Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is an interestingly shaped Comoy’s pipe. It is almost a tulip shape – at least to me. It is a Cadogan period Comoy’s as the “C” is stamped and painted on the acrylic stem. It is a pretty pipe with a nice looking shape. The condition is very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some darkening around the beveled inner edge of the rim. It is well smoked and the finish is dusty and grimy. There are some deep scratches in the briar around the bowl sides and top. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Comoy’s over Silver Shadow followed by the shape number 745 and the Made in London England COM stamp circle. The variegated silver acrylic bent saddle stem has a stamped C on the left side of the saddle. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on the pipe. He took photos of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl, rim top and edges. The cake is quite thick and there are a few spots of grime on the edges and around the cap on the bowl. He took photos around the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition. You can see the grime in the finish and the scratches in the briar around the bowl. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable.The next photos show the condition of the stem. The first though blurry gives an idea of the flow of the stem. The remaining photos show that the stem is in good condition other than some tooth chatter on both sides near the button. The “C” stem logo on Comoy’s pipes was the “three-piece C” insert until the Cadogan era in the 1980s. That helped me with a potential date on this pipe – 1980s or later. Knowing that this was a newer Comoy’s pipe from the Cadogan time period did not deter me as the shape on this one fascinated me. I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim edge lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub. He washed it off with warm water to remove the cleaner. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. (Note the deep scratch on the left side of the bowl.) I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the darkening on the top and inner edges of the bowl. Otherwise the rim and edges look very good. The stem looks clean and the tooth marks and chatter are fairly light. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clean and readable and read as noted above. I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. Jeff had scoured the tenon but it was heavily stained with the tars of use.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the deep gouge in the left side of the bowl. It extended from the heel to mid bowl. I tried steaming it out and had very limited success. I decided to fill in the damaged area with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and also began the polishing with 40o grit wet dry sandpaper. I used a Walnut Coloured stain pen to blend the repaired area on the side of the bowl into the colour of the rest of the bowl. The match worked very well. Once I sanded it with the micromesh pads in the polishing process it would look even better.I polished the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. The repair on the right side of the bowl all but disappeared. The pipe looks very good. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm. I touched up the C stamp in the side of the stem with a Paper Mate Liquid Paper and a toothpick. It was not too deeply stamped so the coverage was uneven.I worked over the light tooth marks and blended them into the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better. I polished the acrylic with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Comoy’s Silver Shadow 745 Tulip turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the mix of grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished variegated silver acrylic saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Silver Shadow fits nicely in the hand and feels great. There is something about the shape that provides a great curve for the thumb on the back of the bowl. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added to the English Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.