Tag Archives: Comoy’s pipes

My First Pipe Restoration – My Grandfather’s Royal Falcon


Blog by David Lasher

I was traveling this past week for work and received an email from David regarding this pipe. He sent me photos of the pipe and the write up that follows. I was glad to hear from him and see his work. The pipe is a beauty and I think you will agree with me that he did a great job on the restoration. Welcome to rebornpipes David. We look forward to hearing more from you. –Steve

My grandfather was a New England hat maker. As a chemist, he made the dyes used to color the fur and felt of Stetson hats. He collected many things, including tobacco pipes like the ones he used. I recently grabbed one from my parents’ basement. After stumbling onto your website, I jumped in with both feet and attempted to restore my first pipe, a Royal Falcon 214. The following photos document the before and after of this pipe. From the start, your website was instrumental. You even helped me determine that Royal Falcons were produced as the seconds of Comoy’s.

Beautiful color of the Briar wood bowl. Note the teeth chatter and oxidation on the stem. Also, the Falcon engraving (with missing paint).Below, the bowl after being stripped with Murphy’s Oil Soap.Substantial Teeth Chatter and oxidation on the stem.Following guidance found on rebornpipes.com, the final product is—I think—fairly decent, especially for my first pipe restoration. It isn’t perfect, but thankfully I have nine more to work on and practice with.

The stem after soaking in Oxy-Clean and scrubbing, sanding, and polishing it. Who knew that 12000 grit sandpaper even existed?The imprints on both sides of the pipe. The right side of the bowl before refinishing the wood. Before and After: The Final Result

The pipe as it sat in a basement for the last three decades. Below, the pipe today with the oxidation removed from the stem and the stem polished. The bowl was stripped, re-stained, polished, and waxed. The wood is beautiful…and complimented with the restored deep black stem featured the painted falcon.Below, the final touch…the restored (repainted) Royal Falcon imprint on the stem.This was possible only through the guidance I received from rebornpipes.com. Thank you very much!

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Restoring a Comoy’s Sandblast 215 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Recently I was contacted by a reader, Daniel about restoring a couple of pipes that he had picked up at a local antique shop. The first was a nice looking Art Deco style pipe with a prow and fins around the bowl. I wrote about the restoration of the C.B. Weber Streamliner already at this link: https://rebornpipes.com/2018/03/30/restoring-a-cb-weber-inc-maplewood-streamliner/. The second pipe was a briar Comoy’s Sandblast Bent Billiard that I worked on next. The bowl had a thick cake in it that had overflowed onto the rim top. There were shards of tobacco in the bottom of the bowl and on the sides as well. The finish was dirty but otherwise not too bad. There was a smooth band on the underside of the shank. It was stamped Comoy’s over Sandblast over Made in London over England and next to that was the shape number 215. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and there was tooth chatter on the top and underside at the button. The C logo was not the three part older logo that was on earlier Comoy’s pipe but rather a one part inlay with a different style font. I took photos of the pipe before I began the cleanup process. I took photos of the rim top and both sides of the stem to show the condition of both. The close up of the rim top shows the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava in the grooves of the sandblast finish. The photo shows the tobacco debris stuck in bottom and on the sides of the bowl. The stem was oxidized and both sides of the stem had tooth chatter near the button. There were no deep tooth marks so it would be a fairly easy cleanup.I took two photos of the underside of the shank rolling it between photos to make sure that all of the stamping was readable.I reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to remove all of the cake and the tobacco debris that was stuck to the walls of the bowl. I scraped the cake back to bare briar so that I could examine the walls of the bowl. There were very clean and there was no checking or burn marks.I cleaned out the interior of the pipe with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It was not as dirty as I expected. I was able to remove all of the grime and tars that were in the mortise, shank and airway in the stem.I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean up the rim top sandblast. I scrubbed it until the entire rim top was clean and the debris removed. I worked over the inside of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the edge.I scrubbed the surface of the briar with Before & After Restoration Balm, working it into the grooves and deeper areas of the sandblast. The balm enlivens, cleans and protects the briar was it is worked into the finish. I let it sit for a short time and then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I took photos of the bowl to show the condition at this point. I wet sanded the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the tooth marks and chatter. I worked on it until I had removed the majority of the oxidation on the surface. I polished the stem surface with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine deepen the shine. I gave the pipe a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to lightly polish both the bowl and the stem. I buffed the bowl and stem to raise the gloss on the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl a lighter buff than I did on the stem to keep the polishing material from clogging the deep grooves of the blast. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The contrasting brown stain – both medium and dark brown goes well with the rich black of the vulcanite stem. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 1/4 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 3/4 inches. This is a newer Comoy’s pipe as far as can tell from the shape and fit of the C logo on the stem. Now that Daniel’s second pipe finished I will soon pack them up and mail both of them back to him. I know he is looking forward to loading it up and smoking it. Thanks for walking with me through the restoration.

Fresh Life for a Comoy’s The Everyman 126 Sandblast Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is another pipe that came to me from the estate of a Vancouver pipe smoker whose widow left them with a local Pipe Shop after he died. I was asked to clean them up and sell them for the shop as it has since closed. The photos below show the pipe as it was when I brought it to my work table. It is a nicely shaped sandblast pot shaped pipe – with a a really nice looking grain pattern in the blast under all the grime. The bowl was heavily caked with a lava coat on the top of the rim. It was hard to tell how the inner and outer edge of the rim actually looked until the bowl was reamed. The bowl was dirty and the finish was almost filled in with the grime. The stem had the same deep tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button as the rest of the pipes in this estate. There was calcification on the first inch from what looked like a Softee bit. From the three bars on the left side of the stem and the stamping it was clearly a Comoy’s product. In this case it was stamped on a smooth band on the bottom of the bowl and shank with the words The Everyman London Pipe. Next to that it is stamped Made in London England followed by the 126 shape number next to the shank/stem junction. I took photos of it before cleaning to show that even though it was dirty the pipe showed promise.   When I went back to the States after Christmas to visit my parents and brothers I took a box of these pipes with me so that I could have Jeff clean them for me. When they came back to Canada they looked like different pipes. He 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 on 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 came back to Vancouver it was a quite different pipe. I took photos of it before I started the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean out the bowl completely and the rim top. He removed the tars and lava and left behind a clean top that would need some stain touch ups. The stem was oxidized, though less so where the Softee bit had been. There were scratches, tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button and on the surface edges of the button itself.I decided to work on five of the pipes from this estate at the same time so I put all of the stems in a bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak. I submerged all of the stems in the bath and let them soak overnight to break down the oxidation.I took all of the stems out of the bath at the same time and rinsed them under warm water to rinse off the mixture. I blew air through the stems and ran water through them as well to rinse out the mixture there as well. Each of the stems still had varying degrees of oxidation but it was all on the surface of the stems. The photos below show the Everyman stem after rinsing and drying.I painted the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks. One of the benefits of the lighter is that it burned off the sulfur on the surface of the stem. The top side of the stem came out very well as the tooth chatter and marks lifted. A little sanding would smooth it out well. On the underside it was a bit less successful. There were still two deep tooth marks present that would need to be repaired.I filled in the tooth marks and the dents on the top and bottom sharp edges of the button to smooth things out using clear super glue. Once the repair cures, I will sand it smooth and blend it into the surface on each side.While the repair was curing I turned my attention to the bowl. I touched up the faded areas on the rim top and around the sides of the bowl and shank with a Walnut stain touch up pen. It blended in very well with the colour of the rest of the bowl. The bowl had a hollow spot below the entrance of the airway. It was as if the bowl had been reamed with a knife and damage had been done to the bottom of the bowl. It was quite deep and rough. Since it was below the entrance of the airway I mixed a batch of JB Weld to apply to the deep gouge and build up the bottom of the bowl to the same height as the airhole. I applied it with a dental spatula and pressed it into the bottom of the bowl with a piece of wooden dowel. I rubbed down the briar with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish to clean, enliven and protect the new finish. It also evened out the stain coat and gave the stain a multidimensional feel. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed it with a horsehair shoe brush. I buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. At this point the bowl is pretty well finished. I still need to wax and buff it but that will wait for the stem. The repair on the stem had cured so I turned back to work on the stem. I used a file to recut the sharp edge of the button and then sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper until I had blended the repairs into the surface of the stem. I also worked on the remaining oxidation with the sandpaper until I removed that as well.I polished out the scratches in the vulcanite with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper and with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. After sanding with the 12000 grit pad I polished the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a more aggressive buff of Blue Diamond. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 pretty nicely. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I will be posting it on the rebornpipes store very soon. It should make a nice addition to your pipe rack if you have been looking for a reasonably priced Comoy’s The Everyman Pipe. The sandblast finish looks really good in person with depth and texture. It should be a great smoking pipe with a good hand feel. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 inches. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this estate Comoy’s.

 

Restoring another of Barry’s Dad’s Pipes – a Comoy’s Grand Slam Pipe 202


Blog by Steve Laug

Late in the summer of 2017 I received an email on rebornpipes blog from Barry in Portland, Oregon. He wanted to know if I would be interested in purchasing his father’s pipes. He wrote that his Dad was a gracious, dignified and dedicated father, businessman and community leader for many years in Fresno, California where he was raised. He acquired his pipes when he gave up smoking cigarettes in the 1960s. There wasn’t an ounce of pretense in the man and he smoked his pipes for pleasure and as a pass-time while reading, enjoying company or watching sports on TV. Barry and I corresponded back and forth and concluded our deal. I became the proud owner of his Dad’s pipes. The inventory of the pipes he would be sending included some real beauties – Comoy’s, Parkers, Dunhills and some no name brands. They were beautiful and I could not wait to see them. I had him send them to Jeff where he would clean them up before I received them. Jeff took some photos of the lot as he opened the box. Each pipe was individually wrapped with bubble wrap and taped to protect them. There were 25 bubble wrapped packages and a lot of pipe accessories included – pipe racks, reamers, scrapers and Comoy’s filters and washers. There were pipe pouches and a wooden cigar box that held all of the accessories and reamers. There was a boxed KleenReem pipe reamer that was virtually unused. Jeff unwrapped the pipes and took pictures of the estate showing both the pipes and the accessories. Barry had labeled each pipe with a sticky note. It was an amazing addition to my pipe and tool collection. The next pipe I chose to work on from the collection was a Comoy’s Grand Slam Pipe, one of four Comoy’s pipes. It was also was missing the original stem but the shape of the bowl and shank were elegant. The shape was a classic Yachtsman or Zulu. The bottom of the shank was flattened and the pipe could stand on the desktop. The finish was dirty and filled with the detritus of years of use followed by sitting unused. The bowl was thickly caked and had an overflow of lava on the rim top. Even through the grime and grit you can still see the amazing birdseye on the sides and cross grain on the front and back of the bowl and the top and underside of the shank. Once more the presence of the replacement stem told me that the pipe had been a favourite and that the original stem had been either gnawed or broken and replaced. The new stem was well made and fit the shank perfectly. The pipe repairman had done a great job on the stem. I also had some use and was lightly oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem at the button. The surface edges of the button also had tooth marks that were present. This stem also had some calcification around the button as well that made me think that perhaps the stem had once sported a softee bit. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. The photos tell the story better than my words can. He took some close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake and their condition.  He also took photos to show the grain on the side, front and underside of the bowl. He also photographed the stamping on both sides of the shank to show what it read and the condition of the stamping. The left side is stamped Comoy’s over Grand Slam over Pipe. On the right side it is stamped with the Comoy’s Com stamp Made in London in a circle over England. Next to that is the shape number 202. There is no patent number on the shank and the markings of the leather washer size *5 on the underside of the shank at the shank/stem union. The replacement stem was oxidized as mentioned above and had tooth chatter and marks. Jeff took photos of both sides of the stem to capture their condition before he cleaned the pipe.I wanted to learn a bit more about the Grand Slam line. The pipe had originally come with a special stinger/filter apparatus screwed into the tenon. I found the following photos and info on the pipephil website. I include both the link and the following photos for your information. http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/comoy1.htmlThe next photo shows the original metal filter system that  was made to force “the air stream through a go-between space before entering the stem and the smokers mouth.” The stem that I have does not have the threaded tenon and thus cannot hold the apparatus. The photos below show the stem and the diagram of the system.I also wanted to have some idea of the date on this old pipe so I did a bit of digging on Pipedia. I found a helpful dating guide there. I found that the Comoy’s Grand Slam stamp on the shank dated it to the 1950s. At that time there were four variants to the stamping.

  1. A simple block-letter style without serifs but with the C larger than the other letters and the apostrophe before the “S”.
  2. 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.)
  3. A simple block-letter style without serifs and without the apostrophe and with the “C” the same size as the rest of the letters. This stamp was probably not used very long.
  4. A simple block-letter style without serifs but with the apostrophe before the “S” and with the “C” the same size as the rest of the letters.

Variant number 4 fits the style of stamping on this pipe. It is stamped with capital letters, block style without serifs and having an apostrophe between the Y and the S of Comoy’s. That helped me identify the pipe as coming from the 1950s.

The COM stamp (Country of Manufacture) is like the one in the picture to the left. The picture shows exactly what is stamped on the shank of this pipe. It is 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. According to the Pipedia article it can be assumed that this stamp was first used in the export drive in the early 1950s. Here is the link to the article: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy%27s_Dating_Guide

Jeff did his usual stellar clean up job on the pipe leaving it pristine and without damage to the finish. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants with the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. 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 and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime of the smooth finish on the bowl and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust and debris were removed the finish looked very good. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took some close up photos of the bowl and rim top as well as both sides of the stem to show their condition. The bowl was very clean and the rim top looked good other thank some light nicks and darkening. He had been able to remove the lava from the finish. The inner edge was in excellent condition and there was some slight roughness on the outer edge. The stem is lightly oxidized as can be seen in the photos and has small tooth marks near the button on both sides.I started with the stem on this one. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a Bic lighter and was able raise most of them even with the surface of the stem. I used some clear super glue to fill in the tooth mark on the top of the button that did not rise with the heat. Once the glue dried I sanded out the tooth chatter and the tooth marks next to the button on both sides and the repair on the top of the button with 220 grit sandpaper. I polished 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 with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish, both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I worked on the darkened rim and the small marks and nicks on it with micromesh sanding pads. I lightly sanded it first with 220 grit sandpaper and followed it up with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad to check on the progress. I worked Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the briar on the smooth finish to clean, enliven and protect it. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to polish it. It really began to have a deep shine in the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. The grain on the bowl is really beginning to stand out and will only do so more as the pipe is waxed. I put the stem back on the bowl and worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to polish the stem. I buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish to raise the shine on the briar and the vulcanite. I was careful to not buff the stamping and damage it. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The rich brown stain allows the grain to really stand out on this little pipe and it works well with the rich black of the polished vulcanite stem. This Comoy’s Grand Slam is a beautiful and interesting looking pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside Diameter: 1 1/8 inches, Diameter of the chamber: 3/4 inches. This 1950s era Comoy’s is one that will fit well in any pipeman’s collection and add a touch of real class. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Repairing a shattered stem on a Comoy’s Grand Slam Lovat Patent 210


Blog by Steve Laug

I received an email from Pat about a pipe he had that he wanted to know if I would have a look at and see if I could do anything with it. Here is his first email.

Hello Steve, I have a 1930’s Comoy,s grand slam 210 Lovat with the old bar logo on the stem. The stem however is broken in three or four places. I have all the pieces but one. Is it possible to join the pieces back together again and fill the remaining hole from the missing piece? I visit your site often and you truly have done some amazing things. I don’t know if you typically do repairs but if you do would you consider taking on a repair like this. It’s a lovely old Comoy’s and I’d really like to bring it back to its former glory. Can you help? Thanks for your consideration. — Pat

I wrote him back saying that I would like to see photos of the pipe before I committed to trying a repair. He sent the following two photos of the pipe for me to look at. The piece of briar was a typically beautiful specimen of a Comoy’s pipe. It had some excellent grain and the finish was in very good shape for a pipe this old. The stem however, was another issue. It had shattered.The first photo above showed the bowl and stem together. I had been a really nice looking Lovat and with the bar logo on the stem it was indeed an old one. He wanted to see if I could somehow piece the stem back together preserving the old logo. Looking at the photos I was pretty amazed at the condition. It was obvious to me that the stem must have been stuck in the shank and when someone torqued on it to remove it the stem had shattered into pieces. It looked to me that there were some pieces missing but maybe I could do something with it. I had him ship it to me with all of the parts included.It did not take too long to arrive in Canada and when it did, I opened the box with some trepidation. I was expecting the worst and what I found inside was pretty close to what I had expected. There were two broken pieces in a small baggy, the rest of the stem with the stinger in another baggy and the bowl wrapped in bubble wrap. I laid out the pieces to get a feel for what was missing. The two broken pieces fit well together and together they fit well with the saddle portion. The underside of the stem looked pretty good with the parts connected. However the top side was another story – there was a large chunk of vulcanite missing virtually the length of the stem. Now I knew what I was dealing with.

I put the pieces back in the bag and put the bag and bowl back into the box. I laid it aside and took some time to think through the best course of action for putting it back together again. It was a true Humpty Dumpty project and I did not know if all the kings’ men or even this king’s man could put it back together again. I let it sit while I repaired pipes that were in the queue ahead of it.

Several weeks went by, at least it seemed that way to me and I did not look at the pipe again. I knew it was there but I was not ready to commit to a repair. Today, Saturday arrived and I finished the repairs that were ahead of it. I decided that today was the day. I unpacked the pieces and put them together again to have a look. The tenon/saddle end had a clean break away from the rest of the pieces. The airway inside was oval shaped as was the airway in the button and in the gap between the pieces. Whatever I used to repair this one would have to take that into account. I would need to give an adequate interior base for the rebuild of the stem. If I could glue the pieces together and then insert a tube of some sort I could then rebuild the gap of the missing pieces of vulcanite. It seemed like the plan would work. The first step was to glue to two parts of the button end together. I cleaned the surface with alcohol and ran a bead of clear super glue along the edges of each piece. I put them together and ran a bead of glue along the surface of the crack on the underside of the stem.I took some photos of the bowl and rest of the broken stem just to give an idea of the beauty of the pipe and the magnitude of the issue at hand. The bowl and the finish on the pipe were in excellent condition. It really did not need any work. I don’t know if Pat cleaned the briar or not but it was looking really good. To encourage myself a bit I took some photos of the bowl. The grain is beautiful and the stamping is very sharp and clear. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Comoy’s over Grand Slam over Patent. On the right side it is stamped British over Patent No. over 40574.I flattened the first two inches of the inner tube to make it oval. The trick was not to collapse the tube but merely change its shape from round to oval. It worked really well. I slid the oval tube into the repaired pieces of stem. I aligned it so that it was centred looking at it from the slot in the button. I took photos of the tube in place from the top and the bottom sides.It was now time to proceed. I prepared my charcoal powder and black super glue putty mixture on a folded piece of paper. Because the super glue cures slowly I stir the two components together until I get a thick paste. I double checked the alignment of the tube in the stem end and then applied the mixture to both sides of the stem with a dental spatula. I pressed it into the area on the top side where the stem pieces were missing first then applied a thick coat over the top of the repaired area. The photos below show the progress and the filled repair once I had smoothed it out with the spatula. The flattened tube is anchored solidly in place and the area around it is filled in with the putty. The putty is purposely thick so I have a good base to work with once it dries. I will need to flatten it out and reshape the edges of the button. So far I was happy with the progress of the repair. Once the repair had dried it was time to work on shortening the tube to fit into the other half of the stem. I cut it off with a hacksaw until the length such that when I slid the two parts together it would allow them to match.I applied super glue to the edges of both pieces of the stem and slid the two parts together. I filled in the low spots on the connection with clear super glue to begin with and set the stem aside to cure some more.When the repair had cured I sanded the patch with 180 grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and begin to blend it into the rest of the stem. I wanted the two parts of the stem to flow together naturally. I continued to sand it with 220 grit sandpaper to further smooth out the surface. In the process air bubbles showed up in the repair surface. This is a normal occurrence and would need to be patched further once I finished this stage of sanding. I also lightly sanded the tenon as the fit in the shank was too tight and I was pretty certain that the stem had shattered because of that. I used black super glue to fill in the air bubbles and pits in the surface of the stem and set the stem aside to cure overnight. In the morning I would sand out those repairs and continue to shape the stem.In the morning the repaired had cured well and the stem was solid. It was a unit once more. The touch up repairs to the air bubbles had also cured so I began the long process of sanding the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth things out. The next two photos show the beginning of the progress. The stem is starting to look pretty good. Still a lot more sanding to do before it is finished but I like what I see so far.In talking to Patrick he wanted to have the stinger apparatus removed and cleaned up so that he could put it back in place should he want it but he wanted the more open draught of the stem without the stinger. These older style Comoy’s stingers were usually threaded and screwed into the tenon of the stem. In all of the ones that I have cleaned up the stingers were locked in place by the lacquer like tobacco juices that had dried and caused it to be frozen in place.

I rubbed the tenon end down with a cotton swab and alcohol and let it soak into the tenon itself. I wanted to soften the tars and oils there and the alcohol would do that without damaging the rest of my repair. Once it had soaked for a while I dried off the area to make sure there was no residual alcohol and heated the stinger repeatedly with the flame of a Bic lighter. Heat would further loosen the lacquers on the threads so that I could unscrew it without damaging the tenon. I used the flat sides of the diamond on the stinger as anchor spots for a pair of needle nose pliers and unscrewed it from the tenon. It was threaded on the end and sat at the bottom of the tenon.The tenon was slightly enlarged and would not seat easily in the mortise. I wonder if this may not have been part of the reason the stem had shattered. Even before I heated the stinger the fit in the mortise had been tight and it would not sit snug against the shank. I cleaned out the inside of the mortise and shank with cotton swabs, alcohol and pipe cleaners to remove any residue that lined the walls. I wanted to be sure that the fit was not hampered by the shank itself. In examining the tenon I could see that the it was slightly thicker at the tenon/saddle junction. I used a needle file to smooth out the thickness and sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper.The fit of the tenon now was snug and the stem could be easily removed and put in place without being tight. I sanded the stem with 220, 320 and 400 wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and gave it a final coat after the 12000 grit pad. The photos show some white flecks on the top surface of the stem. These needed to be sanded out and polished. I gave the stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed the stem and pipe with a shoe brush to polish it. I buffed it with a microfibre cloth to raise and deepen a shine on the briar and the vulcanite. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I am sending the original stinger back with the finished pipe to Patrick. He has the option of using it or not as he chooses. The finished stem looks better than the three parts and missing chunks that arrived. It should work for him but I am wondering about the fragileness of the old vulcanite. We shall see. Care will need to be exercised when smoking this pipe and taking it apart for cleaning. The briar is absolutely beautiful and the age and patina of the pipe is stunning. I will send it back soon Patrick. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

Refreshing a Comoy’s Golden Grain 110 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

This is yet another from the old pipeman’s collection that came to me from the local pipe shop. It is a beautifully grained Comoy’s Billiard. The stamping on the pipe is very readable and clear. On the left side it reads Comoy’s over Golden Grain with a C on the side of the stem. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with COM (Country of Manufacture) circle Made in London over England and shape number 110. The finish is decent with a medium brown stain with great grain showing through. It is in good enough shape that I hope to not have to refinish it but rather just clean and renew the finish. There is thin cake in the bowl and rim darkening. The stem is oxidized and there is light tooth marks on top and bottom of the stem near the button. There is also some calcification from a Softee bit on the stem and button.gold1 gold2The photo to the left showgold3s the condition of the rim. The inner beveled edge of the rim is cake and dirty. There is a light lava overflow on the rim and some darkening as well. I am hoping that I will be able to scrub this off and also clean up the inner rim bevel in such a way that I can leave the original finish unaltered. It will take some slow and patient work to restore it and not just refinish it.

I reamed the bowl back to clean briar using a PipNet pipe reaming tool and a Savinelli Fitsall Reamer. I carefully worked the reamer over the beveled rim to remove the buildup on the edges of the rim.gold4I scraped the rim edge and bevel with a sharp pen knife to remove the carbon buildup that was there and scrubbed the rim and bowl with a small bit of Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the darkening and grime left behind after the scraping. The photo below shows the rim after this work over. It is looking pretty good at this point.gold5I cleaned out the internals of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with 99% isopropyl alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs.gold6I “painted” the tooth marks in the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to raise the vulcanite. I am so thankful for the fact that vulcanite has memory and when heated will return to its original state if the tooth marks have not broken the edges. In this case it worked very well and I was able to minimize them with the flame and finish working on them with 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the stem and removed the oxidation and the calcification on the button end.gold7I polished the cleaned stems with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I buffed the stem with White Diamond after the 4000 grit pad and then finished with the remaining three pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads and after the final rubdown set it aside to let the oil dry.gold8 gold9 gold10Once the oil dried I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing wheel to raise a shine on the bowl and stem and then hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful grained Comoy’s made pipe that should provide years of good smoking to whoever adds it to their rack next. It will be available for purchase on the rebornpipes store later today if you wish to add it to your collection. Thanks for looking.gold11 gold12 gold13 gold14 gold15 gold16 gold17 gold18 gold19