Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the worktable is another American made pipe from the workshop of J.M. Boswell. It is a bent billiard shaped pipe with swirls or twists around the bowl and featuring a twisted shank and black acrylic stem. The top of the bowl sides are smooth and was stained a rich medium brown. There were not a lot of issues to deal with in the cleanup and restoration. The pipe very lightly smoked and there was a medium cake in the bowl. There was some darkening around the inner edge of the bowl with a bit heavier appearance on the front edge of the rim top. It is signed J.M. Boswell over the date it was made – 2013 followed by U.S.A. The finish was dusty and dirty and somewhat lifeless. There is some fading in the finish toward the bottom of the bowl and shank. The black acrylic taper stem carries on the twist of the shank. The stem looked very good. It is dirty with light tooth chatter on both sides near the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the darkening around the inner edge of the bowl. You can also see the cake in the bowl. The rim top looks very good with no real damage. The smooth fluted carving on the bowl sides all the way to the outer edges and make an interesting pipe.Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the unique twists and fluting pattern around the bowl and continuing on the shank and stem. It is quite stunning with the carvings and the rusticated edge and rim top and the twisted heel of the bowl, shank and stem. You can also see the fading in the finish that has happened as the briar has been used and sitting. I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is cleaned and polished. He took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the twisted shank to capture it for me. It is clear and readable. The J.M. Boswell signature with the date it was carved and U.S.A. He included a photo of the transition from the twisted shank to the stem.The black acrylic stem is in good condition other than being dirty and having light tooth marks and chatter on the both sides of the stem at the button. The photos below show the condition of the stem.I am including the information on the brand and the shop that I included in the previous blog for ease of reference. Here is a link to that blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/04/08/life-for-a-j-m-boswell-2013-bent-volcano-with-a-twist/).
In July, 2017 I restored another Boswell Twist pipe, a 2003 and had done some research into the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/19/refurbishing-a-boswell-2003-spiral-twist-bent-billiard/). I turned to that blog and reread the information that I had included there. I took the liberty to include the information that I included from the box that came with that pipe that below.
The backside of the box reads:
Dear Pipe Smoker: J.M. Boswell crafts each of his pipes exclusively by hand! From the bare briar block to the final stain and polish, each step is a hands on procedure in old world tradition. Boswell pipes feature individual craftsmanship and style.
Additionally, J.M. Boswell has developed an exclusive bowl coating that greatly shortens the “break-in” time of a Boswell pipe and gives a sweet smoke from the very first bowl full. This coating is applied to each new pipe that Boswell makes.
One more compelling feature of Boswell pipes: “Their cost”! Boswell pipes can be had at a fraction of what most import pipes are. This is a feature pipe smokers find gratifying.
Our second feature is repairs by Boswell. J.M. Boswell has no peers in the quality and speed in which he gives “Turn-around” on pipe repairs, from stem replacement to banding, to reaming and cleaning.
I will be glad to answer any questions that you have regarding all the features of Boswell’s pipes, my repair work, plus the crafting process which can be witnessed first hand at our store and pipe making shop at 586 Lincoln Way East in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Cordially J.M. Boswell, Owner.
I then turned to the Boswell Pipe and Tobacco Shop site (https://boswellpipes.com/product-category/boswell-pipes/). The description of the pipes in that section of the site parallels what I found above. I quote:
In the creation of these exquisite smoking pipes, we use the finest quality briar – “cream of the crop” is what the proprietor of the mill calls it. Boswell Pipes have their own special bowl coating for easy break-in. J.M. has used his special coating for Boswell Pipes since 1982. 100% natural coating,which will force the briar wood to absorb the moisture and heat. For the finishing touch, J.M. hand inscribes his signature into the briar. J.M. dates the year and proudly declares made in the USA “J.M. Boswell 2018 U.S.A.”.
I also checked out the description of the other twisted or as he called them Swirls and include that below as I found it quite interesting (https://boswellpipes.com/product/boswell-pipe-jumbo-freehand-swirls-2020/).
J.M.’s Signature Swirls, gorgeously grained.
Incredible smoking properties of a Boswell pipe, are the thick bowl walls to give you that cool enjoyable smoke.
Uniquely sculptured deep Swirls.
Old craftsmanship style with thick walls and shank for a cooler smoke.
Natural finish with eye-catching dark bold highlights to show off its grain.
Incredible cool smoke with an extremely easy draw for some serious smoking.
J.M. Boswell is known worldwide for crafting theses incredible, massive looking, King Size briars for well over 39 years. Addition to being amazing smokers as well, they are capable of holding a generous supply of your favorite tobacco.
As with each and every Boswell pipe made, the airway is hand bored (not using a lathe). This is why the air passage way will always provide the smoker with a full draw and allows for a fuller smoother smoke. J.M. finds the old fashion way of doing so completes his pipes.
Wide plateaux is displayed along the rim and shank.
Accent etching along the shank.
Using a high power magnifier there may be a few specks of natural imperfections.
Large hand-cut acrylic spiraling mouthpiece with pearlized raspberry red tones.
Your new Boswell pipe will come nestled in a protective Jumbo handmade pipe sleeve and placed in a Boswell gift box. We also include all the essentials for your first smoke.
Smoking becomes a Relaxing time with a Boswell.
I also found some photos of the shop online that I am including here as well. I am also including the address of the shop and the phone number.
J.M. Boswell’s Pipes and Tobacco
6481 William Penn Hwy, Alexandria, PA 16611, United States
It looks like it would be a great place to visit and spend time enjoying. One day I may get to do that. We shall see!Now I had a pretty good idea of how the pipe was stamped and made. The one I had did not have a pearlized raspberry stem but the black, one. It also did not have any plateau on the rim or shank end. But otherwise the description fits. With that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. The pipe looked amazing. The stem looked like new, with most of the tooth marks and chatter gone. He had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. The shape and finish on this pipe is quite beautiful! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. He was able to clean up the rim darkening as well as the cake in the bowl. The bowl and rim top look very good at this point. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show the condition after the cleanup. This stamping is a signature done with an engraver of some sort. It looks good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. You can clearly see the condition, size and shape of the pipe.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 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. Putting this pipe back together was not as dramatic as it usually is but still it is rewarding nonetheless. 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 sides 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 pipe is another good example of a Boswell Swirls pipe. The flow of the grain and the way the shape follows 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This interesting Boswell Swirls Hand Made Billiard 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.