Blog by Steve Laug
On to the next pipe in the lot that will be sold for the benefit of Smoker’s Forum online community. It is a beautiful Stanwell Royal Danish shape 166 which is a volcano sitter. It had a gold end plate and narrow band on the shank that was distinctive and tasteful but oxidized. The stem and the shank were drilled for a 9mm filter. It also had the gold S and crown on the left side of the shank. Underneath the surface dirt the pipe had some gorgeous grain. The finish looked to be in great shape with no dings or dents to be found. There are no fills or flaws visible in the briar. The rim had a slight build up of lava and the bowl was caked. It is a deep bowl but somewhat narrow and drilled at an angle toward the shank.
The mortise and the empty 9mm tenon had some loose debris that led me to believe they would be extremely dirty. I used the 0000 steel wool on the rim and was able to clean off the tar build up and leave the rim spotless. I scrubbed down the bowl with alcohol on cotton pads to remove the grime and get a good view of the grain on this beauty. It was something – not a fill and not a pit in the briar. It was a great piece of briar.
I cleaned out the shank and the 9mm tenon and was surprised how quickly they cleaned up. I expected them to be far worse but the debris was loose inside both and it took very little to swab them out and leave them clean. The stem also was not in bad shape. It is Lucite/acrylic and thankfully that does not oxidize. It had some sticky substance on it that was like the residue from tape and that came off with a little alcohol. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads.
I used the higher grits of micromesh to work on the gold band and plate until they shone. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond plastic polish on the wheel and then gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it to a shine with a soft flannel buff and then finished by hand buffing it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is one stunning pipe!