A Pipe For Poppy.


Custombilt Oom Paul.

My daughter lovingly calls my father Poppy they have been inseparable since her birth 11 years ago , my fathers pretty incredible ,give ya the shirt off his back, drop everything to help in anyway and give ya his last dime if you needed it. Almost a year ago we had a scare, while hanging out at our house Dad suffered a mini-stroke. Doctors said it wasn’t as severe as other strokes but nevertheless it scared the hell out of all of us. It took him sometime to get back to the way he was before. Now doctors say hes as healthy as a horse ,so he has decided to take up the pipe once again after a thirty year hiatus. He picked a pipe from the wall to start with a bent Grabow with a spoon stinger , one of the first if not the first pipe I had redone years ago. I then told him I would like to redo a Custombilt that was similar to a Tom Howard he had liked. So that brings me to A Pipe For Poppy , a Wally Frank era Bilt Oom Paul. Shes been in the to do rack going on three years I would start but lose interest and put her back but now I had a reason to complete it. I gave him the pipe yesterday and his eyes lit up, needless to say he was very happy with finished pipe.

The Restoration.



The pipe had been started and stopped a few times since I received it, so the reaming and internal cleaning had already been done previously. The chamber was free of pitting, there were a few tooth impressions and oxidation on the stem.The previous owner had carved a P into the bottom of the stummel. The pipe is for my farther and my daughter calls him poppy so the P is fitting but too tacky for my taste.


My attention was drawn first to the P caved in the bottom of the stummel,  luckily it wasn’t to deep. Starting with 220 grit sandpaper I removed the bulk of the self carving, then moving to 400, 800 and finished with 1000 grit sandpaper.


I lightly sanded the stummel with 800 grit sandpaper then gave the stummel a wipe down with an EverClear soaked rag to remove the fine sanding dust.


Before hitting the buffer I applied a coat of Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner , I applied using a Q-Tip then leaving it aside to penetrate, removing the excess with a clean rag.


I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub to the stem and  left it aside for the Soft Scrub to soften the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to brownish color its time to scrub vigorously adding more Soft Scrub as needed until all oxidation has been removed, holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed.


With the oxidation removed I focused on the tooth impressions , the rest of the stem was in good shape so I taped off the bit/lip area of work with blue painters tape so my sanding would remain in this area. I removed the deeper impressions with a flat sided needle file. I removed the rough file marks with 400,800 and 1000 sandpaper wet.


I now ran the stem though the various grits of micro-mesh 1500-2500 wet and 3200-12000 dry ,polishing to a shine.


20160525202327~220160525202354~220160525202422~220160525202443~220160525202452~220160525202507~2 I finished up on the wheel with white diamond , carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buffing. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.

I’m looking forward to the first smoke.

Thanks for everything Dad.

Thanks For Taking A Look.



5 thoughts on “A Pipe For Poppy.”

  1. Gorgeous restoration. Always loved Custom Bilts! What’s the chamber dimensions on a Custom-Bilt Oom-Paul, do you recall?


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