Daily Archives: July 14, 2016

Refreshing a Servi Bent Basket Weave Meerschaum


Blog by Steve Laug

When I got this pipe from my brother, Jeff it was in a case and I did not take time to look at it. Last evening, I was on FaceTime with my brother and he said to have a look at it. So I went to the box, took it out and opened the case. What was inside was a well-cared for basket weave meerschaum with a mixed amber coloured Lucite stem. The tenon was a nylon/Delrin tenon connecting the stem to the shank. The stem was very clean with no tooth chatter or marks. It was dull but would not take much to polish. The connector was also very clean. The exterior of the bowl was beginning to colour but most of the colour was on the shank. The rim had some tar on the topside of the rim at the back. The inner and outer edge of the bowl was in great shape. There was a light cake in the bowl that would need to be removed. The case was in excellent shape. The covering on the outside was a black leatherette with gold hinges and clasp. The lining was gold faux fur with a Servi Block Meerschaum sticker inside the top of the case.Servi1 Servi2I took some photos of the pipe when I took it out of the case to show what I was going to work on in terms of refreshing the pipe.Servi3 Servi4 Servi5I took a close-up photo of the rim and the bowl. You can see the slight buildup of tars on the top back side of the rim and the light cake in the bowl.Servi6The stem was in great shape so I took some photos of it. It is a rare thing these days to find any stems without tooth marks of chatter of some kind. This one had no marks.Servi7I used a 2400 grit micromesh sanding pad to work over the tars on the top of the rim. It did not take too much effort to remove the dark spot and bring the bowl back to fresh look. I used the Savinelli Pipe Knife to scrape out the thin cake in the bowl until it was no longer an issue. I scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.Servi8I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh pads and wiped it down with a damp cotton pad. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down between each grit of micromesh and again when I was finished.Servi9 Servi10 Servi11I hand buffed the bowl with a shoe brush and gave the stem a buff with Blue Diamond. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I buffed the bowl with a clean buff as well. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful example of a well carved meerschaum and it is in excellent shape. The colouration of the bowl has begun and the shank is showing a rich golden colour. It is ready for the next pipeman to carry on the process of smoking this beauty to enrich the colour on the bowl and shank. If you are interested in adding this one to your rack let me know. It is available.Servi12 Servi13 Servi14 Servi15 Servi16 Servi17 Servi18 Servi19 Servi20 Servi21

Just finished cleaning up a Savinelli Antique Shell Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

Throughout the past 15 years or more I have cleaned up a lot of Savinelli pipes. I have cleaned a large variety of shapes and sizes but I have never seen one that is a Lovat shape, the 703 KS. I have worked on quite a few of the Antique Shells in the past but still not one of these. I have restemmed and restored any number of fascinating Shells but never a Lovat. This little pipe grabbed my attention when I opened my box of pipes to be refurbished. It is one that my brother picked up either on eBay or in an antique shop somewhere on his journeys. When I started working on this one it was in decent shape. The bowl had a light cake. The rim was really dirty with an overflow of tars and oils. The finish was dirty but there was no damage to the exterior of the pipe. The dark brown and medium brown contrasting stains looked like they would clean up really well. The stem was oxidized and had what looked like the debris left behind when a pipe has been smoked with a rubber softee bit.Shell1 Shell2I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the buildup of tars and oils. They were thick on the rim filling in all of the crevices and grooves in the finish. It was raised and thickened along the back inner edge of the bowl. I also tried to get a couple of photos of the condition of the stem to show the oxidation and the white calcification line where the softee bit must have been. There were not any tooth marks or chatter on either side of the stem.Shell3 Shell4I reamed the bowl with the Savinelli Pipe Knife and took the thin cake back to the walls.Shell5The rim was a mess so I used a brass bristle wire brush and a dental pick to clean up the rim top. It took some work to get all of it off the rim. The picture below shows the process about half finished. I used the dental pick out the debris from the top. I then wire brushed it some more and between the two was able to remove all of the grime.Shell6I scraped the bowl edge one more time with the pipe knife and then used a rolled piece of sandpaper to sand out the inside of the bowl.Shell7I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush.Shell8I used the dental spatula to clean out the inside of the shank and followed it up with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol.Shell9I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and the calcification on the stem. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 grit pads and gave it another coat of oil. I finished sanding with 6000-12000 grit pads, gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.Shell10 Shell11 Shell12I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the wheel and then gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I gave the bowl several more coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed the bowl and stem with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to give it a deeper shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This one will soon be for sale in the store. If you are interested contact me, and this could be yours. Thanks for looking.Shell13 Shell14 Shell15 Shell16 Shell17 Shell18 Shell19 Shell20