Author Archives: upshallfan

Sasieni Four Dot Ashford “Ruff Root” Restoration


By Al Jones

The Sasieni Ashford author is a favorite shape from the classic British makers. This one is in Ruff Root finish, which is Sasieni’s sandblast finish. Since the pipe has the town name, but no patent number, it is from the 1946 to 1979 era. Like the Peterson 999, the shape evolved slightly over the decades it was made by Sasieni. This one is a bit longer than some of my other Ashfords, and my hunch is that it was from the end of the family era. I have nothing to prove that statement – it is just a hunch.

The pipe was in decent shape on delivery, some light oxidation on the stem. The classic Four Dots were a lovely shade of robin’s egg blue, a plus. On many older Sasieni’s, the color fades. There was very slight cake and the stem had lost some of the sensuous curve. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I put a bristle cleaner in the stem, and heated it with a hobby heat gun. I used a piece of briar to put the factory bend back in the stem, then dipped it in cold water to set the shape.

With the stem mounted, I removed the slight oxidation with 800, 1500, and 2000 grit wet paper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars plastic polish.

I removed the cake in the bowl with my reamer set, and finished with a piece of 320 grit paper wrapped around a reamer bit. The bowl was soaked with sea salt and alcohol. I hand polished the briar with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

GBD “Special Shapes” 686 Restoration


By Al Jones

This 686 shape popped on on Ebay, incorrectly listed as a 646. I worked a deal with the seller and it was on it’s way to my work bench. This was a shape I had never encountered previously. John Fetter, the admin of the growing GBD PIpes Facebook, page collects these shape and shared this “Special Shapes” catalog page, that include below. If you are a GBD fan, you may wish to check out this passionate fan group page. Of the other pipes shown, I’ve had two 755 shapes in the past. John is currently looking for a 755, is anyone has one available. These shapes come in two of three over-sized pipes designations (Collector, Conquest and Colossus). The 686 is a Collector size, and at 57 grams, only slightly larger than a typical 9438. I guess that it would be considered a Rhodesian shape. Curiously, this one is in the New Standard finish, which is not listed as an available finish for the shape. The mysteries of GBD!

Below is the pipe as it was received. It had some slight build-up on the bowl top and a few handling marks on the briar. The nomenclature was in excellent shape, as was stem fitment. The stem was heavily oxidized, with one tooth prick that was revealed when the oxidation was removed. It has the brass rondell and straight line COM stamp of the pre-Cadogan era.

I used a worn piece of scotch-brite to remove the bowl top build-up. The bowl was reamed and soaked with alcohol and sea salt. I steamed out the minor handling marks on the bottom of the bowl.

The stem was fitted and oxidation removed with 600, 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper. I used a popsicle stick to get up against the button crease. I used a tiny drop of black superglue to fill the tooth prick near the button, the sanded smooth. The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.

The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and multiple coats of Carnuba wax, which brought back the color finish nicely.

Below is the finished pipe.

Comoy’s 409 Tradition Restored


By Al Jones

Over the past 10 years, I’ve restored four Comoys of this shape 409 and the third Tradition finish. I’ve sold the others, but perhaps this one stays in my collection? The drilled, 3 piece stem dates it to the 1946 to 1981 pre-Cadogan era.

This one was in great shape, with an oxidized, but otherwise, nearly perfect stem. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and some build-up on the bowl top. Below is the pipe as it was delivered.

I reamed the cake from the bowl, and found a very nice bowl interior, with no issues. The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. Following the soak, I scrubbed the shank with a bristle brush dipped in alcohol. I used a piece of worn scotch-brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top.

The stem was mounted and I removed the oxidation with 600, 800, 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper, followed by 8,000 grade micromesh (sheet). The stem was then 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.

Peterson Pre-Republic 999 Sterling Restored


By Al Jones

This tired Peterson 999 Sterling showed up on eBay, with four very poor, dark photos, sold by a non-pipe vendor who didn’t take returns. These auctions always carry a bit of risk with them. However, the pipe appeared solid enough that I took the risk.

I was quite pleased opening the well-packaged pipe. The stem was solid, and the bowl showed no structural issues. Sterling grade Petersons often come with faux hallmarks, and sure enough, that was the case. I was quite pleased to see the round “Made In Ireland” country of manufacture stamp that was used for a short period of time from approximately 1945 to 1947. The rest of the nomenclature was solid.

Below is the pipe as it was received.

The pipe had heavy oxidation, two teeth indention’s and some chatter underneath the P-lip button. The silver band was heavily oxidized and the bowl top had some mild build-up.

I used my reamer set to remove the mild cake, and found the bowl interior to be in excellent condition. The bowl was then soaked with sea salt and alcohol. I used a micromesh sheet to remove the build-up on the bowl top.

Following the soak, I mounted the stem to restore it. I used a lighter to lift out the two teeth indention’s. The oxidation and chatter was removed with 600, 800, 1500 and 2000 grade wet sandpaper, followed by 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The oxidation around the P-lip button was particularly stubborn, and I wrapped paper around a small needle file to completely remove it from the profile. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I used some Stainless polishing creme to remove the tarnish on the band. The band sits a millimeter below the end of the shank. It has picked up a few handling marks over 70 plus years, but I think they add to the character of the pipe and no doubt they were well earned.

I’m very pleased to add this one to my Peterson collection. Below is the finished pipe.

Weight: 63 grams

Restored – Plymouth 88 – Sasieni Ashford 2nd


By Al Jones

The Sasieni Shape 88, more commonly known by it’s town name in Four Dot nomenclature, is the “Ashford”. It is one of my favorite British pipe shapes. The Shape 88 is Sasieni’s version of the classic Author shape.

This pipe came via Ebay, where the seller had it listed as a Peterson 2nd. Indeed, “Who Made That Pipe” does list Plymouth as a Peterson 2nd line. To my knowledge, Peterson never made a true Author shape and when I asked for additional stamping detail, the seller said it had the “88” stamp as well the “Made in England” COM. The 88 is of course a Sasieni shape and when received, it matched up well with my other Ashfords. The button definitely looks Sasieni made. I’ve found Sasieni 2nd line stems are quite good. Is this a true Sasieni 2nd line or a pipe made by Sasieni for a shop called “Plymouth”. Google didn’t yield any info on such a shop, so it’s likely lost to time. In a few days, this one will travel with me in to Louisiana for Thanksgiving. I’ll leave it at my daughters home for our frequent visits with her family and my two grandchildren.

Below is the Sasieni Ashford/88 shape, from a 1951 catalog and pictures of the pipe as it was received.

The pipe had a mildly oxidized stem, but no dents or button issues. The bowl had a very mild cake and the briar had a few bruises and numerous factory fills and flaws.

I reamed the cake and soaked it with alcohol and sea salt. The bowl was in great shape. I used a bristle cleaner soaked in alcohol to clean the stem internal. Upon completion of the salt soak, I used a bristle brush dipped in alcohol to thoroughly clean the shank.

The stem was mounted and the oxidation was removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper, followed by 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh. I buffed the stem with White Diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The bowl was buffed with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe, soon to resume it’s proper function in Louisiana.

80 Year Old Kaywoodie Zulu Restoration (1932-1941)


By Al Jones

This is the first Kaywoodie restoration that I’ve completed in quite a few years. This one came in a group of pipes sold on Ebay. I was pretty excited when the package arrived and this one had the original, four-hole stinger intact, which would make it easy to date.

This one is a “Standard” grade in the 01 shape which Kaywoodie called the Yacht in their 1936 catalog. The stinger ball was smaller, than the older ball and it had the “Drinkless” script, but no patent number. That particular stinger was used between 1932 and 1941. Below is a page from the 1936 catalog.

Kaywoodie 1936 Catalog

The top of the pipe had some scorching and damage. The stem was slightly oxidized and in great shape. The stem was clocked correctly. It looked like a relatively simple restoration.

I decided that the bowl top damage could best be resolved by slightly topping the pipe. I used a piece of 220 grit paper, on my flat table to remove about 1 mm of material. I think this was a good compromise without significantly altering the shape of the pipe. The bowl was then finished with 600, 800 and 1500 grit paper.

I buffed the bowl with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax. This brought back the finish on the bowl top so well, it wasn’t necessary to restain it.

I reamed the very slight cake from the pipe, and found that the bowl was in excellent condition . The pipe was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. Following the salt, the shank was scrubbed with a bristle brush. I used some fine steel wool to clean the aluminum stinger.

The stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 600, 800, 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper, followed by 8,000 micromesh. The stem was then polished with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe, ready for another 80 years of service.

GBD Bulldog (9282)Restoration


The 9282 1/8th bent bulldog is one of GBD’s more elegant shapes. This one is in the sandblast, “Prehistoric” finish. The stamping and brass rondell mark it as being from the pre-Cadogan era and made prior to the 1981 merger with Comoy’s that forever changed those two marque’s.

The pipe had an heavily oxidized stem, but fitment was good and other then a few teeth dents, was in good condition. There was some scorching on the polished beveled bowl top, but those usually clean up nicely. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used 1500 and an 8,000 grit micromesh sheet to restore the bowl top, which was then polished White Diamond rouge and several coats of Carnuba wax.

I reamed the cake from the bowl and let it soak with alcohol and sea salt. Following the soak, the shank was cleaned with a bristle brush dipped in alcohol. The stem was mounted to remove the oxidation. First I heated the stem near the button to lift the small teeth indentions. I first used 600 grit wet paper, wrapped around a flat file to maintain the beveled stem edges. That was followed by 800,1500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, and 8,000and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

I hand polished the sandblasted bowl with Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

Comoy’s 284 Tradition Restoration & Addition


By Al Jones

This Comoy’s, a Tradition finish shape 284 is one of my favorite of the British Rhodesians. It was sold in a group of pipes on Ebay and the listing didn’t detail the shape number. I forgot to take “before” pictures, so below are the cropped photos from the Ebay listing.

The briar was in great shape, but the nomeclature was a bit worn, so I’d have to be careful in that area. The stem was worn, but had no issues. The multi-piece, drilled C stem logo and COM stamp date this one have been made from 1946 to the merger in 1981. I’ve had a number of 284’s in the past, but this one has a thicker shank than the others, almost like a mini shape 499.

I reamed the slight cake and soaked the bowl with sea salt and alcohol. Following the bowl soak, the shank was cleaned with a brush dipped in alcohol, until it came out clean.

The stem was mounted to remove the minor oxidation. I used some 800 grit wet paper, wrapped around a flat needle file to add a bit more shape to the button. The stem was then sanded with 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper, followed by 12,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The bowl was lightly buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. My intent was to resell the pipe, but unless I get a strong offer, this one is staying in my collection.

Below is the finished pipe.

GBD 9438 New Era Restoration & Addition


By Al Jones

Most of the pipes I buy these days are purely for the enjoyment of restoring them and for resale. I rarely add a pipe to my collection, unless it is something special. GBD 9438’s always catch my attention and this one happened to be a New Era grade, which was currently missing from my collection of 9438’s.

I’ve owned and restored over 20 different 9438’s in the past ten years. The 9438 is the famous “chubby rhodesian” shape by GBD and a favorite of mine. A few years ago, GBD collector MIke Hagley told me that GBD’s with the full-width stem were Cadogan era pipes, even if they had the brass rondell and “London, England” stamp. I prefer the “wasp-waist” tapered width stems like on this one and eventually, sold all of my full-width stemmed GBD’s.

The “New Era” finish came in two different finishes, “Rich Ruby Finish” or a “Warm Brown, two-tone finish”. This particular New Era has the ruby finish that I prefer and it appears to also have the two-tone finish. Below is a catalog page showing the grade and that finish. Also of interest is the description of the “hand cut stem”. This pipes tenon is the “bullet style” that is on all stems that are stamped “Hand Cut”. This stem does not have that stamp, but the button finish looked hand cut to me. So it appears that not all hand-cut stems were stamped that way.

The pipe was in very good shape as delivered. It has some darkening on the bowl top and the top of the bowl appeared to have some fading from the sun. The stem was in great shape – with just minor teeth abrasions. There were some scuffs and dings on the briar, but I thought they would steam out. The stem fitment was excellent as was the nomenclature. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I removed the mild cake and used some worn micromesh to clean the bowl top. I used a wet cloth and an electric iron to steam out some of the dings. I mixed up some Fieblings Medium Brown and Oxblood stain to smooth out the stain color on the bowl top, which worked perfectly. The briar was later buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax. The bowl was soaked with sea salt and alchohol and the shank thoroughly cleaned with a bristle brush.

With the stem mounted, I used 800, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation and teeth abrasions. One tiny tooth mark remains near the button. The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe, I’m very happy to add this one to my collection.

Peterson 999 “K&P Irish Made” Restoration


By Al Jones

I’ve restored a number of Peterson 999 shapes, which is one of the most iconic shapes in the history of the brand, and a personal favorite. But this is the first “K&P Irish Made” that I’ve encountered which also has a fishtale stem vs my preferred P-Lip.

Mark Irwin’s blog, Peterson Pipe Notes, tells me that this K&P Irish Made is a line that has been in and out of the Peterson catalog for decades, but had a resurgence in the 1970’s. This one has a nickel band and a Republic COM, which make it challenging to establish a date of manufacture. Consulting with Mark, and referencing his blog entry on “A Visual History of the Petersons Shape 999” yields some clues. We believe, because of the bowl shape, that this pipe was made prior to 1985. If you would like further information on the 999 shape, Marks blog entry should be reviewed:

https://petersonpipenotes.org/2018/11/13/114-a-visual-history-of-petersons-shape-999/

The pipe was shipped in a large envelope. Fortunately the two pieces were separated and wrapped in enough bubble wrap to protect it. It’s incredible how poorly some eBay sellers wrap packages.

The pipe was in great condition, with some build-up on the bowl top, a mild cake and only a mildly oxidized stem. The nickel cap was slightly oxidized.

I used 2,000 grit sandpaper to remove the build-up on the bowl top. I discovered that here were some handling dings on the bowl, which I steamed out with an electric iron and a wet cloth. The bowl was reamed and the slight cake removed. The bowl interior was in great shape, with no damage. I soaked the bowl with alcohol and sea salt. I buffed the bowl lightly with white diamond rouge and several coats of carnuba wax.

I used 600, 800, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation, than 8,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The nickel cap was shined with Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish.

Below is the finished pipe.