Thursday, 16 June 2011

Paragon and Halcyon II

I've just tried a couple of new (to me) products for polishing my pipes and have to say that I'm very impressed. So I thought I'd share the results.

Until now, I've been using Renaissance Wax to polish my pipes and it's been doing a very good job, particularly by the time I've applied several coats. A little goes a long way (a 65ml tin has lasted over a year, even using it for more than pipes) but I needed some more so I thought I'd check out some alternatives before restocking.

Fine Pipes International have developed Paragon and Halcyon waxes as an alternative to Carnauba wax (that needs to be applied using a buffer). You can purchase directly from them, or as I did from their ebay store. I've got a couple of sandblast pipes as well as smooth, so I decided to try both...about £10 for the two jars and they arrived within a week!

The Halcyon II has quite a runny texture but don't let that put you off, just apply a very thin coat to your pipe's bowl (I used my fingertip) then let it dry a bit before polishing with a soft cloth. I was a bit impatient the first time and buffed too quickly...leaving the pipe to sit makes a huge difference to the resulting finish. In future, I'll do a few pipes at a time, giving the wax a chance to set. It's a bit fiddly getting in all the rustication on a sandblast so I'll try it with a soft brush next time. On a smooth pipe, it's very easy to apply and gives a lovely finish.

The Paragon wax is thicker and harder, similar to butter that's been in the fridge. However, using my fingertip again melted the wax as I was applying it giving a nice even coverage. Again, leave it to "set" before polishing with a soft, fine cloth (I used a yellow household duster that I keep in my pipe drawer). A little goes a very long way, so apply sparingly. Fine Pipes recommend the Paragon is used only on smooth pipes.

Both waxes give a lovely, rich, shine to the briar that feels very nice to the touch...I'm anticipating that additional coats will just make it even more lustrous.


  1. If you let the Paragon "set" for too long before buffing, it goes a LOT harder than it is in the jar! Then it's a consistency is closer to candle wax...and consequently harder to polish.

  2. I've re-applied the Halcyon II, to my sandblast pipes, using some natural bristle brushes (twin pack of Kiwi brushes £2.50 in Tesco)...much easier to work in to all the crevices. Dab on some wax with a fingertip, work in with one brush, leave to haze and then polish with the second brush.

    It's also worth shaking the jar before opening, it seems to be a much better consistency now!

  3. Hi Peter,
    Good products both,I have been using them for years now and cannot see any better on the market.
    Your point about leaving sufficient time to dry is very relevant and will depend on the ambient room temperature.
    I work both waxes in with my fingertips to maximise the coverage,this also allows a longer drying time and is more noticeable when time is right for buffing.
    I also work in a smidgeon of the softer Halcyon 11 into the stems to coat and protect them.