Baccy Pipes


A Unique 1940’s KB&B Yello-Bole Propeller Apple

I got this  KB&B Yello-Bole 86b apple off of Ebay. s-l1600 (3) (640x480).jpg

What drew my attention to it was the propeller emblem on the stem is vertical instead of horizontal like all other propeller emblems I have ever seen. I asked a couple other collectors who have many Yello-Boles and they have never seen or own any vertical propellers Yello-Boles.

I have another propeller 86b i can show for comparison.


Here is some other shots of the pipe as it arrived in the mail.


All in all the pipe was in excellent original condition and the uniqueness did not stop at the horizontal propeller.

As I started to take the stem out of the bowl it unscrewed! How many have ever seen a Yello-Bole with a screw in tenon and a non-removable stinger? I was completely shocked by this!5.jpg6.jpg

For those unfamiliar with Yello-Boles , every Yello-Bole made from the brands beginning (very early 1930’s) til today use push stems with removable stingers.

Like this or similar.6b.jpg

I checked the pipe over carefully and could not find any sign this was not factory made. The stem fit flush and registered to the shank perfectly.7.jpg8.jpg

I started doing some research and did find out that Kaywoodie ( KB&B’s main top of the line pipe) had used a similar non-removable stinger on early Campus models.

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After Dave Whitney pointed out to me that they also used a similar one in Yello-Bole and Kaywoodie cigar holders. That made me think I have a Kaywoodie cigarette holder.I dug it out ,sure enough it is similar. It confirms my thinking that this pipe was made like this at the factory. Maybe the propeller was turned vertical to designate it as a screw in tenon removable stinger pipe?100_9242 (640x168).jpg

The pipe is not stamped with anything unusual , just basic 1936- 1955 KB&B Yello-Bole Premiere  “Cured with Real Honey”. I know its no later than the 1940’s because propellers ceased to be used on stems in the early to mid 1940’s.100_9285 (640x434).jpg

Since this pipe is very unique for a Yello-Bole i just did a basic cleaning and preservation to keep it original as possible. It maybe be a one of a kind Yello-Bole.

The cake came out easy and was not that hard a pipe to clean. It had been taken care of and not abused by its previous owner.100_9258 (640x480).jpg

The rim cake came off easy as well with just a little scrubbing with mild detergent/water and a green pad.100_9261 (640x480).jpg

I gave the briar a good wipe down with mineral oil and a very slight go over with 2500 grit to knock down some slight bumps and scratches.I also gave the female thread’s a cleaning with 000 steel wool.100_9266 (640x480).jpg

After a good soak in 91% alcohol the stem and stinger came clean pretty easy . I gave the stem a slight going over with 1000-2500 grit wet sanding. Stinger shined up with some steel wool.100_9269 (640x480).jpg

That’s about it. After another rub down with mineral oil and a little sit time . Its ready to be wiped dry and a gentle buff and wax.100_9275 (640x480).jpg

Finished pipe.100_9276 (640x480).jpg100_9277 (640x480).jpg100_9278 (640x480).jpg100_9279 (640x480).jpg100_9283 (640x480).jpg100_9284 (640x480).jpg

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I did contact the Ebay seller asking if he had information on where the pipe came from. This was his response.


“The gentleman whose estate these pipes came from was a pipe connoisseur. He traveled the world and often picked up pipes from many of his travels. He was a local doctor. But his pipe collection was extensive and rare these are some of the last that he had. I would say he had no less than a hundred pipes all different origins,types and kind of makes. Sorry I can’t give you any more details than that.”


I thought maybe it used to belong to a KB&B employee or some such. I wish i knew where the doctor picked it up at.

Why this Yello-Bole was made like  this ? Maybe its  a experimental prototype or special order? I really wish i knew. I do know you will most likely never see another like it. The only other Yello-Bole i know of that does not have the traditional push stem /removable stinger is another odd  prototype that i picked up a few months ago. You can see it here also on Baccy Pipes.

Well how does she smoke you may be wondering? Well I’ve smoked a couple of bowls in it by now.100_9292 (640x461).jpg

To be honest I prefer the traditional push stem Yello-Boles, they just smoke better to me. I would judge it as  good as  a Kaywoodie 4 hole stinger (if not better) and far better than a 3 hole Kaywoodie stinger. It smokes cool and dry and does not gurgle , but i just like the open draw of the push stem with stinger removed better. I’m very  glad it did not fall into someone’s hand that would have clipped the stinger on this unusual pipe.

Its still a very unique pipe and will be a center piece in my Yello-Bole collection.

If you have any idea or information on this pipe or a Yello-Bole like it , PLEASE post in the comments.

Til next time,

Good smokes to you.

After one more bowl and a slightly  lighter pack the pipe smokes really well. The stinger works quite well. Kaywoodie should have used this one, especially over the later 3 holers. The biggest negative i can find so far is as hard as it it is to get a pipe cleaner to pass through a Kaywoodie Drinkless stinger , this one is even harder. It leaves a pipe cleaner after one use on the stem in a bent up mess.


I think Ed  James has helped solve the mystery Yello-Bole. He pointed out to me a pipe he saw on ETSY.

Look at this KBB Monterrey, Select Grain Mission Briar (Manzanita). Same stinger as mine.


I think this apple is Misson Briar. The color is same and the grain pattern’s not typical of imported brair. I don’t think i noticed is because I have only handled eastern mountain laurel WWII era non-briar pipes and its much softer. This pipe bowl is as hard as briar.

I think  pipe was mis-stamped as a Yello-Bole  with a simple fix the vertical line stem emblem on the KBB Monterrey becomes a propeller.

Or maybe they experimented with making mission briar Yello-Boles? If they did make some there cant be many.

If you not familiar with  Mission Briar (Manzanita)………..Faced with shortages of briar during World War II, Kaufman Brothers & Bondyused expedient sources and methods to maintain production. The most notable of these was the “Mission Briar” pipe made of Manzanita burl (Fam: Ericaceae) harvested in California. The Manzanita pipe production gradualy decreased from 1943 when Algerian briar shipments started again.


Re-Dye of a Dr.Grabow Starfire Wirecarved #85


Some time back i was thinning  out my herd of  Dr.Grabow’s that i never smoke anymore.

I had this Westbrook #21 and sent it of as a gift to a friend of mine on The Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum. He had mentioned he was looking for a # 21 shape and since i never smoked mine i thought he should have it .

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In his kindness he sent me back this  Dr. Grabow Starfire #85 by surprise . I have owned more #85 pokers than any other Dr.Grabow shape ( 30+), so I’m sure he thought it would have a good home as well.

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It was clean as a whistle and is in excellent shape. The finish was getting a little thin and i like my black wirecarving black ,not semi black .
So i did a little cosmetic work on it .

I stripped off the old wax with a light scrub of Oxy-Clean , warm water and a Scotch -Brite pad. I then mixed up purple and black dye for a two stage wirecarved color match.

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I gave the bowl two good coats of  dark purple.100_5441 (640x480).jpg100_5442 (640x480).jpg

After drying i added two real thin coats (drying between coats) of black to let the purple show through.

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While the bowl was drying i filed out one small tooth mark and sanded the stem with 600-2500 grit.

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Bowl and stem back together after a wipe down and drying of  mineral oil and final inspection before going to the buffer.

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Pipe after buff and wax.


The pipe is a great smoker and a fine addition to my Dr.Grabow #85 collection.

Thank you OB (Old Briar).

Til next time,

Good smokes to you.



Capri Billiard With A Unexpected & Unsavory Past

I picked up this pipe off Ebay on a “Buy it Now” auction for pretty cheap.

I liked the shape,size and color of the pipe. It looked to be in very excellent condition as well. Here is a couple of the Ebay pictures. It is stamped Capri /Italian Briar.


I thought it would be a good knockabout pipe for summer activities. Picnics, barbecue’s, horseshoe games, and the like.

While i waited on its arrival I did some research on Capri pipes. Seems Capri pipes are made for Brigham pipes in Italy by Leonessa pipes. They are sold widely in Canada as inexpensive pipes. I read someone called them the Dr.Grabows of Canada.

When the pipe arrived i was delighted at how nice it looked from the outside and thought to myself “this pipe will only take about a hour to clean up and buff”. Well I was wrong.

First thing i noticed was the pipe stem was really stuck. The most stuck push stem I’ve ever worked with. I placed the pipe in the freezer for a couple of hours and was able to remove it from the bowl with some hard twisting . Praying it didn’t crack the shank as I did  it.3.jpg

The bowl chamber had some rock hard, black tar looking residue in it . The stem was completely plugged as well. The cold had turned the black tar brittle and that was the reason I was able to break the stem loose.4.jpg

I heated up a small screwdriver to insert in the shank and burn my way through to the bowl. Well when that very hot screwdriver hit that black tar the smell took me back to my misguided youth. It seemed someone had used this pipe to smoke marijuana in! As big as this billiard is they must have smoked the stuff like Cheech & Chong.

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Well i knew i would have to take all that hard ,black marijuana tar out of it .So i got the pipe ready for a good ol salt bath. I plugged the shank with a couple of Q-tips wrapped with packing tape. I placed the bowl in a old butter dish with a rag under it.100_9134 (640x480).jpg

I added alcohol to the salt and every few hours i would refill it. Always keep a rag handy when you do this to wipe off any alcohol might accidently  get on the pipe as quick as possible if you don’t want to refinish it.100_9138 (640x480).jpg

While the bowl had its salt bath I soaked the stem in 91% for several hours. I took it out every so often and ran bristle cleaners through it. It finally started to come out clean after a few times.

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After two and half days of salt & alcohol bath i decided to give the bowl a go.100_9166 (640x480).jpg

After cleaning it out and drying it with several cotton balls ,pipe cleaners and Q-tips i gave the chamber a scrub with steel wool . There was still residue left so i sanded out the chamber with some heavy grit paper.100_9169 (640x480) (2).jpg100_9170 (640x480).jpg

I also ended up running a drill bit through the shank by hand to clean out what was left in the shank.

With the bowl cleaned I turned my attention to be banged up bottom. Looks like the owner banged the bottom while knocking out the marijuana ash when they were done.

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I wrapped the bowl in a damp rag and ran it over a iron a few times , steaming out what dents i could.100_9181 (640x480).jpg

After that was done I gave the whole bowl a wipe down with mineral oil , inside and out.100_9185 (640x480).jpg

While the oil soaked in i went to work on stem . There was some light oxidation but nothing a quick bath in Oxy Clean  and a Scotch Brite pad could not take care of.100_9188 (640x480).jpg

The stem was in very good condition  and only needed some light sanding of 800-2500 grit.

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The stem still fit very tight so I gave the tenon a quick sand of 500 grit and a light coat of bees wax. Always apply the bees wax very lightly . Too heavy and it can crack a shank. You only need very little anyways.100_9194 (640x480).jpg

I decided to give it a bowl coating just in case there would be any chance of ghosting from the marijuana. I used syrup cut slightly with hot water and coated the inner chamber with it. Filled it with carbon powder and let it dry.100_9198 (640x480).jpg

With bowl and stem back together and a final wipe of mineral oil the pipe looks to be ready for buff and wax.100_9204 (640x480).jpg


Finished pipe


I have smoked a few bowls and did not have a hint of anything  other than the tobacco i was smoking. The marijuana presence has been vanquished.100_9229 (640x480).jpg

The pipe smokes really well. It needs time to build up some cake as any pipe  chamber taken to raw brair , it burns just slightly on the hot side.

From  smoking mine i can say the Capri pipes are excellent, inexpensive pipes. The pipe looks good, smokes well and I like the wide stem at the button. It’s the same meaty ,wide stem size as my Savinelli’s. I find the stem very durable and a very nice one on a  inexpensive modern pipe. No chewy ,plastic feel at all. It’s very light for its size as well making for a comfortable clencher.

I wasn’t planning on posting this pipe on my blog as i thought it would just be a quick and easy clean up of a inexpensive modern pipe. After running into the marijuana problem i though i would post it in case anyone runs into the same thing and needs something to guide them out of how to get rid of it.

Til next time,

Good smokes to you.


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Pipe smoking in the movies… “Spitfire” (1942)

I’m a huge classic movie buff  and a lot of the old movies i watch has quite a bit of pipe smoking in them . I thought i would share one of my favorites .

Spitfire (1942) is based on the true life story of R.J . Mitchell . British plane designer who designed the WWII fighter Spitfire .The plane became a legend in the battle of Britain. The Spitfire was powered by the equally legendary Rolls Royce Merlin engine .


The Merlin would later power the famous American P- 51 D Mustang. Allowing the US Army Air Corps fighter pilots to escort B-17 bombers all the way to the heart of Germany and back.


Not only is it a good movie but lots of pipe smoking in it, from Dunhill’s to corn cobs.

The movie was produced and directed by famous British actor Leslie Howard  (a real life pipe smoker), who also stars in it. Some of you will recognize Leslie Howard from “Gone with the Wind”.  Other famous British actor David Niven  also acts and co -stars with Howard in the film.David Niven was also a real life WWII combat veteran and was dropped behind enemy lines including the D-Day invasion of Normandy.


The movie in Britain  is called “First of the Few”,but was released in the US as “Spitfire”. Here is WIKI link about it.

Give it a watch sometime , i think most will enjoy it.

If you watch it, let me know what you think of the movie in the comments.



Uncharted Linkman Ringmaster Tri-Shank#2656

I picked up this old Linkman  green spade Ringmaster from Al , a online friend and fellow member of Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum.

I saw the pipe in his Etsy store , not having a Ringmaster in my collection and or a Linkman tri-shank model i thought i would be a good next project. I contacted him and  a deal was struck.

Check out Al’s store sometime ,he has a ever changing inventory of  nice old  project pipes at good prices.I have gotten a few pipes from him .

The pipe as it arrived to me .

The Ringmaster is a  medium size at 5 1/2 inches long and 1 5/8 inches tall bowl.

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Seems AK owned the pipe . If you are looking AK , i got your pipe.

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While waiting on the pipe to arrive i did a little research. I could not find the shape 56 on any of the old Linkman/Grabow charts making it a rare shape.The only 56 model i could find was a 56A  ( regular shank billiard with saddle bit).Its also has the lack of Linkman  or Dr.Grabow stamp on the pipe . Its simply Ringmaster/ Italian Briar.

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I could not find much information on the  Linkman Ringmaster line . No advertisement’s  at all that i could find.From reading old post on DGCF  i found out Linkman collector’s seem to think the Ringmaster pre-dates the  use of the Dr.Grabow brand name and could have been made up until 1955 along side Dr.Grabow models.My guess is my pipe is most likely early to mid 40’s-1955.

It seems early Ringmaster’s had white spades , screw in tenons with Linkman or Dr.Grabow stamping and started with a 5000 series number. My thinking is (smell the smoke? ) that at sometime they made the Ringmaster a Linkman/Grabow second . The spade was switched to  green , the stem was replaced with a push in with removable stinger. The Linkman/Dr.Grabow stamping’s were dropped as well. The Ringmaster was then giving the 2600 series number like this one. That’s my thinking anyway . If anyone has any additional information on Ringmaster models please feel free to correct me or post in the comments.

Being a uncharted rare shape with maybe only a handful remaining i decided to just give the pipe a good cleaning and do just what was necessary to preserve the pipe as it is. Only doing minimal repairs.

The pipe was actually pretty clean with little cake build up and tar build up in shank. I let the stem soak in 91% ISO for cleaning and too loosen up the removable stinger.100_9065 (640x412).jpg

I cleaned out the rim cake and rubbed down the briar with some mild cleaner/water mix. I found a fill right on the edge of the rim. That is gonna be a pain to cover on that sharp edge. I though about topping the pipe down past the fill but quickly decided against it as that would take too much away from originality.

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I gave the briar a light sanding of mineral oil and 1200 grit paper to bring some color and life back to briar while avoiding the stamping’s as much as possible. It also helped knock down some of the dry spots in the old finish.100_9073 (640x480).jpg

After the soak the stem and stinger  was scrubbed and cleaned.100_9070 (640x355).jpg

Since there was no real deep oxidation i decided to give the pipe stem  a scrub with Bar Keepers  and a damp paper towel.

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The stem has a lot of scratches and the Bar Keepers stuck in them to make seeing them easier.

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I filed down the spots gently with a fine file.Getting rid of a majority of them.100_9083 (640x408).jpg

There was a tooth mark right on the button too deep to file out so i filled it with CA glue.

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Wet sanded the stem with 600-2500 grit.100_9090 (640x334).jpg

Mixed up some color to touch up the fill. I ended up adding a touch to black to darken it. I had to touch up the spot a few times as i kept buffing it off because of the sharp corner. I cussed a couple of times ill admit , well maybe more than a couple.

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Pipe and stem back together with a rub down of mineral oil. After some drying time ill wipe it down and give the Ringmaster some light buffing and wax.100_9095 (640x480).jpg

Finished pipe.


I’m a big fan of the old Linkman /Grabow stingers .I think they  were the best working of all the old stinger pipes. This one honestly though, is just terrible.  It’s very restrictive and makes the pipe draw just awful. Al told me that this is one  of the few Ringmasters he has seen with the factory removable stinger. We agree that most were likely tossed because they perform so poorly.



Stamping’s are in great shape.

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I have smoked a few bowls in it so far  (stinger removed). My first bowl was a Va. forward blend and the pipe burned it kinda hot, i was not that impressed. I then switched it to a old codger OTC straight burley . The pipe really came alive ,smoked much cooler and the burley taste great. Its seems fitting that’s what should be smoked in this old American classic drug store pipe. I’m sure it will get even better after  many more bowls.

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Well thanks for looking at this uncharted shaped Linkman  Ringmaster.

Til next time ,

Good smokes to you.



Early production Yello-Bole Imperial #3151

Well first off i accidentally  deleted my before and refurbish pics off my camera before i could save them. So its just the after shots.I have actually had this pipe a while and just got around to working on it. In fact i cant recall where i got this pipe now , so I’m gonna guess Ebay? Sounds good to me.

This is a early production Imperial four digit (3151) Yello -Bole . Since I have no pictures of me working on the pipe I will break down how I date this pipe.

3151  ( In case you dont know Yello Bole uses same shape charts as Kaywoodie )

31- KB&B Yello-Bole Imperial, push tenon, black vulcanite stem (1932-1940’s) or if it was a Kaywoodie  –  Drinkless Kaywoodie Relief w/black vulcanite push-in stem (late 1920’s)

51-  Medium billiard, short stem     1932-1966


Here is a guide i use to date the Yello -Bole model stamping’s ( thanks to the Kaywoodie Forum ).


If it has the KBB stamped in the clover leaf it was made 1955 or earlier as they stopped the stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.

From 1933-1936 they were stamped  Honey Cured Briar.

Pipes stems stamped with the propeller logo they were made in the 30s or 40s no propellers were used after the 40s.

Yello Bole also used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 30s.

If the pipe had the Yello Bole circle stamped on the shank it was made in the 30s this stopped after 1939.

If the pipe was stamped BRUYERE rather than briar it was made in the 30s.


Here is the stamping for the Imperial


So the KBB in clover means before 1955.

Cured With Real Honey  (not Honey Cured Briar ) means its a post 1936.

This with the four digit number dates this Yello -Bole between 1936/37-1939/40 approximately.Most likely 1936-1938 most all four digits stamping’s were dropped by 1938.

This pipe also has the early Imperial  Crown and name on the stem along with early metal tenon.10.jpg


The early Imperials used the same vulcanite stem as the Kaywoodies ( just without the screw  part machined in the tenon ) , these stems are prone to oxidizing unlike most Yello -Boles. The Crown logo was later dropped to the inlaid yellow circle  and non metal tenon stem. Like the non Imperial Yello Boles the stems were also made out of some sort of  vulcanite type material. It wasn’t plastic but i don’t know exactly what they are. I know they will not hardly oxidize and alcohol will not melt them like it does plastic stems. Beginning in the 50’s Yello Bole did switch to a pure plastic stem. Right before or right at when S.M. Frank took over Kaywoodie and Yello -Bole.

My guess is these style  Imperials only seen production for a short while. Maybe ended before 1940 , certainly by the start of World War II. All the magazines ads i can find of Imperials are at the beginning of World War II  and the Crown Logo on stem is gone.

The only advertising item i have been able to find with the Crown Logo stem is on some of the early pipe cleaner  packs.



Here is the pipe after i cleaned and refurbished  it . It wasn’t too bad, just well used and dirty. The stem needed some minor tooth marks and oxidation removed. The pipe still has a couple of dings but i wanted to leave it as original as i could.


The grain is actually pretty good for a Yello-Bole ( as most know these are Kaywoodie seconds , so the Kaywoodies  got the best grained briar).


Its a fine and excellent smoking pipe. I have enjoyed several bowls so far in this old American classic. 11.jpg

I’m a hopeless old KB&B Yello-Bole ( pre 1955) nerd I think . I really like the pre -war Yello- Boles the best though.

Til next time ,

Good smokes to you .


I found this from a 1938 Yello-Bole catalog . It appears by 1938 the early style Imperial Crown logo was gone from the stem. Most likely around the time the four digit code was gone so was the metal tenon and crown logo ,replaced with the circle or propeller emblem.

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No name basket pipe#2

My earlier no name basket pipe post was pretty popular ( one of my most viewed ) . I though i would share another  unmarked pipe i picked up and re-did back in May 2014. I originally posted the refurbish on Dr. Grabow Collectors Forum. I still own and smoke the pipe today.

I got the pipe from a co-worker who was selling her late fathers old pipes. She brought a box of pipes for me to look at one day at work. I did not see anything that really grabbed my eye but one  unmarked Lumberman. Most were full bents and such that i just don’t care for . I agreed  to purchase it and a nice twelve pipe inline rack that you can hang on the wall. I think i agreed to give her twenty dollars for the rack and pipe. I sent some pictures of the other pipes to a friend of mine and they worked out a deal and he purchased all the ten or so other pipes she had.

The Lumberman caught my eye because it was a really nice piece of briar with no visible fills , but that can change once you clean or strip one.

Here is the pipe as i purchased it. Its a  large Lumberman , the bowl is 2 in.tall  with just a hair under 1 inch wide chamber. The pipe is 6.5 inches long. The pipe has some heft to it . Its not a dainty pipe and well made. The stem is of good quality vulcanite but i don’t think it really fits the pipe well, i would much rather have a short Canadian bit on it. I have yet to find a spare Canadian stem to fit it well enough to adapt it to the pipe.100_2989 (640x480).jpg100_2990 (640x480).jpg100_2991 (640x480).jpg100_2992 (640x480).jpg

The cake was set up like concrete in the bowl and the shank was completely stopped up. I don’t think it had ever had a pipe cleaner run through it . So i opted to give it a long salt bath after i scrapped and sanded most of the cake i could.

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After a couple of days soaking i was able to get most of the junk out of the pipe. I stripped all the finish off with a good wipe down with a green pad soaked with Oxy Clean  and hot water.100_2997 (640x480).jpg

I ended up re-drilling the shank  ( by hand with a long drill bit just slightly larger than factory drilling) on this one as well for a couple of  reasons . To remove the heavy tar build up, and  to in large the small airway it came with .Not only cleaning it but making the draw much better. Be sure and take your time drilling .Slow and easy, its not a race.

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One good thing about unmarked pipes is you can sand them as much as you want and not worry about obliterating any factory stamping’s. After the cleaning i sanded the pipe with 800 grit. As you can see there is no fills what so ever anywhere. Makes you wonder why it was ever a basket pipe.100_3001 (640x480).jpg100_3002 (640x480).jpg

I decided to contrast stain the whole pipe . So i colored the entire  pipe with a black sharpie a total of three times. Letting the black marker dry between coats . Press hard with marker so it will get down in the grain well.100_3003 (640x480).jpg100_3004 (640x480).jpg100_3005 (640x480).jpg

I then sanded it all off with alcohol .I first scrubbed it with a green pad and then 1000 grit sandpaper. You just want to sand off the black that’s not in the grain , so take it easy and do not sand too hard or too much. This is very messy and smelly . You might want to use some type of gloves and be sure to be in well ventilated area. Also it’s a good idea to plug up the camber with some cotton balls or a piece of a old rag ( like i did NOT do ) . I had to sand in there and clean it out with alcohol . I was still a novice at the time, i learned  not to do that again.

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After the pipe dried for a hour or so  i applied some red/orange dye i mixed up . I applied light coats until i got the shade i wanted.

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I sanded and filed out some tooth marks from the stem .

After dye dried i wiped it down with mineral oil to bring out the color, let the oil soak in for a while ( 1 hour or so ) before wiping whats left dry. I usually do inside bowl , shank  and stem too . I dry them  with a cotton ball and pipe cleaners.

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I then applied three light cots of wax and  rubbed it down with 000 steel wool . I did this a couple of times to build up a good base wax.

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After i got a good base wax  coat  i buffed and waxed pipe several times.100_3023 (640x480).jpg

Finished pipe ………..I still dislike that stem.

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Notice the ding on the rim?  I dropped it when i was taking pictures …. 😦  lol100_3033 (640x480).jpg100_3034 (640x480).jpg100_3036 (640x480).jpg

The pipe is a great smoker . Its kinda heavy for a good hands free clencher  but excellent for sitting around and enjoying a long smoke.

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A friend of mine swears this is a English pipe , because of the look and small drilled airway. He says English pipes are usually drilled with small airway’s. He says he had a GBD that was identical to this pipe. Who knows ? I’m not familiar enough with English pipes to give a opinion on that.

You could easily do what i just did with a brand new basket pipe if you felt so inclined. In fact it would be easier as you don’t have to clean the years of junk that builds up on a pipe that’s never cleaned inside.  Like this pipe i did.

Til next time,

Good smokes to you .



Improving a no name basket pipe

I actually got this pipe back around summer of 2014 when i first started refurbishing and repairing pipes. It was gifted to be by a member on the Dr.Grabow Collectors Forum. I was giving a few pipes by him that he did not want or use . I did not have many pipes at the time so the gifts were eagerly accepted by me . One of those pipes was this no name he picked up in a  junk/antique store lot if I’m not mistaken. I don’t think he had more than a  couple of dollars in it.

For the last two summers this has been one of my favorite pipes to sit outside with on the warm evening and nights . I usually load it up with some John Patton “Dark Horse” or “Storm Front” , just sit ,relax and drift away.

Well the warmer weather is arriving here  so i thought i would pull it out of storage and give it a a going over . I went ahead and took some up to date pics and share what you can do with a non stamped basket pipe for little to no cost.

This is how the pipe arrived to me from Kentuck. Other than a few fills the briar has very nice grain . The stem  although oxidized is of good quality vulcanite.

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For some reason the bottom of  pipe was designed rounded  and would not sit on its heel.

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Since getting this pipe i have seen a couple models of this pipe, round bottom and all . This model pipe was made by Jobey  pipes when they were in New York City (pre Weber). So I’m about 99% positive this is a Jobey second. I had a picture of one with the factory box somewhere but i cant find it now.

On to the work………………..the pipe not being able to sit bugged me A LOT ,so that would be the first improvement . I sanded the heel flat with some 220 grit followed with 400-800.

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Much better!!100_2472 (640x480).jpg

The draw was not that great and I noticed the drilling was slightly off. With the stem on  a pipe cleaner would catch about 1/16 of inch from the bowl chamber. I took a drill bit a little larger than the factory drilling and slowly ( by hand) drilled the airway larger.100_2475 (640x480).jpg

Its as open as a subway tunnel now . Pipe cleaner drops right in no problem . This made the pipes draw MUCH better.


I  sanded out some of the bowl cake.100_2478 (640x480).jpg

Soaked the stem in Oxy Clean  a couple of hours.  Removed the oxidation with a green pad .100_2480.JPG

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I contrast stained the bottom of pipe . First i colored it in with a black sharpie . I did this  three times letting in dry in between to make sure the black got into the grain well.

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I then wet sanded it off with the black remaining in the grain.100_2492 (640x480).jpg

I then did the same with a red sharpie .

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I wet sanded the stem with 600-2500 grit . The bowl with 1200 – 2500 grit and touched up the fills. The pipe is now ready for a good buff and wax .

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After buff and wax

This is a couple of original after pictures i took in  2014.

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Here is some pics i took last night after i buffed the stem and gave it a couple coats of wax.

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The re-drilling i did on this pipe made a HUGE difference . It has a very easy draw now and smokes like champ. If you run across a no name basket pipe don’t ignore it and give the pipe a second look.  If it has good bones a little elbow grease and a drill bit can turn a ok pipe into a GREAT smoking pipe ( if its not already a great smoker). Most of time you can get them for a real  bargain and that’s always nice if you are on a tight budget.

I have thought about sending the pipe off to be sandblasted by a friend of mine . Maybe one day.

Now if only summer would get here 🙂 We are ready !

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Til next time ,good smokes to you .




Mint in Box Briarcraft Sterling Hall Standard

I picked up this Braircraft Sterling Hall off EBAY .

For some odd reason it  was listed under religious medals category  instead of pipes ,so it flew under the radar of the pipe bidders. I was lucky enough to see it and win it on opening low bid. I had been looking for a nice Braircraft pipe as its one of the few early-mid  20th century  American pipe brands i did not have.

From my  quick research on the pipe i can not find any ads for the Sterling Hall model prior to early 40’s , so i think its a 1940’s pipe . Briarcraft made pipes for 30 years . They lasted from 1920-1950. Some pipe smokers consider them one of the best smoking American made pipes of their time. Especially the Briarcraft  Smokemaster models.

Here is a 1946 Sterling Hall ad.


Around 1967 Dr. Grabow acquired the name and system rights to the Smokemaster line, and was produced until the mid 1990’s. Dr. Grabow made three series. The 100, 200, and 300.

I have a online  friend who owns several hundred pipes and many high end factory type , from Dunhill’s to Charatan’s . He swears the Briarcraft’s he owns put them all to shame for smokeablity.

All i did was polish up the sterling band and clean some oxidation off the stinger/cleaner. I gave the pipe a polish with a micro fiber cloth as well. I’m not sure if the pipe is unsmoked or not. I can not  detect any smell of smoked tobacco in the bowl . I could not see any signs on the stinger and inside the shank or stem. The  inner bowl has a dark color but i think it might some type of bowl coating  instead from being smoked but I’m not sure . I’m calling the pipe mint in the box instead of NOS pipe.

The pipe is a little pocket model measuring in at 4.5 inches long and a 1.5 inch tall bowl. The drilling is dead perfect on it too i might add.



Stamping’s are,

Aged Imported Briar on bottom of shank.


Sterling Hall over Briarcraft with B in diamond on left shank. Sterling on band with no silver makers mark .11.jpg

Shape number 10 on right side of shank.


Well if the pipe was unsmoked it most certainly will not be for long. I plan on breaking it in with some of my vintage Edgeworth Ready Rubbed.

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Well i better get to work on it …til next time ,

Good smokes to you .


NOS KB&B Yello Bole Imperial Billiard & Tobacco Pouch

I picked up this 1940’s NOS rusticated Imperial off  EBAY . Its a Kaywoodie shape # 11  large billiard . That’s one of my favorite of all billiard shapes and sizes.

It needed some very slight work . The stem was pretty lackluster from being in storage for so many years.

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It had the newer style stinger in it. I think they switched over too these during  WW II. The stem was really tight from the wood being so dry. It squeeked something terrible removing it. I was nervous the shank was gonna crack. Luckily it came apart with no damage to the shank.

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I sanded the stem lightly with some 2500 grit then oiled the shank with some mineral oil and a Q-tip.I then put a light coat of bees wax on the tenon. The stem glides in and out now slick as a ribbon. I also switched the stinger with a nice older style Yello -Bole one. 100_8860 (640x480).jpg

I gave the whole pipe a rub down with mineral oil and let it soak in for a couple of hours.

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From the price tag of 1.50 on the bowl seal i can date this pipe to early to late 40s. This ad is from a 1942 Popular Mechanics magazine.

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After the mineral oils soaked in i gave the pipe a light buff on my buffing wheel .

Finished pipe

1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg6.jpg6b.jpg7.jpgI also picked up this NOS Yello-Bole tobacco pouch. Its pre-upc code and my guess is  sometime in the 1960’s


These will not be display items as i plan on using them as they were intended.

I figure what better way to break in my 1940’s  Yello-Bole pipe than with some of my 1940’s Edgeworth Ready Rubbed.


Its rough work i know, but it has to be done . 🙂


I opened up the Yello Bole tobacco pouch and i thought someone might be interested in some pictures of it.

Its a pretty decent tobacco pouch actually. Nothing fancy ,but basic and good quality.

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This advertisement was inside it as well.

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