Yello Bolle Pipe

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Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:59 am

I received my first Yello Bole pipe two weeks and after seeing what I received I was quite excited about it. When I saw the advert on BOB the first time I was actually a bit careful about it as the photos and info provided on it was not very clear. I also didn’t want to ask too many questions to the seller which could draw to much attention to the pipe as I was the only one bidding at that stage and it was going for only R80 at that stage. Buying estate pipes online can be a bit of gambling but if you win and the price was low you don’t feel too sad afterwards if it was a dud.

So some of you might wonder what I was concerned about. The thing that concerned me the most was that a lot of Yello-Bole pipes are made from "Brylon", a mixture of briar dust and nylon. They are reported to smoke very hot and wet, though some gents like them.

From the S.M. Frank website:
"In 1966, S. M. Frank developed a synthetic material called Brylon as a cheaper alternative to briar. The material, a high temperature resin mixed with wood flour, was cheaper than briar, more resistant to cracking, chipping, charring and burnouts. However to some there are some drawbacks, heavier in the mouth, hotter when smoked quickly, and also simply put, "wasn't briar." Millions of these pipes have been sold in the 3 decades since and continue to be part of the Yello-Bole and Medico lines."

So I was really hoping this Yello Bole pipe in the advert I'd check was made from briar. The seller did point out the crack on the stem which didn’t concern me that much as one would be able to restore it.

So I went in blind and won the pipe for R80. Before I tell you what I got in the post let me first give you some background on what the fuss actually is about the Yello Bole pipe I’m looking for.

Someone once told me if you're going the estate route; get a Kaywoodie or Dr Grabow. Now you might ask why Yello Bole?
Yello Bole is where Kaywoodie sent their undersize and rejected briar. Kaywoodie used to be in the upperclass of pipe making so they had to do something with the not too high grade Briar. Those got the Yello-bole label. So there for any Yello Bole stamped with KBB on it is worth the risk. Although I was warned not to go with a new Yello Bole and stay away from it because Brylon was used from 1965 onward I still took the risk without knowing if KBB was stamped on this pipe.

OK so there isn't a lot of dating information for Yello Bole pipes but here is what I have learned so far.
• If it has the KBB stamped in the clover leaf it was made 1955 or earlier as they stopped the stamping after being acquired by S.M. Frank.
• From 1933-1936 they were stamped Honey Cured Briar.
• From 1937-1955 they were stamped Cured With Real Honey.
• Pipes stems stamped with the propeller logo they were made in the 30s or 40s no propellers were used after the 40s.
• Yello Bole also used a 4 digit code stamped on the pipe in the 30s.
• If the pipe had the Yello Bole circle stamped on the shank it was made in the 30s this stopped after 1939.
• If the pipe was stamped BRUYERE rather than briar it was made in the 30s.
That is all I have in my notes right now.

Ok, so I guess you want to see what I’ve got?
On the left side of the shank the following are printed on:
• YELLO BOLLE
. REG. U.S. PAT OFF
• Imperial
• Cured with real Honey
with KBB to the left of the above.
The Yello Bole circle IS stamped on the shank.

Gentlemen, I have a KBB Yellow-Bole Imperial Bulldog dated between 1937-1955. :D

Over the next few weeks, depending on the riots here in Pretoria and the elections ahead of us, I’ll post a SBS on my restoring process here for those who want to follow.

I’ll post some pics of the pipe later during this week. :thumbup:
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby deepsouth » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:08 pm

Nice find Bles ! Very informative read too, I had a look at some pipes at a local tobacconist, and thought about taking on another 'geit' My missus just gave me the a death glare and that was that...
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby Thug » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:22 pm

Very nice Bles.
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:39 pm

Good stuff Bles! Look forward to seeing the pictures.
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby DAVEP » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:06 pm

Nice informative post Bles thanks
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:34 am

Thanks Dave. :thumbup:

Ok, let’s get this show on the road. I think a good start-off point would be to start off by showing you the photos of the pipe as advertised by the seller followed by some more in-depth photos of the pipe I took after I received it.
Advertisement photos:

160428090516_Yello bole main.jpg

160428090654_Yello bole main one.jpg

160428090619_Yello bole head.jpg

160428090555_yello bole crack.jpg

160428090637_Yello bole label.jpg

160428090535_yello bole apart.jpg


The pipe before I started with the refurbishment.
P1040055.jpg

P1040064.jpg
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:40 am

The build-up inside the chamber is what we call the cake. I will have to ream out this cake build-up where after I’ll treat it with an alcohol and salt process.
P1040057.jpg

P1040058.jpg

P1040068.jpg

P1040069.jpg

P1040070.jpg
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:47 am

You’ll notice the gap between the stem and stummel. I’ll have to clean up the tenon and mortise and sand the area between the stem and stummel to sort out the fit problem.
P1040061.jpg

P1040059.jpg

P1040060.jpg

P1040062.jpg
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:51 am

A close-up of the mortise.
P1040067.jpg

Close-ups of the tenon which needs to be cleaned-up.
P1040065.jpg

P1040066.jpg
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:59 am

Alright, now that you have an idea what the pipe look like I’ll show you a quick update on what I started with. The crack on the stem was my biggest worry so I cleaned out the crack with a file and sandpaper after which I filled the crack with superglue. When the superglue was dry I sanded it and completed the process another two times until it was filled completely.
P1040071.jpg

P1040072.jpg

P1040073.jpg
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 04, 2016 11:34 am

Some of you might not be familiar with the terms I refer to. I tried to include the terms on this photo to make it easier for you to follow when we continue with the refurbishment.
1. Stumble
2. Stem
3. Shank
4. Mortise
5. Bowl
6. Chamber
7. Draught hole
8. Tenon
9. Bit
10. Button

description.jpg
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:15 pm

Thanks BLES. Looks very interesting. Are you going to do anything to the wood section?
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:22 pm

I’m going to sand it down, fill up some of the marks, re-stain it and then polish and buff it with White diamond and carnauba wax.
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:23 am

BLES wrote:I’m going to sand it down, fill up some of the marks, re-stain it and then polish and buff it with White diamond and carnauba wax.


Nice, hope it comes out great BLES. Just out of interest, did Pipe smoking (as a hobby) fade away similar to to traditional wet shaving, or has it always had a strong following?
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby DAVEP » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:40 pm

Thanks for all the info Bles very interesting.
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby Thug » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:07 pm

Thanks for the very interesting pictorial and explanations Bles, I never realised that there was such a lot of technical terminology in pipe smoking.
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby deepsouth » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:14 pm

You could put that in your pipe and smoke it :-) wouldn't mind trying it out though...

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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:46 am

Thank-you gentlemen.

RiverValleyTrading wrote:
BLES wrote:I’m going to sand it down, fill up some of the marks, re-stain it and then polish and buff it with White diamond and carnauba wax.


Nice, hope it comes out great BLES. Just out of interest, did Pipe smoking (as a hobby) fade away similar to to traditional wet shaving, or has it always had a strong following?


That is an interesting question RVT. Pipe smoking in South Africa is something you’ll find more likely amongst older men and I doubt they will call it a hobby. I think the hobby is around for many years now but was not widely advertised or discussed. It is only now with technology which is becoming a social norm that things like traditional shaving and pipe smoking is more noticeable. A few years back you wouldn’t have the audience you would have today if it wasn’t for social media and forums like this. So to come back to your question I would say no, I personally think pipe smoking as a hobby is been out there for quite some but some folks might see it as ritual rather than a hobby.
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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby RiverValleyTrading » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:48 am

BLES wrote:Thank-you gentlemen.

RiverValleyTrading wrote:
BLES wrote:I’m going to sand it down, fill up some of the marks, re-stain it and then polish and buff it with White diamond and carnauba wax.


Nice, hope it comes out great BLES. Just out of interest, did Pipe smoking (as a hobby) fade away similar to to traditional wet shaving, or has it always had a strong following?


That is an interesting question RVT. Pipe smoking in South Africa is something you’ll find more likely amongst older men and I doubt they will call it a hobby. I think the hobby is around for many years now but was not widely advertised or discussed. It is only now with technology which is becoming a social norm that things like traditional shaving and pipe smoking is more noticeable. A few years back you wouldn’t have the audience you would have today if it wasn’t for social media and forums like this. So to come back to your question I would say no, I personally think pipe smoking as a hobby is been out there for quite some but some folks might see it as ritual rather than a hobby.

Thanks for the info BLES!

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Re: Yello Bolle Pipe

Postby BLES » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:40 am

While relaxing on the "stoep" yesterday with an oxtail pot simmering in the background I started removing the cake build up inside the chamber and cleaning the outside of the stumble by removing the old wax and stain layers with acetone and various grades of sand paper. The pipe was definitely stained with a red-oxide stain so I will have to get me some red oxide leather dye to restore it to its former glory. I'll post some photos later of the progress I made so far.
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