Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table is one that we don’t remember where we found it or actually when we found it. It is an interesting Danish style Canadian with an almost Brandy shaped bowl. The well shaped pipe has a nice sandblast around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Hand Made [over] Designed by W.O. Larsen [over] Super Tan [over] 65. The bowl looked like it had been well cleaned. The inside edge and outer edge appear to be in decent condition. The taper vulcanite stem had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge.
From what I could tell the pipe had been cleaned by Jeff as it had all the telltale signs. I don’t know why it has taken me this long to get to this pipe as it really is a beauty. He had 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 and outer edge of the bowl looked very good. The inner edges showed some darkening on the back of the bowl. The stem surface looked very good with a few tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stamping on the underside of the shank 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 short taper stem is nice and the photo gives a sense of what the pipe looks like.I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-l2.html) to get a quick view of the brand once again. I did a screen capture of the site’s information and have included that below. The pipe I am working on is a W.O. Larsen as it is stamped similarly to the ones in the photos. It is interestingly stamped with a lot more detail than any of the ones shown in the screen capture below. With the “Designed By W.O. Larsen” addition it is a bit unique.I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/W.%C3%98._Larsen) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the shop and the brand and its influence on Danish pipe carving. There was no additional information on the unique stamping on this pipe.
What I learned from the research is that the pipe is a W.O. Larsen made pipe that was evidently designed by W.O Larsen himself or at least one of the shop carvers. It is a beauty though.
Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. I turned my attention to the damage on the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the darkening. 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 “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a lighter and was able to lift out all of the tooth marks and chatter on the surface. The little that remained I sanded out with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. 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 Larsen Hand Made Designed By W.O. Larsen Super Tan 65 is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The shape is elegant and flowing with a thin turned vulcanite stem. 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 W.O. Larsen Super Tan Canadian 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 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be putting it on the Danish Pipe Maker section of 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!