Restoring an Orlik Double Bore Long Shank Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interesting Orlik Long Shank Billiard with a saddle stem. It is stamped Orlik Double Bore over Made in England on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped with the shape number W36. The pipe was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some tobacco remnants from the last bowl smoked. There was some darkening and light lava around the rim top and beveled inner edge of the bowl. The long shank and bowl has some great grain on it. There are a few dark fills in the bowl sides but they are pretty small and blend well. The twin bore/double bore vulcanite saddle stem has some light oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. It is billed as a bite proof stem designed for chompers. Jeff took some great photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he started his cleanup. Jeff took a photo of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow all over the rim top. It is hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looks like until we remove the cake and the lava. There also appears to be some burn damage on the rear left side.He took photos around the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition. You can see the grime in the finish and the crackling of the varnish coat. He took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable. On the right side it is stamped with the shape number W36. The top of the saddle stem has a brass O inset in the vulcanite.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. You can see that it is lightly oxidized and has some tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. There is also some wear on the button surfaces on both sides.I turned to the listing on Pipephil on Orlik pipes hoping to find a similar pipe to the one I am working on (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-o2.html). Unfortunately there was not a pipe like the Double Bore I am working on. It is also not listed in the section I included below.I turned next to Pipedia to gather a more detailed history of the brand and see if I could find any information on this particular pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Orlik). Once again there was nothing on the particular line. The history of the brand is concise and pointed. I quote that below.

In 1899, a pipe manufacturer was founded in London, Bond Street, by Louis Orlik. L. Orlik Ltd. started to produce high quality pipes for a relatively low price but high service and soon became quite popular. By 1907 they used the name L & A Orlik, which apparently added Louis’s brother, Alfred to the company name. In the first quarter of 1900 they also established in Birmingham. This can be verified by silver hallmarks. In 1980 the company was acquired by Cadogan. Like many of London’s other pipe manufacturers they moved to a new built factory in Southend-on-Sea. As all current brands in the Cadogan group, Orlik was being produced in those factories.

Orlik used the slogan “Smoked by all shrewd judges” “(who are also loved by his hard judge)” with a portrait of a judge wearing a wig. The picture is still used in Denmark for manufacturing of Orlik cigarettes.

The article also had a catalogue of the various pages. I am including a copy of the page that shows the shape 36. I think that the W on the shape number of the one I am working on may refer to the Double Bore Bit.There was also some helpful information on the dating of the brand. The pipe I am working on is Pre-Cadogan era as is proven by the stamping on the shank as below.

In the Pre-Cadogan era of the Orlik, the name is ORLIK in a straight line, capital block letters. Also the MADE IN ENGLAND is in a straight line, capital block letters. However, there are a konwn model (ORLIK NATURAL T 1155) stamped with MADE IN ENGLAND in a straight line, capital serif letters. Date is unknown. The mouthpieces have the Orlik logo, a circular O as a brass inlay. After joining Cadogan the same origin stamp as other Cadogan brands like Comoy´s etc. was used, MADE IN LONDON in circular an below ENGLAND in straight.

I also am including a list of the various lines of Orlik pipes sold. I have included a screen capture of the list below. I have drawn a red box around the Double Bore Pipes. Interestingly my assumption about the W being a notation for the Double Bore stem turned out to be correct.It is definitely an interesting piece of pipe history. This Pre-Cadogan Orlik was made before 1980 when Cadogan bought the brand.  Armed with the brand information and some parameters for the age of the pipe I turned to work on it. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cake from the walls of the bowl. He cleaned up any remnants of 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 was not able to remove the bowl from the base so a thorough cleaning of the base was not possible. He worked on the rim edge 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 washed it off with warm water to remove the cleanser. 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 the roughness on the top and the inner edge of the rim on the front right side of the bowl. The bowl and rim looks much better without the thick lava and cake. The stem looked better. There are tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. The stamping is very readable and it reads as noted above. The right side of the shank is smooth and the shape number is near the bowl shank junction (no photo). I took a photo of the Double Bore stem.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by dealing with what looked like checking and damage on the inner walls of the bowl on the back side above the entrance of the airway into the bowl. I poked at it with dental pick and was pretty sure I was dealing with cracks in the cake rather than deep into the walls. I sanded the walls smooth with a dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. Once I sanded it the damage was a lot less. I sanded the inside of the rim edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth them out and also minimize the burn damage to the beveled inner rim edge. I wiped off the finish on the bowl with alcohol to remove the remnants of finish on the bowl sides and shank. It really cleaned off a lot of the dirty finish. I polished the bowl 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.  I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the even that material. The balm is absorbed by the briar and gives it real life. I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the vulcanite stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem 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.  With both parts of this Orlik Double Bore Long Shank Billiard finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. This older Orlik Double Bore W36 Billiard polished up pretty nicely. The rich browns of the finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished vulcanite saddle stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, well-made Orlik long shank billiard. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This Orlik Double Bore is a great looking pipe and it will be going on the rebornpipes store in the British Pipemakers section shortly. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this older British Made pipe.

3 thoughts on “Restoring an Orlik Double Bore Long Shank Saddle Stem Billiard

  1. Dave

    Thanks Steve. The education gained for pipe restoration is very helpful, along with the history you provide pertaining to the pipe manufacturers is very interesting. Thanks again.

    Reply
  2. plasticmask

    I obtained a double-bore once, it was in an Estate Lot… the stem was in WRETCHED shape, like someone had actually allowed their Dog to chew the end off of it, and I think the bowl was also broken or at least fatally cracked. Can’t recall what I did with the thing. I’m THINKING that I gave it away, in hopes that the Man to whom I gave it could at least use the stummel for making briar dust… but it was too long ago for me to recall. I DO know that it was in nowhere **near** the shape that this specimen was, before you restored it to such a beautiful pipe. Lovely work as always, thank you for sharing with us Sir.

    Reply

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