Tag Archives: upshallfan

GBD Originale 569M Restoration

This was one of two GBD’s I recently acquired thru the Smokers Haven in Ohio. Back in the day, that shop sold quite a few GBD’s. I normally collect only GBD’s made in England, but I made an exception for this Originale which is stamped “Paris, France”. I knew only a few tidbits about the Original line, from a GL Pease comment in a pipe forum thread on a $500 GBD Originale. I wondered what made that one so special and GLP commented:

“The Originale is an uncommon grade of GBD, sought after by more than a few collectors. I’ve seen very few of them, and in my years of collecting GBDs”.

I also found a reference to the Originale series on Jack Thompkins home page and attributed to John Tolle. The briar definitely has an unusual sheen and depth to it, similar to an older Comoys

The GBD Originals came out in the 60s and were made in Paris Fr.
All were rather small in size and came from older briar dating
to pre/during WWII. Not many were made and very few shapes.
Thanks John Tolle

This pipe was already restored by the shop, but I thought some of the bowl top dents and scorch marks might come out.


GBD_569M_Originale (1)

GBD_569M_Originale (2)

Using a propane torch, a wet rag and an old kitchen knife, I was able to work out many of the dents on the bowl top and one seam on the side of the bowl. The scorch marks still remained, so using some worn micromesh sheets, I was able to get down to the briar without disturbing the stain. I was tempted to let well enough alone, but I’m very pleased with these results and it was worth the additional effort.

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GBD_569M_Originale_Finish (4)

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The oxidiation had already been removed, so the stem only required a polish with 8000 and 12000 grit micromesh and a light buff with White Diamond rouge. Under magnification, it looked like there was a small crack near the button. I added a few layers of black superglue to strengthen the area.

I’m very pleased to add this one to my collection of GBD Rhodesians.

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1938 Parker Bulldog Restored

Blog by Al Jones

One of my pipe buddies, Dave, sent me this 1938 Parker bulldog to restore. I had not yet worked on a Parker yet, but know they have a loyal following of collectors. Dave always seems to chose interesting pipes to send me and this one was no exception.

Dave had determined the pipe was made in 1938 but after looking over the Parker page in Pipepedia, I wasn’t sure. This pipe was stamped “Parker” and not the possesive “Parker’s”. Pipepedia says this about the stamping:

Prior to World War II, the possessive PARKER’S stamp was used. However, at least some pipes were stamped with the non-possessive as early as 1936.

I confirmed with a Parker collector that the singular “Parker” was indeed used before WWII. The pipe is stamped 15, which is added to 1925 (starting with 2), so the date of manufacture is indeed 1938.

The briar was a bit worn but some heavy tar build-up on the bowl top. The stem had some curious striations and the button looked odd.

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Parker_109_Restore (2)

I reamed the bowl and filled it with isopropyl alcohol and sea salt. After soaking for several hours, I cleaned the build-up off the bowl top, which was quite stubborn. Some of the stain on the bowl edge was lightened in this process, but the bowl top was relative undamaged by use. I used some Medium Brown stain to darken the lightened areas and it blended in quite well. I applied some carnuba wax with a loose cotton wheel, then a coat of Halycon wax by hand.

When working on the stem, I discovered someone had “colored” it black with a permanent marker or similar. Thankfully, they worked around the “P” stem logo. I used 600 and then 800 grit paper to remove the black and some of the rough marks and scrapes on the stem. The button looks very odd and has been carved a little. Perhaps it was damaged and someone cut out the damaged areas? Or, are older Parker buttons shaped this way? Surprisingly, I did not find much Parker information on the web. The pipe also appears to be drilled for a filter or possibly a Dunhill-like innertube? The stem has a Patent Number stamped on it: 116989/17

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A member on the PipesMagazine.com forum, MisterLowerCase, posted this picture of a Parker innertube, which matches the Patent Number.



After the wet sandpaper, I used 8,000 and then 12,000 grit paper to bring up the shine. The stem was then buffed lightly with white diamond.

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Fixed a Stem Gap on an Ashton

This Ashton Sovereign was purchased as an estate, and I’ve owned it for several years. The pipe smokes great and the size is perfect (XX). I’m not sure if the stem is acrylic or “Ashtonite” as Jimmy Craig seems to use both materials. The pipe had a fairly large gap at the top of the stem that has bothered me since I took it out of the shipping box and every time I smoke it. Here’s a shot of the pipe which shows the gap.


This morning, I decided to try and re-angle the tenon to reduce the gap. I warmed some water in our Sunbeam “Hotshot” water heater. I dipped the tenon in the water, right to the edge of the stem and held it in for about 30 seconds. I inserted the stem into the shank and it went snugly up to the shank. This evening it appears my fix held.

I was surprised that the hot water made the stem very dull and at first I was worried that it might be permanent. I was able to buff that section of the stem (mounted to the pipe) with some White diamond rouge, which brought back the shine.

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Kaywoodie 5183B – 75 Year Old Briar

By Al Jones

I love the tapered Rhodesian shape and have been keeping an eye out for a Kaywoodie 5183B. The four digit Kaywoodies with “Drinkless” stamped stingers were made in the 1930’s.

I found this one on Ebay last week. It was sold by Dave Whitney. Dave is the contributor to “The Pipe Collector” (NASPC newsletter) and has written a book on estate pipe restoration called “Old Briar”.

Dave has this pipe listed as being made in 1938. From my research, and comments from other collectors, it seems a 1937-1938 is correct. The pipe is stamped “Imported Briar”.

The pipe was in overall excellent condition. Dave tells he found it in a box lot and the tobacco chamber was completely with cake build-up. The screw-in stem has the four-hole stinger intact. The beading on the bowl is degraded somewhat. There was one dent on the bowl top, which had colored darker than the rest of the briar. I was able to steam that dent out. I heat the tip of an old kitchen knife (OK, don’t tell my wife, it’s not that old..) with a propane torch and use a wet piece of cotton cloth. I double the cloth over as not to scorch the wood. The steam generated by the wet cloth causes the wood to rise to its original position. After the wood has been steamed, I buff the area with white diamond to bring back the shine and then with several coats of carnuba wax to protect it.

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Kaywoodie_5138B (2)

Here are some other pictures of the pipe. This is my first vintage Kaywoodie (I have a 2005 POY Rhodesian) and only “stinger” pipe in my collection. I smoked it today and found it smokes quite well. The bowl requires a light pack and the draw doesn’t feel restricted in any way. It does seem to like a slow puffing cadence. This is a rather large pipe, weighing approximately 60 grams and very close in size to the GBD 9438

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Dorset “Genuine Briar” Rhodesian

By Al Jones (aka “Upshallfan”)

I found this unknown to me pipe on Ebay. It looked to be in decent condition and it is a shape that I love (tapered stem Rhodesian). The pipe had a dark red finish, with a few fills but they were covered up nicely. The stem fitment was excellent and also in overall very good condition. I was hoping that this would be a relatively easy restoration.

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I reamed the light cake from the bowl and soaked it for several hours with isopropyl alcohol and sea salt. The bowl only required a light buff with white diamond to bring back the shine, after which I applied several coats of carnuba wax. The bowl had some scuff marks but they came out nicely. The beading around the bowl was in excellent condition.

The stem was badly oxidized, but in great shape. I soaked it in a mild oxyclean solution, then used first 800 then 1500 and 2000 grit wet sandpaper to remove the oxidation. After which I sanded it with 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh paper. The stem was inserted back onto the bowl for work around the shank end and I was careful not to damage the “D” stem stamp. I then buffed the stem with white diamond and red rouge, followed by a buff using automotive plastic polish. The stem came back quite nicely. Here is the stem before moving to the buffing wheel.

Dorset_Rhodesian (9)

Overall, I was very pleased with the finish of the pipe. It was delivered to the new owner this weekend, and they were also pleased with the appearance and how it smoked.

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Charatan’s Make 109 Rhodesian Restoration

Blog by Al Jones

I have been a fan of the Charatan Shape 109, but rarely see them become available. This one was recently posted on Ebay. It is a Lane era pipe, with the L stamp, but it has a tapered stem versus the more common Double Comfort. I think the Double Comfort stem on Chartan Bulldog or Rhodesian stems look a little ungainly, so this one was very appealing. The pipes small size was a definite appeal. It is similar to a Group 4 Dunhill or XX Ashton. The pipe weighs approximately 45 grams, which is my right in my sweet spot.

The Ebay pictures for the pipe weren’t very detailed and there were some pretty deep teeth marks on the bottom of the stem. The pips is stamped:
Charatan’s Make
London England
109 and the L stamp

I’ve learned that Charatan pipes stamped in this manner were known as having the “Rough” grade. From a somewhat controversial web article by Ivy Ryan, I’ve learned that:
“Sandblasted pipes stamped Charatan’s Make over London England and a number are one version of the famous “Rough” grade. These were apprentice pipes that didn’t come out well
enough to be graded but were still eminently smokable. To save the wood and give the
less-well-off a quality smoke, Charatan would first hand rusticate the pipe gently, then sandblast
it. (Due to Dunhill’s patent, they couldn’t simply blast the pipe, and the rustication made for a very
different blast.)”

The “L” in circle stamp denotes a pipe imported into USA by Lane Ltd between 1955 and 1988. If anyone has information to narrow down that range, please chime in.

Here is the pipe as it was delivered. The nomenclature on the stem was in decent shape but it had some heavy tooth waves on top and heavy indention’s underneath.


Charatan_109_Before (1)

Charatan_109_Before (2)

Charatan_109_Before (3)

Once again, I employed the Stew-Mac black superglue to repair the teeth marks on the bottom of stem. The first photo shows the application of the superglue and the second shows it sanded smooth with 800 grit sandpaper.


Charatan_109_Stem (1)

I reamed the bowl and soaked it with alcohol and sea salt. There was some tar build up on the bowl top, but that was removed with a very mild oxy-clean solution and a cloth.

I removed the oxidation on the stem with 800 grit wet sandpaper, then progressed thru the 1500 and 2000 grade paper. Most of the waves came off the top of the stem and the marks underneath blended in nicely with the superglue. The button was in good shape. I stayed away from the CP stem logo. The stem was then buffed lightly with white diamond rouge.

I finished the bowl with some Halycon wax, worked into the bowl with an old toothbrush polished by hand

Here is the finished pipe.

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My Buffing Motor & Work Station Setup – Updated June 2017

Blog by Al Jones


See the June 2017 Updates at the bottom of this page
I get a lot of requests about my buffing station, so I thought an entry here on the blog would be handy to use as a point of reference. I do my pipe work in my garage which is well-lit. I have a small Coleman propane heater to warm up the space during the winter months.

For a buffing motor, I use an old Century brand motor that I found in my parent’s basement. I believe it was used on their old furnace motor or a back-up. It is a 1725 rpm, 1/4 hp motor. I wired an old appliance cord for power. It does not have a capacitor start, which would be nice. It does have two oil ports, which apparently aren’t used on modern motors.



I bought a 1/2″ arbor extension from Jestco Products. This bolts to the motor shaft and allowed for a buffing pad to be mounted. I also use Jestco for my buffing pads. I use 6″ wide pads. They make left or right thread arbors. A dual shaft motor would be a nice upgrade, in order to keep two pads mounted. A nut holds the pad in the arbor, I replaced it with a wing-nut to allow for easy hand changes. The pad only needs to be held snugly in place. I ground the wing-nut down a bit to make sure it wouldn’t inadvertently hit the pipe or stem.

Jestco is also a good source for bars of rouge. I get carnuba bars from my local Woodcraft store. The bars pictured below have been in use for three years and would seemingly last many more years.

I mount the buffer in my bench mounted vise. When not needed, I can easily pull it off and store it under my bench. Below is the link for Jestco Products.




I keep my bars of rouge and pads in plastic holders above the bench. There are pads for Carnuba wax (loose cotton), Tripoli, White Diamond and Plastic Polish (sewn cotton buffs)



I have a small, plastic, three drawer cabinet under my work bench for my reamers, needle files, etc. I also keep my supply of micromesh paper there along with my retort.


Other supplies are kept in a cabinet above the work bench, alcohol, stain, etc.


Below is the entire work area. I share the work space for my car and motorcycle mechanical work but my pipe supplies don’t take up much space. Everything is easily stored off the work bench, when it is needed for big mechanical jobs.


Updated – June 2017

I’ve made a number of changes to my pipe restoration station since writing this blog entry on 2013.  I’ve been doing enough pipe work that my shared car, pipe and general work bench was getting cramped.  I sold my motorcycles, but kept the MGB.  That freed up a generous area of the shop that I could dedicate to my pipe work station and a winter smoking area.

in 2016, During a restaurant remodel,  I happened across a small, stainless steel  work table  that was going to be discarded.  It had a 39″ height, which was perfect for pipe work (no need to stoop too low).   I found a pair of inexpensive drawers from a hardware company, which was perfect for small tool  storage, files, sandpaper, etc.   The table is positioned under the only window in the garage, which is nice for some additional light.


I bolted my single arbor, 1725 rpm-1/4 hp motor to the work bench and installed some pockets to hold the pads and rouge/wax sticks.  A cabinet mounted above allowed for plenty of storage for the other items.  I added a two-bulb fluorescent light above the bench.

This setup served me well but I always wished for a dual-arbor motor to reduce the pad changes (my three most commonly used pads: Carnuba wax, White Diamond, Plastic Polish).  In June 2017, on Facebook of all places, I found a local man selling out an old workshop.  He had what appeared to be an old motor for sale.  I inquired about the specs, which turned out to be perfect:  1725 rpm and 1/2 horse-power.  The motor was an old Craftsman, and had two oil ports.  Modern  motors have eliminated the oil ports for supposedly “lifetime bearings”.  I prefer the oil port motors.  Here is the motor as received, with short arbors and an exterior mount power switch.


Like my other motor, this one did not have a capacitor start, and a cheap, plastic switch mounted on the exterior.  I sourced a heavy-duty, double-insulated metal switch from Lowes, which is also on the other motor.


Once again, I sourced extended  arbor mounts from Jestco Supply.  They are the only ones to make 6″ extensions that I have found.   This motor had 1/2″ and 5/8″ arbors, which Jestco sold in right and left hand options.  The webpage for Jestco is below, I highly recommend this vendor for all of your buffing supplies, service and quality is first rate.

Jestco Supply – Buffing Accessories


My next decision was how to mount the motor.  I like having the pad off the table surface to give me plenty of working room.  The motor spins clock-wise, away from the operator and I usually have the pipe or stem around the 7 o’clock position.  With two arbors,  I decided  to remove the rubber feet,  install four bolts and then drill four matching holes in the table.  The buffer simply sets down in the four holes and I can rotate the buffer 180 degrees to  use the other pad.


Drilling stainless isn’t easy.  I used a small, good bit for the pilot hole, with some WD40 on the bit and table surface to keep the bit from burning up.  You need to drill at a relatively slow speed.  I used a “step bit” to enlarge the holes, which was done quite fast (also with lubrication).

Below is my cabinet with extra supplies.


Below is the finished station.  I mounted a paper-towel holder under the shelf.  I use a lot of paper towels during the stem standing process, to keep the water from damaging the stain of the briar.  I may upgrade the light to a four-tube fixture for the winter, when the garage is closed up and a bit darker.








Father Tom’s Briar – Reborn – by Al Jones

Blog by Al Jones

Followers of this blog are no doubt very familiar with Steve Laug’s wonderful “Father Tom” short stories. For those not familiar with Father Tom, he is fictional well seasoned, pipe smoking minister.

On the “Brothers of Briar” pipe forum and we are fortunate to have a real life “Father Tom” as a member. Father Tom is an Episcopal priest in Northern Indiana. He taught for 32 years before leaving the classroom for full-time parish work. He has been a pipe smoker since college, and most of his college pipes are still in the rotation. The pipe is one he bought in the late 70’s in South Carolina. Tom posted a picture of this pipe earlier this summer on the forum and wondered if the finish could be restored. Tom had recently returned from a church assignment to the Honduras. The pipe was very much well-loved and the varnished finish was worn off in the handling areas. The stem was also heavily oxidized. Tom reported that it smoked Granger quite well. Here is the pipe as it was delivered.

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Steve sent me some information on a Wellington brand pipe and this one appears to be a reproduction of that and the Peterson system pipe, including a p-lip military stem. The pipe is stamped “Pietro”. Steve told me that these stems had a reputation of being drilled close to the edge of the stem near the bend. As such, over time, the use of a pipe cleaner wears the stem material thin. Sure enough, after I started to remove the oxidation, there was a small hole and crack on the top of the stem bend. I wasn’t sure the stem could be saved but I thought that perhaps several layers of black superglue blended in would rebuild that area. In total, I applied four light coats of the superglue, raising the surface about 1 mm and covering the hold. The crack still shows thru the material but I think it should hold up to some use. But, I advised Father Tom to be careful clenching that one. At some point a new stem will have to be made for the pipe.

This shows the repair in progress with the black superglue (purchased from Stewart-Mac, a guitar repair supply house).




I finished the stem by removing the heavy oxidation first with 600 grit wet sandpaper, than moving to the 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grades. I used 8000 and 12000 grades of micromesh to complete that step. Than, with the stem mounted in the briar, it was buffed with white diamond rouge, than a automotive plastic polish.

I then moved my attention to the briar. I first soaked the briar in an alcohol bath in an attempt to soften the varnished finish. That had some effect, but it was necessary to sand most of the shiny varnish off by hand. I used 600 grit paper and progress up to 1500 grade wet paper. There was one large gash on the bottom of the bowl and one large fill spot, where the putty had fallen out. Not surprisingly, there were other fills on the briar under that finish. I was able to lift out the dent using a heated kitchen knife and steam. I repaired the fill hold with some of the black superglue. Sometimes I think covering the fills looks worse than leaving them and I thought the others lent some character to the pipe that Tom had given the briar (they might have also been handling dings, etc.)





I used a two step process to apply the stain to the briar. First I warmed the bowl with a hair dryer and then brushed on a coat of black stain. I lit the stain with flame to set it into the grain. The black stain was then sanded off with a series of sandpaper, starting again at 800 grit. I then applied a very light, almost neutral brown stain over the black. The bowl was then buffed with white diamond rouge and several coats of carnuba wax. While hand buffing the carnuba wax, I almost had a tragic accident with the pipe – it slipped out of my hands and bounced off my concrete workshop floor. I was horrified but was somewhat relieved to see no visible damage. It was only in the final hand polishing did I notice that the fall had put a dent in the metal cap. Steve shared with me a technique to heat the cap (once removed) and use a wooden dowel shaped into the half-circle to work out dents. Unfortunately, even using heat, I was unable to remove the cap. After discussion with the gracious Father Tom, it was decided to leave well enough alone. I will be picking up a padded piece of carpet to place in front of my work bench.

Below is the finished pipe. My grandfather was also a minister, but didn’t smoke a pipe. I would often watch him in his study poring over notes for his next sermon or wrestling with the day-to-day issues that a pastor faces. While working thru this restoration, I could picture Father Tom thoughtfully puffing on pipe as he completed his pastoral duties. I imagine it has been with him thru many weighty challenges faced by a modern minister. I hope this reborn pipe will be with him for many more years and help work thru the challenges of that endeavor.

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An Engagement Pipe (GBD 548 Seventy-Six)

My family had a pretty big life event here last week. My daughter came home from New Orleans for a week of vacation, with the boyfriend of two years in tow again. He had called us a few weeks prior to ask permission to marry her, the first of our daughters to get engaged. This young man is quite a gentleman, as you might have guessed (who knew guys still ask for permission?). He and I share a number of interests, including pipes. I enjoyed my week with him and we were able to spend some time in the shop where I shared with him some estate pipe restoration techniques. He left here with a few briars that he cleaned. I miss him and her already.

As they were getting ready to depart, I found this GBD Seventy-Six, shape 548, on Ebay. I later learned it was sold by our own Bob Landry. The pipe had some issues and I was a bit skeptical that a good outcome could result. I’m a fan of the Seventy-Six line and I liked the tall bulldog shape. The bowl top had some chips on it but the tall bowl looked like there was plenty of briar there to top it just a bit. The stem was in great shape, just oxidized and I rationalized that if it didn’t work out, at least I had a brass rondell for the parts box. The big concern was the two burn marks on the briar (photographed and described well by Bob). I knew it would require a restain. Here is the pipe as it was received.


GBD_584_76-Before (1)

GBD_584_76-Before (2)

GBD_584_76-Before (3)

GBD_584_76-Before (4)

I reamed the bowl and found it to be in great shape. I used a sheet of 800 grit paper on my flat work bench to top the bowl and work past the damaged area. That fix came out great and the tall bowl definitely lent itself to that repair. Next up, I soaked the bowl in alcohol to remove the stain. This really exposed the burned areas. I tried to sand past them, but that was not possible and I was afraid of putting a flat spot on the bowl, particularly on that right side. This work exposed some other nicks on the bottom of the bowl. I was able to buff/sand out most of those.

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The GBD Seventy-Six line used a two stain process that I really like, much like Comoys used. I stained the bowl black but must have put it on too heavy, as I had a hard time getting the black off. The plan was to sand off the black, leaving it to highlight the grain and then apply a very light brown stain. I mulled over just leaving it black, but that didn’t set well with me either. I was a bit frustrated at this point and almost bagged the whole project and save the stem for a future project. I left it on the bench for the better part of a week, working on other projects. I decided to soak off the black stain and left it in an alcohol bath for several days. That finally did the trick and afterwards, I sanded the briar smooth with some 2000 grit paper and then 8000 grit micromesh.

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I then applied a very light brown stain using Feiblings Medium Brown heavily diluted with alcohol (20:1 ratio or so?) The combination of the black and brown stain finally hid the burn marks rather well and I was pleased with the outcome. The bowl was then polished with White Diamond and then several coats of carnuba wax was applied.

With the bowl completed, I turned my attention to the stem, which didn’t require nearly as much work. Using a piece of plastic, cut into a round shape I inserted it as a shield between the stem and the briar for the sanding work. I sanded the stem with 800, 1500 and 2000 grit paper, all wet. I then moved to 8000 and 12000 grit micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and an automotive plastic polish.

This shows the plastic shield.

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As I was finishing the pipe and thinking about my daughters marriage, it struck me that there were some similarities in this pipe project and a successful marriage. Like a marriage, at times things don’t always go the way you anticipated and being patient with your spouse or a project always pays off. I sent the pipe off to my future son-in-law with a note welcoming him to our family. I hoped when smoking the pipe, he would remember the week he spent here and his proposal to my daughter.

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Comoys 498 Extraordinaire Restoration

Many pipe smokers or collectors (I consider myself both) have a “Holy Grail” list of pipes they would like to own. My list totals five and this year I was fortunate to have acquired two from that list within six months. My five are highly sought after and fully restored examples are most likely beyond my meager pipe fund budget. My best bet to acquire any of these models is to find a pipe in need of restoration. Even then, I’m competing with collectors all over the world.

Two pipes on my list are Comoys Extraordinaire models. The Extraordinaire line is described in Pipedia as:

Extraordinaire. This designation was given to any pipe that was out of the ordinary in size or grain. The E/O was introduced in the 1930s, and “Extraordinaires” can be found with no other designation or also stamped, for instance, “Blue Riband” or “London Pride.”

My first Extraordinaire is a 499 that has been dated to the 1930’s, from the “football” stamp and drilled “C” logo. I bought this one from a pipe friend and it was in the condition you see pictured below. (originally purchased at Fine Pipes) I found this 498 Extraordinaire listed on Ebay and was able to make a deal with the seller to acquire it before the auction continued. It was listed as a “283/Blue Riband”, both of which I knew it was not. The nomenclature isn’t as sharp as on my 499 but it is legible. The stamping style and C logo are identical to my 499, so I assume this one is also from the 1930’s. There were plenty of dings on the bowl, including some on the top. The stem was in pretty good shape, but heavily oxidized with one tooth indention on the bottom. Here is the condition of the pipe as delivered.


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Comoys_498_Before (2)

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There was a moderate cake in the bowl, which I reamed and then filled the bowl and shank with Sea Salt and Everclear for an overnight soak. The alcohol and salt didn’t leach much tar from the bowl, so hopefully it will be ghost free. The bowl was previously reamed slightly out of round and the Comoys beveled bowl top has been dimished over the past seven or so decades.

The next step was to steam the dents and marks from the bowl. I heated an old kitchen knife tip with a propane torch. A wet cloth, doubled over was applied to the area with a dent, then the hot knife tip was pressed over the dent. The steam eventually causes the dent to rise and I was able to remove or diminish most of the dents. You have to be careful on this step not to scorch the wood, so keep your cloth wet. I was able to reduce the dents on the bowl top to much smaller marks. Fortunately, the bowl top was not scorched by previous smokers

Removing the oxidation from the stem took several hours. I first soaked the stem in mild Oxy-clean solution to loosen the oxidation. I put a dab of grease on the “C” logo to protect it. I then used 1500 wet paper and then 2000 wet paper to remove the brown oxidation. I buffed the stem lightly with white diamond rouge (with the stem mounted to avoid rounding the edge). Next I sanded the stem with 8000 and then 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed again with white diamond rounge and finally with Blue Magic automotive plastic polish.

I tried to raise the tooth indention on the bottom of the stem, but it could not be raised much. I ordered a tube of black superglue that luthiers use for repair on stringed instruments. I’ve previously used regular superglue mixed with a little black vulcanite dust but this pipe seemed worthy of the investment ($15 delivered…). I’ll update the photos after the black superglue is used.

Below is the finished pipe along with my other Extraordinaire 499. I’m thrilled and fortunate to have acquired this one before it went thru the auction process. It makes a terrific stablemate to my 499.


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Update – Stem Tooth Indention Repair:

My order of Black Superglue was delivered this week from Stew-Mac. I forgot to order the accelerant, but Steve Laug told me to let the glue set overnight to dry.

I cleaned out the tooth mark using a small pick, to allow the glue to have a good clean suface.

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The glue is a little thicker than regular Superglue, but it can still run, so the pipe stem must be kept level. Cut the tube open with the smallest opening possible. The bottle does have a tight fitting cap, so hopefully it does not dry out between uses.

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After the glue dried overnight, I sanded it smooth with some 400 and then 800 grit wet sandpapers. I followed this with 1500 and then 2000 grit wet papers.

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I then moved to the final two grades of micromesh, 8000 and 12000 grade papers, followed by a buff on the machine with White diamond rouge. I always do a final buff with automotive plastic polish. I’m pleased with how the repair came out and the black superglue does blend in better than the clear. I’m not a clencher, but I suspect the repair section would last longer then the original stem material.