Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on my worktable is a really nice looking Canadian with a sandblast finish and a taper vulcanite stem. It had come with its original box but the pipe sock was missing. The pipe had some beauty shining through the dust and debris in the valleys of the lighter sandblast finish. The blast covered the rim top, bowl and shank with a smooth panel on the underside of the shank. The finish was dull and lifeless and dirty from sitting around. There was a moderate cake in the bowl with a light coat of lava flowing out of the bowl and over the rim top. The lava had filled in the deeper grooves of the sandblasted finish on the rim top. The inner edge of the rim appeared to be in good condition. The stamping on the shank read Sasieni in script followed by 4 Dot on one line and under that it was stamped Ruff Root Dark. To the right of this stamping was the shape number 13. The taper stem had four blue dots arranged in a triangle on top of the taper. The surface was oxidized and there was light tooth chatter on both sides near the button. Jeff took the following photos before he started his cleanup work on the pipe. He took close-up photos of the bowl and rim top from various angles to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top edges. You can see the lava overflow and debris in the sandblasted rim top. You can see the cake in the bowl. This was a dirty pipe but it was the finish was in great condition. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the beautiful light sandblast around the bowl. It is quite uniform and you can see the dust and debris in the finish as well as thumb and fingerprints on both sides of the bowl. It is a good looking sandblast. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the shank. It reads as noted above. The stamping is clear and readable. The is also stamping on the underside of the stem that reads FRANCE.The next photos show the overview of the stem top and the tooth chatter and oxidation on the top and underside of the stem. When the pipe arrived I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni.html) to see if he included not only information on this Sasieni 4 Dot Ruff Root Dark Canadian. Sure enough he quick information for me that identified the time frame of this pipe. He dates it as a Post Transition piece 1986-today. The Ruff Root name is what they call a sandblasted finish. He points out that the 4 Dot has replaced the Four Dot from 1986.I turned to Pipedia for more information on 4 Dot line of Sasieni pipes and any information that was added there (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni). I quote a pertinent paragraph:
…The nomenclature changed again in 1986, with the sale of the company to the Post-Transition firm. The three line nomenclature was changed to two lines, with the first reading “Sasieni 4 Dot” and the second identifying the finish, e.g. Natural, Walnut, or Ruff Root. Note how 4 Dot is spelled, using an Arabic numeral 4, as opposed to spelling out the word “four”. This is the easiest way to spot a Post-Transition Sasieni, as the new company has used both script and block lettering to spell the word “Sasieni” on the shank…
Now it was time to look at it up close and personal. Jeff had done an amazing job in removing all of the cake and the lava on the rim top. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He took the cake back to bare briar so we could check the walls for damage. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove the lava and dirt. He cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. He cleaned the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the exterior and cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I took some photos of the box that the pipe arrived in. The first shows the top and the second the end with the identifying stamping on the pipe. I took a photo of the pipe in the box with a no name pipe sock.I took the pipe out of the box and took photos of it to show what it looked like before I did my part of the work on the pipe. To show how clean the rim top and stem really was I took a close-up photo of the rim and stem. The bowl was clean and cake free. The rim top is very clean with no residual lava in the sandblast finish. The inner edges of the bowl look good. The plateau shank end also looks good. The black vulcanite fancy stem looks cleaned up nicely. The surface had some light tooth marks but the button edge looked really good.I took a photo of the stamping on the under side of the shank. You can see the clear stamping.I removed the stem from the bowl and took photos of the parts. The 4 Blue Dots on the tapered vulcanite stem look very good. The bowl looked very good so I did not need to do any further work on it. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it in with my fingers and with a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish on the bowl and shank. I let it sit for 10 minutes to let it do its magic. I buffed it with a soft cloth. 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. The bowl was finished so I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was in very good condition other than some light tooth marks and some light oxidaiton. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave it a final rub down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the vulcanite stem. I put the bowl and stem back together again and buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a soft touch on the sandblast bowl so as not to fill in the blast with the product. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I carefully buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished buffing with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe looks very good. The sandblast is light but interesting and feels great in the hand. It is comfortable and light weight. The finished Sasieni Ruff Root Dark 13 Canadian is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This great looking sandblast Canadian turned out very well. It should be a great pipe. It will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.