Daily Archives: February 28, 2016

Cleaning up a Mysterious Pot Shaped Pipes stamped only M-2

Blog by Steve Laug

The seller of this pipe identified it as a Malaga made pipe but in all of my searching on the web I was unable to find verification for that. There was nothing to suggest that it was made by Malaga Pipes. The only stamping that the pipe bore was M-2. I just finished restoring a Malaga Pipe and wrote about it in a previous blog https://rebornpipes.com/2016/02/27/a-beautiful-malaga-lovat-came-my-way/. In the comments that were posted in response to this blog there was an exchange of comments between me and John Lawitzke. In them he gave a lot of information on the brand. I figured John might well be able to solve my mystery pipe. I wrote a comment in that blog and asked him about the M-2 stamping. He wrote back with the following information.

Yes, M-2 is a Malaga second. Malaga seconds were marked either M-2 or MALAGA SECOND. Some Malaga seconds, you look at and really wonder why they are a second. A single fill or bad pit was enough to make it a second. Some seconds are really seconds. I have one Malaga second with a severely misdrilled airway. It was drilled half way at a bad angle and then re-drilled at the correct angle.

I have included the photos included by the Ebay seller. They give a pretty clear picture of the condition of the pipe and show the stamping on the side of the shank. Some pretty nice grain shown through the grime that covered the bowl. The M-2 stamping is also clearly visible in the photos.Mal1

Mal2 You can see the rim damage in the photo below. The inner edge is out of round. It looks like the pipe has been reamed with a knife somewhere along the journey of its life.Mal3


Mal5 Given the state of the pipe in the photos I could not wait to get it in hand and give it a closer examination. When it arrived, I put is in the refurbishing waiting box and it sat for a few weeks. This morning I took it out of the box and gave it a closer look. The pipe was in decent shape though dirty. The grain shown through the grime but it was pretty muted. There was a thicker cake than I had imagined and the lava on the rim thickly covered the inner edge hiding damage that certainly lay beneath. There were several nicks or gouges on the right side of the bowl – almost a road rash that can happen from dropping the pipe on concrete. There was also what appeared to be a spot on the right side of the bowl where a sticker had been left and left behind its imprint in the finish. The overall finish was worn to the point of not being visible. In my earlier post I found that Malaga rarely stained their pipes so this one wore the patina of age under the grime. The stem was oxidized and the button had a few tooth marks on the top and bottom. The next four photos show the pipe before I started working on it this morning.Mal6

Mal7 The next photo shows a close-up of the rim to highlight the damage and the thickness of the cake in the bowl. The second photo gives a close-up of the M-2 stamping.Mal8

Mal9 I reamed the bowl with the largest cutting head on the PipNet reamer. I wanted to get a clean bowl so that I could work on the damaged inner rim edge.Mal10

Mal11 To prepare for my beveling work on the inner edge of the rim I topped the bowl on the topping board to remove the damage to the rim top. Once I had done that I found the only fill on the entire bowl that I can find. It was on the rim top at the left rear. It is right on the outer edge of the rim.Mal12 I worked on beveling the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. My goal was to work on that edge until the bowl appeared to be round once more. I think it worked pretty well from the photos below.Mal13

Mal14 I scrubbed the bowl and the end of the shank with acetone on cotton pads to remove the grime and the wax on the bowl. From what I read Malaga did not stain their bowls but oil cured them. I wanted to get this one back to natural with the patina of age still in place.Mal15



Mal18 The stem was very tight in the shank and with a little scrubbing with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs I could see why. There were a lot of tars and oils lining the walls of the mortise. I also cleaned out the stem and found that it was nowhere near as dirty as the shank.Mal19

Mal20 With all of the internals cleaned it was time to begin working on the oxidized stem. This particular style of stem is a hard clean up. The beveled edges on the blade from the saddle to the button on the right and left, upper and lower are hard to clean up without rounding them. I worked the stem over with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the build-up around the button.Mal21 These stems take more time than others so once I had the oxidation beat, I decided to work some more on the bowl. I wanted to address the road rash on the right side of the bowl. I cleaned out the area with alcohol and then filled the many sharp edged nicks and gouges with clear super glue.Mal22

Mal23 From the photo above you can see how many of these there were on this side of the bowl. Once the glue dried I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper.Mal24 The sanding removed some of the darkening on the bowl and I liked the way the grain showed through the sanded areas. I sanded the entire bowl with 1500 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wanted to smooth out the repaired area and blend it in and also remove more of the darkening on the rest of the bowl. A benefit of sanding the bowl was being able to really see the beautiful grain and contrast on this pipe.mal25






Mal31 I sanded the bowl with 1800-3200 grit micromesh sanding pads. I then gave it a rub down with olive oil and hand buffed it.Mal32

Mal33 I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and then dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads. I gave it another coat of oil and then finished sanding with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave it a final coat of oil and let it dry.Mal34


Mal36 I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and then with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Not a bad looking pipe for a Malaga second. Thanks for looking.Mal37








A Pleasure Restoring a Pipelane Ltd Execute Chubby Billiard

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother sent me the link and photos of a pipe he was bidding for on Ebay. It was stamped Pipelane, Ltd. over Executive on the left side of the shank. On the underside of the shank it was stamped Imported Briar. I had never heard of the brand but I liked the look of the pipe. It looked to be in pretty good shape. The rim was dirty and the inner edge was scorched and burned at the back and the front right side. There was a band on the shank that appeared to be silver and it was oxidized. The stem seemed to have a light oxidation but was very clean.Pipelane5 I looked for information about the brand online and found that some of the pipes with this brand name were actually made by Savinelli and bore the typical Savinelli shape numbers. A friend on Vancouver Island sent me a message on Facebook about a pipe he had with the same stamping. His pipe is called the Director. It bears the 604KS stamp and is a classic Savinelli Oom Paul. He sent me the photos below. It appears that the shop had pipe makers in Europe make pipes for them and stamp them with their shop name. Thus the shop brand pipes were made by others, which was not an uncommon practice in those days. (Unfortunately the one I have does not bear any identifying shape numbers so the maker remains a mystery.)Pipelane1a I also found out that Pipelane Ltd. was created in 1961 and had tobacco stores in around the Seattle area. I looked up the stores and found two listed – one in Seattle and one in Bellevue. I called the phone numbers listed and the Seattle was unavailable –no matter when I called the number. I left a message so perhaps they will return my call. The Bellevue number was disconnected and no longer in service. The listing for the Seattle store shows that it is located at 3410 Arapahoe Pl. W. and their phone number was (206) 285-3510. I will continue to check and see if I can get a hold of anyone at that number but I am wondering if the company still exists.

The pictures below were the ones that caught my brother’s eye on the seller’s listing. It is a chunky pipe with a great rustication and a natural finish. The rim is smooth and there is a smooth band around the top of the bowl separated from the rustication by a single ring.Pipelane1



Pipelane4 When the box arrived I took this pipe out to have a closer look. I could see the things that had attracted my brother to the pipe. I liked the look and feel of it. The finish was actually quite clean – not much grime or oils in the natural finish. The vertical grain of the pipe shone through the rustication and gave the colour of the pipe some variation. The rim was a little more burned than I had thought from the photos. The damage to the inner edge of the rim actually had broken through the briar and not just discoloured it. The band was stamped Sterling on the left side of the pipe. The oxidation would come off. There were some dimples in the silver as it seems to have been tapped to match the rustication on the inner edge of the band. The stem was in excellent shape other than the previously noted oxidation. The chunky shank and stem gave the pipe substance.Pipelane6



Pipelane9 I took a close up photo of the rim to show the damage at the front right and rear of the inner edge of the rim. The burn is quite deep in both places.Pipelane10 The double stepped down tenon with the rounded end is unusual. I don’t recall seeing one cut like this before. Perhaps this is a clue to the origin of this pipe. Anyone else seen one like this before?Pipelane11 I scrubbed the briar with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime and then rinsed it under running water.Pipelane12 I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and used the second and third cutting head to take the uneven cake back to briar. I wanted the bowl clean so I could assess the damage to the inner rim edge and then address it.Pipelane13

Pipelane14 I worked on the inner edge of the rim cleaning up the burn marks and beveling the rest of the rim to match the angles of the burn marks. The darkening to the rim would not disappear but at least I could give it a cleaner and more elegant look. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to increase the angle of the bevel.Pipelane15 I sanded the bevel and the rim with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-4000 grit to remove the scratches and to polish the rim. It looked far better when I finished. You will see photos of the results at the end of the blog. I polished the sterling silver band with a jeweler’s cloth and removed the tarnish. Pipelane16 I cleaned out the mortise and airway into the bowl with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.Pipelane17 I sanded the surface of the stem to loosen the oxidation and remove the surface coat. I cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners and the steps on the tenon with alcohol and cotton swabs.Pipelane18

Pipelane19 I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratches and the remaining oxidation. I gave it a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit micromesh pads and gave it another coat of the oil. I finished sanding with the last group of pads – 6000-12000 grit. I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.Pipelane20


Pipelane22 I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I gave the bowl a coat of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a shoe brush. I finished by lightly buffing the bowl and stem with a clean buff to raise the shine and then finished with a microfibre cloth hand buff. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beauty. Once again if any of you are familiar with this Seattle Pipe Shop be sure to let us know. Thanks for looking.Pipelane23