Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table is a Savinelli Capri Bulldog. This Capri Bulldog has a Sea Rock finish on the bowl and shank. There are twin rings separating the cap from the bowl. The diamond shank flows well into diamond saddle. I really like this style of rustication and the tactile nature of the pipe in your hand. It only gets better as the briar is heated during a smoke. The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the left underside of the shank and reads Capri over Root Briar over the shape number 510. Next that is stamped Savinelli Italy. The rim top is rusticated and it is filled in with a lava overflow. It was hard to know what the inner edge looked like due to the cake and lava. There was a thick cake in the bowl. The pipe was dirty and dusty in all of the nooks and crannies of the rustication. The saddle stem was vulcanite and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. It was oxidized and had some calcification on the end. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his clean up. Jeff took some close-up photos of the rim top and bowl from various angles to show the overall condition. There is thick coat of lava in f the grooves and almost flattening the rustication. You can also see the cake in the bowl. It was a well loved pipe and smoked a lot by the previous pipe man. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish on the pipe. The photos show the beautiful sea rock style rustication around the bowl. Under the dust and grime it was a nice looking bowl. I think it will be a beautiful bulldog pipe once it is restored. He took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the shank. On the shank it was stamped Capri over Root Briar over the shape number 510. Running perpendicular to that it was stamped Savinelli over Italy.The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. It is dirty and has calcification on both sides at the button. There is also some tooth chatter and some light tooth marks with some damage to the button edge. The third photo shows the flow of the stem and shank. You can also see a remnant of the Savinelli S Shield logo on the stem.I have always like the Savinelli Capri Root Briar finish so I was glad to be working on this one. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. The stem was scrubbed with Soft Scrub and soaked in Before & After Deoxidizer. It came out looking very good. The finish on the bowl and the rim top cleaned up beyond my expectations. I took pictures of the pipe to show how it looked when I unpacked it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show how clean it was. Jeff had been able to remove the entire thick lava coat and the rim looked very good. The inner edge of the rim and the ridges and valleys of the plateau looked good. The stem looked good just some light tooth chatter and several deeper tooth marks on the button.Even the stamping cleaned up well and is still very clear and readable. Because the pipe was rusticated and so clean my work was pretty minimal. I cleaned up some of the darkening and smoothed out the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the smooth briar with my fingertips and the plateau and sandblasted side with a horsehair shoe brush. The product is a great addition to the restoration work. It enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I appreciate Mark Hoover’s work in developing this product. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to addressing the issues with the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a Bic lighter to try and raise them a bit. Remember vulcanite has “memory” and if the marks are not sharp edge the heat well raise them. In this case while they came up some on the blade there were still two deep marks. I filled in the remaining tooth marks on the button edge with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to dry.I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to further blend in the repairs. I started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste (similar in grit to red Tripoli) that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem surface. I am on the homestretch with this Savinelli Made Capri Root Briar Bulldog 510! As always I am excited to finish a pipe that I am working on. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a gentle touch to keep the polish from building up in the rustication of the bowl. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like along with the polished vulcanite stem. This Capri Bulldog is a nice looking pipe. It is quite comfortable in hand and should be so when smoking. It is quite light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It is another beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. You can find it in the section of Pipes by Italian Pipe Makers. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.