Blog by Steve Laug
The third pipe I worked on from the pipe man in Eastern Canada who picked up that old lot at an auction is one that is stamped on the left side of shank with the name Sashar over London Made. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the shape number 901. The rim was worn and whoever cleaned the pipe before I got it removed a lot of the finish. The inner bevel of the rim had a burned area on the right front side. The outer edges of the bowl were worn. The stem was good quality vulcanite and had light oxidation and tome tooth marks on both sides of the stem near the button. The inside of the shank and the stem was very dirty with tars and oils. There was a stinger in the tenon that extended into the bottom of the bowl. There was a light cake in the bowl that would need to be cleaned up as well. I remembered that the Sashar line was made by Sasieni. I could not remember any other information on the brand. I did a Google search and found that there was a write up on rebornpipes – go figure. I looked and it was a blog that Al Jones wrote on a Sashar pipe that he worked on. Here is the link https://rebornpipes.com/2016/12/19/sasieni-sashar-restoration/.
I did some more searching and found a short writeup on Wesley’s – a pipe shop in South Africa about the pipe brand. It was under a heading there entitled SASIENI. I quote from that site the following: “Joel Sasieni started as an apprentice with Charatan, moved to Dunhill when it opened in 1910, and started his own company in London in 1918 making high grade pipes largely for the US market. They also manufactured pipes under the brand name Sashar (specifically for South Africa) for pipes a little down the line. The company was sold in 1979 and the pipes are now made by a completely different firm.” http://www.wesleys.co.za/refurb04.html
Now I had a bit of information on the brand. It was a Sasieni made pipe manufactured under the Sashar brand name for South Africa. Armed with that information I turned to working on the pipe. I took close up photos of the rim top and inner edge as well as the tooth marks on the stem. In the photo of the bowl you can see the damage on the inner edge of the bowl. The bowl was slightly out of round and there was a burn mark evident mid rim on the right side of the bowl. In order to clean out the airway in the stem I needed to remove the inner tube from the tenon. I heated it with a lighter until the oils and tars holding it in place warmed up. I wrapped the jaws on a pair of pliers and used it to turn the inner tube out of the tenon. With the tube removed I was able to clean out the airway without impediment.I used a folded piece of 180 grit sandpaper to rework a bevel on the inner edge of the bowl. Once I had the bevel cut I worked on it again with 220 grit sandpaper and 1500 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rolled a piece of 220 grit sandpaper into a tube and wrapped it around a dowel and then my finger to sand the inside of the bowl and clean up the remaining cake on the walls. I used a dark brown stain pen to restain the top of the rim and the inner and outer edge of the bowl. I spot coloured it with a black Sharpie pen and blended the two together to get the finish to match the rest of the bowl.I used a wet cloth and a butter knife to steam out the dents in the back side of the bowl. I heated the knife in the flame of the burners on my kitchen stove. When hot, I folded a wet towel against the dents in the briar and laid the hot knife on the wet cloth. It generated a fair amount of steam. I repeated the process until the dents were lifted. I used 99% isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to clean out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem. They were not too dirty so it took very few cleaners to clean it. Once the stem was clean I put the inner tube back in place in the tenon.I sanded the tooth chatter on the stem at the button with 220 grit sandpaper to remove it and the few tooth marks that were also present on both sides of the stem near the button.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the last set of pads I gave it a final coat of oil and let it sit and dry. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the briar and the vulcanite. I gave them both multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is ready to go back to its owner in Eastern Canada. Thanks for looking.