Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe I chose to work on was a Sasieni Windsor Sandblast |Bowl sans stem that was purchased from a shop in Oregon when Irene and I visited my brother on the coast there. It has been sitting in my box of bowls since that time. Jeff cleaned it up and mailed it to me. I have been postponing restemming any of the pipes for a while now but after restemming that little gourd calabash a couple of days ago I was ready to do a few more. I pulled this one out of the box and set aside to be the next pipe to work on. It has a very deep sandblast that is quite stunning on the full bent pipe. Overall it is a pretty pipe. The bowl had thick cake in the bowl and there was a coat of lava in the grooves of the rim top. The finish had a lot of dust and debris in the valleys of the blast. The stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the shank was clear and readable. It was stamped Sasieni [over] Windsor [over] London Made. To the right of that it was stamped with the shape number 80. To the left of the Sasieni stamp on the heel of the bowl it is stamped Made in England in a rugby ball shaped stamp. Jeff took some photos of the bowl before he cleaned it up. The next three close up photos show the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see the lava coat on the inner edge of the bowl and the debris in the rustication of the rim top. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It read as noted above and is faint and readable.I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a read on the Sasieni Windsor line to see if I could find out more about the stamping (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-sasieni2.html). The pipe was in the section on the site as a Sasieni seconds and sub-brands. The pipe in the second photo had very similar stamping to the bowl I was working on. I did a screen capture of the section on Pipephil. I have included it below. There were also photos that were included on Pipephil of what the sandblast looked like on the Sasieni Windsor originally.The third photo of the underside of the shank shows a similar stamping to the pipe I am working on. The pipe originally had a saddle vulcanite stem. The stem was long gone when Jeff and I picked it up so I had some decisions to make about the stem I would use to restem it.I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had carried out his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. He had reamed it with a PipNet reamer to remove the cake and cleaned the reaming up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the internals of the bowl and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the externals with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and rinsed the bowl off with running water. The pipe looked very clean when I received it. The rim top cleaned up really well as can be seen in the close up photos below. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It really is faint but readable. I went through my can of stems and found turned freehand style vulcanite stem that would work well with the bowl and shank. The bend in it was a little too high and would need to be heated and bent for the Oom Paul shape. There were tooth marks in surface of the top and underside of the stem at the button that would need to be dealt with in the restoration. I took a photo of the stem and bowl together to give a sense of the look of the pipe and the proportion of the stem. I put the stem in place on the shank and took photos of combination of the bowl and stem. It is going to look very good once it is cleaned up. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I put a pipe cleaner in the stem and then heated the stem with my heat gun until the vulcanite was supple. I bent it to the angle that matched the bowl. I filled in the tooth marks and rebuilt the button top with black super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I used files to reshape the edge of the button and flatten the repairs on the stem surface. I blended the repairs into the surface of the vulcanite with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The stem was looking much better. I polished the vulcanite 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 restemmed, sandblasted Sasieni Windsor 80 Oom Paul is a beautiful looking pipe. The brown stains on the bowl work well to highlight the finish. The polished black vulcanite saddle stem adds to the mix. I put the finished stem on the bowl and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful to not buff the stamping. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Sasieni Windsor 80 is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished Oom Paul a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 46grams/1.62oz. It will soon be added to the British Pipe Makers section on the rebornpipes store. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. 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.