Author Archives: upshallfan

Comoys Supreme Grain Bent Billiard Restoration


By Al Jones

This is the 2nd Comoys that I restored this weekend.  And, the first “Supreme Grain” that I’ve ever seen.  I found a few examples on the web.  The pipe was in very solid condition.  Unfortunately, I also lost the before pictures of this pipe and only have the sellers.  As you can see, it is aptly named, and better grain than some Blue Ribands that I’ve seen.

The pipe had very light oxidation and a few dings and bruises in the briar.  The shape 42 is the larger of the two Comoy’s bent billiards.

I initially thought it had a drilled C and started restoration the restoration with my usual regiment, which involves sanding right over the very durable logo.  I was horrified on closer examination to find out that the logo was not drilled.  However, it is seemingly quite deep and almost looks like an insert of sorts.  I’ve done a lot of Comoys pipes from every era, but not yet encountered one quite like this one.

I removed the very light oxidation with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, this was followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The bowl was reamed and soaked with alcohol and sea salt.  I used an electric iron on high with a wet cloth to steam out most of the dings around the bowl.  The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

Comoys 184 Golden Grain Restoration


By Al Jones

This looked like an easy restoration, but once in hand, it presented a few challenges.  I somehow deleted the “before” pictures, so I can’t share them.  This sellers picture shows that it was in pretty decent shape.  The shape 184 is listed as a Bent Apple on the Comoys shape chart and catalogs.

There was a white piece of the drilled, C stem logo and the button had what appeared to be a very poorly done hole repair.

The briar only needed to be reamed and soaked.  There were a few dents that I steamed out with an electric iron and cloth.

For the C logo fix, I entered a local beauty shop for the first time in my life and they recommended a white gel nail polish.  I applied the polish,let it sit overnight, than sanded smooth with 800 grit paper, it worked quite well and to the naked eye, is invisible.

I removed the very light oxidation with 800, 1,500 and 2,000  grit wet paper, this was followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh.  This removed the poor repair job to a tiny pin hole underneath the bottom. I used the black superglue and accelerator to make that repair.  I cut a small v-shaped piece from an old credit card, coated that in grease and inserted it into the button to keep glue from sealing the draft hole.  Once the glue set, the plastic card is removed.

The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The briar was buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

The Guildhall Shape 256 Restoration


By Al Jones

The Comoy’s Author shape, the 256 is one of my favorites and quite rare.  I’ve never been able to find this shape in any Comoy’s catalog, perhaps that contributes to it’s rarity. Three years ago, I was fortunate to find an Old Bruyere finish 256, and detailed that restoration here:

https://rebornpipes.com/2017/05/13/finally-comoys-old-bruyere-256-restoration/

This pipe, is a Comoy’s second-line “The Guildhall”, instantly recognizable by the metal strats stem logo, which always captivates me.   The pipe arrived, with a one surprise, there were some deep circular marks in the briar, right around the shank.  I can’t imagine what created those marks, but I knew it was going to be a challenge to remove or minimize them.    Otherwise, it looked like a straightforward restoration.  There was minimal build-up on the bowl top and the stem was in very good condition.  Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used a piece of worn 2,000 grit wet paper to remove the build-up on the bowl top.  The bowl was then reamed and treated to an alcohol and sea salt soak.  While the bowl was soaking, I soaked the stem in a mild solution of Oxy-Clean.  Following the bowl soak, I cleaned the shank with a bristle brush dipped in alcohol and worked in some twisted paper towel, until it came out clean.

The stem was mounted and I used a lighter to lift the slight dents around the button.  The slight oxidation was removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets.  The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I then turned my attention to the briar and marks.  I used a wet cloth and an electric iron set on high to steam out some of the deep marks on the bowl.  I had some success, lifting nearly all on the bottom of the bowl but some remain on the other areas.    The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

 

GBD New Era “Collector” Oddity


By Al Jones

This GBD shape is odd in that it has no shape number and it is unlike any GBD shape that I’ve seen.  The bowl walls are thick, also unlike any GBD that I’ve previously encountered.  The pipe is a New Era grade and it sports a somewhat rare “Hand Cut” stem stamp.  New Era grade briar can be very nice and this one, in a light stain, is a great example.  Why was this pipe chosen for a unique shape and deemed worthy of a “Hand Cut” stem?  Who knows, those details now lost to time.

The “Collector” stamp denotes one of three stamps GBD used on oversized pipes, with Collector in the middle between Conquest and Colossus.

The pipe arrived in very good condition, with some darkening of the bowl top and mild oxidation on the stem.

The bowl had a very slight cake, but the rim was slightly out of round.  I removed the cake and used some 320 paper to smooth out the bowl shape.  The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.  There were several handling dings on the briar, most of which steamed out with an electric iron on High and a wet cloth.  The briar was then lightly buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Following the sea-salt soak, the stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 800,  1,500 and 2,000 grade wet paper.  I was careful to work around the “Hand Cut” stem stamp.  Oxidation around the stamp was removed with a Magic Eraser pad, which doesn’t diminish the stamping. This was followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets and then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe.

 

 

GBD 2006 Virgin Bulldog Restoration (Perspex)


By Al Jones

The 2006 is the classic straight bulldog shape from the GBD catalog.  This one was a Virgin and grade and like many came with a Perspex stem.  The sellers photographs were sparse, but the price was right so I bit.

The bowl top has some build-up, but that is not always a bad thing.  While the Perspex acrylic stem was brown and discolored, it had very little teeth marks.  Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used some bristle cleaners dipped in alcohol to remove most of stains inside the stem.  I always run a dry cleaner thru to avoid hazing.  That didn’t quite get all of the brown so I used a little acetone (finger-nail polish remover) also on a bristle cleaner.  That had the stem looking like new.  The very slight teeth chatter was removed with 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper followed by 8,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then polished with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.  I was very pleased with this outcome and it now looked like a nearly unused stem.

I used a worn piece of scotch-brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top.  The cake was removed with my reamer set and a piece of 320 grit paper on a reamer bit to finish it.  The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.  There were several handling marks on the bowl and I used an electric iron and wet cloth to stem them out.  The briar bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe. With no oxidation to remove from the stem, this was all completed rather quickly compared to a vulcanite stemmed pipe.  The biggest challenge was photographing the clear Perspex stem on a white background!

 

Comoy’s Tradition Bullcap Restoration (Shape 364)


By Al Jones

I’m almost embarrassed to call this a restoration, as the pipe was in very good condition.  I’ve never seen this Shape 364 before but find one example in an old Ebay ad (a Blue Riband sold by the late Tony Soderman).  This example is in Tradition finish.  Pipepedia has the shape number on their Comoys’ list and calls it a Bullcap.  Tony titled his pipe a Prince.  I did find the shape in a 1964 catalog, that shows the shape with bowl rings.  A similar shape without rings is listed as a 364P (for Prince?).

The round COM and 3 piece, drilled C stem logo indicate the pipe was made between the late 1940’s and the merger point in 1981.

The pipe had just a slight layer of oxidation on stem.  The stem had a softee tip on it, so the famous Comoy’s button was pristine.  There were a few handling marks around the bowl, with very little cake.

I used a piece of 800 grit paper to remove the slight cake.  The bowl was then soaked with alcohol and sea salt.  Once the bowl soak was completed, I cleaned the shank with a soft bristle brush dipped in alcohol and paper towels scrunched into the shank.

The stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 800, 1,500, 2,000 wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh. The stem was then polished with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I was able to steam out some of the marks around the bowl, with an electric iron and wet cloth. The bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the completed pipe.  I would call this pipe a Group 2 in size and it weighs a scant 25 grams.

Comoy’s Shape 303 Sandblast/Sterling Prince Restoration


By Al Jones

A silver ferrule Comoy’s sandblast Prince shape has been on my wish list, and I’ve always managed to lose the few that have come up on auction.  I thought this was the Comoy’s 337 Prince shape more commonly seen, but was surprised to see it is was a shape 303.  I managed to win the auction for a pipe that looked to be in really good condition.  I was a little surprised to discover no other examples of the 303 shape and it is not on any of my vintage Comoy’s catalogs.  Too bad the silver cap is not hallmarked.

Below is the pipe as it was received.

Thanks to PipesMagazine.com forum member “snagstang”, a fellow British pipe enthusiast – who found this 1964 Comoy’s catalog page showing the Shape 303.  I suspect this pipe was from the “Deluxe” line, an Army mount series.  They were available in Walnut and Sandblast finishes, with a silver cap.  I’d love to find out why these were not hallmark dated.

Catalog_shape_303

This one was in great shape with only some bowl top build up and a heavily oxidized stem to clean.  The silver cap was oxidized, but appeared to be undamaged.  The bowl had very little cake and was quickly cleaned up and not surprisingly, it was in very good condition.  I soaked the three piece “C” logo stem in a mild solution of Oxy-Clean solution.  I used a piece of worn Scotch brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top.  The bowl still had most of the trademark Comoys beveled rim.

I used a jewelers cloth to remove the tarnish on the silver cap.  After the stem soak, I pondered how to clean the oxidation from the stem.  The stem didn’t have any teeth marks and the button was mint.  Same for the drilled C stem logo, which I never tire of admiring.  I decided to hold it free hand versus mounting on the bowl.  With the military stem mount, I didn’t need to worry about rounding off the stem profile.  I used 800 grit paper to remove the heavy coating of oxidation, stopping about 1/8″ short of the end of the tenon, which would be inserted into the shank and not visible.  This was followed by 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets.

The stem was buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic Polish.  I hand buffed the briar with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.  I don’t add too many pipes to my collection these days, but this one definitely goes in my cabinet.