Tag Archives: Kaywoodie Rustica Pipes

Restoring another Kaywoodie Rustica 80B Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me from the estate of a Vancouver pipe smoker whose widow left them with a local Pipe Shop after he died. I was asked to clean them up and sell them for the shop as it has since closed. This English made Kaywoodie Rustica Billiard is an interesting looking piece – a deep rustication with the grain showing through underneath and a smooth rim top. The pipe is stamped on the underside and reads Kaywoodie  Rustica [over] Made in England followed by the shape number 80B. The bowl was heavily caked with a lava coat on the top of the rim. It was hard to tell how the inner and outer edge of the rim actually looked until the bowl was reamed. The rustication around the bowl was filled in with dust and debris. The stem had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. The tenon was threaded and had a three hole stinger that was intact. It had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe when I received it. It seems like lately all the Kaywoodie pipes that I have been working on have been English made. I have also worked on several English made Rustica pipes as well so I went back to the previous research I did on the brand and quote that.

On Pipedia I found just a short line in the Kaywoodie write up that referenced the London office. It read; “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.”

On Dad’s Pipes (https://dadspipes.com/2016/01/24/smartening-up-an-english-kaywoodie-standard/) I found that Charles Lemon had done some research as well: There’s not much information out there about English-made Kaywoodies. Production started in about 1938 as a joint venture between Kaywoodie USA and Comoy’s of London. This relationship lasted until the early 1970’s when Comoy bought out its partner. According to Pipedia, Comoy continues to produce a few pipes marked as Kaywoodie. My guess is that this particular English Kaywoodie dates from the 1960’s.

On Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-kaywoodie-notus.html) I found a photo and listing for the brand I was working on. The following screen capture shows the stamping that is the same as the one I am working on.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 had sent the batch of pipes from the shop to my brother Jeff in Idaho and he had cleaned them up for me. It was several years ago now that he sent them back to me and I am just now getting to finish them. He reamed them with a Pipnet Reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife.  He had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush and rinsed it off with warm water to remove the grime in the rustication. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the tarry residue and oils in the shank and airway. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the stem surface. When it arrived here on my work table I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration.  The rim top looked far better but there was some darkening on the surface as well as some scratches. The inner edge of the rim was out of round and showed some nicks and cuts. The stem look good but there was some heavy oxidation and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The underside was worse than the topside.  I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is clear and readable and reads as noted above.I took the stem off the pipe and took a photo of the parts to show the stinger apparatus and the look of the pipe as a whole.Because the pipe had been sitting for a couple of years I scrubbed the externals again with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the dust on the surface of the rustication. I rinsed the pipe off with warm water and dried it off with a cloth.   I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper and then worked on the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give it a slight bevel. Once it is finished the rim top and edge looks much better.   I polished the newly topped rim with micromesh sanding pads. I sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down between each pad with a damp cloth. By the end you can see the shine on the rim surface.    I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. You can see the underlying grain begin to show through the rustication.  I “painted” the surface of the stem and button with the flame of a lighter to raise the bite marks. The process worked very well and lifted all of the marks on the top side and there was only one left on the underside.I filled in the remaining tooth mark with black super glue. Once it cured I smoothed out the surface of the repair with a needle file.  I sanded out the repair with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the surrounding vulcanite. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem 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 80B English Saddle Stem Billiard, an English made pipe from the local pipe shop estate that I am restoring and selling for them. It has 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 saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the 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 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. I have a variety of brands to work on from the shop. 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.

Another Pipe from the Eastern Canada Lot – an English Made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B


Blog by Steve Laug

I decided to work on another pipe from the fellow in Kitchener, Ontario who sent me some pipes he needed cleaned up. He had been referred to me by my local pipe and cigar shop. While I am not currently adding more pipes to my queue of repairs I have made a commitment to the shop to work on pipes for their customers. Generally they have one or two pipes that need a bit of work. This fellow sent me the following email:

I just came across my smoking pipes that I’ve had in storage for about 40 years. I’m wondering what you’d charge to have them refurbished. There are 17 in total (11 are Brighams and 6 are various).

It turns out he said he had 17 pipes. That was certainly more than I expected but I communicated that there was a large queue ahead of him and I would have to fit them in as I could. He was fine with whatever time it took. He sent me the following photos of his collection that he wanted restored. The first photo shows his eleven Brigham pipes – all very interesting shapes. The second photo shows the six various pipes in the collection – A Republic Era Peterson’s System 1312 (Canadian Import), A Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand, a Comoy’s Everyman London smooth billiard, a GBD Popular Dublin 12, an English made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B, a Kriswill Bernadotte 60 with a broken tenon. When the box arrived there were two additional pipes included for a total of 19 – a Ropp 803 Deluxe Cherrywood Poker and a Comoy’s Sandblast Everyman Canadian 296. It was a lot of pipes! I have been randomly choosing the next pipe to work on and chose the Kaywoodie Rustica 72B Billiard that is shown in the second photo below. I have drawn a green box around the Kaywoodie Rustica in the second photo. I have also put and X through all of the pipes that I have finished. I am making progress on the lot – I have finished 13 pipes now and this is the 14th. The Kaywoodie Rustica was probably the cleanest pipe in the lot. It 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 – 72B. The rusticated finish was shiny and pretty clean and looks very good. The rim top had a darkening around inner edge of the rim and the bowl was out of round. The bowl had a light cake in it that was going to be an easy clean up. The vulcanite stem was lightly 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. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the darkening and damage to the inner edge as well. You can also see the cake in the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above.     I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to show what I was speaking about above. It is very readable. It reads Kaywoodie Rustica over Made in England with the shape number 72B readable as well.  I also took the stem off and took a photo of the stinger/tenon apparatus.   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.

From that information I now knew that the pipe in hand was made prior to 1985 in London by Oppenheimer. It had screw-in bit. 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 reamed the light cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper on a piece of dowel to smooth them out and further examine them. I was happy that the walls looked very good.      I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the darkened areas on the inner edge of the rim and work it back into round. I was able to remove the darkening and get it closer to round. It looks a lot better.      I cleaned the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. They were dirty but the pipe is clean now.    I polished rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris from the sanding. The rim top was looking very good after the final polishing pad.   I touched up the colour of the rim top after my clean up using and Oak Stain Pen. It blended I very well with the colour of the bowl and shank.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the rusticated briar 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 to raise the shine.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I rubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub on with a cotton pad and it removed the oxidation. It was looking better. I sanded out the remaining tooth chatter and oxidation with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.    I rubbed down the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish, a red gritty paste and a cotton pad to remove the remnants of oxidation and to blend in the sanding. The stem is starting to show promise at this point in the process.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cotton pad to remove the sanding debris.  I finished polishing the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine.   I finally feel like I am making progress on this 19 pipe lot from Eastern Canada. With the completion of this one I have finished 15 of the pipes. I put English Made Kaywoodie Rustica 72B back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain showing through the rustication on both sides and the smooth rim top. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem was beautiful. This nicely finished Kaywoodie Rustica is nice looking and feels great in my hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Once again I am looking forward to what the pipeman who sent it thinks of this restoration. Only 5 more of these pipes to do in this lot! Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on the trust to the next pipeman or woman.

Kaywoodie Rustica Repaired and Refurbished


When I first saw this pipe it was on Pipe Smokers Unlimited online forum and Bill was lamenting the fact that when he was trying to unscrew the stem the shank had broken. The stinger was welded in place in the aluminum mortise insert and in twisting the stem it broke. What was odd was that the stem freely spun around on the stinger so evidently the glue had loosened enough to allow it to turn without it coming off. Bill posted these two photos on-line and asked for help.

It looked to me that there was darkening around the area of the break which suggest from the photos that a potential burn through was happening. The break was clean and the two pieces lent themselves to a potential repair. The metal shank insert would serve to strengthen the repair from the inside so I suggested that Bill put a silver band on the pipe and the combination of the internal metal tube and the band would provide stability to the repaired shank.
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Bill thanked me for the suggestion and then shortly sent a message that the pipe was on its way to me and it was now mine.

When the pipe arrived it was indeed a clean break. The darkening on the shank near the break was not a burn through waiting to happening it was merely darkening. There were other spots on the pipe that makes me think that it was part of the finish. I took the pipe to the work table and tried to remove the stem from the piece of the shank. It did indeed freely twist in the mortise but the stem would not turn. The stinger stayed stationary while the stem turned. I used some WD40 to try to loosen the tarry build up on the stinger and penetrate into the joint. I let it sit and it still did not move. I thought about what to do next so I cleaned up the stinger and then used a Bic lighter to heat up the end of the stinger. My thinking was that the heat on the metal would also warm the tars that bound the stinger to the mortise. It worked better than I expected and in short order the stem was free. The bonus was that the glue that held the stinger in place in the stem also heated and when it cooled the stem no longer spun on the stinger.
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I cleaned up the broken ends of the shank and the visible end of the metal insert with acetone and qtips (cotton swabs) and then dried it and cleaned it again with isopropyl alcohol. I mixed up a two part epoxy and applied it to both sides of the broken shank and around the end of the inserted mortise. When the glue was tacky I pressed the two parts into place and held them tightly until the epoxy was initially set. That usually takes 3-5 minutes with the brand of epoxy that I am using so it is not a terribly long wait. I keep the pressure firm so that there is no give in the bond. I need to pick up some clamps that allow me the freedom to press it together and set it aside but I do not have them at the present. Before the epoxy dried hard I cleaned up the slight seepage at the joint with a soft cloth.
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After the epoxy had cured several hours I put wood glue on the outside of the shank and pressure fit a nickel band in place on the shank. The band was not overly deep so it did not obscure the stamping on the underside of the shank and also did not go too deeply into the rustication on the shank. It extended just beyond the deepest point of the break. The combination of the band and the internal mortise would strengthen the repair. The next series of photos show the repaired shank with the band in place.
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With the shank repair finished it was time to clean up the rest of the pipe. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer to take the cake back to the briar. I wanted to examine the walls of the bowl for potential damage so this was my means of doing so. There was a slight burned area on the inside edge of the rim at the back of the bowl that would need some attention. I used a brass tire brush to scrub the top of the rim as well as the inner edge to clean off the tars and carbon buildup. The soft brass bristles work very well with a rusticated finish. I was able to clean up the rim quite nicely with the brush.
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The exterior of the bowl had a thick coat of urethane on it that gave it a permanent shine. I tried to remove it with acetone but it did not even scratch the surface of the finish. I used several solvents and was not able to remove any of the finish so I decided to leave it alone. I used a lighter to brush flame over the rest of the bowl to further darken the crevices and grooves in the finish to highlight them. This seemed to work very well. I restained the rim with a dark brown aniline stain and repeated it until the surface was well covered. I wiped it down with alcohol on a cotton pad to thin it to match the colour of the bowl and then flamed the surface to darken it slightly. I finished by taking the bowl to the buffer and buffing it lightly with red Tripoli and White Diamond to polish and give the rim the same shine as the bowl.
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With the work on the bowl finished it was time to address some of the issues with the stem. There was light tooth chatter on the top and bottom of the stem next to the button and there was a slight oxidation to the overall stem. I cleaned out the internals of the stem and the stinger with isopropyl alcohol and pipe cleaners until I had removed all of the buildup inside. Then I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and a medium and fine grit sanding sponge to remove the tooth chatter and then followed that with my usual regimen of micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with the 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanded with the 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil.
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When the stem was dry I buffed it with White Diamond. I polished the nickel band with the higher grades of micromesh sanding pads and then silver polish. I put the pipe back together and gave it a light buff with White Diamond. I applied carnauba to the bowl and stem to protect and preserve the stem and rim. I was pretty certain that the hard finish on the bowl would last longer than I would so it did not need a lot of wax. The finished pipe is shown below. The shank repair is very stable and solid so I think the pipe will provide many more years of service. Thanks Bill for the challenge and the gift you sent my way. It is greatly appreciated.
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