Tag Archives: topping a bowl

Restoring Jennifer’s Dad’s Jobey Asti 245 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

I decided to change things up a bit and work on another of Jennifer’s Dad’s pipes. For the next pipe from the estate of George Rex Leghorn I have chosen a Pot shaped pipe. You may not have read about this estate before, so I will retell the story. I received an email from Jennifer who is a little older than my 64+ (65 now – sheesh, I forget how old I am) years about whether I would be interested in her Dad’s pipes. My brother Jeff and I have been picking up a few estates here and there, so I was interested. Here is the catch – she did not want to sell them to me but to give them to me to clean up, restore and resell. The only requirement she had was that we give a portion of the sales of the pipes to a charity serving women and children. We talked about the organization I work for that deals with trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and their children and she decided that would be a great way to carry on the charitable aspect of her Dad’s character. With some great conversation back and forth she sent the pipes to Jeff and he started the cleanup process on them. Once he had finished cleaning them all he sent them to me to do my work on them.

The pipe on the table is stamped on the left side of the shank Jobey over Asti. On the right side is the shape number 245. The tapered stem bears an inlaid brass Jobey oval. The pipe has an interesting mixed finish – smooth lower bowl and shank with a band of rustication and a smooth inwardly beveled rim top. The finish was very dirty, making it hard to see beyond that to the nice grain underneath that. There was a thick cake in the bowl and it had overflowed with lava onto the rim top. It was hard to know at this point the condition of the rim edges. The pipe was a dirty and tired looking old pipe. The stem was badly oxidized and there were George’s usual tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. It had been sitting in boxes for a lot of years and it was time to move ahead with the restoration. Jennifer took photos of the pipes she was sending. I have included the photos of this pipe below. When the box arrived from Jennifer, Jeff opened it and took photos of each pipe before he started his cleanup work on them. This pipe was a real mess but showed some promise under all of the grime of the years. The shape was a pot with the mixed finish as noted above and visible in the photo below. The briar appeared to be in good condition underneath the grime. The finish was spotty and seemed to be peeling which indicated to me that there was some sort of varnish or shellac coat on top of the finish. The pipe really was covered with the grime and oils on the bowl sides from George’s hands. The bowl had a thick cake that had hardened with time. The lava overflow on the rim top filled in much of the beveled rim top. It was very thick but it could very well have protected the rim from damage. We won’t know what is under it until Jeff had cleaned it off. The stem was oxidized and there were deep tooth marks on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. I include those below.  Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the rim top and dust and grime on the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The lava coat looks horrible but it points to a well-used, favourite smoking pipe. George must have enjoyed this old timer a lot judging from the condition of the pipe.   Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The rustication around the midbowl is deep and dirty but it is interesting.  The peeling varnish/shellac coat is also visible in the photos. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the left and right sides of the shank. It is very clear and readable. On the left it reads Jobey Asti and on the right it reads 245. The top of the tapered stem has a brass inlaid Jobey oval logo.Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the scratching, oxidation and tooth marks on the stem surface and button. The tooth marks are quite deep on both sides of the stem. I turned to Pipephil’s site for a quick review of the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-j3.html). I quote a section of the post on the Jobey brand: These pipes are made in St Claude (France) by Butz-Choquin (Berrod-Regad group) since 1987. Before this date some were manufactured in England and Denmark (Jobey Dansk).

I turned then to Pipedia to gather further information regarding the brand and quote the first part of the article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey).

English – American – Danish – French… Sadly, solid information about Jobey is scant…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as is known the following companies have been involved with the brand:

George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)

Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)

Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)

Hollco International, New York (1969).

Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)

The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […] Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

Before I get on to cleaning up the pipe I thought I would once again include the tribute that Jennifer wrote to her Dad for the blog. She also sent some photos and an article that her Dad wrote for Jeff and me to be able to get a feel for him. I have included those below. Note in each of them that he is holding a pipe in his left hand. I asked her to also send me an email with a brief tribute to her Dad. Here is her tribute from an email to me.

Steve, I want to thank you again for accepting my dad’s pipes.  They were so much a part of my dad’s life that I could not simply discard them. But as his daughter, I was not about to take up smoking them either. *laughing* I think my dad would like knowing that they will bring pleasure to others.  I know that I do.

I’m not sure what to say about his pipes. I always remember Daddy smoking pipes and cigars.

First a bit about my dad. Though my father, George Rex Leghorn, was American (growing up in Alaska), he managed to join the Canadian Army at the beginning of WWII, but in doing so lost his American citizenship.  He was fortunate to meet a Canadian recruiting officer who told him the alphabet began with “A” and ended with “Zed” not “Zee”, and also told him to say that he was born in a specific town that had all its records destroyed in a fire.  When the US joined the war my dad, and thousands of other Americans who had made the same choice*(see the link below for the article), were given the opportunity to transfer to the US military, and regain their citizenship.

After WWII, my dad, earned his degree at the University of California Berkeley and became a metallurgist. There is even a bit about him on the internet.

He loved taking the family out for a drive, and he smoked his cigars on those trips. (As a child, those were troubling times for my stomach.)

I most remember my father relaxing in his favorite chair with a science fiction book in one hand and a pipe in the other… Sir Walter Raleigh being his favorite tobacco… and the pipes themselves remind me of him in that contented way.  If I interrupted his repose, he’d look up, with a smile on his face, to answer me.

It seemed he smoked his Briarwood pipes the most, though he had others.  At the time, it was only the Briarwood I knew by name because of its distinctive rough shaped bowl.  And it was the Anderson Free Hand Burl Briar, made in Israel, which I chose for his birthday one year, because I thought he might like that particular texture in his hand.

At least two of his pipes, he inherited from his son-in-law, Joe Marino, a retired medical laboratory researcher (my sister Lesley’s late husband)… the long stemmed Jarl (made in Denmark), and the large, white-bowled, Sherlock Holmes style pipe.  I believe Joe had others that went to my dad, but Lesley was only sure about those two.

The Buescher, corncob pipe my older sister Lesley bought for Daddy while on one of her travels around the States.

A note on the spelling of my sister’s name…

My dad met my mother, Regina, during WWII and they married in Omagh, Ireland.  My mother was English and in the military herself.  The English spelling of Lesley is feminine, and Leslie masculine, in the UK… just the opposite of here in the United States.  I guess my mom won out when it came to the spelling of the name…

This pipe was a real mess just like the other ones in the collection. I was curious to see what it would look like when I unpack it. I was surprised at how good it looked. 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 on the bowl looked really good when I got it. The rim top looked much better and the inner and outer edges were looking good. Jeff had cleaned the internals and scrubbed the exterior of the stem and soaked them in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked very good other than the deep tooth marks and chatter in the surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show how well it had cleaned up. The edges and top were very clean and in excellent condition. There was some darkening on the inner edge but it was still round. The rim top had some light nicks and dents. The stem had some deep tooth marks just ahead of the button.The stem was held in the shank with the Jobey link connector. I is pressed into the stem and threads into the shank. It makes it easily replaceable and also easy to align.I decided to clean up the darkening on the inner edge of the rim top and the dents and nicks on the top itself. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding. I was happy with the overall look. The finish will show as I polish the pipe with micromesh pad shortly.  I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. It looked better after each pad and the top blended into the colour of the rest of the bowl without staining. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoebrush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain and the separate finishes really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The bowl really looks good at this point.   I set the bowl aside and turned to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks with clear super glue. I built up the edge of the button at the same time. I set it aside to dry. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to cut a sharp edge on the button on both sides and to flatten the repaired areas. I sanded the stem to remove the oxidation that was on the surface and to smooth out the repaired areas. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point the stem is looking better and the tooth marks are gone.  I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove remnants of oxidation and to further blend in the sanding. The stem was showing some promise at this point in the process. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a shine. Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. While this is not one of my favourite finishes as it seems busy to me, it came out looking good. It is a light weight pipe that could be clenched and smoked while doing other things. It must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it from Jennifer. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is one that will go on the rebornpipes online store shortly. If you want to carry on the pipe trust of George Rex Leghorn let me know. Thank you Jennifer for trusting us with his pipes. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

 

Restoration of an Irwin’s 2007 London Made Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

Even with the COVID-19 warnings rolling in incessantly I am still working on pipes! It keeps my mind busy and focused. There is no reason to not enjoy the time alone at the work table bringing these old-timers back to life. After brief foray restoring pipes from several other estates I am back to Bob Kerr’s estate (his photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in over 65 restorations to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Be sure to check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

The next pipe I have chosen from his estate is a classic Bulldog. Irwin’s London England 2007 Bulldog. The stamping on the shank is faint. On the left side of the shank it is stamped Irwin’s over London, England. On the right side of the shank it is stamped 2007 – which I am unclear of whether that was a date or shape number! Irwin’s was a seconds line of GBD. The finish is worn and dirty. Underneath the grime the finish looks to be good. There also did not appear to be any fills in the bowl or shank. There is a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim top.  There is damage on the top and edges of the rim and the bowl is out of round. The stem is oxidized with a faint IR logo on the left. There are tooth marks and chatter near the button, some calcification with damage to the button.  Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup work.some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the thick cake in the bowl with the lava overflowing on to the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl is beveled inward and thickly lava coated. It is not clear if there is damage to the bowl but it does appear to be slightly out of round.Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the grain on this particular piece of briar. It is amazing and I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank to capture it for me. The first photo shows the left side of the shank and the stamping as noted above. The second shows the right side of the shank with the 2007 stamp. The final photo of the set shows the faint LR in a circle stamping on the left side of the diamond taper stem. This pipe has a diamond tapered stem that is heavily oxidizes and has some calcification on the button end. There seems to be some tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside.I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a quick overview of Irwin’s pipes. I remembered that they were a seconds of GBD pipes and this confirmed that (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-i.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section from the site.I clicked on the link on the site to the section on GBD (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-gbd.html). There was a brief history as well as a list of GBD seconds. You will note that the Irwin’s brand is listed there. I turned to Pipedia and reread the history of the brand there. I also turned to the link on the shape numbers to see if I could clear up the question whether 2007 was a date or shape number. (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Shapes/Numbers). I found the section listing the 2007 as a straight bulldog with a diamond shank. I did a screen capture of that section and included it below: So now I knew with certainty that I was working on a GBD made Bulldog – straight, diamond stem. The 2007 was the shape number. The one thing I am not clear about is what mad this pipe a second and not a GBD regular. That information would not be forthcoming. I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking far better than I expected. Even the stem looked remarkably good with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. Just look at the grain on this pipe. Stunning! I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone. Jeff had been able to get rid of the darkening and lava and tars. The rim top had nicks and marks and the inner edge of the bowl was damaged and out of round. The close up photos of the stem shows that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was gone and the stem looked really good.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank sides to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I started my restoration work on this pipe by addressing the out of round inner edge of the bowl and the damage to the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the edge and clean up the bevel. The next series of photos tell the story of the work on the rim. The first photo shows the rim as it was when I started. The second shows the folded sandpaper when I worked it over. I smoothed out the sanding with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad (photo 3). The final photo in the series shows the rim top after the work. With the rim in order I started my polishing regimen on the bowl. I used nine worn micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. The bowl really shines by the final three pads. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar 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. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it was smooth.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I used some liquid paper to touch up the LR stamp on the left topside of the diamond stem. Once it dried I scraped the excess off with a tooth pick to show the renewed stamp on the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a coat of Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem. I don’t know how many times I have said this but I have to say it again with this pipe. I love it when I come to the end of a restoration and all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a great looking British Bulldog made by GBD and sold as second – an Irwin’s 2007 shaped Bulldog. Once again the grain and the way the shape follows the grain is amazing. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. 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. This GBD made Irwin’s Bulldog is a great addition to someone’s rack that price will be very reasonable. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Fashioning a Churchwarden from a Blasted French Dr. Geo Deposée Bowl


Blog by Dal Stanton

This is the second commissioning project for the pipe man, clam man, Jon, from South Florida.  His first commissioning (see: A Striking Savinelli Fiammata 2 Briar Calabash for a Clam Man Pipe Man) turned out to be a diamond in the rough!  He had commissioned this pipe not from the usual perusal of my online ‘Help Me!’ baskets in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection, but he had visited us here in Sofia, Bulgaria, along with a team of folks from his church.  During this visit, Jon went through the boxes and baskets of the inventory and found the Savinelli Fiammata and pulled him aside to commission.  During this visit, Jon also saw my personal collection of Churchwardens and offered to give one of them a new home!  In the end, Jon also commissioned a CW project which also benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria, our work here in Bulgaria working among women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  This was also important to Jon, who as a father, had brought his daughter with him to Bulgaria.  My goal in fashioning Churchwardens from bowls that were either orphaned or in their current states had little hope of being put in service again.  I liken it to Santa’s mythical island of misfit toys.  Repurposed bowls mounted on CW stems can rise from ash heap, as it were, to live and serve again.  I sent Jon a picture of different bowls to see which would speak to him as his new Churchwarden.  He had told me he preferred a bent shank – here were the candidates with differing characteristics.Our emailing back and forth between South Florida and Bulgaria to identify the bowl speaking Jon’s name, resulted in the French Blasted Dr. Geo Deposée, the second pipe pictured above.  I acquired the Dr. Geo during one of our summer vacations on a pipe picking expedition to the Bulgarian coastal city of Burgas on the Black Sea.  I found the ‘Burgas Lot of 9’, at a secondhand shop on the main walking street.  The Dr. Geo is at the end of the line of 7 pipes pictured below which were part of the haul – 2 others were added to these that were eventually posted in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! collection from which pipe men and women can choose and commission.The Dr. Geo I acquired I called a Prince shape.  I knew nothing about a Dr. Geo line, but what attracted me to the pipe was the blasted bowl – it was tired and dull, but had potential, though the pipe itself was unimpressive and attracted no attention when it had its time in the Dreamers collection.With the bowl now on my worktable to transform into a Churchwarden, I found some information online about the origins of Dr. Geo Deposée.  Pipephil.eu’s panel gave some information confirming that it was of French origins from the Gichard & Cie Company.Pipedia adds some additional information in its list of French made brands.  It lists that Dr. Geo was produced in the 1940s from Guichard & Cie, and later sold by M. Marmet Regge, with Ebonite stems.  Interesting to me is that my guess is that The Dr. Geo I’m looking at was from the later, M. Marment Regge ownership with the specific reference to the use of Ebonite stems.  I have another Dr. Geo in my Dreamers inventory from another Lot I purchased from France, it has a horn stem, which most likely places it in the earlier dating when rubber was in short supply during WW2.  The listing for Marmet in Pipedia, called M. Marmet-Regge, also sold the Dr. Geo brand which were produced in Saint-Claude. The meaning of the French, “Deposée”, attached to Dr. Geo is a bit cryptic, at least to one who is relegated to Google Translate to make sense of the meaning.  The direct primary English translation provided is “deposited” which is a past tense rendering.  Looking at other definitions provided by Google Translate, the possible meaning could be tied to the idea that “Dr. Geo” attests to or is behind the goodness of this pipe brand like Dr. Grabow!  It seemed like I was grasping at straws until I see the ‘info link’ on the Dr. Geo panel provided by the Pipephil.  The link goes to a French site called  ‘Ces pipes pas comme les autres’ (These pipes like no other) to a May 2006 listing selling ‘Two Doctors’ pipes with information about each.  A ‘Dr. Geo’ is described as one of the doctors with the possible clue pointing to a rational for the sub-name of ‘Deposée’:

Many pipe brands have earned the doctoral title. This makes smokers smile during these times of heightened hunting.

During the post-war years this title was more a guarantee of seriousness or of a search for perfection rather than the sign of a healthy practice. We did not allow ourselves to be disturbed by medical considerations. Everyone knew that smoking was not very healthy and took responsibility. But that has changed a lot today with the new globalized MacCarthyism.

José Manuel Lopes (1) counts seventeen brands of pipes that bear the famous title! I would like to introduce you to an 18th: Dr Arthur recognizable by his “A” circled on the pipe. No further information on this doctor there Maybe you thought I was going to present you with a leather-wrapped pipe, stamped with the most famous of these doctors? It would be bad to know me. But fear not: in this section you will not escape the famous Franco-English doctor whom I have already mentioned in the section of Cavalier pipes.

The pipes of Dr Géo – French brand of Gichard & Cie which is no longer produced – do not have an exceptional notoriety but sufficient to be cited here and there.

(1) José Manuel Lopes (President of Pipe Club of Portugal), Pipes, Artisans and Trademarks. Quimera Editores, 2005

The listing shows a picture of each Doctor cited with dimensions and a pricing.  I find interesting the dismissive gesture for the listing for the Dr. Geo: “…no longer produced – do not have an exceptional notoriety but sufficient to be cited here and there”.  My hope is to change the demeanor of the Dr. Geo Blasted Prince bowl on my worktable transforming him into a Churchwarden. Churchwardens as a classic pipe shape are unique among pipes.  Bill Burney’s description of Churchwardens on his great Pipedia shapes page, describes why they are unique among pipes:Working on my Man Cave 10th floor balcony, I take a few more pictures to get a closer look at the Doctor Geo Prince bowl, which is essentially an Apple shape without the Prince stem – hmmm, an exception to the CW stem principle? The blasted finish is nice – the smooth 3-D picture of the bowl’s grain structure is nice. The finish on the stummel appears to be a very dark brown.  There are minuscule red flecks visible through the cloudiness of the old finish.  At this point, my thinking is to refresh the finish seeking to apply the ‘Dunhill’ finish that I learned from fellow-restorer and rebornpipes contributor, Paresh.  First, after applying all the paces in cleaning the stummel, I’ll assess the condition of the stummel and how to proceed.  Following this, fashioning the CW stem will come.  To start, the Dr. Geo chamber is moderately caked. To address this, I employ the Pipnet Reaming Kit using only the smallest of the 4 blade heads available in the kit.  I follow by scraping the chamber walls with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool and complete the carbon cake removal by sanding the chamber walls with 240 grade paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen. After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad to remove the carbon dust, an inspection reveals a healthy chamber.Transitioning to cleaning the exterior surface, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, I go to work using a cotton pad and a bristled toothbrush. The brass bristled brush also works on the rim.Next, I take the bowl to the kitchen sink to continue the cleaning with shank brushes and anti-oil liquid dishwashing soap to clean the internal mortise and airway.  After giving the bowl a thorough rinsing with warm water, I transfer it back to the worktable.Through the cleaning, the finish has started to come off.  This is an indicator that a fresh start is needed. The finish is old and unstable.I decide to remove the old finish to get to the fresh briar beneath.  Isopropyl 95% is the first agent I try scrubbing the blasted finish with a cotton pad.  It is not effective.Transition next to using acetone is much more effect.  The cotton pad is evidence of the old stain which appears black and purple.  I decide to put the entire stummel into an acetone soak to fully remove the finish.  I leave it in the soak for a few hours. After a couple hours the jar containing the stummel soaking in acetone is clouded with leeched finish.  After taking the stummel out, I use a cotton pad to continue rubbing the finish off as well as employing a little steel wool. The light spots that appeared first are areas that were filled, at least partially, with wood putty which have weakened due to the cleaning.  I use a sharp dental probe to test the fills and they are solid. With the rough texture of the blasted surface, these areas will not be visible after applying new dye to the stummel. Before doing more work on the stummel, I switch the focus to fashioning the CW stem.  The first thing I do is to bring out the electronic caliper and measure the diameter of the mortise which gives me the target size of the tenon that needs to be shaped. This measurement is 7.81mm.  I add about 40mm to this to form my ‘fat target’ – the size I’ll cut the tenon and then follow by sanding to form a customized fit to the mortise.  The fat target is about 8.20mm. Next, with the drill bit provided by the PIMO Tenon Turning Tool, I predrill the airway to accommodate the guide pin of the TTT. Next, after mounting the PIMO tool on the hand drill, I do a test cut on the raw tenon of the precast CW stem and measure it – 8.01mm on the button. Whoops – that is 20mm less than I was aiming for as the ‘fat target’ but I decide to cut the tenon at this size and then sand.  This gives less margin of error, but I’m not too concerned. Keeping the same adjustment of the PIMO tool, I continue the test cutting to form a I have made several Churchwardens and one of the mistakes I have learned is to cut the tenon all the way through the precast uneven molding to create a true stem facing.  Not to do this will leave what appears to be shouldering over the edge of the stem facing.  The picture below shows a sharp 45-degree angle which is the goal.Next, using 240 sanding paper, I sand the newly cut tenon to bring it closer to the target mortise size – 7.81mm.  The rough end of the precast tenon is flattened and smoothed using the flat needle file.After a short time of sanding and fitting, the tenon seats into the mortise.Looking closer, there is a small gapping on the right side which I can close during the fine-tuning sanding.What is also the case is that there is a small overhang of the shank over the seated stem.  This will need to be sanded so that the transition between stummel and stem is smooth.I use masking tape to protect the nomenclature as well as to give a sanding boundary around the shank.I start the sanding on the shank/stem transition.  What is helpful shown in the picture below is that it shows what the ‘low-spot’ is in the pre-cast stem in the darker area passed over by the sanding indicating where sanding continues to be needed. As often is the case with the pre-cast CW stems I purchase, the shank facing along the casting seam has a dimple.  This is a pain because these dimples simply mean more sanding required at those points.Progression with the dimple – I don’t want to take off more than needed.  Note, the darkened area has disappeared on the stem indicating that the sanding paper is making seamless contact between shank and stem.With the shank/stem transition sanding completed, I move to sanding the entire pre-cast CW stem.  To start, I use a coarse 120 grade paper to do the initial sanding.  The casting seams along both sides of the stem need to be erased.  The following picture again shows the differences in the surface of the pre-cast stem.  The pre-cast stem has ripples – unevenness, even though it is new.  The dark stretch below shows a ‘valley’ in the rippling that means I sand more there to bring the edges of the valley flush with the valley floor.  The following pictures show the progression in the 120 sanding.With the CW stem smoothed after the 120 grade sanding, I switch to fine-tuning the button.  As with the stem, the button is rough. The bit needs filing to flatten it and to bring more definition to the button edges.  The slot facing on these CW stems is curved and the upper button extends out a bit more than the lower. This helps in identifying the up/down orientation of the stem.  The pictures show the progression with upper and lower bit.  Upper first:Lower :After the main filing is completed, 240 grade paper is employed to fine-tune the bit and button as well as to sand the entire stem after the 120 sanding.  Upper and lower first: Next, to continue the smoothing, 600 grade paper is used to wet sand the entire stem.  This is followed by applying 000 grade steel wool.A closeup of the button area shows the nice progression!Next, the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads is applied from 1500 to 12000. Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to condition and protect the vulcanite from future oxidation.  I only show one orbital view and a couple closeups of the finished process focusing on the upper and lower bit. With the CW stem’s sanding completed, its time to bend the stem.  The general principle I follow in stem bending is that the mouthpiece at the end of the stem, should be generally on the same horizontal plane as the rim.  It’s helpful for me to draw templates to visualize the finished stem.Where the original stem template starts with and estimation of where the bend should take place.I use the hot air gun to focus the heat on the lower side of the stem first – the thicker part.  I want it to become supple before heating the upper, thinner area of the stem which heats faster and wants to be the first place the bend begins.  I want the bend to start in the thicker part of the stem then followed by the thinner.As the stem warms over the hot air gun, I gently coax the bend as the stem softens.  After bending to a point that looks good, I bring the stem to the template holding it there for some minutes for the orientation to take hold.  I then take the stem to the kitchen sink and run cool water over it to solidify the bend.  The first try works well.  I like the look and feel of the pipe in my hand.With the stem sanding and bending completed, focus is again transitioned to the Dr. Geo blasted bowl.  Before moving to the staining process, the stummel needs some preparatory work.  One of the things I really like about working with a combination of blasted and smooth briar surfaces is the contrast that this produces.  I love to see both presentations of the grain – the smooth 2-D viewpoint as well as the rough, blasted 3-D viewpoint of the grain.  This bowl provides an opportunity for the striking contrasting. The rim is angled in a beveled slope from the external rim’s edge downward toward the chamber to the internal rim’s edge.  This rim, I believe, will look great after it is sanded to bring out the smooth briar contrast.The other sanding will bring out smooth grain over the nomenclature panel on the left shank flank as well as the newly sanded area transitioning to the stem.  To begin, 240 grade paper is used on these smooth briar patches followed by dry sanding with 600 grade paper. The full regimen of 9 micromesh pads, from 1500 to 12000, is applied to the smooth briar patches next.I’m loving what I’m seeing!  That grain contrast is great.  In the second picture, the rough area from the old fill is still visible and looks shaky, but it should disappear as it blends with the surrounding briar after the staining process.The staining process is next.  I assemble my desktop staining module with all the component parts.  I recently used the method I learned from my fellow restorer from India, Paresh, of creating the rich Dunhill look.  With this bowl being originally darker, I thought that this approach would be good.  It starts with an undercoat of Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye that is followed with the washing with red dye. After wiping the bowl with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to clean it, I warm it with the hot air gun to open the briar helping it to be more receptive to the dye which is applied using a folded over pipe cleaner.  Using the pipe cleaner, I paint sections of the bowl with the Dark Brown Dye and then immediately ‘flame’ it with a lit candle.  This combusts the aniline dye burning away the alcohol leaving the dye pigment embedded in the briar.  After applying the dye, the stummel is set aside for several hours – through the night, for the dye to ‘rest’ and settle in.  This helps the dye to take hold in the briar.The next morning, it’s time to ‘unwrap’ the flamed stummel.  To do this, a felt cloth buffing pad is mounted onto the Dremel set at the slowest speed, and Tripoli compound is applied to help remove the crusted shell exposing the dyed briar beneath.After the Tripoli compound removes the flamed crust, I wipe the bowl to rid it of the compound dust.  When this is completed, I apply a wash of red overcoat to the briar surface and lightly wipe it with a cotton cloth.  I apply and wipe until I’m satisfied with the hue.  I like what I see.  The rich red tones give a depth to the blasted finish.Next, since it’s easier to handle the stem and stummel separately, after mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel set at about 40% full power, Blue Diamond compound is applied to the long Churchwarden stem and Dr. Geo bowl.  One more step to guard against dye leeching.  Often, bowls that have been newly stained, dye will come off on the steward’s hand the first times the bowl is heated up and put into service. To emulate this, I heat the bowl with the hot air gun and then wipe it with a cotton cloth to pick up leeched dye.  Hopefully, this will keep the bowl from leeching later!I complete the fashioning of the Dr. Geo Churchwarden by giving the reunited stem and bowl a vigorous hand buffing bringing out the shine.  I’m very pleased with the results of the ‘Dunhill’ approach to finishing the bowl that I learned from Paresh.  The Dr. Geo Prince bowl serves well mounted on a long, flowing Churchwarden stem. The contrasting with the smooth and blasted briar surfaces also work very nicely. This was Jon’s second commissioned pipe and he will have the first opportunity to claim this French Dr. Geo Churchwarden from The Pipe Steward Store benefitting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

Cosmetic Repairs and Restoration of a Jobey Dansk 3 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up this interesting looking freehand pipe on one of his adventures pipe hunting. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. There were rusticated spots on the right side of the bowl and shank as well as the heel of the bowl. There was something familiar about the style of carving that reminded me of other Danish Freehand pipes I have worked on. I seemed to remember that Jobey Dansk pipes were carved by Karl Erik. The finish on this pipe was dirty with dust and lava on the plateau top. The bowl was lined with a thick cake. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. There was a crack on the left side of the bowl that did not go through to the bowl. It was a cosmetic crack. In looking at the photos you can also see a small cosmetic crack on the back of the bowl on the right side. The stem is a turned fancy turned acrylic stem. The fit of the stem to the shank was snug. There were tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button and on the smooth parts of the button on both sides. Otherwise it was a very clean stem. Jeff took of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl onto the plateau. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the lay of the grain and the rustication around the pipe. It is a nice piece of briar. The top of the bowl is craggy and rugged looking. Unique! The shank end is also a unique mix of plateau and smooth. You will also see the cosmetic cracks in the photos. I will highlight those and include closer looks at the two of them. I took some closer photos of the  the cracks in the bowl. The first shows the one on the left side of the bowl and the second is of the right rear side of the bowl. Neither were deep or went through to the inside of the rim or bowl.Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and read Jobey Dansk at the top followed by a large number 3.. Under that it read Handmade in Denmark.The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the acrylic stem. You can see the tooth marks and damage both on the button surface and on the blade itself. The third photo shows flow of the stem as a whole. I wanted to look at who had carved the Jobey Dansk line to confirm some suspicions I had about it. I had a feeling that the pipes were carved by a Danish carver known as Karl Erik. I looked up the Jobey listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey) and found the following information. I quote a portion of the article that is pertinent as follows.

English – American – Danish – French… Information about the brand Jobey are only to be found in form of smithereens…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as known:
George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)
Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)
Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)
Hollco International, New York (1969).
Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)
The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

 Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […]Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

From that information, my suspicions were confirmed. The pipe that I was working on was carved by Karl Erik Ottendahl. There were some similarities to the Karl Erik pipes that I have worked on in the past. The dating of the pipe line in the 70s fits well with the pipe I have in hand. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. Overall it looked good. There is some darkening and damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The stem had some deep tooth marks ahead of the button and on the button surface on both sides.I took some photos of the cracks on the side and back of the bowl. I circled them in red so they are easily identifiable in the photos below. Keep in mind that neither of them are deep or go through into the bowl. They do not show up on the rim to either. This leads me to believe they are cosmetic.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to clean out some more of the grooves in the plateau with a brass bristle wire brush. Once I had it cleaned out sanded the high spots with 220 grit sandpaper to differentiate the plateau from the valleys. With that finished I decided to address the cracks in the bowl. I put a microdrill bit in my Dremel and drilled small holes at the end of each of the cracks to stop them from spreading. The photos below show the pin holes. I have circled them so they are visible.I cleaned out the smalls cracks with a dental pick and probed to see how deep they both were. Fortunately they were both very shallow. The one on the back of the bowl was a hairline crack. I dribbled clear super glue (CA) in the crack and in the pinholes I had drilled then pressed briar dust into the holes and the cracks.Once the repairs had hardened (it takes about 5 minutes) I used a needle file to flatten out the repaired areas on the briar. I followed up on the filed areas with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. With the polishing finished I used a Black stain pen to fill in the crevices of the plateau top and give some contrast to the smooth high spots. I like this look as it give the pipe a sense of dimensionality. I also stained the repaired areas with a Cherry stain pen to blend them into the surrounding briar. The colour was a good match to the rest of the bowl and really did a good job of blending the repairs. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks and built up the button with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it was smooth.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Jobey Dansk Hand Made by Karl Erik with a fancy, turned, black acrylic stem. It has a great look and feel. The repairs to the bowl came out really well. If you look you can see them but they blend in well with the grain around the bowl. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished acrylic stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Jobey Dansk pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾  wide x 2 ¼ inches long, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Companies section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

A Few Adjustments to a Lightly Smoked Savinelli Product Bent Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my table is another Savinelli Product pipe. It is stamped on the underside of the shank with the Savinelli “S” Shield and Italy. It is a dirty pipe but has some great grain that the carver built the shape around. It has a natural finish that is in good shape under the dirt and even the rim top looks good. The inner edge of the rim is darkened but the bowl is in good shape. There was no burn damage to the inner edge. There is a medium cake in the bowl but no lava coat on the rim top. The variegated silver/grey acrylic stem was not well fitted to the shank. It is the original stem but it is a pretty sloppy fit. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he cleaned the pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top from various angles to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim. It is dirty but there is no lava coat on the top and the rim edges look very good.The grain around the sides and heel of the bowl is quite interesting. It is a combination of cross grain, swirled and birdseye grain. There are some small fills on the sides and back of the bowl. Most of them seem to be solid.  The stamping on the shank is very readable as can be seen in the next photo.The acrylic stem shows tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There is some wear on the edge of the button as well. The stem shows a great profile. It was time to get working on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top to show the condition of the edges and the bowl. It looked very good. The stem actually looked much better than I expected and the tooth chatter seemed to have disappeared. There were some light tooth marks just next to the button edge on both sides. I would also need to fit the stem to the shank by reduce the diameter of the stem to match the shank and adjust the fit.I took photos of the stem shank junction to show the difference in diameter. The stem is significantly wider than the shank. It fit tight to the shank but the rest of the fit was very poorly done.The bowl was going to be quite easy to work on so I started with it. The fills on the right side of the bowl were sound and tight fitting. There was a damaged fill that was pitted on the back of the bowl just above the shank bowl junction. I cleaned it out with a cotton swab and alcohol and filled it in with super glue and briar dust. When the repair had cured I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Once it was smooth I stained it with an oak stain pen to blend it into the surrounding briar.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust.     I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. I let the balm sit on the briar for 10 minutes the buffed it off with a soft cloth. The balm enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used the Dremel and a sanding drum to take off as much of the excess diameter of the stem as possible while it was on the shank. I then removed the stem and worked on it with a rasp and file to remove the rest of the excess material.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the file marks and Dremel marks on the reduced shank. I also sanded out the tooth marks and the remaining chatter on the button end of the stem. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. Once again I am at my favourite part of a restoration – finishing up a pipe! This Savinelli Made Bent Pot came out really well considering the issues with the fit of the stem when I started. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I polished it with multiple coats of carnauba wax on both the bowl and stem. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and with a hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The mix of colours and the buffing made the grain really pop once it was waxed. The mixed grain is quite stunning. The variegated silver acrylic half-saddle stem stands out in great contrast to the briar. It is a nice looking pipe. Have a look at the photos below of the finished pipe. Its dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside Diameter of the Bowl: 1¼ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The bent pot feels great in the hand. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store later today. You can add it to your collection and carry on the trust. Let me know if you are interested in adding it. Thanks for your time.

New Life for a Mystery BBB Custom Made Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my table is actually a strange one and a bit of a mystery to me. It is a nicely shaped and grained Zulu. The mystery does not come in the shape but in the composition of the pipe and the stamping on the shank. The stem is threaded onto an inset metal tenon that is a part of the spacer on the shank end. The tenon is unmovable and the stem screws onto it. I have never seen that on a British made BBB pipe. Then the stamping, other than the BBB Diamond on the topside of the shank looks like every other American made pipe of that time period. The stamping reads on the topside of the shank as follows: a BBB Diamond over Custom Made in a Germanic script and underneath that is R in a circle (there are pictures of the stamping below). On the underside of the shank it is stamped with the shape number 47 on the flat heel of the bowl followed by Aged Imported Briar in the same Germanic Script. The Imported Briar has always been a sign of an American Made pipe to me so therein laid the mystery. Is it really a BBB from England or is it another BBB brand that is American? I am hoping to demystify it a bit in the process of this restoration

It is a dirty pipe but has some great grain that the carver built the shape around. The finish is in good shape under the dirt and even the rim top looks good. The inner edge of the rim is darkened the bowl is out of round. There was burn damage to the inner edge. There is a thick cake in the bowl and a thick lava coat on the rim top. The rim top also appeared to have some pitting and nicks in the surface. The stem is pitted and oxidized. It has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he cleaned the pipe.Jeff unscrewed the stem from the shank so that I could see the tenon set up and it is pretty clear that it was set in the shank.Jeff took photos of the rim top from various angles to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim. It is dirty but there is no lava coat on the top and the rim edges look very good. The grain around the sides and heel of the bowl is quite interesting. It is a combination of cross grain, swirled and birdseye grain. The stamping on both sides of the shank is very readable as can be seen in the next three photos.The stem shows pitting and oxidation on the surface as well as light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. There is some wear on the edge of the button as well. The stem shows a great profile.I looked through all of my resources for BBB pipes and could find nothing even remotely like this pipe. I looked on both Pipephil and Pipedia for other brands with similar stamping and again found nothing. Even with the lack of information it was time to get working on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top to show the condition of the edges and the bowl. It looked very good. The stem actually looked much better than I expected and the tooth chatter seemed to have disappeared. There were some light tooth marks just next to the button edge on both sides.I am including photos of the stamping to show how Jeff preserved it during the cleanup and it did not fade or show damage.I decided to address the damage to the rim top and inner edge first. I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a hard topping board I use. I followed up by working over the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to give the edge a light bevel and minimize as much of the damage as I could. With the inner edge and top cleaned up the bowl looked significantly better. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust.     I blended three stain pens together to get a match to the colour of the bowl – Walnut, Cherry and Black. The colour combination worked very well to make it look original. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. I let the balm sit on the briar for 10 minutes the buffed it off with a soft cloth. The balm enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks and the remnants of oxidation especially in the saddle area. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. It is a gritty red paste (similar in grit to red Tripoli) that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem surface. Once again I am at my favourite part of a restoration – finishing up a pipe! This BBB Custom Made Zulu came out really well considering the condition it was in when I started. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I polished it with multiple coats of carnauba wax on both the bowl and stem. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and with a hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The mix of colours and the buffing made the grain really pop once it was waxed. The cross grain, swirled and birdseye grain are quite stunning. The silver coloured spacer and the polished black vulcanite saddle stem stands out in great contrast to the briar. It is really a beautiful pipe. Have a look at the photos below of the finished pipe. Its dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside Diameter of the Bowl: 1¼ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The Mystery brand pipe is comfortable handful and feels great in the hand. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store later today. You can add it to your collection and carry on the trust. Let me know if you are interested in adding it. Thanks for your time.

New Life for a Kaywoodie Standard Apple for a Special Pipe Woman


Blog by Dal Stanton

I remember well where I came into possession of the Kaywoodie now on my worktable.  My wife and I were in the US for the wedding of our youngest child, our daughter, who was married near Nashville, Tennessee.  After the wedding, driving along US Interstate 24 heading back toward Atlanta, a billboard sign beckoned us like a Siren to heed the next exit – it said: “Antiques”!  We exited and found Madeline’s Antiques & Uniques near Manchester, Tennessee.  It was the real deal for pipe picking and picked I did!It was at Madeline’s that I found my first Dunhill in the wild (Another Wedding Trip Pick: A 1961 DUNHILL EK Shell Briar Made in England 1 4S).  Along with some other very nice finds, the Kaywoodie Standard Apple also made its way to Bulgaria and was posted in my online collection called For “Pipe Dreamers” Only! where pipe men and pipe women can find a pipe and commission benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  The Kaywoodie is standing in the rack on the right.The Kaywoodie got the attention of one special young lady, Grace, a budding pipe woman.  One of the joys of living and serving in Bulgaria is that we encounter gifted young adults who come to serve with us for a time living and working in a culture much different from the US.  Grace was one such young lady.  She has been to Bulgaria twice now and on one of her deployments my wife and I were host to her as she lived with us in our flat.  It was then that her aspirations as a pipe woman were born as she tried a pipe on my ‘Man Cave’ – my 10th floor balcony where smoking pipes is allowed!  In the picture below Grace is on the right with a Zulu in tow along with a special Bulgarian friend, Kari, who also has her pipe that she commissioned from The Pipe Steward. Last time that Grace was with us, she went through the many ‘Help Me!’ baskets and found the Kaywoodie.  I asked her if it was a gift for someone and she replied somewhat demurely, no, that it was for her 😊.  Here are more pictures of the classic Kaywoodie Standard Apple that got Grace’s attention. The 3-holed stinger of this Kaywoodie Apple marks it as having a date at least from the 1960s when Kaywoodie transitioned from 4-holed to 3-holed stingers (LINK).The nomenclature on the shank is holding on as a wisp in the wind.  It is so thin that only with a direct angle of reflection am I able to discern it.  The stamping is KAYWOODIE [over] Standard (in fancy cursive script) [over] IMPORTED BRIAR.  The stem has the older, inlaid clover. The next picture in this set shows the Kaywoodie shape number ‘33’ on the right flank of the shank which points to the designation of a ‘Large Apple’ from the US production of Kaywoodie pipes (LINK).  According to this discussion on Tapatalk.com, the 2-digit system, employed from 1927 to 1972 when the system was changed to a 3-digit system, was when pipe production (for Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole and Medico) was moved to the Medico factory in Richmond Hill Queens NY as plans for new plant were in process.  The 3-digit numbers was used during this period for all Kaywoodie and Medico pipes, from 1972 to 1980.  The same article indicated that the 2-digit numbers were only for Kaywoodies produced in the US – that Kaywoodie of London (Cadogan) had their own three-digit system.  Putting all the information together, this Kaywoodie Apple is most likely a 1960s vintage.  According to the Kaywoodie Discussion at MyFreeForum the ‘Standard’ line of Kaywoodie started in the 1950s, but with the 2 digit shape number and the 3 hole stinger, the evidence points to the 1960s dating.The Kaywoodie shape number 33 is pictured in this 1970s listing from the now defunk Chris’ Pipe Pages which I had saved from a previous restoration.  The 33 is in the second column, third from the bottom.As I look more closely at the pipe itself, the chamber is relatively clear of carbon cake and the rim has minor lava crusting on the rim. The finish is old, faded and thin.  There is grime on the stummel surface and dark spots/blots that I’m hopeful will clean.  The stem has oxidation but the bit has no detectable tooth chatter. The stem is not in alignment.  It is under-clocked by a few degrees. Kaywoodie is perhaps the quintessential American pipe name and I welcome restoring this Kaywoodie Standard Apple for Grace.  Starting with the stem, with pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95%, I clean the internal airway.  I also use a shank brush to get into the smaller airway of the 3 holed stinger.With the airway cleaned, the Kaywoodie joins other pipes’ stems in a Before & After Deoxidizer soak.  The stems soak in the Deoxidizer for a few hours.After fishing the Kaywoodie stem out of the Deoxidizer, I squeegee the liquid with my fingers and use cotton pads wetted with alcohol to wipe off the raised oxidation.  I also use pipe cleaners to clear the Deoxidizer liquid form the internal airway and stinger.To rejuvenate the vulcanite, paraffin oil is also applied to the stem and put aside to soak.Turning to the Kaywoodie Apple bowl, I use the Pipnet Reaming Kit to clean the light carbon cake in the chamber.  I employ 2 of the 4 blade heads available in the kit, then transition to scraping the chamber wall with the Savinelli Fitsall Tool.  Finally, after wrapping 240 grade paper around the Sharpie Pen, the chamber is sanded to remove the final vestiges of carbon.  After wiping the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to remove the carbon dust, an inspection of the chamber reveals healthy briar with no heating issues.Transitioning now to the external briar surface, undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap is used on a cotton pad.  I’m anxious to see what the cleaning does to the dark spots/blots on the surface. Along with the cotton pad, a brass wired brush helps on the rim as well as focusing on the dark spots.  The bowl is then transferred to the kitchen sink to focus on the internals.  Using a shank brush with anti-oil liquid dish soap, the internal mortise is addressed as well as using my fingernail on the dark spots.  After a thorough rinsing, the bowl goes back to the worktable.I use 000 grade steel wool to clean the nickel shank facing as well.  The spotting on the aft side of the bowl, top of the shank and shank underside are still present but perhaps lessened.  They will need sanding to eradicate.Next, continuing with the internal cleaning, pipe cleaners and cotton buds dipped in isopropyl 95% work on the mortise.  The metal threaded shank facing makes cleaning the internals a bit tricky.  I reach into the mortise with a small dental spoon and excavate old oils and tars by scraping the mortise walls.  This was quite a battle! At the end of the excavating and pipe cleaners and cotton buds, more of a truce was called – not a victory.  I will continue the internal cleaning later with a kosher salt and alcohol soak!Not wanting to contribute to the further demise of the Kaywoodie nomenclature, masking tape is placed over the markings on both sides of the shank.The darkened areas on the rim and the spotting areas are addressed with a light sanding with 240 grade paper.  First, before pictures and after sanding. After sanding the spots are erased.Next, to clean the entire stummel of scratches, cuts and nicks, I utilize sanding sponges.  First, a coarse sponge is used followed by medium and light grade sponges.  I like the appearance of the grain on this Apple bowl.  The grain is showing a lot of flow with some bird’s eye.  It appears this block of briar was taken toward the edge of the bole. Next, using the full regimen of micromesh pads, I wet sand with pads 1500 to 2400 and then dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  I remove the masking tape in the last set of three to allow some blending without much in the way of sanding. I’m anxious to see how a treatment of Mark Hoover’s Before & After Restoration Balm works on this Kaywoodie stummel.  I am especially interested in the shank areas where the masking tape covered the briar to protect the nomenclature and is a somewhat different hue.  I’m hopeful that the Balm might even out the contrast in these areas.  After putting some of the Balm on my fingers, I work the Balm into the briar surface.  The Balm begins with a cream-like consistency but then thickens to a wax-like texture as it’s worked into the surface.  After applying the Balm, I let the bowl set for several minutes for the Balm to do its thing.  I then remove the excess Balm with a cloth and follow by buffing the surface with a microfiber cloth.The Balm does a great job, but the only way to remove the darker hue over the nomenclature is to destroy the nomenclature and this I’m unwilling to do!  The nomenclature is a pipes heritage and part of its story.Looking now to the stem, first the metal tenon’s 3-holes are clogged.  Using a sharp dental probe, this is cleaned out.Using 000 grade steel wool I then clean and polish what I assume is a nickel tenon/stinger.The stem surface is in good shape.  There is a small imperfection near the clover leaf.I decide to sand the entire stem with 240 grade paper to remove the small divot but also to address potential residual oxidation.Following the 240 paper, wet sanding with 600 grade paper followed by applying 000 grade steel wool leaves the stem in good stead.Earlier I had commented that the stem was not in alignment and that it was under-clocked.  I rejoin the stem with the stummel and screw it in.  It appears that the cleaning corrected the alignment.  It looks good now.Next, the stem receives the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads.  I wet sand beginning with pads 1500 to 2400 then dry sand with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to rejuvenate the stem and to guard it against oxidation. Before applying Blue Diamond and wax, I continue the internal cleaning of the stummel using a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  This refreshes the pipe for a new steward and penetrates the internal briar walls to clean further. A wick is created by pulling and twisting a cotton ball.  The wick serves to draw oils and tars from the internals.  Using a stiff wire, the wick is forced down the mortise as far as it will reach. After this, the bowl is filled with kosher salt which leaves no aftertaste.  After filled, the bowl is placed in an egg carton to provide stability.  Next, the bowl is filled with isopropyl 95% alcohol with a large eye dropper until it surfaces over the salt.  After a few minutes, the alcohol is drawn into the salt and cotton wick.  I top off the alcohol and set it aside to soak for several hours – through the night. The next morning, I find the salt and cotton wick unsoiled.  Doubtful that this was an accurate indicator of the clean condition of the internals, I follow with additional pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with alcohol.  My guess is that the metal fitment hindered the wick from making it to raw briar to then draw out the tars and oils.I was correct – many more cotton buds were necessary with additional scraping with the dental spoon to achieve satisfactory results!  I move on.Now on the home stretch.  With the Kaywoodie stem and stummel reunited, a cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted to the Dremel set at about 40% full power and Blue Diamond compound is applied to the entire pipe.  After completing the Blue Diamond, I wipe/buff the pipe with a felt cloth to remove the carbon dust.  Then, after mounting another dedicated cotton buffing wheel onto the Dremel, set at the same speed, a few coats of carnauba wax are applied to the briar surface.  After completed, I give the pipe a rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine.

There is a large following of Kaywoodie pipes from what I’ve read and the following is increasing.  I’m pleased with how this 1960s vintage Kaywoodie Standard Apple has turned out.  The briar grain works well around the Apple shape. It has much movement and action.  The nomenclature is still surviving, and this pipe is ready for a new steward.  I’m pleased that pipe women Grace commissioned this Kaywoodie and has the first opportunity to acquire him from The Pipe Steward Store.  This Kaywoodie benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!