Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on my table is another Savinelli Product pipe. It is stamped on the underside of the shank with the Savinelli “S” Shield and Italy. It is a dirty pipe but has some great grain that the carver built the shape around. It has a natural finish that is in good shape under the dirt and even the rim top looks good. The inner edge of the rim is darkened but the bowl is in good shape. There was no burn damage to the inner edge. There is a medium cake in the bowl but no lava coat on the rim top. The variegated silver/grey acrylic stem was not well fitted to the shank. It is the original stem but it is a pretty sloppy fit. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he cleaned the pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top from various angles to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim. It is dirty but there is no lava coat on the top and the rim edges look very good.The grain around the sides and heel of the bowl is quite interesting. It is a combination of cross grain, swirled and birdseye grain. There are some small fills on the sides and back of the bowl. Most of them seem to be solid. The stamping on the shank is very readable as can be seen in the next photo.The acrylic stem shows tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There is some wear on the edge of the button as well. The stem shows a great profile. It was time to get working on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top to show the condition of the edges and the bowl. It looked very good. The stem actually looked much better than I expected and the tooth chatter seemed to have disappeared. There were some light tooth marks just next to the button edge on both sides. I would also need to fit the stem to the shank by reduce the diameter of the stem to match the shank and adjust the fit.I took photos of the stem shank junction to show the difference in diameter. The stem is significantly wider than the shank. It fit tight to the shank but the rest of the fit was very poorly done.The bowl was going to be quite easy to work on so I started with it. The fills on the right side of the bowl were sound and tight fitting. There was a damaged fill that was pitted on the back of the bowl just above the shank bowl junction. I cleaned it out with a cotton swab and alcohol and filled it in with super glue and briar dust. When the repair had cured I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Once it was smooth I stained it with an oak stain pen to blend it into the surrounding briar.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. I let the balm sit on the briar for 10 minutes the buffed it off with a soft cloth. The balm enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used the Dremel and a sanding drum to take off as much of the excess diameter of the stem as possible while it was on the shank. I then removed the stem and worked on it with a rasp and file to remove the rest of the excess material.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the file marks and Dremel marks on the reduced shank. I also sanded out the tooth marks and the remaining chatter on the button end of the stem. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.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 a damp cloth. 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. Once again I am at my favourite part of a restoration – finishing up a pipe! This Savinelli Made Bent Pot came out really well considering the issues with the fit of the stem when I started. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I polished it with multiple coats of carnauba wax on both the bowl and stem. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and with a hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The mix of colours and the buffing made the grain really pop once it was waxed. The mixed grain is quite stunning. The variegated silver acrylic half-saddle stem stands out in great contrast to the briar. It is a nice looking pipe. Have a look at the photos below of the finished pipe. Its dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside Diameter of the Bowl: 1¼ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The bent pot feels great in the hand. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store later today. You can add it to your collection and carry on the trust. Let me know if you are interested in adding it. Thanks for your time.