Tag Archives: CA Sander Oxford bent bulldog

My Second C.A. Sander of Swansea Bent Bulldog Restemmed and Restored


Blog by Steve Laug

When I was working on the previous C.A. Sander of Swansea straight bulldog that I restored (https://rebornpipes.com/2015/12/13/an-interesting-welsh-pipe-find-a-c-a-sanders-sandhurst-bent-bulldog/) I was looking for information on the brand. In my search on the internet I came upon this small bulldog bowl on eBay. I had found that there were at least two different names stamped on these pipes – both the ones I found were sandblast finishes. The earlier one was stamped Sandhurst and this one is stamped Oxford. Other than that the stamping on both is the same – the name then CA Sander over Swansea. I wrote the seller to see if he had any information on the brand and he replied that he did not. I put a bid on the pipe and ended up winning it. It arrived here on Tuesday this week. I have included the photos that the seller had posted on eBay below. It appeared to be in very good shape even though it did not have a stem.CA1

CA2

CA3

CA4

CA5 When the pipe arrived it was in excellent shape. The seller’s photos were absolutely correct. The bowl had a light cake in it and the rim was dirty with lava overflow and carbon. The shank was dirty and the finish had dust in the crevices of the blast. The stamping was exactly the same as the Sandhurst I restored other than the Oxford name that was present. I took the next series of photos to show the pipe on arrival before I started working on it.CA6

CA7

CA8

CA9

CA10 I went through my can of stems to find one that would work on this bowl. Diamond shanks are notoriously hard to match a stem to as each side and angle is very individual and hardly ever align with used or estate stems. I would have to find one that had a close fit and modify it to match the angles. With that in mind I found several stems that could have worked. In looking at the tapered stems I pulled all seemed too long to go with the petite size of this bowl. None quite aligned at the shank and modifying them was not an option as one or more of the sides did not have enough material to modify. I had several saddle stems that had the same issues. Then in the bottom of my can I remembered that I had a Lucite saddle stem that might very well work. I took it out and measured the sides of the diamond. I have to tell you I was very surprised – this stem was almost a perfect fit. I would need to shorten the tenon slightly and take a little material off to get a snug fit. Only the bottom right side was a little larger than the shank. Everything else matched. The stem is a pearlised cream coloured Lucite that actually would go well with the colour of the bowl once I had it cleaned up.CA11 I used the PIMO tenon turning tool to reduce the diameter of the tenon to get a close match and finished the fit by hand sanding. I shortened the length of the tenon with a Dremel and sanding drum to the same length as the mortise. In doing so I removed the damaged end of the tenon and the rounded right side. Once I had the work done I put the stem in place in the shank and took the photos below. You can see the great fit that the stem had in terms of the width of the sides of the diamond. I was fortunate in terms of the amount of work that would need to be done to fine tune this one. It would take very little work to make a good fit.CA12

CA13

CA14

CA15 I took a photo of the end of the shank and the end of the stem and put them side by side for comparison sake to show how close the two diamonds came to matching each other. This is a very rare occurrence in my experience.CA16 I sanded the bottom right side with 220 grit sandpaper to adjust the fit on that side. I needed to remove enough material to align the bottom of the diamond with the bottom of the diamond on the shank. All others point on the diamond aligned perfectly but this one. It did not take too much sanding before I had the alignment and the fit against the side of the shank perfect.CA17 I reamed the cake in the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took it back to bare briar.CA18 I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush on the sides and bottom of the bowl and shank and with a brass tire brush on the rim.CA19

CA20

CA21

CA22

CA23

CA24 I put the stem on the bowl, put a cotton ball in the bowl and then set up the retort to clean out the internals of the pipe. I boiled alcohol through the pipe and after two tubes of alcohol the airways were clean. The retort also removed some of the staining in the stem airway. I removed the retort and scrubbed the internals of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to remove the remaining alcohol and grime in the shank. In the end the shank and airway were clean and the pipe smelled fresh.CA24A I cleaned the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol and also pipe cleaners dipped in Bar Keepers Friend powder to scrub out the tar stains in the airway. It took a lot of scrubbing but I got the majority of the stains out. I did not want to darken the stain on the bowl but wanted to highlight the contrasts in the finish. The combination of dark brown and medium brown on the high spots worked well for me. To keep that and add life to the bowl I wiped it down with a light coat of olive oil and rubbed it into the blast pattern. I took the following photos with the stem in place on the bowl. The pipe is taking shape.CA25

CA26

CA27

CA28 The stains at the button were stubborn and hard to remove. I found that there was a small lip where the slot in the button met the airway in the stem and it collected tars and oils. The pipe cleaners and scrubbing did not touch that as it did not reach into the small crevice there. I used a needle file to flatten out the lip at the junction. With that gone I was able to remove more of the stain from the stem. All that remain was a small spot on the top and the bottom that I could not get out no matter how hard I worked it.CA29 I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads to polish and remove the scratching. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. As I sanded the stem with each successive micromesh pad it left a richer luster in the pearlised stem.CA30

CA31

CA32 I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel (lightly on the sandblast bowl as I did not want to flatten the blast) and gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I hand waxed the bowl with Halcyon II wax and then buffed the bowl and stem with a shoe brush and a microfibre cloth to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a petite bulldog – only 5 inches long from bowl to button and 1 3/8 inches tall from rim to point on the bowl bottom. The drilling on the bowl is 5/8 inches. I like the contrast that the Lucite stem gives with the blast on the bowl. The colours work well for me. The stem length works on this bowl and the overall effect is a balanced small sandblast pipe that looks great. At least it does to me! Thanks for looking.CA33

CA34

CA35

CA36

Addendum: 06/06/18 I received an email from Andrew  in answer to a question I asked in my two blogs on CA Sander pipes. I quote in full his email because of the information that it includes.

Comment: You asked about C A Sander

C A Sander were tobacconists based in Wind Street Swansea. I don’t know exactly when the business started but it it passed to my Grandfather from his father (both were C A Sander) and by the 1920 was a successful and well established retail business with shops all over south wales. They were importers and blenders (if that is the term) of tobacco and the shops sold smoking paraphernalia. At my grandfathers retirement late 60’s to business went to my uncle again C A Sander but known generally as Jim. He developed a business supplying cigarette machines around South Wales and moved out of retail he eventually sold the business to Rothermans and went into other business ventures, I expect that was when the limited company you found was formed. Uncle Jim has now retired but still lives in the area.

Hope this helps with your research.

Andrew I received this followup email from someone who would like to get in touch with you. Here is her email

Hi there – I stumbled upon your website when looking for anything to do with C.A. Sander tobacco shop and I saw the pipe you restored – which is amazing! and then saw the comment below left by Andrew. Since that shop was owned by my grandfather, and Andrew’s grandfather – it would seem that we are cousins – but we have never met. I would love to get into contact with Andrew. Would you be able to assist in that? If possible, could you ask him to contact me at my email address pianokey88@hotmail.com?
Many thanks for your help! Georgina

 

An Interesting Welsh Pipe Find: A C.A. Sander Sandhurst Bent Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

I came across this beautiful sandblast bent bulldog on Ebay and put a bid in for it. I was the sole bidder and won it for a decent price plus reasonable shipping from Great Britain. The pipe is stamped on a smooth spot on the bottom left side of the shank. It reads SANDHURST #16 and next to that it is stamped C.A. SANDER over SWANSEA. The seller stated that the pipe was in a good used condition, and had some wear. He also said that the measurements of the pipe are 135mm or 5.5 inches long, bowl size 35mm or 1.4 inches x 28mm or 1.10 inches. From the photos he included in the sale the finish on the bowl looked to be in excellent shape. The rim was very clean. I could not see the inside of the bowl but the way the rim looked I was guessing that it was very clean. The sandblast was nicely done with some deep craggy ring grain. There was no ring around the cap on the bowl. The stamping on the shank was clear but was weak in spots. The stem was lightly oxidized but had no tooth chatter or bite marks.Swan1

Swan2

Swan3

Swan4

Swan5 I knew next to nothing about the maker of the pipe. I could ascertain from the stamping that the pipe was made by a C.A. Sander in Swansea. I remembered that Swansea is in Wales so I had something to start with. I looked in Who Made that Pipe and also in Lopes book and could find nothing listed for that maker. I used Google to see if I could find any information on the company and looking a company of that name in Swansea, Wales. I actually found out that the company started in 1977 and closed in 1998. It appears from the information that I found to have been a family owned and operated company with broad interests. There was no mention of pipes in any of the company documents that I could find. I wonder if the brand was not just one of many avenues for the company to expand its horizons. I found two pipes online with the CA Sander stamping these included the Oxford and the Sandhurst. Both the Oxford and the Sandhurst are sandblast finish pipes with a dark stain. There was no other information available that I could find listed online. Does anyone have any information on the brand? (I have included a photo of the stamping on a stemless Oxford Bulldog that I just purchased on eBay for comparison.)Swan6 When the pipe arrived it was in far better shape than the seller intimated. The bowl was lightly smoked if at all. There was no cake and the darkening did not extend to the bottom of the bowl. I ran a pipe cleaner through the shank and the stem and it came out clean. There was dust in the shank that came out but no tobacco oils or tars. The stem was actually less oxidized than I expected and would clean up very easily. There were some tiny tooth chatter next to the button on the top and the bottom side of the stem. There were some small nicks in the vulcanite on the top right side midstem.Swan7

Swan8

Swan9

Swan10 I took a close up photo of the rim and bowl to show the excellent condition of the rim and bowl. The second photo below shows the nicks in the stem that I spoke of above. This should be an easy clean up.Swan11

Swan12 The slot in the button was very thin and I was unable to get a pipe cleaner into the airway from that end. I used three different needle files to open it wide enough to take a thick pipe cleaner easily. Once it was open I sanded the inside of the slot to make it smooth. The draw on the pipe is much better after opening the slot. The narrowness of the slot makes me wonder if that is why the pipe was not smoked more.Swan13

Swan14

Swan15 I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation, smooth out the tooth chatter and the two nicks on the right side. Once they were gone and the stem was smooth I used a medium and fine grit sanding sponge to begin to minimize the scratching. I put a plastic washer between the stem and the shank to keep the shoulders sharp and protect the shank while I was sanding.Swan16

Swan17

Swan18

Swan19

Swan20 I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil. The oxidation is disappearing and the dark black of the rubber is beginning to stand out. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit micromesh pads, gave it another coat of oil and finished sanding it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and then set it aside to dry.Swan21

Swan22

Swan23 I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave them multiple coats of carnauba wax. I polished the pipe with a clean flannel buff and then gave it a final buff by hand with a microfibre cloth. The stem cleaned up amazingly well. The pipe is ready for a inaugural smoke. The draw is wide open and easy! Thanks for looking.Swan24

Swan25

Swan26

Swan27Addendum: 06/06/18 I received an email from Andrew  in answer to a question I asked in my two blogs on CA Sander pipes. I quote in full his email because of the information that it includes.

Comment: You asked about C A Sander

C A Sander were tobacconists based in Wind Street Swansea. I don’t know exactly when the business started but it it passed to my Grandfather from his father (both were C A Sander) and by the 1920 was a successful and well established retail business with shops all over south wales. They were importers and blenders (if that is the term) of tobacco and the shops sold smoking paraphernalia. At my grandfathers retirement late 60’s to business went to my uncle again C A Sander but known generally as Jim. He developed a business supplying cigarette machines around South Wales and moved out of retail he eventually sold the business to Rothermans and went into other business ventures, I expect that was when the limited company you found was formed. Uncle Jim has now retired but still lives in the area.

Hope this helps with your research.

Andrew I received this followup email from someone who would like to get in touch with you. Here is her email

Hi there – I stumbled upon your website when looking for anything to do with C.A. Sander tobacco shop and I saw the pipe you restored – which is amazing! and then saw the comment below left by Andrew. Since that shop was owned by my grandfather, and Andrew’s grandfather – it would seem that we are cousins – but we have never met. I would love to get into contact with Andrew. Would you be able to assist in that? If possible, could you ask him to contact me at my email address pianokey88@hotmail.com?
Many thanks for your help! Georgina