Daily Archives: October 9, 2016

Cleaning up an Erik Nording Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

This is yet another interesting pipe from the latest box of pipes that my brother Jeff sent to me. It is a hand carved Erik Nording Freehand. It has a hand rusticated rough finish on the shank and the bowl. In looking at Erik’s website I am pretty sure that the pipe is from the Vahalla series as it has the same rustication. The difference is in the small bit of plateau left behind on the rim and the shank.The rim has some plateau with smooth areas around the edges and top of the bowl. The shank end was also smooth with a tiny spot of plateau there as well. There is a contrast stain on the bowl and shank with dark reddish undertones and a light/medium brown top stain. The stem is turned with a ring and ball after it insert into the shank. There is a cursive N on the stem that is the Nording stamp. erik1 erik2The stamping on the underside of the shank is readable but double stamped on the smooth portion of the flared shank. It reads Handmade by Erik Nording.erik3The rim is quite dirty with tars and oils built up in the plateau. It is heavily clogged with tars and oils and there are some burn marks on the inner edge of the rim top. The inner edge was originally smooth tapering into the bowl and rising to a ring of plateau on the top. The outer edge also flows from the plateau toward the bowl edge and is shaped like a cap. The underside of the bowl and shank shows the rustication pattern. The finish is in very good shape.erik4My brother cleaned the bowl and the internals of the pipe. He scrubbed the finish with Murphy’s Oil Soap and reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. He cleaned out the shank and airways with alcohol and pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took the next photos when the pipe arrived at my work table.erik5 erik6I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the caking and damage that had filled in the grooves in the plateau and darkened the inner edge of the bowl.erik7I took photos of the stem to show the tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem near the button. The stem was otherwise quite clean.erik8I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper until they were gone. With the surface of the stem smooth it was ready to polish with the micromesh sanding pads.erik9I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after sanding it with each pad.erik10 erik11 erik12I did a quick clean on the mortise, airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It was pretty clean.erik13The bowl top was actually quite a mess. I used a brass bristle wire brush to clean out the grooves. As I cleaned it I noticed that the inner edge of the rim was originally smooth. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damaged areas and smooth it out. I worked to blend it into the plateau areas.erik14I polished the rim edge with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wanted to get the inner edge of the rim smooth and clean. I bleached it using a cotton swab and bleach to remove some of the darkening. I sanded it until it was smooth and polished and looked like it must have when the pipe was new.erik15 erik16 erik17I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to polish it. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This one will certainly be on the store soon. If you are interested in purchasing it ahead of time send me an email at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook or here. Thanks for looking.erik18 erik19 erik20 erik21 erik22 erik23 erik24 erik25

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Rejuvenating a GBD Colossus Fantasy 9552 Bell Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

When I first took this one out of the box I figured it was an Italian made pipe. Something about the look led me to think that way. But I was way off. My brother had told me he was sending along a pipe that might surprise me. This was it. The bent Bell Dublin look did not give me a clue to the stamping that was on the pipe. Here is how it is stamped. Surprised? Maybe not but I sure was. The stamping is really clear (lighter in some spots than others). It reads Colossus over the GBD oval over Fantasy. Next to that it is stamped London, England and the shape number 9552. I had no idea that the pipe was a GBD, a Colossus or a Fantasy. But it is.colossus1Here are some of the photos that my brother sent me to give me a hint. Once I had seen the stamping the combination of smooth panels and sandblast finish fit well. The brown swirled Lucite stem also fit into the GBD Fantasy look. Okay so I should have known it was a GBD but I did not.colossus2 colossus3 colossus4 colossus5 colossus6 colossus7My brother scrubbed the grime off the pipe. When it arrived it was very clean and the rich brown stain was dull and light. The black understain in the pits and crevices still showed through. It would not take too much to bring it back. The bowl and rim were clean and the shank and the inside of the stem were also clean.colossus8 colossus9I took a close up photo of the rim. You can see a little more grime and tar deep in the grooves in the crevices of the rim particularly toward the back of the rim. I used a brass bristle tire brush to clean up the rim. I scrubbed it back and forth until the sandblast was clean.colossus11I took photos of the tooth marks and the tooth chatter on the top and the underside of the stem near the button. None of the marks were deep but they were very present.colossus12I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline based stain that I mixed 50/50 with isopropyl alcohol. I flamed the stain and repeated the process until the briar was equally covered.colossus13I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper.colossus14I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads and wiped it down once again to remove the sanding dust.colossus15 colossus16 colossus17I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax (micro-crystalline wax) and buffed it once it had dried with a shoe brush to raise the shine.colossus18 colossus19I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the pipe a light coat of carnauba wax (a very light touch on the bowl). I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The finish is quite nice with the contrast between the medium looking brown stain and the black undercoat. The contrast between the stains on the bowl and the striations of brown on the Lucite stem is amazing and the pipe looks new. Thanks for looking.colossus20 colossus21 colossus22 colossus23 colossus24 colossus25 colossus26 colossus27 colossus28

Just a few simple touches brought this Giorgio Orsini Bulldog to the top


Blog by Steve Laug

When I opened the last box that my brother Jeff sent and saw this Orsini Bulldog I was drawn to the shape, rusticated finish, smooth rim and shank end and the band of briar across the stem. There was something pleasing looking about this pipe that made me think it was going to be a keeper. He sent me the following photos by the eBay seller before the pipe arrived so I had some idea of what was coming but I have learned not to trust the photos of sellers. They tend to show things in their best light. orsini1The seller described the pipe as follows: The Pipe has a nice sand grain. Mouthpiece has very small bite marks and usable with 9mm Filter. Pipe is smoked and not cleaned, but in a good estate condition. The dimensions are: length: 5.5 in/14.1cm, height: 1.7in/4.4cm, width: 2in/5cm and chamber width: .75in/2cm. The only real negative to my mind was the 9mm filter in the shank but even that could be dealt with. Overall the pipe looked to be in pretty decent shape and even the filter was new.orsini2 orsini3My brother did a cursory cleaning on this one as it came in refurbished condition. The stem looked good as did the interior of the pipe. The next set of photos set on the colourful cloth are ones my brother took after cleaning the pipe.orsini4 orsini5He took some close up photos so that I could see what the rim and the stamping looked like on this pipe. The rim had some scratches and it looked to me like someone had stripped the varnish coat and some stain off of it. There were some shiny spots that remained.orsini6He took a photo of the smooth underside of the shank that clearly showed the sharp stamp on the underside of the shank. It has the signature of the maker, Giorgio Orsini as well as the stamping E 06.orsini7He took a close up photo of the look of the rustication and the logo on the stem. The stem logo was a G and O superimposed and highly stylized. The second photo below shows what looked like a flaw in the shank.orsini8I looked up the brand on my usual sources, Pipephil and Pipedia and found that Giorgio Orsini is from the Livorno region of Italy. His pipes were principally sold by Dan Pipe. All of them had acrylic stems. I took the following photos before I started working on the pipe.orsini9 orsini10The next close up photo of the rim shows the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I was a bit surprised as it did not show up clearly in earlier photos. You can see the uneven bevel to the rim particularly between the 6 and 8 o’clock position in the photo below.orsini11The stem showed scratches and light tooth marks as the seller had noted in his advertisement. These would be easy to deal with.orsini12I lightly sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and then with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads.orsini13I polished the stem with Before & After Pipe Polish using both the fine and extra fine paste. I am still experimenting with this product but so far I really like how it brings a shine and removes even scratches left behind by micromesh sanding pads.orsini14I repaired the flaw in the shank end and right side with a drop of clear super glue. I sanded it smooth once it dried and the flaw all but disappeared.orsini15I sanded repaired area lightly and the rim lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and also with 400-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to smooth out the surface. I stained it with a dark brown stain pen. In retrospect I should have done that after addressing the poorly done bevel on the rim. But live and learn.orsini16I polished the rim with a bit of Conservator’s wax to smooth out the stain. I reworked the bevel on the inside edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I slowly reshaped the beveled edge to remove the unevenness of the previous bevel. I was able to remove it and give it a cleaner more original look. I polished the rim top with 4000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads.orsini17I buffed the rim with Blue Diamond polish and gave it and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax and lightly buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth for a finished look. The completed pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a stunning looking pipe and one that feels great in the hand. I am pretty sure that this one will stay with me. Thanks for looking.orsini18 orsini19 orsini20 orsini21 orsini22 orsini23 orsini24 orsini25