Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is one that was also at the bottom of the box of pipes I am working on. It is a Stanwell made Scandia sandblast pipe – a 770 Volcano shape with an oval tapered stem. The volcano shaped bowl, oval shank and taper stem made up a nicely shape pipe. The sandblast though dirt and grime showed some interesting colour mixes and the blast was very interesting. It was stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and read SCANDIA over Made in Denmark and the shape number 770. The finish was very dirty with a heavy coat of grime ground into the sandblasted bowl and rim top as can be seen in the photos. There dust in all of the deep crevices of the blast. The bowl had a thick cake with a heavy lava overflow on the sandblasted rim top. There was too much lava on the rim top and edge to know what they looked like but more would be revealed once it was cleaned. The stem was oxidized and there were deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up so you could see what we saw. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show lava build up around the rim, the edges and cake in the bowl. The lava actually had filled in some of the nooks and crannies in the sandblast. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the absolutely dirty finish ground into the sandblast. It was a dirty pipe but I think it will be a beautiful one once we are finished. The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photos below. It is clear and read as noted above. There was nothing stamped on the top of the stem. The stem was a good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface. I had in my memory the thought that the Scandia brand was a Stanwell second so I quickly turned to Pipephil’s website to check it out (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-s4.html). I am including the following screen capture.It was my turn to work on the pipe now. I was really looking forward to what the pipe would look like once Jeff had worked his magic. What would the rim top look like? What would the dirty sandblast on the bowl look like? I had no idea. When I took it out of the box I was struck great job cleaning up the pipe Jeff had done. It was impressive! He had reamed the pipe with a Pipnet piper reamer and taken the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed the stem off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see that there is still some darkening to both the briar rim top and inner edge. The stem is clean and the tooth damage on both sides is very clear in the photos.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above. There is also the expected inset brass bar on the left side of the saddle.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It really is a beautifully shaped pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the briar rim top. I wiped down the entire bowl with alcohol and used a brass bristle wire brush to work over the darkened areas on the bowl top.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to get it into the crevices of the sandblast. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the deep dents in the surface. The dents on the top side lifted well. The underside was better than before. The button edge on the top was rough. I filled in the remaining indentations and built up the top and bottom of the button with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I used a needle file to reshape the button edges and also flatten the repaired areas. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to finish the shaping and to remove the remaining oxidation. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil before further polishing it. I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This interestingly stained sandblast Stanwell Made Scandia 770 Volcano with a taper vulcanite stem turned out very nice. The mix of brown stains highlights the nooks and crannies of the sandblast around the bowl sides and bottom. The darkening on the rim top does not look too bad and adds a bit of contrast to the light coloured stain and the dark highlights. The finish on the pipe looks much better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Volcano is very nice and feels great in the hand and can be used as a sitter with the wide base. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. It is a nice pipe whose dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interesting in adding it to your collection let me know! Thanks for your time.