Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts. It is an interestingly rusticated Bent Billiard with darkening around the rim edge and top. It is stamped with Sherwood over Rock Briar on the heel of the bowl followed by the Savinelli “S” shield and the shape number 608 over Italy on the shank. The stamping is clear and readable. The pipe has a combination of brown stains and the worm trail rustication is not only tactile but also a purposeful pattern to the finish. The finish was very dirty with grime ground into the bowl. The bowl had a thick but even cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the inner edge of the top toward the back of the bowl. There was darkening on the briar around the inner edge and the top of the rim. The saddle stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. There is no stamping on the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow on the inner edge of the beveled rim. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the “worm trail” rustication around the bowl and the great looking grain as well. It is actually a nice looking pipe. The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photos below. They look very good and readable.The stem was a very 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 am including the section from the previous blog I did o the Sherwood Rock Briar pipe that I restored. I quote:
I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html) to read about the Sherwood Rock Briar. It is a smooth pipe with the worm trail carving around the bowl. Sometimes I wonder if it was not Savinelli’s answer to the Custombilt Craze or what Lorenzo was selling that was similar. This is definitely tamer! I have included the screen capture from the site below. Armed with that information and a clearer picture of the original pipe I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls 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 it 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 the darkening on the inner edge and the top on the right front the bowl. The stem looks clean of oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter are very clear in the photos. I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. There was a crimped aluminum tube in the tenon once the stem was off and it inhibited airflow and was really unnecessary.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and the inner edge. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work on the edge and the rim top at the front of the bowl to remove the darkening. It took a bit of work but I was able to remove the majority of it and the end product looked much better.I polished the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. Because the bowl and rim top looked so good I decided to move on to rubbing the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the crevices. 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 decided to pull the crimped tube in the tenon so I heated it with a lighter and twisted it free. Behind and under the aluminum tube there was a lot of tars and oils so I recleaned the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I worked over the oxidation on the stem and the button with 220 grit sandpaper and sanded it until I had removed it. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better. I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone! 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 Savinelli Sherwood Rock Briar 608 Bent Billiard is another interesting looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the smooth briar between the rusticated patterns around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished black vulcanite saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. 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 Sherwood Rock Briar 608 Bent Billiard is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 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 added to the Italian Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.