I snagged this Comoy’s “The Everyman” pipe in a recent eBay auction. It was listed simply as a “Made in London estate pipe”, so the bids were few and I got it for a good price. In fact, I was the only bidder – my kind of auction!
As the listing pics below show, the pipe appeared to be in decent used shape – dirty, to be sure, with a fair amount of muck stuck in the sandblast finish, tars on the rim and a deeply oxidized stem. The bowl was fairly heavily caked, but I couldn’t see any obvious defects, so I took a chance on it.
When the pipe arrived, the actual condition lived up to its online claims (not always the case with estate pipe auctions). Now that I had it in hand, I could see a few tooth dents amid the regular chatter on the bit, but nothing that wouldn’t clean up. The pipe is stamped on the flat bottom of the shank “The Everyman” over “London Pipe” and “Made in London” over “England” and “495”.
I reamed the bowl back to briar, and was pleased to find no damage in the tobacco chamber. The walls were perfect, and the airway hit the bowl dead centre. I cleaned the exterior of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and an old toothbrush, scrubbing until I got all the oils, wax and dirt out of the sandblast finish. Apart from a bit of finish wear on the rim, the stummel was in great shape. A quick touch-up with my darkest stain pen soon put the rim to rights.
I used pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol to clean out the stummel’s airway then wiped the briar with mineral oil to refresh the stain and add a bit of moisture back into the wood.
With the stummel ready to go, I turned to the stem. The major issue here was the oxidation – the entire stem was a sickly green/brown colour. The tenon was still a deep black as it was hidden from the sunlight and air. It’s a bit hard to tell the difference in the pic below, but hopefully you get the idea. I had just started cleaning the stinger with alcohol on a cotton pad.
The stem went into a bath of Oxyclean and warm water for an overnight soak. This lifted the discolouration to the surface, where I was able to scrub it off with a piece of Magic Eraser. I followed this with 600 – 2000 grit wet sandpaper to smooth and polish the stem. I quickly cleaned the stem’s airway with alcohol and pipe cleaners and then took this pic.
The pic above shows the tooth dents left after wet sanding. I managed to raise them somewhat with heat, but ended up with 2 or 3 dents that needed a drop of CA glue to fill. When the glue had cured, I sanded with 220-grit paper followed by various MicroMesh sanding pads to remove the excess glue and smooth out the stem in preparation for buffing.
The entire pipe was buffed using White Diamond compound on the wheel, followed by several coats of Carnauba wax. Here’s the finished pipe. I’m looking forward to adding it to my rack and rotation.
Thanks for looking. Until next time!