Daily Archives: May 22, 2017

Chacom Churchwarden Resurrected


Blog by Joshua Fairweather

I received an email from Joshua about one of the Gourd Calabashes and a grab bag of pipes for refurbishing that I was selling. We made a deal on the pipes. At the end of his email he included some photos of some of the pipes he had already refurbished. His work looked really good so I invited him to submit a write up of some of his work to rebornpipes. Here is the first of those pieces that he submitted. A warm welcome and a thank you Joshua for your contribution to the blog. – Steve

I came across this pipe at an antique mall in London, Ontario. I almost passed it by had it not been for the vendor who was cleaning his case, he was kind enough to say ‘hi’ and ask what I was looking for. He just so happened to have a few pipes hiding in a glass case in the back of his store.

As you can see from the picture the pipe is heavily oxidized with little to no chatter marks. The bowl has a thick cake and tar on the bowl rim. Overall the bowl was in great condition with a small white mark on the bottom of the bowl (I think it was glue). The wood grain of the bowl also had nice appeal.

The brand of the pipe was marked on the bowl – ‘Chacom coin osseu’.

Now, I want to walk you through how I cleaned and restored this pipe. Step 1
When a pipe has a heavy cake inside the bowl, I like to put it through a salt and alcohol treatment. This method does a great job at cleaning the pipe, softening the hardened cake making it easier to remove from the bowl. It also, freshens up the bowl and gets ride of any ghosting left from prior tobaccos smoked.

I fill the bowl to the brim with larger grained salt. Using the syringe, I add the alcohol to the salt, topping it up to the bowl brim. I usually leave this treatment in the bowl overnight.Step 2
I prefer to use my old trusty friend (pocket knife) to clean the cake from the bowl. It has a more rounded tip and I find it a perfect tool to clean out most pipes without damaging the bowl.Step 3
With the same alcohol I use cotton pads to remove the finish off the pipe. Alcohol also does a great job at removing tar from the bowl rim. If the tar is heavy then a light sanding works better.Step 4
I don’t know what it is about sanding that brings so much satisfaction; I think it is the results you get on the pipe finish; it looks like glass. I use these foam padded Micro-Mesh pads to bring out the best finish on the briar wood. Step 5
Two of my favourite household products that do a fantastic job at cleaning pipe stems are OxiClean and Vim. Soak the stem in an OxiClean bath for about an hour maybe two hours. It will depend on how oxidized the pipe stem is, a heavy oxidized stem, leave in the solution for longer. This stem needed a longer soak.

After the bath I use Vim and a dry clean rag to wipe clean. Vim has a corrosive component that acts like a sand paper to buff the pipe stem back to a clean black colour again.

I will say, if the pipe stem is heavily oxidized it will take more than just Vim to bring out that black finish. I refer back to the Micro-Mesh foam sanding pads, which also do an amazing job at bringing out that preferred finish. I use alcohol and pipe cleaners to remove left behind tar inside the pipe stem. I repeat this process until the pipe cleaners come out clean.Step 6
To bring out the beauty of the natural grains of the wood, I use a variety of products and natural substances to do this. For this pipe I used an extra virgin olive oil.

With the combination of the sanded finish, adding the olive oil turns the pipe a darker colour. Well you can see the finished results for yourself!Conclusion:
Overall, I am pleased with the results. This pipe I will probably put into my private collection, as I do not have a churchwarden styled pipe as of yet.

Hope you have enjoyed my process.

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The Easiest Restoration in the Recent Estate Lot – A Savinelli Oscar 701 Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

This little Savinelli Lovat is by far the easiest pipe I have cleaned up from the recent estate lot pipes that my brother purchased. It is a beautifully rusticated Lovat with an almost sandblast finish over the rustication. It is a oxblood stained pipe with a vulcanite stem. I wonder if it was not the last pipe that the pipeman purchased before his demise. The bowl had a light cake in it and the rim already had some overflow of lava on the top but the bowl had not been smoked to the bottom. The bottom of the bowl was raw briar. It had very few tooth marks and chatter. The stem was lightly oxidized and the finish was in great shape. It is stamped on the smooth portion on the underside of the shank with the words Oscar over Aged Briar on the heel of the bowl. Next to that it was stamped with the Savinelli S in a shield next to the shape number 701 over Italy. My brother took the following photos of the pipe when he brought it home from the sale.

I looked the shape up on the Savinelli Shape Chart and found it there in the right hand column. It is the second pipe circled in red below.

Jeff also took a photo of the rim top and the cake in the bowl. There is a light cake in the bowl and a lava overflow on the top of the rim and the bevel. It was not too thick so it would easily come off the surface. He took two photos of the underside of the shank. The first shows the 701 shape number and the second shows the remainder of the stamping. The contrast stain on the rustication pattern looks very good.The next two photos show the side and bottom of the bowl. The random pattern of the rustication almost looks like a sandblast pattern.On the left side of the saddle portion of the stem there is the characteristic Savinelli Oscar shooting star stamp. It is in excellent condition.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. The tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem near the button are not too deep in the surface of the vulcanite. They should be relatively easy to remove.

Jeff thoroughly cleaned out the internals of the pipe, reaming it with a PipNet reamer and removing all of the cake. He scrubbed the externals with Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to remove all of the lava on the top of the rim. He rinsed the bowl in water to remove the debris of the cleaning. The stem soaked in Oxyclean to lift the light oxidation that was present. It came to the surface and would be easily remedied. The next four photos show the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver. It really was a delicate looking Lovat that showed real promise.

I had to have a picture of the cleaned up rim top. It was amazing how he had been able to get all of the lava off on the top and the bevel as well.The next two photos show the oxidation that I would have to deal with to get the stem back to its polished black glory.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation and remove the tooth chatter and marks.I ran a pipe cleaner with alcohol through the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem. It was very clean so nothing more needed to be done. The mortise was very clean.I hand buffed the bowl with a shoe brush to raise a shine. The next photos show the buffed bowl. It is really a nice looking pipe. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and then rubbing it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded with 3200-4000 grit pads, gave it another coat of oil then buffed it with red Tripoli. I brought it back to the work table and finished polishing with 6000-12000 grit micromesh pads. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I buffed the bowl lightly with Blue Diamond to raise a shine. When buffing a rusticated bowl with Blue Diamond a soft touch is imperative or you will fill in the divots of the rustication with the polishing compound. I buffed the stem with the Blue Diamond as well, being careful around the shooting star logo so as not to damage it. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and hand waxed the bowl with Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and by hand with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outer diameter: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It will soon be available on the rebornpipes store. If you wish to add it to your collection you can email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a private message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.