Daily Archives: March 17, 2023

Restoring a Lovely Danish Pickaxe

Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a beautiful Danish pipe from Scandia. This terrific pipe came to me from an antique shop in the Fraser Valley (an area to the east of Vancouver). The price was reasonable, so I had to have it. The pipe is beautiful and a great example of Danish pipe-making. The pipe is a Danish pickaxe pipe by Scandia, produced from the esteemed pipemaker, Stanwell. The pickaxe is a very attractive shape and this one is no exception. It really makes an impression. It has beautiful, sandblasted briar from the bowl, down the shank and transitions into the vulcanite ferrule. It also has a fantastic push stem. The underside of the shank reads Scandia [over] Made in Denmark. There is a faint marking on the ferrule, which appears to show “10” or possibly “1C”. I don’t think this is a shape number, for reasons I will explain momentarily. Finally, the stem’s top also has the SC, indicating the Scandia make. Both Pipedia and Pipephil list Scandia as being a Stanwell sub-brand or second (and not much else), as per the photo below.Meanwhile, Pipedia has a good amount of information on the Stanwell brand and its history. I certainly recommend looking it over: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell.Despite the (possible) number 10 on the ferrule, I went to check the list of Stanwell shapes, here on Reborn Pipes, and I found that this definitely did not match. However, I did find something that was a match! Shape 1b is listed as “Freehand, Pick Ax, push mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson. (1975)”. To further confirm this, here is a page from an old 70s or 80s Stanwell catalogue which clearly shows the same shape of pipe with the matching shape number. I think we can safely assume that this is a pickaxe, designed by the legendary Sixten Ivarsson.Anyway, this really is a good-looking pipe. No major issues to resolve – just a few minor ones. The stem was dirty, and some small scratches. There were a couple of significant bite marks, as well as some oxidation and calcification on the vulcanite. The rim on the stummel was blackened and burnt – that would need to be addressed. The insides were fairly dirty and would need some work to clean out. There was also a small nick along the inside edge of the rim. The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work, but I have ways of sorting this out. Then, I cleaned out the insides of the stem with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol.Once this process was done, I used SoftScrub and cotton pads to wipe down the stem before throwing it in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover overnight. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess and again scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. This worked well. I used some nail polish to restore the letters SC on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding. These letters were too worn to be fully restored, but they definitely looked better after I worked on them.Before I moved on to the Micromesh pads, I built up the dents on the stem with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure.I used my miniature files to ensure that the repairs keep the shape and look like they should. I then sanded the stem down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I did the same to the remaining tooth marks. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing.I repeated all of the above procedures for the vulcanite ferule, which only came off the stummel after applying heat and some gentle force. On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order for this pipe. I used both the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and take the bowl down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the walls of the bowl. Fortunately, there were none.I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was lots of filth inside this stummel, and it took a good number of pipe cleaners etc. to sort that out. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. I then moved on to cleaning the outside of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and some cotton pads. That removed any latent dirt. I decided to de-ghost the pipe in order to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this.As I mentioned earlier, there were some small burn marks on the rim of the stummel that also needed to be addressed. Some of this was removed by the Murphy’s. For the burns that remained, I took some oxalic acid on a Q-tip and rubbed and rubbed. As you will see, the treatment worked reasonably well and the rim was improved. Some would remain, but that is part of the history of this pipe. I completed this step by gently sanding the interior rim edge to remove any remnants that remained. Then I addressed the nick on the rim by filling it with cyanoacrylate adhesive and briar dust. I sanded it down and made it look great. After this, the entire stummel was treated to a rub-down with all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit). A light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s sandblast. There is some beautiful wood on this Danish pipe! In fact, as I was working, my youngest child came to watch me for a bit and said, “Is that a doggy?” I wasn’t sure what she meant, but she grabbed the stummel and pointed this out. That’s pretty funny!I glued the ferrule back I place and then it was off for a trip to the buffer. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of conservator’s wax were just what this pipe needed. I had to be especially careful with the bench polisher, since the edges had a tendency to catch on the buffing wheels. This pipe was a delight from the start and its beauty only increased through the restoration process. This pipe is elegant, light, and incredibly comfortable to hold. Finally, I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘Danish’ pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Stanwell are as follows: length 5½ in. (140 mm); height 2½ in. (64 mm); bowl diameter 1⅝ in. (41 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅝ oz. (47 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring a Bari Made in Denmark Bent Dublin

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe was another interesting pipe that surprised both Jeff and me when  it came in a lot of pipes that we bought it from the fellow in Copenhagen, Denmark on January 26, 2023. This one is another beautiful Bari pipe. It has great grain around the bowl and shank. The pipe is stamped on the left side and clearly reads BARI and on the right side it reads Made in Denmark. There is no shape number on the shank. The rim top is crowned curving inward with a bevel toward the bowl. The inner and outer edges clean. The bowl had been reamed recently and the rim top was clean. The finish was dirty with dust and grim ground into the briar but great grain still shone through. The vulcanite taper stem was lightly oxidized and dirty and had some light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim and bowl to show the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see the reamed bowl walls and the clean rim top. He also took photos of the stem surfaces to show its overall condition when it arrived. It was lightly oxidized and dirty and had light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. The photos of the sides and heel of the bowl show the rich grain around the bowl and shank sides. The brown stain adds depth to the finish. He took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It was clear and readable. (There was no photo of the stamping on the right side.)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 (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/07/22/cleaning-up-a-danish-made-bari-special-handcut-b-dublin-freehand/). I quote below from that blog.

I quoted a section from Pipedia on Bari pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bari). 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 (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-b1.html) 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 stem was soaked in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and then rinsed clean. The pipe looked clean and ready for the next step in the process. Here are some photos of it when I brought it to the table. I took photos of the rim top and the top and underside of the stem. You can see the clean bowl and rim top. The stem has light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button. It is dirty but otherwise great. It is a nice looking pipe.The next photos show the stamping on the left and right sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. There is also a small portion of the Bari stamp on the left side of the stem in the first photo below.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the overall look of the pipe. It is really a nicely looking pipe that will look great once it is cleaned up.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 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 Made in Denmark Bent Dublin. 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 Made in Dublin 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 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.27 ounces/36 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.