Tag Archives: Kaywoodie Pipes

Restoring a Vintage Kaywoodie Standard 93B


Blog by Alex Heidenreich

Introduction:
As I’ve mentioned before, I love Kaywoodie pipes. To me they are The Great American Pipe. In my personal collection and my restoration box, Kaywoodies probably make up at least 50% of each. I work on all kinds of different Kaywoodie pipes, but my favorites are 50s and earlier. In the 50s the Kaywoodie company was sold and in my humble opinion, starting in the 60s the quality control and grading of the briar started to go down. I find far more pits and fills in these more modern Kaywoodies than in the older pipes. So, I was excited when I found this late 40s or early 50s Kaywoodie to restore.

Pipe Details:
Shape: 93B Medium Billiard with Saddle Stem.

History:
Kaywoodie Standard 93B was produced from 1947-1972. This has a 4-hole stinger with the logo on the top of stem. This indicates it is a very early run, as the logo was moved to the side of the stem on most shapes sometime between 1953-1956. That would put this pipe somewhere around 1947-1956. This is the only 93B I have come across that has the logo on the top of the stem. So, I was quite excited to work on it.

Here is a catalog picture from 1955Picture from: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes courtesy ChrisKeene.com

Condition:
This pipe was extremely dirty. There was tons of cake inside the bowl (it was actually formed beautifully indicating this pipe was well loved by its former owner). There was lava all over the top of the bowl. Some darkening was apparent on the rim, but with how dirty it was, it was hard to tell if there was any damage. The outside of the bowl and stem was very dirty. There were some dings and scratches on the outside of the bowl (possibly some road rash). The inside and outside of the stem and the stinger was extremely oxidized. There was also a bite mark on the top of the stem.

Acquisition Pictures:

Restoration:
I took the pipe to my workbench and carefully reamed all of the beautiful cake out of it. I had to use both my reamers and a knife to get it all out. While I was working on this, I put a dab of Vaseline on the logo and dropped the stem into an Oxyclean bath.The below picture shows the reaming complete. Because of the great cake the previous owner had built. The walls of the briar were in really good condition.The top of the rim had lava and build up that was very difficult to remove. I didn’t want to damage the top of the rim, so I avoided using my knife. I just did a quick once over and left it to focus on later.After it was fully reamed, I put two pipe cleaners in the shank then filled the bowl with cotton balls. I used a syringe to soak the cotton balls in alcohol and let it sit for a couple hours.After the bath, I used the cotton balls to wipe down the interior of the bowl. It did help clean it up, but there was still a bit of build up at the bottom of the bowl. I used cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to remove the rest of it and cleaned it up with a bit of sandpaper taped around the back of a Sharpie.At this point I turned my attention to the outside of the bowl. It was very dirty and kept leaving black marks on my hands when I handled it. I also noticed some small dings on the side of the bowl. As I scrubbed the bowl and the rim repeatedly with Murphy’s Oil Soap, the dirt kept coming off. I kept scrubbing and the finish started coming off with the dirt… Well, looks like there is no turning back now. This one would have to be fully refinished. So I just removed the rest of it with alcohol and Acetone. Then I lightly sanded it with 1000 grit sandpaper. With the finish fully removed, I was able to inspect it closely. This pipe had absolutely amazing grain. There were hardly any pits or fills that I could find. The only thing I noticed was the patch of dings on the side. I wasn’t able to raise them with an iron, so I had to patch them with some CA glue. Once the glue had fully cured, I sanded it back down flush.The other side of the pipe has some gorgeous birds’ eye grain.Next, I started working on the stem. I retrieved it from the oxy bath and scrubbed it down with a Magic Eraser. Then I used 600 grit sandpaper to get the rest of the oxidation off. I wrapped the stem in painter’s tape to protect it and used a bristle brush to really clean the stinger. There were some deep tooth marks on the top of the stem. I cleaned them out thoroughly then filled it with black CA glue.Once the glue had cured, I used needle files to remove the excess glue. When it was close to flush, I switched to wet sanding with 400-1000 grit sand paper. After it was sanded flush, I switched to micromesh pads from 1300-12000. Then I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Stem Oil and set it aside.I turned my attention back to the bowl and sanded it also with the micromesh pads 1300-12000. I had read about Before & After Restoration Balm on Steve’s rebornpipes blog and I just recently acquired some from www.lbepen.com. I was eager to give it a try so rubbed it into the pipe. I could still smell some faint ghosting in the pipe. So, I filled it with Kosher Salt and used a syringe to fill the bowl with 91% Rubbing Alcohol. You can see in the picture below the balm on the pipe as well as the salt and alcohol drawing out the gunk from inside the bowl.I have to say I was pretty impressed with the Before & After Restoration Balm. It worked well to help clean the pipe and enliven the grain. I buffed the pipe with Tripoli, White Diamond and then Carnauba. Here’s another shot of that beautiful Birds’ Eye Grain.Here it is reassembled before I gave it a couple more coats of Carnauba.

Final Pictures:

Restoring a Badly Burned Kaywoodie Super Grain 86B


Blog by Alex Heidenreich

Earlier this week I received and email with an attachment from Alex about a Kaywoodie pipe he had restored for a friend. He wanted my opinion on the restoration and on the piece he had written about it. I took time this weekend to read over the piece and study the photos and I have to say I was quite impressed with his work. I wrote him back with some questions and asked if I could post his piece on the blog. He said he was thrilled and honoured to be asked so without further ado I introduce you to Alex Heidenreich’s Kaywoodie Super Grain 86B restoration.

Introduction:

Kaywoodies are some of my favorite pipes. I love the history of the company and the amazing quality briar used in the older pipes. So, when I saw this poor Kaywoodie on eBay, I was quick to bid on it. When it arrived in the mail, I took a closer look at it. It was in even worse shape than the pictures had led me to believe. It was dented and dinged on the outside of the bowl. The rim was badly chewed up and then caked over with a thick coating of lava that had spilled all the way down onto the shank. The stem was badly oxidized, and I couldn’t get a pipe cleaner through the stem or the shank. This pipe looked like a lot of work. So, I ended up setting it aside for a while. Later, a friend of mine from our pipe group on PipeTobaccoDiscord said he was looking to add a Kaywoodie to his collection. I sent him some pictures of the ones in my restoration pile and despite the damage, he fell in love with this one, and thus the work began.

Acquisition Pictures: History:

As Steve has talked about many times, finding the exact date of a pipe can be difficult. Kaywoodie has a rich history, and a good amount of it is documented over on https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes. The first thing I did was head over to their documentation on the shape numbers: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kaywoodie_Shape_Numbers. This told me that the 86B shape number was a Large Apple with a flat top bowl and was produced from 1947-1971. For many shapes of Kaywoodies, the logo was printed on top of the stem until the late 1940s or early 1950s. Since this logo was on the side of the stem, I surmised it was probably a post-1955 model. Just after this time (somewhere in the mid-50s or 60s), Kaywoodie also moved from a 4-hole stinger to a 3-hole stinger. Since this pipe has the logo on the side, but still had a 4-hole stinger, it was likely made in that interim period from 1959-1965.

Picture from a 1955 Catalog showing the 86B (notice the logo is on the top of the stem)Picture from: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes courtesy ChrisKeene.com

Restoration:

I took the pipe apart to see how bad it was. It was extremely dirty, and the finish was badly damaged. There were burn marks and lava all over the rim and shank.

I started by reaming the pipe. The bowl is large. So, it took a lot of reaming to get clean. The outside was extremely dirty. So, I cleaned the pipe 4 or 5 times with Murphy’s Oil Soap. I really soaked the rim well to try to soften the lava. It took a ton of scrubbing and a little work with a knife, but I was able to get most of it off and remove a lot of the burn marks on the shank. Unfortunately, this revealed a great deal of damage to the rim. There were also multiple fills, and I even had to remove a protruding grain of sand from the briar. To repair the damage to the rim, I carefully sanded back the damaged areas on a topping board, careful not to change the shape of the rim. I put a dab of Vaseline on the logo to protect it, then soaked the stem in an oxyclean bath. This would help loosen up all the gunk inside and make it easier to clean the oxidation off the outside. I also filled the bowl with cotton balls, stuck pipe cleaners in the shank, and then used a syringe to fill the bowl with alcohol to help remove any ghosting in the pipe, as well as loosen up any remaining cake inside the bowl to make it easier to clean.   After I got the stem out of the oxy bath, it revealed a lot of oxidation that would need to be cleaned up. The internals of the stem were also gooped up, but I was able to now force a pipe cleaner through it. I cleaned much of the surface oxidation with a Magic Eraser, then moved on to the internals.I sanded the stem with 600, 800, 1000, then moved into micro mesh pads from 1200 – 12000. Once finished, I oiled the stem with Obsidian Stem Oil and let it soak in. I turned my attention back to the bowl and did my best to clean out the inside of the shank and bowl with Q Tips and Pipe Cleaners soaked in alcohol. Then I set it aside for day 1.

Cleaning the shank and the stem took A LOT of pipe cleaners and Q Tips… After letting the pipe dry over night, I was able to see more clearly the inside and outside of the pipe. No surprise with how burned the outside of the pipe was that there were also heat fissures inside the bowl. I inspected them carefully and gauged their depth with dental picks. They, luckily, were not too deep. I was also now able to see some of the fills, scratches, and sand pits better on the outside of the bowl. I used a wet rag and a hot iron to try to raise them a bit. Then I carefully cleaned them out with my dental picks. At this point, I got a little ahead of myself as I focused on cleaning out the pits. I moved on to filling the pits and scratches with CA glue before fully stripping the finish. After the glue cured, I sanded down the glue spots. Then I wiped the entire stummel down with high-proof alcohol followed by acetone to really remove the finish. Since I did my steps slightly out of order, the CA glue had softened in a couple of the fills. So, I picked it out and refilled it. I let the glue cure and then sanded the entire stummel. I had to be very careful over the stamping to preserve it. With the finish removed and the stummel sanded, I placed a wine cork in the bowl and coated it with dye.It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the dye came out a little too dark, more similar to a Flame Grain. To keep it authentic with a Super Grain, I needed to lighten it back up a bit. I lightly sanded it with my sequence of micromesh pads which also brought the shine back. After the stummel was sanded, the color was nearly perfect. I then buffed it using Tripoli, followed by White Diamond, and finally Carnauba. Now that the outside was finished, I moved on to the inside. After really inspecting the fissures, some of them were deeper than I would like. If it was my pipe, I would have done a bowl coating and just kept an eye on them to address later, but since this pipe was for someone else, I wanted to address it now. This way they won’t have to deal with it down the road. I mixed up some JB Weld, which dries inert and can handle the heat. I carefully stuck it only into the fissures, using as little as possible so as not to coat the briar, since JB Weld won’t breathe like briar.After it cured, I sanded down the JB Weld to make the bowl smooth and flush, as well as to remove any that was not inside the fissures.Then I coated the bowl with activated charcoal in a great method I learned from Dad’s Pipes. (https://dadspipes.com/2015/08/12/a-simple-effective-bowl-coating/)After cleaning the charcoal off the rim, I noticed it had dulled a little bit. So, I threw the buffing wheel back on and gave it another coat of Carnauba. The pipe was now complete! I hope it will bring its new owner joy for many years!

Final Pictures:

Revitalizing a Venerable Kaywoodie Flame Grain 09B Pear


Blog by Dal Stanton

The Kaywoodie now on the worktable is the second of 3 pipes that Skeet commissioned after seeing them in the virtual ‘Help Me Baskets’ in the ‘For “Pipe Dreamers” Only!’ collection.  This large collection of pipes I’ve acquired from antique/secondhand shops, antique malls, and from online sellers – and some have been gifts.  The Kaywoodie was part of a lot of 13 pipes that caught my eye from a seller in Nevada a few years back.  There were some interesting shapes and system pipes that I had not seen before – a LHS Purex (9 o’clock), a Demuth SnapKleen 34 (5:30 o’clock) and a Cyclone London England (1 o’clock).  These specific pipes were new to me.  The Kaywoodie that beckoned Skeet  is situated at the 4:30 o’clock place on the pipe dial.

The first pipe Skeet commissioned benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria came out well.  The grain on the French Jeantet Superior (see: LINK) was striking and met with Skeets approval.    Here is a picture of the Jeantet that Skeet commissioned after its completion.I was moved by Skeet’s appreciative words after reading the Jeantet’s writeup and seeing the results.  He wrote:

Dear friend Dal,

I just read the write up and saw the pictures!  There are tears in my eyes!  How beautiful it is! Thank you and most assuredly YES! I want to take possession!  (I suppose I use too many exclamation points but I’m extremely excited!) Thank you so much for your beautiful work and also your faithful stewardship you the Daughters of Bulgaria!  As long as I can I will continue to support you in that work. Thank you so much!

Skeet

Thank you, Skeet!  Through our communications back and forth, I have learned a bit about Skeet.  He resides in my birth state, Illinois.  He also drives a school bus with children under his care.  He is a man of faith, pastoring a small church with the care of souls under his charge during times which have unique challenges to us all.  He and I also share the experience of being close to the same stage of life – having a greater awareness that there are statistically fewer days awaiting us to walk tomorrow than the days we have already traveled.  Like us, the vintage Kaywoodie now on the worktable has also traversed many days.  Here are a few pictures to look at this Kaywoodie ‘ole timer’ that Skeet commissioned. The nomenclature stamped on the left shank flank is, FlameGrain [over] KAYWOODIE.  The right side of the shank holds the shape number, 09B.  The shape number described in the Kaywoodie Pipe Shapes listing from the Kaywoodie Forum posted in 2013 by the kwguy, Bill Feuerbach, of the S. M. Frank & Co., is that the 09B is a Medium Pear shape that was produced during the broad period of 1936 to 1972.  The goal will be to hone in on this span by looking for other factors and clues that help date Kaywoodie pipes.Other distinct markers helping to date the Kaywoodie are there.  In another posting on Kaywoodie shapes in 2014 on the Kaywoodie Forum, Bill Feuerbach provides additional information about the history of shape numbering comparing the ‘New 3 digit #’, the ‘Kaywoodie 2 digit #’ and the ‘Original Medico #’.  He wrote:

Maybe a little background is in order.  In 1972, we closed the West New York factory having completed construction of our new 197,000 square foot factory in Yapank on Long Island.  The plan was to move all pipe production there, but in the interim, the Medico factory in Richmond Hill Queens would handle the final sanding and finishing of all of the Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole and Medico pipes.  The thought was eventually those operations would also shift to Yapank as skilled workers could be trained to handle those operations.  (A down turn in the pipe market in the seventies doomed the new plant, but that’s another story) 

Having the three lines being finished in one building, would create confusion if there were two shape numbering systems.  So a new 3 digit system was adopted.  The Medico 3 digit system was also changed at this time.  This list will have three columns of numbers.  The first will be the “new” three digit number, used on all Kaywoodie and Medico pipes from 1972-1980.  (We stopped stamping shape numbers in 1980) The second column is the Kaywoodie two-digit number and the third column is the original Medico 3 digit number, all of which refer to the same shape. 

In this chart the ‘09B’ is in the ‘Kaywoodie 2 digit #’ column and is described as a “Standard Pear” produced between 1927 and 1972.  I do not know what the ‘B’ attached to the shape number indicates.  It hasn’t come up in anything I’ve read thus far.  With this question in mind, I decide to send a quick email to Bill Feuerbach, aka ‘kwguy’ in the Kaywoodie Forums and the head of Kaywoodie.  Bill helped me last year with information when I was restoring a striking Kaywoodie Natural Burl which came out great.  He dug into plastic tubs in his own home looking for relevant printed information to help with my research!  To read about this special Kaywoodie go to this link: Bringing to Life a Unique Kaywoodie Natural Burl 33 – Another Legacy Pipe of a Great Grandfather.   Two additional dating factors of the Flame Grain Pear are first, the inlaid white dot with the black clover inside situated on top of the stem and secondly, the 4 holed stinger.   These point to an earlier period dating of this Kaywoodie.  Generally, 4-holed stingers were phased out by the 1960s (with exceptions) replaced by the more common, 3 holed stingers.Looking to Pipephil.eu I find additional information looking at Kaywoodie’s ‘Flame Grain’ line which is listed among the several examples of Kaywoodie offerings over the years.   The following Flame Grain panel was clipped.From this additional information, the nomenclature points to an earlier period of production.  The Kaywoodie on the worktable is stamped Flame Grain over Kaywoodie – on earlier Flame Grains.  Interestingly, there is no ‘Imported Briar’ on our pipe as well, which was never the case before 1935, but after 1935 this designation was sporadic.  One more indicator of dating comes from Pipephil’s information about the Kaywoodie cloverleaf logo.The genesis of the inlaid white dot with the black clover coincides with when the Flame Grain line started.  This logo was used on all ‘upper grade’ pipes up to the late 40s.  Another important indicator is the clover being on top of the stem.  This is the final piece of information that helps put dating brackets around this Kaywoodie Flame Grain.  With the clover being on the top of the stem, the latest dating for this Kaywoodie would be the early 50s.  We can say then that the dating of the Kaywoodie Flame Grain on the worktable is most probable between 1937 and the late 40s, but perhaps to the early 50s – 1953?

Armed with this dating information, I look through the old Kaywoodie catalogs and flyers from the jpeg repository of the defunct Chris Keene’s, ‘PipePages’ website.  This poking and digging proved helpful! I find a ‘Kaywoodie Pipes’ flyer dated 1947 – the correct period.  It contains Flame Grain listings for both briar and Meerschaum lined pipes.   I found interesting also in the front/back panels below are the charges for repairs and replacement parts Kaywoodie was asking in 1947!  This next page of the flyer shows the Flame Grain offerings with the briars marked with a $10 price tag. Curious about what that Kaywoodie might do to my pocket book new today, I went to a site that computes the value of $10 in 1947 to the value it would have today. Amazingly, in 1947 $10 would have the purchasing power of $116.80 today according to this site!  I would consider this a high-end pipe!  The Flame Grain Apple example below also carries the cloverleaf logo on the top of the stem like our Pear.

One final contribution from this 1947 Kaywoodie flyer is in the final pages of the flier showing all the possible shapes available.  The 09B is pictured and labeled, ‘Pear’.  The small text box on the top right side of the page below gives a guide for the dimensions – ‘Each square on the page represents 1 inch’.  The reproduction of the page does not show this 1-inch marker – I can’t see it, but it encourages me to provide the dimensions of the Kaywoodie Pear –   Length: 5 3/16 inches, Height: 1 1/4 inches, Bowl width: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber width: 3/4 inches, Chamber depth: 1 1/4 inches.With a greater appreciation for the vintage Kaywoodie Flame Grain Pear on the worktable, I take a closer look at the issues.  The pipe is in exceptionally good shape – surprisingly for an ole timer!  The chamber has some cake buildup, and the internally beveled rim is darkened from lava flow from lighting practices on the back side of the rim.The stummel has spectacular horizontal flame grain on the sides of the bowl reaching through the shank.  When I first looked at this pipe seriously when it reached the worktable, the grain struck me as so distinctive that it was fake!  It reminded me of adhesive vinyl wood print contact paper that looks too good to be the real deal – like artificial plants and flowers!  Well, this fire grain is the real deal. As one would expect with such distinctive horizontal grain, very defined bird’s eye grain emerges on the front and aft side of the bowl.  Bird’s eye grain is the cross-cut perspective of linear grain pattern.  After inspecting the briar surface, I find no fills.  There are nicks and small scratches from normal wear and after cleaning the stummel, we’ll see how things look. While I was inspecting the stummel, I had not seen this before.  On the flattened heel of the bowl there appears to be a random stamping: ‘H Z (‘.  I’ve never seen this before and I decide to send a picture to Steve to get his take on these hieroglyphs!  I decide to send another note out seeking information, but this time to Steve to find out if he has an idea what these ‘glyphs’ are?  Steve’s response came quickly:

I have seen odd stamping but it’s generally on the underside of the shank. Never could figure it out. You might check with Bill Feuerbach at Kaywoodie. He is a wealth of info and does not seem to hesitate to help. I contact him through the website.

When trying to unlock the mysteries surrounding Kaywoodie pipes, Bill Feuerbach is the holder of the keys.  Without having received a reply from my first inquiry, I launch another with glyph pictures included to kwguy.  Amazingly, within minutes after launching my second inquiry for a ‘double intrusion’, I received a reply from Bill.  This is what he wrote:

Dal 

No worries about any double intrusion. Always glad to attempt an answer. First the easy one regarding the shape number 09B. Letters following the two digit number were necessary because of the sheer volume of shapes that were produced in the early years and not wanting to duplicate shape numbers if one had been used previously and discontinued. Although sometimes that happened.

The second question regarding those other characters on the bottom of the flat on the shank are a mystery to me I am afraid. Clearly an H and a Z and what looks like half of an O or a C but I don’t know their meaning.  I’m sorry I couldn’t help you out with this. Could have been an aftermarket addition denoting the original selling shop out there or original owners initials, I just don’t know.

Best regards 

Bill

Two mysteries resolved.  The ‘B’ attached to the Pear 09 shape number was simply to distinguish and not duplicate other “09” shapes produced through the years.  Solved.  The glyph question is resolved but not solved.  Bill’s explanation of the markings of a specific shop selling the Kaywoodie or a steward putting his mark on the pipe – both seem very possible and only this Kaywoodie Flame Grain knows for sure – if he could only talk!  My thanks again to Bill Feuerbach for his help!

After all the mysteries and communications, my survey of the Kaywoodie’s condition continues.  The stem has minor oxidation, and the vulcanite is rough.  There is a good bit of light tooth chatter on the bit – upper and lower.  This will need to be addressed. With the evaluation completed, the revitalization of this venerable Kaywoodie starts with the stem.  The airway is cleaned with pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl 99%.  It’s not easy cleaning through the 4-holed stinger with the small air slot, and this, therefore, is why many stewards cut off the Kaywoodie stinger.  Navigating with pipe cleaners is difficult but is possible.Next, to address the minor oxidation, in preparation of putting the stem in a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer, 0000 grade steel wool wetted with Soft Scrub is applied to the stem.  This hopefully helps to break up the oxidation and to smooth the rough vulcanite surface.  During the scrubbing with steel wool, I’m careful to be a bit gentler over the cloverleaf logo.  The nickel stinger also enjoys some attention from the steel wool to clean it.After rinsing the stem, it joins other of Skeet’s commissioned pipes in a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer.  I leave the Kaywoodie stem soaking for several hours allowing the Deoxidizer to do its thing.After several hours – actually, the next day, the Kaywoodie stem is fished out of the Deoxidizer and drained.  I help the draining process by squeegeeing the pipe with my fingers and inserting pipe cleaners wetted with alcohol through the airway to clear the Deoxidizer.  Cotton pads wetted with alcohol are used to scrub the surface to remove raised oxidation.To further condition the stem paraffin oil is applied.  The vulcanite already looks healthier. Turning now to the stummel, the Pipnet Reaming Kit is utilized to ream the chamber to give the briar a fresh start and to inspect the chamber condition.  A starting picture is taken and only the smallest of the 4 blade heads is accommodated by the chamber. Next, the Savinelli Fits All Tool is used to scrape the chamber walls removing additional carbon cake buildup.  Finally, 240 grade sanding paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen is used to sand the chamber.An inspection of the chamber reveals healthy briar – no heating problems or cracking.  I move on.To continue the cleaning, the external surface is cleaned with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap using a cotton pad to do the scrubbing.  A brass bristled brush is especially helpful in addressing the crusted lava flow over the back side of the rim.  It does a good job of cleaning but not adversely impacting the briar.The stummel is then taken to the sink in the laundry room to continue the cleaning using shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dish soap.  Using warm to hottish water, the internal mortise is scrubbed with the shank brushes.  After scrubbing, the stummel is thoroughly rinsed to remove soap and taken back to the worktable.  Wow!  The rim looks great and the Flame Grain continues to be sharp and distinct. Next, I use micromesh pads to clean further the surface of the minor nicks and scratches from normal wear over the years.  Dry sanding with the micromesh pads, which are less abrasive and contribute to the polishing, will help avoid  losing the patina the briar has.  With the first 3 pads, 1500 to 2400, I avoid the nomenclature on both sides of the shank as they are more abrasive.  With pads 3200 to 4000 and pads 6000 to 12000, the entire stummel is sanded.  As I started this phase, I had decided that whatever nicks and scratches might survive the micromesh process would remain as a badge of the years this Kaywoodie has served.  When the micromesh pads were completed, I was amazed at the beauty of the grain that emerged. Before turning to the stem, Before & After Restoration Balm is applied to the Kaywoodie Flame Grain briar surface.  This product of Mark Hoover is especially useful in teasing out the deeper, natural hues of the briar.  After putting some of the Balm on my fingers, I rub it into the briar surface.  As I’ve described previously, the cream-like consistency of the Balm when first applied gradually transforms to a wax-like consistency as it’s worked into the briar.  After thoroughly applying the Balm, the stummel is put aside for 20 or so minutes for the Balm to be absorbed and do its work (pictured below).  Whenever I apply the Balm to a pipe I’m working on, I never wipe off my fingers with the excess Balm!  I run over to my collection and grab a pipe and apply the excess Balm to it – no wasting this liquid gold 😊.After the minutes accumulate, I use a dedicated microfiber cloth for the initial wiping off of the excess Restoration Balm then follow with another dedicated microfiber cloth, same color, that buffs up the surface.  As expected, the Restoration Balm deepened an already impressive patch of briar.The stem is waiting for attention.  The earlier treatment for oxidation seems to have done well.  The bit, both upper and lower, has significant light tooth chatter.  My approach to rectify this is using a Bic lighter and paint the bit with flames.  The flame is moved rapidly, back and forth, over the surface.  To hold the flame too still can burn the rubber and if this happens, it becomes brittle without luster – I’ve learned this from experience.  As the vulcanite heats it expands and reclaims all or some of its original condition.  Pictures are taken before starting to compare the results after heating.  The results are good!  It’s interesting that different stems respond to the heating method differently.  Not all vulcanite is the same.  This stem responded very well whereas others, seemingly not at all or little.  The pictures show the comparison. Only minor sanding will be necessary, along with refreshing the button.   Starting with a flat needle file, with the flat edge against the lip of the button, the file refreshes and sharpens the bite ledge.  I’m careful to keep the file off the stem surface while doing this on the upper and lower button.Next, 240 grade paper removes the roughness left from the tooth chatter and smooths the button.  The sanding is expanded to remove small nicks on the rest of the stem staying clear of the cloverleaf on the upper side of the stem.  A plastic disk is used on the stinger side of the stem to keep the end of the stem facing sharp – to avoid shouldering.With the heaviest sanding done, wet sanding with 600 grade paper follows and then 0000 grade steel wool is applied to smooth the stem surface further.After completing the steel wool polishing, I notice a pit in the middle of the lower lip of the button – ugh…I return to the flat needle file to file down a bit more the lip edge without impacting the surrounding vulcanite.  The pit is erased.As before, the file is followed by 240, 600 and 0000 steel wool – detour completed and did not take too long.Next, the stem receives sanding from all the micromesh pads starting with wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400.  This is followed with dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied.  Obsidian Oil does not remove oxidation if it already is present in the stem but helps prevent oxidation from developing. Now the home stretch.  A cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the rotary tool with speed set at about 40% full power.  The fine abrasive, Blue diamond compound, is then applied to both stem and stummel.Changing again to another cotton cloth buffing wheel dedicated to metals, Blue Diamond compound is also applied to the nickel Kaywoodie 4-holed stinger as well as to the shank facing.  This shines these fitments nicely.Next, again changing the buffing wheel to another wheel dedicated to wax, maintaining the same speed, carnauba wax is applied to the pipe.  When thoroughly applied, a microfiber cloth provides a rigorous hand buffing to remove excess wax and to raise the shine.This Kaywoodie Flame Grain 09B Pear is striking.  It’s vintage spans from 1937 to probably the late 40s.  The quality of the grain is amazing – the bold, distinct flame grain flowing laterally through the bowl is complemented by remarkable bird’s eye pattern.  This bird’s eye grain forms a kaleidoscope of cross-cut veins on the fore and aft of the bowl.  This Kaywoodie Flame Grain is certainly a collectable pipe and a treasure to add to one’s collection.  Skeet commissioned this pipe and will have the first opportunity to acquire it in The Pipe Steward Store benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!

New Life for a Kaywoodie Rustica 76BL Billiard from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I have chosen from Bob Kerr’s Estate is a Kaywoodie Rustica Medium English Billiard. (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/).

The Kaywoodie Rustica had a rusticated finish and a smooth rim top. It was stamped on the underside of the heel and shank. It read Kaywoodie Rustica over Made in England on the heel followed by the shape number on the shank end – 76BL. The rusticated finish was dirty with dust and grime ground into the finish. There is a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim top.  The vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also a three-hole Kaywoodie stinger/tenon set up that was a little dirty. 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 bark around the bowl.The next photo show the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is very readable. It reads as noted above. The second photo shows the inlaid cloverleaf logo on the top of the stem.The stem was dirty and oxidized with light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button. This one at least did not have the chew marks that were a norm on Bob’s pipes.Before doing cleanup work on the pipe I decided to do some research on the pipe. I looked first on the Pipephil website and found some information on the white club inlay on the left side of the tapered stem. I did a screen capture of the pertinent information on the logo itself (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-kaywoodie.html). From there I learned that the logo was used until the 1980s. After the early 50s the logo was on the side of the stem.I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kaywoodie) and read the section on the rough outline on the history of the brand that links the brand with the English section of the company. I quote:

Again, demand for KBB pipes and especially Kaywoodie prompted another move for both the manufacturing facilities and the corporate offices. In 1930 the corporate office moved into the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue in New York. By 1935, the manufacturing operations moved from Union City to 6400 Broadway in West New York, New Jersey which, at the time, was touted as the largest pipe making facility in the world. At the height of production, there were 500 employees producing up to 10,000 pipes per day.

The corporate offices were relocated in 1936 to the International Building, Rockefeller Center, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York. The invitation to visit the new office reads, “Kaywoodie is now on display at the world’s most famous address – Rockefeller Center. Here Kaywoodie takes its place among the leaders of industry and commerce.” The move to Rockefeller Center coincided with The Kaywoodie Company’s emergence as a subsidiary of KBB. All of the pipes manufactured by KBB including the Yello-Bole line were also on display here. By 1938 Kaywoodie had opened an office in London to meet worldwide demand. Kaywoodie of London was jointly owned with another famous pipemaker, Comoy’s of London.

From there I turned to a link on the article to a section called Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes#NOTES_ON_.22OTHER.E2.80.9D_KAYWOODIE_PIPES).

English Kaywoodies. All of the catalogs reviewed in this research contained the following copyright notification: Printed in U.S.A., Kaufmann Bros. and Bondy, Inc., New York and London. Kaywoodie Pipe cases and smoker’s accessories were also marked with “New York and London”. The catalogs, however, do not present any information concerning Kaywoodie’s London operations, or how the English Kaywoodies might have differed from those manufactured and marketed in the U.S. Lowndes notes that he has several English Kaywoodies acquired in Vaduz and Zurich. English Kaywoodies are now made by Oppenheimer pipes. Lowndes notes that English Kaywoodies with the “screw-in bit” come in Ruby Grain, Custom Grain, Standard, and Relief Grain grades. The traditional push-bit models come in Continental Plain and Relief, London Made, Minaret, Air-way Polished No. 707, and Lightweight grades. Prices in 1985 ranged from 9.50 (pounds) to 26.00 (pounds). Lowndes notes that the Super Star was a special edition English Kaywoodie made of finest briar with a handmade silver band. Lowndes has two: one from Zurich with a large white-outlined logo, and beautifully cased; and one in walnut finish with the black-­in-white logo. A recent catalog shows the Super Star without a band and the ordinary small white logo. A 1985 letter from Oppenheimer states that the black-in-white logo has been discontinued and only the regular white logo is now used.

I turned to Pipedia’s Kaywoodie Shape Number chart to check out the number 76BL that is stamped on the underside of the shank (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kaywoodie_Shape_Numbers). The chart gives the shape information and the time frame in which the shape was made. I did a screen capture of the shape number information and have included it below.From the above information I now knew that the pipe in hand was a Medium English Billiard made between 1938-1972 in London by Oppenheimer. It had screw-in bit.

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 damage 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.    I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.  I unscrewed 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 stinger apparatus is intact and you can see the oxidation on the stem surface.Now, on to my part of the restoration of this KBB English Made Medium Billiard. I decided to start by polishing the top of the bowl 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 briar on the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horse hair 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.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth dents in the top and underside of the stem at the button. I started polishing the stem 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 Kaywoodie Rustica 76BL Medium English Billiard, an English made pipe from Bob Kerr’s estate turned out to be a great looking pipe. The rusticated medium brown finish on the pipe is in excellent 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 Kaywoodie Rustica Medium 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 straightforward restoration – a Kaywoodie All Briar Meerschaum Lined Rhodesian 50B


Blog by Steve Laug

I have worked on a few Kaywoodie All Briar Pipes in the past and also worked on the same shaped 50B that had an All Briar Bite Proof Stem that I had to rebuild and restore. That was a real job starting with a chewed off briar stem. Here is the link to that blog if you are interested in reading about that restoration (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/08/02/salvaging-a-kaywoodie-all-briar-rhodesian-50b-with-a-serious-issue/). The pipe on my worktable now is another All Briar Rhodesian. This one does not have an All Briar taper Bite Proof stem but rather an All Briar Saddle Stem. This pipe was in excellent condition other than being dusty. The meerschaum bowl had been smoked maybe one time or two with a bit of staining but very clean. The rim top had a few wrinkles in the varnish finish but was otherwise clean. The exterior of the bowl and stem had the same varnish coat and it looked very good. The stem was the only part of the pipe with an issue. It had bite marks and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem ahead of the button. That truly was the only issue I had to deal with. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition. You can see the damage noted above on the rim top and the tooth marks and chatter on the stem surface. I have drawn red circles around the damaged areas on both the stem and the rim top.I took some photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. Because of the shiny surface they are a bit hard to read but are very readable nonetheless. The stamping on the left side of the shank reads All Briar and under that read Kaywoodie over Meerschaum. On the right side of the shank it is stamped All-Imported Briar over the shape number 50B. Underneath the shape number is a small capital E stamped backwards. I unscrewed the stem from the shank and took photos of the pipe. The Rhodesian is very well shaped and is a great looking piece of briar. The briar saddle stem is also very nice.The earlier All Briar Rhodesian 50B with the chewed off stem includes some great information that I had researched on the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/08/02/salvaging-a-kaywoodie-all-briar-rhodesian-50b-with-a-serious-issue/). I am including that in this current blog.

“I have read a lot of information in the past on other Kaywoodie pipes I have worked on and spent time on the Kaywoodie Collectors Forum to help educate me on the various lines and historical periods of Kaywoodie production. On Pipedia.org there is a helpful summary of the history of the brand that has been condensed in one place. It is called the Collectors Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes). I found the All Briar line of pipes included in the section of the Guide for 1955. I quote here the pertinent sections with the references to the All Briar pipe underlined and highlighted in bold.”

The line-up of pipes in the 1955 catalog (Table 3 below) was more extensive than in previous years. The catalog presented an expanded line of meerschaum pipes and introduced a 4-pipe set of Matched Grain Pipes, as well as several pipes with “special features”. The number of shapes available… was not substantially different from the number offered in the 1947 catalog…

The Twin-Bowl Kaywoodies were available in an all-meerschaum model (two removable inner bowls of meerschaum) and a meerschaum and Flame Grain model (outer bowl of flame grain briar and removable inner bowl of meerschaum). Other meerschaum pipes presented in the 1955 catalog included the Gourd Calabash; the Coral (“dimpled”) Meerschaum; the All Briar (briar bit) and Flame Grain pipes with inlaid meerschaum bowls; and the “Doctor’s” pipe…Included in the guide was a helpful list of pipe grades and prices. I have included the list below (Table 3) and noted the pipe I am working on by highlighting it in bold red print and underlining the reference. It is in this list that I found confirmation that Kaywoodie made an All Briar with a meerschaum bowl insert and an All Briar without the meerschaum insert. The All Briar I am working on now is meerschaum lined. It is fascinating for me to see that the addition of a meerschaum bowl was only $2.50 in 1955.

TABLE 3. 1955 KAYWOODIE PIPE GRADES AND PRICES

Meerschaum Character Pipes: $100.00
Block: 15.00-50 (According to size)
Meerschaum Twin Bowl: $35.00
Meerschaum/Flame Grain Twin Bowl: $25.00
Sandblasted “Doctor’s” Pipe: $25.00
Centennial: $25.00
Coral Meerschaum: $20.00-25 (According to size)
Gourd Calabash: $15.00-25 (According to size)
Ninety-Fiver: $20.00
Oversize: $10.00-25(According to style and finish)
Connoisseur: $15.00
All Briar w/Meerschaum Inlaid Bowl: $12.50
Flame Grain (Meerschaum Inlaid) $12.50
Export Pipes: $5.00-15 (According to grade)
All Briar (Briar Bit): $10.00
Flame Grain: $10.00
Fit Rite: $10.00
Silhouette: $10.00
Carburetor: $7.50
Relief Grain: $7.50
Chesterfield: $5.00-15 (According to grade)
Chinrester: $5.00-10 (According to grade)
Stembiter: $5.00-10 (According to grade)
Streamliner: $4.00-10 (According to grade)
Super Grain: $5.00
Carved Super Grain: $5.00
White Briar: $5.00
Standard: $4.00
Filter Plus: $4.00
Drinkless pup: $3.50
Drinkless Tuckaway: $3.50
Drinkless In-Between: $3.50
Two-Pipe Companion Setsb: $10.00-25 (According to grade)
Matched Grain Set (4-Pipes): $50.00
Matched Grain Set (7-Pipes): $125.00

I am also including some more information that I picked up when working on that blog.

Further reading on Pipedia under the general listing for Kaywoodie Pipes provided me with a magazine advertisement that included the All Briar pipes. It is a great Father’s Day Ad and the bottom items in the ad show the All Briar line. I have included both the link and a copy of the ad for your reading pleasure (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kaywoodie).I started my quick repairs on this pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top. I sanded out the bubbled and marked edges of the briar portion of the rim top. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh and wiped it down after each pad. Each grit pad smoothed out the surface of the briar rim and when I was finished it looked very good. There is a great mix of flame and straight grain on the bowl and shank. It is a beauty. I decided to not to remove the varnish coat from the bowl as it looked very good. Even the repaired and smooth rim top looks really good. At this point the bowl was finished. I set it aside to deal with the stem issues. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the surface of the stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded until the surface was smooth and the tooth marks and chatter were gone.I started polishing out the sanding marks with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. It is a red, gritty paste that has the texture of Red Tripoli. The gritty polish takes out all the minute scratches in the briar and leaves the surface smooth. I rubbed it on with my fingertips and polished it off with a soft cotton cloth. The stem is starting to look very good at this point.I continued to polish the briar stem with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The stem is starting to look like it should. More work to do for sure but it is going the right direction. I polished the briar stem further with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further raise a shine on the wood.The original pipe has a coat of varnish on the stem and bowl. I don’t have any varnish to give repaired areas the shine that the rest of the stem and bowl has. I do have some Danish Oil which is a bit of stain and linseed oil. After the finish cures it buffs up into a very nice shine.I buffed the stem on the buffing wheel to raise the shine and gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad. The repaired stem looks very good. The tooth marks and chatter are a thing of history. There is a little darkening on the underside of the stem but the surface is smooth.With the completion of the stem the pipe was finished. Because it had a shine coat on it I gently buffed it with Blue Diamond to take out the scratches on the bowl but not damage the varnish coat. I gave the entire pipe several coats of carnauba for good measure and buffed it 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. This Kaywoodie All Briar Meerschaum Lined Rhodesian 50B is quite a beautiful pipe. It is for all intents and purposes barely smoked so whoever adds it to their collection will get the privilege of enjoying this “new” pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. I really like the way that Kaywoodie makes these All Briar pipes. It seems to really have set the standard that is hard to beat. This is a great looking pipe in great condition.  Thanks for walking with me through this restoration. It was one with challenges but it was a fun one to work on.

Renewing Paw’s Kaywoodie “500” Round Shank Bulldog – The Third Pipe of a Great Grandfather’s Legacy


Blog by Dal Stanton

This Kaywoodie “500” is the final of three pipes Joe sent.  It belonged to Paw, Joe’s wife’s great grandfather.  I’ve enjoyed learning about Paw, or ‘2-Page Sam’, the name given to him by his fellow workers of Brown & Williamson Tobacco, Corp, founded in the 1800s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In the restoration of the first of three, a Medico Apollo Brylon (See: Another Legacy Pipe of a Great-Grandfather: Challenges Working with ‘Brylon’ on a Medico Apollo) an article in the B&W Tobacco, Co.’s company magazine, Pipeline, Sam’s 43-year career was showcased and it described how he became known as ‘2-Page Sam’.  As a salesman for the tobacco company, Sam’s daily goal was to secure enough orders from clients he would visit, ‘Ma & Pa’ establishments mostly, to reach page two of the order book for the day.  This company-wide work ethic, along with how the article captures Sam’s sincere respect for people – his fellow M&W employees and supervisors as well as the normal working-class people he sold to that made his livelihood possible.   Joe sent the picture on the left, below, of Sam among fellow employees of B&W.  I’m not sure which one is Sam but, my guess is the top, fourth man from the left!  The picture on the right is Sam (standing on the right) – capturing a moment in an age long gone.The second of Sam’s pipes that I just restored (See: Bringing to Life a Unique Kaywoodie Natural Burl 33 – Another Legacy Pipe of a Great Grandfather) was a rarer, Kaywoodie ‘Natural Burl’ 33, Apple shape.  It turned out very, very well and even included the collaborative help of Bill Feuerbach, Kaywoodie’s – or more correctly, S. M. Frank Co.’s, president, the holding company of Kaywoodie, Medico and Yello Bole.  The last of the three is on the worktable now, the Kaywoodie “500” IMPORTED BRIAR US Pat. 2808837 50C.  Here are a few pictures to take a closer look. The nomenclature on both sides of the shank is clear.  The left flank is stamped KAYWOODIE [over] “500” [over] IMPORTED BRIAR [over] PAT. 2808837.  The right side of the shank is stamped with the Kaywoodie shape number, ‘50C’.  The stem holds the classic inlaid Kaywoodie shamrock or clover. The first interesting aspect about this Kaywoodie is the shape designation.  When I first saw pictures of the pipe that Joe sent, I made the immediate identification of the shape to be a compact Rhodesian.  When I looked up the Kaywoodie shape number in the extensive list provided by kwguy originally in the Kaywoodie forum listed also in Pipepedia’s listing, the description surprised me:

50C Small bulldog, round shank 1960-1963

My main pipe shape ‘go to’ is Bill Burney’s Pipedia’s Pipe Shapes  where the debate is described:In deference to Kaywoodie, I’ll call Paw’s pipe a small Round Shank Bulldog.  What was also helpful is that the short period that the Round Shank Bulldog was in production is small – 1960 to 63.  Pipephil.eu’s comments on Kaywoodie’s
500 and 600 series were that they were cheaper, low-end pipes that ran through the period: 1959 – 1967.  It’s probable that Paw’s Kaywoodie “500” Round Shank Bulldog which isolates it as a “500” that was marketed between 60 to 63, cost him $5.95.  The 1962 Kaywoodie catalog page that Bill Feuerbach provided to include in the restoration write-up of Paw’s Kaywoodie Natural Burl, also included an ‘All New Kaywoodie “500”’ advertisement.  Bill’s explanation of the page below indicated that the cost of the pipe, $5.95, identified it as the 1962 catalog which would have encompassed the 1960 to 1963 timeframe of the round shank Bulldog production. The Kaywoodie “500” add also touts a “Syncro-Lok Stem” and a “New Miracle Finish” which lasts for years.  The “Syncro-Lok Stem” was a component part of the US Pat. 2808837 which is stamped as part of the “500” nomenclature.  According to Pipedia’s Kaywoodie article, the 1957 Pat. 2808837 applies specifically to the metal on metal fittings developed by Kaywoodie (Picture below courtesy of Doug Valitchka).  It was interesting for me recently to hear Bill Feuerbach, president of S. M. Frank Co., describing the era of Kaywoodie’s metal fitments coming to a close in his January, 2016, interview with Brian Levine on the  Pipes Magazine Radio Show.  Some reasons discussed were the changing landscape of pipe smokers where ease of cleaning and the fact that today’s pipe smoker, representing a younger generation, is not using the pipe as rigorously as those of earlier generations.  The other primal reason that Bill gave were the economics – the company that had manufactured these parts for Kaywoodie no longer was in business and finding a replacement ended up not making economic sense. With a better understanding of the Kaywoodie “500” on my worktable, I now take a closer look at the Bulldog’s issues.  The cake in the chamber is not thick in the upper chamber, but tightens toward the floor of the chamber. The rim is classic ‘2-Page Sam’ as it has sustained Sam’s rushed knocking damage on the aft quadrant of the rim – but it’s not severe.  As with the other 2 pipes, and with Paw’s Kaywoodie “500” Long Shank Billiard that I restored for Joe last year, this “500”’s rim will also carry these marks in remembrance of Paw. The internal edge of the rim has a large divot which I will repair.  The rest of the rim shows some grime and nicks on the external edge which one would expect.  The finish on the “500” series to me is not preferred.  In the Kaywoodie “500” add above it describes the finish as a “New Miracle Finish” which lasts for years.  As with the other “500”, to me the acrylic-like finish is not as attractive as a natural briar shine.  The ‘candy apple’ shine I will remove in order to reveal better the grain beneath.  The stem is thick with deep residual oxidation and the bit is caked with calcium deposits.  There is tooth chatter, but the button seems to be in good shape.One last issue is that the Kaywoodie screw in stem is slightly under clocked.  This will need a small adjustment and may even correct itself through the cleaning.  With the help of my mouse and box of matches, I’m able to show the stem’s orientation.To begin the restoration of the last of Paw’s pipes, I start by working on the stem. I first clean the internal airway with pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%.  In order to reach through the tight quarters of the 3-hole stinger, a shank brush is used to help clean.To get a jump on dealing with the oxidation and calcium deposits, I take the stem to the kitchen sink and use a Soft-Scrub-like product here in Bulgaria called CIT.  Using 000 steel wool, I scrub the stem with the CIT cleaner.  The results look good, but I’ll probably use 240 sanding on the stem after seeing how the soak with Before & After Deoxidizer goes.The Kaywoodie “500” stem then joins other pipes in the queue for a soak in the Deoxidizer. After a few hours in the soak, the Kaywoodie’s stem is taken from the Deoxidizer and drained of the excess fluid to save it for future use!  After I squeegee the liquid with my fingers, I again use a pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 95% to clear the remaining Deoxidizer from the stem’s airway and a cotton pad, wetted with alcohol, is used to wipe away oxidation raised by the soaking process.Then, to condition the vulcanite stem, paraffin oil, a mineral oil, is applied to the stem and set aside to absorb.Turning to the Kaywoodie “500” Bulldog stummel, the chamber has cake that thickens as it moves toward the chamber floor.  To remove this cake buildup, the smallest blade of the Pipnet Reaming Kit goes to work on the small chamber.  After using only this blade head, the Savinelli Fitsall Tool is employed to further scrape the chamber walls removing more carbon cake buildup.  Next, using 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen, the last vestiges of carbon are removed from the chamber wall.  After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean the carbon dust residue, an inspection reveals a healthy chamber. Transitioning now to the external cleaning, the rim has some darkening from lighting and light lava flow. The stummel has normal grime. The second picture below shows the shininess of the acrylic-like finish.  I’m interested to see how the finish holds up through the cleaning.Undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap is used on a cotton pad to begin the external cleaning.  A brass wired brush is also used to clean the rim.  After some cleaning, the stummel is taken to the kitchen sink where with shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap is used to clean the mortise and airway using warm water.  After a good scrubbing, the stummel is rinsed thoroughly and after returning to the worktable, I take a picture to show the results of the cleaning.Next, returning to cleaning the internals, I use cotton buds with pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95% to do the job.  The metal threaded shank insert is small, and this makes it difficult for the cotton buds to exit with their buds!  The buds are pulling off the sticks in the close quarters and that makes retrieval difficult.  I discover in the end, if I ‘unscrew’ the buds when extracting them, the threads help instead of grabbing the buds.  This makes cleaning a bit slower.  A small dental spoon is helpful is scraping the mortise walls and excavating old tars and congealed oils.  Another helpful technique was folding two bristled pipe cleaners and twisting the ends together.  This provides the action of 4 pipe cleaners in the mortise at one time enhancing the cleaning action.  In time, the buds are coming out lighter and I transition to cleaning with a kosher salt and alcohol soak.The hour is late, and I’ll let the soak go through the night.  Kosher salt and isopropyl 95% are used for the soak and this method of cleaning helps to freshen the internals for the new steward.  I first fashion a ‘wick’ by pulling and twisting a cotton ball.  It is then inserted and guided down the mortise and airway with the aid of a stiff wire.The chamber is then filled with kosher salt, which leaves no aftertaste, and placed in an egg carton for stability.  Using a large eyedropper, the chamber is then filled with isopropyl 95% until surfacing over the salt.  After a time, the alcohol is absorbed, and I top the bowl off once more with alcohol and turn out the lights.The next morning, I discover that the salt and wick have soiled little which usually is a good indicator that last night’s cleaning was effective.  After tossing the expended salt in the waste and clearing the salt from the stummel with the use of paper towel and by blowing through the mortise, I use a few more pipe cleaners to complete the internal cleaning.Next, I take another look at the stummel surface and finish.  As with Paw’s Kaywoodie “500” I restored for Joe last year, the candy apple shine of the acrylic-like Kaywoodie finish lingers.  My preference is to remove the finish and to get down to the natural briar.Another reason for removing the old finish is the fact that it’s already been removed on the rim from Paw’s knocking on the back side of the rim.  Raw briar is already exposed here but the wear on the rim edge also shows where the finish is either gone or very thin.The most efficient way I found to remove the Kaywoodie “500” finish from my previous experience is with acetone.  Starting with cotton pads I incessantly rub the surface with the cotton pads wetted with acetone.  From the very beginning, the red dye begins to show on the cotton pads as the acetone breaks down the old finish.The next picture shows the progress on the stummel surface.  The shiny surface indicates old finish hanging on.  Next to it, you can see splotches of dull surface – the goal!The progress is slow with the cotton pads, so I transition to utilizing 000 steel wool wetted with acetone.  This does the trick as the following pictures show.  I’m amazed at the grain that I can now see, and it’s not half bad!  Even though I do not prefer the thick acrylic-like finish, the upside of it at this point is that it has successfully protected the stummel’s surface from damage.  Most of the nicks and scratches that could be seen before were superficial damage to the finish shell and not to the briar.  As I inspect the stummel, I’m seeing a practically pristine surface. Before moving further with the stummel’s finishing, the divot on the rim needs attention.  It’s located on the internal edge just in front of Paw’s skinned rim backside.  It’s small but filling it will provide a better rim presentation.I fill the divot by mixing a very small amount of thick CA glue with briar putty.  After placing both the briar dust and glue on the mixing palette, I use a toothpick to draw the briar dust into the glue until it reaches the thickness of molasses at which time I apply it to the divot. I use an accelerator to quicken the curing time of the patch.  I next use both flat and half-round needle files to remove the excess briar putty patch.After doing the primary removal with the needle files, 240 grade sanding paper finishes the patch blending at this point.With the 240 paper in hand, I do a quick internal rim edge sanding.  There is a dark ring remaining on most of the internal rim that is cleaned up.Taking a close look at the rims condition, there are nicks throughout the external rim’s edge.  There are also pits here and there which need cleaning.I decide to do a very gentle cosmetic topping of the stummel to clean the rim and give it a fresh definition.  Using the chopping board for my topping board, I first place 240 grade paper on it.  With the stummel inverted, I give the bowl a few rotations and check. Then, after a few more rotations, I’m satisfied.  I’m not concerned with Paw’s aft knocking damage – that remains.  I’m concerned that the rest of the rim enjoys fresh rim lines.  This is especially with a Rhodesian and Bulldog – the twin dome lines that encircle the bowl give these pipes their unique shapes. Then, switching to 600 grade paper on the topping board, the stummel goes a few more rotations to smooth things out further.Next, I use sanding sponges to further erase minuscule nicks and scratches and to start the process of coaxing out the grain that has been waiting beneath the heavy finish.  Starting the sanding with a coarse sponge is followed with a medium then light grade sponge. I avoid the nomenclature except with the final sponge. HOLD THE PRESS! – At this point I had moved into the process of applying the full regimen of micromesh pads to the “500” and Steve had published a really good write up on rebornpipes that caught my attention which I was reading as I sanded (See: Operation Rescue – “My Dog Ate my Ser Jacopo L1 Billiard!”).  He described the process of applying rustication, a skill that I’ve not had too much experience with, and I was very interested in the processes he described.  One of these processes that dovetailed with my current musings about the Kaywoodie “500” on my table was the staining process.  Steve described in his write-up using a black undercoat stain followed by a mahogany on the smooth briar parts of his project (See picture).  He also described the reasoning and the other micro steps leading into and out of this process. The motif of the Kaywoodie “500” series is obviously red, but the grain underneath is dark to stand out in contrast to the light wood.  Last year when I restored Paw’s other Kaywoodie “500” I had used a dark brown undercoat followed by an Oxblood overcoat.  This achieved results that emulated very well the “500” red theme.  The question in my mind after reading Steve’s write-up was the use of black versus dark brown.  I sent Steve an email with that question that resulted in several emails back and forth where Steve responded to more questions raised about how his approach to undercoat staining was different than what I had done and probably, much more effective in creating the affects desired.  Without repeating the full email chain, the process difference that I’m trying out with the Kaywoodie “500” from Steve’s input is to move the undercoating process before the micromesh process and to focus more on the undercoat process of removal of the excess dye.  So, now you know why the presses are on hold!

Therefore, I stop the micromesh process mid-stream and plan to insert Steve’s approach to provide an undercoat and see how it goes!  Regarding the question of the use of black or dark brown for the undercoat, Steve saw no difference in the two.  I understand why now – the point of an undercoat is to darken the grain threads for the most part and in his approach, the undercoat is, in large measure, removed but for these effects.  I decide to apply Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye as the undercoat.  I assemble on my desktop the needed components.  With spring in full swing here in Sofia, I’m working on my 10th floor Man Cave balcony and enjoying the views while I work.  To begin, after wiping the bowl with alcohol to clean it, I warm the stummel with a hot air gun (inside again for a few minutes).  This warms the briar with the result of opening the grain to be more receptive to the dye.  Then, back on the Man Cave, I use a folded pipe cleaner to paint the aniline dye onto sections of the briar surface.  While still wet, the lit candle ‘flames’ the dye.  The flame combusts the alcohol in the dye leaving behind pigmentation in the grain.  I cycle around the bowl painting and flaming twice to make sure the coverage is thorough.  I then put the stummel aside for the initial undercoat to dry.  The following pictures show the dense appearance of the flamed surface.Turning now to the stem, there is very little chatter on the bit. The lower side pictured in the second picture only has a small button compression that I will address.Deep oxidation is still hanging on especially on the shank side of the stem.  The lighter exposure of the picture helps to show what I can see with the naked eye.To address the lower bit button compression, I use the heating method of expanding the vulcanite, a rubber compound.  With the flame of a Bic lighter, the bit is painted and as the vulcanite heats, the dent hopefully reclaims lost territory.  The result is good.  Only sanding will be necessary.The flat needle file is used to freshen the button and 240 grade paper sands the bit, and the minor chatter is erased.I expand the 240 sanding to the entire stem to address the latent oxidation.  I do not relish the thought of the oxidation emerging during the later polishing stages.  I use a plastic disk I fabricated for this purpose that I pinch up against the stem facing to guard against shouldering the edge of the stem.  The disk works well to maintain a crisp facing.Next, the entire stem is wet sanded with 600 grade paper followed by an application of 000 grade steel wool.  The 3-hole stinger also receives attention from the steel wool.The stem is now ready for the full regimen of micromesh pads beginning with wet sanding using pads 1500 to 2400 and followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian oil is applied to condition the stem and to guard against future oxidation setting in.  The Kaywoodie “500” stem looks great. Turning again to the stummel, per Steve’s description I use 430 grade paper to sand off the dried excess undercoat.I combine the sanding with wiping the stummel with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol.  This helps to remove the excess and to allow the grain to come through more.At this point I transition to applying the full regimen of micromesh pads from 1500 to 12000 in 3 pad increments – 1500 to 2400, 3200 to 4000, and 6000 to 12000.  The point of the undercoat is darkening and giving greater definition to the grain.  The progression of the micromesh process shows this to be the case. Next is the overcoat staining with the new red aniline dye I acquired.  I’m hoping to get close to the Kaywoodie “500” red finish hue.  I used Fiebing’s Oxblood as the overcoat last time.  I approach this overcoat stain as if it were the first coat.I begin by heating the stummel with the hot air gun to open the briar’s receptivity to the dye.Next, using a folded pipe cleaner, I paint the red dye on the stummel.  I discover at the first attempt to flame the dye with the lit candle, that there wasn’t enough alcohol content in it to combust.  The application of the dye transitioned into a dye wash – hmm.  I paint the dye on to get a thorough coverage.  I repeat the process once more to make sure all was covered well with the dye. Afterwards, I set the dye aside to dry.  I’m a bit concerned at this point that the red dye may not have enough resonance or depth in it.  It seems to light or pale at this point.I decide to unwrap the finish using Blue Diamond compound and a cotton cloth buffing wheel on the Dremel.  The Dremel is set at about 40% full power.After removing the dye excess my concerns were confirmed.  The new red dye mixture that I used was not ‘grabbed’ by the grain to create much of a red tent over the dark brown undercoating.  I take a quick picture on the black cloth I normally use for the finish shots at the end of the restoration to see what the camera might see.  The finish looks great – the grain looks great, but the color of the Kaywoodie “500” is falling short of expectations. Last time I worked on Paw’s other Kaywoodie “500”, I used an Oxblood over dark brown and it turned out well.  I know my processes have changed up somewhat, but I have a foundation of dark brown undercoating that has been brought down to a darkened grain presentation.  On top of that, the red dye added something… and now, Fiebing’s aniline Oxblood Leather Dye on top of that.  The only thing I do to prepare the surface for the Oxblood is to wipe it well with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol.  Interestingly, almost no dye residue came off after the red wash.  Now using Fiebing’s Oxblood, I apply the dye, flame it, and set the stummel aside to rest for several hours – overnight.  Even at this ‘raw’ state, I can see a marked difference in the dye’s resonance.The next morning, the fire-dyed stummel is ‘unwrapped’ using my normal process, with a felt buffing wheel and Tripoli compound with the Dremel set at the slowest speed.  I take a picture midstream to show the contrast between the flamed shell and the unwrapped briar surface.  The difference is marked.  As the surface is unwrapped, I purge the felt wheel many times during the process by running the felt wheel against the edge of the lapboard I’m working on.  This keeps the felt wheel cleaners and more supple.  The picture below shows the caking on the wheel that happens as the wheel does the plowing. I follow by wiping the stummel with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol.  This lightens the finish some but helps to remove excess dye build up and help to blend the finish.Next, after changing to a cotton cloth buffing wheel set at about 40% full power and after reuniting stem and stummel, Blue Diamond compound is applied to the entire pipe. Tripoli is a coarser abrasive and Blue Diamond is finer, and less abrasive as the fine sanding is completed. After completion, I use a felt cloth rag to buff/clean the pipe of compound dust in preparation for the application of wax.In the homestretch – after changing the cotton cloth buffing wheel and leaving the speed of the Dremel at 40%, carnauba wax is applied to the entire pipe – stem and stummel.  Following this, the pipe is given a rigorous hand buffing with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine.After some twists and turns trying out new processes and a new dye, I’m pleased with the results.  I believe the undercoating advice that Steve provided certainly deepened the signature of the darker grains.  Paw’s Kaywoodie “500” 50C Round Shank Bulldog is looking good with a classy, sharp presentation, and I believe the Oxblood works well to bring out the deeper red tones of the Kaywoodie “500” series.  Paw’s signature remains on the back side of the rim with the shadow of Paw’s penchant for knocking and a reminder of the man he was as ‘2-Page Sam’.  It was a privilege bringing life back to this Kaywoodie “500” for Joe and Hannah and preserving a great grandfather’s legacy to his family. Moreover, Joe’s commissioning of this restoration benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited. Thanks Joe!, and thanks to all, for joining me!

Bringing to Life a Unique Kaywoodie Natural Burl 33 – Another Legacy Pipe of a Great Grandfather


Blog by Dal Stanton

This is the second of 3 of Paw’s pipes that Joe sent to me from Athens, Greece, where he and his wife, Hannah, live and work.  Paw is Hannah’s great grandfather who left behind several pipes that Joe has asked me to restore for the family.  Paw, also known as, ‘2-Page Sam’ by those who knew him as a salesman of over 40 years of the tobacco giant, Brown & Williamson Tobacco, Corp, has a fascinating story that was described in an article in B&W’s company magazine that I included in the write up of Paw’s Medico Apollo Brylon, which I just completed that turned out well (See: Another Legacy Pipe of a Great-Grandfather: Challenges Working with ‘Brylon’ on a Medico Apollo).  Next, two Kaywoodies remain to be restored – a Kaywoodie “500” and the one on my worktable now, a Kaywoodie Natural Burl 33.  Here are pictures to take a closer look. The nomenclature is on the underside of the shank’s smooth briar panel with ‘KAYWOODIE’ (as most of it is not legible as the upper half of ‘Kaywoodie’ bleeds into the craggy rusticated landscape) [over] ‘Natural Burl’ in fancy cursive script. To the left of the nomenclature is stamped the Kaywoodie shape number of 33.  In Pipedia’s listings of Kaywoodie shape numbers, 33 is listed as: “Large apple, rounded top” that was used as a shape designator from 1937 to 1972.The dating indicators of this Kaywoodie are good.  The Natural Burl has a 4-holed stinger which were phased out at the end of the 1950s, though they still show up some in the 60s according to Pipephil.eu’s discussion about Kaywoodie’s stinger evolution.  The inlaid white shamrock also points to an earlier period.I found nothing specific in Pipedia or Pipephil.eu about Kaywoodie’s ‘Natural Burl’ line.  Expanding my search, I did find very helpful anecdotal information in a February, 2013, thread by ‘kwguy’ on a Kaywoodie discussion group on Tapatalk.com:

Natural Burls are in the catalogs from 1957 to 1962. They were $4.00 when they first came out and $5.00 by the time they were discontinued.  They were basically a stained version of the Coral White Briar, which also debuted in 1957.  The overall rough texture was described in the catalogs as having a rough texture like the outside of the burl.  The rough texture in theory would create more surface area for a cooler feeling bowl.  Carving of this type was done on bowls of less desirable grain and with excessive surface imperfections.  On the lower side of the quality scale, Natural Burls would have had the white cloverleaf.  There may have been the occasional higher grade pipe that was downgraded during production and hence would have the round logo, but I think you’ll mostly see them with the white logos.

Based upon the information of this thread, the Natural Burl Apple before me dates from 1957 to 1962, when they were featured in Kaywoodie catalogs. I looked for a catalog during this period online, but unfortunately, I was unable to find one.  The rusticated or carved surface theoretically provides a cooler feeling bowl.  This pipe fits Sam’s low budget approach to his pipes.  When the Natural Burl Apple first hit the market, it was in a working man’s modest budget range, $4!  I’m hopeful that after I’ve completed working on Paw’s vintage Kaywoodie it will look like a million bucks!

The above thread from ‘kwguy’ also mentions that the ‘Natural Burl’ line was featured in Kaywoodie catalogs from 1957 to 1962.  There are Kaywoodie catalogs and adds referenced on Pipedia and the Chris Keene Directory of Pictures, but I could find nothing in these ‘go-to’ places for catalogs or listing between 57 and 62.  Emails to Steve and rebornpipes contributor, Al Jones, also came up empty.  However, Al encouraged me to reach out to Bill Feuerbach, the current president of S.M. Frank with Kaywoodie production in New York.  Al said that Bill had always been helpful and had seemed to enjoy providing info.  Nothing like going to the top of the pipe food chain!  I sent a note to Bill through the S.M. Frank website as well as to the ‘kwguy’ in the Natural Burl thread with the hope of getting a response and perhaps a historical Natural Burl add!

Al’s suggestion to me paid off!  In a few days I received a response from Bill Feuerbach, president of S.M. Frank since taking over the role from his father in 1990 as the fourth generation of Feuerbachs overseeing the company.  Bill’s note to me:

Dal 

I’d love to be able to help you out with that. I’ve looked through what I have at the shop and most of those catalogs are later 60’s to later 70’s.  I’m sure I’ll have those older catalogs from that range at home.  I’ll try and check tonight.

Best regards

Bill

After arriving home that night, Bill sent an additional note that he hadn’t found anything at his home and would redouble his efforts the following day at the shop to find the sought after ’57 to 62’ catalog pages.  Then, this note came in and the treasure hunt ended with success!

Dal

Success!!  I found the catalogs at home.  They were in a storage tub in the downstairs closet. Funny I don’t remember putting them there. It’s probably been 4 years since I referenced them. It is hell getting old, CRS is kicking in.

Anyway, I’ve attached three images from the 1958, 1960 and 1962 catalogs.  I was only using my phone to take pictures and it was difficult not to get any flash or glare.  Are they ok?  You can tell the year by the retail prices for the Natural Burl.

1958- $4.00

1960- $5.00

1962- $5.95

Let me know when you’ve posted this and the link. I’d like to take a look.  If you have any other questions let me know. If in the future you need other images from the catalogs, let me know.

Best regards

Bill

The images Bill sent were great depicting the Kaywoodie presentation of the Natural Burl line.  Both the 1960 and 1962 pages, second and third below, showcase the Large Apple on my worktable.  The pictures and descriptions are great helping to wrap Paw’s pipe in its historical context! I appreciated the help of Bill Feuerbach, president of the S. M. Frank Co. & Inc. based in New Windsor, New York.  The Frank website not only showcases the Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole and Medico brand lines, but has other interesting information as well.  In my email response to Bill, I offered to digitize the ‘treasure tubs’ of Kaywoodie catalogs and adds if I only lived a bit closer to his neighborhood!  Oh my….

As I was waiting for word from Bill before he found the catalogs, I reread the Pipedia article on the S.M Frank Co. and discovered at the bottom of the article a reference to Brian Levine’s interview of Bill on the Pipes Magazine Radio Show.  I tuned in to learn more about Bill and the Kaywoodie name.  I was interested to hear in the interview that not only is Bill the CEO of the company, but he is an accomplished freehand pipe maker himself, likes single malts and owns and enjoys pipes in his rotation other than Kaywoodies!  It was a great interview and I encourage readers to tune in too!

The name for this Kaywoodie series, ‘Natural Burl’, harkens back to a pipe’s origins – or at least its bowl.  The Natural Burl adds above from Bill describe the ‘rugged, weather-carved briar’ that breathes more because of the increased surface of the bowl.  Briar comes from a bush-like plant that grows in arid lands.  The Kaywoodie motif focuses on the rough state of the burl in its natural form sporting rusticated or carved bowls to emulate a natural harvested burl.  The burl is the base of the briar bush that is cut into blocks, each becoming the raw material for fashioning each unique bowl. I found this example online of the burl texture which looks very much like the pipe on my worktable! This interesting information was added about the process at the WorthPoint site:

The mother of briar is Erica Arborea, an evergreen bush / tree, that grows in all forests of the Mediterranean area, preferring acid soils (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria- these are the countries where it is found). The bush has a typical height of 3 – 12 feet. But not the visible parts are the wanted ones, the ball-like roots are the pipe makers desire. These are the raw material for the briar wood, which is cut in blocks (plateaux and ebauchons) by real specialists. After a long process of boiling them in clear water and drying periods, these briar blocks will be ready for the experienced hands of a pipe maker.

With a deepened understanding and appreciation for Paw’s Kaywoodie on my worktable, I look more closely at the issues it brings from its years of service. As one would expect, the craggy Burl bowl is full of grime.  The chamber has thickening cake as you go down toward the floor.  This needs to be cleaned out as well to inspect the chamber wall and to give the briar a fresh start. The rim has evidences of Sam’s penchant for knocking the stummel on the back side of the rim.  It is worn and tapers away from the chamber. The rim was fashioned to be somewhat rough complementing the craggy bowl motif, but there is a large chip or divot out of the rim that will need to be filled and then blended. The bowl itself, along with the rim, is faded and skinned up.  I suspect that the original finish bent toward a light brown, but it is now thin and will need refreshing with new dye to blend the rim and bowl.  The 1962 add above describes a ‘2-tone brown finish’ characterizing the ‘Natural Burl’ line.  This is helpful information that hints at the depth of the final finish.The stem is in rough shape.  The oxidation is thick and deep.  The bit has calcium caked on it and some lower tooth compressions – not as bad as I’ve seen on Paw’s previous pipes! The stem orientation is also over-clocked which is a normal phenomenon with Kaywoodie screw in stems that happens over years of use with repeated loosening and tightening.  This will need to be adjusted as well. I begin the restoration of Paw’s Kaywoodie Natural Burl Large Apple by addressing the severe oxidation in the stem.  Before placing the stem in a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer, I get a head-start on removing the oxidation by pre-sanding the stem.  I use both 240 grade sanding paper and 000 grade steel wool to sand the stem to remove as much oxidation and caked calcium as possible.  The nickel 4-hole stinger also is cleaned up with the steel wool.After the sanding, the stem joins other pipes in the queue in a soak of Before & After Deoxidizer. After a few hours, the Kaywoodie’s stem is extracted from the Deoxidizer and after draining, I squeegee the liquid off the stem with my fingers.  I then run a pipe cleaner wetted with isopropyl 95% through the airway to clear the Deoxidizer.  Using a cotton pad and alcohol, the stem is wiped to remove the raised oxidation resulting from the soak.After cleaning the stem, paraffin oil is applied to help condition the vulcanite.  I put the stem aside to absorb the oil.  The stem looks great compared to where it started. It’s cleaning up nicely.Next, I turn the attention to the stummel.  I begin by reaming the Kaywoodie’s chamber to remove the cake.  Using the Pipnet Reaming Kit, I use two of the four blade heads available in the Kit.  I don’t know how long this cake has been waiting to be removed, but it is as hard as a brick.  I’m careful not to force the blades beyond their torque endurance level – simply allowing the scraping action to wear away the brick cake.  When both blades do what they can, the Savinelli Fitsall Tool continues the scraping of the chamber walls. Finally, to remove the last remaining carbon remnants, a 240 grade sanding paper is wrapped around a Sharpie Pen to sand the chamber getting down to fresh briar. After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol, and inspection reveals a perfectly healthy chamber.  The picture on the 10th floor Man Cave balcony where I’m working, does not allow a very good picture of the chamber, but it looks good.  Moving on.Next, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, I go to work on the wonderfully craggy but grime-filled surface of the Natural Burl bowl.  I use a cotton pad a bit, but transfer to using a bristled toothbrush which gets into the nooks and crannies of the landscape much more effectively.Next, after transferring the bowl to the kitchen sink, I continue to clean the surface and use shank brushes and liquid anti-oil dish soap and warm water to work on the internals.  After rinsing thoroughly, back on the worktable I take some pictures of the results.  The cleaning has totally removed what was left of the old finish – not unexpected.  The cleaning reveals some white fills on the right side of the stummel which are fully embraced in the craggy landscape cover and seem to be solid after testing them with a sharp dental probe.Next, I focus again on the internal cleaning using pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95%.  Cleaning Kaywoodie pipes tends not to be easy.  Working through the threaded metal shank facing makes access to the mortise difficult.  Along with pipe cleaners and buds, the full arsenal added the use of shank brushes, and a dental spoon to scrape the mortise walls.  After quite a bit of time and effort, the buds start to emerge lighter and a cease fire is called. I’ll continue the cleaning later with a kosher salt and alcohol soak to work through the night to further clean and freshen the internals of the Kaywoodie stummel.Turning now to the rim, the next step is to fill the divot, or perhaps, the crater on the rim.  I go along with the ‘rough’ motif of this Kaywoodie Natural Burl.  The rim is rough and the only repair I plan for the stummel is this divot.  The damage of Paw’s knocking will remain – it simply adds to the rough rustic look and will be a remembrance of Paw when it is put into service by the family.I place a small mound of briar dust on the mixing palette that I’ve covered with scotch tape for ease of cleaning.  Next to the briar dust a small amount of BCI Extra Thick CA glue is puddled.Using the toothpick, briar dust is pulled into the glue and mixed as it is added.  As more is added, the resulting briar dust putty thickens.  When it reaches the thickness of molasses, with the toothpick the putty is troweled to fill the rim divot.With the briar putty applied, I place the stummel aside for several hours for the putty to cure.Turning now to the stem, the upper bit is in good shape after the ‘pre-sanding’ that was done before putting the stem into the Deoxidizer.  The lower bit, pictured below, has some compressions and a button bite compression that need addressing.I start by using the heating method with a Bic lighter.  Using the flame of a Bic lighter, I paint the bit using a back and forth motion heating the vulcanite.  As the vulcanite heats, it also expands to regain the disposition of the stem before the compressions were made by Paw.  The picture below is after the heating and the process has helped the bit compressions so that only sanding should be needed to remove the damage.  However, the button is still in need of additional steps.To fill the button lip bite, after wiping the area with alcohol to clean it, I spot drop black CA glue on the compression and put the stem aside for the patch to cure.The patch on the rim is now ready for filing.  I use both the flat and half-rounded needle files to remove the excess putty and to shape the internal curve of the rim. I put a stop on sanding and further cleaning the rim because the hour is late, and through the night I want to use a kosher salt and alcohol soak to advance the cleaning of the internals of the stummel.  I first fashion a cotton ball into a ‘wick’ by pulling and twisting it.  It is then inserted down the mortise into the airway with the help of a stiff wire. The wick helps to draw out the latent residue of tars and oils.The bowl is then filled with kosher salt, which leaves no aftertaste as with regular iodized salt.  After placing it in the egg carton to keep it stable, I then fill the chamber with isopropyl 95% until it surfaces over the salt. After a few minutes, as the alcohol is drawn into the stummel, the alcohol is topped off and it is set aside to work through the night. The next morning, the salt and wick are slightly soiled which hopefully means that the internals are already clean from earlier. After dumping the expended salt and wiping the bowl with a paper towel, I blow through the mortise to make sure all the salt crystals have been dislodged. To make sure that the internals are clean, and nothing has been left behind after the soak, I use only one pipe cleaner and cotton bud as confirmation of the cleaning. Moving on.I return now to the rim.  I plan to apply a fresh color to the stummel and the only preparation for applying the new stain to the stummel is on the rim.  I plan to leave it in the rough motif of the Natural Burl line, but I want the rim cleaned.  I lightly sand the internal rim edge as well as lightly around the rough external rim edge as it transitions into the Burl landscape.  I’m looking for ‘rough’ and ‘rustic’ but ‘fresh’ to give this unique Kaywoodie a fresh start.I follow the 240 paper with 600 grade paper with the same approach – keep the rustic but refresh the rim.Before moving to the next step, I notice that the nickel shank facing after the cleaning had not been spruced up.  A quick revolution of 000 steel wool takes care of this.  This is the only bling this Kaywoodie has and I’m making the most of it!As I think about applying a fresh color to Paw’s Kaywoodie, I have only one picture of another Natural Burl online and it is no help in hinting at the original 2-toned brown coloring Kaywoodie used.  The best clue I have is on Paw’s pipe. The smooth briar panel on the underside of the shank holding the nomenclature holds a clue.  To guard the stamping on the panel I’ve not sanded it – only cleaned with the rest of the stummel.  I’m guessing that the coloring of the panel leans toward a light brown.  I’m thinking that Kaywoodie’s approach was straightforward with this less expensive line of pipes.  Yet, the craggy surface now is so dry and bare, showing pristine briar, that applying even a light brown dye will probably darken considerably as the thirsty briar drinks it in.Looking at the craggy landscape in the picture above brings the next question in my mind about applying a new finish.  My normal way of staining with aniline dye is to flame it to combust the alcohol which encourages a deeper embrace of the dye by the briar grain.  My normal follow-up to this is then to apply compounds to remove the crusting the combustion creates and to further shine the surface with the fine abrasives of Tripoli and Blue Diamond compounds.  The roughness of this stummel causes me to question my normal approach.  My concern is that if compounds are used on this craggy rough surface, I will forever be trying to clean out the compound residue lodged in the rough surface!  I think I can utilize buffing wheels on the Dremel without too much problem, but without compounds.  I decide in the end to apply a dye wash instead of flaming the dye because of this concern.

After wiping the stummel down with a cloth and alcohol to clean it the best I could, the stummel is heated with the hot air gun to open the briar.Then, with the use of a folded pipe cleaner, the surface is painted with Fiebing’s Light Brown Leather Dye.  I make sure the dye is getting into all the cracks, crevasses, nooks and crannies.  The rim also receives the dye.After the dye is applied, the stummel is set aside to rest for several hours before continuing with the next steps of finishing.  This ‘rest’ helps the new dye to stabilize in the briar.Turning back to the stem, the patch applied to the lower button lip is cured and I use a flat needle file to remove the excess patch material and to shape and refresh the button lip.  I also file the bit area to remove any residual tooth compression.Flipping over to the upper bit, I file residual compressions as well as refresh the button lip.  Refreshing the button lip is helpful to allow a better ‘hang’ grip of the pipe without biting and clenching, and extreme chewing!Continuing now with 240 grade sanding paper on the upper side, the file scratches are removed, and the button is smoothed further.  The same is done on the lower bit and to further blend the button patch.   I expand the 240 sanding to the entire stem to make sure that residual oxidation has been addressed. Following the 240 sanding, I wet sand the entire stem with 600 grade paper and follow with applying 000 steel wool. The nickel stinger is also a benefactor of the steel wool polishing again.Moving on, the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads are applied by first wet sanding with pads 1500 to 2400 and dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to condition the vulcanite and to guard against oxidation. I love the glossy pop of newly micromeshed vulcanite! I had observed earlier that the Kaywoodie screw in stem was over clocked a few degrees.  This happens over time with tightening and loosening.To correct this problem and to bring the stem back to an accurate orientation, a Bic lighter is used to heat the nickel 4-hole stinger.  Since the stinger is gripped by the vulcanite of the stem, the goal is to warm the stinger so that the vulcanite gripping the stinger heats and loosens its grip allowing the stinger to rotate. After heating the stinger, I quickly re-screw the stem into the threaded shank facing and when it tightens to the orientation pictured above, I continue to apply clockwise pressure and the heated vulcanite releases its grip and it allows me to turn the stem one full revolution to line it up correctly.  I had to heat the stinger twice as the first try did not loosen the grip.  After lining the stem orientation correctly, I leave the stem in place and as the vulcanite cools, the grip on the stinger is re-engaged holding the stem again in the proper orientation.Time to address the dyed stummel.  It has been resting for several hours to help stabilize the dye in the briar.I use a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to wipe down the dyed stummel.  I do this to remove excesses of dye on the surface and to lighten and blend the new dye.Next, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel onto the Dremel and simply buff the stummel.  I do not use any compounds so that the compound dust does not fowl up the surface getting lodged in the plethora of hiding places on the Burl surface causing me to have to clean it!  The Dremel is a great tool for getting into the nooks and crannies of the Natural Burl landscape. I’m able to rotate and move up and down ridges and to reach into crevasses.  The newly dyed surface responds well to the buffing wheel.  The coloring of the wheel shows that new dye is leeching out of the surface.  The more I’m able to remove now, less likely to come off on hands later!Next, I use the 1500 grade micromesh pad and lightly sand over the Burl surface.  The aim is to ‘scalp’ the peaks of the mountain tops on the craggy surface to lighten them.  The lightening of the peaks creates more contrast and depth definition to the landscape.  I follow the scalp sanding by running the Dremel’s buffing wheel over the surface again.  This, I believe, achieves the ‘2-toned’ look of Kaywoodie’s design for the ‘Natural Burl’ line.In the homestretch – next, I mount another buffing wheel onto the Dremel setting the speed at about 40% full power.  After reuniting the Kaywoodie’s stem and stummel, Blue Diamond compound is applied to the rim and smooth briar surface on the underside and end of the shank.  The compound is also applied to the stem.  After applying the Blue Diamond compound, the pipe is buffed with a felt cloth to remove the compound dust from the areas on the stummel and from the stem.  Next, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted and set at the same speed and carnauba wax is applied to the entire pipe.  I’m careful to apply with a very light touch of wax to the Natural Burl surface not to allow wax to build up in the crannies.  Wax is applied to both stummel and stem and then the pipe receives a rigorous hand buffing with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine.

Wow!  I’m very pleased with how this Kaywoodie Natural Burl Apple shaped up.  The brown craggy finish is flecked with shade differences that give it a depth and warmth – a rustic knobby feel.  I always enjoy the contrast nuances that the coalescing of rough and smooth briar creates. The smooth briar underside and shank ring alongside of the Burl texture is nice.  I’m amazed that this pipe occupied the lower shelf on Kaywoodie’s offerings back in the day when Sam chose it and added it to his rotation of pipes.  The TLC it has received has enhanced the briar presentation with this unique Natural Burl finish. I appreciate the collaborative help from Bill Feurbach who even as the president of the S.M. Frank Co., was not hindered from helping with the recommissioning of this one vintage Kaywoodie – a pipe man at heart.  Thanks, Bill!  I like the Natural Burl a lot and I trust that Joe likes it too.  Paw’s Kaywoodie Natural Burl 33 – Large Apple, that was put into production in the mid-50s/early 60s, is a venerable 60-year-old(!), and is starting a new lifetime in the loving care and stewardship of Paw’s family.  Adding frosting to the Kaywoodie cake, Joe’s commissioning of this restoration of Paw’s Natural Burl also benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

Cleaning up an English Made Kaywoodie Air-way 707 Diplomat


Blog by Steve Laug

On our recent trip to Alberta we picked up quite a few pipes that were really nice. Some of them were brands we were familiar with and some were pipes that were unknown and unidentifiable. But if you are a pipe hunter you know the feeling when you are holding a particular pipe, no matter what the brand and it just speaks to you. That is what happened with this next pipe. It was in a display case at an antique mall in Edmonton. The shape of the pipe, the wind cap that was an integral part of the rim top and the interesting staining that highlighted some unique grain called my name. The stamping on the top of the shank read Kaywoodie over Air-way and on the underside it was stamped London, England and the shape number 707. It was a shape I had not seen before and the wind cap mechanism was a new one for me as well. The fact that it was an English made Kaywoodie also insure that it was going home with me. I have drawn a red box around the pipe at the top of the column on the right.The grain under the dirty finish was unique and the finish was interesting. The diplomat shape is one that I enjoy smoking and it has a good feel in the hand. The rim top was truly unique. The wind cap was fascinated on the rim top and the screen can be swiveled to the left to open the bowl. The bowl itself had a think cake in the bowl and the inside of the bowl and rim edges looked very good. The finish was dirty but still in good condition under the grime. The vulcanite stem was so heavily oxidized that it was butterscotch colour. It had some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There were some small cracks and the slot was slightly collapsed on the left side. The Kaywoodie club logo on the top of the saddle stem was a white circle with a black club inside. I took close up photos of the wind screen mechanism on the rim top with it open and closed to show how it worked. You can see the condition of the bowl in the second photo below.I took photos of the stem showing the deep oxidation and tooth chatter on both sides near the button. You can also see the small cracks on the top side of the button. It is thin so it easily was chipped and cracked when clenched.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank. The first photo shows the Kaywoodie Air-Way stamp and the white circle/black club insert on the stem top. The second photo shows the London, England and shape number 707 on the underside of the shank.I took a closer look at the inside of the bowl and took a photo. It was dirty but very lightly caked.I took a photo of the pipe with the push stem removed from the shank. The stinger was different from the usual Kaywoodie stinger. It had a ball on the end of the stinger but no holes in it. There was a ring around the stinger just above the tenon insert and a slotted hole. Before doing cleanup work on the pipe I decided to do some research on the pipe. I looked first on the Pipephil website and found some information on the white circle/black club stamp on the top of the stem. I did a screen capture of the pertinent information on the logo itself (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-kaywoodie.html). From there I learned that the logo was used first in 1937 and up until the late 1940s for the higher grade pipes. Also until the late 40s early 50s the logo was on top of the stem.

There was no other information on the Air-way line on the site and nothing under the section on the London/British made Kaywoodie pipes. That meant I would need to turn elsewhere to find that information. This would be an interesting hunt and restoration.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kaywoodie) and read the section on the rough outline on the history of the brand that links the brand with the English section of the company. I quote:

Again, demand for KBB pipes and especially Kaywoodie prompted another move for both the manufacturing facilities and the corporate offices. In 1930 the corporate office moved into the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue in New York. By 1935, the manufacturing operations moved from Union City to 6400 Broadway in West New York, New Jersey which, at the time, was touted as the largest pipe making facility in the world. At the height of production, there were 500 employees producing up to 10,000 pipes per day.

The corporate offices were relocated in 1936 to the International Building, Rockefeller Center, 630 Fifth Avenue, New York. The invitation to visit the new office reads, “Kaywoodie is now on display at the world’s most famous address – Rockefeller Center. Here Kaywoodie takes its place among the leaders of industry and commerce.” The move to Rockefeller Center coincided with The Kaywoodie Company’s emergence as a subsidiary of KBB. All of the pipes manufactured by KBB including the Yello-Bole line were also on display here. By 1938 Kaywoodie had opened an office in London to meet worldwide demand. Kaywoodie of London was jointly owned with another famous pipemaker, Comoy’s of London.

I am also including a screen capture of a picture of a pipe that is the same shape as the one that I am working on. Thanks to Doug Valitchka for the photo.From there I turned to a link on the article to a section called Guide to Kaywoodie Pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes#NOTES_ON_.22OTHER.E2.80.9D_KAYWOODIE_PIPES).  It gave some pertinent information on the Air-way line. I quote two sections from that article below. I have highlighted the Air-way brand name in the second paragraph.

English Kaywoodies. All of the catalogs reviewed in this research contained the following copyright notification: Printed in U.S.A., Kaufmann Bros. and Bondy, Inc., New York and London. Kaywoodie Pipe cases and smoker’s accessories were also marked with “New York and London”. The catalogs, however, do not present any information concerning Kaywoodie’s London operations, or how the English Kaywoodies might have differed from those manufactured and marketed in the U.S. Lowndes notes that he has several English Kaywoodies acquired in

Vaduz and Zurich. English Kaywoodies are now made by Oppenheimer pipes. Lowndes notes that English Kaywoodies with the “screw-in bit” come in Ruby Grain, Custom Grain, Standard, and Relief Grain grades. The traditional push-bit models come in Continental Plain and Relief, London Made, Minaret, Air-way Polished No. 707, and Lightweight grades. Prices in 1985 ranged from 9.50 (pounds) to 26.00 (pounds). Lowndes notes that the Super Star was a special edition English Kaywoodie made of finest briar with a handmade silver band. Lowndes has two: one from Zurich with a large white-outlined logo, and beautifully cased; and one in walnut finish with the black-­in-white logo. A recent catalog shows the Super Star without a band and the ordinary small white logo. A 1985 letter from Oppenheimer states that the black-in-white logo has been discontinued and only the regular white logo is now used.

From that information I now knew that the pipe in hand was made prior to 1985 in London by Oppenheimer. It had a traditional push-bit rather than the threaded screw in bit. After 1985 Oppenheimer discontinued the black in white logo. It was time to work on the pipe now. I scraped the shank with a pen knife to remove the tarry buildup that did not allow the stem to seat properly. I cleaned out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I took some close up photos of the cleaned button and slot to show how it had a crack and had been collapsed slightly on the left side of the top.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Before & After Briar Cleaner. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my finger tips and let it sit for a short time to absorb the grime. I rinsed it down under warm water to remove the grime debris that was collected in the cleaner. At the same time I used a tooth brush to scrub out the inside of the bowl and rinsed it. I dried the bowl off with a soft cotton cloth and lightly polished it. I worked some Before and After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar. I rubbed it into the briar to restore, preserve and polish the briar. I let it sit on the bowl for about 10 minutes and buffed it off with cotton cloth. It was getting late so I set the polished bowl aside for the night and put the stem into a bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak overnight. In the morning I would take it out and start working on the stem.I took it out of the bath in the morning and wiped it down with a microfiber cloth. Much of the oxidation on the surface came off. I used a Scotch Brite pad to scrub off the oxidation. You can see from the photos that some still remained.I put it back in the bath overnight again to see what would happen. When I took it out it looked better but there was still a lot of work to do with it.I decided to address the damaged button on the top edge. The top edge of the button had collapsed partially into the slot. There were small cracks on the surface. I have used clear super glue in the past to address this but I had an idea for an experiment. I heated the blade of a dental spatula and inserted it into the slot. I repeated the process several times until I had the slot opened and lined up. I touched the heated blade to the cracks on the top of the button and stem and to the tooth mark on the underside. The tooth marks disappeared and the cracks were sealed with the heat welding the pieces together. Whereas before the repair I could not insert a pipe cleaner, I now could slide it in and out with ease.I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter. I started polishing it with 400 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches.I polished the stem surface with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish to polish out the scratches left behind by the sandpaper. It also works well to remove stubborn oxidation in the saddle and along the edge of the button. It worked really well to remove the oxidation and leave the stem looking far better.I polished out the remaining scratches in the stem material with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped down the stem after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. Once I used the last pad – 12000 grit – I polished the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish, both Fine and Extra Fine. I used a new product I am trying for Briarville called No Oxy Oil to give the stem a final wipe down and polish. I put the stem back on the pipe and polished both pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I avoided the wind screen with the buffing wheel. I gave the pipe several coats of Carnauba Wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a soft cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The original stain looks really good and the polishing brought the grain back to life. The contrasting rich brown finish highlight the grain and contrasts well with the black vulcanite stem. The Air-way Diplomat is a beautiful pipe that really has the look of an English made pipe. The tie to Oppenheimer is clear in looking at the shape of the pipe and the finish. The black metal wind screen with the flip screen cover is unique and seems very functional. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 4 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I left the stinger out of the shank because I plan keeping this unique English made Kaywoodie for my own collection. It tics all the boxes for me – shape, finish, grain, etc.  I am looking forward to loading a bowl in it and enjoying a great smoke. I will carry on the legacy! Thanks for reading the blog.

 

New Life for a Pair of Kaywoodie Bamboo Shank Mandarins


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pair of pipes on the work table is another relatively new acquisition. The Mandarin with the acrylic stem comes from a collection Jeff and I purchased from Michigan. It included a pipe cabinet and 21 pipes that is pictured below. The second one came from a friend of Jeff’s who is always on the lookout for pipe he thinks we might be interested in the New York area. This one has the original stem. I have circled the first Mandarin in the photo below – third pipe from the left on the first shelf of the rack.In the last box Jeff sent me he included both of these pipes. Both have the bamboo shank, both have an apple shaped bowl. Both are stamped Kaywoodie Mandarin on the underside of the bowl. Both had threaded stems and a metal space at the end of the shank. The first pipe from the rack above had a thinner diameter bamboo shank while the second was thicker – both were two knuckle bamboo pieces. The first pipe had a black acrylic replacement stem with a saddle while the second one had the original tapered stem with the Kaywoodie Club in a white circle on the left side of the stem.

Both pipes were quite dirty which seems to be the case when working on pipes that were obviously someone’s favourite.  Jeff took photos of both pipes before his cleanup work. The first pipe from the Michigan collection is shown first. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the rim top. The inner and outer edges of the bowl looked very good. The stem had some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button and some tooth damage to the sharp edge and top of the button. The photos below show the first pipe. The next photo shows a close up of the bowl. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the bottom of the bowl to highlight the condition of the pipe. It had some great grain all around the bowl and some nicks. It was a dirty pipe and obviously well smoked. The bamboo shank extension had a nice patina and a crackle like look that had developed as the pipe was smoked.  The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is quite clear and legible.  Jeff also took a photo of the shank and the fit of the replacement stem to the shank end. It is well done and the alignment is very good.The close up photos of the stem show the tooth marks in the surface near the button and the damage to the button itself on both sides. The tooth marks and chatter were repairable and the button could be reshaped.The pipe from the New York purchase is shown second. There was a thin cake in the bowl and very little lava on the rim top. The inner and outer edges of the bowl looked very good. The original Kaywoodie vulcanite stem had some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button and some light wear on the sharp edge of the top and the bottom of the button. The photos below show the second pipe. The next photo shows a close up of the bowl. You can see the cake in the bowl and the light burn marks on the right side of the inner edge of the rim top.  The second photo below shows the stamping on the underside of the bowl – clear and readable Kaywoodie Mandarin.The Kaywoodie Club logo looks great and the fit of the stem to the metal spacer on the shank end is very good.He took close up photos of the stem top and bottom at the button. You can see the tooth chatter on both sides and the slight wear to the sharp edge of the button. Generally the stem is in very good condition.Jeff reamed both bowls with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out each mortise and the airway in the shanks and the stems with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exteriors of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl of each pipe and bamboo shank. He rinsed them under running water. He dried them off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove most of the lava build up on the rim top of the first pipe and the little bit oon the second one. I took photos of the pipes to show its condition before I started my work on them. The first one is the Mandarin with the acrylic stem. Here are the photos of the second pipe. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem on each of the pipes. You can see the condition of the rim top and bowl in the first photo of each pipe. Jeff was able to remove almost all of the tar and oils but there was darkening and damage on the inner surface of the rim on the first pipe and the surface and inner edge of the second pipe. The acrylic stem on the first pipe had tooth chatter and some tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem near and on the button surface. The vulcanite stem on the second pipe had some chatter but otherwise was in very good condition. The first set of photos show the first acrylic stem Mandarin. The second set shows the original vulcanite stem Mandarin.

The first pipe.The second pipe.I wanted to confirm a possible date for both of these pipes. I turned to Pipephil to see what he had to say about the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-kaywoodie-2.html). I have included a screen capture of the listing on the site. It appears to have been made between 1958-1967.I turned next to Pipedia to check out the Kaywoodie Collector’s Guide to see if I could get some more information on the Mandarin line. I found an interest monograph there called Notes on Kaywoodies Introduced between 1955 and 1968. It included reference to the Mandarin line. I include that in part below (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Collector%27s_Guide_to_Kaywoodie_Pipes). I have highlighted and underlined the Mandarin in the list below. Both of the pipes I am working on are the smooth versions.

NOTES ON KAYWOODIES INTRODUCED BETWEEN 1955 AND 1968

The material presented in this monograph is extracted from 1936, 1947, 1955, 1968-69, and four undated Kaywoodie catalogs. Based on a comparison of prices in the 1955 and 1968-69 catalogs, the four undated catalogs appear to span the period from the late 1950’s to the late 1960’s (i.e., after 1955 but before 1968). This section presents a brief summary of the Kaywoodie Pipes that appeared in these undated catalogs, but did not appear in either the 1955 or 1968-69 catalogs…

Here is a list of pipes from this time period.

…Hi-Bowl. Tall, tapered bowl in six shapes (see Table 5). Available in smooth or “rough” finish ($10).

Mandarin. Smooth or relief grain finish with burnished-bamboo shank ($10).

Setter. No shank, just a ridged hole for a slender, filter-free, push-bit. Available in “flat bottom” (hence, “Setter”) panel, billiard, and poker shapes. Smooth or textured finish ($10).

Tuckaway. The 1955 catalog shows a Drinkless Tuckaway that was simply a smaller version of other Kaywoodie styles. The Tuckaways of the 1955-1968 period had military mountings, filter-free see-thru bits, and were packaged in a leatherette case. Available in Standard, Relief Grain, and Super Grain grades ($6-$8, depending on grade). Miniatures. Two-inch miniature replicas of “their big brother”, complete with the Drinkless fitment and Synchro Stem. The catalogs show these as individually-cased pipes but multiple pipe sets were apparently available. Price: $5.

Miniatures. Two-inch miniature replicas of “their big brother”, complete with the Drinkless fitment and Synchro Stem. The catalogs show these as individually-cased pipes but multiple pipe sets were apparently available. Price: $5.

Colossal Super Grains. Available in three “oversize” shapes (see Section 3.2) in hand-carved or smooth finishes ($5).

Now I knew that both pipes came from this time period. They were made between 1955-1968. Somewhere along the way the first pipe had been repaired and given an acrylic stem (this was the Michigan pipe). The other pipe from the NY connection had the original stem and threaded tenon though the stinger apparatus had been clipped off.

I started by working on the rim top of both pipes. The first pipe had a more classic apple shaped rim that came to a rounded top curved into the bowl. The second one had a flat rim top that I suppose could have come from a restoration sometime in its life but I could not be sure of that.

To smooth out the damage on the rim of the first pipe I sanded out the burn damage and the nicks with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded the inner edge of the rim and the rounded top to remove the damage.On the second pipe I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge of the rim a slight bevel to remove the burn marks and smooth out the rim top and outer edge.I polished the bowls and the rim top on both pipes with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the surface down after each sanding pad with a damp cotton cloth.

The first pipe. The second pipe. With the rim top cleaned, polished and restored on both of the pipes I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I worked it into the bamboo on both pipes as well to enliven it as well. It took some time to really get it into the grooves and valleys of the bamboo but I was able to work it in. I used a shoe brush to make sure it was deep in the grooves. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowls at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top on both pipes look really good and the darkening and lava are gone. The grooves and patina on the bamboo also look really nice with the new finish. I am very happy with the results. (Hopefully by now you can tell which is which. If not the pipe with the threaded metal tenon sticking out is the one with the acrylic stem from the Michigan collection.)I set aside the bowls at this point and turned my attention to the stems. I started with the acrylic replacement stem from the Michigan collection. I sanded out the tooth marks on the button surfaces on both sides with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded it with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper to sand out the scratches. Once I was finished the tooth marks and chatter were gone.As I finished the stem I noticed that the end of the stem had an unfinished slot – merely a round hole that comes standard on replacement stems. It needed to be shaped and a slot cut in the end. I used a series of needle files to cut open the slot and shape it. I still needed to sand the slot but it was starting to look good. I folded a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the edges of the button to further shape it. The photos tell the story. I moved onto the original Kaywoodie vulcanite stem from the New York find. I sanded out the tooth marks on the button surfaces on both sides with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded it with a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper to remove the scratches. Once I was finished the tooth marks and chatter were gone.I polished both stems with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped them down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. I polished them with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish and wiped them down a last time with the damp cloth and some Obsidian Oil and set them aside to dry. This beautiful pair of Kaywoodie Mandarin Smooth Apples really are unique and special pipes. The bamboo shank and the smooth well grained bowls make them quite stunning. I have a pair of these in my own collection and they are great smoking pipes. The patina on the old bamboo is very nice. You have to figure at the earliest these pipes come from the mid to late 50s and early 60s and at the latest they come from 1968. That means that they may be 64 years old at the earliest and then at the latest 51 years old. Either way they are old pipes. They have a lot of life left in them that is for sure and will definitely outlive most of us. I polished the bowls and stems with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowls and stems multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed both pipes with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed them with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipes polished up pretty nicely. The rich grain shining through the medium brown stain came alive with the buffing. The rich contrasting brown colour works well with the polished black vulcanite stem. The finished pipes are beautiful and feel great in the hand. Have a look at them in the photos below. The dimensions of the first pipe with the replacement Lucite stem are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The dimensions of the second pipe with the original Kaywoodie vulcanite stem are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be putting both Mandarin pipes on the rebornpipes online store individually and they can be purchased individually or as a pair. The patina on the bamboo of both pipes is a bonus on these beauties. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this pair of oldtimers.

New Life for a Unique Kaywoodie Original Imported Briar Freehand Stack


Blog by Steve Laug

Recently my brother Jeff sent me a very interesting pipe. It has a plateau bottom on the shank and bowl with fluted sides merging upward with a stack shape billiard bowl. The shank looks quite normal but it has plateau on the bottom. It is quite unique looking and combines some of the features of a freehand and some of the features of a stack. The left side of the shank was stamped Kaywoodie over Original over Imported Briar. There is no other stamping on the shank or the bowl. When Jeff received the pipe it was in pretty decent condition – dirty but really not too bad. The finish was dusty and dirty with grime worked into the lovely grain of the briar and particularly into the underside plateau. The bowl had a moderate cake in it but it did not go all the way to the bottom of the bowl – in fact the pipe was not even broken in. The rim top was free of lava but there was some darkening on the backside of the rim top. The inner and outer edges of the bowl were in great condition. The stem had a white circle with the Kaywoodie Club on the left side of the taper stem. It had a Kaywoodie 3 hole stinger and a threaded metal shank that screwed into a metal mortise and spacer ring. The stem had some light tooth marks on both sides at the button. It was oxidized but in decent condition. Jeff took these pictures of the pipe to show its condition before he started his cleanup work. On the left side of the shank the stamping was very clear and readable. You can see that the pipe has some interesting grain even on the shank.He took photos of the stem to show the oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on the stem. Surprisingly the marks and chatter were on the surface.Jeff had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the bowl, rim and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove the majority of darkening on the rim top without harming the finish underneath it. Without the grime the finish looked good. There some large and ugly pink fills in the finish. There was one on the rim top on the right side, there was a pair of them on the top of the shank at the joint of the shank and bowl and the final one was in the fluted area to the right of the shank near the bottom of the bowl. Other than the oxidation and chatter the stem was actually in pretty good condition and would only need to be polished. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the rim top that shows the clean bowl and the light burn damage around the inner edge toward the back of the bowl. (You can also see the small fill on the top of the rim at the top of the photo, right side of the pipe.) The stem was clean and Jeff had used Before & After Deoxidizer to soak and remove much of the oxidation. He rinsed out the inside of the stem and rinsed off the exterior as well. The photos of the stem show how good the stem actually looked after this treatment.I unscrewed the stem to show the three hole stinger and the threaded tenon.I took some photos of the pink putty fills in the briar on the rim top and on the shank and on the lower right side of the bowl near the shank.I picked out the fills on the bowl and shank with a dental pick and a sharp pen knife point to remove as much of the putty as I could.I filled in the freshly dug out fills with briar dust and clear super glue. I put glue in the fills and used a dental spatula to fill briar dust into the glue repairs. When the fills had cured I used a needle file to flatten the repairs and sanded the patches with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I followed that by sanding with a folded piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the repaired areas with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding them with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the areas down with a damp cloth to clean off the sanding dust.