Blog by Steve Laug
When my brother sent me a picture of this Bari Squash there was something about it that reminded me of the teardrop shape that Julius Vesz, a Canadian pipemaker, carved. It was more egg-shaped however but the similarity caught my attention. He was able to pick it up on Ebay for a decent price and it only remained for me to get it in hand and work on it. Once I got the pipe to the work table I could see that it really was in decent shape. The pipe fit nicely in the hand and is 4 3/4 inches long, the bowl is 1.875 inches tall, inside diameter of bowl is 3/4 inches. The stamping on the smooth portion on the bottom is unevenly stamped and reads: Bari over Squash. Next to that is reads Made in Denmark with the shape number 7811 at the end. I know next to nothing about the Bari brand so I looked it up on Pipedia. Here is the link: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bari. I summarized the material that I found there as it gives a clear picture of the brand. I found several pipes in my latest hunt by Viggo Nielsen so this was very interesting information.
Pipedia states that Bari Piber was founded by Viggo Nielsen in Kolding, Denmark around the turn of 1950/51. His sons Kai and Jørgen both grew into their father’s business from a very young age and worked there till 1975. Both have become successful pipe makers. Bari successfully adapted the new Danish design that had been started mainly by Stanwell for its own models. Bari was sold in 1978 to Van Eicken Tobaccos in Hamburg, Germany though the pipes were still made in Denmark. From 1978 to 1993 Åge Bogelund and Helmer Thomsen headed Bari’s pipe production. Helmer Thomson bought the company in 1993 re-naming it to “Bari Piber Helmer Thomsen”. The workshop moved to more convenient buildings in Vejen. Bogelund, who created very respectable freehands of his own during the time at Bari got lost somehow after 1993. Bari’s basic conception fundamentally stayed the same for decades: series pipes pre-worked by machines and carefully finished by hand – thus no spectacular highgrades but solid, reliable every day’s companions were what they turned out. The most famous series are the smooth “Classic Diamond” and the blasted “Wiking”.
The finish on the Bari Squash that I was working on was dirty and tired looking but the blast was really nice. The rim was clean and both the inner and outer edges were in great shape. I had reamed the pipe back to bare briar while I was traveling. It looked to be in excellent shape. There was some wear on the front outer edge of the rim that would need a touch up of stain. The stem was oxidized and scratched. The top of the button had a tooth mark that indented it mid button along the sharp edge but not on the outer curve. The stamping on the left side of the stem read BARI and was light and uneven. After reading about the factory I wonder what era of the Bari life span this pipe came from. Once I got home to the workshop I cleaned up the “field” reaming with a Savinelli Pipe Knife to smooth out the walls of the bowl.I cleaned out the shank and airway in the bowl and the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. The darkening on the cotton was a combination of tobacco juices and brown stain. It looked as if the inside of the shank had some stain. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and then rinsed it off and dried it. I gave it several coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush.I gave the bowl a light buff on the wheel with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. With the bowl finished it was time to work on the stem. There was a bite mark on the top of the button that needed to be addressed. I used some black super glue to fill in the divot on the top and smooth out the damage.Once the glue dried I sanded and shaped the button with needle files and sandpaper. The photos below show the shape developing from the repair to the finished look. Much polishing still needed to happen but it was shaped and ready. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I gave it coat of Obsidian Oil and then dry sanded the stem with 3200-4000 grit pads. I gave it another coat of oil and then buffed it with Blue Diamond on the wheel. I took it back to the table and sanded it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I set it aside to dry. I buffed the pipe stem with Blue Diamond and then with multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth and took the final photos below. I love the shape of this little pipe and the feel of it in hand. It came out beautifully in my opinion. Thanks for looking.