I picked up this early 2851 Yello -Bole off Ebay. I happened to scan my Yello-Bole search before i went off to work the and saw it as a “Buy it Now” for just a few dollars, so i grabbed it. It looked worse than it was. The finish was totally toast but the pipe was not beat up and the stamping’s looked excellent.
51’s are a favorite KB&B shape of mine, i really like a short stemmed straight billiard . I own a Kaywoodie four digit 5051 push stem and its by far my best and favorite Kaywoodie smoker. I had been on a lookout for a nice Yello-Bole 51 shape and this one fit the bill nicely. The “Honey Cured Briar” dates the pipe between 1933-1936. The 2851 numbers break down as,
28 KB&B Yello-Bole, dark finish, push tenon, black vulcanite stem (1932-1940’s)
51 Medium billiard, short stem 1932-1966
The pipe arrived and was no big surprises. The stem did not register the greatest on one side. The pipe is well used and at least 80 years old, so you got to expect stuff like that. Besides a new finish , a good cleaning is mostly all the pipe will need.
I was glad to see the 1 in the 2851 was present and not worn away. From the Ebay photo’s i was not sure.
The bowl was not caked up badly but the shank was really dirty and took a bit of brush work and pipe cleaners.
After cleaning i stripped the pipe with some acetone.
After stripping off the tired old finish i did find a couple of sandpits. I colored them with a black and red sharpies. I’m not too worried about filling them as its a Yello-Bole .If it did not have these pits it would have been a Kaywoodie , so for me it makes it more authentic.
After a long soak in 91% and a few bristle cleaners i managed to get the old stinger out. I heated the stinger with a lighter and worked it gently loose using a needle nose and rag
These early Yello-Boles have threaded stingers so you will have to unscrew them. If you try to force it out straight or opposite way of the threads you can damage the stem.
If you just clean them with them installed you miss the residue behind them. Here is a cleaner with one swipe with alcohol after the stinger was removed.
The rim had a few dings so i steamed it with a damp rag and a iron. This may take several passes before you get good results.
After the steaming i went over pipe again with some 1800-2000 grit to remove some slight scratches and dings that remained after steaming, staying away from the stamping’s.
I mixed up some red dye with about 30% orange to match the factory color.
I applied three coats letting the dye dry between each application.
Gave the stem a good soak in Oxy-Clean and a go over with Barkeeper’s Friend to remove the oxidation. Early Yello-Boles stems will oxidize unlike the later plastic ones.I also gave the stinger a good go over with green pad and 000 steel wool.
With a little heat and some filling i was able to remove the tooth marks on the stem without filling them.
The filling marks got a wet sand of 500-1000 grit and then the whole stem got 1200 on up too 2500 grit.
I gave the whole pipe a wipe down with mineral oil and dry with a clean cloth.
I applied about six light coats of wax to the bowl (buffing with finish pad after each coat) before i went over stem with brown and white tripoli on the buffer.
The pipe is now ready for a few more light coats of wax over stem and bowl.
I have been smoking the pipe most of the day and it smokes excellent, like all my early KB&B Yello-Boles.
My Kaywoodie push stem 5051 now has a sister pipe to share a rack with.
Look at the grain on the Yello-Bole compared to my push stem Kaywoodie 2051 Super Grain. One smokes just as well as the other.
The 2051 Super Grain is also on Baccy Pipes. If you have not seen it and would like to check it out, here is the link.
Til next time,
Good smokes to you.