Tag Archives: The Guildhall Pipe

Breathing Life into The Guildhall London Pipe 182 Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of our pipe hunts or a trade I just cannot remember. It is a very nice looking Billiard with great grain around the bowl. The finish is quite nice with a classic English smooth finish. The bowl had a thick cake lining the walls though the rim top was clean and undamaged. There as a little darkening on the beveled inner edge of the bowl. The exterior of the pipe was pretty clean. The pipe is stamped on the sides of the shank and reads The Guildhall [over] London Pipe on the left side of the shank. On the right side the shape number 182 is next to the bowl/shank junction. Next to that is the circular COM stamp that is normal on Comoy’s Made pipes. The stamping is clear and readable on the pipe. The stem was dirty, calcified and lightly oxidized. There were light tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button on both sides and some on the surface of the button as well. There was also a bite through on the underside next to the button. There was the three metal bars logo on the left side of the saddle stem. I took photos of the pipe before I worked on it.  I took photos of the rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the relatively clean rim top and damaged inner edge. The stem was in rough condition with tooth chatter and marks along with a bite through on the underside. The button surface is worn.The stamping on the sides of the shank read as noted above. The photo shows that they are faint but readable. The 3 Bar Logo on the left side of the stem is in good condition.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It is a great looking pipe.The pipe is a Comoy’s Made The Guildhall London Pipe. I turned first to Pipephil’s site as it is always a quick source of information on any brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-g6.html).  I have included a screen capture of the section on the brand below.I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Comoy’s pipes and looked specifically at the list of seconds made by Comoys (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy%27s). I have highlighted the line in red in the list below.

Seconds made by Comoy’s

Ace of spades, Ancestor, Astor, Ayres, Britannia, Carlyle, Charles Cross, Claridge, Coronet?, Cromwell, Dorchester, Dunbar, Drury Lane, Emerson, Everyman, Festival of Britain, Golden Arrow, Grand Master, Gresham, Guildhall, Hamilton (according to Who Made That Pipe), Kingsway, Lion’s Head, Lord Clive, Lumberman, Hyde Park, Lloyds, Mc Gahey, Moorgate, Newcastle, Oxford, O’Gorman, Rosebery Extra, Royal Falcon, Royal Guard, Royal Lane, Scotland Yard, St James, Sunrise, Super Sports, Sussex, The Academy Award, The Golden Arrow, The Mansion House, The Exmoor Pipe, Throgmorton, Tinder Box Royal Coachman, Townhall, Trident, Trocadero, Westminster, Wilshire

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I started my work on it by reaming the bowl. I reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer using three of the four cutting heads to take back the cake so I could examine the bowl walls. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and then sanded the inside of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel.  I cleaned the shank out with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. There was some thick tars on the walls on the walls of the shank. I scraped it with a pen knife before cleaning it with alcohol.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the briar down with a damp cloth after each pad. The briar began to take on a rich glow. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine.  The grain came alive with the balm.   While I was working on the bowl the stem was soaking in a new product I received from Briarville Pipe Repair – Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. It is a liquid of about the same consistency as apple juice. The stem sat in the mixture for 2 ½ -3 hours. I wanted it clean so that I could repair the bite through on the underside of the stem.I removed the stem from the bath, scrubbed lightly with a tooth brush and dried if off with a paper towel. I was surprised that it was quite clean. Just some light oxidation on the top of the saddle remaining. The bath was dark with the removed oxidation of the seven stems. I cleaned out the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners.   The stem was clean and ready for the repair to the bite through. I wiped down the area with alcohol on a cotton pad to prepare it. I greased a pipe cleaner and inserted it in the airway. I generally use a mix of charcoal powder and CA glue to repair these however when I reached for the charcoal I was out. The Loctite 380 I am experimenting with is billed as a toughened product that is suitable for repairs of this nature so I thought I would try it alone on this repair. I filled in the bite through with the glue, sprayed it with an accelerator and refilled it. I removed the pipe cleaner and checked to see if the airway was clear – it was! I filled in a few deep tooth marks on the topside at the same time. I set the stem aside for the repair to cure over night. Once the repairs cured I recut the button edge and flattened out the repaired areas with a needle file to begin to blend them into the surface.  I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to further blend the repaired areas in and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This The Guildhall London Pipe 182 Billiard is a great looking pipe. The smooth finish and contrasting brown stains around the bowl sides and shank make the grain just pop. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to give some contrast to the polished black vulcanite saddle stem. The stem repair worked very well on the bite through on the underside and it is solid and virtually invisible. The pipe is really quite eye-catching. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel, carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Guildhall Billiard is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that like the other pipes I am working that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This Guidhall London Pipe made by Comoy’s will be added to the British Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Pipe #19 from Bob Kerr’s Estate – The Guildhall London Pipe 214 Bent Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

The fourth pipe, #19 of Bob Kerr’s Estate is part of my continuing desire to change things up a bit with my restoration of the pipes in the estate. This pipe is a well-made “The Guildhall London Pipe” bent billiard. I think this one was one of Bob’s favourite shop pipes. It is the perfect shape to have hanging out of your mouth while your hands are busy with something else – like wood carving. It was one of the dirtiest pipes I have worked on from the estate but underneath the grime and the lava on the rim there was something redeeming about it. I will be going back to Bob’s Dunhill collection eventually. I wanted to continue the change and nice bent Comoy’s Made Guildhall pipe fit the bill for me. It is stamped with The Guildhall over London Pipe on the left side of the shank. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the familiar Comoy’s COM stamp Made in London in a circle over England. The shape number is at the bowl shank union and reads 214. The stem is a tapered bent with the three silver bars on the right side. These are often on The Guildhall pipes and the Everyman pipes. The grain looks good under the dirt and shape on this one is well done. I took photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup on it. I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick summary of the brand. The photo of the stamping on the pipe and the three bars on the stem came from that site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-g6.html#guildhall). It confirmed what I already knew regarding the Comoy’s connection on the brand. The shape number on the pipe in the photo above is different from the one on my table but the placement of the stamp is the same.

I turned to Pipedia to gather some background on the pipe and to see if I could possibly arrive at a date for its crafting (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy’s). The site states clearly that The Guildhall London Pipe was a seconds line made by Comoy’s. The picture below comes from the site and gives a good sense of what this pipe looked like when it left the factory as well as linking it to the Comoy’s brand.I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem to show what I was dealing with. It appeared to me that the Guildhall London Pipe was actually in pretty good condition underneath all of the grime and lava. The photo shows the cake in the bowl and the thick buildup of lava on the back side of the rim top. You can see the cake in the bowl in the first photo below. The stem was dirty and oxidized with tooth mark and chatter on the top and underside for about an inch ahead of the button. There is also calcification up the stem about an inch.I took a photo of the stamping on both sides of the shank so you can see what it looked like when I examined it. It is clearer and more readable on the left side than the right but with a light the stamping is visible.With the identification of the pipe as a Comoy’s made second I was not going to get any help dating it. My guess is that it came from the same era as the rest of Bob’s pipes – sometime  in the 60s or 70s.. I thought it would be good to read about Bob again just to keep his memory alive as you read about his pipes.

I asked his son in law, Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter wrote the following tribute to her Dad and it really goes well with the belief of rebornpipes that we carry on the trust of the pipe man who first bought the pipe we hold in our hands as we use it and when it is new we hold it in trust for the next person who will enjoy the beauty and functionality of the pipe.

Brian and his wife included the great photo of Bob with a pipe in his mouth. Thank you Bob for the great collection of pipes you provided for me to work on and get out to other pipemen and women who can enjoy them And thank you Brian and your wife for not only this fitting tribute but also for entrusting us with the pipes. Here is his daughter’s tribute to her Dad.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

I reamed the bowl to remove the cake on the walls and the debris that still remained in the bowl. I used a PipNet pipe reamer to start the process. I followed that with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to clean up the remaining cake in the U-shaped bottom of the bowl. I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. It smooths out the walls and also helps deal with slight damage to the inner edges of the bowl. I cleaned up the rim top and removed the thick lava coat on the back top side of the rim. I used a pen knife blade the edge of the Savinelli Fitsall knife to scrape away the high spots of lava. I used a Scotch-Brite sponge pad to scrub off the remaining lava on the top of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to take off a stubborn spot on the left side of the rim top toward the front.I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. Each successive pad brought more shine to the rim top. I wiped the rim down with a damp cotton pad after each sanding pad. The shine develops through the polishing. I scrubbed the bowl and rim with some undiluted Murphy’s Oil soap and cotton pads. I rinsed it under running water to remove the grime and soap. The bowl looked significantly different when I had finished scrubbing it. The rim pretty well matched the rest of the pipe after scrubbing. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and shank as well as the surface of the rim top. I worked it into the surface with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the wood. I let the balm sit for about 20 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth to polish the bowl. I took photos of the pipe at this point in the process to show what the bowl looked like at this point. I cleaned out the internals of the bowl, shank and found that the bowl had a Peterson style sump that was absolutely filthy with tars and oils. I cleaned the airway into the bowl and the one in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until they came out clean. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the light tooth chatter on the surface of the vulcanite with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and worked on the spotted oxidation on the surface. I followed the 220 grit sandpaper with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to minimize the scratching. The two papers combined did a pretty decent job of getting rid of the tooth marks and chatter as well as the oxidation.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish to take out the oxidation at the button edge and on the end of the mouthpiece. I also worked hard to scrub it from the surface of the stem at the tenon end. I polished out the scratches with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the bowl and stem back together. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The smooth finish on this ¾ Bent The Guildhall London Pipe 214 is very nice and I can only find a few very small fills in the surface of the briar. They blend in very well. It is quite beautiful and it has some amazing grain around the bowl – a mix of cross grain, birdseye and flame. The contrast of swirling grain looked good with the polished black vulcanite. This Guildhall will soon be joining the other pipes that are heading off to India to join Paresh’s rotation. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. This is the 19th pipe from the many pipes that will be coming onto the work table from the Bob’s estate. There are a lot more pipes to work on from the Estate so keep an eye on the blog to see forthcoming restorations. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. I am having fun working on this estate.


Restoring a Comoy’s The Guildhall Twin Bore Long Shank

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I brought to my table to work on was stamped on the left side of the shank The Guildhall over London Made and on the right side Twin Bore over Made in England. The stamping was readable with a light and a magnifier but it was faint. It was a nicely shaped long shank billiard or some would call it a Lumberman. I have worked on many Comoy’s The Guildhall pipes but never have seen one stamped like this. The stem indeed is a twin bore. It was in decent shape but it did not bear testimony to the point of the twin bore “bite proof” stem. It had a lot of tooth marks and chatter on the top and the bottom side of the stem. The tooth marks were quite deep but did not enter the airway in the stem. So I guess in that way the stem was “bite through proof”. The finish was quite nice. The pipe was in good shape with just some grime on the surface of the briar. The rim had been topped and restained sometime in its history as the stain is quite a bit lighter than the rest of the pipe. The outer and inner edges of the rim were darker than the surface of the rim. The bowl had been reamed but the cake was left uneven on the walls of the bowl.Guild1 Guild2 Guild3 Guild4I took a close-up photo of the rim to show the previous topping and the darkening of the inner and out edges. You can see that it had been touched up and the rim edges not cleaned up. I also took some close-up photos of the damage to the stem in terms of tooth marks and chatter.Guild5 Guild6I sanded the top and bottom sides of the stem to remove the tooth chatter on the surface and to clean up the area around the deeper tooth marks. I wiped the areas down with alcohol and then used black super glue to fill in the deep marks.Guild7While the stem repairs were drying I reamed the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar.Guild8I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the bevel on the inner edge of the bowl. I worked slowly to make sure that the bevel maintained the roundness of the bowl. Once I had it finished I stained the rim and inner edge with a medium brown stain pen to match the colour with the rest of the pipe.Guild9I used a dental spatula to scrape out the inside of the mortise as there was a ridge of tar and oil part way down the shank. I scraped out the grime and then scrubbed the inside of the mortise and the airway in the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until it was clean.Guild10By the time I worked on the twin bore stem the repairs were dry. I lightly sanded them and then cleaned out the twin bore airways.Guild11I sanded the repairs on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper until the surface of the repairs was blended into the surface of the stem.Guild12I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed down the stem with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I sanded it with the last set of three micromesh sanding pads – 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.Guild13 Guild14 Guild15I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond and worked over the scratches that still showed up on the top surface of the stem. It did not take much to remove them and get a deep shine on the stem. I buffed the bowl as well, being careful around the stampings on the shank of the pipe. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine on the briar and vulcanite. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It shines and has depth to the finish. The stamping is faint but is my only example of a Twin Bore Comoy’s The Guildhall Pipe. It is a beauty in my opinion. Thanks for looking.Guild16 Guild17 Guild18 Guild19 Guild20 Guild21 Guild22