Daily Archives: April 25, 2020

It has been a long time since I restored a Brebbia and this is a nice one


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is another unique one that I chose out of my boxes of pipes to restore. It is squat apple of squashed tomato made by Brebbia. It is a great looking pipe with a silver coloured band and rim cap. There are no hallmarks on the metal so I am assuming it is polished nickel. It was in decent condition. The bowl had a thick cake and the lava overflow on the silver rim. The rim cap extended into the bowl and protected the edges. That portion had cake and tars on it as well. The bowl was smooth and the stain worked well with the silver bling on the shank and the rim. The finish had a lot of dust and was tired and dull looking. The bowl had some nice grain under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The vulcanite stem was dirty but came with a Softee Bit on the end which I am sure kept the chatter and tooth marks to a minimum. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff tried to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in the photos. The cap really had protected the rim from burn and nicks. It looked pretty good.Jeff took some great photos of the sides of the bowl and heel showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use.He captured the stamping on the sides of the shank and the left side of the tapered stem. They are clear and readable. The left side reads Brebbia with a golden diamond on the side of the stem. On the right side it reads SERIE “1960” and underneath that it read GOLDEN EXTRA. On the underside of the shank it is stamped 601 over ITALY next to the shank/stem junction. The last photo below shows the stamping on the silver band. It is off center and more to the right side. It is a series of interlocked swirls in a diamond. The first two photos of the stem show the rubber Softee Bit in place on the stem. It covers the button and the first ½ inch of the stem. The next two photos show the stem after Jeff cut off the Softee Bit. The stem looks quite good. One of the last Brebbia pipes that I had worked on was called a Twin – it came with an extension that could be place in the shank for a long pipe and removed for a short one. I turned to that blog as it gives a great history of the brand (https://rebornpipes.com/2018/01/21/taking-a-breather-and-refreshing-a-beautiful-brebbia-twin-2/). I quote from that blog below:

Before I did my part of the work on the pipe I decided to do a bit of background reading on the brand just to refresh my knowledge about Brebbia. I figured a quick read on Pipedia and on the Pipephil Logos and Stampings site would give me sufficient information. I turned to Pipedia first and there found some company history summarised. I quote in full from that article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Brebbia).

Pipe Brebbia Srl, or better the M.P.B. (Manifattura Pipe Brebbia) was born in 1953 from the denouement of the association between Achille Savinelli and Enea Buzzi in 1947, where the first was employed in the marketing and the second in manufacturing of pipes under the name of Savinelli. It was made in exclusive up to 1953 and extended without further rights up to 1956.

The production, which is always careful and perfect, has continued in a traditional way for 60 years, using old lathes for the first steps, but finishing every piece by hand.

Before I did my part of the work on the pipe I decided to do a bit of background reading on the brand just to refresh my knowledge about Brebbia. I figured a quick read on Pipedia and on the Pipephil Logos and Stampings site would give me sufficient information. I turned to Pipedia first and there found some company history summarized. I quote in full from that article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Brebbia).

Pipe Brebbia Srl, or better the M.P.B. (Manifattura Pipe Brebbia) was born in 1953 from the denouement of the association between Achille Savinelli and Enea Buzzi in 1947, where the first was employed in the marketing and the second in manufacturing of pipes under the name of Savinelli. It was made in exclusive up to 1953 and extended without further rights up to 1956.

The production, which is always careful and perfect, has continued in a traditional way for 60 years, using old lathes for the first steps, but finishing every piece by hand.

The secret of their manufacture, if we may put it this way, is the respect for the traditions with the experience acquired in several years of successful work, which could be summed up in two words: high quality.

The factory is currently managed by Enea’s son, Luciano.

For the last few decades, many of Brebbia’s pipes have been made by a number of small, otherwise independent pipe manufacturers, being marketed under the trade name Brebbia.

I then turned to the Pipephil site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-brebbia.html) and found confirmation of the above information.

The Brebbia brand Brebbia Pipe is named after the locality of Bosco Grosso di Brebbia (Prov. Varese, Reg. Lombardia). A first corporate was founded by Enea Buzzi and Achille Savinelli in 1947. They split in 1953. Buzzi ketp the factory and created the MPB brand (Maniffatura Pipe Brebbia). After 1968 the brand was shortly called “Brebbia”. Luciano Buzzi son of Enea manages the company since the 1990

The secret of their manufacture, if we may put it this way, is the respect for the traditions with the experience acquired in several years of successful work, which could be summed up in two words: high quality.

The factory is currently managed by Enea’s son, Luciano.

For the last few decades, many of Brebbia’s pipes have been made by a number of small, otherwise independent pipe manufacturers, being marketed under the trade name Brebbia.

With that background information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the brand. The pipe was stamped with a date “Serie 1960” which was a clear indication of when the pipe was made. Now it was time to work on the pipe. I took it out of the box from Jeff and looked it over. He cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. When I took it out of the box I was amazed at how good it looked it really looked like a different pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The bowl and silver cap and band looked very good. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer and it came out looking far better. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim cap looks very good and the bowl is clean. The silver will need to be polished but it is undamaged. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean and other than being dull it looks very good.I took photos of the stamping because they had cleaned up very well.I took the stem off the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It really is a nice looking pipe with great lines.I polished the briar of the silver rim cap and the shank with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about twenty minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it 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. This Brebbia Squat Apple or Squashed Tomato was a fun pipe to work on and with the stem and the bling polished it looked very good. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and worked around the inlaid brass triangle logo on the stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. I polished the silver with a jeweler’s cloth. The rich brown finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth and the silver provides the contrast. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I really like the way that Brebbia combines the smooth finish with the silver band on the shank and rim cap. This is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

This Ascorti 01 Business Hand Made Must Be a Great Smoking Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is an interesting Ascorti Business Bent Bulldog. I had passed over this one a few times in the past weeks but this morning I decided it would join the days queue. It is a great looking and obviously well-loved pipe from the previous pipeman. It was a really filthy and had some damage on the rim top and edges when we received it. The bowl had a thick cake and the lava overflow on the rim made it impossible to see in the inner edge of the bowl. The outer edge had damage and burns on the right side of the rim cap. The bowl was rusticated in the typical Ascorti Business rustication but the camp and shank were smooth. The finish had a lot of dust and debris in the deep pockets of the finish and some stains as well on the surface. The twin rings around base of the cap were also filled in with debris and dust. The smooth portions had some nice grain on them under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The stem was very dirty and had heavy tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button. The button surface appeared to be unharmed. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff tried to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in the photos. It was obviously a well-loved and oft enjoyed pipe! Jeff took some great photos of the sides of the bowl and heel showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. He captured the stamping on the sides of the shank and the left side of the tapered stem. They are clear and readable. The left side reads Ascorti over Business. On the right side it reads Hand Made over Italy. On the underside of the shank it is stamped 01 next to the shank/stem junction. The last photo below shows the Ascorti logo “A” on the left side of the saddle stem. The photos of the stem show the thick grime on the stem surface as well as the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It was probably one of the filthiest stems I have seen in a very long time. I have worked on a few Ascorti Business pipes in the recent months – two straight billiards so I turned to a blog on one of them to refresh the background information before I started my part of the work (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/03/18/repairing-banding-and-restoring-a-damaged-hand-made-ascorti-business-billiard/). I quote from that blog:

Before I started my part of the repair and restoration I wanted to have a clear picture of what the stem logo looked like on the Ascorti Business pipe. I turned to Pipephil as he often has some photos that give me the information that I am looking for (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-a8.html). Sure enough he had a photo showing the rough stamped A on the stem. It is white and it is rough which is exactly how this one looks. Hopefully in the restoration process I can get it back a bit. I did a screen capture of the picture on the site and include it below.With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information from the section above that the pipe came out after 1980 when the company started. I could not get the date more focused so it was time to work on the pipe.

I was seriously wondering how this beast would clean up as it was such a mess. I was not sure Jeff would be able to get all of the grime out of the rustication and the rings. It really was in bad shape. But I should not have even worried about it. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. When I took it out of the box I was amazed at how good it looked it really looked like a different pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks far better than I expected and the rim top/cap damage was less than I thought it would be. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime and it came out looking far better. There was definitely tooth damage to address but nothing otherwise. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The inner edge shows some damage on the back right side and on the outer edge and top on the right side. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean but you can see the tooth chatter and marks in the acrylic.I took photos of the stamping because they also cleaned up very well.I took the stem off the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It really is a nice looking pipe with great lines.The major issue with this pipe was the burn damage on the rim top and the inner and outer edges of the bowl. I started my restoration work on the pipe by addressing that damage. I topped the bowl to remove the burn damage on the top of the cap and to try and minimize the damage to the inner edge. I then used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and bring the bowl back to round. I gave the inner edge of the rim a slight bevel to further mask the damage. The rim top looks much better and will polish out pretty well with the micromesh. I polished the smooth briar of the rim cap and the shank with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth and rusticated briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about twenty minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. I sanded the tooth marks and chatter on the stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the stem and started polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.   I polished the stem with some Denicare Mouthpiece polish – a red gritty paste that feels a lot like the texture of red Tripoli. It works well to polish out some of the scratches. I find that it does a great job preparing the stem for polishing with micromesh sanding pads.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it 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. This Ascorti Business Bulldog was a pipe I was looking forward to seeing what it looked like when I put it back together. The change in condition and appearance of the pipe was remarkable. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain and rustication just pop at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is quite beautiful and is a lovely bent Bulldog shaped pipe. The variegated finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I really like the way that Ascorti combines the rusticated finish with the smooth shank and rim cap. This is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.