Blog by Steve Laug
The day I decided to work on this one turned out to be my day for Danish pipes. The first one I chose to refurbish was this nice little Stanwell sandblast shape 89 – one of my favourite shapes with a flat oval shank and stem. It was very dirty and the finish was in rough shape. The bowl was heavily caked and the tars had run over the rim and down the edges. The sand blast was nicely done but almost smooth from the grime that filled the grooves. The stem was stamped hand cut and was oxidized. It also looked like it had worn a softie bit at one time as there was a hard line of calcified grit across the stem in front of the button. The pipe is stamped Stanwell Hand Made. It is a comfortable pipe to hold in the hand.
I reamed the bowl and scrubbed the inside of the bowl and shank with isopropyl alcohol and pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and a shank brush to clean out the grime. It took many pipe cleaners and cotton swabs before they came out clean and white. To clean the outside of the bowl I washed it with Murphy’s Oil Soap and wiped clean. I scoured the crevices of the blast with a brass bristle tire brush to get grime out of the grooves. I honestly did not care if it took of some of the stain and colour as I planned on restaining it anyway. Once it was clean I dropped it in my alcohol bath to let it soak and finish removing the finish.
I worked on the stem while the bowl soaked. I buffed it with Tripoli to knock off the oxidation as it was not a deep brown. This was an easy stem to clean as the oxidation was on the surface. I used 1500-6000 grit micromesh pads after the buffing. I buffed it carefully as I wanted to preserve the logo and the sharp edges of the stem where it met the shank. Once the bowl was finished I would put it on the pipe to give it a final buff with White Diamond.
I took the bowl out of the alcohol bath and dried it off. I then cleaned off any remaining grime and finish with a cotton pad and clean alcohol. Once dry I stained it with a medium brown aniline stain and flamed it to set the stain. I then put the stem on the pipe and took it to the buffer. I buffed it lightly with Tripoli to take remove some of the stain from the high spots on the blast and then buffed the whole pipe with White Diamond. I used a light touch on the bowl as I did not want to blur the edges of the blast. Once finished I coated it with multiple coats of Halcyon wax.