Blog by Steve Laug
I am enjoying an evening free to work on a few pipes. The next pipe on the table came from a fellow in Brazil, Indiana, USA in March of 2020.. Even though the finish was a dirty and worn it had a deep and rugged sandblast showing through the grit and grime of the years. On the left side of the shank it was stamped Navigator [over] Made in Denmark. The pipe is a stack, or what some would call a tall billiard. The finish is filthy with grime and oil ground into the briar of the bowl and shank sides. The bowl had a moderate cake and there was an overflow of lava on the top and edges of the rim. The stem was a vulcanite taper stem that fit snugly in the shank but seemed to have been held in place by a worn out piece of green painter’s tape. There did not appear to be any stamping on the sides of the stem. The vulcanite was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show its overall condition 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 lava and dust ground into the finish of the rim top and edges. There is dust and debris stuck to the walls of the bowl clearly visible in the photos. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is a rugged sandblast grain under the grime and thick debris. Jeff removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to show the wrap of green painter’s tape that held the stem in place in the shank.He took a photo of the stamping on the side of the shank. It clearly reads as noted above. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of who made the Navigator pipe. I had a hunch it was Kriswill but I wanted to confirm that (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-n1.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent section on the site. It links the pipe to Kriswill. The pipe pictured below is a lot like the one that I am working on. The stem does not have the logo on it though it is the same shape. I followed the link to the Kriswill brand on the site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k3.html#kriswill). The side bar there included some helpful information that I have included below.
Kriswill is a brand of Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark) established about 1955. Some of Kriswill pipes were designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, Swedish prince and brother to the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark. He collaborated with his Danish partner Acton Bjørn. When the company went bankrupt in the late 1970s it was on a level with Stanwell. Dan Pipe Cigar & Company (Hafenstrasse 30 D-21481 Lauenburg/Elbe, Ge) bought the rights to use the name and it is Holmer Knudsen and/or Poul Winsløw who make the Kriswill line. Nørding, on its side, bought the plant and introduced a Kriswell line. Kriswill’s seconds: Danish Crown, Navigator. Kriswill’s sub-brand (for a short time): Lillehammer.
Pipedia confirmed the status of the brand as a second made by Kriswill but really did not add further information.
I knew that I was working on a Kriswill second labeled Navigator. Judging from the blast on the bowl it is hard to imagine why this is a second. Now it was time to work on the pipe.
Jeff had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. 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 Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove remaining oxidation on the stem. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good and the bowl was in excellent condition. The rim top and the inner edge of the rim looked very good. The stem had a few light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It was clear and read as noted above. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The pipe was in such good condition when it got here that I did not need to do any further cleaning. 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. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the tooth marks and chatter out of 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 beautiful Sandblast Kriswill Navigator Stack with a taper vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. 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 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 Kriswill Navigator Stack fits nicely in the hand and the tactile finish feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 32grams/1.09oz. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly in the Danish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!