Tag Archives: JM Boswell Handmade pipes

Restoring an Unique Boswell Twisted Long Shank Freehand Sitter


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe that I have chosen to work on is a Freehand pipe with a long twisted shank and plateau on the rim top and the shank end. We purchased it from a seller in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA on 06/16/22. It is a Freehand shaped smooth briar with a flat bottom that makes it a sitter. I has a fancy golden amber coloured acrylic twisted stem that carries on the twist of the shank. The pipe was dusty and dull looking but had great grain around the bowl and shank. The plateau rim top had a thick lava overflow from the thickly caked bowl. The inner edge of the rim was so thickly caked that it was hard to assess the condition at this point. This must have been a phenomenal smoker or at least someone’s favourite pipe. The pipe was signed on the left side of the shank with JM Boswell’s signature [over] U.S.A. There was not a date stamp on any other stampings on the pipe. The fancy amber coloured twisted acrylic stem was in good condition with some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. Jeff took the following photos before he started his cleanup work on the pipe. He took close-up photos of the bowl and rim top from various angles to capture the condition of the bowl, rim top and edges of the bowl. The cake was very thick and the bowl overflowed in thick lava on to the rim top filling in much of the plateau. He also captured the condition of the top and underside of the stem. You can see the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It was a well used, dirty pipe. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish and the grain around the bowl. You can see the small minor sandpits on the left side of the bowl but otherwise it a nice piece of briar under the grime and debris of time ground into the finish. Jeff took a photo of the J.M. Boswell signature and U.S.A. on the left side of the twisted shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. It has been a while since I worked on a Boswell pipe so I did some reading to reacquaint myself with them.. I read the Boswell website as well as the entry on Pipedia to refresh my memory (https://pipedia.org/wiki/J.M._Boswell). I find that reading the information on a pipe brand before I work on it gives me a sense of the passion and art of the craftsmen who made the pipe. That was true of this pipe as well. I quote from that entry on Pipedia first to give you a sense of the information that I found on the Boswells and their craftsmanship.

J.M. Boswell is considered to be one of the finest Master pipemakers in the world. His reputation is exemplary, and his craftsmanship is legendary. Working from sun up till the midnight hours, 7 days a week for most of the past 40 years, J.M. has produced thousands of handmade pipes for folks to enjoy. His dream, back in the 70s, was to make the best smoking pipes with the highest quality briar wood at an affordable price. J.M. Boswell has succeeded in doing so.

The Chambersburg store is located on the historic Lincoln Highway (Rt 30), about 20 miles west of Gettysburg.

J.M. became a U.S. importer for Briar wood so that he could supply briar to other pipemakers. By doing this, he was able sell his own pipes at an affordable price. With the finest quality Briar available in the world, years of skill and his pipe master’s hands working to form the most beauty from a block of prime briar, a Boswell pipe is born…

J.M. and his son, Dan take great pride in making high quality handcrafted, American made smoking pipes. Admired for their craftsmanship, their handmade pipes are created for the rigors of everyday use and truly made to last.

Boswell’s is a family – owned business with a family environment. Every family member has a role within the business. J.M.’s wife Gail takes all of the photos – for the website, Instagram, and Pinterest; she also maintains the museum and store. Daughter Rachel manages estate pipes online, while Dan’s wife Julie takes the phone orders, and runs the shipping department.

J.M. and Dan, who work full time, side by side together, have created pipes that range from the smallest to the largest smoking pipes made in the world. Dan has known he wanted to follow in his fathers’ footsteps since he was a young boy, helping J.M. after school and during summer vacation. He has been working for the family business full time since he graduated high school, and plans on continuing the proud family tradition for many years to come.

Gail’s family background has involved pipes since long ago- her Father, Uncles, and Aunt made pipes in the late 1930s for the Weber Pipe factory in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her father’s family lived on Cator Avenue, the same as the factory, and they would walk to work each day. Their family history brings an incredible depth and passion for pipemaking!

“Over 70 years of pipe history in our family, and still continuing.”

Photo courtesy of the Boswell’s Pipes Website

I then turned to the Boswell Pipe and Tobacco Shop site (https://boswellpipes.com/product-category/boswell-pipes/). The description of the pipes in that section of the site parallels what I found above. I quote:

In the creation of these exquisite smoking pipes, we use the finest quality briar – “cream of the crop” is what the proprietor of the mill calls it. Boswell Pipes have their own special bowl coating for easy break-in. J.M. has used his special coating for Boswell Pipes since 1982.  100% natural coating,which will force the briar wood to absorb the moisture and heat.  For the finishing touch, J.M. hand inscribes his signature into the briar.  J.M. dates the year and proudly declares made in the USA  “J.M. Boswell 2018 U.S.A.”

I turned also to the description of the other twisted or as he called them Swirls from the website. I have included that below for your reading as I found it quite interesting (https://boswellpipes.com/product/boswell-pipe-jumbo-freehand-swirls-2020/). I quote:

J.M.’s Signature Swirls, gorgeously grained. Incredible smoking properties of a Boswell pipe, are the thick bowl walls to give you that cool enjoyable smoke. Uniquely sculptured deep Swirls. Old craftsmanship style with thick walls and shank for a cooler smoke. Natural finish with eye-catching dark bold highlights to show off its grain. Incredible cool smoke with an extremely easy draw for some serious smoking.

J.M. Boswell is known worldwide for crafting theses incredible, massive looking, King Size briars for well over 39 years.  Addition to being amazing smokers as well, they are capable of holding a generous supply of your favorite tobacco.

As with each and every Boswell pipe made, the airway is hand bored (not using a lathe).  This is why the air passage way will always provide the smoker with a full draw and allows for a fuller smoother smoke. J.M. finds the old fashion way of doing so completes his pipes.

Wide plateau is displayed along the rim and shank. Accent etching along the shank. Using a high power magnifier there may be a few specks of natural imperfections. Large hand-cut acrylic spiraling mouthpiece with pearlized raspberry red tones. Your new Boswell pipe will come nestled in a protective Jumbo handmade pipe sleeve and placed in a Boswell gift box.  We also include all the essentials for your first smoke. Smoking becomes a Relaxing time with a Boswell.

I also found some photos of the shop online that I am including here as well. I am also including the address of the shop and the phone number.

J.M. Boswell’s Pipes and Tobacco

6481 William Penn Hwy, Alexandria, PA 16611, United States

+1 814-667-7164

It looks like it would be a great place to visit and spend time enjoying. One day I may get to do that. We shall see!Jeff had reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals of the shank and stem 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 much better but there is still some darkening on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grim in the acrylic stem surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos this morning before I started my part of the work. That is one of the benefits of being an early bird. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show the cleaned bowl and rim top. The rim top and the inner and outer edges of the bowl were in good condition. The top of the bowl had some darkening in the grooves of the carved surface of the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks on the stem surface. I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank and it is readable 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. The Signature Swirl carving is unique.I started my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top. I scrubbed it with some dish soap and a brass bristle wire brush. It definitely took of more of the darkening on the rim top.I polished the briar with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it in with my fingertips into finish on the bowl and shank. I used a shoe brush to get it into the plateau on the rim top and shank end. I let it sit for 10 minutes to let it do its magic. I buffed it with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration.   The bowl was finished so I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads and was able to smooth out the marks and chatter. I wiped the stem 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 put the Boswell Spiral/Twisted Long Shank Freehand Sitter back together again and buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I carefully buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished buffing with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe looks very good. The grain is a flame and straight around the sides, with birdseye on the heel and shank top and bottom. Add to that the plateau on the rim top and shank and the pipe is quite beautiful. The pipe feels great in the hand. It is comfortable and light weight for its size. The finished JM Boswell Long Shank Freehand Sitter is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 7 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.94 ounces/ 55 grams. This great looking Boswell Freehand turned out very well. It should be a great pipe. It will be going on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipemakers Section shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring an American Made JM Boswell 00 Bent Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the worktable is an American made pipe from the workshop of J.M. Boswell. It is a bent billiard with rustication on the left top side of the bowl and an underslung shank. The stem is a vulcanite saddle stem. The pipe came to us from an online auction in Sidney, Ohio, USA.  The pipe is very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some light lave on the rim top. There appeared to be some burn damage on the front of the bowl. It is signed J.M. Boswell [over] U.S.A. and to the left of that it is stamp 00 on the upper left side of the diamond shank. I am guessing that the 00 is the dating for a pipe made in 2000. The finish was dusty and there was dust in the rustication and ground into the finish around the sides of the bowl. The black vulcanite saddle stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the light lava on the rim top and the thick cake in the bowl. There is potential damage on the front inner edge of the bowl. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.    Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain around the bowl and the rustication pattern on the top left side of the bowl. You can also see the drop shank on the pipe as well. It has some great grain around the bowl sides and bottom – a mix of birdseye and cross grain. I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is cleaned and polished.   He took a photo of the stamping on the left topside of the diamond shank to capture it for me. It is clear and readable. The J.M. Boswell signature with the date it was carved and U.S.A. In July, 2017 I restored a Boswell Twist pipe, a 2003 and had done some research into the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/19/refurbishing-a-boswell-2003-spiral-twist-bent-billiard/). I turned to that blog and reread the information that I had included there. I took the liberty to include the information that I included from the box that came with that pipe that below.

The backside of the box reads:  Dear Pipe Smoker: J.M. Boswell crafts each of his pipes exclusively by hand! From the bare briar block to the final stain and polish, each step is a hands on procedure in old world tradition. Boswell pipes feature individual craftsmanship and style.

Additionally, J.M. Boswell has developed an exclusive bowl coating that greatly shortens the “break-in” time of a Boswell pipe and gives a sweet smoke from the very first bowl full. This coating is applied to each new pipe that Boswell makes.

One more compelling feature of Boswell pipes: “Their cost”! Boswell pipes can be had at a fraction of what most import pipes are. This is a feature pipe smokers find gratifying.

Our second feature is repairs by Boswell. J.M. Boswell has no peers in the quality and speed in which he gives “Turn-around” on pipe repairs, from stem replacement to banding, to reaming and cleaning.

I will be glad to answer any questions that you have regarding all the features of Boswell’s pipes, my repair work, plus the crafting process which can be witnessed first hand at our store and pipe making shop at 586 Lincoln Way East in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Cordially J.M. Boswell, Owner.

I then turned to the Boswell Pipe and Tobacco Shop site (https://boswellpipes.com/product-category/boswell-pipes/). The description of the pipes in that section of the site parallels what I found above. I quote:

In the creation of these exquisite smoking pipes, we use the finest quality briar – “cream of the crop” is what the proprietor of the mill calls it. Boswell Pipes have their own special bowl coating for easy break-in. J.M. has used his special coating for Boswell Pipes since 1982.  100% natural coating, which will force the briar wood to absorb the moisture and heat.  For the finishing touch, J.M. hand inscribes his signature into the briar.  J.M. dates the year and proudly declares made in the USA “J.M. Boswell 2018 U.S.A.”. 

I also found some photos of the shop online that I am including here as well. I am also including the address of the shop and the phone number.

J.M. Boswell’s Pipes and Tobacco

6481 William Penn Hwy, Alexandria, PA 16611, United States

+1 814-667-7164

It looks like it would be a great place to visit and spend time enjoying. One day I may get to do that. We shall see!Now I had a pretty good idea of how the pipe was stamped and made. With that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. Jeff had done an amazing job in removing all of the cake and the lava on the rim top. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He took the cake back to bare briar so we could check the walls for damage. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove the lava and dirt. He cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. He cleaned the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the exterior and cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed if off and recleaned the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The damage to the front edge and top of the bowl are visible in the photo. The close up photos of the stem shows the light tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside of the stem near the button.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show the condition after the cleanup. This stamping is a signature done with an engraver of some sort. It looks good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. You can clearly see the condition, size and shape of the pipe.I started my part of the restoration work on this pipe by addressing the damage to the front top and edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage to the bowl.   I sanded the outside of the briar with micromesh sanding pads to polish the finish. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads and wiped it down with a damp pad after each pad.  I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching in the vulcanite.I polished the stem 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.   This Boswell 00 Bent Billiard is a nice looking pipe. The finish looks very good and the grain stands out. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and the 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 good example of a Boswell Hand Made pipe. The flow of the grain and the way the shape follows it is very well done. Give the finished 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This interesting Boswell Hand Made Bent Billiard is a great looking pipe. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Life for another J.M. Boswell 2013 Bent Billiard with a Twist


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the worktable is another American made pipe from the workshop of J.M. Boswell. It is a bent billiard shaped pipe with swirls or twists around the bowl and featuring a twisted shank and black acrylic stem. The top of the bowl sides are smooth and was stained a rich medium brown. There were not a lot of issues to deal with in the cleanup and restoration. The pipe very lightly smoked and there was a medium cake in the bowl. There was some darkening around the inner edge of the bowl with a bit heavier appearance on the front edge of the rim top. It is signed J.M. Boswell over the date it was made – 2013 followed by U.S.A. The finish was dusty and dirty and somewhat lifeless. There is some fading in the finish toward the bottom of the bowl and shank. The black acrylic taper stem carries on the twist of the shank. The stem looked very good. It is dirty with light tooth chatter on both sides near the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the darkening around the inner edge of the bowl. You can also see the cake in the bowl. The rim top looks very good with no real damage. The smooth fluted carving on the bowl sides all the way to the outer edges and make an interesting pipe.Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the unique twists and fluting pattern around the bowl and continuing on the shank and stem. It is quite stunning with the carvings and the rusticated edge and rim top and the twisted heel of the bowl, shank and stem. You can also see the fading in the finish that has happened as the briar has been used and sitting. I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is cleaned and polished. He took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the twisted shank to capture it for me. It is clear and readable. The J.M. Boswell signature with the date it was carved and U.S.A. He included a photo of the transition from the twisted shank to the stem.The black acrylic stem is in good condition other than being dirty and having light tooth marks and chatter on the both sides of the stem at the button. The photos below show the condition of the stem.I am including the information on the brand and the shop that I included in the previous blog for ease of reference. Here is a link to that blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/04/08/life-for-a-j-m-boswell-2013-bent-volcano-with-a-twist/).

In July, 2017 I restored another Boswell Twist pipe, a 2003 and had done some research into the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/19/refurbishing-a-boswell-2003-spiral-twist-bent-billiard/). I turned to that blog and reread the information that I had included there. I took the liberty to include the information that I included from the box that came with that pipe that below.

The backside of the box reads:

Dear Pipe Smoker: J.M. Boswell crafts each of his pipes exclusively by hand! From the bare briar block to the final stain and polish, each step is a hands on procedure in old world tradition. Boswell pipes feature individual craftsmanship and style.

Additionally, J.M. Boswell has developed an exclusive bowl coating that greatly shortens the “break-in” time of a Boswell pipe and gives a sweet smoke from the very first bowl full. This coating is applied to each new pipe that Boswell makes.

One more compelling feature of Boswell pipes: “Their cost”! Boswell pipes can be had at a fraction of what most import pipes are. This is a feature pipe smokers find gratifying.

Our second feature is repairs by Boswell. J.M. Boswell has no peers in the quality and speed in which he gives “Turn-around” on pipe repairs, from stem replacement to banding, to reaming and cleaning.

I will be glad to answer any questions that you have regarding all the features of Boswell’s pipes, my repair work, plus the crafting process which can be witnessed first hand at our store and pipe making shop at 586 Lincoln Way East in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Cordially J.M. Boswell, Owner.

I then turned to the Boswell Pipe and Tobacco Shop site (https://boswellpipes.com/product-category/boswell-pipes/). The description of the pipes in that section of the site parallels what I found above. I quote:

In the creation of these exquisite smoking pipes, we use the finest quality briar – “cream of the crop” is what the proprietor of the mill calls it. Boswell Pipes have their own special bowl coating for easy break-in. J.M. has used his special coating for Boswell Pipes since 1982.  100% natural coating,which will force the briar wood to absorb the moisture and heat.  For the finishing touch, J.M. hand inscribes his signature into the briar.  J.M. dates the year and proudly declares made in the USA “J.M. Boswell 2018 U.S.A.”. 

I also checked out the description of the other twisted or as he called them Swirls and include that below as I found it quite interesting (https://boswellpipes.com/product/boswell-pipe-jumbo-freehand-swirls-2020/).

J.M.’s Signature Swirls, gorgeously grained.

Incredible smoking properties of a Boswell pipe, are the thick bowl walls to give you that cool enjoyable smoke.

Uniquely sculptured deep Swirls.

Old craftsmanship style with thick walls and shank for a cooler smoke.

Natural finish with eye-catching dark bold highlights to show off its grain.

Incredible cool smoke with an extremely easy draw for some serious smoking.

J.M. Boswell is known worldwide for crafting theses incredible, massive looking, King Size briars for well over 39 years.  Addition to being amazing smokers as well, they are capable of holding a generous supply of your favorite tobacco.

As with each and every Boswell pipe made, the airway is hand bored (not using a lathe).  This is why the air passage way will always provide the smoker with a full draw and allows for a fuller smoother smoke. J.M. finds the old fashion way of doing so completes his pipes.

Wide plateaux is displayed along the rim and shank.

Accent etching along the shank.

Using a high power magnifier there may be a few specks of natural imperfections.

Large hand-cut acrylic spiraling mouthpiece with pearlized raspberry red tones.

Your new Boswell pipe will come nestled in a protective Jumbo handmade pipe sleeve and placed in a Boswell gift box.  We also include all the essentials for your first smoke.

Smoking becomes a Relaxing time with a Boswell.

I also found some photos of the shop online that I am including here as well. I am also including the address of the shop and the phone number.

J.M. Boswell’s Pipes and Tobacco

6481 William Penn Hwy, Alexandria, PA 16611, United States

+1 814-667-7164

It looks like it would be a great place to visit and spend time enjoying. One day I may get to do that. We shall see!Now I had a pretty good idea of how the pipe was stamped and made. The one I had did not have a pearlized raspberry stem but the black, one. It also did not have any plateau on the rim or shank end. But otherwise the description fits. With that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. The pipe looked amazing. The stem looked like new, with most of the tooth marks and chatter gone. He 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. The shape and finish on this pipe is quite beautiful! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. He was able to clean up the rim darkening as well as the cake in the bowl. The bowl and rim top look very good at this point. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show the condition after the cleanup. This stamping is a signature done with an engraver of some sort. It looks good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. You can clearly see the condition, size and shape of the pipe.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I polished the stem 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. Putting this pipe back together was not as dramatic as it usually is but still it is rewarding nonetheless. 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 the 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 another good example of a Boswell Swirls pipe. The flow of the grain and the way the shape follows it is very well done. Give the finished 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This interesting Boswell Swirls Hand Made Billiard is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Life for a J.M. Boswell 2013 Bent Volcano with a Twist


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the worktable is an American made pipe from the workshop of J.M. Boswell. It is a large bent volcano shaped pipe fluted around the bowl and featuring a twisted shank and variegated grey/silver/black acrylic stem. The top of the bowl sides and the rim top featured a rustication and was stained dark brown. The pipe came in a tan cloth J.M. Boswell’s Handmade Pipes Bag and when Jeff took it out it was in very good condition. There were not a lot of issues to deal with in the cleanup and restoration. I am not sure it was even smoked as it looks like a bowl coating on the walls – but if it had it was very lightly smoked. It is signed J.M. Boswell over the date it was made – 2013 followed by U.S.A. The finish was dusty and there was dust in the rustication around the bowl and rim top. The variegated grey/silver/black acrylic saddle stem carries on the twist of the shank. The stem looked very good. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the dust and debris in the rustication on the rim top. The does not appear to be a cake in the bowl. The smooth fluted carving on the bowl sides ending in about ½ an inch of rustication up to the rim top an over the top of the rim top combine to make an interesting pipe.Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the unique fluting pattern on the bowl, the rustication as noted and the twist of the carving on the shank and stem. It is quite stunning with the carvings and the rusticated edge and rim top and the twisted heel of the bowl, shank and stem. I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is cleaned and polished. He took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the shank to capture it for me. It is clear and readable. The J.M. Boswell signature with the date it was carved and U.S.A. He included a photo of the transition from the twisted shank to the stem.The variegated black, grey and silver acrylic stem is in good condition other than being dirty and having light tooth marks and chatter on the both sides of the stem at the button. The photos below show the condition of the stem. The first photo caught the reflection of the light in the stem surface. It is a bit blurry but it is still quite unique so I kept it.In July, 2017 I restored another Boswell Twist pipe, a 2003 and had done some research into the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/07/19/refurbishing-a-boswell-2003-spiral-twist-bent-billiard/). I turned to that blog and reread the information that I had included there. I took the liberty to include the information that I included from the box that came with that pipe that below.

The backside of the box reads:

Dear Pipe Smoker: J.M. Boswell crafts each of his pipes exclusively by hand! From the bare briar block to the final stain and polish, each step is a hands on procedure in old world tradition. Boswell pipes feature individual craftsmanship and style.

Additionally, J.M. Boswell has developed an exclusive bowl coating that greatly shortens the “break-in” time of a Boswell pipe and gives a sweet smoke from the very first bowl full. This coating is applied to each new pipe that Boswell makes.

One more compelling feature of Boswell pipes: “Their cost”! Boswell pipes can be had at a fraction of what most import pipes are. This is a feature pipe smokers find gratifying.

Our second feature is repairs by Boswell. J.M. Boswell has no peers in the quality and speed in which he gives “Turn-around” on pipe repairs, from stem replacement to banding, to reaming and cleaning.

I will be glad to answer any questions that you have regarding all the features of Boswell’s pipes, my repair work, plus the crafting process which can be witnessed first hand at our store and pipe making shop at 586 Lincoln Way East in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Cordially J.M. Boswell, Owner.

I then turned to the Boswell Pipe and Tobacco Shop site (https://boswellpipes.com/product-category/boswell-pipes/). The description of the pipes in that section of the site parallels what I found above. I quote:

In the creation of these exquisite smoking pipes, we use the finest quality briar – “cream of the crop” is what the proprietor of the mill calls it. Boswell Pipes have their own special bowl coating for easy break-in. J.M. has used his special coating for Boswell Pipes since 1982.  100% natural coating,which will force the briar wood to absorb the moisture and heat.  For the finishing touch, J.M. hand inscribes his signature into the briar.  J.M. dates the year and proudly declares made in the USA “J.M. Boswell 2018 U.S.A.”. 

I also checked out the description of the other twisted or as he called them Swirls and include that below as I found it quite interesting (https://boswellpipes.com/product/boswell-pipe-jumbo-freehand-swirls-2020/).

J.M.’s Signature Swirls, gorgeously grained.

Incredible smoking properties of a Boswell pipe, are the thick bowl walls to give you that cool enjoyable smoke.

Uniquely sculptured deep Swirls.

Old craftsmanship style with thick walls and shank for a cooler smoke.

Natural finish with eye-catching dark bold highlights to show off its grain.

Incredible cool smoke with an extremely easy draw for some serious smoking. 

J.M. Boswell is known worldwide for crafting theses incredible, massive looking, King Size briars for well over 39 years.  Addition to being amazing smokers as well, they are capable of holding a generous supply of your favorite tobacco.

As with each and every Boswell pipe made, the airway is hand bored (not using a lathe).  This is why the air passage way will always provide the smoker with a full draw and allows for a fuller smoother smoke. J.M. finds the old fashion way of doing so completes his pipes.

Wide plateau is displayed along the rim and shank.

Accent etching along the shank.

Using a high power magnifier there may be a few specks of natural imperfections.

Large hand-cut acrylic spiraling mouthpiece with pearlized raspberry red tones.

Your new Boswell pipe will come nestled in a protective Jumbo handmade pipe sleeve and placed in a Boswell gift box.  We also include all the essentials for your first smoke.

Smoking becomes a Relaxing time with a Boswell.

I also found some photos of the shop online that I am including here as well. I am also including the address of the shop and the phone number.

J.M. Boswell’s Pipes and Tobacco

6481 William Penn Hwy, Alexandria, PA 16611, United States

+1 814-667-7164

It looks like it would be a great place to visit and spend time enjoying. One day I may get to do that. We shall see!Now I had a pretty good idea of how the pipe was stamped and made. The one I had did not have a pearlized raspberry stem but the variegated black, grey and silver one. It also did not have any plateau on the rim or shank end. But otherwise the description fits. With that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. The pipe looked amazing. Even the stem looked like new, with most of the tooth marks and chatter gone. Jeff was pretty sure it was unsmoked as well but he had cleaned it to remove the dust and grime. He had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. He had also cleaned out the bowl coating as we usually do so we could see what was underneath. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. The shape and finish on this pipe is quite beautiful! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. When Jeff removed cake from the bowl it revealed some sloppy black stain all over the walls and bottom of the bowl. It is not unlike what I have seen on Peterson’s Pipes. It is good that Jeff removed the coating because stain gives the tobacco a really foul taste – bitter and unpleasant. I will need to sand out the inside of the bowl on this otherwise pristine pipe. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show the condition after the cleanup. This stamping is a signature done with an engraver of some sort. It looks good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. You can clearly see the condition, size and shape of the pipe.I started my part of the restoration work on this pipe by removing as much of the stain as I could. I wiped it down with alcohol and sanded out the inside of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a dowel. Most of it was gone and bowl was smooth. There were dark spots that I could not remove but no amount of work on them removed the stain. The pictures show the issue I am talking about. It was deep in the briar.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips on the smooth portions and a horsehair shoe brush to get in the nooks and crannies of the rustication on the rim top of the bowl. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching in the acrylic of the stem.I polished the stem 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. Putting this pipe back together was not as dramatic as it usually is but still it is rewarding nonetheless. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and the 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 good example of a Boswell Swirls pipe. The flow of the grain and the way the shape follows it is very well done. Give the finished 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches wide x 1 ½ inches long, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This interesting Boswell Swirls Hand Made Volcano is a great looking pipe in unsmoked condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.