Baccy Pipes

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Repairing a Broken Shank on an LHS Park Lane DeLuxe — Lovat 12

This is a pipe i sent to Steve at  rebornpipes who did a wonderful repair on it so i thought i would share it here,

Here is a link to original post…….Repairing a Broken Shank on an LHS Park Lane DeLuxe — Lovat 12

Repairing a Broken Shank on an LHS Park Lane DeLuxe — Lovat 12

I came home from a two-week work trip to Berlin and Budapest to find a package from Troy Wilburn waiting for me. It contained a beautiful little LHS Park Lane De Luxe Lovat shape 12 that we had been speaking about before the trip. I am a sucker for LHS pipes and really like the Park Lane series as they have a quiet elegance about them. The shank on this one had broken near the bowl. Fortunately it was a clean break and not splintered or chipped. The repair on these has become pretty straight forward for me. I have learned a few tricks in joining the parts of a broken shank together from the Frankenpipes that I have crafted. That was their purpose and their schooling has paid off on quite a few of these shank repairs for me. The Park Lane had a Bakelite stem (at least I think it is Bakelite as it feels and acts different from Cumberland). The next two photos show the snapped shank.LHS1

LHS2Just as I suspected I had a piece of brass tubing that was the perfect size and fit for the repair. I used a file to cut grooves into the tube and to roughen the surface for the glue to have something to hold onto when I glued it in the shank.LHS3

LHS4I cleaned out the airway on both sides of the broken shank to remove debris and to give a good clean surface for the glue to bond with. To check the size and the fit of the tube in the two parts of the shank I inserted it in the bowl end of the break and then twisted the shank end onto it. The fit was perfect and once glued the repair should be solid.LHS5I mixed some epoxy and applied it to the metal tube being careful to not get any inside of the airway. I inserted it into the bowl side of the break. I left slightly over half of the tube extending so that when I put the shank piece in place there would be enough of the metal tube to strengthen the repair on that end.LHS6

LHS7When the epoxy set and the tube was solidly in place I painted some more of the epoxy on the opposite end of the tube and a little on the briar surface of each side of the break. I have learned not to overdo the glue on the briar as it is a pain to remove from the wood when it dries. I twisted the shank piece in place, lined it up and pressed it in place against the bowl side. I held it firmly until the quick set epoxy set and that portion of the repair was finished.LHS8



LHS11I pushed some fine briar dust into the small space that remained around the surface of the crack and then filled it with clear super glue. I applied it with the point of a dental pick so as not to get too much glue on the briar.LHS12



LHS15I sanded the repaired area carefully with a folded piece of worn 220 grit sandpaper to remove the excess glue and briar dust from the patch. Then I sanded with a fine grit sanding sponge to remove the scratches. I used a medium brown coloured stain pen to touch up the sanded area around the patch. I cleaned out the shank with a pipe cleaner to make sure that there was no glue in the tube.LHS16



LHS19The stem was slightly under clocked. I heated the stinger with a lighter until the glue in the stem softened and then carefully screwed it into the shank while holding the shank. I was able to align it perfectly with the shank.LHS20With that completed, the repairs to the pipe were finished. The stem was in the right position. The cracked shank repaired and strengthened with an inner tube. All that remained was to clean up the surface of the pipe and give it a coat of stain to blend in the sanded areas around the repairs. I also needed to do some work on the stem with micromesh to raise the shine and polish the Bakelite. (I rarely use the buffer on these older LHS stems as I do not want to risk it. I would rather polish them by hand than damage them.)LHS21

LHS22I wiped the bowl and shank down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the grit and grime on the surface of the bowl and to remove the remaining finish.LHS23

LHS24I cleaned off the tars on the stinger with 0000 steel wool. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I continued to dry sand the stem with 3200-4000 grit pads and then gave it another coat of oil. I finished with the final three grits of micromesh – 6000-12000 – and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. Once the oil dried I gave the stem some coats of Paragon Wax and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth.LHS25


LHS27I gave the bowl a rubdown with some olive oil and then buffed it out. I touched up the light areas of the stain on the repaired shank with a dark stain pen and then rubbed a little more oil onto the shank. I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond and then gave it several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean flannel buff and then hand buffed it with the microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown below. I am hoping to put it in the mail later today or tomorrow to get it back to Troy.LHS28

LHS29There was some light damage to the rim surface. I decided to leave it alone as it was not enough to top the bowl. It gives character to this old pipe.




Early Van Roy Arista “Selected Briar” Ajustamatic Refurbish

I picked up this early Van Roy Arista off Ebay .

Van Roy pipes started around 1944-1945 .They were headquartered out of the Empire State building. They were the first pipe to use the Adjustamatic stem. HL&T (Dr.Grabow ) purchased the company around 1949 and used the Adjustamatic exclusively on the Dr. Grabow pipes. All Van Roy’s after that used a push stem ,so Van Roy Adjustamatics were only made for around 4- 5 years. I could not find out if  Van Roy had their own pipe manufacturing facility . Most likely they had production of the pipes made by different pipe makers like Mastercraft did.
This one i believe is a very early model made at the end of the war, because its a non imported briar pipe.They must have started production before imported brair was again available to American pipe makers. I would guess my pipe is no later than early 1946.
I wasn’t sure what kind of wood it was in the beginning ( I’m still not 100% sure). I sure do not think it is a mountain laurel pipe. I have a few of Dr.Grabow and Medico mountain laurel pipes and they are devoid of any kind of grain . All i have used painted on grain to compensate for the bland wood. It is  also different than the mission briar that Kaywoodie used during the war. I noticed that the Van Roy is a harder material than laurel Dr.Grabow used .
I did some research and found out that a pipe  called Raskassa used the same kind of wood from the looks of them. The pipes were distributed by a man named Otto Sevic. The pipes are likely made from rhododendron. D&P pipes also used rhododendron along with mountain laurel in pipe production.
I think  maybe Otto Sevic may have headed up production of the Van Roy’s prior to the re introduction of briar back to the American pipe makers . I found these pictures of a Raskassapipe and the grain and color is similar.

It seems after mountain laurel and rhododendron was not used anymore in pipe production in the United States that Mr. Sevic  disappear’s in the pipe world as i could not find any more mention of him.

Here is a interesting article i found about mountain laurel ,rhododendron , manzanita  and wild lilac being used in pipe production because of the war. Published in 1942……………….,4449019&hl=en

Wild Lilac as a wood used in pipe production is one I had not heard or read of  before finding this article.

Also this one dated Aug .10 1942 in a Pittsburgh  Post Gazette paper,4203336

On to the refurbish of the Van Roy,

I began work on the pipe with a good cleaning and oiling of the Adjustamatic stem. The pipe was actually pretty clean interior wise. I had never seen a pipe so lightly smoked, but yet so banged up on the outside. The rim, front of bowl and top of shank had many deep dings.
I gave the rim a topping  with 220 grit then moved up to 500-1000 grit. I sanded a beveled edge on the inner rim to remove some bad burn marks as well.

After the topping i rounded the outer rim slightly with 800-1200 to give it a factory look.

I mixed up some  RIT medium brown dye with a touch of red , I gave the rim a couple of light coats then sanded it off with 1200 grit to contrast the grain. Then i applied a few coats with a Q-tip til i got the desired shade i was looking for.

After the dye had dried i wiped the outside rim edge with mineral oil and sanded the stain line with 2500 grit to blend it in with the factory stain.
I then tackled the many dings on the bowl. I wrapped the bowl in a damp cloth and rolled it over a hot iron several times. I managed to steam out most of the dings and made the rest not very noticeable.
I then went over the bowl with some mineral oil and 2500 to further eliminate as many of the dings and dents as possible.
I gave the stem a good wet sanding with 500 -2500 grit and cleaned the metal tenon  and stinger with 000 steel wool.

The pipe is now ready for buff and wax .

Finished pipe.
I want to point out that this is a wide and large bowl . Almost pot like . It it just a hair under a 1 inch wide chamber.

I would also like to mention that older Van Roy’s use the Fleur De Lis symbol on them. From the pictures I’ve seen all the non imported briar have them on the shank . When production switched to imported briar they seem to have moved the Fleur De Lis symbol to the stem. So if you see one stamped on the shank, it is most likely a alternative briar pipe.
 I gave the Van Roy a carbon bowl coating. The Adjustamtic stem does not work as smooth as a Dr. Grabow version . Its has a stiff feeling even after being oiled. Dr.Grabow must have refined and upgraded the adjusto mechanism.
The pipe actually smokes pretty well , better than i thought it would. The Dr.Grabow and Medico mountain laurel’s i have are not that good .They smoke very hot and have a odd taste to me. This one though does not . The large bowl took both of these large flakes to fill it , so i had a very long first smoke in it.
I think the wide chamber ,bowl coating and Bold Kentucky being a slow , cool smoking tobacco helped the pipe to smoke as cool as it did . A good quality rhododendron “briar” might also be part of it too. I have to say I’m impressed with the performance of the Van Roy. I was expecting a more disappointing experience. Rhododendron (if that what it actually is)  to me seems a superior pipe material than the  mountain laurel.


Refurbish and Preservation of a E.Wilke Poker

This is a old E.Wilke poker I picked up off Ebay , I have been looking for one for a while to add to my American poker collection.I saw a straight stem one on Ebay a couple of month’s ago but passed on it as it had a horizontal crack almost all the way around it about a quarter way from the top of the rim.

Other than being dirty and a little banged up the only issue i found was the stem was really loose (fall out loose) and just did not fit just right. I suspect this is not the original stem but will have to work with it as I do not have a spare one that even comes close to fitting this pipe.

Other than knowing Wilke was a very good pipe maker from New York City I knew little about them. The last couple of days i have read and researched quite a bit on Wilke.

Here is what is listed on pipedia
Edwin Wilke founded Wilke Tobacco in 1872. As the story goes, according to a 1937 New York World-Telegram article, he had no sons, and so he taught his two daughters, Anna and Louisa Wilke, how to make pipes and blend tobacco, and by his death in 1930 they were well versed in both trades, and adamant about only using quality briar. In 1950, when they were the focus of an article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, they were the only women pipe makers in the United States, and had sold pipes to Herbert hoover, Lord Halifax, John Steinbeck and others. The sisters also blended pipe tobacco and repaired pipes. They did not, however, smoke pipes.

Wilke prided itself on “unpainted pipes”, and promised that only Macedonian briar was used, without paint, varnish, plug, or putty of any kind. As of 1950, some of their pipes were selling for up to $100.00, or just under $1,000.00 dollars today. By the release of a 1970 New York Magazine highlight of the shop, that claim had risen to $500.00, or over $3,000.00 today.

The Wilke Pipe Shop was located for decades on Madison Avenue in New York City, and in the 1970s opened a satellite store in the famed Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia, selling Wilke pipes made by Steven Johnson. In 1983, the brand was purchased by pipe maker Elliott Nachwalter and his wife, Carole Burns. They continued to operate the Madison Avenue store until the early 1990’s, at which point the couple moved to Vermont and Pipeworks & Wilke was born as a mail-order business.

Even after the marriage of Burns and Nachwalter, the business continued, with Nachwalter selling pipes in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Burns blending tobacco in Montpelier, Vermont. Burns continues to keep the 125 year old brand alive at
The people who run the business now does not make pipes.

I found this neat 1950 newspaper write up about the Wilke sister’s.…BAJ&pg=4768,1103398&hl=en

After reading on the web  what a previous employee and customer’s who shopped at the New York shop said  that not only did the Wilke pipes come without stain or finish but were void of any wax.They most likely just got rubbed with oil and that’s it. One thing i noticed about the pipe when i got it was the lack of any finish or wax. I was thinking it had just rubbed off from years of handling and use. It seems it never had any to begin with.

There was a few pipe makers that carved pipes for the Wilke sister’s. Most of them from the NYC/NJ/CT area such as Barclay-Rex, Connoisseur etc..
The most prized pipes were carved by Stephen Johnson and Italian pipe maker Joe Cortegani.
After the sisters sold the business sometime in the 1980’s the pipes were mass produced by Weber and GBD , they were never the same quality.

I also found out that Wilke pipes made before the 1950’s had E.Wilke  NYC in one line on the shank, 1950’s  and after they were stamped E.Wilke over NYC making mine a 1950’s or newer pipe.

On to the refurb

I gave the pipe a basic cleaning of the shank and the old cake came out easily.

I gave the rim a and bowl a good cleaning as described in my previous post about cleaning heavy rim cake.…3/easy-removal-of-heavy-rim-cake/

As i was working on this pipe I was thinking that mine was a later 1980’s Weber , but something was not right about that. All the Weber pokers I’ve seen and held have a heel at the shank and bottom of bowl. This was a flat bottom poker. The bowl on this poker also is taller than any Weber poker i have seen or own. I know its not a GBD as their pokers have a higher heel and a different bowl shape.

Then it hit me that I think I might know who made this pipe. I went digging through my pokers and found my Ben Rodgers pipe that I picked up from Dave Whitney. They look really similar.

The heigt of the bowl and the shape of the heel matches just about perfect. Little is know about Ben Rodgers other than he was a pipe maker from NYC. So it fits that he is likely the maker.

Back to the pipe .

The rim was kinda beat as seen after the cleaning.The previous owner must have been left handed because the inner rim has some briar loss from the smoker holding a lighter on the same spot on the left side of the briar.

So I topped the pipe with some 500 grit and mineral oil . I then sanded the rim from 600 grit to 1200 the same way.

After topping the rim it was lighter than the rest of the pipe . The pipe had taken on a dark patina from years of smoking and a lack of finish. So i cleaned the rim with 91% alcohol to remove the oil and stained it a few times  with a q-tip and black coffee. Allowing it to dry between coats.

After drying i gave the rest of the pipe a sanding with 1200 grit and mineral oil to remove some slight dings and rough edges.

After a soak and scrub in alcohol i soaked the stem in Oxy Clean , then removed it scrubbed it with alcohol again. I then gave it a good sanding with 600 on up to 2500 grit.

After the sanding was done i tackled the loose fitting of the stem . I did the old loose stem fix for a cob on it. I heated the tenon then stuck in a tapered pair of small needle nose pliar’s to expand the end of the tenon. Next it got a coat of bee’s wax.

The stem fits pretty snug now, * After the pipe was finished it did loosen back up some so i wiped a thin coat of CA glue over the tenon and gave it another coat of bee’s wax. That seemed to fix it better and has not become loose again. *

I then gave the stem a good buff and wax , being careful to stay off the briar.

Staying with how the Wilkes pipes were sold with no finish i gave the pipe one last going over with 000 steel wool and one last coat of mineral oil.

I though about applying wax to it but decided to try it original. I can always add wax later. I may end up getting a new stem for it as well.

Finished (well sort of) pipe. You can certainly add coats of wax on the Wilke you restore, I just personally decided to leave mine more natural.

After finishing the pipe i smoked a couple of bowls of Carter Hall in it. Its a very cool smoking pipe .The bowl barely got warm. It must be a combination of very good briar and lack of any wax or finish.The draw is perfect. I then loaded it up with some Bold Kentucky . I can see why Wilke pipes are coveted by people who own them because they are fine smoking pipes.


Quick & Easy Removal Of Heavy Rim Cake

I thought i would post my simple way to clean up heavy rim cake . Its the fastest and easiest way I’ve found.

This is a old  E.Wilke poker I’m working on .

I will use Oxy Clean as my cleaner because its a natural finish and I’m not worried about preserving a factory stain finish. I will soak the stem of this pipe in it as well ,so i will be killing two birds with one stone.

If i was preserving a pipe and wanted to be careful i would substitute Oxy Clean for a mild detergent and water such as a drop of dawn in warm water, or just water. It will remove the cake  slower but will do just as well with out removing stain . Oxy Clean will strip stain and finish if applied like i will be  doing on this rim. If you do this to a stained pipe you will have to match the color and stain the rim.

I added water to the Oxy Clean and heated in a microwave for 1 minute.

I then cut me a piece of green Scotch Brite pad about 3-4 inches square. If it was light cake you could use steel wool but for heavy cake on the rim i like to use a green pad.

I then dip the green pad in the warm Oxy Clean and place it on a old rag .

I have already removed most of the cake out of the bowl and cleaned the shank.

Take the pipe and turn it upside down like you are topping it with sandpaper.This will also keep the water and Oxy Clean from soaking into the bowl chamber.
Move the pipe in circles and back and forth with light to medium pressure.

This is after about 30 seconds and its almost gone.

I flip it over ( the pad ) and do the rest of the rim with the clean side of pad.

After another 30 seconds or less its all gone.

You can rinse the pad in warm soapy water and re use it a few more times as well.

Ill go ahead and clean up rest of the bowl.

I dipped a paper towel in the Oxy Clean (you can also use a cotton ball but i was out of them) and wipe the rest of bowl to clean off all the dirt and grime . If this had a stain of heavy finish and wanted to strip and  remove it i would use a green pad dipped in Oxy Clean , give it a good scrubbing a few times. The take some sandpaper and hit any stubborn spots that the Oxy Clean did not remove. I usually dip the wet/dry paper in the Oxy Clean as well while I’m sanding the spots . If there is any.

I then spray some water and mild detergent mix with a spray bottle on a paper towel. You can substitute this step with alcohol if you prefer.

I go over the pipe a few times til the paper towel is clean after wiping the bowl.

After letting the pipe dry, i wipe it with some mineral oil. You can use olive oil or some other wood oil product. I like Mineral oil because its cheap, odorless,colorless and tasteless. It is also natural and does not have the danger of turning rancid like a food product.

Let the oil soak in the wood for about 10-15 minutes and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

The pipe needs more work and i will likely end up topping it slightly and sanding the rest of the bowl some . I’m just using this pipe as a example.

The pipe has not been sanded none and just cleaned and oiled . I have not taken anything away from the pipe or damaged any stamping’s etc…

If this pipe was in really nice shape or wanted to preserve it as is, it would just need a light wax .

In less than a hour (including the reaming and cleaning of the shank ) the bowl of this pipe went from this  ,

To this.

This is what works for me . Maybe it will work for you ,or then again maybe not. Of course you can adjust and tweak my method to make it better or easier for you if you so desire.


Hearth & Home – Stogie (Signature Series)

I’m a fan of cigar leaf blends and have tried most of the non latakia blends on the market but for some expensive European ones. With a little patience the Hearth and Home Stogie is one of the best of them all.

download (225x225)

Tin Description: Here’s a great transition for the cigar smoker who wants to smoke a pipe but would miss the flavor of a cigar, or for the pipe smoker who enjoys the occasional stogie. The blend uses a blend of burleys (including dark-fired), some Virginia and Oriental, a touch of unflavored Black Cavendish and Perique and Maduro cigar leaf for a mildly sweet, earthy flavor.

Burley.Dark Fired Kentucky,Virginia,Oriental, Unflavored Cavendish,Perique and Maduro……whats not to like about that!

It does have a cigar type taste and feel to it but you know you are smoking a pipe tobacco.

There is some great reviews of it

My favorite review is of course JimInks. Again he nails the review of it to me and i could not write it any better.

Reviewed by JimInks

The very tasty maduro cigar leaf is the same used in H&H’s Virginia Spice, and is ably complimented by the unflavored black cavendish in regard to sweetness. The perique is more plum than pepper, and interacts nicely with the Oriental/Turkish, which, while a minor player, provides a necessary bass flavor hit. The burleys are toasty and a little nutty. The Virginia is lightly sweet and grassy, acting as a base for the other components to play off. A well blended smoke with some complexity that burns well with no dottle, no harsh spots, and no cigarette or ashy notes. It’s a three star plus mixture.


One thing that is not listed in the reviews that i came across , it does has some bite fresh from the tin. Well quite a bit of bite to me and I’m not  that easily bitten by tobacco.

After letting the 8 oz tin breathe for a bit it did help the bite and mellowed out some . I did remove it from the tin and cellared it in a large glass jar. Every so often i break into it and try a bowl or two. The more age the better and smoother it has become.

Yesterday i  tried a bowl after about six months in the jar and it has really become a much better blend . The bite has all but gone away and has become a superb cigar blend . I recommend some aging of at least 6 months on Hearth and Homes Stogie if you are interested in trying it .

If most cigars tasted this good i would smoke them all the time.

*Update 3/4/2016 ….. I just tried to order some more and have been informed from the people at Pipes and Cigars that this blend has been discontinued I’m sad to say.*


Simple Cleanup On A Dr.Grabow El Dorado #69 Billiard

I have been looking for a nice El Dorado to add to my Dr. Grabow collection for a while, when this #69 large billiard showed up on Ebay. I bid and actually won it, i thought at a bargain price. The pipe was in excellent condition and the stamping’s were crisp. The El Dorado model does not show up often. They are a pretty scarce pipes.

The El Dorado was introduced around 1960-61. It was a top of the line Dr.Grabow. All used grade A full grain briar and were hand finished ,hand buffed . At a time when the average American worker was making between .65-1.50 a hour the El Dorado was priced at 10.00 dollars (the ad pictured is a later one from about the mid to late 1960’s).

Because of the price not many were sold. A former employee for Dr.Grabow said that they were lucky to sale a dozen a month most of the time. The El Dorado line lasted into the 1990’s but most sold were old stock from the production of them during the 1960s.

I did not have to do much to the pipe but a basic cleaning. There was quite a bit of cake in it, but it flaked out rather easy. Sandpaper easily removed what was left.The shank and stem was really clean and took little effort .
There may not have been much rim cake and scorching but what was there was stubborn. I had to do some long and delicate scrubbing and wet sanding with mineral oil to get it off and not remove the finish.

I gave stem a light sanding and cleaned up the metal tenon and stinger.

A rub down with mineral oil and quick inspection , she is ready for some buff and wax.

Finished pipe.

The pipe is also stamped with the Adjustamatic & on other side of shank . Shape number 69 on bottom.
Dr.Grabow at one time made as good as a pipe as any factory pipe makers anywhere. To label them all as cheap drug store pipes has always seemed unfair to me.

The pipe is a extremely fine smoker.


Preserving a 1930’s Kaywoodie Drinkless #7711 Large Billiard

I stopped at a antique store recently in North Carolina on a road trip.
I asked the old couple who owned the store if they had any pipes. The older man said yes he had a few that he picked up at a estate auction not long ago .
There was a couple of old KBB Yello Boles they were nice but not any shapes i wanted . He had a couple of Lee Limited scoop pipes , not a shape i care for and he wanted too much for them. Then i spied a nice old Kaywoodie large billiard. I then noticed it was a four digit ( jackpot! ) . I was hopping it was a Supergrain but instead a VERY NICE original Drinkless #7711.The stamping’s were like new !
As i looked it over the man informed me it was a old pipe from around the 50’s or 60’s . I kept it to myself that hes was about 20 to 30 + years off, in fact i said “That old. really?” he said he would take 25 dollars for it , i put it back and said” nah its too dirty and has some dents in it.” He said “make me a offer” , i said “10 bucks”. He came back with 15 and i said “deal”.

Here is the #7711 as purchased .

The pipe was in such nice original and unmolested condition that i wanted to preserve it all i could. Its not every day you see a Kaywoodie four digit, four holer like this. Most are over priced , beat all too hell or someone has buffed all the stamping’s and history off of it.
I started with a light cleaning of the little cake that was in it. A quick cleaning of the shank Scrubbed off the rim char and wiped down the bowl with a damp cotton square with mild detergent. The stem was put in for a soak in 91% alcohol.

I heated up a knife blade and steamed the dents out best i could using a damp piece of old t-shirt.

Gave the whole bowl a sanding with some worn 2000 grit and mineral oil. I did not touch the stamping’s at all with the sandpaper or sand hard enough to burn through the factory finish.

While the oil is drying on the bowl i took the stem out and gave it a good scrubbing. Most of the surface oxidation came off so i did not think it needed a Oxy Clean bath.

I did however wipe it with mineral oil and took a Bic lighter to it to rid any brown spots that might be lingering.* Being careful around the Clover*

There was a slight tooth mark on the top button that needed some filling and some chatter i sanded with 500 grit.

I sanded back from the button with 600 grit moving up the stem and going finer grit. When i got to the tenon end i was up to 2500 grit for a final sanding of the whole stem .

The four hole stinger and female threads in the shank was gone over with 000 steel wool.

I ran pipe cleaner’s though the shank and stem to rid them of any debri and steel wool shaving’s. I then gave the pipe one more rub down with a cotton square and mineral oil to remove and sanding dust before buff and wax.

I gave stem a quick go over with brown and white tripoli before applying wax to pipe.

Pipe after application of wax.

To be honest this is only the second Kaywoodie screw stem i own. I do own another four digit four holer ( Supergrain 5102 poker) . I have owned a couple of newer three holer’s but did not like them very much and sold or traded them. The four holer’s are a much better smoking pipe to me.
I love the looks and history of Kaywoodie. They have some of the best shapes and quality of any pipe maker there is ( in the time when this pipe was made). If they would have simply made a removable stinger on their screw in stems i would own many ,many, more. I cannot figure out why they never have. One reason i own so many Yello Boles is because they are Kaywoodie shapes with a removable stinger and push stem. That’s just me though. If you own Kaywoodies , like the way they smoke and prize them i mean no offense.

I have smoked a few bowls out of the #7711 since this post and its a great pipe  that i plan to enjoy many more  times in the future.

Til Next Time,

Good Smokes To You.



Showcasing A Linkman Deluxe 9732 Canadian

About a year ago i was talking to Tim Pollock about pipes and mentioned i would like to start getting hold of some old KBB Yello Bole and Linkman Canadian’s. He told me that he had a old Linkman Canadian that did not have a stem but that he would happily  give me if i wanted it. He mentioned it used to have a propeller stem but the stem was so damaged the previous owner had threw it away and stated it was non repairable.

I told him that i would take it and see if i could find a stem for it , so he sent me this old Linkman Deluxe 9732 medium Canadian. Other than missing a stem, a slightly banged rim and being dirty the pipe was very nice. The stamping’s were in pretty nice shape as well.

I asked around on the Dr. Grabow Collector’s forum if anyone had some old Linkman Canadian stems for sale or trade.
Ed James (a well known Grabow collector, pipe restorer and carver ) was nice enough to tell me to send it to him and if he did not  have one laying around he would make me one.
So i cleaned up the old girl , fixed the rim and slapped a couple of coats of base wax on it  and shipped the pipe of to Ed with a tin of tobacco as a gift for his kindness.

After a couple of weeks he told me that he did not have a spare so he would make me one and use the stinger and propeller emblem from a Linkman  donor stem . He also mentioned it might be a while as he was very busy. I told him to take his time and get to it when he could.

About three months later it arrived and the stem looked excellent . He ended up making it with German Ebonite !

I finished the buff and wax on it and took these photos.

I was really impressed on how the pipe smoked . It lead me to find some more Linkman’s.

I have smoked it for a year now and its one of my favorite pipes. My favorite tobacco to smoke out of it is Bold Kentucky flakes. Stuff and fold some of that in it and a good cup of coffee on the side . I’m in BLISS.

Since i had a order of Bold Kentucky coming in today i gave the old gal a little extra cleaning and a fresh coat of wax . I thought i would share some pictures of my favorite Linkman since she was spiffed up. She has held up good over the year with just some slight rim darkening.

I think Linkman’s had the best non removable stingers ever made.They work well and do not hinder the draw at all . I have never had one gurgle on me.

Researching the stamping’s i can pinpoint this pipe pretty much at dead on 1940.
Shields and propellers together did not start till 1940 .The Linkman over Grabow ended after 1940.

Deluxe over Bruyere ended after 1940.

I also have a on the side that was used from 1933-42

This is one pipe ill never get rid of while I’m above ground. Not only was it a gift and worked on by two of my pipe friends but it smokes like a champ. It’s amazing how some of these old pipes with thinner walls can smoke so good and cool. Old briar , you got to love it.

Well i hope you enjoy looking at the old Linkman Canadian but i have to go now, i hear bliss calling me .

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Mac Baren HH Bold Kentucky

Mac Baren HH Bold Kentucky has become my top tobacco so i thought i would share a review by JimInks plus some of my thoughts and information of this wonderful blend.

I Love Dark Fired Kentucky and have tried many different blends ,Bold Kentucky is by far my favorite.
I know a lot like Mac Baren’s Old Dark Fired but i have to admit i’m not a fan of it . Its one of only a couple of blends that I’ve tried that  the more i smoked it the less i cared for it. To my taste it has a off putting almost Lakeland essence to it and i do not care for Lakeland flavored tobacco at all.
Bold Kentucky to me is much , much better than Old Dark Fired. It has no to very minimal topping.

I can not write a better review of it than JimInks has written for it so  here is his review . I copied it from

JimInks  2015-03-20

Aptly named, HH Bold Kentucky has a lot of strength and boldness, and is indeed, the strongest tobacco in the HH line. The African and American dark fired Kentuckys are very earthy with some nuttiness and spice, and a minor amount of sweetness. Smoked straight, dark fired Kentucky can be harsh and at times, bitter, so the bright Virginias are a necessary addition, succeeding in their purpose by softening most of the rough edges with some minor sweet citrus and grass notes. The Virginias do not dampen the power and hearty richness of the Kentucky, and a little of the expected roughness remains, but it is more palatable to smokers as a result of its inclusion. There are a few small sour notes from the Kentucky. There is no topping, and the casing – which I suspect is vinegar – is very minimal, and not noticed very often.

The slices are hot pressed and moist in the tin. It may help the burn rate if you dry them a little, but I have found they burned fairly well straight out of the tin, though the tobacco will require some relights. The slices are very easy to break apart, and easily rubbed out if that is your preference. Burns slow and fairly cool with no bite, no dottle and very little moisture at the finish, even when it’s not dried out. The taste is consistent all the way through and doesn’t turn bitter at the end. Due to the strength of the flavor and nicotine, I recommend smoking it at no more than a moderate pace. Obviously not an all day smoke, but a smoker experienced with strong dark fired Kentucky products – or strong tobaccos in general – won’t mind having more than one bowl a day.

He nailed the review to me , the only thing is that i do consider it a all day smoke but i like strong natural tobacco. I can smoke very strong burley’s and not bat a eye but give me a Latakia or goopy aromatic and ill whine and faint like a little girl.

Even though Bold Kentucky is considered a strong tobacco it is very ,very smooth. One of the smoothest tobaccos I’ve ever smoked . In fact its so smooth i have a hard time calling it a real strong tobacco. I’m also used too high nicotine blends.

When i first started smoking Bold Kentucky it was only offered in small tins . It restricted me to only getting one tin of it every so often because of the cost and i could burn through a small tin pretty quick. I sent a few emails off to Mac Baren and praised Bold Kentucky to them but mentioned that i would buy more if it would come in bulk or 1lb boxes .
About a little more than a month ago i got a email back that they started producing Bold Kentucky in 1lb boxes (not that i had anything to do with it ) and sent me this link,

Although its pricey by the pound its still a better value than the little tins. As much as i like it ,i ordered a lb within the week.
Well i smoked it pretty heavy and a couple of days a go i ordered another lb and it came in today so i thought i would share what you get.

Came in a battered box , but you know UPS .

Comes in sealed baggie wrapped in gold foil.

Smells like heaven! The flakes are longer than the ones in the little tins.

Some flakes laid out on top. That pretty or what?

It does burn very slow so you get a very long smoke with a bowl. If you only smoke a couple to a few bowls a day this would last you a very long time .

If you are a Dark Fired Kentucky fan give  Bold Kentucky a try . I do not  think you will  be disappointed.

I have also sent Mac Baren’s a email saying it would be  wonderful if they sold this in ready rubbed bulk like Old Dark Fired. Maybe one day they will.




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Changes I have seen in the pipe refurbishing craft

This was originally  posted by Steve at  rebornpipes

Here is link to original article………………

I think its a well written article and a very deserving read for anyone interested in the estate pipe hobby. Steve is a great asset to the pipe community . I not only consider him a mentor but a good friend.


Changes I have seen in the pipe refurbishing craft

Blog by Steve Laug

I was sitting this morning with a hot cup of Nepali coffee that I was gifted on a recent journey to Kathmandu and reflecting on the state of our refurbishing hobby. I remember when I started buying my first estate pipes and stumbling through the process of cleaning them up. I joined several online forums and sent incessant emails to pipe carvers for help with my questions. There just was not a single resource out there to help the pipeman who wanted to purchase and clean up estate pipes themselves. On top of that there were few repairmen out there who I knew of. I talked with Dave Wolff at Walker Briar Works, Ronni Bikisan at Night Owl Pipeworks, Tim West at Lowes Pipemaking supplies and a few scattered others for help when I ran into something I did not know how to tackle. I called pipe makers like John Calich, Steve Downie, Mark Tinsky and bugged Rad Davis at the few pipe shows I went to as well. I spoke with online estate pipe sellers like Tom Myron to pick their brains on what to do with the pipes in my hands. Categorically, these gentlemen were always willing to help me in any way they could. There was no unwillingness to share what they had learned of their craft with me.

Throughout the years most of what I have learned I learned like most everything else in my life worth learning – the hard way through mistakes and much practice. Trial and error, through more trial and error led eventually to most of the methods I have learned today. I have never been afraid to ask questions from those who are far better at things than I am and to learn from them. I generally have to make it my own just because I don’t have access to a lot of tools or a good shop. I work on a worktable/desktop that serves as a multipurpose piece of furniture for me. I have added a few tools over the years – buffers, Dremels and modified many others from my tool box to make up my work kit. But the point is that through the majority of those years there was nowhere to go to learn the craft. It was a matter of hunting down those willing to teach and working to know what to ask them when I got a hold of them.

Even three years ago when I started rebornpipes blog there was not a lot of information available. Most of the online forums had a section dedicated to restoration/refurbishing/repair where a lot of show and tell happened and some were gutsy enough to give constructive critiques of people’s work. I have always learned from that so I appreciate good constructive observations bent on helping me do it better. A criticism for the sake of criticism from someone not doing the work is a useless expulsion of noise and air in my opinion. I prefer the way I am doing it wrong to the way they are not doing it at all. Thank you very much.

However in the last three years there has been significant change. There is a growing community on You Tube that provides ongoing videos on all the aspects of pipe refurbishing and repair. These are visual demonstrations of the work of refurbishing with descriptive monologue as the work is done. Many are excellent resources and some are even humourous and a delight to watch. I never laughed as hard as I have at some of these You Tube videos. They are doing a great service to the community. There are also several blogs on most of the pipe repair sites such as Rebornbriar and Briarville giving simple how to methodologies for cleaning up your own estate pipe. Additionally new bloggers are popping up across the web with how to photos and steps in how to repair and refurbish your own pipe. There is no end to material available to a person who wants to repair a stem, restem a pipe, refinish or just spruce up one of their own.

Along with this is a bit of a down side – the cost of estate pipes has gone up considerably. Even the most worn out broken down low end pipe often costs more than a new pipe on eBay. Care must be exercised when looking at estate pipes there. One of the plagues that to me are increasing is the new descriptor that I am seeing more often there is “fully restored and ready to smoke” on pipes that look merely polished. I have bought a few of these over the last few years and found that they are actually more work than the old foul smelling awful looking pipes I used to pick up for very cheap prices. Along with that is the fact the “refurbisher” will often do irreparable damage to the stamping on the shank. They damage the fit of the stem – rounding the edges at the shank stem union. They “paint” the pipe with a shiny coat of varnish and in the worst case urethane to give it a shiny new look. All of these make my work and that of any other refurbisher who truly loves the craft difficult indeed.

The craft has become more accessible through the windows of the internet but with it have come some drawbacks that must be understood and observed if you are to continue to learn and develop a skilled craft. But then again you have found your way here and probably are reading other blogs and checking out You Tube videos on our craft so you do not need to be warned. Help carry the commitment to doing the work well to others who want to learn and give freely of what you have learned from others. Pass on the craft to all who ask – never hesitate to help where you can and teach others what you know. In doing this we will see the craft we love passed on to the next generation of pipemen who are already entering the community.

Truly that is my commitment with rebornpipes. That is really the only reason we are here. Thanks for being a part of this growing community of refurbishers. If you have learned something here please submit a write up of your work to share with others. If you have added a trick or a tool that came through trial and error write it up and share it with the community. The blog is yours and will only be as good as the work that we each contribute. Thank you.