Daily Archives: August 16, 2016

A Stanwell Golden Contrast 142

Blog by Steve Laug

I have always been intrigued by the Stanwell Golden Contrast finish regardless of the pipes it has been applied to. The contrast of dark and light playing across the grain is beautiful. To me the lines and the elegance of the pipe are stunning and the contrast stain makes the lay of pipe with the grain gorgeous. The stain highlights the birdseye and the flame grain and makes them pop from the surface of the bowl and shank. The slight flare of the saddle on the stem to the pinch of the blade behind the saddle all pointed to a hand that I had seen before. I did a little digging because I wanted to confirm my guess/my suspicions about the designer. What I found out confirmed the direction I was thinking. It turns out that shape number 142 was originally designed for Stanwell by Jess Chonowitsch. For a list of various Stanwell Shape numbers and who they are attributed to you can read this list compiled by leading Stanwell Collector Bas Stevens on rebornpipes at:  https://rebornpipes.com/2013/09/03/stanwell-shapes-compiled-by-bas-stevens/

This particular pipe was another of the interesting pipes in the recent shipment of estate pipes my brother Jeff picked up. He is getting pretty good at grabbing some great pipes. This Golden Contrast was in pretty decent shape. The finish was dirty but in great shape. The rim showed some darkening and a build-up of tars and oils. There was a light cake in the bowl and the internals were dirty. The stem had some calcification on the top and bottom inch of the stem from the button forward. There was some tooth chatter as well but no deep tooth marks. The stem was oxidized. The brass crown S on the left side of the saddle appeared to be lightly oxidized as well but would take little to make it shine. The various photos that follow are ones that my brother took before he cleaned the pipe. They show the amazing grain on this beauty.Gold1 Gold2 Gold3The next two photos of the rim and the underside of the bowl and shank. The birdseye on the rim and the bottom of the shank is quite stunning to me. The third photo below shows the grain on the side of the bowl and the flame grain. The contrast stain makes the grain stand out.Gold4 Gold5 Gold6The next photos show the various stamping on the shank sides and bottom. The left side of the shank reads Stanwell over Golden Contrast in script. The right side of the shank is stamped with the shape number 142. The underside of the shank is stamped Made in Denmark. All the stamping is sharp and clear.Gold7 Gold8Gold9My brother did the major clean and ream of the pipe. When I received it the pipe was very clean. I ran pipe cleaners through but they came out clean. I took these photos of the pipe when it arrived. The stem was lightly oxidized from the earlier clean up.Gold10 Gold11Jeff had done a great job on the rim top. He was able to remove most of the tars and oils. There was still some darkening on the back edge of the rim.Gold12I took some photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the striping of the oxidation on the vulcanite. The stem was actually clean – no tooth marks or chatter at this point in the process.Gold13The airway in the stem was drilled off centre in the tenon. The photo below shows the location of the airway in the end of the tenon. The alignment of the airway in the stem with the airway in the tenon was off. The mortise airway was centered in the end where it entered the bowl. The one in the tenon was off.Gold14I lightly scraped the bowl with a Savinelli Pipe Knife to clean out a small ridge of cake just above the top of the airway.Gold15I used a sharp knife to bevel the airway in the tenon until the funnel was round and the alignment against the end of the mortise was better. With the funneled airway I was able to get good airflow through the stem with no constriction in the union between the two airways.Gold16I scrubbed the back side of the rim with saliva and a cotton pad and was able to remove more of the rim darkening and reveal the grain pattern underneath. I sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish the rim top.Gold17I worked on the oxidation on the stem by wet sanding the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with oil between each set of three pads and after the final sanding with the 12000 grit pad. I set the stem aside to dry.Gold18 Gold19 GOld20I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine on the bowl and the stem. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. This is a beautiful piece of briar that the carver aligned flow of the pipe with the direction of the grain. The polishing shows the contrast between the dark and light of the grain. The elegance of the shape and the flow of the grain work well together and the golden contrast stain work together to make a great looking pipe. Thanks for looking.Gold21 Gold22 Gold23 Gold24 Gold25 Gold26 Gold27 Gold28

Giving a much needed face lift to a Danske Club 157 Scoop

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother has been picking up a lot of great looking pipes on his constant and intentionally pipe hunts. He has been feeding me many to work on and restore. We were talking on FaceTime and he showed me this pipe. It was a beauty. The bowl had a shiny shellac coat and the Lucite shank extension and brass end plate looked good. The finish had some light dents and scratches. The grain was obscured by the finish. Looking closely there was some nice grain under the top coat that would be good to release. The bowl had been lightly smoked, the bowl had no cake and the briar was only darkened from smoking. The DC stamp on the stem was visible but the gold was worn out of the indentations. The Lucite stem was lightly scratched but was still shiny. The scratches looked like the type that comes from a pipe sitting around and not getting used to much. There was no tooth chatter or tooth marks on the stem. When I removed it I found that it was made for a 9mm filter. I have some here so I will put a new one in the tenon.Dan1 Dan2The underside of the stem was stamped horizontally on the underside of the shank with the script Danske Club. Underneath that it read Made in Denmark. Above the Dansk Club stamping was the shape number 157. Dan3My brother took a close up photo of the crowned rim. You can see from the picture that it was in very good shape. There were some scratches on the surface. There was some nice grain poking through the shiny cover coat.Dan4He also took a close up photo of the stem. The stamping is faded by still legible – interlocking letters D and C. In the photo the stem sits at an angle and is not tight against the shank. I wondered if it was an alignment issue or if it was truly an issue.Dan5My brother scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. Amazingly it removed the topcoat and the stain. It left a spotty bare briar behind with small specks of the stain and topcoat left all over the bowl. I took some photos of the pipe when I brought it to the work table. You can see what I saw in the next four photos.Dan6 Dan7I took a close up photo of the stamping on the underside to show where the topcoat and stain was in the stamping and all around it.Dan8I scrubbed the bowl with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the remnants of the finish and the oils that were still in the bowl.Dan9 Dan10There was a spot on the right side of the bowl where a fill had broken up and left a hole. I picked it out with a dental pick. I replaced the fill with briar dust and super glue. I sprayed it with an accelerator and took the following photo.Dan11I sanded the repair until it was flush with the surface of the briar. I sanded the entire bowl with a medium and fine grit sanding block to smooth out the finish. I rubbed the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil. Once oil dried a bit I sanded it with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads and wiped down the bowl when I finished. The pictures below show the pipe at this point.Dan12 Dan13I sanded the bowl with another round of the micromesh sanding pads using 1500-12000 grit pads before I prepared it to stain.Dan14I stained the bowl with Danish Oil with cherry stain. I set it aside to dry for a bit. Once it had dried I would rub it down with a soft cloth.Dan15 Dan16I applied some Rub N’ Buff to the logo on the stem and rubbed it down with a cotton pad to remove the excess. It filled in the stamping and gave it a renewed look.Dan18I polished the stem with 3200-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. Between each set of three pads I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth.Dan19 Dan20I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I was careful buffing around the stamping on the shank and the stem but the shine that began to come through was worth the effort. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I finished with my usual hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Like many of the pipes I have been working on this one is available if you would like to add it to your rack. Send me an email or a message and we can talk about it. Thanks for looking.Dan21 Dan22 Dan23 Dan24 Dan25 Dan26 Dan27 Dan28