Daily Archives: June 10, 2022

Restoring a Previously Repaired Cracked Shank on a Dunhill Shell Briar 40 Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a Dunhill Group 4S Shell Briar Lovat that caught my eye. It has a two digit the shape number that I will define below. I purchased this pipe from a fellow on Facebook. He said that the shank had been snapped at the bowl and had been well repaired. There was a tube in the shank that joined the two parts. He sent me two photos of the pipe to show the overall look and also the repaired cracked shank. I was interested in adding this shape to my own collection so I was anxious to see it and work on it. This Dunhill Lovat is stamped on the heel of the bowl and underside of the shank. On the heel it reads 40 followed by Dunhill over Shell Briar. Next to that it is stamped Made in England6. A circle 4 followed by S is stamped on the right side next to the bowl/shank junction. The numbers and stamping tell me that the pipe is a Shell Briar (S) and the size is a Group 4. The 2 digit shape number makes it an older pipe. The date stamp 6 follows the “D” of England in the Made in England stamp. The finish was very shiny like it had a shellac coat on it and it seemed to be even over the lava on the rim top. The sandblast was deep and rugged looking. The bowl had a moderate cake in the bowl and lava overflowing onto the sandblast rim top. There was some shellac over the grime. The inner and outer edges of the bowl looked good and the bowl was in round. The shank repair is solid and fairly tight against the bowl. It looks good but with a lens there are gaps in the repair to the crack. The stem was quite clean but had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The button itself appeared to be in good condition. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition. You can see the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top and edges. The lava is thick and seems to have protected the edges and top. The stem was clean but has tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. You can also see the repaired crack near the heel of the bowl.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts to show the overall look of the pipe. The sandblast is very deep and rugged. Now it was time to begin to work on the stamping on the pipe. Because I had just finished working on a few Shell Briar in the past I used the information that I had dug up on that one. I quote below.

Pipedia had some great information on the Root Briar finish and dates and how the finish was made (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill#Bruyere). The first quote below give the short version of the finish. I quote from both below.

Shell – A deep craggy sandblast with a black stain finish (usually made using Algerian briar) – the color of the stain used has varied over the years. Although there is some doubt as to them being the first to sandblast pipes, Dunhill’s Shell pipes, and the sandblasting techniques developed to create them are considered one of Dunhill’s greatest and most lasting contributions to the art of pipe making.

The documented history of Dunhill’s inception of the Shell is largely limited to patent applications — there are no catalog pages or advertisements promoting blasted pipes at the time. The preliminary work on the English patent (No. 1484/17) was submitted on October 13, 1917. The patent submission was completed half a year later, on April 12, 1918, followed by the granting of the English patent on October 14, 1918. This was less than a month before the end of The Great War on November 11th.

In 1986 Dunhill released a line of premium Shell finish pipes – “RING GRAIN”. These are high-quality straight grain pipes which are sandblasted. Initially only Ring Grain, but now in two different finishes. In 1995 the “Shilling” was introduced with Cumberland finish – it is an extremely rare series. These pipes exhibit a deeper blast characteristic of that of the 1930’s – mid-1960’s (and the limited ‘deep blast’ pipes of the early 1980s) and show a fine graining pattern. These are considered the best new Dunhills by many enthusiasts today and are very rare. The finish is sometimes described as tasting like vanilla at first, with the taste becoming more normal or good as the pipe breaks in.

With that information clear for me I wanted to identify the shape number and try to pin that down (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shape_Chart). I turned to the section on the older 2 digit Shape Numbers and read it. I quote it below.

Early Days – 2 digits/letters – The original skus/model numbers from the 1920’s until the early 1970’s stood for very specific shapes and bowls. For example, the codes 31, 34, 59, 111, 113, 117, 196, LB, LBS… were all different types of Billiard shaped pipes and there were about 50(!), such codes for the Billiard shape alone. On top of those are a large variety of other shapes.

With the information on the 2 digit stamp not making clear enough the meaning of the number I turned to another link on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shapes_List) to a shape list that Eric Boehm put together for Dunhills.

I knew that the pipe shape number locked in a time period between 1920-1970 – a large time span that I needed to narrow down more clearly. I turned to another link on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Dunhill_Shapes_List) to a shape list that Eric Boehm put together for Dunhills. I copied the four 2 digit numbers on Lovats from the list. The shape 40 was in the list.

Lovats:

37 Lovat, short, thick, saddle 1928 11

38 Lovat, long shank, saddle bit 3 4¾” 1928, 50, 60, 69 11

40 Lovat, long shank, saddle bit 4 5″ 1928, 1950, 1969 11

481 Lovat, long shank, saddle bit 1 5″ 1950, 1969 11

I turned next to dating the pipe. There is a 6 following the D in ENGLAND on the underside of the shank. The 6 is the same size as the D in England. I turned to the dating chart on Pipephil to pin down the date on this pipe (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/dunhill/cledat-en1a.html). I did a screen capture of Part 2 of the Dunhill Dating Key and included it below. I drew a red box around the section dating this pipe.Since the suffix is not raised but is the same size as the D in England I turned to the section with the information highlighted by the red box above. I knew then that the date of the pipe would be 1960 + 6 (suffix) = 1966.

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. I started by working on the rim top of the bowl. I used a brass bristle wire brush to knock off the debris and clean out the crevices of the sandblast. It took a bit of work to loosen all the debris and remove the shellac that was covering it. I wanted to remove the shellac coat from the sandblast finish and thus also remove the debris that had been shellacked over on the rim top. I wiped it down with acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish from the surface of the pipe. The bowl looked better and the rim top also was much better. With the externals cleaned up and the lava and the shellac removed it looked much better. I needed to clean out the inside as well. I reamed the pipe with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and scraped the cake back to bare briar. I sanded the walls smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. The inside of the bowl looked very good.I cleaned out the internals of the shank, mortise and airway in the stem with isopropyl alcohol (99%) and cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. It was a dirty pipe. With a bit of work it smell sweeter and was noticeably cleaner.I filled in some of the hollow spots in the previous repair with clear super glue. I was aiming to have it more even and filled in with the glue. Once the touch ups to the repair had cured I restained it with a Walnut stain pen to match the surrounding briar.The bowl looked very good at this point so I rubbed it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl and shank with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush 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. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the vulcanite stem with the flame of the lighter. I was able to lift all of the tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem. I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to start the polishing. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 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 and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil to finish it. This Beautiful 1966 Rugged Sandblast Dunhill Shell Briar 40 Lovat is a great looking pipe with the little extra TLC I put in once I received it. The rich Shell Briar Sandblast finish that highlights the swirls of the grain and works well with the polished 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 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 Dunhill Shell Briar 40 Lovat is a Group 4 size pipe that will be a great smoker. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 33 grams/1.16 ounces. I am going to enjoy smoking this one I added to my own collection. I take a moment to remind myself and each of us that we are trustees of pipes that will outlive us and the lives of many other pipe men and women who carry on the trust of their care and use. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Worth Repairing? Salvaging a Seriously Cracked Lorenzetti Titus


Charles I love the way you sewed the crack together on this one. The methodology is unique and I wanted to share it with the readers on rebornpipes. Thank you!

Cost is almost always a prime consideration when it comes to estate pipe repairs. As I and other pipe restorers have proven more than once, virtually every estate pipe is repairable if the will to do so exists; whether the repair is worth the cost is a very different question, and the answer is very often “It depends.” Is the pipe a sentimental favourite or family heirloom? What is the cost of replacement compared to repair? Does the pipe have intrinsic value to other pipe smokers or collectors? Will the repaired pipe be used personally or sold on to a new steward?

These are some of the questions that ultimately led to the decision by its steward to discard today’s estate pipe project. With a long list of needed repairs and a Canadian retail price of about $80CAD, the cost of the work simply outpaced the value of this Lorenzetti…

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Restoring a Beautiful Heritage Antique 33 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

I have always had an interest in the Kaywoodie Made Heritage Pipe line. I really like the way they are made – both in terms of workmanship and style. They really made some amazing looking pipes and I always try to pick them up when I can. Jeff has also found this to be true so he is on the lookout for this brand in all of his pipe hunts and auction haunts. We purchase this pipe in October 2021from a fellow in Redmond, Oregon, USA. It is stamped 33 on the heel of the bowl and Heritage [over] Antique on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank. The pictures of the sandblast showed it was well done. The finish was dirty and there was a thick cake in the bowl. It appeared that the bowl had been lightly reamed before it came to us. There was a light lava overflow in the sandblast finish on the rim top that would need to go. There was the Heritage double diamond logo on the left side of the stem. The stem was oxidized and had light tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button. All totaled it was still a beautiful pipe. We were hooked. Jeff took these photos before he started his clean up work. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition that I noted in the description above. Even though it is very dirty you can see that the rim top and edges all look very good. The stem photos clearly show the oxidation and light tooth marks on both sides. It would need some work. Jeff took photos of the sides of the bowl and heel to show the sandblast finish on the bowl. This blast is rugged and deep. I have worked on quite a few Heritage pipes and have never seen this before. The next photos show the stamping that I described in the opening paragraph. It is clear and readable. He also included a photo of the double diamond logo on the left side of the taper stem. In other blogs on the brand I have given a bit of history on the Heritage Brand. I have included that here as well for ease of reference. Andrew Selkirk did a great job in researching and I am including a link to his work on the blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2014/12/23/refurbishing-a-heritage-heirloom/). I am including a brief summary of what he found in the next two short paragraphs to set the stage for the pipe on my work table.

Heritage pipes were Kaywoodie’s answer to Dunhill. According to one of their brochures, Heritage pipes were made from “briar burls seasoned and cured for up to 8 months,” with only “one briar bowl in over 300 selected to bear the Heritage name.” “Heritage stems are custom fitted with the finest hand finished Para Rubber stems. Mouthpieces are wafer thin and concave.”

The Heritage line began in the early 1960’s, with the trademark issued in 1964. The line was started at the request of Stephen Ogden, (who worked for Kaywoodie in 1962). Mr. Ogdon had previous experience working for Dunhill, either running the New York store or working for Dunhill North America. Mr. Ogden was made President of Heritage Pipes, Inc., Kaywoodie Tobacco Co.,Inc. and Kaywoodie Products Inc. as well as a Vice President of S.M. Frank & Co. Heritage Pipes were produced from 1964 until 1970 (Source kaywoodie.myfreeforum.org).

Andrew also included a copy of the Heritage brochure that I am also including below (Courtesy kaywoodiemyfreeforum). In going through the models displayed on the page there is not one for the 33. The brochure has a great write up on the Heritage Antique Line. It reads Rustic Grain Stands out in Rugged Relief. It describes the line as follows:

This pipe is so bold looking, yet so light and smooth smoking. A special sandblasting process exposes a greater surface area on the bowl, giving a cooler, more satisfying smoke. Centuries-old Heritage Antique is strikingly masculine in appearance.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual precise work. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants 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. The rim top cleaned up very well. 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 Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. The bowl and the rim top looked very good. The inner and outer edges of the rim also looked very good. There was no damage to the edges. The stem surface had light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.I took photos of the stamping on the underside shank. The stamping was clear and readable as noted above.I took the stem off the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe to show the overall look of the pipe.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I am very happy with the results. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the light tooth marks and chatter smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them in and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished 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. I wiped it down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside.    The sandblast Heritage Antique 33 Apple is a real beauty and the finish and shape are well done and have a classic English look even though this is an American Made pipe. The thin taper vulcanite stem polished up on the buffing wheel with Blue Diamond and had a rich glue. 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 Heritage Antique Apple 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 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.02 ounces/29 grams. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Maker section. 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!