Tag Archives: Comoy’s pipes

Restoring a Comoy’s Golden Grain 28 Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen from Bob Kerr’s Estate is a Comoy’s Golden Grain Billiard with a the three part C on the stem. This is the last of Bob’s Comoy’s pipes that I am working on. (Bob’s photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in most of the restorations of the estate to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blogs (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

This Billiard is stamped Comoy’s [over] Golden Grain on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped with the number 28 at the shank/bowl junction and the COM stamp circle is worn but readable near the stem shank junction. The tapered vulcanite stem is oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There is a three part C on the left side of the stem. The exterior of the bowl is grimy and dirty. There is a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim top. It is thick enough that it is hard to know if there is any damage on top and edges. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup. The exterior of the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit ground in from years of use and sitting. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed the bowl. There was also some darkening on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The bowl itself had a thick cake with flecks of tobacco stuck in the cake on the sides. Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the bowl. It is dirty but the grain is very nice around sides. The next photos show the stamping on the sides of the shank. The left side is faint but readable and the right side is even fainter and did not get captured with the photo. With a bright light they both read as noted above.The stem was dirty and extremely oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. It was not nearly as chewed the other pipes in Bob’s estate.With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipes with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. Once he finished he shipped them back to me. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top shows some darkening but the inner edge of the bowl looks very good. The bevel is in excellent condition. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface. You can also see the marks on the surface of the stem.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank and it is faint but readable. It is stamped as noted above. I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. You can see the dents in the stem surface.Now, on to my part of the restoration of this Comoy’s Golden Grain 28 Billiard pipe. Since the pipe was in such good condition I decided to start by polishing the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed off the oxidation on the stem surface with Soft Scrub and cotton pads. I rubbed it down until the oxidation was gone. It was definitely looking better. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Comoy’s Golden Grain28 Billiard from Bob Kerr’s estate has some beautiful grain. It turned out to be another great looking pipe. The finish on the pipe is in great condition and works well with the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Golden Grain Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Restoring a Comoy’s Tradition 92 Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen from Bob Kerr’s Estate is a Comoy’s Tradition Billiard with a replacement stem. Bob had several Comoy’s Tradition pipes and this is the second of them I am working on. (Bob’s photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in most of the restorations of the estate to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blogs (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

This Billiard is stamped Comoy’s [over] Tradition on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped with the number 92 at the shank/bowl junction and the other stamping is worn out. The tapered vulcanite stem is a replacement. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The exterior of the bowl is grimy and dirty. There are burn marks on the top of the shank and on the heel of the bowl. There is a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim top. It is thick enough that it is hard to know if there is any damage on top and edges. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup. The exterior of the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit ground in from years of use and sitting. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed the bowl. There was also some darkening on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl as well as a burn mark on the top front of the bowl. The bowl itself had a thick cake with flecks of tobacco stuck in the cake on the sides. Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the bowl. It is dirty but the grain is very nice around sides. The next photos show the stamping on the sides of the shank. The left side is faint but readable and the right side is even fainter and did not get captured with the photo. With a bright light they both read as noted above.The replacement stem was dirty and extremely oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. It was not nearly as chewed the other pipes in Bob’s estate.With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipes with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. Once he finished he shipped them back to me. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top shows damage and charring on the inner edge of the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface. You can also see the marks on the surface of the stem.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank and it is faint but readable. It is stamped as noted above.  I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. You can see the dents in the stem surface.Now, on to my part of the restoration of this Comoy’s Tradition 92 Billiard pipe. I decided to start by dealing with the damage to the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. I carefully topped the bowl on a board with 220 grit sandpaper to start removing the damage to the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the damage to the bevel of the inner edge of the rim. I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Whoever had made this replacement stem had done a pretty horrible job on the tenon. It is pinched around the stem end and the end of the tenon is crooked as well. It was really a mess. I filled in the pinched tenon with black super glue. I sanded the repair and repeated the process until it was smooth and even.I filled in the deep tooth mark on the top of the stem ahead of the button and built up the button surface on the underside with super glue.I sanded out the remaining tooth marks and scratches on the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing them with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Comoy’s Tradition 92 Billiard from Bob Kerr’s estate has some beautiful grain. Even with the burn marks it still is a beauty. It turned out to be another great looking pipe. The finish on the pipe is in great condition and works well with the polished vulcanite taper replacement stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Tradition Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Restoring a Comoy’s Tradition 292 Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen from Bob Kerr’s Estate is a Comoy’s Tradition Billiard with a Comoy’s C on the stem. Bob had several Comoy’s Tradition pipes and this is the first of them I am working on. (Bob’s photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in most of the restorations of the estate to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blogs (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

This Billiard is stamped Comoy’s [over] Tradition on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped with the number 292 at the shank/bowl junction and the circular COM stamp. The tapered vulcanite stem had a Comoy’s C on the left side. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The exterior of the bowl is grimy and dirty. There are burn marks on the top of the shank and on the heel of the bowl. There is a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim top. It is thick enough that it is hard to know if there is any damage on top and edges. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup. The exterior of the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit ground in from years of use and sitting. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed the bowl. There was also some darkening on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl as well as a burn mark on the top front of the bowl. The bowl itself had a thick cake with flecks of tobacco stuck in the cake on the sides.  Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the bowl. You can see the burn mark on the right side of the heel toward the front. The next photos show the stamping on the sides of the shank. The left side is faint but readable and the right side is even fainter and did not get captured with the photo. With a bright light they both read as noted above.The stem was dirty and extremely oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. It was not nearly as chewed the other pipes in Bob’s estate.With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipes with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. Once he finished he shipped them back to me. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top shows damage and charring on the inner edge of the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface. You can also see the marks on the surface of the stem.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank and it is faint but readable. It is stamped as noted above.  You can see the C on the left side of the stem.I took some photos of the burn marks on the right front heel of the bowl and the topo of the shank near the stem junction. The burn mark did not go too deep in the briar. It looks like the pipe was laid in an ashtray against a burning ash or coal. The burn on the bowl front did not go through into the bowl so it was not a burn out. The inside of the bowl was smooth and undamaged.I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. You can see scratches in the stem surface.Now, on to my part of the restoration of this Comoy’s Tradition 292 Billiard pipe. I decided to start by dealing with the damage to the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. I carefully topped the bowl on a board with 220 grit sandpaper to start removing the damage to the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the damage to the bevel of the inner edge of the rim.I sanded the burn marks on the bowl front and the top of the shank with 220 grit sandpaper. While I could not remove the damage in total I was able to minimize it. I polished the bowl and rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the small dents with clear super glue. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to smooth out the fills in preparation for sanding and blending them into the surface of the stem. I sanded out the remaining tooth marks and scratches on the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing them with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Comoy’s Tradition 292 Billiard from Bob Kerr’s estate has some beautiful grain. Even with the burn marks it still is a beauty. It turned out to be another great looking pipe. The finish on the pipe is in great condition and works well with the polished vulcanite taper oval stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Tradition Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

A New Life for a Comoy’s Gold Bark 42 Bent Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

I have only 15 more of Bob’s pipes to finish before I have completed the restoration of his estate so I am continuing to work on them. The next one from Bob Kerr’s Estate is an interesting Comoy’s Gold Bark Bent Billiard. It is a bit of a strange one for me as I have several Comoy’s Gold Bark pipes and all are sandblast with a golden stain. This one is smooth! Where is the Bark and is the band the Gold?

(Bob’s photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in most of the restorations of the estate to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blogs that include the biographical notes about Bob. Here is a link to one of them (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

The Comoy’s Bent Billiard with a fluted gold coloured band on the shank. It is a smooth finish around the bowl and shank that has a lot of dust and debris ground into the finish of the briar. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. It is stamped Comoy’s [over] Gold Bark on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped with the Made in London England circle COM stamp followed by the shape number 42. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the rim top. The vulcanite stem was calcified, oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup. As I mentioned above the exterior of the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit ground in from years of use and sitting. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed from the thick cake in the bowl. It was hard to know what the rim edges looked like because of the lava.         Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the briar around the bowl. You can also see some of the few fills in the briar in the photos.    The next photo show the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is very readable. It reads as noted above. The stem was dirty, calcified and oxidized with tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button.      With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipes with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. Once he finished he shipped them back to me. Bob’s pipes were generally real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. I was surprised to see how well it turned out. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos before I started my part of the work.  I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top had some light damage and the inner and outer edges of the bowl were in excellent condition. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.  I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable. There is also a C stamped on the left side of the saddle stem. It is stamped as noted above.  There is a small chip in the edge of the stem at the shank junction just left of centre visible in the first photo below.       I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. The heavy oxidation is very visible.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads and wiping it down after sanding pad.    I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine.      I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed the surface of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation as I could. It is amazing how well this product works on vulcanite stems.   I sanded out the remaining oxidation and the tooth dents in the top and underside of the stem with 220 sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I touched up the stamped C on the left side of the stem with some Liquid Paper. I applied it and when it dried I scraped and sanded off the excess.   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  I left a little oxidation around the stamp so as not to damage it more.       This Cadogan era Comoy’s Gold Bark 42 Bent Billiard from Bob Kerr’s estate cleaned up really well and looks very good. The mixed stain brown finish on the pipe is in great condition and the fluted gold ferrule works well with the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Gold Bark Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and I think it will feel great as it heats up with a good tobacco. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Renewing another pipe from Bob Kerr’s Estate – a Comoy’s Sandblast Apple 334


Blog by Steve Laug

I am changing up my work and turning back to Bob Kerr’s estate for a while. I am getting closer to finishing restoring this large estate with only about 35 more pipes to do. This is one of his Comoy’s pipes that I am working on. I am cleaning them for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting. This Comoy’s Sandblast is a great pipe to work on. It is a shape that is interesting and unique. It will go on the rebornpipes store.

This Comoy’s Sandblast has a rugged, swirling sandblast finish with lots of nooks and crannies in the briar. It is a beauty! The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the heel and shank and reads Comoy’s Sandblast. That is followed by Made in London England and the shape number 334. The valleys and ridges of the sandblasted grain showing through the grime and dirt are a mixture that leaves a rich texture. It had a rich dark and medium contrasting brown stain that does not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The edges of the rim and top are dirty but look pretty pristine under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. Again, surprisingly it did not have the tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good.Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful swirls of the sandblast. There is a lot of dust and grime filling in the valleys. He took a photo of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Comoy’s Sandblast followed by Made in London England and the shape number 334.  The second photo shows the C logo on the left side of the taper stem is formed by three circles working to make the C. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.Before my work on the pipe began, I wanted to see where it fit in the Comoy’s timeline. I looked on Pipedia to pin down a date for the pipe. Since the pipe is stamped Made in London England I decided to use that to see what I could find. Pipedia has a great article on dating these pipes (https://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Comoy%27s_Dating_Guide#Made_in_London_England). I found the information below. I have highlighted the pertinent portion in red in the paragraph below. The stamping matches the pipe I am working on.

Appears in two versions. This is again stamped in a circle with “MADE” at the top, “IN” in the middle, and “LONDON” at the bottom, with “ENGLAND” in a straight line beneath. It can be assumed that this stamp was first used in the export drive in the early 1950s. On a Bulldog Sandblast from the early 50s the Comoy name no. 2 above [I insert number 2 here. A return to the slightly more fancy block letters with serifs and the apostrophe. (It seems that some grades carried different stamps, or at least that the stamping changed in different years for some grades.)] was used together with “MADE IN LONDON” over “ENGLAND”. There are no known examples of pre-WW II Comoy’s stamped in this way. The second version is the same as above but in a “rugby ball” shape. This shape is verified on Comoy´s “Extraordinaire” pipes.

From that I knew that I was working a Comoy’s Sandblast from the early 1950’s which fit very well into the timeframe of Bob’s other pipes.

I have also included two catalogue pages from Pipedia as well to show the line for sale at several time periods in Comoy’s history (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy%27s). The first page is from the 1922 Catalogue and the second one is from a later date. Read the description that highlights how they did their sandblasting combining heat and sand to bring out the grain. With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work.   I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top looks excellent and the edges and surface are undamaged. The sandblast finish is very nice. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.I took the stem off the shank and took some photos to give a clear picture of the pipe from the left side profile and the top looking down. It is a really pretty pipe.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to my part of the restoration of this Comoy’s Apple. The bowl and rim top were in great condition so this part of the restoration was very easy for me. I only had to rub the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I worked over the light tooth marks and blended them into the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.  I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Comoy’s Sandblast 334 Apple turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the sandblasted grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The lighter brown stain on the flat bottom of the heel and shank as well forming a band around the shank end is a great contrast. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished vulcanite taper stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Sandblast Apple fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Renewed Life for a Comoy’s Tradition 496 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a Comoy’s pipe from Alex’s collection. It is a pot shaped pipe with a saddle stem. It is a Cadogan period Comoy’s and has a single inlaid C on the left side of the saddle rather than the three circle version. It is a pretty pipe with a nice looking shape. The condition is another of those pipes that is shiny and polished on the outside and very dirty on the inside. It had been reamed but the shank and mortise were filthy with tars and oils. The pipe is stamped on both sides of the shank and reads Comoy’s over Tradition on the left side and on the right it has the Made in London England COM stamp circle followed by the shape number 496 near the bowl. The vulcanite saddle stem looks good at first glance but has tooth marks on both sides at the button. It has a stamped C on the left side of the saddle. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on the pipe. I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of the bowl, rim top and edges and stem. The bowl looks clean and the rim top and beveled inner edge look very good. I was hopeful that the pipe was actually as clean as it was shiny! The next photos show the condition of the stem. It is also clean and has no remaining oxidation. There are tooth marks and chatter under the shine on both sides near the button.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable on the left side and a little more blurry on the right side. There is also the inset C on the saddle stem – a new one piece inlaid C rather than the earlier version with the circles.I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the pipe.The “C” stem logo on Comoy’s pipes was the “three-piece C” insert until the Cadogan era in the 1980s. That helped me with a potential date on this pipe – 1980s or later. Knowing that this was a newer Comoy’s pipe from the Cadogan time period did not deter me as the shape on this one fascinated me. I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. The pipe was externally quite clean and I wanted to make sure that the internals were also clean. I scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. I scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. The shank was very dirty and appeared to not have been cleaned. The stem was much better.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.  I worked over the light tooth marks and blended them into the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.  I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Comoy’s Tradition 496 Pot turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the mix of grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished vulcanite saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Tradition fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be going back into the box of finished pipes that I have done for Alex so he can pick them up when COVID-19 allows. Looking forward to hearing what Alex thinks of this one. Thanks for your time.

Renewed Life for a Comoy’s Silver Shadow 745 Tulip


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interestingly shaped Comoy’s pipe. It is almost a tulip shape – at least to me. It is a Cadogan period Comoy’s as the “C” is stamped and painted on the acrylic stem. It is a pretty pipe with a nice looking shape. The condition is very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some darkening around the beveled inner edge of the rim. It is well smoked and the finish is dusty and grimy. There are some deep scratches in the briar around the bowl sides and top. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Comoy’s over Silver Shadow followed by the shape number 745 and the Made in London England COM stamp circle. The variegated silver acrylic bent saddle stem has a stamped C on the left side of the saddle. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on the pipe. He took photos of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl, rim top and edges. The cake is quite thick and there are a few spots of grime on the edges and around the cap on the bowl. He took photos around the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition. You can see the grime in the finish and the scratches in the briar around the bowl. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable.The next photos show the condition of the stem. The first though blurry gives an idea of the flow of the stem. The remaining photos show that the stem is in good condition other than some tooth chatter on both sides near the button. The “C” stem logo on Comoy’s pipes was the “three-piece C” insert until the Cadogan era in the 1980s. That helped me with a potential date on this pipe – 1980s or later. Knowing that this was a newer Comoy’s pipe from the Cadogan time period did not deter me as the shape on this one fascinated me. I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim edge lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub. He washed it off with warm water to remove the cleaner. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. (Note the deep scratch on the left side of the bowl.) I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the darkening on the top and inner edges of the bowl. Otherwise the rim and edges look very good. The stem looks clean and the tooth marks and chatter are fairly light. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clean and readable and read as noted above.    I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. Jeff had scoured the tenon but it was heavily stained with the tars of use.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the deep gouge in the left side of the bowl. It extended from the heel to mid bowl. I tried steaming it out and had very limited success. I decided to fill in the damaged area with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and also began the polishing with 40o grit wet dry sandpaper. I used a Walnut Coloured stain pen to blend the repaired area on the side of the bowl into the colour of the rest of the bowl. The match worked very well. Once I sanded it with the micromesh pads in the polishing process it would look even better.I polished the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. The repair on the right side of the bowl all but disappeared. The pipe looks very good. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.  I touched up the C stamp in the side of the stem with a Paper Mate Liquid Paper and a toothpick. It was not too deeply stamped so the coverage was uneven.I worked over the light tooth marks and blended them into the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.   I polished the acrylic with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Comoy’s Silver Shadow 745 Tulip turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the mix of grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished variegated silver acrylic saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Comoy’s Silver Shadow fits nicely in the hand and feels great. There is something about the shape that provides a great curve for the thumb on the back of the bowl. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added to the English Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Refreshing a Comoy’s Sunrise Made in London England H 16 Volcano


Blog by Dal Stanton

The next pipe on my desk was commissioned by Nathan, a pipe man from St. Louis.  Nathan’s multiple trips to my virtual ‘Help Me!’ baskets in the online collection I call, For “Pipe Dreamers” Only!, resulted in 4 very nice pipes being commissioned by Nathan each benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Nathan’s communications with me indicated that he was happy to help a great cause.  Here are the pipes Nathan has in the Pipe Steward queue: a Savinelli Dry System, Pipstar Dublin Sitter, Lorenzo Carnevale Sanremo Italy Rusticated Squat Apple and the Comoy’s Sunrise Volcano H 16 now on the table.The Comoy’s Sunrise Volcano came to me in the acquisition of a large eBay lot I’ve called the ‘Lot of 66’.   It came from a non-profit in Georgetown, Texas, called the Caring Place which I was happy to support.  Here are some of the original pictures I took when the Lot of 66 arrived. The nomenclature is located on the upper and lower panels of the oval shank.  On the upper side is stamped, ‘Comoy’s’ [over] SUNRISE.  On the lower shank panel is stamped to the left the rounded, MADE IN LONDON [over] ENGLAND.  To the left and above is stamped ‘H’, a random letter.  Below and to the right is stamped the shape number, ‘16’ which indicates a number after the Cadogan acquisition of Comoy’s in 1979 when the shape numbers were reduced from 3 to 2 digits.  The stamped ‘C’ on the stem also is consistent with a post Cadogan pipe.  I looked on Pipedia to see how the shape number, ‘16’ would be described. I discovered that it’s not listed there.  I’ve restored other Comoy’s with the ‘H’ stamped on the shank and from what Steve has shared with me, what he has heard is that the random letters indicate a certain parts replacement regimen.Even though the shape number is not listed in the Comoy’s listing on Pipedia, I’m calling this a Volcano.  The dimensions are: Length: 5 1/4 inches, Height: 1 3/8 inches, Rim width: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber width: 3/4 inches, Chamber depth: 1 1/4 inches – a nice, more diminutive size.  The oval shank flowing into the slightly bent stem creates a genuinely nice flow.  The original color of the stummel leans in the direction of an Oxblood/reddish hue which is now pale.  The chamber appears to have been cleaned somewhat with no cake build up.  The rim has some lava build up which should clean off with little problem along with the rest of the stummel which bears minor nicks and bumps.  The grain looks good – no fills jump out at me.  The stem has some chatter but not major.  There is oxidation which will be addressed.  To begin the recommissioning of this Comoy’s Sunrise Volcano for Nathan, the stem’s airway is cleaned with a pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 95%.It then joins other pipes in the queue for a soak in Mark Hoover’s product, Before & After Deoxidizer (www.ibepen.com) which does a good job on stems that are not too heavily oxidized.  I allow the stem to soak for a few hours.After taking the stem out of the soak, I squeegee off the liquid with my fingers and use cotton pads wetted with alcohol to wipe off the raised oxidation.  Another pipe cleaner also wetted with isopropyl 95% clears the airway of remnants of the Deoxidizer.To start the process of conditioning the vulcanite stem, paraffin oil is applied, and the stem is put aside to absorb the oil.Turning now to cleaning the stummel, I start by cleaning the chamber.  The cake buildup is almost non-existent, and I give the chamber walls a quick scraping using the Savinelli Fitsall Tool.  I then sand the chamber with 240 paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.  The chamber is in good shape.  Little effort to clean is needed – a nice change!Next, turning to the external surface, undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap is used to clean with a cotton pad.  A brass wire brush, which is not harmful to the briar, is used to help clean the rim along with scraping it very carefully with the edge of my Winchester pocketknife.  Then the stummel is taken to the kitchen sink to continue the cleaning with warm water using shank brushes to clean the mortise with anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap.  After a thorough rinsing, the stummel is brought back to worktable to continue cleaning the internals with cotton buds and pipe cleaners.  A couple buds and a pipe cleaner confirm the cleaned stated of the internals.  Moving on. Taking a closer look at the stummel, the Oxblood/reddish finish is very thin and has disappeared from the edge of the rim which has a nice rounded sloping pitch toward the chamber – a stylistic touch for the volcano shape.  The rim cleaned up nicely and along with the rim, the finish is thin but present. I see no fills that need attention. To clean the surface of the minor nicks, I proceed to using the full regimen of micromesh pads on the stummel surface.  I begin by wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400 and then dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000. After the micromesh process, it is evident that the finish has lost its original luster and what is left is a pinkish tint that is not attractive.  However, the micromesh sanding did bring out the grain very nicely. To make sure the surface is clean of the old finish, acetone on a cotton pad is used to wipe the stummel.  The results reveal the former color. I will apply a new dye to the stummel, and I will begin with an undercoat of Oxblood and if needed, follow with a dye wash of red aniline dye.  I’ll see how the first phase goes before deciding on the second.  After assembling the staining module on my desk, I begin by warming the stummel with the hot air gun to open the briar helping the grain to be more receptive to the dye.  After warm, I use a folded pipe cleaner to apply Fiebing’s Oxblood Leather Dye to the stummel.  After painting a section with the pipe cleaner, the dye is this ‘flamed’ using a lit candle combusting the wet aniline dye.  When lit, the alcohol in the dye combusts and leaves behind the pigment set in the briar grain.After a thorough covering a few times over, the flamed stummel is set aside for several hours to allow the new dye to settle in.With the stummel resting, I turn to the Comoy’s stem.  There is minor damage to the bit. Using a needle file, I refresh the lines of the button.  Afterwards, using 240 grade paper, the minor chatter is sanded out on the upper and lower bit.To address any residual oxidation, the remainder of the stem is sanded with 240 grade paper.  A plastic disk helps to guard against shouldering the stem facing.Transitioning now to 600 grade paper, the entire stem is wet sanded.  This is followed by applying 000 steel wool.Ugh!  During this sanding phase, the Comoy’s ‘C’ factory stamping was damaged.  This I don’t like. This mishap will not be easy to restore as thin as the factory stamping is.  Unlike the older inlaid Comoy’s ‘C’, this stamping is more of a painting of a ‘C’ as there is no impression in the vulcanite for new paint to hold.Avoiding  the ‘C’, I continue with the full regimen of micromesh pads is applied beginning with wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400.  Following this, pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000 are used to dry sand.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to continue conditioning the stem and protect it from future oxidation. Restoring the Comoy’s ‘C’ stamping has no good options as my regretful pining has produced.  Simply to paint a ‘C’ on the surface is not easy to do and it is resting on the surface and will be easily wiped away without too much effort.  I considered attempting to engrave a ‘C’ but without machine shop precision, I’m left to freehand and that leaves no room for errors.  My hand is not that steady!  In the end, the only option open to me is to paint a ‘C’ building on the remnant of the original.  I apply white acrylic paint several times and then carefully shape the lettering with a toothpick.  It’s slow work.  I’ve done the best I could.  I move on. With the fired stummel ready to unwrap after applying Oxblood dye to the briar grain surface, a felt buffing wheel is mounted to the Dremel set at the lowest speed.  Tripoli compound, a coarser abrasive compound, is then used to ‘unwrap’ the flamed crust of dye – removing the excess dye leaving the dyed grain that has absorbed the pigment. I pause to take a picture showing the contrast of the unwrapping process.I mentioned earlier that I anticipated doing a ‘dye wash’ using a red aniline dye over the Oxblood.  This I decide to do using a pipe cleaner.  I simply paint the dye on the stummel and after covering it thoroughly, I put the stummel aside for several hours for the dye to settle in.After the dye had dried enough to handle the stummel, I rejoin the stem and stummel to examine the fit.  I notice a gapping on one side of the oval shank/stem fitting which I’ve pictured below.Attempting to remedy this gap, I use a folded piece of 240 grade sanding paper wedged between the stem and shank on the opposite side of the stem from the gapping – the tight side.  After gently compressing the shank and stem against the sanding paper, I move the paper back and forth in a sawing motion to sand down the tight side resulting in closing the gap on the other side of the stem/shank – hopefully!  After a few attempts, checking and repositioning the paper, the gap is reduced and the seating of the stem into mortise is now much better.After several hours, the red dye has seasoned long enough.  With a cotton cloth buffing wheel mounted on the Dremel and set at about 40% full power, Blue Diamond compound, a finer abrasive compound, is applied to the surface to remove excess dye and to smooth the briar surface.Next, to help avoid dye leaching onto the hands of the new steward when the pipe is initially put into service, I heat the stummel with the hot gun to emulate the initial use of the chamber.  After heating the stummel, I give the stummel a vigorous hand buffing with a cotton cloth to remove the dye loosened by the heating.  I forgot to picture this, but the old t-shirt cotton cloth used had red residue.The final step is to apply carnauba wax to the stem and stummel.  After mounting another cotton cloth wheel onto the Dremel with the speed the same, the wax is applied to the pipe.  Following applying a few coats of wax, the pipe is given a hearty hand buffing to raise the shine.The Comoy’s Sunrise turned out well.  The grain pops now and the Volcano shape, with the wide heel, fits well in the hand ready for a new steward.  The only disappointment was the ‘friendly fire’ damage done to the Comoy’s ‘C’ stem stamping – ugh!  Nathan commissioned this Comoy’s Sunrise and will have the first opportunity to acquire it in The Pipe Steward Store benefitting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

More stunning grain – Cleaning up a Second Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain


Blog by Steve Laug

In the last box of pipes Jeff sent me there were three pipes that I left to the end to give my attention too. These were all Comoy’s pipes. The first is the one on the table now – a Comoy’s Blue Riband Prince 228C with stunning grain. The second and third were both Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublins – the second was a 35 and the third was a little larger, a 36. All of these pipes were drop dead gorgeous.  I have them all on the desk top now looking them over and I am quite honestly stunned by their beauty.The final one of those stunning pipes I chose to work on is the pipe at the bottom of the two photos above. It is 36 Specimen Straight Grain. Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain pipes are really a special grade of pipe. This is another beautiful piece of pipe maker craftsmanship and in my mind have Comoy’s has never been surpassed. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain and on the right side it bears the 36 shape number near the bowl shank junction and the circular COM stamp that reads Made In London in a circle over England. The “In” is in the centre of the circle. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the tars on the inner edge of the beveled top. The cake in the bowl is quite thick and there is tobacco debris on the walls of the bowl. The finish on the bowl is dull but still very stunning. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain on this particular piece of briar. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture it for me. The first photo shows the left side of the shank and the stamping as noted above it shows the inset three part C inlaid on the side of the stem. The second shows the right side of the shank with the COM stamp and shape number. This pipe also has a slender stem but it is straight and has a great fishtail blade. Once again the surface of the top and underside of the stem is oxidized and dirty but it is quite free of tooth marks and only has a minimum of chatter. I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick overview of the Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-comoy.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section from the site. The summary to the right of the photos is always succinct and quite pointed. In this case it quotes the Comoy’s 1965 catalogue in saying the Specimen Straight Grain grade: “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes.”I turned to Pipedia and reread the history of the Comoy’s brand and focused on the Specimen Straight Grain. Here is the link to the article by the late Derek Green. It is worth a read. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_History_Of_Comoy%27s_and_A_Guide_Toward_Dating_the_Pipes). I quote from that article below:

Specimen Straight Grain. I am not sure when this grade was first produced, but it probably appeared just before the Second World War. This certainly was the top grade from its introduction. It is described in my 1965 catalogue as “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes. It is so unusual to find a completely perfect straight grain that shapes and quantities are strictly limited.” It was priced at $50 in 1943 and 1965. Jacques Cole recalls that, in the 1950s, there was a very large bent that was reckoned to be about the “perfect” Straight Grain. It was not for sale but used as an exhibition piece and valued then at £500.

I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. Even the stem looked like new, with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. Just look at the grain on this delicate pipe. Stunning! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone and the inward beveled rim was very clean. Jeff had been able to get rid of the darkening, lava and tars and left behind a smooth rim top. Even the slight nick on the outside right edge of the rim top looked better. The close up photos of the stem shows that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was gone and the stem looked really good.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank sides to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. Like other Comoy’s I have worked on this stem had a metal tube in the tenon to strengthen it in what is often a weak point on a pipe.Since the pipe was also in such great condition at this point I started my polishing regimen. I used nine worn micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. The bowl really shines by the final three pads. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. Because the stem was in such great condition I moved direct to polishing it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I don’t know how many times I have said this but I love it when I come to the end of a restoration and all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a real stunning example of Comoy’s Dublin shape. Once again the grain and the way the shape follows the grain is amazing. Give the finish pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This English made Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublin 36 pipe is the pipe of the amazing threesome I have been working on today. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be staying in my collection for now while I think about what to do with it. Thanks for your time.

More stunning grain – Cleaning up a Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain 35 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

In the last box of pipes Jeff sent me there were three pipes that I left to the end to give my attention too. These were all Comoy’s pipes. The first is the one on the table now – a Comoy’s Blue Riband Prince 228C with stunning grain. The second and third were both Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublins – the second was a 35 and the third was a little larger, a 36. All of these pipes were drop dead gorgeous.  I have them all on the desk top now looking them over and I am quite honestly stunned by their beauty.The next of those stunning pipe I chose to work on is the pipe in the center of the two photos above. It is 35 Specimen Straight Grain. Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain pipes are really a special grade of pipe. This is another beautiful piece of pipe maker craftsmanship and in my mind have Comoy’s has never been surpassed. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain and on the right side it bears the 35 shape number near the bowl shank junction and the circular COM stamp that reads Made In London in a circle over England. The “In” is in the centre of the circle. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the tars on the inner edge of the beveled top and a small nick in the outer rim on the right side toward the back. The cake in the bowl is quite thick and there is tobacco debris on the walls of the bowl. The finish on the bowl is dull but still very stunning. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain on this particular piece of briar. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture it for me. The first photo shows the left side of the shank and the stamping as noted above it shows the inset three part C inlaid on the side of the stem. The second shows the right side of the shank with the COM stamp and shape number.This pipe also has a slender stem but it is straight and has a great fishtail blade. Once again the surface of the top and underside of the stem is oxidized and dirty but it is quite free of tooth marks and only has a minimum of chatter. I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick overview of the Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-comoy.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section from the site. The summary to the right of the photos is always succinct and quite pointed. In this case it quotes the Comoy’s 1965 catalogue in saying the Specimen Straight Grain grade: “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes.”I turned to Pipedia and reread the history of the Comoy’s brand and focused on the Specimen Straight Grain. Here is the link to the article by the late Derek Green. It is worth a read. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_History_Of_Comoy%27s_and_A_Guide_Toward_Dating_the_Pipes). I quote from that article below:

Specimen Straight Grain. I am not sure when this grade was first produced, but it probably appeared just before the Second World War. This certainly was the top grade from its introduction. It is described in my 1965 catalogue as “The rarest and finest of all Comoy pipes. It is so unusual to find a completely perfect straight grain that shapes and quantities are strictly limited.” It was priced at $50 in 1943 and 1965. Jacques Cole recalls that, in the 1950s, there was a very large bent that was reckoned to be about the “perfect” Straight Grain. It was not for sale but used as an exhibition piece and valued then at £500.

I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. Even the stem looked like new, with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. Just look at the grain on this delicate pipe. Stunning! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone and the inward beveled rim was very clean. Jeff had been able to get rid of the darkening, lava and tars and left behind a smooth rim top. Even the slight nick on the outside right edge of the rim top looked better. The close up photos of the stem shows that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was gone and the stem looked really good.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. Like other Comoy’s I have worked on this stem had a metal tube in the tenon to strengthen it in what is often a weak point on a pipe.Since the pipe was also in such great condition at this point I started my polishing regimen. I used nine worn micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. The bowl really shines by the final three pads. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. Because the stem was in such great condition I moved direct to polishing it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I don’t know how many times I have said this but I love it when I come to the end of a restoration and all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a real stunning example of Comoy’s Dublin shape. Once again the grain and the way the shape follows the grain is amazing. Give the finish pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This English made Comoy’s Specimen Straight Grain Dublin 35 pipe is another unique piece of pipe history. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be staying in my collection for now while I think about what to do with it. Thanks for your time.