Tag Archives: polishing stems

Restoring a Hardcastle’s British Made Jack O’London


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 is another interesting looking piece – great grain showing through underneath the grime. There is cross grain and birdseye grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the left side and reads Hardcastle’s [over] British Made [over] Jack O’London. On the underside of the shank it is stamped with the number 85. The finish was dull and lifeless with a lot of grime ground into the briar. 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 stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe when I received it. I was curious about the particular line of Hardcastle’s pipes that I was working on. I wanted some more information on the Hardcastle’s Jack O’London line so I did some searching on Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-hardcastle.html). I including the following screen capture below.I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Hardcastle) to try to gather more information on the line. The quote below links it to the Family Period of Hardcastle’s.

Models & Grades – Family Period

Straight Grain, Supergrain, Leweard, Nut Bruyere, De Luxe, Royal Windsor Sandhewn, Royal Crown, The Crown, Phito Dental, Old Bruyere, Jack O’London, Dental Briar, Phito, Dental, Dryconomy, Drawel, Phithu, Telebirar, Camden, Lightweight, The Table, Dovetail, Dental, Crescent Extra, Lonsdale, Welard De Luxe

That could make sense as there is a Henry Birks and Sons Ltd. in Vancouver. Since the pipe came through a Vancouver based pipe shop there could be a connection. It is one of those mysteries that I am not sure will be solved.

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 bowl was a definite improvement but the stem still showed some oxidation.     The inner and outer edges were in excellent condition. There were nicks and damaged areas on the rim top. There was also some darkening on the top. The stem look good but there was still some 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 sides 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 look of the pipe as a whole.I polished the rim top and bowl with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish the briar.      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 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 grain showing through the deep glow.       I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a Bic lighter. I was able to lift the majority of the dents but there were two on the underside and a dent along the button on the top side. I filled them in with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once the repair cured I smoothed out the repairs 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 Hardcastle’s British Made Jack O’London Bent Billiard is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. This great looking pipe that came to me from the local pipe shop estate that I am restoring and selling for them. The medium brown stain highlights the grain 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 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 Hardcastle’s Bent 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: 6 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.

Restoring a Birks Regency Lovat


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 is an interesting looking piece – great grain showing through underneath the grime. There is cross grain and birdseye grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the left side and reads Birks [over] Regency. The finish was dull and lifeless with a lot of grime ground into the briar. There were quite a few loose fills on the left side of the bowl and on the shank top. 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 stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe when I received it. I was curious about the maker of the pipe so I did some searching on Pipedia. There was a link there under British Made pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Birks). I quote the following:

Purely speculation, but perhaps this pipe was made for the Henry Birks & Sons firm as a gift for executives or clients.

That could make sense as there is a Henry Birks and Sons Ltd. in Vancouver. Since the pipe came through a Vancouver based pipe shop there could be a connection. It is one of those mysteries that I am not sure will be solved.

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 bowl was a definite improvement but the stem still showed a some oxidation. The inner and outer edges were in excellent condition. There were nicks and damaged areas on the rim top. There was also some darkening on the top. The stem look good but there was still some 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 sides 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 look of the pipe as a whole.I decided to address the loose fills in the briar on the right side of the bowl and shank first. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol and filled in the chipped and damaged fills with clear super glue and briar dust. I packed the briar dust and glue into the damaged fills. Once the repairs cured I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surrounding briar. To take care of the rim damage I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the inner edge of the rim with a folded  piece of 220 grit sandpaper and the rim top looks much better.I polished the rim top and bowl with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to smooth out the scratches from the sandpaper. I stained the bowl with Light Brown aniline stain, flamed it and repeated until the coverage was even around the bowl and shank.    I polished the newly stained bowl 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 briar.   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 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 grain showing through the deep glow.      I polished the bowl with a microfiber polishing cloth to raise the shine. I took photos of the bowl at this point in the process.     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 Birks Regency Lovat is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored and restained. This great looking pipe that came to me 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 medium brown finish highlights the grain 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 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 Lovat 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 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.

Refurbishing a Second Bertram From the Lot Of 13 – a Bent Egg # 25


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

Last year while on a Face Time chat with my Guru, Mentor and friend, Steve Laug, we got talking about the Bertram lot that he had been working on at that point in time. He spoke about how overwhelming it was just to look at the large lot of about 200 plus pipes that he and Jeff had acquired. Never to miss an opportunity to add to my meager pipe lot that was available for me to work on, I suggested that if it was okay with him I would be more than willing to take a few of them off his hands. We worked out the details and soon a job lot of 12 pipes traveled all the way from US to Canada and then on to India!! That was one long journey undertaken by this lot of Bertram pipes. Here is the lot of Bertram pipes that I received. This lot contained a variety of nicely shaped and grained pipes which I had been looking forward to work on.The second pipe that I decided to work on from this lot is a Full Bent Egg shaped pipe, marked in green arrow, with swirls to the front and cross grains to the sides and over the shank surfaces. This pipe is stamped on the left shank surface as “Bertram” in running hand over “WASHINGTON D C” in block letters in a straight line. The grade code “25” is stamped on the bottom surface at the shank end. The stampings are slightly worn out but still readable by naked eye. The bent vulcanite saddle stem is sans any stamping. The size and feel of the pipe is solid in hand. This pipe has been well researched and chronicled by Steve when he worked on many of the Bertram pipes in his possession and thus, shall not waste time in proverbial “reinventing the wheel”. Interested readers may like to follow the link given below to get to know the brand better. https://rebornpipes.com/2019/04/10/the-4th-of-a-collection-of-bertrams-a-bertram-dublin-70s/

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
This pipe has a compact bowl size that narrows slightly towards the rim with a sharply raked round shank and a bent saddle stem that lends itself nicely to clenching. The stummel boasts of some beautiful cross grains to the sides and all around the shank. The stummel is covered in dirt and dust. The entire stummel is peppered with a number of fills, both large and small. There is a thick layer of cake in the chamber and some damage is likely to the back of the rim top surface. The stem is lightly oxidized with tooth chatter in the bite zone. The pipe, as it sits on my work table, presents an encouraging picture. DETAILED INSPECTION OF THE PIPE AND OBSERVATIONS
The chamber has a slight taper towards the rim top and a chamber depth of about 1 ¼ inches. The outer edge of the rim towards the shank is slightly flattened while the rest of it is perfectly rounded. The chamber has an even layer of thick hard cake with remnants of un-burnt tobacco seen at the heel of the chamber. The rim surface has light traces of lava overflow over the rim surface. Through this layer of lava, a few dings can be seen over the rim top surface. The outer rim edge is sans any damage. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber can be commented upon after the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. The ghost smells in the chamber are not very strong. The stummel appears solid to the touch all around and hence I do not foresee any serious damage to the walls in the form of burnout/ deep heat fissures/ lines or pits. The ghost smells should reduce once the cake from the chamber is removed and the shank has been cleaned. The smooth stummel surface is covered in dust and grime through which one can make out the beautiful cross grains over the sides of the bowl and shank. The stummel surface is shows a couple of large and small fills. These fills stand out like flesh wounds against the briar surface. The briar is looking lifeless and bone dry. Thorough cleaning and rising of the stummel under warm water should loosen old fills while also serving to highlight the grain patterns. Once the stummel has been thoroughly cleaned, these fills will be more apparent and I intend to refresh only those fills which have loosened out with a fresh fill of briar dust and superglue. Micromesh polishing will help in blending these fills while imparting a nice shine to the briar. The mortise has a reservoir at the bottom that has accumulated oils, tars and gunk. The walls of the shank are filthy and covered in grime and dust. The mortise appears to be clogged as a pipe cleaner did not easily pass through it. I have worked on many Pete System pipes and cleaning the sump had always been a chore. Fervently hoping that is not the case this time around! The fit of the stem in to the mortise is slightly tight. However, once the shank walls are cleaned, this issue should be resolved.The high quality vulcanite saddle stem is lightly oxidized. Some minor tooth chatter and calcified deposit is seen on both the upper and lower stem surfaces in the bite zone and at the bottom of the button edge respectively. The tenon has accumulated ash and oils/ tars that have dried out on the inside as well as on the outside. The horizontal slot has scratch marks which will have to be addressed. The tooth chatter and the calcified deposits will be removed by sanding with a piece of 220 grit sand paper.THE PROCESS
I started the restoration of this pipe by first cleaning the internals of the stem with bristled pipe cleaners and 99.9% pure isopropyl alcohol. I scraped out the dried oils and tars from the tenon end with my fabricated knife and also removed the dried oils and tars from the slot end. I followed it up by sanding the entire stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper to remove the surface oxidation. It has been our (Abha, my wife and self) experience that sanding a stem before dunking it in to the deoxidizer solution helps in bringing the deep seated oxidation to the surface which in turn make further cleaning a breeze with fantastic result.I dropped the stem in to “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution developed by my friend Mark Hoover. The solution helps to draw out heavy oxidation to the surface, making its further removal a breeze, while the minor oxidation is eliminated to a very great extent. The initial sanding helps to draw out the complete oxidation as the sanding opens up the stem surface that has been initially covered with oxidation. I usually dunk stems of 4-5 pipes that are in-line for restoration and this pipe is marked in pastel blue arrow. I generally allow the stems to soak in this solution overnight to do its work.While the stem was soaking in the deoxidizer solution, I worked on the stummel by first reaming the chamber with size 2 Castleford reamer head. I further scraped the chamber walls with my fabricated knife to remove the remaining carbon deposits where the reamer head could not reach. I scraped out the lava overflow from the rim top surface. Once the cake was reamed back to the bare briar, I used a 150 grit sand paper followed by 220 grit sand paper to remove all the traces of remaining cake and also to smooth out the inner walls of the chamber surface. Finally, to remove the residual carbon dust, I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with 99.9% pure isopropyl alcohol. And it was at this stage that I got the first (and hopefully the last) inkling of the likely damage to the heel of the chamber. The mortise and draught hole had been over zealously cleaned with pipe cleaners/ shank brush by the previous piper and which had resulted in a deep trough from the draught hole to the center of the heel with raised edges on the sides. This trough is indicated with red arrows. If or not the damage has extended to the foot of the stummel will be confirmed once the stummel surface has been cleaned. The chamber walls, inner and outer rim edges are pristine and without any damage. I followed up the reaming with cleaning the mortise using cue tips, pipe cleaners and shank brush dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I scraped the walls of the mortise with my fabricated knife to remove the dried oils and tars. The ghost smells have been eliminated and the chamber smells clean.With the bowl internals clean, I move to clean the exterior of the stummel. I used a hard bristled tooth brush and Briar Cleaner, a product that has been developed by Mark Hoover, to scrub the stummel and rim top. I set the stummel aside for 10 minutes for the product to draw out all the grime from the briar surface. After 10 minutes, I washed the stummel under running warm water with anti oil dish washing detergent till the stummel surface was clean. I dried it using paper towels and soft cotton cloth. I simultaneously cleaned the shank internals with the detergent and hard bristled shank brush and set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. The stummel surface has cleaned up nicely and the beautiful grain patterns are now on full display. The fills, even the smallest ones, are now clearly discernible. I probed each fill with a sharp dental tool to check for solidity and thankfully, each fill was nice and solid without any give, save for the fills at the foot of the stummel. I took a closer look at the foot of the stummel and the worst of my fears was staring right back at me with a smile!!! There is a small smiley crack right in the centre of the foot. Truth be told, looking at the heel, I had inkling that the foot may have some such damage, but now to be sure that the damage does exist, is painful. Desperately seeking some positives, I was relieved to note that the damage has not progressed to an extent that would be termed as a burnout. I did the tap test over and around the damaged foot (with the back of a spoon or any hard instrument gently tap the damaged area) and was relieved to hear a crisp sharp note signifying that nothing is lost. The briar around still feels solid over and around the damaged foot. The pipe still has many years of life left in it and with the repairs that I plan, this will last even longer. I plan to drill a counter hole at either ends of the crack and seal it with briar dust and super glue. This will prevent further spread of the crack in either direction. The trough formed at the heel of the chamber will be spot filled with J B Weld which will prevent the burning tobacco from coming in to direct contact with the now weak spot in the heal.While the stummel was drying, the next morning, Abha removed the stem that had been soaking in the deoxidizer solution overnight. She cleaned the stem under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using a scotch brite pad and cleaned the airway with a thin shank brush. She further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stem with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little EVO to rehydrate the stem. There is a need to further sand the stem to completely remove the oxidation.My significant half, Abha, used a 220 grit sand paper to sand the stem and remove all the oxidation that was raised to the surface. This step further reduced the tooth chatter and bite marks present on the stem. She wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil soap on a cotton swab. This helps in cleaning the stem surface while removing the loosened oxidation. As is the norm, whenever she works on a pipe, taking pictures NEVER EVER crosses her otherwise sharp mind!!! No exceptions here…

To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, she polished it by wet sanding with 1500 to 2000 grit sandpapers followed by further wet sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. She wiped the stem with a moist cloth after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil to rejuvenate the vulcanite. The finished stem is shown below. I checked the fit of the stem in to the mortise of the stummel and realized that the fit is very loose. This may happen when the mortise has been cleaned of the entire accumulated gunk and the briar has dried out completely. I shall address this issue by moistening the mortise with water and if that does not work, I shall use more invasive methods. RESTORATION ON THIS PIPE WAS PUT ON HOLD AS ALL THE NECESSARY TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR FURTHER REPAIRS ARE AT MY PLACE OF WORK AND I WAS ON LEAVE INITIALLY AND THEREAFTER IN A NATION WIDE LOCKDOWN TO CONTAIN THE SPREAD OF THE DEADLY CORONA VIRUS!!!

PART II
Finally back at my work place…… After enjoying a compulsorily extended leave of three months with family and having honed my culinary and domestic chores skill set, I was happy to rejoin my duty and get back to completing the pending pipe restorations. The first in line was this Bertram Bent Egg # 25.

I decided to address the crack to the foot of the stummel. I marked the end points of the crack on either ends with a sharp dental tool under magnification. This helps to identify these end points later with naked eye and also provides initial traction for the drill bit to bite in. With a 1 mm drill bit mounted on to my hand held rotary machine, I drilled a hole each on either ends of the crack, taking care not to go too deep and end up drilling a through-hole.Simultaneously, I gouged out a few old fills that had loosened out from the foot of the stummel. I cleaned the stummel with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swab as I prepared the surface for the fill.I filled the gouges and the drilled holes with a mix of CA superglue and briar dust and set the stummel aside for the fill to cure. A few hours later, the fills had hardened completely. I sand them down with a flat head needle file to achieve a rough match with the rest of the stummel. I fine tuned the match with the rest of the surface by further sanding with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I shall decide to stain the stummel or otherwise after I have finished with the polishing with micromesh pads.I evened out the dents and dings from the rim top surface by sanding it with a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper. It was a tricky job since the rim top surface is not flat but slopes outwards from the inner to the outer edge. This peculiar shape ruled out topping the rim top. Now that the external repairs are done, I decided to address the trough that was formed at the heel of the chamber. To protect the heel from coming in to direct contact with the burning tobacco and also to prevent the heat from reaching the foot of the stummel causing a burnout, I plan, firstly, to coat only the heel of the chamber with J B Weld followed by a second coat of activated charcoal and yogurt to the entire chamber which would assist in faster cake formation. J B Weld is a two-part epoxy Cold Weld that consists of two parts; hardener and steel which are mixed in equal parts in a ratio of 1:1 with hardening time of 5-6 minutes and complete curing time of 6-8 hours. I poured the contents of the two tubes and mixed it well. With a flat bamboo frond, I applied this mix, as evenly as possible, over the intended areas. I worked fast to ensure a complete and even coating of the trough in the heel and set the stummel aside for the J B Weld to harden.By the next afternoon when I got back to working on this pipe, the J B Weld coat had completely cured and hardened considerably. With a folded piece of 150 grit sandpaper, I tried to sand the weld coating to a smooth surface. However, I could not sand the Weld as there was no space for maneuvering my finger with the sand paper. I decided to use a conical grinding stone which I had received along with my DIY hand held rotary tool kit and accessories. I mounted the conical grinding stone on to the rotary tool, set the speed at its lowest RPM and sanded the J B Weld coat till I had as thin a coat as was essential to protect and insulate the heel from the direct heat of the burning tobacco. I did not apply any downward pressure while sanding and let the rotary tool use the motor rpm to sand the weld to desired thickness.I followed it by wet sanding the stummel with 1500 to 12000 grit micromesh pads, wiping frequently with a moist cloth to check the progress. I really like the looks of the stummel at this point in restoration. The grains and the clean lines of this piece of briar are worthy of appreciation. Next, I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” deep in to the briar with my finger tips and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful grain patterns displayed in their complete splendor. I further buffed it with a horse hair brush. The dark browns of the bird’s eye and cross grains spread across the stummel makes for a visual treat. It really is a nice piece of briar. With the stummel rejuvenation almost complete, save for the final wax polish, I worked the stem. I moistened the shank with a q-tip dipped in water. I checked the seating of the tenon in to the mortise after an hour. It was still very loose. This called for stretching the tenon to improve the seating of the stem in to the shank. I selected a drill bit that was slightly larger in diameter than the tenon air hole. I heated the tenon with the flame of a lighter till it was slightly pliable and inserted the back of the drill bit in to the opening to enlarge it. I cooled the tenon under cold running water to set the increased diameter of the tenon. I checked the fit and it was much better, though not very snug. I remedied this issue by applying a coat of clear nail polish and set it aside for the nail polish to dry out. Now that the cosmetic aspects of this pipe have dealt with, all that remained was the functional aspect that needs to be taken care of. The J B Weld coated surface needs to be protected from the direct heat of the burning tobacco and for this; I coat the complete chamber walls with a mix of activated charcoal and yogurt and set it aside to harden naturally. The mix has to be of the right consistency; neither too thick nor too runny. It should be of a consistency that is thick enough to spread easily, evenly and stick to the walls. Also the coating should not be very thick. A thin film is all that is required. Another important aspect to remember is that it is essential to insert a pipe cleaner in to the mortise and through the draught hole for two reasons; first is obviously to keep the draught hole from getting clogged and secondly, the pipe cleaner absorbs all the moisture from the mix and helps in faster and even drying of the coat.To put the finishing touches, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and polished the stummel and stem with Blue Diamond compound. This compound helps to remove the minor scratch marks that remain from the sanding.Next, I mount another cotton buffing wheel that I have earmarked for carnauba wax and applied several coats of the wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The grains on this finished pipe looks amazingly beautiful and coupled with the size, heft and the hand feel, makes it quite a desirable pipe. If you are interested to enjoy this pipe for years to come, please let Steve know and we shall make arrangements for it to reach you. P.S. In one of my previous write up, a question “Why do I enjoy bringing these old battered and discarded pipes back to life?” had popped up in my mind. I had given my second reason in my last write up and in all my subsequent write ups I intend to share with the readers my reasons as to why I really love this hobby.

The third reason is that every pipe has a HISTORY attached to it. That history, in part, is about the maker/ carver of the pipe and the other part is the person who had posed faith in this piece of briar during his life time. Take the case of a Dunhill pipe that I had restored that once belonged to Late Mr. John Barber, an explorer who had been to Arctic and the Antarctic in the 1950s- 60s and an avid pipe smoker! His favored pipes were DUNHILL. His daughter, Farida had passed on his pipes to Steve to restore and trade these pipes for the family. Well, one of the Dunhill pipes was sent to me by Steve to let me test my skills in pipe restoration with the rider that “if I could restore it, I get to keep it!” This pipe had all the challenges that a pipe restorer usually faces while restoring a pipe and then some more. However, it was successfully repaired and restored and now is a part of my daily rotation (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/12/06/a-project-close-to-my-heart-restoring-a-dunhill-from-faridas-dads-collection/)

The point I want to convey is that whenever I smoke this pipe, it reminds me of Late Mr. John Barber and images of him smoking this pipe in the cold snow desert and the warmth, peace and comfort it must have provided him in that desolate environment…AND NOW I GET TO BE A PART OF THAT HISTORY/ LEGACY OF THE PIPE and this is what I just love!

I wish to thank each one for sparing their valuable time to read through this write up and each one is in my prayers. Stay home…stay safe!!

Restoring a GBD Ebony 789 Beautifully Grained Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is another one that 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 GBD Pot is an interesting looking piece – great grain showing through underneath the grime. There is straight and flame grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the left side and reads GBD in an oval [over] Ebony. On the right side it is stamped London England [over] 789. The finish was dull and lifeless with a lot of grime ground into the briar. 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 stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe when I received it. I was curious about the GBD Ebony line. I turned to Pipedia’s GBD Model Information to get a bit of information on the line (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Model_Information). I have included a screen capture below:I turned to Pipedia’s listing of shape numbers (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Shapes/Numbers). I have included a screen capture below:The Ebony line was made in England and maybe France. They were stained with light to medium brown stain and muted black undertones. It was listed as appearing in 1976 catalogues with a matte finish with dual tone. Now it is was time to work on the pipe itself.

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 bowl was a definite improvement but the stem still showed a lot of oxidation.   The rim top looked really good. The inner and outer edges were in excellent condition. There was no charring or damage to the top or edges. I was pleased. The stem look good but there was still 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 sides 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 look of the pipe as a whole.The pipe was in great condition so I moved to polishing the bowl 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 briar.   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 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 grain showing through the deep glow.   I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a Bic lighter. I filled in the remaining tooth marks 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 GBD Ebony 789 Pot is another great looking pipe that came to me 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 medium brown finish and dark highlights makes the grain stand out 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 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 GBD pot 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 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.

Restoring a Benson & Hedges Peewit (Acorn) Made in the USA


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 American Made Benson & Hedges Peewit is an interesting looking piece – great grain showing through underneath the grime. There is cross grain and birdseye grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the left side and reads Benson & Hedges and on the right side it is stamped Made in U.S.A. The finish was dull and lifeless with a lot of grime ground into the briar. 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 stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe when I received it. I was curious about the maker of the pipe so I did some searching. In Who Made that Pipe it says that the pipe is English Made even though this one says Made in USA. In Pipedia says that it was likely made by Comoy for the London Tobacco Company. Then it lists the following stamping “London Made”. http://pipedia.org/wiki/British_Pipe_Brands_%26_Makers_A_-_D There was one other note that Orlik made pipes that were stamped with the Benson and Hedges label. Nowhere in the listings that I could find did anyone mention the stamping on this one: MADE IN U.S.A. Even though many B&H pipes were made in England by noted English Pipe Makers this one is obviously not one of those. I can find no mention of an American Maker for the brand so I guess this is one mystery that I can go no further in unraveling. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

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 bowl was a definite improvement but the stem still showed a lot of oxidation. The rim top looked really good. The inner and outer edges were in excellent condition. There was no charring or damage to the top or edges. I was pleased. The stem look good but there was still 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 sides 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 look of the pipe as a whole.The pipe was in great condition so I moved to polishing the bowl 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 briar. 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 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 grain showing through the deep glow. I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a Bic lighter. I filled in the remaining tooth marks 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 Benson & Hedges Peewit made in USA is nice Danish looking pipe that came to me 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 medium brown finish highlights the grain 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 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 Peewit 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: 6 inches, Height: 2 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.

Restoring a Rossi 129 Rope Rusticated Lovat


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 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 Italian Made Rossi 129 Lovat is an interesting looking piece – a rope like rustication with the grain showing through underneath and a smooth rim top. The pipe is stamped on the left side and reads Rossi in an oval and on the right side it has the shape number 129. On the underside of the shank at the stem/shank junction it was stamped Italy. The finish was dull and lifeless with a lot of grime ground into the briar. 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. There were quite a few fills on the shank top and underside. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe when I received it. I turned to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-n1.html#ninorossi) to see what I could find out about the brand. 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/Rossi) and read the section on the rough outline on history of the brand. It is a great read. Take time to have a look at it if you are interested. I am including a section of the article that helps with dating the pipes.

From, approximatively, Twenties, Rossi pipes were marked with “FRB” (Fratelli Rossi Barasso) or “MFRB” (Manifattura Fratelli Rossi Barasso), into an oval and above “OLD BRIAR” (or similar – sometimes, there was also “MFD. BY ROSSI”, as “Manufactured by Rossi”); on the stem, there was generally the “R” letter in circle. However, “FRB OLD BRIAR” was mantained for the “traditional pipes” (for cheap models – see below), surely, to Sixties.

From, approximatively, the fiftieth anniverary (1936), pipes were marked with “Rossi” (in cursive font), with model name just under it; on the stem, there was “ROSSI” (for expensive models like “extra”, which had the best quality; “racine”, which was rusticated by hand; “extra grain”, which was accurately sandblasted; “super”, which had the best briar selection, and a limited production; “fiamma”, which was the best selection of Sardinia and Greece briar, and a very limited production) or “R” in circle (for unexpensive models like “standard”, “grana” and “FRB”).

From, approximatively, Seventies, until 1985, Rossi pipes were marked with “ROSSI”, into an oval (sometimes there was also “ITALY” on the shank); on the stem, there was “ROSSI”. In these years, appeared the signature “Nino Rossi” (in cursive font): he was the last heir of the factory.

When Savinelli took back the production, it is said that first pipes had a twinbore mouthpiece, with “ROSSI” on the stem, and they were marked with “ROSSI” on the shank. Today most of them had 6 mm or 9 mm adapter (also, for the most part, the stem was made by methacrylate, always with “Rossi” on the side).

I think that this places the pipe in the 1970-1985 period as it is stamped Rossi in an oval and has the stamping Italy on the underside of the shank. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

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 a flaw in the briar on the left front. The inner edge of the rim was damaged 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 left side of the shank. I forgot to take photos of the shank number on the right side of the shank and the underside as well. 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 look of the pipe as a whole.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 filled in the flaw in the rim top with clear super glue. I topped it again once the glue had cured to smooth it out. The rim top looks very good.   I polished the newly topped rim and the bowl 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 briar.     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 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 forgot to take photos of the filing but I did it before I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper.)    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 Rossi 129 Rope Rusticated Lovat, an Italian 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 rope rustication on the medium brown finish 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 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 Rossi Lovat 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 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.

Restoring a Tall BBB Silver Grain 264 Stack


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 is another English pipe – a BBB Silver Grain Stack. It is a smooth finished pipe with some interesting grain – cross grain and mixed grains. The pipe is stamped on the left side and reads BBB [over] Silver Grain and on the right side it is stamped London, England [over] the shape number 264. The bowl has a thick and heavy cake with a thick 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 smooth finish had years of dust and debris ground into it around the bowl. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There was a brass BBB Diamond on the topside of the stem that was oxidized and dirty. The tall stack had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe to show what it looked like when I received it.  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 looked very good other than a flaw on the back right inner edge. The stem look good but there was some heavy oxidation and there were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.   I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. The stamping is faint but still 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.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 a slight dip along the button on the top side and two remaining marks left on the underside.    I filled in the remaining tooth marks 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 beautiful BBB Silver Grain 264 Stack, an English made pipe from the local pipe shop estate that I am restoring and selling for them is a great looking pipe. The smooth 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 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 BBB Silver Grain Stack 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 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.

 

 

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.

New Life for an Ornsby System Pipe – the Ongoing Hunt for a Cooler Smoke.


Blog by Steve Laug

After reading Paresh’s blog on his restoration of an Ornsby pipe I decided to work on the one I have in my queue. While his was a smooth finished bowl mine is a very nice black sandblast finished pipe. I had it in my box here since 2018 so it was about time to work on it. The pipe is a uniquely designed system pipe with a spear like stem that inserts into the base of the bowl. The finish is a rugged sandblast that shows some around the sides of the bowl and rim. The carver did a great job utilizing the block of briar to maximize the grain. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow that fills in the sandblast rim top. The exterior of the briar was dusty with grime ground into the briar. The vulcanite taper stem and metal insert is a single unit. There is an interlocked OP on the top of the stem just behind the metal portion. The stem is lightly oxidized and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. The stem was in good condition under the grime. Jeff took the photos below to tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before 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 grime and there was a coat of lava that overflowed the bowl. There was a thick, hard cake in the bowl.Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the bowl.  He took photos of the bowl and stem taken apart. The sandblast finish is rugged and looks great under the grime in the sandblast. The second photo below shows the hole in the back side of the base. The third photo shows the slot on the heel of the bowl with a hole in the bottom of the bowl.   The next two photos show the spear like stem end with a slot that matches the hole in the bottom of the bowl. You can see the tars and oils in the slot and on the aluminum end.    The next photo shows the stamping on the topside of the stem and it is very readable. It reads as noted above.    The stem was dirty and oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button.      When I read Paresh’s blog on the Ornsby pipe that he worked on I remembered that I had one of them in my “to do” box. I went looking for the pipe and once I found it decided to work on it. I reread Paresh’s interesting blog for the background information that he had found on the brand. https://rebornpipes.com/2020/06/17/a-difficult-to-identify-but-simple-restoration-of-ornsby-pipe/ I quote the information below.

Lack of Maker’s stampings and COM stamp made research of this pipe very difficult. There was no point visiting rebornpipes.com as I did not have any name to search for. Similarly, visiting pipedia.org would not help as I did not have COM stamp to follow. Finally I turned to pipephil.eu and searched the Logos with a geometrical pattern and Logos with miscellaneous symbols sections. Again I came up with nothing matching the stem logo on the pipe in front of me. As a last resort, I just typed “pictures of unusual tobacco pipes” in to the Google search bar and there before me were a plethora of pictures. As I was scrolling through these images, after a couple of hours, I finally found a picture that was an exact replica of the pipe on my work table. A click on to this image took me to the site smokingmetals.co.uk. Here is the link to the web page; http://www.smokingmetal.co.uk/pipe.php?page=106.

From the read I understood that this design was a part of the piper’s eternal quest for a cool and dry smoke. I reproduce a part of the information that should provide the readers with an insight in to the designer of the pipe and the Company that manufactured these pipes.

Invented by Chief Marine Officer, William Edward Ornsby in an attempt to create a cooler smoke and a dry bowl. Marketed by the Ornsby Pipe Company Ltd, Pennywell, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, England, predominately in the North of England, this pipe is virtually a stem direct to bowl.

The push fit stem/bit can be rotated to clear any shreds of tobacco that may be blocking the airway. A half turn of the stem will cut any trapped leaf in the airway and a quick blow will eject the offending particle. As the centre photo shows, the metal part of the stem goes right through the bowl. The packaging was also unusual in that it was a tube.

The pipe came with two choices of stem, straight or curved and there was a choice of six bowls: Natural, Brown Sandblast, Black Sandblast, Smooth Mahogany Finish, Deep Cut Horizontal Carved or the Deep Cut Vertical Carved.

Overall length 5 3/4 inches (146 m/m)

My thanks to Richard Adamek for the following:

“ORNSBY PIPE COMPANY LIMITED At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Members of the above-named Company, duly convened, and held at 7 Benton Terrace, Sandyford Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on 27th October 1980, the following Extraordinary Resolution was duly passed:

“That it has been proved to the satisfaction of this Meeting that the Company cannot, by reason of its liabilities, continue its business, and that it is advisable to wind up the same, and accordingly that the Company be wound up voluntarily and that Brian Leslie Wilson, of Wilson Johnson, 7 Benton Terrace, Sandyford Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, be and he is hereby nominated Liquidator for the purposes of the winding-up.”

(803) Brian Dobinson, Director”

Richard also found the patent number… US patent 242261 of 1976

Thus from the above, it is now established that the pipe that I am dealing with is an ORNSBY with a Natural smooth finish and a straight vulcanite stem. The pipe was awarded a US Patent in 1976 and the company was liquidated in 1980. This places the pipe in between the period from 1970s to 1980 making it 40 plus years old!!

Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. Once he finished he shipped it back to me. 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 soaked the stem 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 and edges are in excellent condition. There is one deep nick that could well be a sandblast. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks on the stem surface.   I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. You can see scratches in the stem surface.   Now, on to my part of the restoration of this Ornsby System pipe. I decided to start by rubbing the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips 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 filled in the remaining tooth mark with clear 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 decided to touch up the OP stamp on the top of the stem using Papermate Liquid Paper. Once the repair cured I scraped it off with a tooth pick and the white remained in the stamp. It looks very good at this point.     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 Ornsby System pipe is a beauty and it cleaned up very well. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and works well with the polished aluminum and vulcanite saddle stem. I buffed the bowl and the spear like stem 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 Ornsby pipe is a great looking pipe that looks almost new. The flow of the sandblast around the bowl and the shape contribute to beautiful look of this pipe. It 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This pipe will be added to my own collection of pipes from the “ongoing hunt for the perfect smoke”. I look forward to enjoying it. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This was an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Breathing Life into a Leonard Payne Standard System Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is an interesting piece that Jeff and I picked up on a pipe hunt in Alberta. It is another Leonard Payne pipe that is very interesting. The bowl has been rusticated to look a bit like tree bark. There is some darkening around the shank bowl junction that when examined appears to be a rejoined shank and bowl. Is it a repair or something else? Once it is cleaned up I will know more about what is there. The metal shank end piece is aluminum and has a tube inside it. The vulcanite stem also has a tube in it. To me it is a lot like Keyser Hygienic pipe in terms of the system structure. The bowl has a thick cake that overflows onto the rim top as lava. There are some nicks and scratches on the top and edges. The exterior was very dirty with grime and debris ground into the finish on the bowl. The inside of the scratched aluminum shank end is filled with tars and oils the same as the stem is. The vulcanite stem is oxidized, scratched and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. I took some photos of the pipe before I did any clean up. I took photos of the rim top and the stem. The photo of the rim top shows the damage and the thick cake in the bowl and lava on the top. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter and light marks on both sides.     I took photos of the stamping on the top, right and left side of the shank. The stamping on the left side is the Leonard Payne signature. The stamping on the left side reads CANADA. The stamping on the top of the shank reads Standard.I reread several of the blog I have written on the brand in the past restorations of Payne pipes and decided to include the material on the brand before I write about the clean up of the pipe. I am including advertisement for Leonard Payne’s pipes. Here is the link to the blog.

https://rebornpipes.com/2013/11/16/a-pipe-maker-i-had-never-heard-of-leonard-payne-pipes/

Further digging with Google came up with this short note from alt.smokers.pipes forum. It was written by Mike Glukler of Briar Blues. I quote it below in full. (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.smokers.pipes/RrICLiVgE2o)  “Leonard Payne was based in B.C. for many years. He came to Canada from England. He had shops in Surrey, B.C. and Kelowna, B.C. Interesting fellow. Gruff as the day is long. When you bought a pipe it was handed to you in a paper bag. No sock, no box. Most of his pipes carried a “carburetor” system at the shank / stem junction. Another Payne idea was his shanks. Almost all his pipes were two pieces. He’d turn the bowl and shank, then cut off the shank and reattach with glue (not always with the same piece of briar, so many did not match grains). His thinking was that the shank being the weakest link, if cut and glued would never break and thus “correcting” the weakest link. You may find his pipes on E-Bay on occasion listed as a Len Cayne. The P in his stamping looks more like a fancy upper case C.”

The pipe I am working on fits Mike’s information perfectly. First, there was a carburetor system on this pipe. The aluminum shank extension has a tube in it that matches a tube in the inside of the military bit stem. (I forgot to take a photo of the system before I cleaned it up but you can see the system set up on shank end and stem.The second part of the information from Mike regards the shank and bowl connection. It was obvious that the shank had been cut off the shank and reattached with glue. It was Payne’s belief that since the shank was the weakest link cutting it off and gluing on would remove the possibility of it breaking in the future.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. First I took the pipe apart and took the following photo of the pipe. It was very dirty and needed to be thoroughly cleaned. I reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I scraped off the rim top with the knife to remove the lava top coat on the rim. The rim looked quite good with the lava removed. Once the rim top was sanded I would be able to polish out the scratches. I used a brass bristle brush to clean off the grime in the briar. Once it was loose I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on cotton pads to remove the grit and grime ground into the briar.   With the externals cleaned I cleaned the internals on the metal fitment, the vulcanite stem and the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I worked on them until they were clean.I rubbed the threads on the shank end down with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly to lubricate it for easily putting it back on the shank. I polished the smooth portions of the rusticated bowl and rim top 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 bark on the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips 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 sanded out the remaining oxidation, the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the surrounding vulcanite. 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 Leonard Payne System Pipe is a great looking pipe that has all of the classic Leonard Payne innovations – the carburetor and the cut off and glued on shank to strengthen the connection. The rusticated finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and works well with the polished vulcanite military style 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 polished the aluminum shank end with micromesh pads and a jeweller’s cloth to raise the shine. 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 Canadian Made Leonard Payne Standard is a great looking pipe that looks almost new. The flow of the grain and rustication around the bowl and the shape contribute to beautiful look of this pipe. It 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: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. This one is on its way soon to a Leonard Payne collector in Eastern Canada. I look forward to hearing what he thinks of it once he receives it. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This was an interesting pipe to bring back to life.