Blog by Steve Laug
I am enjoying day with some time free to work on a few pipes. The next pipe on the table was purchased on 03/17/21 from a fellow in Brazil, Indiana, USA. It is a Brandy shaped Comoy’s pipe that that has some nice grain on the bowl sides. On the topside of the shank it was stamped Comoy’s [over] Warwick. On the underside it is stamped Made in London in a circle [over] England [over] shape number 16. There is also an M stamped on the end of the shank at the junction of the stem and shank. The finish is filthy with grime and oil ground into the briar of the bowl and shank sides. The bowl was moderately caked and there was some darkening and light lava on the top and edges of the rim. The shank was oval and the Lucite saddle stem followed that shape. There was a Comoy’s C on the left side of the saddle that was one piece rather than the older three piece C. The stem was dirty and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of and on the surface of the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show its overall condition before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim top. There is dust and debris stuck to the walls of the bowl clearly visible in the photos. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is an interesting grain patterns under the grime and thick debris. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the top and underside of the shank. It clearly reads as noted above. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick summary of the background of this particular line of Comoy’s pipes. It is stamped Warwick and there was nothing listed on the site for that line. I also turned to Pipedia to see what else I could learn about the brand and again did not find the brand listed there.
I knew that I was working on a Cadogan era Comoy’s pipe because of the style of the C on the stem side and the fact of an acrylic stem. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
Jeff had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove remaining oxidation on the stem. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. Other than the burned area on the rim top and edge it really looked good and the bowl itself was in excellent condition. The rim top and the inner edge look very good. The stem had a few tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the top and underside of the shank. It was clear and read as noted. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. I decided to start my work on this pipe by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to remove the scratching and polishing the fills on the bowl sides and rim top. 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. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 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 beautiful Comoy’s Warwick 16 Brandy with a Lucite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. 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 Warwick Brandy fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 75grams/2.65oz. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly in the British Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!