Tag Archives: Kaywoodie Super Grain Pipes

New Life for a Kaywoodie Super Grain Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

I wrote in the blog just previous to this one – the restoration of the Selected Straight Grain bent billiard – how I had been contacted by Jim in the South Eastern US regarding some pipes that he had found (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/09/22/cleaning-up-a-beautiful-comoys-made-selected-straight-grain-bent-billiard/). He called to tell me about a group of six pipes that he purchased on one of his own pipe hunts. He wanted to know if I could help him identifying what he had found. There were two older Kaywoodies (a bent meerschaum lined billiard and a Super Grain Zulu), a Selected Straight Grain bent billiard, a GBD Sauvage Bulldog, a Henley Club Apple (made by Sasieni), and the last one a Medico Crest Prince.

In our conversation he told me he was going to box up the lot and mail them to me to have a look. When they arrived he said we could talk and make an arrangement regarding the pipes that he wanted to have restored from the lot. He wanted my opinion on the others as well. The box arrived last week and I opened it to have a good look at what Jim had sent to me. As I mentioned in the previous blog, I went through them making notes on what I saw regarding the condition of each pipe. I sent Jim my notes on the pipes and he replied noting the two pipes that he wanted me to work on for him in the lot – the first one was a large Bent Selected Straight Grain Billiard and the second was the Kaywoodie Super Grain Zulu. We fired several emails back and forth talking about the pipes and the decision was made. I would restore the two pipes for him.

When I finished the Selected Straight Grain, I turned my attention to the Kaywoodie Super Grain Zulu. It is a nice piece of briar with straight grain on the front and back of the bowl and birdseye grain on the sides of each bowl. The pipe is stamped on the top of the oval shank with the brand name Kaywoodie over Super Grain over Imported Briar. On the right side of the shank the shape number 01 is stamped. The shape is Zulu with an oval shank and stem with a 1/8th bend to the stem. Like the Selected Straight Grain the Kaywoodie was a nice pipe that showed some nice grain underneath the grime.

The pipe was a typical Kaywoodie sized pipe. There was a flaw in the briar on the left back side of the bowl just above the shank/bowl junction. There was another flaw on the front right toward the bottom of the bowl. Other than these two spot on the bowl, there were no other sandpits or fills in the briar. The bowl had a thick cake in it and there was a thick overflow of lava on the top of the rim. It was not possible to know if there was damage to the inner edge and the top of the rim. The finish was worn and tired but should clean up easily. The stem was lightly oxidized and there was tooth chatter on both sides at the button, but no deep tooth marks. The stem was slightly underturned and when I removed it there was a paper gasket that was glued to the end of the stem to correct the issue. The classic Kaywoodie metal stinger apparatus had been cut off and the airway in the remaining metal tenon was damaged.

I took a series of photos of the pipe to record the condition it was in when it arrived.I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava on top of the bowl. The rim and bowl were in rough condition. The photos of the stem show the condition of the vulcanite. The oxidized surface of the rubber was pitted and worn. The light tooth chatter on both sides can be seen in the photos. I unscrewed the stem from the shank and took the following photo. It shows the paper washer that had been glued to the end of the stem to help the alignment of the stem. The clipped stinger is also shown in the photo. I scraped off the glued on gasket with a sharp pen knife and cleaned off the surface with alcohol and cotton swabs. I used a needle file to open up the end of the tenon and remove the damaged edges that had been caused when the stinger was clipped off. I cleaned out the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I heated the tenon with a Bic lighter to soften the glue and put the stem back on the end of the shank and turned it until the stem and the shank were aligned. The photo below shows the newly aligned stem and shank. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working up to the second cutting head. I took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I scraped the top of the rim with the pen knife to take as much of the lava off as possible. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I used clear super glue to repair the damage on the back and the front of the bowl. I filled in the areas with the glue and set the bowl aside to dry. When the repairs had cured I sanded the areas with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the briar. I polished the areas with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the dust in preparation for staining the briar. I stained it with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it with a lighter. I repeated the process until the coverage was even around the bowl.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol and cotton pads to remove the stain and make the coverage more transparent. I wanted the grain to pop so that finish stood out.The saturation of the stain was perfect for what I wanted to do with the finish next. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads to polish the briar and bring the grain to the surface. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. After polishing it with the 12000 grit pads I really liked the look of the polished briar. The grain really shows clearly.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and the scratches in the vulcanite. I smoothed out the surface of the stem with the sandpaper and then polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. After the final 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.I buffed the pipe on the wheel using Blue Diamond Polish and worked over the stem and bowl to remove any remaining scratches. I was careful around the stamping so as not to buff it out and soften it. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a beauty. The black of the polished vulcanite and the polished briar work well together to present a beautiful pipe. Now Jim’s second pipe is finished. In the week ahead the pair will go in the mail. I can’t wait to hear what he thinks of this second one when he has it in hand and fires it up for the first time. Thanks for looking.

Putting a New Stinger and Tenon on a Kaywoodie Super Grain Apple 33


Blog by Steve Laug

In a trade with Dave Gossett I acquired this Kaywoodie Super Grain Apple. The bowl was in really great shape other than a few nicks and dents here and there. The finish was clean and the bowl had been cleaned and reamed. There were some small pin pricks on the back left side of the outer edge of the rim that looked to me were made when the pipe was dropped. They had been sanded a little so that the outer edge was no longer even around the bowl but sagged at this spot. The top of the rim was clean and smooth. The pipe was stamped on the left side of the shank with the words Kaywoodie over Super Grain over Imported Briar. The right side is stamped with the shape number 33. In looking through the various shape charts I found that the 33 was the stamping for a Large Apple (see the first photo below). The aluminum stinger had been broken off in the stem. It was hard to tell if I was dealing with what had originally been a four hole stinger or a three hole stinger. I know that many can tell the age on these KW’s by the stamping but I am not one of them. I knew that the three hole stinger/tenon apparatus was pressure fit in the stem and the four hole was threaded and screwed into the stem. Once I was able to drill out the broken stinger I would have a better idea regarding the type of stinger it had. The stem itself was fairly clean. There were some ripples in the stem on both the top and the bottom of the stem near the button. This told me that there were tooth marks that someone had either tried to buff out or sand out. These would need to be smoothed out. The interior of the stem and the shank were clean of debris and tar.KW1 The next three photos show the broken metal tenon in the stem and the state of the stem and bowl when it arrived. The briar has some beautiful straight grain and birdseye.KW2

KW3 I had several broken Kaywoodie stems in my can of stems that I cannibalized the stingers from. In the photo below the top stinger is the three hole one with the pressure fit end that fit in the stem. The bottom stinger is the four hole one that is threaded and screwed into the stem. What made it a bit interesting for me is that both stingers came from stems that had the same white clover leaf as the stem I was working on.KW4 I used my cordless drill to act as a holder for the drill bit and turned the stem onto the bit to begin to remove the broken tenon/stinger. I started with a bit slightly larger than the airway on the broken part. I worked my way up to a size that finally grabbed a hold of the broken tenon piece in the stem and when I twisted the bit out brought metal piece with it. The second photo below shows the broken tenon piece amongst the bits of aluminum. I had my answer it was the pressure fit three hole stinger/tenon apparatus. (I should have done this with a paper down to catch the bits and bobs of metal but did not so I ended up having to vacuum up my mess.)KW5

KW6 I cleaned out the inside of the stem with pipe cleaner and alcohol and the drilled out end with cotton swabs and alcohol. I cleaned the new stinger/tenon the same way and polished it with 0000 steel wool. I applied twisted the tenon into the mortise and then applied glue to the end that would go into the hole in the stem. I pushed the stem in place on the glued part and let is set. I unscrewed the stem and set it aside to let the glue cure. I used an all purpose white glue to set the tenon in place because I wanted to be able to adjust the fit with heat. I topped up the glue around the end with some clear super glue.KW7

KW8 With the tenon in place it was time to clean up the damage to the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the wavy lines and clean up the residual tooth marks. There was also a nick in the side of the stem on the underside so I cleaned up the taper there as well. I then sanded it with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to minimize the scratching.KW9

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KW11 With the stem surface smooth it was time to polish it with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil before going on to dry sand with 3200-4000 grit pads. I gave it another coat of oil and then sanded it with 6000-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down a final time with Obsidian Oil and let it dry.KW12

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KW14 I sanded the bowl with 4000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to smooth out the outer rim edge and the sides of the bowl. I wiped the bowl down with some pipe polish. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean flannel buff and then hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks Dave for the opportunity to restem this beauty. It was a fun one to work on. Thanks for looking.KW15

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Restoring a Kaywoodie Super Grain 40 Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

My son-in-law and I went pipe hunting a few weeks ago and this was one of the finds that day. I picked it up in an antique shop in Bellingham, Washington. I think I paid $15 for it. The stem was slightly overturned and would need to be fixed. The stem was clean of bite marks or tooth chatter. The stinger was intact and was a three-hole one so the pipe was newer rather than older. The finish was not ruined. The rim was caked with tars and oils. The buildup was only back side and went to the left side of the rim. The briar had quite a few fills on the sides and back of the bowl. The stamping on the left side was clean and easily read – Kaywoodie over Super Grain over Imported Briar. On the right side of the shank was stamped the shape number 40.KW1 KW2 The inside of the bowl had a light cake that was soft and crumbling. It would need to be reamed back to the bare wood in order to build a hard carbon cake.KW3 KW4 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and used the smallest cutting head first and then the second cutting head to finish the job.KW5 I removed the stem from the shank so that I could heat the stinger apparatus with a lighter. The black buildup of tars and oils on the stinger was hardened and not easily removed. Once I heated the stinger with the lighter I was able to wipe down the surface with a cotton pad and alcohol. I heated the stinger until the glue in the stem softened and then screwed the stem back into the shank and turned it until the stem lined up with the bowl.KW6 I cleaned the inside of the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. The shank behind the metal insert was very dirty. I used the cotton swabs to clear out that area. I scrubbed it out until it was clean. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem the same way until it was clean.KW7 I scrubbed the top of the bowl with isopropyl alcohol on cotton pads to remove the buildup. It was thick so it took quite a bit of scrubbing. To finish removing it I used 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad and water. I was able to get the rim clean and then used a staining pen to touch up the rim.KW8 KW9 KW10 The lightest colour staining pen matched the finish of the bowl perfectly. I gave the bowl and rim a quick buff with White Diamond and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it to a shine.KW11 I was fortunate that the stem was not damaged with bite marks or tooth chatter. I use micromesh sanding pads to clean up the stem. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads until the finish of the stem was smooth. I buffed it with White Diamond to finish the process and then gave it a coat of carnauba.KW12 KW13 KW14 I put the stem back on the shank and then buffed the entire pipe with White Diamond a final time. I gave the stem and bowl multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a soft flannel buffing pad to raise the shine.KW15 KW16 I touched up the fills with the stain pen and then buffed the pipe bowl with White Diamond yet again. The results were acceptable. I gave the pipe several more coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a soft flannel buffing pad. The finished pipe is shown in the next series of photos. It is ready to be loaded and smoked – clean and waiting for the next pipe man who will carry the trust to the next generation of pipe smokers.KW17 KW18 KW19 KW20