Category Archives: Pipe Refurbishing Essays

Essays and pictorial essays on the art of refurbishing

Restoring a Lovely Cala Lily Shaped Erik Nording Signed Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up this interesting looking freehand pipe on one of his adventures pipe hunting. It had really nice grain and remnants of plateau on the top of the rim and one spot on the left side end of the shank. There was something familiar about the shape of carving that reminded me of a flower that I have grown. It dawned on me this morning while I worked on it that it reminded me of a Cala Lily (pictured to the left). The flow of the shape of the bowl with the extended lip on the front and the grooves flowing up the side and back of the bowl look a lot like the shape of this lily. It is a beautiful pipe that is signed on the left side of the shank with Erik Nording’s signature.

The pipe has the signature as noted above but it was also stamped on the underside of the shank and read: Handmade by Erik Nording. The finish on this pipe was dirty with dust and a light lava coat on the edge of the plateau top. The bowl was lined with a thick cake. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. The finish looks good under the grime and dust. The bits of plateau should clean up well. The stem is a turned fancy turned vulcanite stem with the stylized N of the Nording logo on the top of the saddle. The fit of the stem to the shank was snug. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem at the button. Otherwise it was a very clean stem. Jeff took of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. You can also see why I was reminded of the Cala Lily.He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of the rim top and the plateau finish. You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl onto the plateau. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the lay of the grain and the carvings around the pipe. It is a nice piece of briar. The top of the bowl is floral looking. Unique! The shank end is smooth with one small piece of plateau on the left side of the shank toward the end. Jeff took a photo of Erik Nording’s signature on the left side of the shank. It appears to have been done with Black permanent marker. He also took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank which read Handmade by Erik Nording. The first photo below shows the full length and profile of the fancy turned vulcanite stem. The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the stem. You can see the light tooth marks and chatter both on the button surface and on the blade itself. Erik Nording is a living pipe carver from Denmark. He is still carving and the information on Pipedia and Pipephil is helpful to get a feel for the brand. Give those articles a look if you want a good summary of the information. I have included the links to both of those articles for easy access.

https://pipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B8rding

http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-n2.html

I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. Overall it looked good. The valleys of the plateau were finished in black but they were worn. The rim top was very clean. The stem looked amazingly good. The chatter on the stem surfaces was gone and the surface was clean.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and the signature on the left side. Both look to be in very good condition.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to use a Black stain pen to fill in the crevices of the plateau top and give some contrast to the smooth high spots. I like this look as it give depth to the surface of the rim top.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with 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 photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it began to shine.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I touched up the N stamp on the top of the stem with some Paper Mate Liquid Paper. I applied it with a tooth pick on the surface of the stem. Once it had dried I scraped off the excess Liquid Paper off the stem with the tooth pick. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth.This is another beautiful Freehand pipe. It is an Erik Nording Handmade with a fancy, turned, black acrylic stem. To me it has the look of a Cala Lily with the flared top edges and carved valleys in the sides of the bowl. It looks a lot like the photo I posted at the top of this blog. Once again the shape fits well in my hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Nording pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½  wide x 2 inches long, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Cosmetic Repairs and Restoration of a Jobey Dansk 3 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up this interesting looking freehand pipe on one of his adventures pipe hunting. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. There were rusticated spots on the right side of the bowl and shank as well as the heel of the bowl. There was something familiar about the style of carving that reminded me of other Danish Freehand pipes I have worked on. I seemed to remember that Jobey Dansk pipes were carved by Karl Erik. The finish on this pipe was dirty with dust and lava on the plateau top. The bowl was lined with a thick cake. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. There was a crack on the left side of the bowl that did not go through to the bowl. It was a cosmetic crack. In looking at the photos you can also see a small cosmetic crack on the back of the bowl on the right side. The stem is a turned fancy turned acrylic stem. The fit of the stem to the shank was snug. There were tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button and on the smooth parts of the button on both sides. Otherwise it was a very clean stem. Jeff took of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl onto the plateau. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the lay of the grain and the rustication around the pipe. It is a nice piece of briar. The top of the bowl is craggy and rugged looking. Unique! The shank end is also a unique mix of plateau and smooth. You will also see the cosmetic cracks in the photos. I will highlight those and include closer looks at the two of them. I took some closer photos of the  the cracks in the bowl. The first shows the one on the left side of the bowl and the second is of the right rear side of the bowl. Neither were deep or went through to the inside of the rim or bowl.Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and read Jobey Dansk at the top followed by a large number 3.. Under that it read Handmade in Denmark.The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the acrylic stem. You can see the tooth marks and damage both on the button surface and on the blade itself. The third photo shows flow of the stem as a whole. I wanted to look at who had carved the Jobey Dansk line to confirm some suspicions I had about it. I had a feeling that the pipes were carved by a Danish carver known as Karl Erik. I looked up the Jobey listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey) and found the following information. I quote a portion of the article that is pertinent as follows.

English – American – Danish – French… Information about the brand Jobey are only to be found in form of smithereens…

Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as known:
George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)
Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)
Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)
Hollco International, New York (1969).
Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)
The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

 Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […]Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

From that information, my suspicions were confirmed. The pipe that I was working on was carved by Karl Erik Ottendahl. There were some similarities to the Karl Erik pipes that I have worked on in the past. The dating of the pipe line in the 70s fits well with the pipe I have in hand. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. Overall it looked good. There is some darkening and damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The stem had some deep tooth marks ahead of the button and on the button surface on both sides.I took some photos of the cracks on the side and back of the bowl. I circled them in red so they are easily identifiable in the photos below. Keep in mind that neither of them are deep or go through into the bowl. They do not show up on the rim to either. This leads me to believe they are cosmetic.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to clean out some more of the grooves in the plateau with a brass bristle wire brush. Once I had it cleaned out sanded the high spots with 220 grit sandpaper to differentiate the plateau from the valleys. With that finished I decided to address the cracks in the bowl. I put a microdrill bit in my Dremel and drilled small holes at the end of each of the cracks to stop them from spreading. The photos below show the pin holes. I have circled them so they are visible.I cleaned out the smalls cracks with a dental pick and probed to see how deep they both were. Fortunately they were both very shallow. The one on the back of the bowl was a hairline crack. I dribbled clear super glue (CA) in the crack and in the pinholes I had drilled then pressed briar dust into the holes and the cracks.Once the repairs had hardened (it takes about 5 minutes) I used a needle file to flatten out the repaired areas on the briar. I followed up on the filed areas with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. With the polishing finished I used a Black stain pen to fill in the crevices of the plateau top and give some contrast to the smooth high spots. I like this look as it give the pipe a sense of dimensionality. I also stained the repaired areas with a Cherry stain pen to blend them into the surrounding briar. The colour was a good match to the rest of the bowl and really did a good job of blending the repairs. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with 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 photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks and built up the button with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded out the tooth chatter and blended in the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it was smooth.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Jobey Dansk Hand Made by Karl Erik with a fancy, turned, black acrylic stem. It has a great look and feel. The repairs to the bowl came out really well. If you look you can see them but they blend in well with the grain around the bowl. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished acrylic stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Jobey Dansk pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾  wide x 2 ¼ inches long, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Companies section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

A Striking Savinelli Fiammata 2 Briar Calabash for a Clam Man Pipe Man


Blog by Dal Stanton

The Lot of 66 is a gift that simply put, keeps on giving.  It was the first time I stuck my neck out to buy a lot of pipes on eBay’s auction block.  I’m thankful that I did – it has produced many treasures that are now in the possession of new stewards from a good cause called the “Caring Place” in Georgetown, Texas.  The description of the Lot of 66 was “Huge Lot Of 66 Smoking Pipes Pre-Owned Pre-Smoked and Deeply Loved” followed by information that this was one person’s collection that had been donated to benefit the Caring Place helping the community in Georgetown.  This Lot of 66 benefiting the community there has also continued to benefit the work of the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Here is the picture I saw and the Savinelli Fiammata Briar Calabash now on my table is circled.Most people commission pipes from my online ‘Help Me!’ baskets in the For “Pipe Dreamers” Only collection where pipes in need of adoption may be commissioned by pipe men and women benefiting the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Jon commissioned two pipes but as a visitor to Bulgaria he was able to peruse the actual boxes and buckets and chose a pipe.  Jon was part of a church team from South Florida exploring the work we do in Bulgaria.  Of course, if guests are in my home, they find out about The Pipe Steward and receive a tour of the work room and the Man Cave on my 10th floor balcony!  Jon brought along his daughter as well, but what was unique to me was that Jon is a farmer – of sorts.  His farm is under water as he grows and commercially sells clams as well as other various sea foods which I absolutely love!  His farm is called Southern Cross Sea Farms.  Next time I’m in South Florida I hope to visit Jon, share a bowl with him and hopefully a few clams!

Not only did Jon commission the Savinelli Fiammata 2, but he also drooled over my collection of Churchwardens and when I would not relent in allowing mine to find a new home in South Florida’s clam country, he commissioned a Churchwarden project along with the Fiammata.  To benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria, I also fashion CWs with re-purposed bowls that most likely, would have never again be put into service – castaways to be used a forgotten.  Again, so many analogies to the work we do here with the Daughters!  Here are pictures of the Briar Calabash that got Jon’s attention. The nomenclature that is stamped on the left flank of the shank is ‘FIAMMATA 2’.  On the right flank is stamped 611KS – the Savinelli shape number [over] ITALY, the COM.  There are no stampings on the stem that I can detect.I’m calling the Fiammata 2 a ‘Briar Calabash’.  The 611KS is a Savinelli shape number and it is depicted in the familiar shapes chart provided on the PipePedia discussion of Savinelli.  In the same article, Fiammata is listed as a second of the well-known Italian name, Savinelli. The interesting factoid related by Pipedia is that this second, ‘Fiammata’ was a special line of pipes that did not make the prized Savinelli line, “Giubileo D’Oro” (“Gold Jubilee”) – a Straight Grain line.  What this means is that a Fiammata marked pipe was of an initial assessed quality that destined it as a ‘Top Shelf’ Savinelli pipe offering, but because it didn’t meet that standard along the way, it was put in the ‘first runner up’ Fiammata line.  So, in no way would this line be considered a sub-quality line, but an upper shelf to be sure.  Fiammata means ‘Flame’ in Italian.  Pictures of the Gold Jubilee offerings in Pipedia’s Savinelli article bare this out. The Fiammata I’m looking at looks strikingly similar.

The Savinelli Pipedia article also included some catalog page examples (courtesy Doug Vliatchka) of this top shelf line, “Giubileo D’Oro” which describe the line of pipes that the Fiammata seems to have fallen short in achieving!.  I find the page clipping below interesting because of the information it provides, but also the similarity of the grains depicted like the Fiammata on my worktable – long straight grain, fire grain.So, the Savinelli Fiammata 2 on my worktable started with great aspirations, and the grain it has is very appealing.  The condition of the Briar Calabash is generally good, but with some issues.  The chamber has a light cake on the walls.  The rim has a dark ring around the inner rim edge which should clean up.  It also has what appears to be a large fill on the rear, left hand side.  The right side of the rim also has some dings. There is a major scratching event on the lower left heel – ugh!  It appears that it was in a bucket of nails or something – the scratching is deep and will need to be sanded out. The stem has minor oxidation but there is tooth chatter on the upper and lower bit in need of sanding out.To begin the restoration of the Savinelli Fiammata 2 Briar Calabash, I first use only a pipe cleaner dipped in isopropyl 95% to clean the airway of the stem.With the airway clean, the Fiammata stem joins several other stems in a soak of Mark Hoover’s product (www.ibepen.com) Before & After Deoxidizer.  This is the only part of the restoration process that I try to mass produce!  The Fiammata is on the far left, next in the queue, and it joins several other pipes that are also in the queue along with their stems in the soak as well.  The stems were just put in the Deoxidizer and are in the process of sinking into the interesting mixture.  I leave the stems in the soak for a few hours.After a few hours, I fish out the Fiammata’s stem and after using my fingers to squeegee the Deoxidizer off, I run some pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95% through the airway to clear out the fluid.  I then use a cotton pad wetted with alcohol to wipe down the stem to remove raised oxidation from the stem.To enhance the rejuvenation of the vulcanite, paraffin oil is applied with a cotton pad and the stem is set aside to soak in the oil.Turning now to the stummel cleanup, I begin by reaming the chamber with the Pipnet Reaming Kit.  With the day a bit warmer during this time of self-quarantine because of the virus concerns, I’m trying to work out on the Man Cave as much as possible.  My ‘Man Cave’, where I’m allowed to smoke my pipes is located on the 10th floor of our apartment blok built during the days when Communism was still up and functioning in Bulgaria.   I take my tools to the Man Cave and go to work.  I’m enjoying a bowl of Black Stoker in a Made in London England Canadian.The cake is not bad, but the long, conical chamber of the Savinelli Fiammata 2 is a challenge.  The shape of the chamber tapers down so that is it narrower at the floor of the chamber. I use all 4 of the blade heads available to me in the Pipnet reaming kit, which speaks to the size of the chamber as it expands upwardly.  I am careful not to bore ridges into the side of the chamber with the different blade heads starting at different points.   I transition after the blades to the Savinelli Fitsall Tool to fine-tune the chamber wall scraping reaching down to the floor and to the more difficult areas of the conical chamber.  To rid the final vestiges of carbon, I then wrap 240 grade paper around a Sharpie Pen and sand the chamber. After wiping the chamber with a wetted cotton pad to clear the carbon dust, I inspect the wall and find a healthy chamber.  I move on! Transitioning to cleaning the external surface, I use cotton pads wetted with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap.  I patiently focus on the blackened ring on the internal edge of the rim.  My thumbnail proves to be helpful as well as a gentle scraping with my Buck pocketknife.  A brass wired brush also helps.  Transferring the pipe to the kitchen sink, I also employ shank brushes with anti-oil liquid dish soap to clean the internal mortise and airway.  After a thorough rinsing, the stummel returns to the worktable.  The cleaning did a fantastic job on the rim.  What I thought to be fills on the rim, held very firmly and have all but disappeared.  To make sure the internals are clean, a few pipe cleaners and cotton buds dipped in isopropyl 95% confirm this!  I move on!The disaster area on the front left side of the heel of the Fiammata Calabash stummel is now my focus. The sharp cuts in the briar are most likely from metal.  It’s sad…First using 240 grade sanding paper I sand the impacted area.  I do not go beyond the damaged area because heavy sanding changes the composition of the surface drastically.  It creates a lightened patch that needs again to be darkened in order to re-blend it with the surrounding briar complexion.  While the 240 paper is in play, I also lightly sand the rim’s internal edge to remove fully the darkening that remains after the cleaning.  There’s a lot of forgiveness in a rounded rim presentation!After the 240 grade paper, I sand with a dry 600 grade paper to the lightened area.  You can see how the sanding process gradually coaxes the briar grain to darken moving toward blending the sanded area.  Not pictured is that I do the same with the rim area that I had sanded with 240 paper.The blending continues by sanding the bowl with sanding sponges.  Before doing this, I cover each of the stampings of the Savinelli nomenclature with masking tape on both sides of the shank.  I try not to contribute to the demise of this pipe’s history and story!I start with a coarse sponge and follow with medium and light grade sponges.  The sanding sponges, unlike the 240 grade paper, are a gentler form of sanding that is less invasive.  Sanding sponges address the minor nicks and cuts that come through the normal life of a pipe in service.  They also help with the darkening and re-blending of the damaged sanded area (second picture).  I like the results and the fire grain of this Fiammata Briar Calabash is starting to get my attention – wow!  This is a quality piece of briar block! Loving the briar grain that is emerging through the sanding processes, I transition next to applying the full regimen of 9 micromesh pads from grades 1500 to 12000.  First, wet sanding is with pads 1500 to 2400 followed by dry sanding with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  I’m loving the show of the grain on this stummel gradually emerging!  The damaged area has been fully reintegrated into the briar environment. The next step is to apply Mark Hoover’s Restoration Balm (www.ibepen.com) which works well to bring out the rich deeper hues of the natural briar grains.  After placing a small amount of the Balm on my finger, I work it into the briar surface.  It begins with a cream-like consistency and then thickens to a waxiness that covers the entire surface.  After a thorough application of the Balm, I set the stummel aside to absorb the Balm for about 20 minutes (pictured below).  After the 20 minutes, I use a dedicated microfiber cloth to wipe the stummel removing the excess balm and to buff the stummel somewhat.  I also use this ‘balm saturated’ cloth to wipe other pipes in my collection for regular Balm maintenance – they enjoy this very much!  I follow with another microfiber cloth to buff further.  My, oh my….The Calabash’s bent stem is waiting for my attention.  It’s the next day and continuing to work on the Man Cave with another beautiful day, I take another close look at the stem.  The Before & After Deoxidizer has done a good job dealing with the oxidation.  The upper and lower bit has tooth chatter, but not severely.  The button is in pretty good shape.  To help to minimize the chatter and one evident scissor bite mark I see on the upper side, I first use the heating method.  Using a Bic lighter, I ‘paint’ the chatter with the flame.  The flame heats the vulcanite and it expands to reclaim its original disposition – or at least closer to it.  This then allows sanding out the remaining marks easier.  Before and after pictures comparing the effects of the heating approach are below – a definite improvement.  First, the upper bit comparison – note the minimization of the vertical scissor bite compression:Next, the lower bit comparison – the chatter disappears:Next, I use the flat needle file to refresh the button and 240 sanding paper to erase what remains of the tooth chatter.Even though the stem showed no signs of oxidation after use of the deoxidizer soak, I expand the sanding to the entire stem with the 240 paper.  I want to make sure no vestiges of oxidation show up in the latter stages of polishing which is when deeper oxidation usually shows up!Next, I wet sand using grade 600 paper and follow by applying 000 grade steel wool.The sanding preparatory work is completed and now the fine tune sanding with the full regimen of micromesh pads follows.  First, I wet sand with pads 1500 to 2400 and follow by dry sanding with pads from 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Between each set of 3 pads, Obsidian Oil is applied to rejuvenate and to protect against future oxidation.  I love the ‘pop’ of newly micromeshed stems! Now, the home stretch.  After rejoining stem and stummel and after mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel setting it at 40% of full power, the fine abrasive compound, Blue Diamond, is applied to the entire pipe.  Following the compound, after wiping the pipe with a felt cloth to clear the compound dust, another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted and at the same speed carnauba wax is applied.  The restoration is completed after giving the pipe a rigorous hand buffing with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine.

If this pipe is a normative example of the “Giubileo D’Oro” (“Gold Jubilee”) reject line, keep the rejects coming!  What can I say?  This is one of those restorations that discovered gold in hiding. The grain presentation on this ample Briar Calabash bowl is reminiscent to me of Preben Holm’s moniker, ‘Follow the grain.’  The straight, fire grain reaches toward the rim and the rim’s rounded shape provides a view of delicate bird’s eye, a 3-D perspective of the tips of the fire grain’s release into the air.  The heel presentation is equally expressive of larger, more chaotic patterns – for me, characteristic of the origins of the fire.  The Briar Calabash shape also contributes to the ensemble with its sweeping curves and lines moving toward the gently bending stem.  Is it obvious that I’m impressed with this line of Savinelli, Fiammata?  Clam man Jon commissioned this pipe and has the first opportunity to adopt him from The Pipe Steward Store benefitting the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Thanks for joining me!

Breathing Life into a Danish Hand Made Ben Wade Golden Walnut


Blog by Steve Laug

There is some almost electric about handling and working on a pipe designed and carved by Preben Holm. I can’t describe adequately the feeling I have when I turn the bowl and stem over in my hands even before I start working on the pipe. There is an energy that flows through the way he carved and shaped the pipes of his making. This second Ben Wade pipe was no exception. When Jeff showed me the photos of several of the Ben Wade pipes by Preben Holm that he had picked up I was excited to be able to work on them. This one has twists and turns in the carving and valleys carved into the sides of the bowl. It is very unique. The combination of dark and medium stains highlights grain that runs like flames across both sides of the bowl culminating at the flat heel of the bowl. The rim top is plateau but also cut across it are also valleys coming up from the sides of the bowl. The shank end combines smooth and plateau for a unique look.

This is another well-loved pipe as you can see from the thick cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. It is hard to know the condition of the inner edge of the bowl due to the lava on the edges. The outside of the bowl and plateau portions are dirty and dusty but the grain pops through. The vulcanite stem still had the BW Cross and Crown logo on the top sides just past the fancy turnings. The stem as a whole was oxidized, dirty and dusty with deep tooth marks on the button surface and lighter ones on the blade just ahead of the button on both sides. Jeff took these photos before he started his part of the restoration. He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of both the smooth and plateau finish. It is truly a uniquely carved rim top maximizing the plateau and the smooth parts flowing up from the bowl sides.You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl onto the plateau. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the lay of the grain around the pipe. It is a beautiful piece of briar. The top of the bowl is craggy and rugged looking. Unique! The shank end is also a unique mix of plateau and smooth. Jeff took several photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture all of the stamping. It was clear and read Ben Wade in script at the top. Under that it read Golden Walnut. Under that was stamped Hand Made in Denmark.The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the vulcanite stem. You can see the tooth marks and damage both on the button surface and on the blade itself. The third photo shows the unique Cross and Crown BW logo on the stem top near the turnings.I am including the background history that I included on the previous blog. It includes the idea that the Preben Holm pipes were marketed under the Ben Wade label in the US and imported through Lane Ltd. I turned to Pipedia and read the listing on the brand to refresh my memory and flesh out the knowledge of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Wade). I have included a photo from that site that was taken from a Tinderbox advertisement.

Ben Wade Ad in a Tinder Box catalog, courtesy Doug Valitchka

I quote the portion of the article that summarizes the history of the brand.

Young Copenhagen master pipemaker Preben Holm had made a meteoric career heading a pipe manufacture employing 45 people at the age of 22! But around the turn of 1970/71 he was in major financial difficulties. His US distributor, Snug Harbour Ltd. in New York City, left him in the lurch. Holm had three unpaid invoices on his desk and another large shipment was ready for the USA, when Snug Harbour’s manager told him on the phone that there was no money at all on the account to pay him.

So the Dane went to New York for an almost desperate search for a new distribution partner. He made contacts with Lane Ltd. and met Herman G. Lane in February 1971. Lane Ltd. had no interest in Holm’s serial pipes produced at that time but so much the more in the hand-carved freehands because the hype for Danish freehands and fancies in the States was still on its way to the climax then. The meeting resulted in an agreement to start a cooperation. Lane insisted to improve the quality considerably and in return he assured to be able to sell essentially larger quantities.

Holm went back home to work on new samples with all-new designs and altered finishes for Lane. Both, Lane and Holm, agreed that it would be unwise to sell the pipes under Preben Holm’s name as long as Snug Harbour had a considerable stock of Preben Holm pipes and might sell them pipes at very low prices just to bring in some money.

So on Mr. Lane’s proposal it was determined to use the name Ben Wade belonging to Lane Ltd. Lane spent considerable amounts of money for advertising the new brand in the big magazines– the centerpiece being whole-page ads showing a very exclusive Seven Day’s Set.

The cooperation with Lane Ltd. proved to be an eminent business success for both partners. Within a very short time Ben Wade Handmade Denmark sold in much larger quantities and at higher prices than they had ever dreamed of. And the hype these freehands and fancy pipes caused went on unbroken long after Herman G. Lane deceased. Preben Holm – obviously much more brilliant in pipe making than in pipe business – was in major troubles again in 1986 and had to sack most of his staff. The Ben Wade production was significantly lowered but continued until his untimely death in June of 1989.

Up to now Preben Holm made Ben Wade pipes are cult and highly sought for on the estate markets.

With that information my initial thoughts were confirmed. This pipe was another Preben Holm made Freehand distributed in the US by Lane Ltd under the name Ben Wade. The freehand rage occurred in the late 70s and the pipes were made until Preben’s death in 1989. My guess would be that this pipe was made sometime during that time period and potentially in the late 70s.

Armed with that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. It looked good. There is some darkening and damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The stem had some deep tooth marks ahead of the button and on the button surface on both sides.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to clean out some more of the grooves in the plateau with a brass bristle wire brush. Once I had it cleaned out I restained the plateau top with black stain. It is amazing how good the plateau looks once it is cleaned and stained.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with 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 photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded out the tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it began to shine.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I touched up the stamping on the stem top with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. It looked like it had previously been stamped with gold so I filled in the stamping once again and buffed the product off the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I wiped it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to protect the stem and slow down the oxidation. This is a beautiful Preben Holm made Ben Wade Golden Walnut with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Preben Holm Ben Wade Golden Walnut pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 wide x 2 ¼ inches long, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

 

Breathing Life into a Ben Wade Danish Made Ambassador Deluxe


Blog by Steve Laug

There is some almost electric about handling and working on a pipe designed and carved by Preben Holm. I can’t describe adequately the feeling I have when I turn the bowl and stem over in my hands even before I start working on the pipe. There is an energy that flows through the way he carved and shaped the pipes of his making. This pipe was no exception. When Jeff showed me the photos of several of the Ben Wade pipes by Preben Holm that he had picked up I was excited to be able to work on them. This one has grain that runs diagonally across both sides of the bowl culminating at a point at the heel of the bowl. The rim top combines smooth and plateau and the shank end explodes from the grain running into it with a tight plateau finish. The pipe was well loved as you can see from the thick cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. The inner edge of the bowl is burned, blackened and worn. The outside of the bowl and plateau portions are dirty and dusty but the grain pops through. There was a deep nick on the left side toward the bottom that would need to be dealt with in the restoration. The acrylic stem was dirty and dusty with deep tooth marks on the button surface and lighter ones on the blade just ahead of the button on both sides. Jeff took these photos before he started his part of the restoration. He took close up photos of the bowl and rim top from different angles to show the condition of both the smooth and plateau finish. You can see the lava and build up on the rim top and the lava flowing over the inner edge of the bowl. It is hard to know if there is damage or if the lava protected it. The bowl has a thick cake that lining the walls and overflowing into lava. The plateau surface is duty and also has some lava overflow in the valleys and crannies of the surface. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the diagonal lay of the grain around the pipe. It is a beautiful piece of briar.Jeff took two photos of the deep gouge toward the bottom of the bowl on the left side. You can see the rough edges of the gouge in the photos. Steaming it would not raise the grain around that deep nick. It would need to be filled in and repaired. Jeff took several photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture all of the stamping. It was clear and read Ben Wade in script at the top. Under that it read Ambassador Deluxe. Under that was stamped Hand Made in Denmark.The next two photos show the surface of the top and underside of the acrylic stem. You can see the tooth marks and damage both on the button surface and on the blade itself. The third photo shows the fancy turnings on the rest of the stem and give a sense of its flow.I remembered a bit of history on the brand that included the thought that the Preben Holm pipes were marketed under the Ben Wade label in the US and imported through Lane Ltd. I turned to Pipedia and read the listing on the brand to refresh my memory and flesh out the knowledge of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Wade). I have included a photo from that site that was taken from a Tinderbox advertisement.

Ben Wade Ad in a Tinder Box catalog, courtesy Doug Valitchka 

I quote the portion of the article that summarizes the history of the brand.

Young Copenhagen master pipemaker Preben Holm had made a meteoric career heading a pipe manufacture employing 45 people at the age of 22! But around the turn of 1970/71 he was in major financial difficulties. His US distributor, Snug Harbour Ltd. in New York City, left him in the lurch. Holm had three unpaid invoices on his desk and another large shipment was ready for the USA, when Snug Harbour’s manager told him on the phone that there was no money at all on the account to pay him.

So the Dane went to New York for an almost desperate search for a new distribution partner. He made contacts with Lane Ltd. and met Herman G. Lane in February 1971. Lane Ltd. had no interest in Holm’s serial pipes produced at that time but so much the more in the hand-carved freehands because the hype for Danish freehands and fancies in the States was still on its way to the climax then. The meeting resulted in an agreement to start a cooperation. Lane insisted to improve the quality considerably and in return he assured to be able to sell essentially larger quantities.

Holm went back home to work on new samples with all-new designs and altered finishes for Lane. Both, Lane and Holm, agreed that it would be unwise to sell the pipes under Preben Holm’s name as long as Snug Harbour had a considerable stock of Preben Holm pipes and might sell them pipes at very low prices just to bring in some money.

So on Mr. Lane’s proposal it was determined to use the name Ben Wade belonging to Lane Ltd. Lane spent considerable amounts of money for advertising the new brand in the big magazines– the centerpiece being whole-page ads showing a very exclusive Seven Day’s Set.

The cooperation with Lane Ltd. proved to be an eminent business success for both partners. Within a very short time Ben Wade Handmade Denmark sold in much larger quantities and at higher prices than they had ever dreamed of. And the hype these freehands and fancy pipes caused went on unbroken long after Herman G. Lane deceased. Preben Holm – obviously much more brilliant in pipe making than in pipe business – was in major troubles again in 1986 and had to sack most of his staff. The Ben Wade production was significantly lowered but continued until his untimely death in June of 1989.

Up to now Preben Holm made Ben Wade pipes are cult and highly sought for on the estate markets.

With that information my initial thoughts were confirmed. This pipe was a Preben Holm made Freehand distributed in the US by Lane Ltd under the name Ben Wade. The freehand rage occurred in the late 70s and the pipes were made until Preben’s death in 1989. My guess would be that this pipe was made sometime during that time period and potentially in the late 70s.

Armed with that information I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of them both when it arrived. It looked good. There is some darkening and damage to the inner edge of the bowl. The stem had some deep tooth marks ahead of the button and on the button surface on both sides.To begin my part of the restoration work I decided to repair the large chip/nick in the lower left side of the bowl. It was clean so I wiped it lightly and filled it in with briar dust and super glue.Once the repair cured I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar. I used a black Sharpie pen to stain the repaired area. I blended it into the surface of the surrounding briar with a Walnut stain pen. The photo shows the repair blended into the briar. I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down after each pad with a damp cloth. The bowl is starting to look very good. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with 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 photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded out the tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it began to shine.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Preben Holm made Ben Wade Ambassador Deluxe with a fancy, turned, black acrylic/Lucite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank ende multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished acrylic stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Preben Holm Ben Wade Ambassador Deluxe pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ wide x 2 ¼ inches long, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Repairing a Burned Rim Edge and Chewed Stem on an English Ben Wade 76 Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my table is nice sandblast thick shank Canadian. It is stamped on the underside of the shank with the Ben Wade over Made in London England. It also has the shape number 76 just ahead of the Ben Wade stamping. It has a nice sandblast finish that is in good shape under the dirt and even the rim top looks good. The inner edge of the rim is darkened but the bowl is in good shape. There was burn damage on the left outer edge and darkening on the inner edge of the bowl. There is a thick cake in the bowl and light lava build up on the rim top and inner edge. The taper vulcanite stem was oxidized and had some deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he cleaned the pipe.He took photos of the rim top from various angles to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim. It is dirty but there is a light lava coat on the top and the rim edges have some darkening and buildup. There is also a deep burn mark on the left out edge toward the rear of the bowl. Jeff also took a closer photo of the burned area on the outer edge of the rim. It is visible in the photo below.The sandblast finish around the sides and heel of the bowl is quite interesting and reveals some different underlying grain. The stamping on the underside of the shank is very readable as can be seen in the next photo.The next two photos show the deep tooth marks on the surface of the stem. They are actually quite high up the stem from the button. This pipeman had been a bit of a chomper. There is some wear on the edge of the button as well. The stem shows a great profile. I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top to show the condition of the edges and the bowl. It looked very good. There is some darkening to the inner edge of the bowl. The second photo shows the damage from the burn on the left side of the rim top and side of the bowl. The stem had some deep tooth marks ahead of the button on both sides. The bowl was going to be straightforward to work on so I started with it. The burned spot on the left side of the bowl edge needed to be addressed. Since the bowl was clean I wiped off the damaged spot with alcohol on a cotton pad. I dried it of with a cloth. I then filled it in with layers of super glue and briar dust – repeating the process until the surface of the rim top and the side of the bowl were even. When the repair had cured I sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar. I used a brass bristle brush to roughen up the surface of the rim top and side of the bowl. I worked it over to achieve a similar pattern to the surround sandblast. I stained the repaired area with a Mahogany stain pen and blended it into the surrounding stained briar. I am pretty happy with the match. At this point in the process the bowl definitely looks better.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. I let the balm sit on the briar for 10 minutes the buffed it off with a soft cloth. The balm enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was very clean so I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue and set it aside to cure. Once it had cured I flattened out the repairs and sharpened the edge of the button with a needle file. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to blend in the repairs with the rest of the stem surface.  I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. It is a gritty red paste (similar in grit to red Tripoli) that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem surface. Ahhhh…once again I am at my favourite part of a restoration – finishing up a pipe! This Ben Wade English made Canadian 76 came out really well considering the issues with the burned area on the side of the bowl and rim when I started. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I polished the bowl with multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem with multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and with a hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The mix of colours and the buffing made the sandblast stand out when it was waxed. The mixed grain is quite stunning. Thick oval shank and taper stem stands out in great contrast to the briar. It is a nice looking pipe. Have a look at the photos below of the finished pipe. Its dimensions are Length: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside Diameter of the Bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The long shank Canadian feels great in the hand. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store later today. You can add it to your collection and carry on the trust. Let me know if you are interested in adding it. Thanks for your time.  

A Few Adjustments to a Lightly Smoked Savinelli Product Bent Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my table is another Savinelli Product pipe. It is stamped on the underside of the shank with the Savinelli “S” Shield and Italy. It is a dirty pipe but has some great grain that the carver built the shape around. It has a natural finish that is in good shape under the dirt and even the rim top looks good. The inner edge of the rim is darkened but the bowl is in good shape. There was no burn damage to the inner edge. There is a medium cake in the bowl but no lava coat on the rim top. The variegated silver/grey acrylic stem was not well fitted to the shank. It is the original stem but it is a pretty sloppy fit. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he cleaned the pipe. Jeff took photos of the rim top from various angles to give a clear picture of the condition of the bowl and rim. It is dirty but there is no lava coat on the top and the rim edges look very good.The grain around the sides and heel of the bowl is quite interesting. It is a combination of cross grain, swirled and birdseye grain. There are some small fills on the sides and back of the bowl. Most of them seem to be solid.  The stamping on the shank is very readable as can be seen in the next photo.The acrylic stem shows tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. There is some wear on the edge of the button as well. The stem shows a great profile. It was time to get working on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back amazingly clean. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top to show the condition of the edges and the bowl. It looked very good. The stem actually looked much better than I expected and the tooth chatter seemed to have disappeared. There were some light tooth marks just next to the button edge on both sides. I would also need to fit the stem to the shank by reduce the diameter of the stem to match the shank and adjust the fit.I took photos of the stem shank junction to show the difference in diameter. The stem is significantly wider than the shank. It fit tight to the shank but the rest of the fit was very poorly done.The bowl was going to be quite easy to work on so I started with it. The fills on the right side of the bowl were sound and tight fitting. There was a damaged fill that was pitted on the back of the bowl just above the shank bowl junction. I cleaned it out with a cotton swab and alcohol and filled it in with super glue and briar dust. When the repair had cured I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Once it was smooth I stained it with an oak stain pen to blend it into the surrounding briar.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust.     I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. I let the balm sit on the briar for 10 minutes the buffed it off with a soft cloth. The balm enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used the Dremel and a sanding drum to take off as much of the excess diameter of the stem as possible while it was on the shank. I then removed the stem and worked on it with a rasp and file to remove the rest of the excess material.I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the file marks and Dremel marks on the reduced shank. I also sanded out the tooth marks and the remaining chatter on the button end of the stem. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. Once again I am at my favourite part of a restoration – finishing up a pipe! This Savinelli Made Bent Pot came out really well considering the issues with the fit of the stem when I started. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I polished it with multiple coats of carnauba wax on both the bowl and stem. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and with a hand buff with a microfibre cloth. The mix of colours and the buffing made the grain really pop once it was waxed. The mixed grain is quite stunning. The variegated silver acrylic half-saddle stem stands out in great contrast to the briar. It is a nice looking pipe. Have a look at the photos below of the finished pipe. Its dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside Diameter of the Bowl: 1¼ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: ¾ of an inch. The bent pot feels great in the hand. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store later today. You can add it to your collection and carry on the trust. Let me know if you are interested in adding it. Thanks for your time.