Blog by Steve Laug
I have been doing a fair bit of work on the last few restorations so I thought it was about time to work on an easy one next. I took another of the Boswell pipes out of box of pipes to be restored to be my next project. I cleaned up an unsmoked JM Boswell volcano recently and posted the blog on it here (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/04/08/life-for-a-j-m-boswell-2013-bent-volcano-with-a-twist/). I also restored a second estate Boswell – a bent billiard with a twist. Here is the link to that blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/04/08/life-for-another-j-m-boswell-2013-bent-billiard-with-a-twist/). In both of those blogs I gave quite a bit of background information on the brand and its maker. If you would like to know more about the brand you can click on either link and have a read.
The next Boswell is also a 2013 pipe and this one has more of a standard shape to it. It is a bent Poker or Cherrywood Sitter shaped smooth briar with an acrylic saddle stem. The pipe was dusty and dull looking but had great grain around the bowl and rim. The rim top is smooth and clean with no darkening or lava overflow. The finish was very dirty from sitting around. There was a moderate cake in the bowl. The inner edge of the rim appeared to be in excellent condition. The pipe was signed on the underside of the shank with JM Boswell’s signature and 2013 U.S.A. There are no other stampings on the pipe and no shape numbers. The saddle acrylic stem was in good condition with just a few light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. Jeff took the following photos before he started his cleanup work on the pipe. He took close-up photos of the bowl and rim top from various angles to capture the condition of the rim top and edges of the bowl. There was a little darkening along the back edge of the bowl but otherwise it was clean.He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish and the grain around the bowl. You can see the small minor sandpits on the left side and on the heel of the bowl but otherwise it a clean piece of briar. Jeff took a photo of the signature and date on the underside of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. The next photos show the top and underside of the stem. You can see the light tooth marks right next to the button edge.Now it was time to look at it up close and personal. Jeff had done his usual thorough job in removing all of the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He took the cake back to bare briar so we could check the walls for damage. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove the lava and dirt. He cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. He cleaned the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the exterior and cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the work. To show how clean the rim top and stem really were I took a close-up photo of the rim and stem. The bowl was clean and cake free. The inner edges of the bowl look good. The acrylic stem cleaned up nicely. The surface had some tooth marks but the button edge looked really good.I took a photo of the signature on the under side of the shank.I removed the stem from the bowl and took photos of the parts. It really is a great looking pipe.I polished the briar with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it in with my fingertips into finish on the bowl and shank. I let it sit for 10 minutes to let it do its magic. I buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The bowl was finished so I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. To address the tooth marks on the stem surface I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to blend in the tooth marks. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem 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. I put the bowl and stem back together again and buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I carefully buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished buffing with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe looks very good. The grain is a mix of patterns around the sides, top and bottom of the bowl and is quite beautiful. The pipe feels great in the hand. It is comfortable and light weight. The finished JM Boswell 2013 Bent Poker/Sitter is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This great looking Boswell Poker turned out very well. It should be a great pipe. It will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.