Restoring a Bari Special Handcut Danish 01 Bent Brandy

Blog by Steve Laug

For the next pipe, I chose a unique looking pipe that we picked up off EBay back in December of 2016 from a seller in Marlboro, New Jersey, USA. It has been here for a while and I am just now getting to it. This one is a Bari Special Handcut Bent Brandy. It has a really mix of flame and straight grain around the bowl and shank. It was stamped on the sides of the shank. On the left side it reads Bari [over] Special [over] Handcut. On the right side it reads Made in Denmark [over] 01 which is probably the shape number. The pipe was dirty with grime ground into the finish. The bowl had a thin coat of varnish on the bowl and shank that was spotty and worn.  There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow and darkening on the thin rim top. The inner edge of the rim was covered so thickly in lava it was hard to know what was underneath. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. HANDCUT was faintly stamped on the left side of the taper stem and coloured white. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took photos of the bowl, rim top and stem to show the condition of the pipe. The bowl is moderately caked and you can see the lava and darkening on the rim top around the bowl. The stem looks good other than the tooth mark on the underside of the button. Before I started working on it I did a bit of research on the brand to remind myself of the maker. I have worked on quite a few Bari’s in the past so rather than rework all of that I am including the information I found while working on a Bari Special Handcut Made in Denmark Dublin Freehand ( I quote below from that blog.

I quoted a section from Pipedia on Bari pipes ( It is good to be reminded of the fact that Viggo Nielsen was the pipe maker.

Pipedia states that Bari Piber was founded by Viggo Nielsen in Kolding, Denmark around the turn of 1950/51. His sons Kai and Jørgen both grew into their father’s business from a very young age and worked there till 1975. Both have become successful pipe makers.

Bari successfully adapted the new Danish design that had been started mainly by Stanwell for its own models. Bari was sold in 1978 to Van Eicken Tobaccos in Hamburg, Germany though the pipes were still made in Denmark. From 1978 to 1993 Åge Bogelund and Helmer Thomsen headed Bari’s pipe production.

Helmer Thomson bought the company in 1993 re-naming it to “Bari Piber Helmer Thomsen”. The workshop moved to more convenient buildings in Vejen. Bogelund, who created very respectable freehands of his own during the time at Bari got lost somehow after 1993. Bari’s basic conception fundamentally stayed the same for decades: series pipes pre-worked by machines and carefully finished by hand – thus no spectacular highgrades but solid, reliable every day’s companions were what they turned out. The most famous series are the smooth “Classic Diamond” and the blasted “Wiking”.

I did a quick look at Pipephil’s site ( and did a screen capture of the section on Bari pipes.Now that I was reminded about the Viggo Nielsen connection it was time to work on the pipe on my end.

Jeff had done a great clean up of the pipe. He had reamed it with a PipNet reamer and took the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He cleaned the exterior of the pipe with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and the lava on the rim top. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the debris that had accumulated on it. The pipe looked clean and ready for the next step in the process. Here are some photos of it when I finally got around to working on it 5 years later. I took some close up photos of the bowl, rim top and the stem surface. It looked amazingly good. There was still some darkening on the rim edges. The varnish coat on the bowl and shank would also need to be removed. The stem looks good with a little oxidation at the shank end. There were also some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It was readable though faint on both sides of the shank and stem side.I removed the stem from the shank to show the components of the pipe. It is a great shape and is a beauty.I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the spotty varnish coat. It really looked better without the varnish. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. It really began to take on a shine. I rubbed the bowl down with some Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, renew and protect briar. I let it do its work for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The pipe is really quite a beauty. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed off the surface of the stem with Soft Scrub All Purpose Cleanser to remove the residual oxidation on the shank end of the pipe. It looked much better.I used 220 grit sandpaper to sand out the tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to further blend in the sanded areas.I touched up the faint stamping on the left side of the taper stem. It read HANDCUT the H and the UT were deep enough to take the touch up. The rest of the stamping was not as deep and did not hold the Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I polished the excess off  and took photos of the stem at this point.I polished the stem on both sides using micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded the stem with the 1500-12000 grit pads, then wiped it down with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After stem polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another pipe I am excited to finish. It is a Bari Special Handcut Danish 01 Bent Brandy. I put the pipe back together and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the polished stem with the golden acrylic spacer. It really was a beautiful pipe. The sandblasted grain shining through the rich browns/black stain on this Bari Special Handcut is nice looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.12 ounces/60 grams. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Makers Section soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the cleanup with me as I worked over this pipe. 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 those who follow us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.