I have been wanting a pre – war sandblast push stem Thorn billiard for quite a long time and i have finally acquired one. It is one of my “Holy Grail’ pipes. Always out bid on my Ebay attempts i was starting to loose hope. Finding pre-war sandblast pipes on a budget is not easy ,let me tell you.
Shaefer from Vintage pipes knew I was looking for one ,he had spotted one in a pipe lot on Ebay and sent me a link. There was two pictures of the pipe , a side view and one of the stamping’s. From the side view i could barely make out a top shank Kaywoodie club and no metal collar. With no metal collar i was certain it was a push stem. The pipe also looked to be in very excellent shape as well. The stamping was simply 7411 with Kaywooide/Thorn.
With no KBB stamp I knew it was a post 1933 and a lack of Drinkless stamp was more indication it was a push stem with no removable four hole stinger. The earlier Thorn’s had a removable stinger before they were given the screw in stems with non-removable four hole stingers. They carry a Drinkless stamp as well.
Well the pipe lot was over a 100 dollars so i did not want or could afford to buy the lot for one pipe ,so i watched it for a week with no interest or bids on it. I sent the seller a message asking if he would sale the Thorn out of lot and that i would give him a very fair price. Well luckily for me the seller agreed to sale the pipe and for the price i offered. I was ecstatic to say the least.
A few days later the pipe arrived and it was indeed a push stem in excellent shape with no removable stinger. The blast looked even better in person.
The stem though badly oxidized had no tooth dents it at all, only some minimal chatter.
The 7411 breaks down as follows ,
74 Screw-in Drinkless Kaywoodie, Thorn finish, black vulcanite stem (1930’s)
11 Large billiard 1935-1972
So i knew the pipe was 1935 or later, this one of course is missing the screw in Drinkless and i suspect its from the thin shank as my previous 5407 i posted. I would guess this pipe was made between 1935-1938 . From research on Kaywoodies i have read they dropped the 4 digit stamping’s around 1938.
The pipe did not take much work to get back into a nice useable condition.
First thing I did was give the outside of the bowl a good scrubbing with a mild cleaner/water solution I use.
I then gave the inside a good cleaning with alcohol. I also cleaned the rim of stubborn char. The cake was really thin so all i did was give it a good scrape with a regular pipe tool scraper.
After bowl was clean inside out I gave a good soak in mineral oil. The color and blast really came alive.
After about a two hour soak in Oxy Clean/water the oxidation was but gone. I did pull it out periodically and scrub it with a piece of Scotch Brite pad.
The stem was in such great shape that it took minimal sanding with 1000 and on up too 2800 grit.
I put a very thin coat of bees wax on the tenon and then gave the whole pipe a wipe down with mineral oil . Its ready to be wiped with a clean rag and receive a buff and wax.
After the buff and wax i took some normal inside pictures and to me they just did not do the blast justice. So this morning i took the pipe outside and took some natural light pictures. It was kinda overcast and cloudy but still looks better than inside pictures.
Finished 7411 Thorn.
I am probably biased but i have looked at a lot of Kaywoodie Thorn pipe pictures and to me this is one of the best original condition Thorn’s I have seen .The blast is also a cut above, it certainly rivals any I have seen. My perseverance has been rewarded so don’t give up on your “Holy Grail “pipe , you may be surprised like I was.
After taking these pictures i filled up my baccy pouch with some Peter Stokkebye Toasted Burley 312 I have been trying out and gave the pipe its maiden first few smokes along with my morning coffee.
I was not disappointed. The pipe smokes heavenly.
Til next time ,
Good smokes to you.