Daily Archives: October 12, 2020

Renewed Life for a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 316EX Squat Dublin


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.

Restoring a Sasieni Four Dot Walnut “Victoria” Dublin


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 an interesting looking Sasieni Dublin shaped pipe with a vulcanite taper stem. The pipe is well shaped and has a smooth finish that shows the grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and it reads Sasieni [over] Four Dot Walnut [over] London Made [over] Made in England. On the right side of the shank it is stamped “Victoria”. There was grime and oils ground into the smooth finish on the briar. The bowl was moderately caked with a light lava overflow on the beveled inner edge. The outer edge looks very good. The taper vulcanite stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge. There were four light blue dots on the left side of the taper in a diamond pattern. The pipe showed a lot of promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.   He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the inner edge of the rim. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem. The photos show the overall condition of the stem. The stem had four light blue dots on the left side of the taper.  Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. It truly has some nice sandblasted grain around the bowl and shank.   The stamping on the sides of the shank is clear and readable and read as noted above.  The four light blue dots are in a diamond pattern as noted above.   I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni.html) to get a quick view of the Sasieni Four Dot pipes. I did a screen capture of the site’s information on the Four Dot line. There was nothing on the “Victoria” pipe but the data provided by the site helped understand the stamping. It appears that the pipe I am working on is a Pre-Transition pipe (1946-1979). It is stamped Four Dot Walnut ( Walnut is the name for the rich finish). The stamp “Victoria” is the name of a town and is also the shape name for the Dublin.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Sasieni) for a quick read.

Furthermore, by 1935 Sasieni began stamping pipes, based on the shape, with their own names, which were usually, but not always, English towns. For example, apples were stamped “Hurlingham”, bulldogs were “Grosvenor” or “Danzey”, and panels were “Lincoln”. One rare and interesting variation of this was the large bent, dubbed “Viscount Lascelles”. Even in this soft Sasieni market, these pipes regularly sell for $150 in their rare appearances in mailers…

…Somewhat later still, this was modified to reflect the finish, e.g. Four Dot Walnut, or Four Dot Natural. All these changes seem to have been made in the years between 1946 and 1950.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in a Before & After Deoxidizer bath and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work. The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top, inner and outer edge of the bowl is in excellent condition. The stem surface looked very good with a few tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There was also some remaining oxidation.  The stamping on the shank sides is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.  I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The taper stem is nice and the photo gives a sense of what the pipe looks like. I started my work on the pipe by polishing the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded the bowl with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down with  damp cloth after each pad. The briar really took on a shine by the final pads. 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 to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about 10-15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive and the fills while visible look better than when I began.   I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub All Purpose cleanser to remove the remaining oxidation. I have found that a good scrub with this product removes the oxidation left behind by the other methods. You can see it on the cotton pads underneath the stem.  I polished the vulcanite 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.      This Sasieni Four Dot Walnut Victoria Dublin is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The sandblasted finish gives the shape an elegant look. The flow of the bowl and stem are well done make for a great hand feel. 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 multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Sasieni Four Walnut Victoria 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 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 30grams/1.06oz. It is a great looking and light weight pipe. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. 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!

Reworking one of my Early Restorations – a GBD New Standard 91327 Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

I restored this older GBD New Standard Lovat probably 15-20 years ago. I had not been working on pipes for too long – maybe a year or two. I really had no idea about staining or reshaping a stem or how to make the grain on the pipe like it must have when the pipe first came out. I was going through a box of pipes that I was getting rid of and came across this one in the bottom of the box. Looking at it closely I decided to take it on again and rework it. The finish was worn, the outer edge of the rim was in rough condition with chips out of it and the rim top had been topped but I had not even bothered to polish out the scratches from the sandpaper. The bowl was out of round and the inner edges were worn and had some nicks and gouges. The shank end was lighter in colour than the rest of the bowl. I had not even bothered to match the colours… good to see that I have still been learning. The bowl and shank were very clean so at least I had done that well back then. The stem still had some oxidation around the button. It had a lot of potential and I really wanted to see if I could bring it out with a bit more work. Time would tell!

The petite pipe is stamped GBD in an oval [over] New Standard on the left side of the shank and on the right side of the shank it reads London England [over] 91327 (shape number). I found that the New Standard was made in  England. It originally had a smooth finish with brown staining in what was called a “tobacco brown” finish. The shape number is one that I cannot find listed anywhere so I am not sure what to make of that but it is a neat little pipe. I have often found shape numbers on GBD pipes that are not on the list of known shape I did a quick look on Pipedia and found the flyer to the left that described the New Standard London Made Pipe (https://pipedia.org/images/b/b8/GBD_1961Flyer_NewStandard_Shape9447.jpg)

I took photos of the pipe when I took it out of the box before I started reworking it. You can see the overall look of the pipe at this point in the process. As you look at the photos of the pipe pay attention to the flaws in the previous restoration of this pipe. What do you see? As I work over the pipe let me know if I caught the things that you saw. Thanks for reading through this chronicle of a reworked restoration.

I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the damage to the rim top and edges of the bowl that I had not dealt with before. There were large nicks out the inner edge on the front and the rear of the bowl. There was also a chip out of the outer edge on the right rear of the bowl. You cannot see it from these photos but the rim top is not smooth and has a lot of sanding scratches that I did not bother removing. I took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the remaining oxidation on the topside and underside near the button and at the saddle.  The stamping on both sides was faint but readable. It read as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe.I reworked and reshaped the edges of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and to bring it back to round. I gave it a slight bevel that will become obvious in the photos of the polishing process. (I forgot to take a photo of the rim top before I started the process of polishing it.)To even the stain colour around the bowl and make the grain stand out more clearly I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. Note the rim top and you can see the change to the inner edge worked above. I used a Cherry stain pen to touch up the sanded edges and top of the rim and blend them into the rest of the bowl.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 to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for ten minutes and then buffed it with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive and the finish looked rich. I polished the vulcanite 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.  I am pretty happy with the upgrade to this GBD New Standard 91327 Lovat. The rim top looks far better and the finish is now uniform and reveals the grain really well. The stem is clean and no longer has residual oxidation in the crease at the button or the saddle.  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 small GBD 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 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe was 29g/1.02oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!