Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table is one that is a bit of a mystery to me. It is obviously one that I picked up on one of my hunts or in a trade as it has not been cleaned at all. The mystery is that I have no recollection of finding the pipe so I have no way to connect it to a time period. I do know that it has been here for quite a while and I am just now getting to it. I try to eventually work the pipes we find into the restoration queue so that I can keep them moving. The one is obviously a Stanwell from just looking at it. It has a mix of sandblast finish around the bowl with smooth panels on the sides. The shank extension is vulcanite and has a large Crown stamped in the left side. It was stamped on the underside of the shank on a smooth panel. The shape number 907M is stamped near the heel of the bowl and the M identifies it as having a military mount stem. Following that it reads Royal [over] Danish [over] Made in Denmark. The finish was dirty with dust and grime ground into the nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the rim top. The inner edge of the rim was covered so thickly in lava it was hard to know what was underneath. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. There was no identifying stamp on the stem surface though the shape says that it is definitely Stanwell stem.
Before I started working on it I did a bit of research on the brand to get a feel for where it fit in the Stanwell line. I was pretty sure that it was a second but wanted confirmation. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if I could get a feel for it (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-r6.html). I did a screen capture of the information on the site. I found that the brand was indeed made by Stanwell and was one of many second lines that they made. I did a screen capture of the pertinent information and have included it below.I then turned to Pipedia and found that it was also listed as a second or a sub-brand made by Stanwell (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell#Sub-brands_.2F_Seconds). I have included the list of seconds from the site below. I have highlighted the Royal Danish in blue in the text.
Sub-brands / Seconds – Bijou (discontinued), Danish Quaint, Danish Sovereign, Danske Club, Henley (discontinued), Kong Christian (discontinued), Majestic, Reddish (discontinued), Royal Danish, Royal Guard, Royal Sovereign, Sailor (discontinued), Scandia, Sorn (discontinued), Svendson.
Now it was time to clean up this pipe and get it restored. I cleaned the pipe with the methodology that Jeff and I have developed. It was a mess when I took it out of my box here so I was curious to see how well it cleanup. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. You can see that it is filthy but has some great grain in the blast and on the smooth panels. It is also an intriguing shape. I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show the condition of the cake in the bowl and look of the rim top and lava overflow. You can also see the heavily oxidized shank extension and the faint Crown stamp showing through on the left side. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks and the calcification, oxidation and generally condition of the stem surface. I took photos of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the shank and it is faint but readable under the grime. It is stamped as noted above. The Crown logo is visible on the left side of the shank extension. I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. It is a great looking pipe under the grime.I decided to start my restoration by getting rid of the cake in the bowl and cleaning up the rim top. I reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the inside of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. Once I finished the bowl was smooth and clean. I was glad to see that there was no internal damage. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Once it is polished it will come to life. I scrubbed the vulcanite shank extension with Soft Scrub on cotton pads to remove the oxidation. With a lot of scrubbing and rubbing it down the oxidation slowly but surely gave way to dark rubber. In the process the oils from my hands from the cotton pads and Soft Scrub gave the briar some life that would come out more as I polished it. I wiped it down with a cotton pad and some alcohol to remove the oils on the vulcanite and the briar. I touched up the gold Crown stamp with Antique Gold Rub’n Buff. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick and buffed it off with another pad.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. I scrubbed out the internals of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub polish to remove the oxidation. While it did not take it all out it removed much of. What was left would polish out with micromesh sanding pads. I polished the vulcanite 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. I left a little oxidation around the stamp so as not to damage it more. This Stanwell made Royal Danish 907M Scoop is known as a Stanwell second but for all intents and purposes to my eye it is not much different in cut, blast or finish to a regular Stanwell. The only thing I see is a small sand pit on the underside of the shank otherwise is a nice looking pipe. The restored Royal Danish turned out to be a great looking pipe. The contrasting brown stains on the pipe worked really well with the polished vulcanite shank extension and the taper stem. 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 keeping a light touch on the buffing wheel for the bowl. I 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 Royal Danish Scoop 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 carrying on the previous pipe man’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.