Tag Archives: Chacom Pipes

The Poker Barrel


by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is this charming Chacom Champion. It comes from the estate of a man from Winnipeg, whose relatives live here in Vancouver. I purchased several of the late gentleman’s pipes, along with this one. I have a particular interest in French pipes and pipeworks, so this was the first pipe I grabbed from the lot for restoration. It is an attractive pipe and needed just a little help to come back to life.This pipe was made by the French giant, Chacom. They are known for making very nice pipes, many of which were designed by such names as Pierre Morel, Claude Robin, and Erwin van Handenhoven. The markings on the left-hand side of the shank read Chacom [over] Champion. On the underside of the shank, the marking reads 157, which is the shape number. Also, on the stem, there is the Chacom logo: CC, encircled in a silver-coloured oval.This is a poker-shaped pipe (a flat bottom) – and a really pretty one too. I always felt that it looked a bit like an old oak barrel, hence the title of this article: The Poker Barrel. It feels very comfortable in the hand. It was obvious from the start that this was a great pipe that just needed some attention and TLC.

Chacom is a company that dates back, in its earliest form, to 1825. The name is a portmanteau of Chapuis Comoy. For a large part of the twentieth century, Chapuis Comoy was the largest pipe company in the world. For more on their history, please have a look at their website: https://www.pipechacom.com/en/history.htm. In fact, the shape number I mentioned above, 157, is a Comoy shape number and is designated as a straight-stemmed, flat-bottomed, billiard. But I am still going to call it a Poker Barrel anyway.

On to the pipe: it was in decent shape, but it had a few issues. The stem was mostly fine. There was a bit of oxidation, some tooth chatter and scratches, and that was about it. Meanwhile, the stummel had a few more issues. The outside of the bowl had some scratches and a couple of fills that needed to be redone. There was plenty of lava and debris on the rim and I suspected there would also be some burn marks. The inside was pretty dirty too – just how dirty it was became an event in itself.The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. This was not particularly successful in raising the damage. During this process, I noticed that the inside of the tenon on the stem was threaded. There was clearly a stinger here once upon a time. Thankfully, it is long gone.Then, I cleaned out the insides with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Look at that! Lots of work to get this clean! Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. I built up the dents on the stem with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure. I then sanded the adhesive down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I did the same to the remaining tooth marks. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order for this pipe. This stummel was a bit of a mess inside, so I first decided to ream out the bowl. I used both the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper to eliminate as much as I could. I took the bowl down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the walls of the bowl. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was considerable filth inside this stummel and it took a lot of cotton to get it “clean”. I put the word clean in quotation marks for reasons that will be evident shortly. I used a small butter knife to gently chip away at the lava on the rim. I then used more Murphy’s with a scrub brush to remove any remainder. This actually worked quite well. I then moved on to cleaning the outside of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and some cotton pads. That removed any latent dirt that blighted the wood. A de-ghosting session also seemed in order, so I thrust cotton balls in the bowl and the shank, and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused the oils, tars and smells to leech out into the cotton.In order to remove the remaining burns and nicks on the rim, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe. Then, to further clean the inside of the pipe, I put the stem and stummel back together and used my pipe retort system. This system uses boiling isopropyl alcohol and a vacuum (a void, not the household appliance) to clean the interior of a pipe. As you can see by the brownish colour of the alcohol, the retort worked well. I managed to extract lots of otherwise inaccessible filth from inside the pipe. At this point, I had a hunch that I should run another Q-tip or two through the shank. What I discovered was shocking: it took a truck load of Q-tips and pipe cleaners to actually clean this frustrating pipe! Look at the pile I used! I then finished cleaning up the insides of the stummel with some dish soap and tube brushes. Extraordinary, but I did it and it is now clean.Having completed that, I was able to address the scratches and fills. I took out my steam iron and a damp cloth to try and raise the nicks. The hot and moist steam created can often cause the wood to swell slightly and return to shape. Fortunately, there was considerable movement – I was really pleased with the results. The repair was not perfect, but the remaining scratches would be improved by sanding.After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain. There is some beautiful wood after all. It is a very handsome pipe. The same was true with the fills. I lined the two fills with cyanoacrylate adhesive and briar dust. After letting them cure, I sanded the fill repairs down with 200-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpaper. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to finish it off. On to another problem: the colour. During the course of my vigorous cleaning, this pipe had lost some vibrancy of colour. So, in order to accentuate the external beauty of this pipe, I opted for aniline dye. I applied some of Fiebing’s Medium Brown Leather Dye. As usual, I applied flame from a BIC lighter in order to set the colour. What a difference that made! It looked so much better with a fresh coat of stain.   I applied some more Before & After Restoration Balm and then it was off for a trip to the buffer. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. The lovely shine made the wood very attractive. This is a very handsome pipe and will provide many years of smoking pleasure.This Chacom Champion is back to its old glory and ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘French’ pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 5 in. (130 mm); height 1⅝ in. (40 mm); bowl diameter 1¼ in. (30 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (20 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1 oz. (29 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe’s restoration as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Repairing and adding a touch of antiquity to a Chacom Meridien Diamond Shank 811 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

I was scanning through Facebook Marketplace and came across a collection of four pipes that were being sold near where I live in Vancouver. I messaged the individual and it turned out it was an animal rescue/hospital thrift shop. They were selling the four pipes and the rack with all proceeds going to their charity. My second daughter and I made the drive over to visit and have a look at the pipes. I have included the photo from the advertisement to show the pipes and their condition. The label on the sale was inaccurate but I could see what at least three of the pipes were and I was interested. After I parked in front of the shop and I went in and the clerk brought out the pipes and rack so I could have a look. In the order they are in the rack from left to right the pipes were as follows: A GBD Tapestry 1970 Shape (Banker), a Brigham 228 two dot sitter in a shape I had not seen before, a Chacom Meridien 811 Dublin with a diamond shank, and a Kriswill Saga140. The Brigham and the Chacom both had cracks. The Brigham had a hairline crack in the bowl and Chacom had a cracked shank. I paid the price we agreed on for the pipes and headed home.

I wrote Charles Lemon of Dad’s Pipes who is the go to guy for all things Brigham and asked him about the pipe. He said it was a shape he did not have and did not have on his shape chart. I thought about it overnight and sent it off to him on Monday morning. I look forward to his blog on this pipe as it is a really Danish looking Brigham.

That left me with three pipes to work on. Since the Chacom had the crack it was the hardest of the three to deal with so I chose that one. I really like the shape of the pipe and the way that the diamond shank flows in to the crowned Dublin bowl. The pipe was a bit of a mess. The bowl had not only a thick cake in it but also about a ¼ bowl of old tobacco that was unsmoked. The cake in the bowl had erupted onto the crowned rim top and left it a mess. The edges were covered so it was hard to know what was underneath the lava. The shank was cracked on the top right side of the diamond at the end. The briar was filthy with ground in grit and grime. The stamping on the pipe was minimal. On the left side it read Chacom [over] Meridien. On the underside of the shank near the stem/shank joint it had the shape number 811. On the right side there are very faint stamping that appears to read Made in France or possibly St. Claude France. The stem had the Chacom CC metal oval inset on the left side of the saddle. There was a lot of oxidation, calcification and tooth marks on chatter on both side. It was worn but repairable. I took photos of the pipe as it was when I brought it home.  I took some close up shots of the bowl and rim top along with the stem to show the condition of both. The photo of the rim top also shows the crack on the shank on the back top right side at the shank end. I have circled it in red to make it clear. The photos of the stem show its condition. You can see the oxidation, calcification and tooth marking in the photos below.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides and have included them below. They read as noted above. Some of the stamping is very faint but readable with a lens. You can also see that the stem is stamped FRANCE on the right underside near the shank.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to give a sense of the beauty of the shape. It is a nice looking pipe.I turned to Pipephil’s site for a quick overview of the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html). I have included that below. The Meridien Line is not included on the site.

The brand Chacom Chacom, créateur et distributeur de pipes turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independance from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …).

Pipedia has a great history write up on the Chacom brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom). It gives a simple and concise timeline for the history. Once again there was nothing on either the line of the shape 811. Worth the read however. With that out of the way it was time to work on the pipe.

I began my work on the pipe by reaming out the cake. I started the process with a PipNet piper reamer to remove the thickest part of the cake. I cleaned up the cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to remove the rest of the cake. I took it back to bare briar then sanded the bowl with piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. Once it was finished the bowl was clean. With cake removed on the inside, I scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime ground into the briar and to remove the buildup of lava on the rim top and edges. It really was a nice looking piece of briar. I worked over the inner edge of the rim top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I worked to remove the darkening on the edge and to smooth out the edge. It came out looking quite good.I took a photo of the crack on the top right side of the diamond shank. I filled in the crack with some clear super glue and pressed the parts together until the glue cured and the crack was joined.I cleaned out the mortise, the airway into the bowl and the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. It was very dirty with tars and oils and took a lot of swabs and pipe cleaners.I dropped the stem into a soak of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and set it aside for the night. While it soaked I worked on banding the cracked shank.I went through my collection of bands and found a really interesting one from the late 1800s. It is brass band with carved vines and floral patterns. I really like the look of the shank with the old band on it. I used a topping board and sandpaper to reduce the depth of the band. I wanted to thin it down enough so that when pressed into place on the shank it would leave as much of the stamping clear as possible. I pressed it on the shank. You can see that it cut off the right leg of M in Chacom. Otherwise it looks really good. I glued it in place on the shank and took photos of the banded pipe. I really like the look of the pipe with the antique band. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the debris. The bowl began to take on a deep shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish 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. The product brought the briar to life and gave some depth to the finish. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I took it out of the Briarville Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I rubbed it down with a coarse cloth. While it removed a lot of the grit and oxidation it left a bunch behind. I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the softened oxidation on the stem surface. I have found that it works wonders. I used a small file to clean up the edges of the button  and smooth out some of the tooth marks. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the file marks. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Stem Polishes. I wiped it down a final time with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I really like the addition of the gold coloured fancy band from the late 1800s to this Chacom Meridien 811 Diamond Shank Dublin. I put the stem on the shank and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it to deepen the shine. The grain on the briar came alive with the buffing and the gold of the band was a great contrast between the briar and the polished vulcanite stem. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside Diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.02 ounces/29 grams. It is really a great looking pipe. The new repaired shank and golden coloured cast band really work well together. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the French Pipe Makers section shortly. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me. Cheers.

Sometimes a pipe is so ugly that it just charms you – Someone’s Personalized Chacom Count 875


Blog by Steve Laug

The title on this blog really says it all for me. This next six sided pipe was purchased from an auction in Columbus, Michigan, USA in 2020. Jeff saw it and actually went for it even though he knew I would not like it at first. It was just too much to take in but he picked it up for a good price. It is carved on each side of the bowl with a rising fish. I do not know if the pipeman carved them or if it came that way but it was strange to me! On top of that, the carved fish are then stained with a wash of green as is the stamping on the shank side that reads Chacom [over] Count. It is stamped on the underside of the shank with the shape number 875. If that was all of the unusual features of this pipe that would be enough but there were more unique modifications. The previous pipe man must have like the P-lip feature on Peterson’s pipes because he drilled a round hole in the top of the stem ahead of the button and filled in the slot in the button with what looks like spray foam. Other than the modification the shape was unique and the shiny finish, though dirty, was in good condition. There was a light cake in the bowl and some lava on the back side of the rim top. There was also a bit of damage on the front inner edge and rim top where it appeared that the varnish coat had peeled. The twin brass ringed stem was oxidized and had some calcification. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. The drilled hole was clean and undamaged. The spray foam oozing from the slot on the stem end was hardened and quite ugly. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup. Looking at the pipe from the top down it is quite a pretty pipe and I had a good idea why Jeff was drawn to it. The hexagonal shape of the bowl and the finish was quite nice as was the grain on the rim top. Okay maybe it would turn out to be a nice looking pipe when it was cleaned up! Time would tell.Jeff took photos of the rim top and bowl to give and idea of the general condition of the pipe. It had some damage on the front edge and some lava on the back left edge and top. There was some scratching on the rim top itself. The stem was the disaster as I noted above with its modifications that would take some work to remedy. The hole would need to be patched and the slot cleared of the spray foam that filled it. Jeff included several photos of the stem to show what was going on with it. Jeff took some photos of the carved fish on the sides of the bowl and the green wash highlighting it. He also took a photo of the heel and underside of the bowl and shank. It appears that there was some nice grain under the carving. The stamping on the shank reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I am not sure if it was originally green but it is now! The CC logo in brass is on the left side of the stem and the underside of the stem is stamped France. There also appears to be a ring of exotic wood between the brass rings on the stem. I turned to Pipephil to see if there was any information on the Chacom Count line of pipes (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html). Of course there was not any information that directly referred to the line and there was nothing with the kind of carving on this one. I quote the top bar of the article there.

The brand Chacom Chacom, créateur et distributeur de pipes turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independance from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …).

I then turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom) to see if there was any information on the line there. There was a great time line of the history of the brand but nothing specific on this pipe.

The carving looked good but was also too amateurish to me to have come from Chacom who are known as innovators and fine craftsman of great pipes but I thought maybe there would be something. However there was nothing.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and 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 was able to clean out the spray foam that had filled in the slot in the button. I was not sure that would come out as it looked to be hard as a rock. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It cleaned up well and looked better. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl edges look very good. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter was very light. The drilled hole in the stem top was obvious and I think quite repairable.I took a photo of the stamping on the left and underside of the bowl. You can see from the photo that it is readable. The brass bands and insert on the saddle stem look very good. To be honest even the fish had cleaned up well!I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the shape and “attraction” of the pipe.I decided to start by working on the heavy varnish coat on the rim top and bowl. I needed to remove it or at least break the sheen so I could smooth out the damage on the front top of the rim and the end of the shank on both sides where the varnish had peeled. I may well have to leave it on the sides of the bowl where the fish is carved but I would see what I could do without damaging that too much :). I combined wiping it carefully down with acetone and polishing it with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad to remove the varnish coat. I forgot to take a picture of the rim before I stained it to blend in the sanded edge and top. The photo below shows the rim top after staining with a Maple stain pen. You can see how clean the top looks in this photo. I wiped the rest of the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad and was able to remove the varnish coat. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads.. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris. I was able to get the varnish off without damaging the green carving on the bowl sides. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm working it into the briar and the carving with my finger tips. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Jeff had gotten the spray foam plug out of the slot in the button so I needed to address the drilled hole on the topside of the stem. I greased a pipe cleaner with Vaseline and slipped it into the stem below the hole. I wanted to have  a base to build over but I did not want the cleaner to be glued in place. I mixed a batch of charcoal powder and black super glue and made a thick paste with it. I applied it to the surface of the stem with a dental spatula and made sure it was in the hole. I sprayed it with an accelerator to harden the CA glue enough that I could remove the pipe cleaner without pulling out the patch. I remove it and set the stem aside to cure for what I thought would be overnight but ended up being two days! It was as hard as a rock. When I finally got back to it I used a small file to flatten the repair and prepare it for sanding. I sanded the stem repair with a folded piece of 220 sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the stem. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the repaired stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This pipe has some great grain under the varnish and I have to say that the carving of the fish kind of grew on me during the restoration. This Chacom Count Hexagon Scoop turned out really well. The bowl and shank are hexagonal and the fish carved on the sides look a lot better now. The polished twin brass bands, exotic wood spacer and black of the stem works well with the briar. The grain in the briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains of the finish make the grain really pop 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. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Chacom Count really has a unique beauty and feels great in the hand. It looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 71 grams/2.54 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on French Pipe Makers if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. It was a fun one to work on!

I Needed a Change of Pace – Restoring a Chacom Dynastie #43 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

With the pipes I worked on while in India and the latest restoration of the AGE EXTRA Bulldog I needed a change of pace. I needed to work on a simple pipe that would take some minimal effort on my end for a change. The one I chose was a comfortingly classic Bent Billiard shape in Chacom’s “Dynastie” finish — an amber-hued sandblast with double ringed brass band and Cumberland stem. This pipe was very dirty when Jeff received it from an auction he won from Los Angeles. The sandblast finish was grimy and dusty. There was a thick cake in the bowl and heavy lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know the condition of the edges due to the cake and lava. The Cumberland stem showed some oxidation and calcification on the top and underside near the button. There was tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it.Jeff took close-up photos of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe when it arrived. The rim top had some lava build up and a thick cake in the bowl.Jeff took a picture of the right side of the bowl and the heel to show the grain under the blast on the bowl. It really is well made and very dirty! He took photos of the stamping on the left side and underside of the shank. The first photo shows stamping on the left side which read Chacom over Dynastie. The stamping on this pipe is clear and readable. The second photo shows the 43 shape number stamping on the underside toward the shank/stem junction. The third photo shows the brass CC inserted logo on the left side of the tapered Cumberland stem.  The next two photos show the stem surface. They show the calcification and oxidation on both sides near the button. The tooth chatter and marks are visible on the underside next to the button. There is also some wear on the button edge. Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under warm running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove lava build up on the rim top and you could see the great condition of the bowl top and edges of the rim. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim after Jeff had cleaned up the grime and lava but the rim top had some light damage, some pits and darkening on the rim. Both the inner edge and the outer edge of the rim look good. The stem photos show that the oxidation is gone. The light tooth chatter and marks are hard to see but I should be able to sand it out quite easily.I sanded the inside edge of the rim and the rough areas on the top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and the darkening. I polished the top with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the debris. I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the sandblast briar. It cleans, protects and enlivens the briar. I buffed the bowl with a clean cloth to give it a shine. The double brass ring band on the shank end was loose. I put a few drops of clear superglue under the band and pressed it onto the shank end. I held it in place until it had cured.I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. The stem was stamped on the right side “Hand Cut” and on the underside “France”. On the left side it had a brass CC logo medallion inlaid in the Cumberland stem. I used a folded piece of 240 grit sandpaper to blend the tooth marks and chatter into the surface of the stem. Once the surface was smooth I sanded out the scratch marks and started the polishing of the stem with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry. I put the stem and bowl back together and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the minute scratches still in the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This Chacom has a classic Bent Billiard shape a contrasting finish of browns and reds that matches the colour of the Cumberland stem. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and the mixture of grain under the blast popped with polishing. The Cumberland stem had a rich glow. The finished pipe is a beautiful grained bent Billiard. This pipe fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. If you are interested in this pipe I will be putting it on the online rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Breathing Life into a Chacom Paris 861 Quarter Bent Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

One of the pipes that Jeff and I picked up from a fellow in Pennsylvania was a Chacom Paris straight Brandy. He contacted us about purchasing his pipes as he was cleaning out his collection. This particular pipe showed promise but it was in rough condition. It had some beautiful grain – birdseye and mixed grain. The rim top was beveled inward. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Paris and there is Chacom CC logo stamped in the left side of the tapered, acrylic stem. We seem to pick up some really dirty pipes and this pipe was no exception. It was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy layer of lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. From the photos it appeared that the inner edge was in good condition. Other than being dirty the finish also appeared to look very good. The stem and the shank end had a decorative metal ferrule that was supposed to meet once the stem was in place. On this pipe the stem would not sit in the shank and there was a gap between the stem and shank. I am including some photos of the pipe that the seller emailed me when we were discussing the pipe.Needless to say we went for the deal and soon the pipe was on its way to Jeff’s place for cleaning and preparation for restoration. Jeff took these pictures when it arrived. You can see the issues that I noted above in the following photos. It was going to take some work to bring it back to what it was supposed to look like. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava. The cake is thick and hard and the lava overflow is a thicker toward the back of the beveled rim. The bowl and the rim are a real mess. This must have been a great smoking pipe.The next photo shows the right side of the bowl and shank to give a clear picture of the beauty of the birdseye and mixed grain around the bowl of the pipe. It is a beauty. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank and the shape number 861 on the underside of the shank near the ferrule to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. He also included some photos of the CC logo on the left side of the stem and the Hand Cut stamp on the right side. Jeff took a photo of the fit of the stem in the shank. The tenon (Delrin) did not seem to fit in the mortise. I would need to check it out because it did not look right to me.The acrylic stem was in okay condition other than some heavy tooth marks on the button surfaces and some calcification where the seller had used a softee bit. There looked like there were some light tooth marks and chatter on the stem that should not take too much work to remedy. The brand Chacom turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independence from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …) (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html).

Pipedia gives a great historical overview of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom). I have not included that here but if you are interested click on the link and you can read about the company from its inception to its current status.

I wanted to know what the pipe should have looked like when it was made so I did a quick google search to see if could find a photo. I turned up a straight shank brandy in a red stain that showed the way that the tenon and mortise should have worked. The stem should have fit into the mortise and the silver ferrule on the shank end and the one on the stem should have met. Now I knew what I was aiming for and work to get the correct fit. Armed with the information I needed I turned to address the pipe itself. Jeff had already cleaned up the pipe before sending it to me. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime off the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it arrived here in Vancouver it was a clean pipe and I knew what I had to work with. I took photos of it before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the thick cake and lava overflow that was shown in the rim and bowl in the earlier photos. He was also able to get rid of the grime and grit in the surface of the briar. The rim top looked a lot better than when he started. There was still some pitting and darkening on the surface of the inward bevel but it should clean up very well.As I examined the stem I found that it had an adapter in the tenon to convert the pipe from a 9mm filter pipe to a non-filtered pipe. The adapter was removable so that the pipe could be smoked either way. I took the adapter out of the tenon and took a photo of the parts.I decided to address the improperly fitting tenon first. I removed the adapter from the tenon and sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the tenon. The third photo shows the stem after I have reowrked the tenon. The fit is perfect.I set the stem aside to address the issues with the rim top. It had some light pitting and scratches in the surface of the bevel. I sanded the surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down with a damp cloth after each pad. I was able to polish out the scratches without damaging the finish to the rim top. A side benefit was that the darkening also was removed. The finish on the rest of the bowl was in excellent condition. After it was finished with the rim polishing I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off and buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. I still needed to polish the tenon but I decided to start by repairing the deep tooth marks on the stem. The button on the top edge had tooth marks and the flat portion of the stem on the underside also had tooth marks. I filled them in with clear super glue and set the stem aside to allow the repairs to cure overnight.In the morning the repairs had cured so I blended them into the surface of the acrylic with a folded piece of 220 and began polishing the stem with 400 grit sandpaper. I also began polishing the tenon at the same time with the 400 grit sandpaper. The repaired areas looked very good at this point in the process.I polished the Lucite stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I polished Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final hand buff with a microfiber cloth. I polished the metal at the same time. I put the stem back on the pipe and the pipe to the buffer. I worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well and the beveled rim top looked good. I was happy with the look of the finished pipe. The photos below show what the pipe looks like after the restoration. I have a dress black Chacom Paris that is a lot like this pipe. The shape and the fitments are very elegant. The polished black Lucite stem looks really good with the browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This is another pipe that I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. The shape of the pipe and the ¼ bent stem give this pipe a great feel in the hand and the mouth. This one should be a great smoker. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on another beauty!

New Life for a Chacom Prestige Chubby Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table was one that my brother Jeff picked up somewhere along his travels through antique shops or online auctions. This one is a nice looking chubby billiard with a classic look and shape. It has some great birdseye grain around the sides of the bowl and shank and some cross grain off-center on the front, on the back and on the top and underside of the shank. It has a smooth natural finish to the bowl that highlights the grain. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Chacom over Prestige. There is no other stamping on the shank or bowl. The finish was dull and a little dirty but otherwise very good. The rim top was chipped and dented with a little damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The bowl had a light cake in it that would be easy to deal with.There was one fill on the left side of the bowl toward the bottom. The stem was vulcanite and had some tooth chatter and scratching on both sides near the button. The stem had a silver double Diamond inlay on the left side. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup up work. Jeff took a photo of the rim top and bowl. You can see that the cake is quite thin. The rim is slightly beveled inward and there are some nicks in the edge. The rim top has dents and nicks in it that are quite deep. The outer edge of the bowl looks good.Jeff took close up photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is sharp and readable. The first photo shows the stamping and the double diamond logo on the stem. The second photo gives a closer look at the stamping on the shank.Jeff had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil soap and removed the dust and grime that had accumulated there. The finish looked very good once it had been scrubbed. He lightly reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the interior of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe came to me clean and ready to do the restoration. I took some photos of the pipe to show the condition at this point in the process. I took some photos of the rim top and sides of the bowl to show the damage to the surface of the rim. The dark area on the inner edge at the bottom of the photo (left side of the bowl) is a nick and it has been lightly charred. There is also some darkening on the back edge of the bowl and some nicks and dents that need to be removed. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition. There is some light tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides near the button but otherwise it is in good condition.I took some photos of the grain around the bowl. In the first photo you can see the only fill toward the bottom of the left side of the bowl. The grain on the pipe is quite stunning. I have worked on quite a few Chacom pipes over the years so I know most of the history or at least know where to turn to refresh my knowledge of the brand. Chacom tobacco pipes are made by the famous Chapuis-Comoy Company. The Chacom brand, a combination of the first three letters of each of the family names. It is the signature brand out of dozens produced by the nearly 200 year-old pipe-making family. Chacom tobacco pipes where the number one pipes in France, Belgium and The United States after World War II. The history of excellence in french pipe construction continues today ( https://www.tobaccopipes.com/chacom-history/). A good timeline on the brand can be found on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom).

I started my restoration of the pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top. I topped the rim on a topping board using 220 grit sandpaper. I checked the progress repeatedly as I only wanted to remove the damage and not too much of the briar. The second photo shows the rim top with the damaged areas removed and the rim looking very good.I used an Oak stain pen to match the colour on the bowl. I took the photo below to show the quality of the match.I addressed the dented fill on the lower left side of the bowl next. I filled it in with a drop of clear super glue and set it aside to dry. When the glue dried I sanded it flat with a corner of 220 grit sandpaper and blended it into the briar with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I touched up the stain with an Oak stain pen. The colour was slightly off but once I buffed and polished the bowl it would blend in well.I polished the briar with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to smooth the finish and blend in the restained portions of the bowl. Once I had that finished with the 2400 grit pad I checked the rim top and edges and was not happy with the dark spot on the inner edge of the right side. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to bevel the edge a bit more to take care of that. I resanded the top with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads.I finished polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. The briar is shining and the repairs have all but disappeared. In some of the photos I notice a bit of carbon on the walls of the bowl so I wrapped a piece of dowel with some 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the walls of the bowl smooth.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the briar bowl and the rim top as well as the briar shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers, working it into the exterior of the pipe. After it had been sitting for a little while, I buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The pipe really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to sand out the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem just ahead of the button. They were not deep so it did not take tooth much to remove them.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a Obsidian Oil to remove the sanding dust on the vulcanite. I finished the polishing process with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. When I finished polishing and wiping it down I set it aside to dry. I polished stem and bowl with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The contrasting light brown stain on the smooth briar with the polished, black vulcanite stem worked together to give the pipe a unique look. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This is a beautiful Chacom Prestige chubby billiard that needs a new home. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 inches. This one will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email to slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this beautiful billiard.

Chacom Panache #44


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I have embarked on a journey into the wonderful, invigorating and leisurely world of pipe restoration and want to try out and address as many issues that one may encounter when dealing with an old, used and also abused pipes. Though there are a large number of old and vintage pipes that I have inherited, I went ahead and purchased two pipes, one is a CHACOM PANACHE # 44 and the other is a SAVINELLI SILVER, for gaining hands-on experience in stem repair. The stems on both these pipes have large gaping hole near the button end, exposing the stem’s airway. I shall be working on the stems of both these pipes simultaneously while the stummel will be worked on separately. The write up on both, though separate, is being uploaded at the same time so as to maintain continuity.

Even though I had purchased this pipe to practice repairing a stem bite-through, what really caught my attention was the beautiful coral like rustication on the bowl and shank which could be seen on some high end pipes from equally higher end brands. Through all the dust and grime, the beautiful contrasting stains between the lighter brown raised rustication and darker hued depressions makes for an eye catching finish. On the smooth surface at the bottom of the shank, it is stamped “CHACOM” in an artistic hand over “PANACHE” in block capital letters. This is followed by the shape number # “44” at the edge of the shank where it meets the stem. The stem bears the double “C” logo stamped on the left side of the stem towards the tenon end.I gleaned following info from Pipedia to know more about the brand of this pipe. It is reproduced below (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom):

1825 : Well before the discovery of briarwood the COMOY family manufactured pipes in the small village of Avignon, near to Saint-Claude, mostly in boxwood for the “Grumblers” of the Army of Napoleon. 1850 : Birth of Henry COMOY, founder of the brand.
1856 : Discovery of briarwood and particularly the special treatment it required for the making of pipes. Saint-Claude becomes the birthplace of briar pipe manufactures and the world capital of pipe-making.
1870 : Henri COMOY, prisoner of war in Switzerland meets his cousins the Chapuis and ruminates the idea of an association.
1879 : Henry COMOY emigrates to London with some of his technicians from Saint-Claude and establishes the first English pipe factory in England H. COMOY & C° LTD. The Saint-Claude factory supplies them with briarwood and pipe bowls.
1922 : After the First World War the association COMOY and CHAPUIS is realised and the Saint-Claude factory becomes CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie.
1924 : Death of Henri COMOY. His sons Paul and Adrien assume the direction of the factories in Saint-Claude and London assisted by their cousins Emile and Louis Chapuis.
1928 : London now able to produce their own pipes, and in order to develop the Saint-Claude factory, the brand CHACOM is created, using the first three letters of the COMOY and CHAPUIS families. Up till 1939 CHACOM was offered only in France, Belgium and Switzerland in order not to embarrass the COMOY pipes which had the same shapes and qualities.
1932 : The world economic crisis reaches Saint-Claude. To weather this problem Chapuis Comoy & Cie joins with another company under the name of LA BRUYERE, forming the biggest pipe concern in the world with 450 workpeople. Big trucks were needed to transfer the briar blocks from the drying shed to the factory.
1945 : After the Second World War CHACOM assumes its entire commercial liberty and launches a complete and modern range of pipes.
1946 : Chacom becomes the principal brand in France and Belgium.
1947 – 1948 : CHACOM, number one in Scandinavia, Germany, then United States…
1957 : In face of the commercial preponderance of the brand CHACOM the company La Bruyère returns to the name of CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie.
1964 : Death of Adrien COMOY. His son Pierre succeeds to him in London. Mr REED is the Chairman and Managing Director in Saint-Claude.
1965 : First French brand named pipe in JAPAN
1971 : Having recovered its independence from COMOYS of London, Yves GRENARD, second cousin of Pierre COMOY, takes over the Direction of Chapuis Comoy & Cie and at the same time the exclusive sale of H. COMOY & Ltd, in France.

 I further searched pipephil.eu for additional information and the same is reproduced below:

The brand Chacom turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independance from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …).

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION

The bowl is caked but not heavily. The rustication on the rim top is filled with tars oils and grime. The finish is dull with dirt and dust filling the rustication. This will be cleaned with Murphy’s oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush.The mortise is filled with gunk and debris. This will need to need to be cleaned.The stem is heavily oxidized with heavy calcification towards the button end in the bit area. There is tooth chatter and bite marks on the top surface of the stem near the button end. However, the biggest damage can be seen on the lower surface of the stem. There is a large through and through hole in the stem exposing the airway. Thankfully, the top surface is complete with only tooth marks and tooth chatter. This reconstruction will be the biggest challenge since I have never attempted this restoration before. The button is badly damaged and will need to be reconstructed.THE PROCESS

In this restoration project the stem repair posed the biggest challenge. I searched the net, viewed YouTube videos and my most reliable website “rebornpipes.com” and read over each and every blog available on the website on stem repairs and took down notes and the steps involved. I even discussed with Mr. Steve. Now armed with this acquired knowledge, I embarked on my quest to gain knowledge through personal experience.

The first thing I did was to paint the upper and lower surfaces of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to raise the tooth chatter to the surface and also raise the edges of the hole to create an even surface. Next, I cleaned the surface of the stem with isopropyl alcohol to get rid of all the dirt, oils and tars from the surface. I also had the internals of the stem thoroughly cleaned using pipe cleaners, cue tips and alcohol.

Once I was satisfied with the cleaning, I smeared a generous amount of Vaseline onto regular pipe cleaners and inserted it into the airway, ensuring the pipe cleaners are fully underneath the hole. This helps in ensuring that the airway remains open. Vaseline coated pipe cleaners prevents the mixture of CA superglue and activated charcoal from percolating down into the airway and clogging the airway.The next step in the process of this repair is mixing of CA superglue and activated charcoal to the consistency of putty filler. Suffice to say that the consistency should be such that it should not be too runny but just sufficient to spread smoothly and evenly over the intended surface. First timers like me, do not worry too much, even I did not understand what should be the ideal consistency (LoL). From the pictures below, it is amply evident that I did not achieve the exact consistency I desired, but no issues, it still worked!!! Since the beginning of my journey into the beautiful and challenging world of pipe refurnishing, I am being faced with problem relating to glue. Maybe the hot temperate climate prevalent here is causing issues or the quality of glue itself is an issue. However notwithstanding the issues of glue, I was able to prepare a mixture of CA superglue and activated charcoal and applied it to the surface. I set it aside to cure overnight.I began by sanding the repaired/ filled areas using a flat needle head. It was not as easy as it seemed because when I began the process, as I sanded down the stem, I observed that the filling crumbled and dislodged from hole. Apparently, the filling was too dry.

I prepared a fresh mixture of CA glue and activated charcoal and applied it to area to be filled. After curing, when I tried to file it down, I realized that shiny dots were visible. On close observation, these tiny dots were air pockets which were trapped during application and subsequent curing. I discussed with Mr. Steve who advised me to fill the spots with glue only. I did so and let it cure for 2 days.I sanded down the fill and realized bigger air pockets were now exposed. It is unfortunate that I did not take pictures of these issues and processes as I was too engrossed and concentrating on getting the filling right.

I again prepared a fresh mixture of activated charcoal and superglue and reapplied it to the stem surface and let it cure for 3 days since I was traveling.For this sanding, I took unusually long time taking frequent breaks to check the progress. I was very deliberate and used light hands. I used less of flat head needle file and more of 180 grit sandpaper. Finally, I was able to achieve a satisfactory fill. I further evened out the fill using 220 grit sandpaper, followed by 440, 600 and 800 grit papers. Now I am satisfied with the results of the fill.With the fill now evened out, I proceeded to sand the stem with micromesh pads, going through wet sanding with 1500-2400 pads and dry sanding with 3200- 12000 grit pads. I rubbed in Extra Virgin Olive oil after every three pads. The stem now has a nice shine to it and No Hole!! However, the finish is not as refined and minor imperfection can be seen in the finish, though not as glaring in person.With the issue of the stem now addressed, I turned my attention to the stummel. Using a Kleen Reem pipe reamer and fabricated knife, I removed the complete cake from the chamber. I further sanded down the walls of the chamber with a 220 grit sand paper to smooth the walls and took the cake back down to the bare briar.I cleaned the internals of the shank and mortise using regular and bristled pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol and cue tips. I also wiped the internal walls of the chamber with cotton pads dipped in 99.9 % isopropyl alcohol. I use high proof isopropyl alcohol as it evaporates very rapidly and leaves no traces of odor or liquid behind to ghost your pipe.I cleaned the externals of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and tooth brush. Thereafter, the stummel was washed under running water and dried using a paper towel. I observed that the thin, delicate wire rustication on the rim top was still filled with oils and tars. To clean the rim top, I used a 000 grade steel wool with Murphy’s Oil soap to gently scrub out the dirt. I dried it with paper towels and a soft cotton cloth. Once the stummel had dried out, I rubbed a little “Before and After Restoration Balm “deeply into the coral rustication and also into the wire rustication of the rim top. I worked it deep into the rustication with a horse hair shoe brush. I polished the stummel to a deep shine by rubbing it down with a microfiber cloth. The raised portion of the rustication has a light reddish hue which contrasts beautifully with the dark brown coloration of the rest of the stummel. The completed pipe is shown below. Thanks for your valuable time spent in reading my amateurish attempt at pipe restoration.

 

Restoration of a deeply loved Chacom Rallye


Blog by Roberto Castiglioni

Over the past month I have corresponded with Rob about a variety of things about restoration processes and procedures. He is a great guy! When he sent me photos of his work on this pipe I wrote and asked him to write it up for rebornpipes. Without further words on my part his is Rob. Welcome to rebornpipes. — Steve

Bizarre hobbies like these prove that nothing is too arcane for humans. Fortunately, the insane have valiantly stepped up to plug that gap.

Seeing a dirty and damaged pipe come back to life makes me extremely happy. That happiness comes from fact that I am handling something that is old and has a long history. The more dirty they are more interested I am. Sometimes I ask to myself how the previous pipe smoker could smoke them. Sometimes I get a stem with double hole, a tobacco chamber with a very limited space. It is then that I remember when my father told me when I was younger that my great-grandparent’s pipe needed maintenance .

This is a very amazing hobby where I can practice applying all my knowledge of Mechanical Engineering. I can use even what I learned  high school about adjusting a piece of steel manually by means of files and other tools without using machine tools.

I am very thankful to those gents of rebornpipes for their willingness to post and teach others. They have shown how experience and manual work still has value in this modern society .

For a beginner, who most of the time is a dummy, reading all the posts in different forums to learn a general procedure how to do the work is extremely important. In rebornpipes I found a lot of information and suggestions on how to proceed.

With many thanks I have enclosed my first important restoration on Chacom Rallye …

Here are the before photos of the pipe. The stem was very damaged with a bite through on the top side and much chewing around the edges of the stem. The fit of the stem in the shank is also not good. The bowl is very dirty with little room in the bowl – thick cake and lots of overflow on to the back side of the rim.I reamed the bowl with reamers. I sanded out the bowl to remove the remants of cake. I cleaned the mortise, and the airway in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I patched the chewed through stem and cleaned and polished the stem.Once the pipe was clean the metal tenon was loose in the mortise so I painted it with a coat of clear fingernail polish and let it dry in my improvised clothespin vise. You can see what the bowl looks like now in the next two photos. It is quite a change. Here are some photos of the completed pipe. Thanks Rob from Italy.

Chacom Churchwarden Resurrected


Blog by Joshua Fairweather

I received an email from Joshua about one of the Gourd Calabashes and a grab bag of pipes for refurbishing that I was selling. We made a deal on the pipes. At the end of his email he included some photos of some of the pipes he had already refurbished. His work looked really good so I invited him to submit a write up of some of his work to rebornpipes. Here is the first of those pieces that he submitted. A warm welcome and a thank you Joshua for your contribution to the blog. – Steve

I came across this pipe at an antique mall in London, Ontario. I almost passed it by had it not been for the vendor who was cleaning his case, he was kind enough to say ‘hi’ and ask what I was looking for. He just so happened to have a few pipes hiding in a glass case in the back of his store.

As you can see from the picture the pipe is heavily oxidized with little to no chatter marks. The bowl has a thick cake and tar on the bowl rim. Overall the bowl was in great condition with a small white mark on the bottom of the bowl (I think it was glue). The wood grain of the bowl also had nice appeal.

The brand of the pipe was marked on the bowl – ‘Chacom coin osseu’.

Now, I want to walk you through how I cleaned and restored this pipe. Step 1
When a pipe has a heavy cake inside the bowl, I like to put it through a salt and alcohol treatment. This method does a great job at cleaning the pipe, softening the hardened cake making it easier to remove from the bowl. It also, freshens up the bowl and gets ride of any ghosting left from prior tobaccos smoked.

I fill the bowl to the brim with larger grained salt. Using the syringe, I add the alcohol to the salt, topping it up to the bowl brim. I usually leave this treatment in the bowl overnight.Step 2
I prefer to use my old trusty friend (pocket knife) to clean the cake from the bowl. It has a more rounded tip and I find it a perfect tool to clean out most pipes without damaging the bowl.Step 3
With the same alcohol I use cotton pads to remove the finish off the pipe. Alcohol also does a great job at removing tar from the bowl rim. If the tar is heavy then a light sanding works better.Step 4
I don’t know what it is about sanding that brings so much satisfaction; I think it is the results you get on the pipe finish; it looks like glass. I use these foam padded Micro-Mesh pads to bring out the best finish on the briar wood. Step 5
Two of my favourite household products that do a fantastic job at cleaning pipe stems are OxiClean and Vim. Soak the stem in an OxiClean bath for about an hour maybe two hours. It will depend on how oxidized the pipe stem is, a heavy oxidized stem, leave in the solution for longer. This stem needed a longer soak.

After the bath I use Vim and a dry clean rag to wipe clean. Vim has a corrosive component that acts like a sand paper to buff the pipe stem back to a clean black colour again.

I will say, if the pipe stem is heavily oxidized it will take more than just Vim to bring out that black finish. I refer back to the Micro-Mesh foam sanding pads, which also do an amazing job at bringing out that preferred finish. I use alcohol and pipe cleaners to remove left behind tar inside the pipe stem. I repeat this process until the pipe cleaners come out clean.Step 6
To bring out the beauty of the natural grains of the wood, I use a variety of products and natural substances to do this. For this pipe I used an extra virgin olive oil.

With the combination of the sanded finish, adding the olive oil turns the pipe a darker colour. Well you can see the finished results for yourself!Conclusion:
Overall, I am pleased with the results. This pipe I will probably put into my private collection, as I do not have a churchwarden styled pipe as of yet.

Hope you have enjoyed my process.

Cleaning up a Beautiful Chacom Sahara Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff got a call from an auction house that does estate sales. He had built relationships with the owner and his son in law over the past months and we had purchased other pipes from them. This time they were calling about a lot of what they called higher end pipes that they had coming up on a weekend estate sale. They talked a bit and he asked if they would mind sending him a list of the pipes that were coming up. They went one step better and sent him the two photos of the pipes as a preview of what was going on sale. We looked them over and chose a few of them for purchase if Jeff had the chance. (It is times like this that I wish I lived close so I could go with him to these sales.

He went on a Friday morning and stood in line for the doors to open. When they did he went in and they handed him a bucket and the box of pipes that they had set back behind the counter for him. There were indeed some nice pipes in the batch and certainly pricier than the average lot we find at antique sales and malls. There were quite a few Savinelli products, Stanwell, GBD, Aldo Velani, Nording, Il Ceppo, Barlings, DiMonte and a Chacom Sahara. They made him a proposition for the entire lot of pipes and he went for it. He came home with all of the pipes in the photos to the left.

He called me on FaceTime and we were both pretty excited by what he had picked up. We went through them and noted the names and brands. We noted all of the stamping on the shank of each pipe. I got more excited as we noted each pipe and its condition. We realized that they were in pretty decent shape other than the usual dirtiness and grime from smoking. There were not any damaged rims or bowls. There were tooth marks on the stem that would need to be cleaned up but really it was a very nice lot of pipes. We had done well with the purchase.

This afternoon I was greeted at my door by the box that he had sent my way. I excitedly opened cut the tape on the box. Like a child at Christmas I tore in to the box to see what was inside. I pulled away the bubble wrap that he had put around each pipe. Now I was really excited by the pipes that he had sent along for me.

I chose to work on the Chacom Sahara first. It is a beautiful brandy shaped pipe that was in decent shape. It was stamped on the left side of the shank with the brand CHACOM over SAHARA. On the underside of the shank next to the stem shank junction it bore the shape number 864. The stem bore the Chacom CC oval logo inset in the vulcanite. There was a band of faux horn/Lucite that was part of the stem. It sat between a thin band of black and the rest of the tapered stem. My brother took the following photos before he worked on the pipes.The finish on the bowl was in excellent shape. There was a thin cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top. Sometimes this can be a good sign in that it can protect the finish underneath it. Other times it was a bad sign and hid a lot of rim burn and damage. I wondered what would be underneath this buildup. He took a photo of the pipe from the top and a close up photo to show the condition of the bowl and the rim.He also took some close up photos of the bottom and sides of the bowl. The finish was in excellent condition all around the bowl. Jeff took some good photos of the stamping on the shank. The first shows the left side of the shank. The second shows the shape stamping on the underside of the shank. The third shows the CC logo oval on the right side of the stem.He also took some photos of the chatter on the top and underside of the stem next to the button. Fortunately none of them were too deep.Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. He scrubbed the interior and exterior and sent me a very clean pipe that I only needed to put the finishing touches on. The next four photos show the pipe when I brought it to my work table. The pipe looked really good. The finish on the bowl sides, bottom and shank were in excellent condition. The stem was clean as well other than the light oxidation and the tooth chatter. The rim top had been cleaned up but it looked dull. I took a close up photo of the rim to show what it looked like after Jeff had cleaned it up. The top was clean and free of all build up. The finish on the rim was a bit dull but it looked like it would polish up nicely.I forgot to take a picture of the tooth chatter before I started working on it. I sanded the surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and marks. I was able to remove all of them without changing the profile of the stem. I left behind the usual scratch marks after sanding with 220 grit sandpaper.I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust and took the following photos before I polished it with micromesh sanding pads.I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. My brother had done a great job cleaning both so that nothing came out. It was very clean on the inside.I scraped out the last of the cake on the bowl walls with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife until the walls were clean.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. The oil both enlivens the rubber and provides bite for the sanding pads. I polished it with the 12000 grit pad and gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. (I forgot to take a photo of sanding it with 4000-6000 grit pads.) To give the rim top a shine like the rest of the bowl I buffed it with Blue Diamond and then applied some Cherry Danish Oil to the rim top with a cotton swab. I repeated the process until the top of the rim just shone. It looked like the rest of the bowl once again. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. It polished out all of the minute scratches in the surface of the vulcanite and the briar. It does a great job with a soft touch when polishing briar and the shine that the Blue Diamond gives rubber is almost glassy. I gave the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a beautiful looking pipe. The layout of the grain with the brandy shape is really well done. This one will soon be for sale on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know either by email to slaug@uniserve.com or a private message on FaceBook. Thanks for looking.