Blog by Steve Laug
Yesterday was a great day. I finished working on three pipes, started a fourth and returned a group of four repairs to the pipeman who dropped them off for me to repair and refurbish for him. He loved the work and dropped off eight more pipes in various states from very nice and need a refresh to tired and worn. He also wanted to know if I would do a trade with him for part of the cost of labour. He had a pipe he no longer wanted in his collection so he was wondering. He took it out of his pipe bag and showed it to me. It was a Savinelli Bing’s Favorite in a sandblast finish with a vulcanite stem sporting a brass dot on the top. It was in great condition other than a little wear and oxidation on the stem. There was some light tooth chatter on both the top and underside of the stem near the button. It was drilled to take Savinelli Balsa filters or 6mm filters. I looked it over and we made a deal. I think that we were both pleased with the results. Here is what the pipe looked like when I received it. The combination of medium and dark brown stains on the bowl added a great contrast in the high and lows of the sandblast. The bowl was quite clean with very little cake. The aroma of good English tobacco lingered around the pipe and bowl. The rim top was very clean and the outer and inner edges of the bowl were in excellent condition. The stem had tooth chatter and tooth marks on both the top and underside near the button but none of them were too deep. I took close up photos of the bowl and stem to show the condition before I started the cleanup.I took a close up photo of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. It reads: BINGS FAVORITE followed by Savinelli Product and Italy. The stamping is clear and readable.I removed the stem to have a look at the 6mm filter tenon. It was pretty clean on the outside.I cleaned out the airway in the stem and shank and the mortise area with pipe cleaners – both regular and bristle as well as cotton swabs and alcohol. I cleaned out the wide open tenon with cotton swabs and alcohol as well. It was pretty clean so it did not take too long to clean those areas.I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm deep into the crevices and valleys of the sandblast, working it in with my fingertips. I buffed the bowl with a shoe brush to further work it into the finish. I buffed the bowl with a soft cloth to raise a shine. The photos below show the results at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and marks with 220 grit sandpaper blending the areas into the surround vulcanite stem. I sanded both the top and underside of the button as well to remove the light chatter on those areas as well.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I rubbed it down with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the scratches. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I have a few of the Savinelli Balsa filters around so I put on it the stem. It is a three sided stick of Balsa wood that absorbs tars and liquids on three sides. The fit is perfect. The tenon can also fit 6mm filters.I put the stem on the pipe and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I used a light touch on buffing the bowl so that the polish would not get into the sandblast. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the bowl and stem with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the bowl and stem with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The contrasting brown stains look very good with the dark of the polished vulcanite stem. The brass dot stands out in stark contrast with the black. It is a beautiful pipe and in excellent condition. The measurements are – Length: 6 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside Diameter of Bowl: 1 ¼, Chamber Diameter: ¾ inch. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you would like to add it to your collection send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a message on Facebook. Thanks for reading through this restoration process. It was a fun one to work on.