Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is from the next box of pipes I am working through. It is a Stanwell Made Danish Sovereign 332. The acorn/pear shaped bowl, round shank and saddle stem made up a nicely made pipe in a classic Danish shape. The smooth finish showed great grain through the ground in dirt and grime. There are also quite a few fills and deep gouges in the surface of the briar. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Danish Sovereign over Made in Denmark. On the right side it had the shape number 332 stamp. The finish was very dirty with a heavy coat of grime ground into the bowl and rim top as can be seen in the photos. The bowl had a thick cake with a lava overflow onto the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There were hash marks on the top front of the rim top and nicks around the edges. The stem was oxidized, calcified and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. It was also stamped with three XXX marking it as a second. 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. This one was obviously someone’s favourite pipe and it was a mess. You can also see the hash marks on the front edge and top of the bowl. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the absolutely dirty finish ground into the briar. It was a dirty pipe but I think it will be a beautiful one once we are finished. You can see all the damaged areas and fills on the bowl in these photos. The bowl is really quite dirty. The stamping on the sides of the shank is shown in the photos below. It is clear and read as noted above. There was a triple XXX stamped on the left side 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 turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-d2.html) to see what information I could find there. On the site was a pipe similarly stamped to the one that I am working on. It is clearly identified as a Stanwell second that was marketed only in the USA and Canada.I turned to Pipedia to read more about the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Danish_Sovereign). There was nothing definitive there only a statement that it may be a Stanwell second line.
It looks I am dealing with a pipe made especially for the American and Canadian market by Stanwell. Now 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 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 the hash marks on the front of the rim top and the darkening and damage to the inner edge of the rim. There are nicks on the top all the way around. The stem is clean and the tooth damage on the button top and bottom edges. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above. I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and sand the darkening on the top and smoothing out the nicks and scratches and minimizing the hash marks on the front top and outer edges. I filled in the deep gouges and nicks in the briar on both sides of the bowl with clear super glue and when the glue cured I sanded them smooth to blend them into the surrounding briar. I stained the briar with a tan stain. I applied it to the stummel with a dauber and then flamed it with a Bic lighter. I repeated the process as often as needed until I was happy with the coverage on the briar. I set it aside to cure for several hours. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a paper towel to make the stain a bit more transparent. I buffed the bowl on the buffer with Red Tripoli to polish it and get a sense of what the bowl looked like at this point in the process. I polished the briar with micromesh – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. 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 filled in the indentations on the button edge and built it up 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 used some Paper Mate Liquid Paper to touch up the white that remained in the XXX stamp on the left side of the stem. 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 Danish Sovereign 332, made by Stanwell with a saddle vulcanite stem turned out very nice. The mix of brown stains highlights the grain around the bowl sides and bottom. The rim top and edges look very good. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition. 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 Bent Acorn is very nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. It is a nice pipe whose dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This Stanwell made Danish Sovereign 332 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.