I saw this pipe come up on Ebay and was immediately intrigued by it. It was listed as Estate Pipe Kaywoodie Super Grain 5407.
I had never seen a Super Grain rusticated like it. I was not familiar with the 54 prefix number as the only Super Grains i know of are 50 or 51. I also noticed it was a push stem! I knew i wanted the pipe badly and put a good bid on it. In fact it was the top of my budget for a estate pipe. If someone would have bid .25 cents more i would have lost the auction.
I have not been so anxious to get my hands on a pipe in a while. I was literally waiting at the mail box when the pipe came. I was like a kid opening a Red Ryder BB gun at Xmas. Kid’s still want Red Ryder’s BB guns don’t they? Oh well ,never mind.
The pipe did not disappoint. Used but in excellent shape. The stem even registers perfectly on this 80 year old pipe. The four digit stamping dates the pipe between 1933-1936 but no later than 1938. By 1936 push stems were mostly gone.
The pipe is also extremely light.
Only issues it had was some tooth marks on the stem.
Now here is whats odd about the pipe.
5407 breaks down as follows.
54 Extra large shape, screw in Drinkless Kaywoodie, Thorn finish, black vulcanite stem (1930’s)
07 Large billiard 1927-1972
The pipe is not stamped Thorn but Super Grain. It is not extra large as its a regular 07 size bowl. I was expecting a huge 07 billiard. As you can see its a push stem not a screw in Drinkless. This is the first Super Grain billiard i have ever seen stamped on the bottom of a Kaywoodie. Even the rusticated Hand Made Super Grain’s i have seen are stamped on side of shank. A 72 Canadian is stamped on top of shank. All Thorn’s i have ever seen were sandblast finish as well.
I did some research and read that a few Thorn’s were rusticated although not many. I did find one on Ebay in Canada . A oval apple with somewhat similar rustication. Its a later two digit with Drinkless and stained red.
All the Thorn’s four digits i have seen start with a 73 or 74 like this one.
I tried to find more 54 prefix Thorns or Super Grain’s but i could not find a picture or mention anywhere on the web. I’m assuming its a very uncommon prefix code.
Was it mis stamped? The Super Grain was definitely stamped before it was rusticated. Is it a Thorn? Is it a Super Grain? Is it both? I dunno, I’m still pondering on it.
It’s a odd stamped pipe,which makes it very unique and cool to me. This is the kind of old American pipe that really gets me going.
I pushed the pipe ahead of my other project pipes and started on it about as soon as i unboxed it.
The cake came out fairly easy with a dull pocket knife and heavy grit paper.
I gave the stem a soak in alcohol to get the greasy film it had on it. I also cleaned out the inside before giving it a soak in Oxy Clean.
I tried cleaning the rim cake off with my normal green pad and a tooth brush but it was not getting out the crud deep in the rustication. I poured a thin level of alcohol in a container and let the rim soak for a bit.
I then walked over next door to my brothers and borrowed his outdoor grill brush while he was at work (Shhhhh ….lets keep that between us). I gently rubbed the rim over the wire bristles. Yes, i did clean it before and after i used it
With the rim crud removed i gave the bowl a good cleaning with mild cleaner/water mix and a brush with clean alcohol. I also gave the shank a good brushing and cleaning.
After the grease and grime was removed i gave the bowl a good soak in mineral oil.
After pulling the stem out of the Oxy Clean i gave it another rinse with alcohol and filed the tooth marks. I filled the deep ones with carbon/vulcanite powder and super glue. I then filed the patches.
I sanded the repairs with 500 and worked my way up too 1800 grit. The pipe registers so well the I am only going to sand around the shank end as little as possible with 2000-2800 grit. It wont look slick as glass but it wont be over sanded and over buffed. I can always sand and buff it more later if need be.You can’t add original material back after you take it away. Its gone forever.
With the pipe and stem done i applied some bees wax to the tenon as after cleaning it was a tad loose.I also added a syrup/carbon bowl coating .I applied mineral oil to the bowl and stem to give some life back to the 80 year old briar and vulcanite. After it soaks in and dries its ready for a buff and wax.
The finished 5407.
The fine lines on the rim are part of the rustication and not from the wire brush.
I think i figured out why the pipe was made a push stem. Here is the 5407 next to my 07 Super Grain smooth.
As you can see its not larger at all , in fact it’s a little smaller (the Super Grain is even a smaller three-hole Drinkless). Notice how thin and short the shank is? No way a Drinkless system would fit in there ,especially a four hole stinger. Even a removable stinger would not fit in the shank. Being it was made around the middle of the depression, they were going to use and sale what they could. Wasting as less material as possible. No matter what it ended up stamped or configured.
I think its a very cool pipe and the rustication is very well done. I have been wanting a sandblasted Thorn for a good while but i always get outbid as they go for very good prices. This is kinda my poor mans Thorn in a way and very happy to add it to my collection.
Now for the important question , how does it smoke?
Well i can honestly say, it smokes awesome ! This is my second push stem Kaywoodie and i can not for the life of me figure out why Kaywoodie did not carry a full time push stem line. I can say this pipe smokes just as well if not better than my Savinelli’s , English and custom made pipes. It’s lighter than most of them to boot making it a very comfortable pipe to smoke.
Til next time,
Good smokes to you.
I found another Thorn rusticated like the 5407 that sold on EBAY. I personally think the 5407 has better quality rustication.
This one has the correct stamping on it.
90 by the way is ………..90 Medium Canadian, round shank, saddle stem 1936-1955
Push stem as well.
Notice how thin the shank is on this Thorn like the 5407 ? I think its too thin for a four- hole stinger system as well.
I think that this might be the reason Kaywoodie went to a smaller three- hole Drinkless stinger system eventually as to easily fit in slimmer shanks.