Monthly Archives: October 2022

310. A Short History of the Peterson Calabash Briar With A Nod to Mr. Holmes


Oíche Shamhna Shona Daoibh! A Happy Samhain / Halloween to all! Paul Combs, CPG, sends everyone his greetings with this wonderful pumpkin with the …

310. A Short History of the Peterson Calabash Briar With A Nod to Mr. Holmes

This interesting blog was written by Mark Irwin on the Peterson blog. Great read

New Life for a Spanish Everest Master ‘Bing’ Billiard


New brand to me also Dal. Those fills came out looking great.

The next pipe on the worktable came my way as a gift in March of 2019.  Nicky is the eldest son of dear friends in Bulgaria, Svetly and CC, who I’ve …

New Life for a Spanish Everest Master ‘Bing’ Billiard

Restoring a Peterson’s Republic Era Galway 502 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table is a nicely grained Apple shaped one. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over] Galway. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the [over] Republic [over] of Ireland followed by the shape number 502 next to the bowl shank joint. The stamping is clear and readable. Jeff and I have no recollection of where we picked this one up but I know it has been here for a long time. The bowl had been reamed and cleaned and the shank and airways were very clean. The rim top showed darkening on the back side edges and rim top. There was also some darkening around the inner edge most of the way around the bowl. The outer edges were clean. There were a few small nicks in the briar but otherwise it was in good condition. The stem had some light oxidation and tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. There is a P logo stamp on the left side of the saddle stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the next portion of the work on the pipe. It really is a great looking pipe. I took a close up photo of the rim top, edges and the top and underside of the stem. The inner edges and the back top of the bowl showed wear and darkening. It would take a bit of work to bring it back and clean it up. The stem surfaces showed light tooth marks on both sides ahead of the button.I took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. They are clear and readable as noted above.I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the parts to show the proportions of the pipe. It is a beauty.Before I moved on to work on the pipe I did a bit of reading to see if I could gather some details on the Galway Line. I looked at both Pipephil and Pipedia to see if I could find any photos of information on the line on them. There was nothing of note on either site. There was a lot of historical information that I always enjoy reading. I turned then to the book, The Peterson Pipe by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg. There on page 300 there was a description of the line that I quote in full below.

Galway (1950-87, 2006-10) First issued as a high grade line just below Dublin & London, walnut-stained smooth finish, white P stamped on P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece. Second issue in ’69, with a sterling band added. Third issue in’86, when band replace with briar band insert into vulcanite p-lip  mouth piece. Discontinued in ’87. Fourth issue for the Italian market (c 2006-10) with lower bowl rusticated up to the beading around the top of the bowl, in standard and B shapes. Same desin and finishing made for the US market for Cupojoes.com with addition of sterling band and hot foil P on the stem.

I believe I am working on the First Issue of the Galway Line – a high grade just below the Dublin and London line. It is described as a walnut stained smooth finish with a P-lip or fishtail mouthpiece. The pipe I have definitely fits that description perfectly. It has a smooth walnut finish and also a P-lip stem. The stem was supposed to have a white P stamped on the left side of the stem.

I worked on the rim top and inner edges of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I gave the rim a slight bevel to remove the darkening on the edges and blend them into the briar. I also smoothed the top of the rim to remove the rest of the darkening. It looked much better than when I started.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – polishing it with 1500-12000 grit pads. By the time I was finished the briar had a great shine. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really came alive with a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.   I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift most of them and sanded out the light remaining tooth marks and chatter in the surface with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the “P” stamp on the left side of the saddle stem with white acrylic fingernail polish I scraped off the excess and left the stamp looking very good.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. 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. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Republic Era Peterson’s Galway 502 Apple was another fun pipe to work on. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the grain on the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ 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 1.34 ounces/38 grams. I will be putting this pipe in the Irish Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes store if you wish to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Fresh Life for “A Peterson’s Product” Republic Era Killarney 69 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff purchased this pipe off eBay on 12/06/2016 from Aurora, Colorado, USA. It has been sitting here in Vancouver awaiting my contribution to the restoration. It is a nicely shaped pipe with an almost Cherry red finish (little darker but to me it is that red). It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Killarney in script with the tail of the Y underlining the whole stamp. On the right side there is the shape number 69 near the bowl followed by “A Peterson’s Product” [over] Made In The Rep. [over] Of Ireland (three lines). The bowl had a thick cake and a heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. The finish on the bowl was quite clean. The twin silver bands separated by a black acrylic band on the stem is dirty but in good condition. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. He captured the cake in the bowl and the debris and lava on the rim top and edges in the next photos. It was very clear that it was an exceptional smoker! The stem is oxidized, calcified and shows the tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff captured some of the beauty of the shape and the grain in the next photo. The mix of grains on the front of the bowl and heel is quite lovely as can be seen in the photo below.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. He also took a photo of the  P logo stamp on the left side of the stem. Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table.   I took photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top and beveled edge looked amazing. The stem was vulcanite and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.   I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clear and readable as noted above. The P logo on the stem is also quite readable.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the proportions of the bowl and stem.The bowl was in excellent condition so I rubbed 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 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a lighter and was able to lift all of them. I sanded out the remaining chatter with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and then started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This “A Peterson’s Product” Republic Era Killarney 69 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite taper stem has a smooth reddish finish. The rich reds and blacks of the contrasting stain makes the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the vulcanite 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 Peterson’s Killarney 69 Bent Billiard really is a great looking and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. 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 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.66 oz./46 grams. This pipe will soon be on the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Repairing and Restoring a Nording Nord-Coat Denmark 125 Oval Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one I have had for quite a while in a drawer here with meerschaum pipes. Jeff and I are not certain where we picked it up as neither of us have any memory of its purchase or where we found it. I had always assumed that it was a meerschaum as well until I started working on it this afternoon. The pipe looks like a meer with some fluming around the top of the bowl and shank bottom and end. It has some coloring that looks like a meerschaum. Once I started working on it I was not so sure. It is stamped on the underside and reads NORDING [over] NORD-COAT [over] DENMARK. On the shank end it was stamped 125 which is the shape number. The pipe is a classic shaped oval shank Billiard. The orange acrylic stem was in a bag with it and had a broken tenon. The tenon itself was missing so I was not certain of the fit. I took photos of the pipe when I took it out of the bag. It was dirty and the rim top was dirty. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was stamped as noted above and was clear and readable.Now I knew that the pipe I was working on was a Nording that had been given a special coat called a NORD-COAT. Now I wanted to know what that was. Was it a meerschaum? I did not think so and in fact that NORD-COAT stamp made me pretty certain that it was not. It was rather coated with some kind of finish to give the pipe the look of a meerschaum. I wanted to know more so I did a quick search on the web for NORDING NORD-COAT. I am quoting what I found below.

The first link I found was to a thread on Pipesmagazine.com forum where a person was seeking information on the pipe(https://pipesmagazine.com/forums/threads/nordcoat-by-nording.15584/). I quote:

pipesharkOct 10, 2012 Bounced around a bit after I saw this, and apparently this is something that is supposed create a life lasting coating that will color similar to meerschaum but not lose it’s color for any reason. Supposedly all Nordcoat pipes should have the big man’s signature on them, and the hubbub is that if they don’t, they may be seconds. According to another post, there was a page on the Nording site some years ago that “guaranteed these pipes to color like meerschaum and provide a great cool smoke”. I read on post that claimed to have one of these pipes from 30 years ago, so they must have been around for some time. Maybe Storient or another meer expert has heard of coatings like these before. I didn’t see anything about the pipes being lower quality briar as such, but I have just discovered the subject and will continue the search. I must say that I have not substantiated this with any official sites or sources, this is just what I have seen on multiple threads of blog/forum postings, some claiming to have checked it out, but yea… I will post again if I find anything more.

That pretty much settle whether the was meerschaum or not. It clearly was not. It had a coating on the briar that would colour like meerschaum and permanently hold its colour. Nording had guaranteed  that they would colour like meer and provide a cool smoke.

I turned to a second link that was on the Google search that was on smokingpipes.com. (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=404914). I quote from the description that was there.

It’s presented in a sandblasted, virgin finish with darkened portions along the rim and shank end meant to emulate the look of a weathered patina. Erik designed these pipes with patinating in mind, meant to emulate the look of meerschaum

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B8rding) and read the background info on the brand. It is a great read. There was also an example of the NORD-COAT pipe and nomenclature. I have included the photo below.I then turned to a last listing on the brand on Worthpoint – an online site that auctions of pipes (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/estate-clean-erik-nording-nord-coat-140692535). I quote:

Estate restored Erik Nording Nord-coat #2 #109 sandblasted imported briar pipe. Made by master artisan pipe maker Erik Nording in Denmark. This premium beauty is hued to look like a meerschaum pipe. This is a very collectable great smoking briar pipe.

Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. I decided to replace the broken tenon the acrylic stem that had come with the pipe. I went through my box of tenons and found a white threaded tenon that would work with a slight adjustment in length for the shank and fitting it into the stem. The white tenon would work well with the opaque colour of the stem once it was glued in place. I took photos of the tenon with the pipe and stem and have included them below.  I drilled out the airway in the stem with gradually increasing sized drill bits to open it up to take the threaded end of the new tenon. I find that working from a bit slightly larger than the airway in the stem to one that is the correct size for the tenon keeps it from chipping or breaking the acrylic stem. I used my Dremel and sanding drum to reduce the diameter of the tenon, shorten its length and remove the colour between the smooth and threaded portion of the tenon. I tried the fit in the stem and it worked perfect. I took a photo of before putting it in the stem and after. I also fit it in the shank as well. Once the fit was correct I glued it in place with clear CA glue.  I set the stem aside to let the glue cure on the tenon insert. I turned my attention to the bowl. I scrubbed it with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed it off with running warm water. I dried it off with a soft cloth. The grime in the finish came off quite easily and the pipe looked significantly better. The grime was clear in the sandblast grooves around the bowl and shank as well as the rim top. I put the stem in the mortise and took photos to show the slight difference in the diameter of the stem and the shank. I am pretty sure it is original as there is a faint N on the top of the stem. It was not much but it bugged me and left a bit of lip that I did not like. I took photos of the fit and have included them below.    I went through some of my Sterling Silver Bands and found one that I think will work for the pipe and the stem. It is a nice oval silver band that I will fit on the shank. I slipped the band on the shank and put the stem in place see the fit and feel of the new look of the stem. While it covers the shape number, I still like it a lot!   I touched up the rim top stain with a black Sharpie pen. I was able to blend it into the rest of the rim top and edges of the bowl. It looked much better at this point.I glued the band in place on the shank end with some Weld Bond all purpose glue. I coated the shank end with the glue and pressed the band onto the shank. I aligned the stamping on the top of the band with the shank top.I scraped out the thin cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. It did not take too much to clean out the bowl. I then cleaned the shank and the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers and a horse hair shoe brush. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The Nord-Coat really began to have a rich shine and some colour. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.  I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter in the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the acrylic. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with a light touch of Blue Diamond on the wheel. I polished the Silver Band with a jeweler’s cloth. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The sandblast really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny orange variegated acrylic stem is a beautiful contrast to the meerschaum like colour of the bowl and shank. This Nording Nord-Coat Oval Shank 125 Billiard was another fun pipe to work on. The Sterling Silver Band that I added adds a nice contrast between the acrylic stem and the Nord-Coat briar and binds it all together. It really is a quite stunning pipe whose shape follows the flow of the sandblasted briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown 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. The weight of the pipe is 1.52 ounces/43 grams. This beautiful pipe will be going online on the rebornpipes soon in the Danish Pipe Makers section. If you want to add it to your collection let me know. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Cleanup and a New Hand Cut Ebonite Stem for a 1968 Dunhill LB


In modern times it would be difficult to think of anything that has benefitted the pipe smoking community more than the advent of the internet. …

Cleanup and a New Hand Cut Ebonite Stem for a 1968 Dunhill LB

Charles did a great job on this stem. Thanks for sources the stock for the white dots.

Cleaning up a Peterson’s De Luxe System 8S Bent Billiard with a Sterling Silver Ferrule


Blog by Steve Laug

I have a few pipes that I am working on for local folks who either have dropped them off or who are friends that I am catching up with. The next pipe on the worktable is the second of two that belongs to an old friend of mine who is in the process of moving. He stopped by and asked me to clean up a couple of his favourite pipe. This first one I worked on was a Savinelli de luxe Milano 607KS (https://rebornpipes.com/2022/10/23/new-life-for-a-savinelli-de-luxe-milano-sandblast-607ks-bent-billiard/). This second on is a Peterson Deluxe with a Sterling Silver Ferrule. It is stamped faintly on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [over]De Luxe. The stamping on the right side was buffed off. The ferrule on the shank is clear and readable under the tarnish. It reads Peterson’s [over] Dublin. That is followed by Sterling [over] Silver. That was followed by three hallmarks – The Hibernia stamp, the Crowned Harp stamp and finally the letter “m”. It has some stunning grain around the bowl and shank under the grime. There was a thin cake in the bowl and the top and edges of the rim had some scratches and damage on both. The stem was lightly oxidized but there were no tooth marks on the surface. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. The top and edges showed some damage and was out of round and had darkening. The stem had oxidation though there was not any tooth marks of damage on the surface. I took photos of the stamping on the shank and the Sterling Silver ferrule to capture its condition. The stamping on the shank is faint but readable as noted above. The stamping on ferrule is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a picture of the pipe to show the general look and proportion of the pipe. It also shows the metal condenser tube in the tenon end. To help identify the shape number that had worn off I turned to a Peterson Catalogue that I have on rebornpipes and looked up the System Deluxe pipes (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I compared the shape of the pipe in hand with the shape chart show below. I have put a red box around the 8S pipe shown in the catalogue page shown below. So now I knew it was an 8S Bent Billiard.I turned first to Pipephil’s site to reacquaint myself with the DeLuxe. Unfortunately there was no information to be found on this specific line. I then turned to Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes to see what I could garner from that information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era  – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated…

…With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping on the pipe. It is a 1978  Republic Period pipe. I also wanted to be able to interpret the hallmarks on the silver band. I have captured a portion of the chart that include below that helps to clarify the meaning of each of the three hallmarks. I like the Hallmark feature on the higher end Peterson pipes with Sterling silver bands. It helps to pin down the date even further.

  • “Hibernia” seated, arm on harp represents Ireland (country of manufacture). There have been minor design changes over the years.
  • The “Harp Crowned” is the fineness mark denoting the high quality (purity) of the silver, and was used in a variety of designs until October 1992 when it was replaced by the new European Standard or Millesimal mark which gives the purity or quality of the silver in parts per thousand.
  • The Date Letter Code for the year in which the silver was hallmarked (see the chart below). In certain years a fourth hallmark is applied – for example 1966 – a Sword of Light for the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1973. There were also other marks used for the fourth hallmark.

The pipe on my table had the Hibernia seated mark (Ireland) followed by the Harp Crowned signifying Sterling Silver percentage and finally in this case a lower case “m”. Each of the hallmarks was in an octagonal cartouche. The chart below helps me identify the date mark to 1978. I have drawn a red arrow to point out the 1978 mark in the chart below.

I have included the entire Hallmark chart for ease of reference show any of you be looking to date the pipes that you are working on at present.I worked over the rim top and the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and to bring the bowl back to round as much as possible. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – polishing it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I rubbed down the Sterling Silver with a silver polishing cloth. By the time I was finished both the briar and the silver ferrule they both had a great shine. The grain on the pipe is quite beautiful.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.   I polished the silver ferrule with a jeweler’s cloth to remove the rest of the tarnish on the silver. It is treated with a product that protects the silver and removes the remaining tarnish. It has a rich, beautiful shine.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. 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. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Peterson’s DeLuxe 8S Bent Billiard was another fun pipe to work on. The Sterling Silver Ferrule works as a contrast between the stem and the briar and binds it all together. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown 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. The weight of the pipe is 1.52 ounces/44 grams. This beautiful pipe will be going back with the Savinelli De Luxe Milano to my friend. He will enjoy smoking it once again in his new place. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

New Life for a Savinelli de luxe Milano Sandblast 607KS Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

I have a few pipes that I am working on for local folks who either have dropped them off or who are friends that I am catching up with. The next pipe on the worktable belongs to an old friend of mine who is in the process of moving. He stopped by and asked me to clean up a couple of his favourite pipe. This first one I have chosen to work on is a deep craggy, sandblast Bent Billiard. It is stamped on the underside of the shank Savinelli [over] de luxe [over] Milano. That is followed by the Savinelli S shield then the shape number 607KS [over] Italy. I believe the vulcanite saddle stem is a replacement. The pipe was in good condition with a light cake in the bowl and some darkening on the back side of the rim top. The stem was lightly oxidized and had some tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button.  I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. The top looked quite good with some light to moderate cake in the bowl and some darkening and grime on the back top side. The stem had oxidation and light tooth chatter on both sides near the button. I took photos of the stamping to capture the clarity and readability. The brand and the shape number are very readable. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a picture of the pipe to show the general look and proportion of the pipe.The interior and exterior of the bowl was clean and in good condition when my friend dropped the pipe off. I decided to give the rim top a good scrubbing with a dry brass bristle brush to knock of some of the darkening in the valley’s of the sandblast on the rim top. I was able to get it a little bit cleaner and ready for the next step.I scraped out the ragged thin cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and wiped out the bowl with a pipe cleaner and alcohol and cleaned out the shank and the airway in the stem with the same. Both were quite clean so I moved on to treat the finish. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the sandblast finish with my fingers to get it into the nooks and crannies. After it sat for a little while I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a horsehair shoe brush to polish it. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem at this point in the  process. I sanded tooth chatter and all of the oxidation with folded pieces of 220 to remove the marks and the brown colouration on the stem surface. I sanded them with 400 grit sandpaper until the marks were gone and the oxidation was gone.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   I put the stem back on the pipe and worked the stem over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up really well with the repairs disappearing into the new finish. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The style of the blast and the look of the stain colours remind me of some of the Dunhill Shell Briar pipes or Tanshell pipes that I have repaired and restored over the years. It is quite stunning. The photos just do not capture the textures. The polished black vulcanite looks really good with the browns of the briar. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.48 ounces/42 grams. I have a second pipe to clean up for my friend then they will be going back to him to enjoy in his new place. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this beautiful sandblast billiard made by Savinelli. It was a fun one to work on.

Restoring a Kriswill Comfort Handmade Denmark Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

One of the local pipe shops drops by pipes for me to restore from time to time. This one is a thin shank Billiard with a saddle stem. It is stamped on the left side and reads Kriswill [over] Comfort [over] Handmade. The stamping is covered by an oxidized Sterling Silver shank band. Upon examining the shank I could see that a large chunk of the briar under the band (almost half the shank diameter) had been replaced with wood putty that had been drill perfectly. The repair was very well done and the putty was rock hard and invisible under the band. The thin shank and the thin saddle band are separated by a beautiful and necessary band that will really highlight the shape and add a touch of bling to the pipe. There was a thick cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the rim top and beveled inner edge of the rim so it was hard to know if there as damage on the inner edge or top. It would be revealed during the clean up. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks ahead of the button on both side of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as both sides of the stem to show the condition of the pipe when it arrived. It is a mess but still is quite elegant. I am looking forward to seeing what is under all the grime and debris.I took a photo of the stamping that was visible on the left side of the shank. It is faint but still readable. What is visible on the first line is Kriswi [over] Com [over] Handmade D. The shape number is under the silver band on the underside of the shank and is not visible.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts of the pipe to give a sense of the delicate look it has. It really is a great looking pencil shank lightweight.Before I started my clean up work on the pipe I did some reading on Pipedia on the Kriswill Brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kriswill) to see if I could find anything on the Comfort Handmade Denmark line. There was nothing specific there but I found the following general information that helped to pin down a time period for the pipe.

Kriswill was one of the large pipe manufacturers in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s, and I believe closed around 20 years ago. Their catalog cover read “By Appointment to the Royal Danish Court, KRISWILL, Kriswork Briar Trading, Briar Pipes Hand Made in Denmark.”

I also went to the PipePhil site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k3.html) and found more on the date of the brand. It also had no specific photos or mention of the Comfort Handmade Denmark line that I had but it was interesting nonetheless.

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.

I knew now that the pipe I was working on was made between 1955 when the brand opened and some time in the 1970s when the company went Bankrupt. I know that it is not one of the pipes made at a later date by Dan Pipe or by Nording. It is a bit of an old timer.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and the smallest cutting head. I took it back to bare briar to check on the condition of the bowl walls. They looked very good. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and then sanded the walls with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel.I cleaned up the remaining grime on the rim top with a damp cotton pad and was ready for the next steps in the cleaning  process. I scrubbed the bowl with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I worked on the rim top and edges. I rinsed the bowl with warm running water and dried off the bowl. It looked much better and was clean and well grained. There were some gaps in the putty fill between the band and the shank. I filled in these areas with clear super glue applied by a tooth pick.I cleaned out the inside of the shank and stem with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. It was a filthy mess and with a lot of alcohol and pipe cleaners run through it the pipe is quite clean.I worked over the rim top and inner bevel with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and removed the darkening very well. It came out very clean and looks very good.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth.  I rubbed the bowl 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 a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed the stem surface with Soft Scrub cleanser and wiped it down. I was able to remove the oxidation, calcification and grime from the surface of the stem.I “painted” the tooth marks on the surface with the flame of a lighter to lift them as much as possible. I was able to lift many of them but a few still remained. I filled in the remaining tooth marks with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure.  I sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the 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 Kriswill Comfort Handmade Denmark Pencil Shank Billiard with a Sterling Silver band and a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. 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 Kriswill Comfort Pencil Shank Billiard 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: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 27 grams/.95 ounces. I will be sending the pipe back to the pipe shop soon and look forward to hearing what he thinks. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.