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

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