Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to me from either a trade I made (pipes for labour) or a find on one of my pipe hunts. I honestly don’t remember where it came from. It has been around for a while waiting to be worked on. It is an interesting new Comoy’s Bent Calabash that really looks quite nice. The stamping is clear and readable. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Comoy’s [over] Trend. On the right side of the shank it has the shape number 225 and a COM stamp to the left of that. It read Made in London in a circle over London. The pipe had a varnish coat and a lot of grime ground into the smooth finish on the bowl and some darkening around the sides of the bowl. The bowl was heavily caked and had an overflow of thick lava on beveled inner edge of the rim top. It was hard to know what the rim top and inner edge of the bowl looked like under the grime. There was a shank adornment/band on the shank end. It was a stack of two brass rings with a golden/orange/brown acrylic spacer between the brass rings and a black spacer on the end before the stem. The stem was calcified, oxidized and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside and the top surface of the button had a tooth mark. There an inset C on the left side of the taper stem. The pipe had promise but it was very dirty. I took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. It is hard to know for sure if there is damage to the inner edge of the bowl because of the thickness of the lava coat. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification, light chatter and tooth marks. I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. There is a white C logo on the left side of the taper stem. I removed the stem from the shank to take a photo of the pipe as a whole. It is has some nice looking grain around the bowl and the flow of the bowl and stem is elegant.I looked on Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-comoy.html) and Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy%27s) and read the articles on the Comoy’s brand. It is a great read and worth the time to read them. There was nothing on this newer Comoy’s Trend line.
Now it was time to work on the pipe. I have to say it once again that I am really spoiled having Jeff clean up the pipes for me. Having to start with them in this condition adds time. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the first two cutting heads. I followed up by scraping the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished cleaning up the cake in the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the walls of the bowl. I cleaned the shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until the pipe smelled and looked clean. While the cleaning was being done on the shank the shank extension came off in my hand. The glue had dried out and when I cleaned the shank it came off in my hand. I would need to reglue it. I cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners.I coated the Delrin connector between the shank extension and the end of the shank with all purpose glue and twisted it into the shank and aligned the fit. I set it aside and let the glue dry.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim top with a cotton pad and acetone to remove the grime and the varnish coat on the briar. I wiped the bowl down with clean cloth to get a feel for the finish. The pipe looks far better than it did with the varnish coat. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. Once the finish was removed the fills in the briar became very evident. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. While I was working on the bowl the stem was soaking in Briarville Pipe Repair’s – Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The stem sat in the mixture for 2 ½ -3 hours. I removed the stem from the bath, scrubbed lightly with a tooth brush and dried if off with a paper towel. I was surprised that it was quite clean. Just some light tooth marks on the button and underside of the stem near the button. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the tooth chatter remove the remaining oxidation and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem 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 nice looking Comoy’s Trend 225 Bent Calabsh with a fancy shank extension and a taper vulcanite stem looks much better now that it has been restored. The rich browns and blacks of the contrasting stains on the bowl came alive with the polishing and waxing. 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 the 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 Trend Calabash is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. 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. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!