Blog by Steve Laug
This Loewe’s Bent Acorn is yet another pipe from a local pipe shop. It came from the estate of an older gentleman whose wife returned his pipes to the shop for restoration and resale. This one is a sandblast finished Loewe Danish Shaped Cutlass. The rim top is smooth briar and the bowl and shank are all sandblast. It is stamped on a smooth band on the underside of the shank Loewe Cutlass with the shape number next to the shank/stem junction it has the shape number 21. On the left side of the saddle stem is the Loewe’s brass box L logo. The pipe was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some lava overflowing on to the rim top. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looked like because of the lava and cake. The stem was lightly oxidized and had come calcification where a pipe Softee bit had been. There was some tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button. This was included in the pipes that I sent off to my brother for cleaning. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate his willingness to clean and ream the pipes for me. It allows me to move through the repairs much more quickly. When he received the pipe he took a series of photos of it to show its condition. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava on the rim top.He took photos of the sides and bottom of the bowl to give a clear picture of the beauty of the sandblast finish on this old pipe. Under the grime there is some great grain peeking through.Jeff took a photo of the stamping to capture the clarity of it even under the grime. He also included a photo of the L square logo on the stem and the FRANCE stamping on the underside. The stem looked dirty and oxidized with the calcification left behind by a pipe Softee bit. The edges of the button had bite marks and there was some tooth damage to the surface of the stem next to the button on both sides.I have worked on quite a few Loewe pipes over the years but have never worked on one with this shape. Most of the others have been classic English shaped pipes. I have always enjoyed the shapes and the craftsmanship on each of them. It is well made and well-shaped. I turned to my usual sources to check out the particular “Cutlass” line pipe. First I turned to the pipephil site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l5.html). I have included a screen capture from that site that highlights the line I am working on. In fact the pipe given as an example is similar to the one I am working on. I have enclosed the pipe in the photo below in a red box.I turned next to Pipedia to read some more detail of the history and see if there was more detailed information on the Cutlass line (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Loewe_%26_Co). There was no more detail or help in dating the pipe I was working on.
Jeff cleaned up the pipe for me. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime in the sandblast finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the smooth rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it came back to Vancouver it a cleaner and better looking pipe. I took photos of it before I started the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean up the grime and darkening on the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl looked pretty good. The stem had light tooth chatter and some deeper tooth marks on both sides near the button. I was able to get a very clear picture of the stamping on the shank and the L square logo on the saddle stem.I polished the rim top and the smooth portions of the bowl and shank with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The photos tell the story. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the sandblast finish on the bowl and shank and the smooth portion on the rim and underside of the shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it in with my fingers to get it into the sandblast finish. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a horsehair shoe brush to polish it. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I repaired the tooth marks with clear super glue. I set the stem aside to let the repairs cure. Once the glue cured I cleaned up the edge of the button and the repaired areas with folded pieces of 220 and 400 grit sandpaper until the repairs were blended into surface of the stem. 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 after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the pipe and worked it over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I lightly buffed the sandblast bowl. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. There is something about the pipe that reminds me of a Stanwell shape and finish. The shape is very Danish and the restoration has brought it back to life. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 1/4 inches, Height: 2 1/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes online store shortly, if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this interesting and unique sandblast Loewe Cutlass 21.