Tag Archives: Kaywoodie

Kaywoodie HandMade

I’m a sucker for a fat bottom and that’s exactly what we have here in the Kaywoodie Hand-Made Over-size line of pipes. They’re getting harder to find, so when one pops up I have to jump on it. My search for a chunky Kaywoodie lead me to this line of pipes and about a year ago I had the pleasure of refurbishing two, there thick walls and chunky shape not only make it comfortable in the hand but it produces a cool smoke.
As Received


The nomenclature was lightly stamped or worn.


Over all she was in nice condition and seemed well cared for. Heavy stem oxidation, chatter and a little rim tar&char.


I started by reaming the chamber with my Pipnet reamer, first with the smallest attachment and working up to the third  taking it back to briar, the chamber was free of any imperfections. I smoothed out the chamber with 400 grit sandpaper. The rim, I applied a generous amount of Method Good For Wood Polish and set aside to penetrate the debris. Using Q-tips I removed the oils and tars from the rim.


The char/rim darkening was removed with worn micro-mesh.Using EverClear, Q-tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I gave the mortise and chamber a quick once over to get out the loose debris. Now the soak, I unrolled a cotton ball, twisted it together to form a long swab and inserted it tightly into the mortise and filled the chamber with EverClear a quarter of the way. I allowed the swab to absorb the alcohol, then I filled the chamber with two cotton balls and added EverClear until the cotton balls were saturated. I left it aside to allow the cotton balls and alcohol to absorb the oils and tars.


The stem was heavily oxidized and had quite a bit of chatter. I started first by appling Soft Scrub with a children’s toothbrush to the stem and left it to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to start the vigorous scrubbing with a rag, I would repeat this process a few times to get the bulk of the oxidation off. To get the rest of stubborn oxidation I used heat. Heat can be your best friend or your worst enemy and doesn’t work on all stem materials.(Nylon & Acrylic stems do not respond the same and melt or burn, I have had success with ebonite swirled cumberland stems in the past) In this case I’m working with vulcanite which is more resilient and responds well to heat. I heated the oxidized portions of the stem with a Bic Lighter (moving the flame rapidly never leaving it in one spot too long) working carefully around the clover logo inserted in the stem, In the past I’ve had a few inserts on Kaywoodie and Dr. Grabow pipes pop out using this method of heat. At this time I heated the bit/button portion of the stem to raise some of the chatter.


With the oxidation removed I could begin sanding.


After giving the stummel time to sit to allow the cotton balls and EverClear to absorb the tars and oils I could do a good internal cleaning of the chamber,mortise and stem. Using cotton balls,Q-tips and stiff/soft pipe cleaners I cleaned the internals of the stummel and stem until the pipe cleaners came out as they went in.


After removing the chatter with 1000 grit sandpaper there was still one indentation on the button that did not raise with heat and would need filling. I mixed a paste using thick black CA glue and activated charcoal power, I taped off the button area so the fill would remain in one spot. I applied the paste with a toothpick allowed it to set up a bit, then removed the painters tape and hit it with the accelerator, setting it aside to cure.


After the fill had time to cure I began to form the new button with needle files and sandpaper. The stem could now be run though the various grits of micro-mesh.


I ran the stem through the various grits of sandpaper and micro-mesh. 1000 grit sandpaper wet, 1500,1800, 2000, 2400 wet and 3200-12000 dry. There were a few pieces of metal or aluminum embedded in the rubber which tells me it was wartime  recycled rubber. You can see the embedded imperfections in my final photos. Tho not very noticeable.


I gave the stummel a wipe down with Howard’s butcher block conditioner and let it penetrate for a few minutes hand buffing off the excess. She was now ready for the wheel.




Finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a microfiber hand buffing, buffing the stem with blue compound & carnauba.

Kaywoodie Handmade Oversized Pipes


The ad above I believe is from the late 40’s early 50’s from what I could find I think this is where my pair falls.

Some of my first estates were Kaywoodies. Living in New York most of my life I loved reading of there history and the successful building of a brand everyone knows. The only thing I couldn’t get past was how small there pipes were. I have a few in my collection from the 30’s and 40’s that make my wife laugh when I smoke them. I’m a pretty hefty guy so in turn I would need to find a hefty Kaywoodie.

Six months ago I found my chance with the Kaywoodie Handmade Oversized line. They are big and beautiful pieces of Briar reminiscent of my first love Custom-bilt. I originally posted this refurb on Pipes Magazine with the help of forum members I was able to put these beauties back in service.

The pipes as received.

20150703_1505252_zpsdj56qhrp PhotoGrid_1436408039906_zpsirnylkbu

The first well loved pipe.


And the second equally loved pipe.

The second pipe I could not find a profile shot, I also did not take pictures of my process but I remember it like it was yesterday .Each one was well used and apparently never cleaned. I started by removing the cake with my Castleford reamer starting with smallest and ending with the largest,  keeping it centered at all times. Then sanding the chamber with 400 grit sandpaper, in this case the previous owner’s lack of cleaning actually preserved the chamber it looked almost new after removing the cake. The rim was heavily caked I applied a very generous amount of Method wood for good polish with Q-tips and worked it in with a children’s toothbrush I would have to repeat this multiple times before the tars were completely removed. There was also white paint imbedded in the deep grooves of one of the pipes. I used the polish on these areas as well applying it to the paint and leaving it to soften it up. After it softened I was able to remove the paint with a toothbrush and dental pick. I also cleaned the exterior with the polish at this time.


I cleaned the internals with EverClear,shank brush, Q-tips and stiff bristle pipe cleaners ending with unrolled twisted cotton balls in the mortise. I added a little EverClear to the chamber to be absorbed by the cotton,once absorb I filled the chamber with three cotton balls, EverClear and left it to soak.

PhotoGrid_1436408039906_zpsirnylkbu~2 PhotoGrid_14361042224522_zpsnk0gqama~2

This is where things got interesting. With the bowl set aside I began work on the stems, cleaning the internals/ externals with EverClear this is when the smell hit me.  It was like nothing I had smelled before or since and my wife was not pleased (my work area is in our bedroom).


This was my wife’s answer to the problem. You gotta love her.

I turned to Pipes Magazine forum members for help they said it was sulfur I was smelling a handful of suggestions were posted oxyclean, Soft Scrub, vinegar & baking soda, soaking in alcohol, multiple retorts  and replacement, tried them all to no avail and replacement in my mind was not an option. I decided while my wife was at work I would continue cleaning the stems scrubbing first with Soft Scrub removing the oxidation and then wet sanding with 1000,1500,2000 and 2400. At this time two forum members suggested a soak in bleach I was apprehensive at first as I have never used bleach before but they assured me no damage would be done. So with a little Vaseline over the logo just in case I processed to soak the stems in a 4 to 1 mix of bleach and water, at first I thought it did the trick but the scent would re-emerge as soon as I began  sanding. After numerous intervals of soaking and sanding over a three day period the smell finally began to dissipate and now that a few months have passed the scent is completely gone.


I was able to save the original finish and would not have to re-stain. I figured they closely resembled my CustomBilts so I applied a little Howard’s butcher block conditioner and set them aside for a few minutes to soak it up and then hand buffing off the excess.  They were now ready for the buffer.

(Shiny & New)


(Pipe 1)


(Pipe 2)