Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to me from Jeff’s pipe hunts or auction purchases. We pick up quite a few pipes from his hunts. I try work them into the restoration queue so that I can keep them moving. This is an interesting looking piece – a multi-hued rusticated Lovat showing through the grime. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Oscar [over] Aged Briar to the right of that it is stamped with a Savinelli Shield S followed by the shape number 701 [over] Italy. The finish had a lot of grime ground into rustication on the briar. The bowl was heavily caked with a lava coat on the top of the rim. It was hard to tell how the inner and outer edge of the rim actually looked until the bowl was reamed. The stem was in decent condition with tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had the typical Savinelli Made Oscar shooting star on the left side of the saddle stem. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took a photo of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. Otherwise the stem is quite clean. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the rustication patterns and variations in colour on the bowl. It is a pretty pipe. The stamping on the heel of the bowl and shank is clear and readable and reads as noted above. The shooting star on the stem side is also clear. Jeff had picked this pipe up in April of 2017 and had cleaned it and sent it to me not long after that. That will tell you how far behind I am on the restoration projects sitting all around me. Jeff had done his usual thorough cleanup on the pipe. He reamed it with a Pipnet Reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush and rinsed it off with warm water to remove the grime from the finish. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the tarry residue and oils in the shank and airway. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove any oxidation on the stem surface. When it arrived here on my work table I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. The pipe looked amazingly good. The inner and outer edges of the rim were in good condition. The inner beveled edge of the rim looks very good. The rim top is absolutely beautiful! The stem look good but there was still some oxidation and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took a photo of the stamping on the heel of the bowl and underside of the shank. The stamping is clear and readable and reads as noted above. I took the stem off the pipe and took a photo of the parts to show the look of the pipe as a whole.The pipe was in such good condition after Jeff’s clean up work that the rim top only needed to be polished with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to raise a shine. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. You can see the sparkle in the rustication surfaces as the light hits them. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I touched up the Shooting Star logon the left side of the saddle stem with Antique Gold Rub’n Buff. I am out of white paint and for some reason the liquid paper does not work on the shooting star. I am going to hunt down some Rub’n Buff White that should work as well. I pushed it into the stamping with a tooth pick. I rubbed it off with a cotton pad to remove the excess and still leave some in the stamping. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Savinelli Made Oscar Aged Briar 701 Lovat is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The mix of brown stains makes the rustication almost sparkle and works well with the polished vulcanite taper 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 the 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 Savinelli Made Oscar Aged Briar Lovat fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!