Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from a pipe hunt that Jeff and his wife recently did in Utah, USA. The pipe is a great looking squat Dublin shape. The rim top and bowl are clean with variations of brown and black stains. On the heel of the bowl it is stamped Savinelli Capri [over] Root Briar. That is followed by The Savinelli “S” shield and Italy and the shape number 316EX. The pipe has a Sea Rock or coral style rustication that I really like. The finish was very dirty with dust in all of the rustication, making it hard to see beyond that to the finish underneath that. There was a medium cake in the bowl and it had overflowed with lava onto the rim top. It was hard to know at this point the condition of the rim edges. The stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. The Savinelli S shield logo on the top of the stem had worn off. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. I include those below. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the rim top and dust and grime in the rustication. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The lava is deep in the rustication and there is a buildup on the inner edge of the bowl. He took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the scratching, oxidation and tooth marks on the stem surface and button. The tooth marks are quite deep on both sides of the stem. Jeff took a photo of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The rustication is deep and dirty but it is interesting. This is a very tactile finish and one that I enjoy. Jeff took two photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture all of it. It is very clear and readable other than the shape number 316EX. This pipe was a real mess like many of the pipes we work on. I was curious to see what it would look like when I unpacked it. I was surprised at how good it looked. Jeff reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He 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 on the bowl looked really good when I got it. The rim top looked much better and the inner and outer edges were looking good. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked better other than some light oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter in the surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the condition of the rim top and stem before I started working. The rim top looks very good. The crevices and valleys of the rustication are clean and look great. The bowl is spotless. The stem is lightly oxidized and has some tooth marks and tooth chatter. The Savinelli S shield on the top of the stem is worn off. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the heel and the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I took the bowl and stem apart and took a photo of the pipe to show the look of the pipe.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain and the separate finishes really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The bowl really looks good at this point. I set it aside and worked on the stem. I filled in the tooth dents and marks with Black Super Glue and set it aside for the repairs to cure. Once they cured I flattened them with a file. I cleaned up the repaired areas with 220 sandpaper to blend the repairs into the surface of the stem. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a heavier touch with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. This dark stained Savinelli Capri Root 316EX Dublin must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it. Have a look at it in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 1 ¼ inch. The weight of the pipe is 49grams/1.69oz. This is one that will go on the Italian Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.