN” over “LONDON, ENGLAND”. The stem is devoid of any stampings. The overall feel of the pipe is that of high quality.

(c) Both pipes have a darkened spot each, the larger one has it on the heel and the other on the bottom left side of the stummel.

The last piece of information was something that troubled me. I had seen a dark spot on the heel of one pipe, but it appeared to be a smear of grime and dirt. Here are the pictures of the spots that Abha had sent me. It definitely appeared to be the beginnings of a burn out!!Truth is, after the initial surprise of being misinformed by the seller on eBay had subsided, I did not find these damages very alarming and I felt that these two beauties still had many years of smoke left in them with some minor repairs. The matter rested till I received about 40 pipes that Abha had sent me duly cleaned for my part of refurbishing. Both these pipes were part of that parcel that I had received.

I decided to work on the larger pot first. The pipe has a beautiful mix of swirls and cross grains. In fact, the USP of the stummel lies in the solid hand feel and robustness of the build. The quality of briar is top notch and without any fills at all on this piece. It is stamped on the right side of the shank as “MADE IN” over “LONDON, ENGLAND”. The high quality vulcanite saddle stem is sans any stampings.There are not very many clues that can point me towards the provenance of this pipe. The only fact that can be established is that this is a London made pipe. The build quality, the shape and stem type reminds me a lot of Charatan’s pipe, most notably their Belvedere line. In fact, I do have a Charatan’s Make BELVEDERE pot shaped pipe that I had received as part of my Mumbai Bonanza and the similarities are striking. Also, while surfing the net, I came across a MOUNTBATTEN pot which again resembled the pipe on my work table. Here are pictures of both these pipes, the first two are of the Mountbatten and the next two are that of Belvedere pot. With Mountbatten being a Charatan’s second and observing the similarities between these three pipes, it may be surmised that there is a possibility that the pipe presently on my work table is made by Charatan’s for some pipe shop, which was not uncommon in the past. Any confirmed input to either support or refute my assumption is most welcome.

Initial Visual Inspection
The chamber has a thick even layer of cake with heavy lava overflow over the inward sloping rim top surface. The deposition of heavy lava overflow is predominantly seen on the backside of the rim surface in 6 ‘O’ clock direction. A number of dents and dings are seen on both outer and inner rim edges. I suspect charring to the inner rim edge in 1 ‘O’ clock and likely in the 6 ‘O’ clock direction. The extent of the charring and the condition of the walls of the chamber can be ascertained only once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The foot of the stummel did show the sign of beginnings of a burn out that was considerably darker towards the draught hole (encircled in green) and extending outwards away from the draught hole half way across the foot. The damage to the heel and the resulting severity of the burn out will be confirmed after reaming. There are some very strong ghost smells to the chamber which will need to be addressed. The stummel is covered in oils, dust and grime giving it a dull and lackluster appearance. The stummel feels solid and well carved and nice mixed grains can be observed all over the surface through all the grime. There is not a single fill anywhere on the bowl. Other than the charring observed at the foot of the stummel, the stummel has a robust and solid feel. The mortise is cleaned and clogged with the accumulation of old and dried oils, tars and gunk. This will need to be cleaned. The vulcanite saddle stem is heavily oxidized with signs of calcification on either surface of the stem about an inch from the button edges. There is no serious tooth chatter or indentation or button damage to the stem. The tenon end and horizontal slot shows signs of accumulation of old oils, tars and gunk. The high quality vulcanite stem should clean 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 the other pot 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.Once The Pipe Is On My Work Table…
Now that the cleaned 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 cleaned up pipe presented a clearer picture about the actual condition and the work required on this pipe. Here is how the pipe reached me. The stummel was clean and free of any accumulated grime. As observed earlier, there is not a single fill anywhere on the stummel. The only cause of concern is the darkened spot over the foot of the stummel. I felt the spot for softness with my nail and it appeared sufficiently solid, thus confirming that it’s not an all out burned heel. Rest of the stummel feels solid and robust to the touch. This piece of briar should polish up nicely. I was eager to understand the extent of burn out in the heel of the bowl. True enough, I could make out a dark patch just in front of the draught hole approximately at the center of the heel (marked in yellow). The chamber shows a few vertical minor heat lines all along the front of the walls emanating from the dark patch and further branching out horizontally to either side. The entire heel of the bowl appears dark and when seen in conjunction with the foot darkening, this issue needs to be investigated and addressed. The inward sloping rim top surface is in decent condition with the inner rim edge showing slight deformation and darkening in 6 o’clock and 1 o’clock direction (circled in red). The outer rim edge show few dents and dings. Thus, I would need to address issues of the darkened heel, inner rim edge and dents and dings to the outer rim edge. The mortise and shank is nice and clean. The ghost smells are history and reflects the thoroughness with which Abha cleans the internal and external of the pipe.The stem had cleaned up nicely and is in pristine condition. Whatever, little oxidation remains, will need to be removed by sanding with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper and follow it up with polishing with micromesh pads. The Process
The first issue on the agenda that I decided to tackle was to address the dark patch to the heel observed just in front of the draught hole and correspondingly to the foot of the stummel. The black patch is bounded by the yellow arrows and the alignment of the web of these minor heat fissures is indicated by the green arrows. With a pointed dental tool, I scraped the black patch in the heel of the chamber and completely removed the dead charred briar from the surface till I reached solid intact briar. Thereafter, I removed the charred briar from the heat fissures till I had reached solid briar. Once the dead and charred briar was removed, there was a need to give a protective coat over the surface to avoid direct contact of the briar with the burning tobacco as the thickness from these damaged areas were slightly reduced. I would achieve this by coating the walls of the chamber with J B Weld mix. I preceded the stummel repairs first by coating the walls of the chamber with a slightly thick layer of J B Weld. J B Weld is a two-part epoxy Cold Weld in two tubes; hardener and steel which are mixed in two equal parts (ratio of 1:1) with hardening time of 5-6 minutes and complete curing time of 6-8 hours. I poured the contents of the two tubes and mixed it well. I inserted a petroleum jelly coated regular pipe cleaner through the draught hole to prevent it from getting blocked due to the J B Weld mix. I applied this mix, as evenly as possible, over the entire chamber wall surface. I worked fast to ensure an even coat over the chamber walls before the weld could harden. I set the stummel aside for the application to harden and cure overnight.While the J B Weld coat was curing, I worked the stem by first sanding it down with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. This step addresses the twin issues of removing residual stubborn oxidation and also smooth out the minor tooth chatter from the bite zone. I wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil soap and cotton swab to remove the resulting sanding dust. I rubbed in a small quantity of EVO in to the stem and set it aside to rehydrate.Turning my attention back to the stummel, I sand the entire stummel surface with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper to remove the minor dents and dings from the surface. This also helped to lighten the darkened spot from the foot of the stummel. Staying with the stummel repairs, the next issue I addressed was that of the damage to the rim top surface. The rim top surface is sloping inwards, making topping impossible without compromising the profile integrity. To address the issue of darkened rim surface, I sand it with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper pinched between my thumb and fore finger, moving along in the direction of the surface profile. Simultaneously, I addressed the issue of charred inner rim edge and the dings and chips to the outer edge, by creating a slight bevel to both the rim edges. I am happy with the appearance of the stummel at this stage. I switch back to the stem and further sand it with 400, 600 and 800 grit sand paper. I wiped the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol to remove the resultant dust. I rubbed some extra virgin olive oil into the stem and set it aside to be absorbed. I polished the stem with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I rubbed a little extra virgin olive oil in to the stem at the end of all the micromesh pads. I finished the polishing of the stem by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and giving it a final polish with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is now nice, smooth and shiny. With the stem polishing completed, I moved ahead with completing the stummel repairs. The J B Weld coat had hardened considerably by this time. I mount a sanding drum on to my hand held rotary tool and setting the speed to half of the full RPM, I sanded the excess coat from the chamber walls. To further fine tuned and keep the coat to a minimum thickness, I further sanded the coat with a 150 grit sand paper till I had a coat of a thickness that was just sufficient to protect the briar underneath. Here is how the chamber appeared at this stage. I polished the stummel with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 pads. I wiped the surface with a soft cloth at the end of the micromesh cycle. The stummel looks amazing with a deep shine and beautiful grains popping over the stummel surface. However, the dark rim surfaces in 1 o’clock direction and the dark spot at the foot of the stummel do not present a visually appealing picture. I had the option of either masking them under a darker stain or to let them be. I shall decide after I am done with polishing with Blue Diamond, hoping that this would further lighten these spots. I followed up the polishing by applying “Before and After Restoration” balm. This balm protects and enriches the briar surface and is highly recommended for use in any restoration of briar pipe. I rubbed it deep in to the stummel surface and set it aside to be absorbed for 20 minutes. I was pleased by the appearance of the stummel, less the dark spots on the rim edge and on the foot of the stummel. I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied a coat of Blue Diamond to the stummel, hoping to see a slight change in the appearance of the dark spots. However, these spots are still prominent and will need to be masked. Here are the pics of the pipe at this stage. I decided to stain the stummel with a Cordovan stain in the hope that it would help in a nice blending of the dark spots with the rest of the stummel. I heated the stummel surface with my heat gun to open up the pores on the stummel so that the stain is well set. I dipped a folded pipe cleaner in Fiebing’s Cordovan leather dye and liberally applied it over the heated surface, flaming it with the flame of a lighter as I went ahead to different self designated zones of the surface. This helps in even application and in the setting of the stain in the grain of the briar. I set the stummel aside for the stain to set into the briar. The next afternoon, I mounted a felt cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and using Red Tripoli proceeded, as my dear friend Dal Stanton likes to say “unwrap the coat of stain to reveal the grain” from the stummel surface. I set the tool at its slowest speed, again my recent experience while working on Steve’s pipe came in handy and the damage that can be caused due to heating while using the felt buffing wheel still fresh in my memory; I began to peel off the stain from the stummel surface first. The stain peeled out gradually. This was followed with wiping the stummel with a cotton swab and alcohol to lighten the stain a little as it was too dark for my liking. This also helped in cleaning the surface of all the residual stain and highlighting the grains. I set the stain by again heating the stummel surface with the heat gun. This is an essential step as, if missed, there is a possibility of the stain running down the hands of the smoker who decides to carry forward the trust in this pipe. To apply the finishing touches, I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied a coat of Blue Diamond to the stummel and the stem to polish out the minor scratches. Next, I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel and setting the speed to ¼ of the full power, I applied a thick coat of carnauba wax over the stummel and the stem. I worked the complete pipe till the time all the wax was absorbed by the briar. The pipe now boasted of a beautiful and lustrous shine. I vigorously rubbed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine and also to clean away any residual wax that had been left behind. I am very happy with the way this beauty has turned out. P.S. There was only one more issue that needed to be addressed and one that could not be ignored, being a functional issue. After I had protected the heel of the stummel and the walls of the chamber with a coat of J B Weld, it was necessary to prevent this coat from coming in to contact with the burning tobacco. I addressed this by mixing activated charcoal and plain yogurt to a thicker consistency, just enough that it would spread easily and applied it evenly all along the chamber walls after inserting a folded pipe cleaner through the draught hole to keep it open. Once dry and set, this will not only protect the walls but also aid in faster buildup of cake.I wish to thank all readers for sparing their valuable time to read through this write up.

 

 

Refitting the stem  and restoring a Savinelli Made Rectangular Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a different looking Savinelli made Billiard. It had a flat shank and stem that are rectangular. It was functionally a sitter. It was a different looking piece of briar in that it is a mix of grains hidden beneath the dirt. There was one fill on the shank bowl junction on the right side of the bowl. The briar was very dirty. The bowl had a thick cake overflowing like lava onto the bevel of the rim top. It is hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looks like because it is buried under the cake and lava coat. The fit of the stem in the shank appeared to be a bit off but cleaning would make that clear. The variegated brown and gold acrylic stem was dirty, scratched and had some light tooth marks and chatter at the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. The next photos capture the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see the work that is ahead of us in terms of cake and lava buildup.The grain around the bowl is a mix of cross grain and birdseye. The pipe follows the grain well. Jeff took photos to show how the grain is laid out. The stamping on the underside of the shank read as noted above. You can also see that the stem is poorly fit to the shank in this photo.The photos of the stem show the stem surface. The first photo shows the fit of the stem against the shank. It was a poorly fit stem. The stem has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Now it was time to work on my part of the restoration of the pipe. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was in decent condition with a bit of buildup on the rim top but virtually no cake in the bowl. He reamed the bowl with a Pipnet Reamer and then cleaned up the bowl walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the beveled rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. There is one fill on the right side at the shank bowl junction. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. Once Jeff removed the lava on the inside edge of the rim top it was in pretty rough condition. There were cuts, nicks and burned areas all around the inner edge and the bowl was out of round from the damage. The outer edge of the bowl looked very good. The close up photos of the stem shows that it was very clean and there was some tooth marks and chatter on the stem just ahead of the button. The acrylic was very scratched.The fit of the stem in the shank is off. It looked like the shank end had been rounded slightly and the stem was definitely larger than even the straight portion of the shank. It was poorly fit and that makes me think it is a replacement stem. The question I needed to answer was how far to go with the refitting of the stem. I knew that I wanted to bring it down as close as possible so that transition between the shank and stem was smooth. I decided to work on this as the first item of my part of the restoration. I took some photos to try and capture the variation between the stem and shank. Hopefully you can see what I mean even with my poor photos. I have used red arrows to identify trouble areas.I probably spend an hour or more hand sanding the stem to fit the shank. Often I do that with the stem off and flatten it, constantly checking for progress. I left the stem in place on this pipe for much of the sanding process as I was seeking to make a smooth transition on an already rounded shank end. The photos below tell the story. The next two photos show the stem after much sanding my way through movies on Netflix. It is far better than when I began. The transitions on the sides are perfect while the top and underside I tried to accommodate the rounded shank end as much as possible.With the shank/stem transition improved I was ready to move on to dealing with the issues of the inner edge and rim top. I removed the stem and set it aside and took the bowl in my hands. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and clean up the slight bevel to mask the damaged areas. I lightly topped the bowl as well to remove the damage on the rim top and smooth out briar. Once the bowl is polished the bevel is hardly visible and the bowl looks better.With that done I decided to call it a night. The pipe still smelled strongly of old tobacco even after all the cleaning so I stuffed the bowl with cotton bolls and used a syringe to fill it with isopropyl alcohol. I set the bowl in an old ice tray and left it while the cotton and alcohol did its work. The second photo shows what I found this morning when I came to the work table. I removed the cotton bolls and pipe cleaner and cleaned out the shank with pipe cleaners and alcohol. It was very clean and it smelled far better!I was happy with the way the rim top and edges looked so I moved on to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the refit stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I was able to remove the scratching and tooth marks with the micromesh. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This Savinelli Made Billiard Sitter was a bit of a pain to work on. The amount of sanding to fit the stem even the way I have it now was a lot. But I am happier with the pipe now that I have finished it. The pipe looks a lot better. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to highlight the different grain patterns on the pipe. The variegated brown and gold acrylic stem just adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl back in round it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point.

I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Savinelli Billiard with a flat rectangular stem is a nice take on a classic billiard. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This pipe will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Rusticating A Willard That Was A Gift For My Colleague…


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

My job involves a lot of transfers and frequent shifting of our household to a completely new place. At times, it is we who move to our work place alone while our families stay back for children’s education or when accommodation is not available or when the new place is in a remote area and fraught with risks. I moved to my present place of work alone. Here, I had a very fine set of colleagues with whom I gelled well. As time went by, these colleagues got transferred and new colleagues joined. However, when the last of my old colleagues got his transfer orders, I wanted to gift him a pipe as he has started to enjoy pipes more than his cigars.

Abha, my wife, had sent me one lot of 40-45 pipes that she had cleaned up and all ready for my part of restoration process. From this lot of the pipes that I had earmarked as for sale/ gifting, he selected a pipe that had come to me as part of my Mumbai Bonanza.

For those readers who have missed out on how I came to purchase this lot, here is the background story….

I was fortunate enough to have heeded the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Steve, and struck a deal with a junk collector from Mumbai. He did not know what he was selling and I did not know what I was buying as we reside in different cities!! The argument that Mr. Steve presented was that if not anything, I shall at least have some spares and this was logical. I struck a deal and here are pictures of the pipes that I received in this lot.    This lot contains some very nice collectible pipes, a few well known brands and some mediocre brands. Overall, with seven Dunhill pipes, a Preben Holm #1 FH, a couple of “Made in England” Pete System pipes, a couple of  Charatan’s Belvederes, Custom-Bilt, Stanwell and other assorted pipes, I would say that I had struck a decent deal!! This is indeed my “Mumbai Bonanza”.

The pipe selected by my colleague and now on my work table from this find (sixteenth pipe being restored) is a bent billiard pipe with flame shaped worm rustications, a poor imitation of worm rustications as seen on Custombilts from the Wally Frank era! It is indicated in yellow arrow in the picture below. It is stamped on the left side of the shank as “WILLARD” in block letter over “IMPORTED BRIAR” again in block letter. The right side of the shank is devoid of any stamping. The stem bears a “Dot” logo in Yellow, embedded on the left side of the stem. Now coming to the research of this brand and line/model in specific, I referred to pipedia.org. Though there are no reams of information on this brand or model, the information provided gives a clear perspective of this brand and its aim. Here is the link (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Willard).

“The Willard pipes were made by Sparta Industries in Sparta, N.C from 1963 to 1975 (about 60,000 pipes per week). Some were distributed by the Post and Base Exchanges that serviced the military during the Vietnam War. Others were produced for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco. (preceding content from the “Pipes” website http://www.pipephil.eu/index.html)

Lord Abbott was either a sub-brand or a series produced by Willard —Dgillmor 22:42, 10 May 2012 (CDT)”

From the above information, it is evident that the pipe currently on my work table is from the period 1963-75. With this input on the vintage of this pipe, I move ahead with the restoration of this 42 plus years old pipe!

Initial Visual Inspection
The stummel is covered in dust and dirt giving it a dull appearance. The Custombilt like worm rustications are uneven, without any finesse and filled with dirt and grime. There are a couple of fills that are plainly visible. These will need to be refreshed, if needed. It’s a matter of personal choice; however, I could not help but wonder what it was that attracted my colleague to this pipe in the first place!! I got my answer the next day when he said that he liked the shape and lightness of this pipe. Thus, it was not the grains (which were zero!) or the worm rustication that he was interested in and could be done away with to make it more attractive. With this input from him, I decided to rusticate the stummel as I was not very happy with the appearance of this pipe at this stage. A thick layer of cake can be seen in the chamber. The smooth rim top surface is covered in dirt, dust and grime with a few dents and dings thrown in for good measures. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber will be known once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The inner rim condition appears to be in good condition with no burn/ charred surfaces. Even the outer rim edge appears to be in a decent condition. Only once the stummel has been thoroughly cleaned that I can be sure of my initial appreciation. In spite of the thick cake, the chamber odor is surprisingly not strong, yet I shall be subjecting it to a salt and alcohol treatment to freshen it up for him.The shank end has a metal band and this metal band extends inside the shank with threads, over which the threaded stinger is seated in to the mortise. Thankfully, the band and threads are all intact. The mortise is blocked with dried gunk, adversely affecting the airflow. The metal band is dull and dirty in appearance.The vulcanite stem is oxidized and has calcification deposits towards the button end. The lower and upper stem surface is peppered with tooth chatter. The button edges also need to be sharpened. The stinger opening and the horizontal slot is covered in accumulated oils and tars. The alignment of the stem and shank is skewed with the stem being overturned to the right. 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 (pipe is marked in indigo blue arrow) 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.Once The Pipe Is On My Work Table…
The cleaned up pipe presents a very clear picture of what needs to be done to restore this pipe to a decent and smoke worthy condition. I really cannot thank Abha, my wife, enough for all the help and support that she extends in my pursuance of this hobby. I proceed to carry out my appreciation of the work that needs to be done on this pipe to restore it. The cleaned up pipe, as I received it, is shown below. The chamber walls are without any heat fissures or pits and that’s a big relief. The rim top surface is peppered with dents and dings. The inner rim edge shows slight darkening all round and should be easily addressed with a couple of turns of a piece of 220 grit sand paper along the edge. There are some minute chipped spots on the outer edge. The condition of the chamber is good and will not require much repair work. There are no ghost smells in the chamber. The stummel surface is nice and clean. The worm rustications, though clean, are still not visually pleasing. There are a large numbers of fill now plainly visible (only larger ones are enclosed in yellow circle). The mortise is clean and air flow is smooth. The metal spacer ring is also clean and intact. The vulcanite stem had cleaned up nicely. The upper stem surface has a couple of deep bite marks at the base of the button and also in the bite zone. The lower surface has some minor tooth chatter in the bite zone. The button edges on both the surfaces need to be sharpened. The aluminum stinger is clean.The seating of the stem stinger in to the metal threaded mortise is off center. The stem is overturned to the right and will have to be readjusted to perfectly align with the shank and the stummel.The Process
The first issue that I addressed in this project was that of the stem repairs. I painted both surfaces of the stem with the flame of a lighter to raise the tooth chatter and bite marks to the surface. This also helps in loosening minor oxidation from the stem surface. I sand the entire stem surface with a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper to remove the loosened oxidation. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and Murphy’s oil soap to further clean the surface. Even though most of the tooth indentations have been eliminated by heating the damaged stem portion, one deep indention is still seen on upper surface in the bite zone and a minor bite mark is seen on the button edge on the lower stem surface. I filled the tooth indentation in the button edge on lower and upper stem surface with a mix of activated charcoal and CA superglue and set it aside for the fill to cure.With the stem fills set aside for curing, I decided to work the stummel. The other day during a Face Time video call with Steve, we discussed the best way to transform this stummel. The long and short of the discussion was that it was decided to rusticate the stummel. This would help to mask the fills and provide a very tactile feel while smoking. It would also provide me an opportunity to practice rustication. With this decision finalized, I proceed with rusticating this stummel.

Now, this would not be my first attempt at rustication as I had rusticated one a few months back, here is the link to the write up (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/02/gifting-my-mentor-and-dear-friend-steve-an-alexander-zavvos-hygrosystem-pipe/).

I referred to the above write up and other subject write ups on rebornpipes to understand the mistakes committed and decide on the look/pattern of rustications over the stummel surface. I decided to maintain a smooth ring atop the rustication below the outer edge of the rim and also at the shank end. I used a transparent tape to demarcate the area that I wanted to keep smooth that is the rim top and about quarter of an inch below the rim outer edge and a thin band at the shank end. Similarly, I covered whatever little that remained of the stamping. From my experience, I knew that this is a very essential step as I realized during rusticating that it is very easy to lose track and transgress over the areas and stampings which you wish to preserve.To rusticate, I firmly held the stummel in my left hand and with my right hand and began gouging out the briar. The technique is to firmly press the pointed four prongs of the modified Philips screwdriver in to the surface, rotate and pull out the removed chunk of briar. I worked diligently till I was satisfied with the rustications and the appearance of the stummel. I cleaned the stummel surface with a brass wired brush to clear all the debris from the rustications. I decided to take a break from further rusticating the surface as the process is tiring and painful. This makes me want a better and efficient rusticating tool. While giving my right hand a rest from this task, I decided to work on the damage to the rim top and edges. I start by addressing the rim top surface damage. I top the rim on a piece of 220 grit sand paper, checking frequently till I am satisfied that the darkened surface is addressed to a great extent and the rim top surface is nice, smooth and even. The inner and outer edges are still uneven, though much better than before topping, and shall be addressed subsequently.With a folded piece of a 220 grit sand paper pinched between my thumb and forefinger, I create a slight bevel on the inner and outer edges of the rim top surface. This helps to mask and address the minor dents and dings that had remained on the rim edges after topping. I am careful so as not to alter the profile of the stummel by excessive topping or creation of the bevels. I am pretty pleased with the appearance of the rim top and edges at this stage. I cleaned the stummel with pure acetone and cotton swab to remove the old stain completely in preparation for the polishing and subsequently, a new stain. After the cleaning, I set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. I turn my attention back to the stem. The fill has cured nicely and with a flat head needle file, I sand the fill to achieve a rough match with the surrounding surface. To achieve a perfect match, I sand the stem with a 220 grit paper, progressively moving through to finish with a 1000 grit sand paper. As expected, a clean and neat looking stem stared back at me. I rub a little Extra Virgin Olive oil into the stem surface to hydrate it and set it aside to be absorbed in to the vulcanite.I polish the rim top and the smooth surfaces of the stummel using micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. I am happy with the appearance of the stummel at this point in the restoration. The stummel is now ready for a fresh coat of stain. I heat the stummel surface with my heat gun to open up the pores on the stummel so that the stain is well set. I mix black stain powder with isopropyl alcohol and liberally apply it over the heated surface, flaming it with the flame of a lighter as I went ahead to different self designated zones of the surface. This helps in the setting of the stain in the grain of the briar. Once the stain has set in well, I again warm the stummel with my heat gun. This helps the stain to be absorbed and set further into the briar. I mount a felt cloth buffing wheel on my rotary tool and gently buff the entire stummel surface to remove the stain crust. I wipe the stummel with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove any excess stain and follow it up sanding the raised rustication with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. This is followed up by careful dry sanding of the entire stummel, especially the raised rustications with 1500 to 12000 grit micromesh pads. This not only lightens and highlights the rustications, but will also provide a smooth surface for the next coat of stain. Here is how the stummel appears at this stage. I buff the stummel with a horse hair shoe brush to remove any sanding dust resulting from the micromesh sanding. I apply a small quantity of “Before and After” restoration balm to rehydrate and rejuvenate the briar and set it aside for some time. Thereafter, I buff and clean the stummel with a microfiber cloth. I apply a second coat of Medium Brown stain over the stummel and the shank extension, going through the same method as described above and set them aside for the stain to set. With the stummel set aside for the stain to set, I turned my attention to the stem polishing. Using the micromesh pads, I complete the polishing cycle by wet sanding the surface with 1500 to 12000 grit pads. The stem looks great with the fills nicely matched with the rest of the surface. I rub a little quantity of Extra Virgin Olive oil in to the stem surface and set it aside to be absorbed by the vulcanite.Coming back to the stummel, once the stain is set I wipe it down with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove any excess stain and lighten it from the raised rustications. Mounting a felt cloth buffing wheel on my rotary tool, I go about removing the crust formed by the stain over the raised rustication. The second coat of brown stain has added another layer of texture to the appearance of the stummel. Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips, work it deep in to the sandblasts 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 rusticated patterns on full display. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. I rub a small quantity of Halcyon II wax into the surface and immediately wipe it with a microfiber cloth. The only issue that remains unaddressed at this stage is the issue of the overturned stem. With the flame of a lighter, I heat the aluminum stinger to a point where the stem is just about able to rotate on the stinger. I reattach the stem to the shank while the stinger was still warm, and turned it till the alignment was as perfect as I desired and set it aside to cool down.To complete the restoration, I mounted a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool.  I set the speed at about half of the full power and applied several coats of carnauba wax. 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 amazingly beautiful and quite a transformation it was. It is now ready for its long second innings with my colleague. I wish that he enjoys his pipe and remembers our association for a long time to come. I wish to thank our esteemed readers for sparing their valuable time to read through and any input or advice is always welcome.

 

Reworking a KB&B Bent Churchwarden


 Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interesting KB&B Churchwarden and that is how it is stamped on the left side of the shank. On the right it reads Italian Briar. It is an interesting piece of briar in that it is a mix of grains hidden beneath a dark coat of stain and a top coat of shellac. The briar was very dirty. The bowl had a thick cake overflowing like lava onto the rim top. It is hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looks like because it is buried under the cake and lava coat. The fit of the stem in the shank appeared to be a bit off but cleaning would make that clear. The long vulcanite stem was dirty and oxidized. It was calcified near the button. The bend on the stem was also too much leaving the bowl tipped downward when in the mouth. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. Jeff tried to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in terms of cake and lava buildup. The grain around the bowl is quite stunning. Jeff took some great photos showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. He captured the stamping on the both sides of the shank it read as noted above.The photos of the stem show the stem surface. It is dirty and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.Now it was time to work on my part of the restoration of the pipe. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was in decent condition with a bit of buildup on the rim top but virtually no cake in the bowl. He cleaned up the bowl walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the light lava on the beveled rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. Once Jeff removed the lava on the inside edge of the rim top it was in pretty rough condition. There were cuts, nicks and burned areas all around the inner edge and the bowl was out of round from the damage. The outer edge of the bowl looked very good. The close up photos of the stem shows that it was very clean and there was some tooth marks and chatter on the stem just ahead of the button.The fit of the stem in the shank is off. It looked like the shank end had a slight cant to it and the stem did not seat evenly against the shank end. The gap was obvious and made worse by the fact that the diameter of the shank was less than that of the stem. It was worse on the top side and the right side. I checked the shank end and there was some damage there. I could top it lightly but that is a hit or miss proposition. I decided that I would see what a thin band did to the fit. I took some photos to try to capture what I was seeing at the shank stem junction. I went through my various bands. I had picked up a bag of older style bands that included a slight cap that went over the shank end. It was my thinking that this would smooth the surface of the junction for the stem. I heated the band with a lighter and pressed in place on the shank. It was a very tight fit and I liked the look of it. There is something about the look of these thin brass bands that just looks right on older pipes. I took photos of the bowl and the pipe at this point. I decided to address the over bent stem at this point since I was working on the pipe as a whole. I want the bent to be more in keeping with the top of the bowl so that when it sat in the mouth the line was even from the bend to the top of the bowl. I used a heat gun on the lowest setting to soften the vulcanite. To “unbend” is far easier than to bend. You heat the top side of the stem at the bend, constantly moving the pipe and the stem automatically begins to straighten. The key is to stop in time before it is totally straight! I paid attention and caught it at the right moment. I cooled the stem with water to set the new bend.With the shank/stem connection repaired and the bend in the stem reset I was ready to move on to dealing with the issues of the inner edge and rim top. I removed the stem and set it aside and took the bowl in my hands. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and give it a slight bevel to mask the damaged areas. Once the bowl is polished the bevel is hardly visible and the bowl looks better.I wiped off the remnants of the shellac finish on the bowl with isopropyl alcohol on a cotton pad. Once the finish was removed the grain began to really stand out nicely. I was happy with the way the rim top and edges looked so I moved on to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. I sanded off the excess diameter at the shank with 220 grit sandpaper until the shank and stem were the same diameter. Unfortunately I utterly forgot to take photos of this part of the process. My photos pick up again when I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I was able to remove the scratching and tooth marks with the micromesh. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This KB&B Churchwarden was a fun pipe to work on. I knew that I had to do some work to bring it back to smooth transitions between the shank and stem and to get the bowl looking better and not so beat up. But I was very happy when I got to the point of putting it all back together and everything worked very well. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to highlight the different grain patterns on the pipe. The black vulcanite Churchwarden stem just adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point.

I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished KB&B Churchwarden is quite beautiful and is a classic bent Churchwarden shaped pipe. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 10 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I really like the looks of this Churchwarden and it is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Fresh Life for a GBD Pedigree 254 Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

I have always liked GBD pipes. There is just something about the brand and their take on shapes that catches my eye. This particular GBD is a really nice looking Canadian with a saddle stem – at least I would call it a Canadian because of the oval shank. It is stamped both on the topside and underside of the shank. On the top of the shank it is stamped with the GBD Oval over Pedigree. On the underside it is stamped London England 254. There is also the brass GBD oval roundel on the top of the saddle stem. It was dirty but the bowl had been reamed back to bare briar. There was a light lava coat on the inner edge. The pipe had a rich medium brown stain that highlighted nice grain on the bowl sides under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. There is a band on the shank that appears to be an add on. The shank is not cracked though it is thin on the top and underside. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The vulcanite saddle stem was in good condition with some oxidation and light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff tried to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us even though the bowl is clean. The beveled rim edge has some lava buildup. The grain around the bowl is quite stunning. Jeff took some great photos showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. He captured the stamping on the left side of the shank and both sides of the half saddle acrylic stem. They are clear and readable. It read as noted above.The photos of the stem show the stem surface. It is dirty and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I turned to Pipephil and looked to see if there was any information on the Pedigree line. There was nothing there other than a great brief history. I turned to Pipedia to the specific section on GBD to read about the line (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD). There was a page from an Oppenheimer Catalogue on the Pedigree line. I have included a screen capture of that page below.Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was in decent condition with a bit of buildup on the rim top but virtually no cake in the bowl. He cleaned up the bowl walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the light lava on the beveled rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. Once Jeff removed the lava on the inside bevel of the rim top. Both the inner and the outer edge of the bowl look very good. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean and there is some oxidation and some minimal tooth chatter on the button and surface just ahead of the button.I took the stem off the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It really is an elegant and  delicate looking pipe with great grain.I was happy with the way the rim top and edges looked so I did not need to work on them more. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. The tooth marks and chatter on the stem were not deep. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This delicately shape classic GBD pipe came together amazingly well. Thanks to the fact that it was in pretty good condition before we started it was a clean pipe to work on. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to highlight the stunning grain on the pipe. The black vulcanite saddle stem just adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished GBD Pedigree Canadian is quite beautiful and is a classic Canadian shaped pipe. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 5/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I really like this delicate and elegant GBD pipe and it is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I had a GBD pipe sock around that I have put together with the pipe. This pipe will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Breathing New Life into a Charatan’s Make Special Bell 33X Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

I still remember the first Charatan pipe I picked up over 25 or so years ago. I remember finding it in an Antique Shop that is no longer around. It was Charatan’s Make Bell 33X with a Double Comfort (DC) bit on it and probably the craggiest looking sandblast I had seen to date when I found it. I still have that pipe and still fire it up with a good bowl of 5100. It is a smoking machine. So when I when I moved on to choose the next pipe to work on it was not a far stretch to pick the Charatan’s Make Special Bell 33X smooth that was in my box. It is a nice looking Dublin shaped pipe that Charatan called a Bell. All of the stamping is on the left side of the shank. It reads Charatan’s Make [over] London England. Under that it reads Special with the shape number 33X. The CP logo on the left side of the vulcanite saddle stem is clear and readable. It was dirty and was another well-loved pipe when we received it. The bowl had a thick cake and the lava overflow on the inner edge of the bowl a heavy on the back side of the rim top. It was hard to know the condition of the inner edge of the bowl. The pipe had a rich medium brown stain that highlighted nice grain on the bowl sides under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The vulcanite saddle stem was in good condition with light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff tried to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us there. The grain around the bowl is quite stunning. Jeff took some great photos showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. He captured the stamping on the left side of the shank and both sides of the half saddle acrylic stem. They are clear and readable. It read as noted above. The photos of the stem show the stem surface. It is dirty and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I turned to Pipephil to get a quick overview on the brand to refresh me in a quick overview of the history of the Charatan’s Make Brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-charatan.html). I quote a pertinent summary of the information I found there.

Short history of the brand. Brand founded in 1863 by Frederik Charatan. When his father retired in 1910, Reuben Charatan took over the family business. All the pipes were handmade until 1973. The brand name has been overtaken by Dunhill in 1978 and sold in 1988 to James B. Russell Inc. (NJ, USA). During the period 1988-2002 Charatans were crafted by Butz Choquin in St Claude (France). Dunhill re-purchased Charatan brand name in 2002 and Colin Fromm (Invicta Briars, Castleford) follows up on freehand production.

I turned to Pipedia to the specific section on Dating Charatans to fill in more of the gaps (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dating_of_Charatans). I was hoping to be able to solidify the time period that the pipe was made. In reading through the material I am pretty confident that the pipe is a Third Era Pipe. I have included the section from the article that helped me arrive at this conclusion.

Identification of a third era pipe (First Lane era, 1961-1965)

Pipes of this period are quite common.

1) The mouthpiece is frequently double comfort, rarely saddle without the double comfort, never tapered. If the stem is not a double comfort but a saddle one, it is characterized by the letter X on the right of the shape code (e.g. 2502X), naturally in this case the letters DC are not displayed.

2) In the CP logo, the C enters the P

3) Presence of £ on the shank (note that from 1955 all the pipe imported in the USA by Lane has it, however that stamping is not synonymous of the Lane era)

4)Presence of the letter DC just after the shape number (e.g. 2502 DC) or of the letter X only if the stem is not a double comfort one

5) Presence in some models of the stamp “MADE BY HAND” on the shank (introduced for the first time in 1958)

6) Presence of the writing “CHARATAN’S MAKE LONDON ENGLAND” on 2 lines

7) The CP logo is thicker than in previous eras

I am also including a photo from the article that shows the same stamping as the one I am working on. The one I have has a different shape number (33X) and also does not have the Lane’s L stamp visible on the left side of the shank in the photo below.I posted the stamping on the Tobacco Pipe Restorers Group on FaceBook and Paige Simms and I dialogued a bit about it. Michael Stanley responded first and echoed my thinking. Paige Simms followed up with the rest of the dialogue. It was a very helpful conversation.

Michael Stanley: The “X” denotes a non DC mouthpiece. And imho, that, was a good move!

 Steve Laug: Thanks Michael I would agree.

Paige Simms: I beg to differ my friends. The ‘X’ denotes a ‘special’ pipe in grain, size or maybe shape. I have several DC stemmed pieces stamped ‘X’

Paige Simms: No ‘Lane stamp’ may mean made before 1958ish…….or they forgot to stamp it. LOL. But the shape number ’33’ probably dates it pre1968. How is it stamped on the right side of the shank? IMPORTANT

Steve Laug: Nothing on the right side Paige… Everything is on the left

Paige Simms: Meaning then, the pipe was made before 1955 or 1960. The nomenclature change after the ‘blank right shank’ was in block letters “MADE BY HAND”. That stamp started in 1956 or 1961. (And ran for 5 years only). I was a founding member and I learned well from ‘The International Charatan Pipe Smokers Society’. That’s a Great pipe!!!

Steve Laug: What is the 1968 referring to above?

Paige Simms: The first year of the “Lane stamping”

With that information in hand Pipedia informed me that I was dealing with an era of Charatans pipes that were quite common. It was known as a third era pipe (First Lane era, 1961-1965). According to the information from Pipedia the pipe was made in the early 1960s. From Paige Simms information it pushed it back a bit further to being made before 1955 or 1960. The nomenclature change after the ‘blank right shank’ was in block letters “MADE BY HAND”. That stamp started in 1956 or 1961. (And ran for 5 years only).  I now had an idea of the age of the pipe and a bit of its story – it had been made between 1955-1961. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself.

Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. Once Jeff removed the lava on the back side of the rim top and inner edges the damage became evident. There was some significant damage on the back inner edge of the bowl that included chipping and burning of the surface. The outer edge of the bowl looks very good. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean and there is some minimal tooth chatter and marks on the button and surface just ahead of the button.I took photos of the stamping on the stem and shank of the pipe. It is clear and readable. I took the stem off the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It really is a nice looking pipe with great lines.I started my part of the restoration work on the pipe by trying to address the burn damage on the back inner edge of the rim. The least invasive method was where I started. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to try and smooth out the edge while keeping the bowl in round. While I was able to smooth out the edge and keep it round the burn damage on the back of the rim top needed something a little more invasive. This is probably a step that some will find unnecessary but I feel somewhat compelled to try to bring it back as close as possible to the original look. I topped it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. Once I finished it I smoothed out the inner edge again. The third photo below shows the newly shaped rim top without the burn damage. Fortunately it was not too deep and the topping was minimal. I was happy with the rim top and edges now so it was time to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I was also hoping to blend the newly topped bowl into the finish of the rest of the pipe. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I apologize for the next photo but I did not catch it until later in the process when it was too late to go back and retake the photo.I touched up the rim top up with a blend of oak and maple stain pens to match the rest of the bowl. I forgot to take a photo of that. When the stain was cured I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. The tooth marks and chatter on the stem were not deep. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This older Charatan pipe came together quite well. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the black vulcanite saddle stem. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Charatan’s Make Special 33X is quite beautiful and is a lovely Bell shaped pipe. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 5/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I really like this Bell shaped Charatan’s Make Special pipe and it really does remind me of one of my first pipe finds. This is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. Thanks for your time.

Cleaning up an Artisan Made Stogie Holder


Blog by Steve Laug

This restoration is a departure from my regular work on pipes. It really is a change of pace for me. Normally I am not a big cigar fan though I have an occasional one. When Jeff sent me this cigar holder I sat and looked at it for quite a while. It is a beautiful handmade Stogie Holder that truly is quite stunning. It has a briar holder and a band of exotic wood attached to the comfortable vulcanite mouthpiece. When Jeff and I received the vulcanite had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button and it was dirty in the airway. It was lightly oxidized around the button area on both sides. The briar was in good condition and the overall look of the piece was very nice. The dimensions on the holder are Length: 3 ½ inches, Width: 1 ½ inches, Holder Diameter:  ¾ of an inch, Holder Depth: 1 inch, Vulcanite portion length: 2 inches. I cleaned out the bowl of the holder and the airway from the bowl to the end of the button with alcohol and pipe cleaners and surprisingly it was quite clean. I wiped out the bowl with a folded pipe cleaner and alcohol as well. The holder smells fresh.I polished out the tooth marks, chatter and oxidation on the vulcanite stem and the briar and exotic wood at the same time with micromesh sanding pads. I sanded the holder with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the debris. The photos show the developing shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar and the stem with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar and I thought I would try it on the vulcanite of the holder. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the cigar holder at this point in the restoration process. I buffed the cigar holder on the buffer using Blue Diamond on the buffing pad to remove all the scratches in the briar and vulcanite. It works very well. I gave it several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished holder is shown in the photos below. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. This was interesting to work on. Thanks for taking time to read this.

A Fresh Start for a Davidoff Straight Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

One thing about having so many boxes of pipes to work on surrounding my work table is that I can always find one that grabs my attention to work on now! There are two Davidoff pipes in the box and I had passed over them both a few times in the past weeks but this morning I decided that the apple shaped pipe would join the days queue. It is a nice looking Apple shape pipe stamped Davidoff on the left side of the shank. The name is underlined and the D has a flourish both on the stamping and on the logo on the left side of the stem. It was dirty and was another well-loved pipe when we received it. The bowl had a moderate cake and the lava overflow on the back side of the rim edge. It was hard to know the condition of the inner edge of the bowl. The pipe had a walnut stain on the bowl that highlighted some nice grain on the bowl sides under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The acrylic stem was in good condition with light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff tried to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us there. The grain around the bowl is quite stunning. Jeff took some great photos showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. He captured the stamping on the left side of the shank and both sides of the half saddle acrylic stem. They are clear and readable. It read Davidoff in script underlined with a Script D on the left side of the stem and Hand Cut on the right side of the stem.The photos of the stem show the stem surface. It is dirty and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.While I have visited the Davidoff store in several cities I don’t believe I have worked on a pipe from there. I turned to Pipephil to get a quick overview on the brand so I knew a bit about the pipe I was working on (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-d3.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section below. It seems that for awhile anyway the pipes were carved by the Cuty-Fort Group (Chacom, Jeantet, etc.).I turned to Pipedia to fill in more of the gaps and found that the article quotes Jose Manuel Lopes whose book I have on my shelf ( https://pipedia.org/wiki/Davidoff) I quote:

From Pipes, Artisans and Trademarks, by Jose Manuel Lopés’

Davidoff started in 1911 as a family run tobacconist located in Geneva. Henri Davidoff, a Russian emigrant, was the founder. The shop was located in Geneva. His son, Zino Davidoff (1906-1994), concentrated on the tobacco business, starting in 1924, and revolutionized the conservation of quality cheroots throughout Europe.

Davidoff became World famous, and the company was acquired in 1970 by the Oettinger group, and expanded into numerous accessories for men. For Zino, the pursuit of pleasure was a constant, two of his maxims being: “Take pleasure from everything in life, without excess” and “the pipe is a valuable companion, the essence of tranquility and must be smoked with respect”.

Davidoff’s first pipes date from 1974 and were commissioned by various companies, notably Butz-Choquin and the Cuty Fort Group. The brand offers 14 classic shapes, in three finishes and with acrylic stems.

It appears the pipes are now made in Italy, as the website states the following about their pipes:

Creation of the Davidoff Pipe entails a meticulous, detailed process performed by only the most skilled Italian pipemakers. This dedication is why the Davidoff Pipe upholds a standard of quality and design found in no other pipe in the world. Made of the finest and carefully selected briar, each Davidoff Pipe features a flawless, hand-finished bowl and perfectly fitted, hand-cut acrylic stem. The Davidoff Pipe is available in three beautiful designs and finishes — sandblasted black, red brilliant and natural light brown.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with either a French made or an Italian made pipe. I have been working on a lot of each lately and the pipe in hand had the feel of a French made Chacom pipe rather than an Italian. I would work with that assumption. I had no idea of the age of the pipe but it was time to work on the pipe itself.

Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The crowned rim top looks very good. There is no damage on the inner edge of the bowl. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean.I took photos of the stamping on the stem and shank of the pipe. It is clear and readable.I took the stem off the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It really is a nice looking pipe with great lines.I started my part of the restoration work on the pipe by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. The tooth marks and chatter on the stem were not deep. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The pipe came together quite well. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the black acrylic stem. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Davidoff pipe is quite beautiful and is a lovely apple shaped pipe. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I really like this Apple shaped pipe and it really does remind me of a Chacom pipe. This is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

A straightforward restoration – a Kaywoodie All Briar Meerschaum Lined Rhodesian 50B


Blog by Steve Laug

I have worked on a few Kaywoodie All Briar Pipes in the past and also worked on the same shaped 50B that had an All Briar Bite Proof Stem that I had to rebuild and restore. That was a real job starting with a chewed off briar stem. Here is the link to that blog if you are interested in reading about that restoration (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/08/02/salvaging-a-kaywoodie-all-briar-rhodesian-50b-with-a-serious-issue/). The pipe on my worktable now is another All Briar Rhodesian. This one does not have an All Briar taper Bite Proof stem but rather an All Briar Saddle Stem. This pipe was in excellent condition other than being dusty. The meerschaum bowl had been smoked maybe one time or two with a bit of staining but very clean. The rim top had a few wrinkles in the varnish finish but was otherwise clean. The exterior of the bowl and stem had the same varnish coat and it looked very good. The stem was the only part of the pipe with an issue. It had bite marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem ahead of the button. That truly was the only issue I had to deal with. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition. You can see the damage noted above on the rim top and the tooth marks and chatter on the stem surface. I have drawn red circles around the damaged areas on both the stem and the rim top.I took some photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. Because of the shiny surface they are a bit hard to read but are very readable nonetheless. The stamping on the left side of the shank reads All Briar and under that read Kaywoodie over Meerschaum. On the right side of the shank it is stamped All-Imported Briar over the shape number 50B. Underneath the shape number is a small capital E stamped backwards. I unscrewed the stem from the shank and took photos of the pipe. The Rhodesian is very well shaped and is a great looking piece of briar. The briar saddle stem is also very nice.The earlier All Briar Rhodesian 50B with the chewed off stem includes some great information that I had researched on the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/08/02/salvaging-a-kaywoodie-all-briar-rhodesian-50b-with-a-serious-issue/). I am including that in this current blog.

“I have read a lot of information in the past on other Kaywoodie pipes I have worked on and spent time on the Kaywoodie Collectors Forum to help educate me on the various lines and historical periods of Kaywoodie production. On Pipedia.org there is a helpful summary of the history of the brand that has been condensed in one place. It is called the Collectors Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes). I found the All Briar line of pipes included in the section of the Guide for 1955. I quote here the pertinent sections with the references to the All Briar pipe underlined and highlighted in bold.”

The line-up of pipes in the 1955 catalog (Table 3 below) was more extensive than in previous years. The catalog presented an expanded line of meerschaum pipes and introduced a 4-pipe set of Matched Grain Pipes, as well as several pipes with “special features”. The number of shapes available… was not substantially different from the number offered in the 1947 catalog…

The Twin-Bowl Kaywoodies were available in an all-meerschaum model (two removable inner bowls of meerschaum) and a meerschaum and Flame Grain model (outer bowl of flame grain briar and removable inner bowl of meerschaum). Other meerschaum pipes presented in the 1955 catalog included the Gourd Calabash; the Coral (“dimpled”) Meerschaum; the All Briar (briar bit) and Flame Grain pipes with inlaid meerschaum bowls; and the “Doctor’s” pipe…Included in the guide was a helpful list of pipe grades and prices. I have included the list below (Table 3) and noted the pipe I am working on by highlighting it in bold red print and underlining the reference. It is in this list that I found confirmation that Kaywoodie made an All Briar with a meerschaum bowl insert and an All Briar without the meerschaum insert. The All Briar I am working on now is meerschaum lined. It is fascinating for me to see that the addition of a meerschaum bowl was only $2.50 in 1955.

TABLE 3. 1955 KAYWOODIE PIPE GRADES AND PRICES

Meerschaum Character Pipes: $100.00
Block: 15.00-50 (According to size)
Meerschaum Twin Bowl: $35.00
Meerschaum/Flame Grain Twin Bowl: $25.00
Sandblasted “Doctor’s” Pipe: $25.00
Centennial: $25.00
Coral Meerschaum: $20.00-25 (According to size)
Gourd Calabash: $15.00-25 (According to size)
Ninety-Fiver: $20.00
Oversize: $10.00-25(According to style and finish)
Connoisseur: $15.00
All Briar w/Meerschaum Inlaid Bowl: $12.50
Flame Grain (Meerschaum Inlaid) $12.50
Export Pipes: $5.00-15 (According to grade)
All Briar (Briar Bit): $10.00
Flame Grain: $10.00
Fit Rite: $10.00
Silhouette: $10.00
Carburetor: $7.50
Relief Grain: $7.50
Chesterfield: $5.00-15 (According to grade)
Chinrester: $5.00-10 (According to grade)
Stembiter: $5.00-10 (According to grade)
Streamliner: $4.00-10 (According to grade)
Super Grain: $5.00
Carved Super Grain: $5.00
White Briar: $5.00
Standard: $4.00
Filter Plus: $4.00
Drinkless pup: $3.50
Drinkless Tuckaway: $3.50
Drinkless In-Between: $3.50
Two-Pipe Companion Setsb: $10.00-25 (According to grade)
Matched Grain Set (4-Pipes): $50.00
Matched Grain Set (7-Pipes): $125.00

I am also including some more information that I picked up when working on that blog.

Further reading on Pipedia under the general listing for Kaywoodie Pipes provided me with a magazine advertisement that included the All Briar pipes. It is a great Father’s Day Ad and the bottom items in the ad show the All Briar line. I have included both the link and a copy of the ad for your reading pleasure (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kaywoodie).I started my quick repairs on this pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top. I sanded out the bubbled and marked edges of the briar portion of the rim top. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh and wiped it down after each pad. Each grit pad smoothed out the surface of the briar rim and when I was finished it looked very good. There is a great mix of flame and straight grain on the bowl and shank. It is a beauty. I decided to not to remove the varnish coat from the bowl as it looked very good. Even the repaired and smooth rim top looks really good. At this point the bowl was finished. I set it aside to deal with the stem issues. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the surface of the stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded until the surface was smooth and the tooth marks and chatter were gone.I started polishing out the sanding marks with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. It is a red, gritty paste that has the texture of Red Tripoli. The gritty polish takes out all the minute scratches in the briar and leaves the surface smooth. I rubbed it on with my fingertips and polished it off with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is starting to look very good at this point.I continued to polish the briar stem with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The stem is starting to look like it should. More work to do for sure but it is going the right direction. I polished the briar stem further with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further raise a shine on the wood.The original pipe has a coat of varnish on the stem and bowl. I don’t have any varnish to give repaired areas the shine that the rest of the stem and bowl has. I do have some Danish Oil which is a bit of stain and linseed oil. After the finish cures it buffs up into a very nice shine.I buffed the stem on the buffing wheel to raise the shine and gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad. The repaired stem looks very good. The tooth marks and chatter are a thing of history. There is a little darkening on the underside of the stem but the surface is smooth.With the completion of the stem the pipe was finished. Because it had a shine coat on it I gently buffed it with Blue Diamond to take out the scratches on the bowl but not damage the varnish coat. I gave the entire pipe several coats of carnauba for good measure and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This Kaywoodie All Briar Meerschaum Lined Rhodesian 50B is quite a beautiful pipe. It is for all intents and purposes barely smoked so whoever adds it to their collection will get the privilege of enjoying this “new” pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. I really like the way that Kaywoodie makes these All Briar pipes. It seems to really have set the standard that is hard to beat. This is a great looking pipe in great condition.  Thanks for walking with me through this restoration. It was one with challenges but it was a fun one to work on.