Tag Archives: KB&B

Spiffing up a KBB Blue Line Bakelite Poker 1908-1914


Blog by Troy Wilburn

Here is my old KBB I got from EBay after some light cleaning and buffing. I had found out these were quite rare and was lucky to win the bid on it.

I was thinking after some initial research that these pipes were from around 1910 – early 1920s. Seems it’s a little older than I thought. I got this info from a Kaywoodie and early KBB collector who has had several Blue Lines.

“Your pipe is made by Kaufman Brothers and Bondy, or KB&B, which later (1915) created the Kaywoodie line we all know. But this pipe is Pre-Kaywoodie, as they were making pipes under the KB&B branding from about 1900 to 1914. Bakelite was invented in 1907, so this pipe was likely made from 1908 to 1914, as the Bakelite was quite the technological wonder of the time, and was used in many products (still in use today). These “Blue Line Bakelite” pipes are rare pieces, seldom seen.”

All Blue Lines came with a case but sadly the one for this one is missing. Most pics I’ve seen so far of the Blue Lines, the metal banding has stampings of Sterling Silver and KBB. Mine has none and I don’t believe it’s silver (I think nickel as I could not get all the discoloration from it). Mine may be a lower priced model.

The pipe as it arrived.Blue1 The pipe was in remarkable shape for its age. It was not caked up and the pipe was nice and clean, ready to smoke. All I did was go over it very lightly with some 2500 grit and 000 steel wool over the banding lightly. Then I applied some light buffing and a new coat of wax. The pipe was too original to mess with much .The stem has a gorgeous red color that was bought out with a little brown and then white Tripoli before waxing.Blue2

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Blue7 The stampings are very nice for a 100 year old pipe. As you can see it looks like it was repaired once. The repair looks quite old in person and don’t think it was done anytime recently.Blue8

Blue9 It’s a smaller poker. It is in between the size of a Medico Poker and a Dr.Grabow 85 Poker. It’s around 4 11/16 inch long with a 1 1/2 tall bowl. I will probably dedicate it to my new favorite flake tobacco.Blue10

A Restorfurb of a Doc Watson SR Billiard


Blog by Troy Wilburn

I have read about some of Troy’s refurbs on Pipe Smokers Unlimited and on the Dr. Grabow Collector’s Forum so when I saw his work on this old Doc Watson and the unique stamping it had I wrote and asked him if he would be willing to post it on rebornpipes. It is a pleasure to have some of Troy’s work here. He did an amazing job on this particular old timer with the distinct purpose of trying to keep the original finish as much as possible as he worked on it. Thanks Troy for taking the time to send me this blog. I am glad you were willing to post it here. Welcome to rebornpipes as one of the contributors. It is great to have you here. You have shared not only a great restorfurb but some tricks that I will have to use in the future. We would love to read about and look at more of your work. Thank you. – Steve

Hi everyone, my name is Troy Wilburn and I live in rural Virginia near Roanoke. I have been a dedicated pipe smoker for a little over a year now and refurbishing my own pipes for about 8 months. I mostly hang out on the Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum. My collection is mostly American made pipes. My favorite shapes are pokers, billiards and Canadians. Pokers are my most favorite with nearly 40 of them last count. I have kind of a tight budget to work with on my pipe smoking, pipe purchasing and pipe refurbishing. That’s why I got into refurbishing my own pipes. I’m always trying to find a bargain on pre 50s pipes as they are my favorite. Linkmans and Yello Boles are my most common pre 50s pipes with three Marxman’s thrown in. I do have a hard to find Marxman poker that is one of the prides of my pipe collection and is 100 % original finish.

I have browsed Reborn pipes for information and refurbishing info for a while.

This is my latest one and the pipe that got me here. It’s a Doc Watson pipe shape #51. I know from researching this pipe that Steve had restored a couple so I thought he might know some info on the odd stamping’s mine has. He invited me here to post my work on this pipe.

I got this one and an early Yello Bole apple from a woman who got them at the same estate sale. They both came from the same owner. The Doc Watson’s were made by KBB and though I have seen a few, mine has odd stamping of a P in a shield and mine has the name SR applied. The others I’ve seen are stamped just plain Doc Watson and with the KKB in a cloverleaf.Troy1 I know this is a KBB as it has the same shape number as KBB, YB and KW charts. The stem has the same logo as the KBBs. KBB stamped Watson’s are all marked Italian Bruyere not Algerian like this one is. I’m guessing this pipe is dated between 1936-1940 as it has the Bruyere stamp but lacks the four digit code.

Pipe as I got it… Troy2

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Troy4 After a reaming and a good cleaning I noticed that it had some discoloration spots from heat and the finish was all but gone on these spots. Also there were lots of scratches on the surface and some were deeper. So instead of stripping the whole thing I decided to try and blend in the spots with the original finish, to keep it as original as possible.

So after sanding the bowl down with some 600 grit sandpaper very lightly, being careful of the stampings and the stem with 1000 grit, I applied a matching dye that I mixed up to the spots.Troy5 The dye pretty much only stuck to the bare finish parts and the excess rubbed off after I wiped it with a rag. After three coats I applied some mineral oil. I had to file out some tooth marks on the stem and button and then wet sanded the stem.

Below is a picture of the bowl and stem back together and ready for some base wax.Troy6 After waxing the pipe late last night I saw some file marks still visible and the spots were not quite as well blended in as I would have liked. It was more visible in person that it is in the pic shown here.Troy7 So I decided to back up and punt. After some sleep, morning caffeine and some Vitamin N from some Haunted Bookshop I was ready to go at it again. I sanded the whole pipe and stem with mineral oil and 1000, 1400 and 2000 grit sandpaper. Then I applied a thin coat of red sharpie as toner and buffed off the excess with a loose pad. It left just a red tint and helped blend the dye with the original finish.Troy8 I lightly waxed the bowl to seal it in. The pipe is about 70-75 percent original finish with some slight blending and tone work. It still has some minor dings around the stampings but I didn’t want to damage them or buff them out any more than I could help. I guess you would call it a Restorfurb.

After several more coats and buffing…Troy9

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Troy18 Sadly the stinger is missing on this one. The Doc Watson pipes have a pretty near stinger. Here is a pic of one that I got off the web.Troy19 I’ll try to find one for it but it may be difficult as these are not that common of a pipe and they were only made for a short time.

Narrowing Down a Date for Kaufman Brothers & Bondy’s KBB and KB&B Pipes


Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years I have refurbished many older KBB and KB&B pipes. I have kept many of them and others I have passed on to other pipemen and women. The KBB and KB&B stamping on these old timers are stamped in a cloverleaf on the side or top of the shank of the briar pipes. In more recent years the KBB and KB&B stamping is no longer present. Kaufmann Brothers and Bondy was the oldest pipe company in the USA, established in 1851. The Club Logo predated Kaywoodie with the “KB&B” lettering stamped within the Club, and a multitude of KB&B lines were in production long before “Kaywoodie” first appeared in 1919. I have several of these old timers including a Borlum that was made before Kaywoodie became the flagship name for pipes from Kaufman Brothers & Bondy (KB&B). It was made before the Kaywoodie invention of the “Stinger” was added, and even before shank logos, model stamps and other features invented by Kaywoodie came to be standards of the pipe making industry. It comes from the time when names like Ambassador, Heatherby, Melrose, Suez, Rivoli, Cadillac and Kamello dominated the pre-Kaywoodie scene. Borlum is one of those vintage names. That information helps date pre-1919 KB&B pipes. There is still a long history following that for which I wanted further information.KB1 I was left wondering about the variations in the stampings on the Kaufmann Brothers and Bondy pipes. I had seen a pattern in that the Yello-Bole pipes made by Kaufmann Brothers and Bondy that were stamped without the ampersand (KBB) and other pipes made by them that had the ampersand (KB&B) and wondered about whether I had stumbled upon something. I had no idea why there was a variation in stamping. I decided to do some digging online to see if I could get more information regarding this variation. The purpose of this article is to collate what I found in order to provide some guidelines on dating the older pipes and to differentiate between the two stampings.KB2

KB3 In the past when I had questions about KB&B pipes, Yello-Bole pipes and KW pipes I have found that the Kaywoodie Forum http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/ftopic13-0-asc-0.php has been an invaluable source of information on the brand. The information found there on the KBB and KB&B pipes is very useful. Dave Whitney has an article on the topic of KBB pipes. I will summarize what I have found there to help with my search. I have several older Yello-Bole pipes with the shovel drinkless mechanism and the KBB-in-a-clover logo on the left side of the shank (not KB&B). These also have the yellow circle on the stem.KB4 From what I can ascertain from Dave’s information, pipes with this configuration seem to have been produced between the years of 1938-42. The lack of the aluminum stem ring and the drinkless mechanism that came out in the later period of KBB history 1945-50 (World War II) point to the earlier period. The shape/style of the drinkless mechanism helps to date the pipe. Let’s summarize what we know so far. The Kaywoodie stamp appeared in 1919 thus any pipes with the KB&B in a cloverleaf stamped on the shank pointed to a pre-1919 pipe. From 1919-1938 the combination of the KBB stamping and the shovel mechanism in the tenon help date those pipes. The metal drinkless attachment came out in 1945 and following. I have KB&B pipes and KBB Yello-Bole pipes from this early era.

Reading further led me to ascertain that the KBB in a cloverleaf stamp dates a pipe back to the ’30’s. I also learned that the 4 digit shape numbers stamped on the right side of the shank are older than 2 digit ones. The pipes with the logo inlaid on top of the stem are older than ones that have it on the side. I learned that in the past, Kaufman Brothers and Bondy would sort shipments of briar and send the culls to be used for Yello-Boles, meaning they got some quality briar. One fellow on the web believes that is why Yello-Bole pipes tend to be smaller over all, working around flaws. He also said that he thinks calling these pipes Kaywoodie seconds is a bit of a misnomer, being that Kaywoodie was one of the largest briar purchasers in the world at the time (’20’s-50’s) and got some fantastic wood.

Armed with this bit of information on the brand I did some more research and came across the SM Frank website http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/?page_id=2. There I found a wealth of historical information on Kaywoodies, Yello-Boles and the merger between KBB and SM Frank and later Demuth. It was a great read and I would encourage others to give the website a read. The information in the next paragraph was condensed from that site. I found confirmation for the statement above that the Yello-Bole line was an outlet for lower grade briar not used in Kaywoodie production. Yello-Bole’s were introduced in 1932 and manufactured by Penacook, New Hampshire subsidiary, The New England Briar Pipe Company. Advertising from the 1940′s, pictures the Yello-Bole “Honey Girl” and urges the pipe smoker to smoke the pipe with “a little honey in every bowl.” Honey was an ingredient of the material used to line the inside of the bowl. It was said to provide a faster, sweeter break-in of the pipe.

I went hunting further to see if I could find information on establishing dates for Yello-Bole pipes and found that there was not a lot of information other than what I had found above. Then I came across this link to the Kaywoodie Forum: http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/archive/dating-yello-bole-pipes__o_t__t_86.html I quote the information I found there as it gives the only information that I found in my hunt to this point.
“OK so there isn’t a lot of dating information for Yello-Bole pipes but here is what I have learned so far.
– If it has the KBB stamped in the clover leaf it was made 1955 or earlier as they stopped the stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.
– From 1933-1936 they were stamped Honey Cured Briar.
– Pipes stems stamped with the propeller logo they were made in the 30s or 40s no propellers were used after the 40s.
– Yello-Bole also used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 30s.
– If the pipe had the Yello-Bole circle stamped on the shank it was made in the 30s this stopped after 1939.
– If the pipe was stamped BRUYERE rather than briar it was made in the 30s.

YB LogosThe pipes with propeller logos appear to be made in the 1930’s or 1940’s. The pipe with the yellow circle logo imprinted into the shank of the briar was made in the 1930’s. Those with the brass O seem also to have been made in the 1930’s.
One further item was also found on that site. It was just a passing comment in the midst of some information on Kaywoodie pipes. I quote: “The pre-Kaywoodie KB&B pipes were marked on the shank with a cloverleaf around KB&B. Some early Kaywoodies had this same marking on the shank, but the practice was dropped sometime prior to 1936. Yello-Boles also had KBB in the leaf on the shanks, but did not have the ampersand found on Kaywoodies.” (Highlighting is mine)

That is all the information I have gathered to date. I don’t have anything on the multitude of stem stampings or any other age indicators. In summary, it seems that the stem logos, the stamping on the shanks of KBB and KB&B, the type of stinger apparatus in the tenon as well as aluminum decorative trim all are a part of dating the KBB and KB&B pipes. From the final paragraph above I have the answer to my question on the difference in the ampersand or lack of it – until 1936 the KBB and KB&B in a cloverleaf were stamped on the shanks of pipes made by Kaufman Brothers and Bondy. After 1936 that stamping disappeared and was replaced with the various Yello-Bole and Kaywoodie designation stampings. If anyone has more definitive information or other methods of determining date please feel free to post it in the comments below and I will add them to this piece.

If you would like to have a look at the KBB pipes that I have restored do a search on the blog for Kaufmann Brothers & Bondy, KBB, Yello-Bole and Kaywoodie pipes. The search will bring up quite a few of the pipes that I and other contributors to the blog have posted here.

ADDENDUM
I received two photos of the stinger apparatus that Andrew Selking removed from the KBB Doc Watson that he wrote about here. I am including them here. We both think that they predate the shovel like apparatus that I picture above.KB (1)

KB (2)

The Resurrection of an old KBB Yello-Bole Premier Panel


Blog by Steve Laug

In a recent trade with Andrew Selking I received an older KBB Yello Bole Paneled billiard. When I removed it from the box there was something about the older KBB Panel that grabbed my attention. It was stamped on the left side of the shank with the familiar KBB logo and the Yello-Bole next to it. Underneath that it bore the stamp Reg. US Pat. Off. Directly below that was stamped Premier over Cured with Real Honey. The pipe had been repaired at some time in its ragged existence with what appeared to be a homemade repair job. The tenon had broken somewhere along the line and a previous owner had drilled out the stem and used a piece of stainless steel tubing to make a new tenon. The metal tenon was stuck in the shank of the pipe and the stem just sat loosely on it. The fit of the stem to the shank was off with the stem sitting high and to the right. The previous owner had tried to compensate for the off centered stem by sanding flat spots on the stem sides and bottom that broke the smooth lines of the square shank and stem. There were two small hairline cracks on the shank – top right and bottom left that would need to be repaired once the tenon was removed. The bowl was out of round with damage to the inner edge of the rim and a tarry build-up on the surface. The outer edge rim crown of the bowl was also compromised and would need some work. The stem was not too badly oxidized but it had tooth marks on the top and bottom near the button.YB1

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YB3 Background Information
I wrote about the history of the KBB stamped Yello-Bole Pipes. The following link will give you the details: https://rebornpipes.com/2014/07/21/renewing-an-old-kbb-yello-bole-honey-cured-briar-billiard/
Yello-Bole pipes are one of my favorite older US brands doing the research would be enjoyable. As with other early brands made in the states I have found that older is better. A KBB in a cloverleaf stamp will date them back to the ’30’s. I have found through my reading that the 4 digit shape numbers are older than 2 digit ones. The pipes with the logo on top of the stem are older than ones that have them on the side. That is just some of the information that I found with a cursory read through the forums and a variety of websites.

The SM Frank website http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/?page_id=2 gives a wealth of historical information on Kaywoodies, Yello-Boles and the merger between KBB and SM Frank and later Demuth. It was a great read and I would encourage others to give the website a read. I also wanted to find some help in dating my old Yello-Bole Pipes and I came across this link to the Kaywoodie Forum: http://kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org/archive/dating-yello-bole-pipes__o_t__t_86.html . I am including some of the information I found there as it gives the only information that I found in my hunt to this point.
“…there isn’t a lot of dating information for Yello-Bole pipes but here is what I have learned so far.

– If it has the KBB stamped in the clover leaf it was made 1955 or earlier as they stopped the stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.
– From 1933-1936 they were stamped Honey Cured Briar.
– Pipes stems stamped with the propeller logo they were made in the 30s or 40s no propellers were used after the 40s.
– Yello-Bole also used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 30s.
– If the pipe had the Yello-Bole circle stamped on the shank it was made in the 30s this stopped after 1939.
– If the pipe was stamped BRUYERE rather than briar it was made in the 30s.”
Given the above information I discovered that the pipe I was working on was made sometime between 1930 and 1940. Thus it was an early Yello-Bole from the 1930s or 40s.

Restoration Process

I took the stem off the bowl and tried to remove the inserted metal tenon. It was firmly stuck in place and I could not move it even with pliers. I put the bowl in the freezer overnight hoping that the cold would contract the metal and briar differently (as is the case with the varied material and density). In the morning I took it out of the freezer and was able to turn the tenon out of the shank with pliers. Once it was removed it was clear to see that it had not been glued in the shank but merely stuck with the tars and oils of the tobacco in the shank.YB4 I found a threaded Delrin tenon in my box of tenon parts and it was a workable replacement for the metal tenon. I tapped the drilled out hole in the stem and screwed the threaded tenon into the hole. It was a perfect fit. I removed it once again and put some glue on the threads and screwed it into place and let the glue set. The diameter of the tenon would need to be adjusted as it was too big for the mortise. This was actually ideal in that I would be able to adjust the fit against the shank on the sides and the top. The bottom of the shank would take work to make a smooth transition.YB5

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YB10 I sanded the tenon with a Dremel and sanding drum to remove the excess Delrin. I hand sanded it with 180 grit and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out and fine tune the fit. I spread the hairline cracks with a dental pick and dripped superglue along the cracks and pressed them together until the glue set.YB11 The stem fit in the shank nicely. The photos below show the damage that had been done to the stem in the previous repair. It is especially visible in the photos of the pipe from the side and the bottom. The stem had been modified to the misfit of the previous tenon so work would need to be done to realign the fit against the end of the shank.YB12

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YB17 I sanded the bottom, top and right side of the shank until the transition between the briar and the vulcanite was smooth. The left side was touchier in that I did not want to damage the stamping. I sanded this area while covering the stamping. The trick was to smooth out the transition without making a drastic dip in the briar – it just needed to be re-tapered until it flowed naturally into the stem. Sanding the top of the stem also took care as it had the insert of the white propeller. Too much sanding on the top would damage and compromise the insert. The photos below show the newly sanded and tapered shank/stem. I sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, medium and fine grit sanding sponges and a fine grit sanding block. I sanded the rim and curves of the rim with the same sandpapers. I folded a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and worked on the out of round bowl to clean it up as much as possible.YB18

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YB21 I wiped the bowl and shank down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the finish from the bowl.YB22

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YB25 I cleaned out the bowl and shank with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I cleaned out the stem as well at the same time. I sanded the bite marks on the top and bottom of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to minimize the damage and remove the tooth chatter. There were still some tooth marks that needed to be repaired.YB26

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YB30 I scrubbed the areas around the bite marks with alcohol to clean the sanding dust and grit from around them. I then used black superglue to fill the bite marks and sprayed it with and activator/accelerator to harden it.YB31

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YB34 When it dried I sanded the filled areas with 220 grit sandpaper to level them out with the surface of the stem. I sanded the stem with a medium and fine grit sanding sponge and a fine grit sanding block to further blend the patches into the stem surface. In the next two photos the patches are blended into the stem but the blackness of the super glue and the blackness of the unpolished stem do not match so they show up as spots on the stem.YB35

YB36 I stained the bowl and shank with a medium brown aniline stain thinned 50/50 with isopropyl alcohol. I wanted a medium brown wash to highlight the grain and show contrast in the finish. The wash provided just what I was looking for.YB37

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YB41 I sanded the stem further with fine grit sanding blocks and also sanded the flat areas on the transition between the shank and stem to work towards a more seamless look. The next photos show the smooth transition and the smooth stem. The patches are fading more into the vulcanite of the stem as well at this point in the process.YB42

YB43 I moved on to sand the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed down the stem between each set of three pads with Obsidian Oil and then continued sanding. I have found that sanding the stem while the oil is freshly applied allows the grit on the pads to cut into the finish and raise a shine.YB44

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YB46The next two photos show the finished stem. After the final sanding I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and let it soak in before polishing it with the buffer. I gave it several coats of carnauba wax. The patches on the stem by this point are fully blended into the vulcanite and cannot be identified.YB47

YB48 The next photo shows the reworked inner edge of the rim to show my repairs on the out of round bowl. I sanded until it was as close to round as I could get it by hand. I bevelled the inner edge of the bowl with the sandpaper to make the transition smooth.YB49 The finished pipe is shown below. Thanks to Andrew for sending me this challenge. I really enjoyed bringing this old timer back to life. It will occupy a special spot in my older American pipe maker collection and join my other KBB Yello-Boles as favourites that I enjoy smoking. I buffed it with White Diamond and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax and finished by buffing it with a soft flannel buffing pad to raise the shine. All that remains is to sit back and enjoy a bowl of an aged Virginia tobacco and read a good story!YB50

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A Sweet KBB Yello-Bole Honey Cured Bulldog – Robert M. Boughton


Guest Blog by Robert M. Boughton
Member, North American Society of Pipe Collectors
http://www.naspc.org
http://www.roadrunnerpipes.com
http://about.me/boughtonrobert
Photos © the Author

You can’t stop us on the road to freedom
You can’t stop us ’cause our eyes can see
Men with insight, men in granite
Knights in armor intent on chivalry
She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey
She’s an angel of the first degree
She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey

Just like honey, baby, from the bee — Van Morrison, Northern Irish singer-songwriter-musician, “Tupelo Honey” (1971)

INTRODUCTION
As my good friend and mentor, Chuck Richards, commented at a recent gathering of local enjoyers of the fair tobacco pipe in general, Kaufman Brothers & Bondy created the Yello-Bole line in 1932 as a less expensive alternative to its regular stable of Kaywoodie, Reiss-Premier and of course KB&B pipes.

Now the name Yello-Bole is synonymous with the terms second-rate and, worse still, just cheap, as though the measure of a good smoke were ever determined by its price. [See, for example, Peterson’s late great and noble attempt in years gone by to make pipes affordable to the Everyman.]

But its older products, such as the KBB Yello-Bole Imperial Bulldog of this discourse, “Cured with Real Honey” and with the KBB in a clover, as well as a tell-tale encircled “I” on the stem (might it be ambera?) – although crafted with briar deemed unsuitable for the older brothers of the family – nevertheless was still made from higher quality pieces of that fine wood than is, in general if ever, available today.

Also, the KBB Yello-Bole Imperial Bulldog is a definite vintage specimen (another present day determinant of value), based on the four key signs contained on the pipe, which date it to anywhere from the 1930s to the 1950s.Rob1

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Rob9 Beginning with the rim, I removed most of the blackening with a quick rub of purified water, and the rest except for one small, pernicious burn with a light touch of super fine steel wool that left no new scratches but also made clear the blemishes that were already present. Rob10 I sanded the rim with 400-grit paper and micro-meshed with 1500, 2400 and 3600 grades. I later succeeded in removing the one remaining burn mark shown below.Rob11 Moving on to the chamber, I was startled when most of the cake crumbled from the walls with a couple of turns of the reamer. Still more shocking was the sudden appearance of a thin coat of the original yellow product of honey curing. I knew I had a rare find and wondered at the short-term but intense enjoyment of the pipe that could have led to more than average cake but left the prominent yellowing intact. The rest of the cake came clean with gentle 400-grit sanding.

Staying with the 400-grit paper to remove scratches and dings on the beautiful briar, I lightened the color still more and found a few fills and other grain flaws that accounted for why this finely shaped bulldog didn’t end up with, say, a Kaywoodie stamp.Rob12

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Rob15 Using micromesh at an escalation from 1500 to 2400 and 3600 grades eliminated the remaining scratches.

The cleaning of this pipe was achieved with refreshing ease and the expenditure of few bristly cleaners soaked in Everclear.

In a difficult choice, I decided to re-stain the briar with a medium as opposed to the original light brown color. I applied Lincoln boot stain and flamed the alcohol out before removing the char with 2400 micromesh and smoothing it out using 3600.

To polish the prepped pipe, I used red and white Tripoli, White Diamond and carnauba, and after rubbing the wood with a cotton rag saw it needed another round on all of the buffers except the red Tripoli.

I finished the stem with red and white Tripoli before White Diamond.Rob16

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Rob20 CONCLUSION
This was a very pleasant and relaxing restoration, in particular following my Ben Wade and the Chamber of Horrors brush with terror.

Tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday and Thursday), before the monthly official meeting of my pipe club at the local Moose Lodge, I will attempt to power through as many of the easier prospects as possible from my recent online purchase spree. The highlights include what I believe is a Comoy’s Smooth Bent Satin Matt Short Brandy #1770 (Made in London in a circle); a Kaywoodie Silhouette Bent Rusticated Squat Apple; a Kaywoodie Smooth Bent Signet Billiard; an Ehrlich Rusticated Straight Billiard; a LHS Park Lane Smooth Straight Poker; a Reinhard’s Smooth Straight Billiard; an Amadeus Greek Bent Billiard; a Parker Tall Tan Straight Poker; a unique small Town and Country Round-Bottom Straight Squat Rhodesian; a no-name Gourd Calabash Meerschaum Lined; a trio of old Missouri Meerschaum corncobs…and another KBB Yello-Bole, this one a Straight Four-Panel, also with the KBB in a clover but a yellow circle on the stem.

The first person to post a response challenging my ability to pull off the restorations/refurbishes of the above pipes before tomorrow night, and willing to bet a free pipe from the loser to the winner, is on for the bet. I will post before and after shots in a blog on my business Website, noted at the top of this submission, by 9:00 p.m. MDT (U.S.) tomorrow.

Our host, I trust, will vouch for my honesty in this type of wager.

Restoring an older KB&B Borlum Dublin


I was gifted a small KB&B Dublin from a friend on Smokers Forums. I always like to know what I am working on when restoring old pipes so I did a bit of digging into the stamping on the pipe and found the following information. I already knew that Kaufmann Brothers and Bondy was the oldest pipe company in the USA, established in 1851. The Club Logo predated Kaywoodie with the “KB&B” lettering stamped within the Club, and a multitude of KB&B lines were in production long before “Kaywoodie” first appeared in 1919. So I knew that the pipe I had was a pre-1919, pre-Kaywoodie KB&B Made BORLUM Dublin.

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It is stamped BORLUM in an arc over KB&B in a cloverleaf. Underneath it is stamped ITALIAN BRIAR in a reverse arc. All of the above is stamped on the left side of the shank. On the right side of the shank it is stamped UNBREAKABLE BIT. It was made before Kaywoodie became the flagship name for pipes from Kaufman Brothers & Bondy (KB&B). It was made before the Kaywoodie invention of the “Stinger” was added, and even before shank logos, model stamps and other features invented by Kaywoodie came to be standards of the pipe making industry. It comes from the time when names like Ambassador, Heatherby, Melrose, Suez, Rivoli, Cadillac and Kamello dominated the pre-Kaywoodie scene. Borlum is one of those vintage names.

The Borlum pipe featured some innovations which were new for the time but commonplace to us: (1) A solid rubber bit (vulcanite, ebonite), (2) aluminum inner-tube construction in the stem thus marked “Unbreakable Bit” on the right side of the shank, (3) a standard nickel plated band (marked KB&B) to strengthen the shank connection for the stem. The stem features the older style more rounded bit tip/orific button, and you can see the aluminum inner-tube fitting just inside the tip.

I have included several pictures that I found on the internet to show the unique stem tube that the Borlum has. The first photo shows the type of stem the pipe has. My little Dublin has a stem that is shaped like the second stem from the left but includes the same metal tube that shows in the bent stem, third from the left. The second photo shows the tenon end of the stem and the other end of the metal tube in the Borlum stem. It is the inclusion of the tube that gives rise to the claim that is stamped on the shank – Unbreakable Bit. The third photo below is a Borlum display and sales card. What is particularly interesting to me is the diagram at the top of the card showing the interior of the stem in place in the shank. It also includes the claim, “Guaranteed against Breakage”. I love these old pipes and the prices they sold for back in the day. Note the $1 and up tag on the sales card. pipe139 Exif_JPEG_PICTURE pipe137 The pipe that was a gift to me is similar to the Dublin at the bottom left of the above card. It has the same shape and straight shank. It also has a similar profile. The difference is that min has a shank band which is also part of the unbreakable system of these pipes. I guess they found that an unbreakable stem can still leave a breakable shank. The band stabilizes the shank and makes the pipe more indestructible. The band is stamped with the Club/Cloverleaf with KB&B in the center and under that Nickel Plated. It adds a touch of class to this little Dublin. The pipe was gifted to me by Jim Wagner from Smokers Forums. I recently refurbished an older KBB Yello-Bole and Jim said he had this one. It came this week and I took it on today. The pipe was in good shape when I took it out of the shipping package. The finish was clean but the rim had a few minor issues. There was a slight darkening near the back of the bowl and there were some ripples in the varnish finish on the rim. The cake was thin and even. The bowl was in round. The nickel band and the stem showed oxidation. I really like these old timers with the orific buttons. They are more rounded than the modern flat stem but are very comfortable in the mouth. Jim had mentioned that the stem was a hard material. In cleaning it up I found that it was indeed vulcanite or vulcanized rubber. It was hard but not as hard as an acrylic stem. There were no bite marks in the stem and minimal tooth chatter near the button. It was a beautiful old pipe that truly did not show it 100+ year age. IMG_7848 IMG_7849 IMG_7850 IMG_7852 I reamed the bowl lightly with a PipNet reamer to smooth out the thin cake. I cleaned out the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. I kept at it until the cleaners came out the same way they went into the shank – white.IMG_7858 IMG_7856 In order to address the issues with the rim I wiped it down with acetone on a cotton pad and then gently sanded it with an extra fine grit sanding sponge. My intent was not to top the bowl but to smooth out the ripples of the varnish and remove some of the darkening. In checking it out the darkening was not deep in the briar but merely on the surface so this method would remove the damage. IMG_7861 IMG_7862 I wiped the bowl and shank down with the acetone and cotton pads to clean off the slight darkening of the finish. I wanted to remove the varnish coat so that I could use just wax on the bowl. I did not want to remove any of the colour/stain. I wanted to leave the colour/patina intact with no change. IMG_7863 IMG_7864 IMG_7865 IMG_7866 I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and medium and fine grit sanding sponges. I shone a flashlight on the stem to highlight the oxidation and continued to sand with this combination until the brown/green hue was gone and the stem was a dull black. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and then sanded it with my usual array of micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with the Obsidian Oil after each set of three micromesh pads. IMG_7872 IMG_7873 IMG_7874 I polished the nickel band with a silver polishing cloth and then used the higher grits (6000-12,000) of micromesh on it to polish it further. I buffed the pipe and stem with White Diamond and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax, buffing with a soft flannel buff between applications of the wax. The finished pipe is shown below. It has been restored with little intrusion into the original shape or finish and is ready for many more years ahead. Thanks Jim for the beautiful little Dublin that you have added to my collection. IMG_7875 IMG_7876 IMG_7878 IMG_7879