Daily Archives: August 9, 2021

Cleaning up a Savinelli Oceano 320KS Author that I Received on a Trade


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I am working on is a beautiful looking Savinelli Oceano 320KS with a swirled blue and white stem and a tightly rusticated bowl. It is stained with an oxblood stain that gives it a red tint in the light. There appears to also be a black stain as an undercoat. The pipe is originally made for the Savinelli Balsa Filter System. The fellow I traded it with said the stem was just too thick for his liking and he was looking to trade it for something he would use. I have included the photos that he sent of the pipe as we talked.The pipe was in great condition. It had a light cake in the bowl which concurred with the fact that he stated he did not smoke it much. The stem was in great condition with some light tooth chatter but nothing serious on either side. He also said that he had the pipe sock it came with and the box as well. He also said he would throw in the balsa filters with the pipe. Over the course of quite a few emails we struck a deal and the pipe came to me. The stamping on the heel was clear and readable as he had mentioned – Savinelli Oceano 320KS.When the pipe arrived in Vancouver I unpacked it and this is what I saw. It came in the original Savinelli Pipe box and included the blue sock, a small booklet in multiple languages on pipe smoking and care and a bag of Balsa Filters. In our discussions I had come to believe the pipe was a filter pipe and unpacking seemed to confirm that for me. Little did I know that once I removed the stem I would see the adapter insert that converted it to a non-filter pipe. The added removable adapter allows the pipe to be smoked with or without a filter.I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it. You can see the light cake in the bowl and the ash on the walls. The pipe had a strong aromatic aroma to it that I would need to remove before reselling it to the next pipe smoker. The finish was in great condition and the stem was free of tooth marks and only had some light chatter on the surface near the button on both sides. It is stamped on the heel of the bowl and reads Savinelli [over] Oceano followed by the Savinelli S Shield logo and the shape number 320 and a faint KS [over] Italy. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition. You can see the thickness of the cake in the bowl and general cleanness of the rim top. The stem looks very good other than faint tooth chatter that is hard to capture in the photos.I took a photo of the stamping on the shank and it read as noted above. There is also a Savinelli S Shield logo on the top of the stem.I removed the stem to show the parts of the pipe. In the first photo you can see the adapter in place in the tenon converting it to a standard pipe. The second photo shows the adapter removed and the filter version of the same pipe. It is made for the 6mm filters – Balsa or otherwise.Now it was time to clean up the pipe and try to exorcise the strong and prevalent ghost that was “haunting” the bowl. STEP 1: I reamed the bowl back to briar with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and then sanded the walls smooth with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper.STEP 2: I scoured the inside of the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and 99% isopropyl alcohol. I was a little surprised to not only see the tars and oils coming out of the shank but also some oxblood stain that was present under the “gunk”. The stem cleaned up nicely as well. I removed the adapter and cleaned both it and the airway in the tenon. I took photos of the adapter in place and removed from the cleaned stem. It is a great looking stem.
STEP 3: I stuffed the bowl with cotton bolls and twisted one into a wick and turned it into the shank and filled the bowl with 99% isopropyl alcohol being careful to not splash any on the finish of the bowl and damage it. I set the bowl upright in an old ice cube tray that I use for this purpose and left it over night.In the morning I took a photo of the filthy cotton bolls and wick that had drawn the oils and tars from the bowl and the shank of the pipe. I twisted the wick out of the shank and used a dental pick to remove the cotton bolls from the bowl. I cleaned out the shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to make sure it was clean. Once it had dried the bowl smelled much better though there was still a slight remnant of the ghost. With the bowl clean and smelling sweeter, I decided to rub the bowl down with some Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the rustication with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush. The product is spectacular and works to clean, enliven and protect the finish on briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth. I really like the way a pipe looks after this process and this one is no exception. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished out the tooth chatter with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 and wiped the acrylic down with some Obsidian Oil on a cloth. I know that it does nothing for acrylic but I find that it really picks up the debris left behind by the sanding pads. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine and wiped it down a final time with Obsidian Oil. With the bowl and stem finished I put the Savinelli Oceano 320KS back together and buffed it on the buffer. I gently buffed the briar with Blue Diamond so as not to clog the valleys and crevices of the finish and buffed the stem with a bit heavier touch to raise a shine. The classic Author shape really looks good with the dark reddish brown stain and the swirled blue acrylic stem. It is a beautiful pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.47 ounces/70 grams. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your rack let me know via email or messenger. It will be added to the rebornpipes store shortly in the Italian Pipe Makers section. Thanks for walking through the clean up of this beauty.

Cleaning up a GBD Speciale 9438 Rhodesian


Blog by Mike Belarde

Hello. Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and walk through a fun clean up job on a GBD 9438.

I’m pretty excited about this pipe.  Like many readers of this site, the GBD 9438 Rhodesian is one of my favorite shapes. There is just something endearing about this rendition of the bent Rhodesian. The thick walls of these pipes also seem well suited for many of the flake tobaccos that I enjoy.  I was really thrilled when I won this pipe in an online auction out of New York.  The pipe looked to be in good condition in the pictures provided for the online listing. The stummel looked to have a nice smattering of bird’s eyes and some cross grain on the right side.

When I received the pipe, I found it to be in great condition. The stain looked a little faded, but the pipe had a nice orange-ish brown or reddish-brown tint to it. The stamping was legible and crisp. The rim was grungy and blackened. The chamber had only a trace of cake. The stem looked great. It was free of tooth marks and heavy oxidation, but looked to have some sanding marks, or scratches from being over buffed. All in all, I felt very pleased with the condition of the pipe.  Here are some pictures of the pipe, prior to cleaning process. As you can see from the photos, this pipe is in great shape for its age. Now let’s proceed to the cleaning process.

The first step in the process is to address the internals of both the briar and stem, and then clean up the grime on the stummel, and the carbon build up on the rim.  For this job I only grabbed a nylon bristled shank brush, some bristled and regular pipe cleaners, 99.9% isopropyl alcohol, and a bit of folded 320 grit sandpaper.I cleaned the shank over the sink with the shank brush dipped in alcohol. After each pass through the shank, I rinsed the shank brush under running water and re- dip it in the alcohol. I repeated this process until the soiling coming out on the shank brush began to lighten.   Once this happened, I transition to bristled pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol, and then lastly, regular pipe cleaners.

I also ran both alcohol dipped bristled and regular pipes cleans through the stem.  I was happy that the pipe was fairly clean and I only ran through a small hand full of pipe cleaners.

There wasn’t enough cake in the chamber to warrant the use of the reamer, so I opted to just sand out the chamber lightly with a folded piece of sandpaper.  Once that was completed, I scrubbed out the chamber and the shank with alcohol dipped cotton swabs. With the internals cleaned, I scrubbed the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and an old toothbrush. I then scrubbed the rim with an old green scouring pad. The rim and the chamber cleaned up well and appeared to be in good condition. I took the rest of the charring or darkening on the rim and inner rim with a folded piece of 320 grit sandpaper. I light sanded out the darkening on the rim and reestablished the slight bevel in the inner rim with the sandpaper. The stummel seemed to be fairly clean but I decided to de-ghost the piped further.  I inserted two folded tapered fluffy pipe cleaners through the shank and down into the chamber to act as a wick. To ensure that there was contact on all the surface of the internal walls of the shank, I add two more folded pipe cleaners into the large shank of the Rhodesian.   I have found using the fluffy pipe cleaners is easier for me than trying to fish an elongated cotton ball down the shank.  I then placed a cotton ball in the chamber and saturated it with isopropyl alcohol.

While the stummel was de-ghosting. I placed the stem in a small Tupperware container to soak in Briarville’s Oxidation Remover solution.  This pipe was very clean and I only let both the stummel and stem to soak for about eight hours.Both the alcohol and the Briarville solution further cleaned the pipe. I took the stem out of the solution and rinsed it and then ran some alcohol dipped pipe cleaners through it. I then scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and the scouring pad to clean it up further. I then worked on the stem. There appeared to be light scratches and a bit of pitting near the button. I took a folded piece of 400 grit sandpaper and sanded out the damage the best I could. The sanding seemed to have taken care of most of the flaws in the stem.In the next step I took the stem through the progression of micromesh pads (1500-12000). I polished the stem with each pad and wiped the stem down with a cotton pad soaked in Obsidian Oil in between each pad. In the last step, I polished the stem with Before and After’s Extra Fine Polish. Satisfied with the progress on the stem, I turned my attention to the stummel. I polished the briar with the progression of micromesh pads (1500-12000) wiping it down with a damp paper towel. Once this step was done, I mixed some dye up to touch up the stain.I really liked the light orange or red tint that this pipe had, so I decided to try and re-stain it with British Tan. I mixed a one-to-one ratio of British Tan with alcohol to thin the leather dye down a bit. I like to apply the stain with a small hobby brush. I find that the brush helps me to coat the stummel evenly. Once the stain was applied, I used a small tea candle to fire the briar and set the dye. I let the stummel sit for a couple of hours and then removed some of the excess stain with a cotton pad soaked in acetone. After removing some of the excess stain with acetone I began to polish the stummel with the micromesh pad series (1500-12000). I wiped the briar down with a damp paper towel between each pad.

Once I was finished with the micro pads, I worked some Before and After Restoration Balm into the stummel. The pipe was really looking nice at this point! I let the balm sit for about 10 minutes and then buffed the stummel with a cotton cloth. In the last step of the process, I buffed both the stummel and stem with Red Tripoli and Blue Diamond.  I then gave both several coats of Carnauba wax and buffed them with a cotton cloth.

I’m really happy how this pipe turned out, and am looking forward to loading it up and relaxing with it in the backyard. Thanks for taking the time to read this post!