Tag Archives: acrylic stems

Restoring a Beautiful Karl Erik Made in Denmark Bent Egg Freehand Filter Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

After work today I decided to work on the another one of the pipes that I have still to work on from a variety of places. This pipe was another one that was purchased on 10/03/2022 in a lot of pipes that came to us from Copenhagen, Denmark  It is an interesting pipe with a bowl that combines beautiful straight and flame grain with a Plateau rim top and an egg shape. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Karl [arched over] Erik [over] Hand Made in Denmark. The latter portion of the stamping is faint but readable. The pipe was a well used pipe when Jeff received it. There was dust and grime ground into the finish. The mixture of brown and black stains highlights some beautiful grain under the dirt. The bowl was heavily caked and there was an overflow of lava on the plateau rim top. The inner edge appeared to be in good condition. The filter stem was made for a 6MM filter and appears to be acrylic and therefore was not oxidized. It was dirty with light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button and on the button itself. I wonder if the stem is not one made at a later time for the pipe, however the fit to the shank is like and original fit. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it.He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show what they looked like before his clean up. He also took some of the stem to show the condition of both sides. The photos of the sides and heel of the bowl show the uniquely stained grain around the bowl and shank. The mixture of black and brown stains adds depth finish on the pipe. Even under the grime it is a real beauty. The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photos below. It is faint but is still clear and readable as noted above.Before I started my work on the pipe I wanted to see if I could find any information that would help me date this pipe and get a sense of the line. I turned to Pipephil to get a quick review of the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k1.html). The stamp on the stem shown in the photo below is different than the one I am working on. It includes a K and an E while this one is just an E stamp. I have included a screen capture of the brand info there as well as a note in the side bar about Karl Erik Ottendahl along with a small picture.Brand created in 1965-66 by Karl Erik Ottendahl (1942 – 2004 †). In the best years he employed up to 15 craftsmen among which Bent Nielsen (see Benner) and Peder Christian Jeppesen. Former grading (ascending): from 4 to 1, and “Ekstravagant” (entirely hand made)

I then turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Erik) for more information. I am including just the opening remarks but would encourage you to give the link a read for a very interesting history of the brand. I quote:

Karl Erik Ottendahl (1942 – 2004) was born in Aalborg (Jutland), just a few miles from the very northernmost tip of Denmark. He began smoking a pipe when he was 14 and upon leaving school he started an apprenticeship in the craft as a lithographer at the age of 16.

While working as an apprentice he began hand carving pipes as a hobby. Many were given as gifts to his more senior colleagues. Upon completion of his apprenticeship he moved to Nairobi, Kenya to work as a lithographer during the 1962 war. While in that war torn country, he was unable to procure pipes for himself. In the face of such a predicament, he chose to continue to make pipes for his own use rather than go without.

Returning to Denmark after three years he couldn’t find a well paid occupation in his job, and so he began making a few pipes on the side to boost his income choosing his prenames “Karl Erik” – logo “KE” – for his label. When he managed to find some major Copenhagen pipe stores willing to sell his pieces his reputation grew little by little and he was finally able to purchase more and better machinery and began working full time as a pipe maker.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made sometime between 1965 and 2004. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the sump in the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation and calcification as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. (I only remembered to take these photos after I had restained the plateau and polished the bowl.) I took close up photos of the bowl, rim and the stem. You can see how clean the bowl and rim top and edges are. The stem is in good condition with light tooth marks and some chatter as noted above.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe.I started my work on the pipe by touching up the valleys and crevices in the plateau rim top with a black stain pen. It looked much better.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I worked it into the twin rings and the plateau rim top with a shoe brush. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.  I sanded out the tooth marks and some scratches in the stem sides with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing process with 600 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I was able to polish out the tooth marks and chatter with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I fit the filter stem with a 6MM Medico Paper Filter. It fit well in the shank and the draw on the stem was clear and easy.This Karl Erik Ottendahl Made in Denmark Freehand Egg with a 6mm filter stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful finish really highlights the grain and the polished finish is stunning. 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 Karl Erik Freehand 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: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 60 grams / 2.12 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Danish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. 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.

Restoring a Beautiful Karl Erik Freehand “Rhodesianish” Short Churchwarden


Blog by Steve Laug

This afternoon I decided to work on a pipe from the lot that I have still to work on from a variety of places. This pipe was purchased from a friend on 06/05/21 in Brazil, Indiana, USA. It is an interesting pipe with a bowl that combines the twin rings of a Bulldog or Rhodesian with a Plateau rim top and a Freehand Flair. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Karl [arched over] Erik. The pipe was a well used pipe when Jeff received it. There was dust and grime ground into the finish. The mixture of brown stains highlights some beautiful grain under the dirt. The bowl was heavily caked and there was an overflow of lava on the plateau rim top. The inner edge appeared to be in good condition. The stem is acrylic and therefore was not oxidized. It was dirty with light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button and on the button itself. There is a fancy E stamp in the top of the stem that is in good condition. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show what they looked like before his clean up. He also took some of the stem to show the condition of both sides. The photos of the sides and heel of the bowl show the uniquely stained grain around the bowl and shank. The mixture of black and brown stains adds depth finish on the pipe. Even under the grime it is a real beauty. The stamping on the left side the shank is shown in the photos below. It is clear and readable as noted above. He also took a photo of the fancy E logo on the top of the acrylic stem.Before I started my work on the pipe I wanted to see if I could find any information that would help me date this pipe and get a sense of the line. I turned to Pipephil to get a quick review of the brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k1.html). The stamp on the stem shown in the photo below is different than the one I am working on. It includeds a K and an E while this one is just an E stamp. I have included a screen capture of the brand info there as well as a note in the side bar about Karl Erik Ottendahl along with a small picture.Brand created in 1965-66 by Karl Erik Ottendahl (1942 – 2004 †). In the best years he employed up to 15 craftsmen among which Bent Nielsen (see Benner) and Peder Christian Jeppesen. Former grading (ascending): from 4 to 1, and “Ekstravagant” (entirely hand made)

I then turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Erik) for more information. I am including just the opening remarks but would encourage you to give the link a read for a very interesting history of the brand. I quote:

Karl Erik Ottendahl (1942 – 2004) was born in Aalborg (Jutland), just a few miles from the very northernmost tip of Denmark. He began smoking a pipe when he was 14 and upon leaving school he started an apprenticeship in the craft as a lithographer at the age of 16.

While working as an apprentice he began hand carving pipes as a hobby. Many were given as gifts to his more senior colleagues. Upon completion of his apprenticeship he moved to Nairobi, Kenya to work as a lithographer during the 1962 war. While in that war torn country, he was unable to procure pipes for himself. In the face of such a predicament, he chose to continue to make pipes for his own use rather than go without.

Returning to Denmark after three years he couldn’t find a well paid occupation in his job, and so he began making a few pipes on the side to boost his income choosing his prenames “Karl Erik” – logo “KE” – for his label. When he managed to find some major Copenhagen pipe stores willing to sell his pieces his reputation grew little by little and he was finally able to purchase more and better machinery and began working full time as a pipe maker.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made sometime between 1965 and 2004. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the sump in the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation and calcification as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took close up photos of the bowl, rim and the stem. You can see how clean the bowl and rim top and edges are. The stem is in good condition with light tooth marks and some chatter as noted above.I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. All are clear and readable as noted above. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I worked it into the twin rings and the plateau rim top with a shoe brush. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.  I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I was able to polish out the tooth marks and chatter with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Karl Erik Ottendahl Rhodesian/Bulldog/Freehand with a long acrylic stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful finish really highlights the grain and the polished finish is stunning. 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 Karl Erik Freehand 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: 8 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 72 grams/ 2.54 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Danish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. 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.

Restoring a Unique Savinelli Autograph 4 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one that was sent to me for a restoration. I am not taking on too many more pipes from outside Canada but the shape and finish of this one caught my eye. It is a Savinelli Autograph 4 with an unusual shape and a great sandblast finish. It is dirty but still very eye catching. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Savinelli [over] Autograph [over] 4. The shank is round but has a flat bottom that allows the pipe to be a sitter. The bowl had been partially reamed and the top half had scraped away some briar on the inner edge of the bowl. The bottom half was very full of a thick cake that had not been touched with the reamer. The pipe smelled of old tobacco but did not seem to be a heavy aromatic. The shank was dirty with oils and tars. The acrylic stem is almost certain a replacement. It does not have the characteristic autograph/signature on the side of the saddle though it is very well made and the fit to the shank is perfect. There were light tooth marks and chatter in the surface on both sides. The button surface was clean but the slot had been filled in with debris leaving a very small airway. I am including the photos of the pipe that were sent by the person who is the steward of the pipe below. I think that you can see what attracted me to this one. The email also included photos of the rim top to show its condition. There was some damage to the finish on the rim top and some damage to the inner edge of the rim. The acrylic stem photos show the scratches, chatter and tooth marks. Overall the pipe looked impressive even in its unrestored state. I wanted to remind myself a bit about the Autograph line from Savinelli so I reread a blog I had written on a previous Autograph restoration (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/05/restoring-a-savinelli-autograph-3-rhodesian-dublin-long-shank/). I quote that portion of the blog now:

I turned first to the Pipephil website (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli1.html) to get a brief overview of the Autograph line. There I found out that the Autographs were hand made and unique. The Autograph Grading system is ascending: 3, 4, … 8, 0, 00, 000.

I turned then to Pipedia to get a more background on the Autograph line. I had the outline I needed from pipephil for the pipe but wanted more (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli). I quote in part from the article on that site.

While Savinelli’s serially produced pipes account for around 98% of annual production, the marque also creates a number of artisanal, handmade pieces as well. The Autographs, the Creativity line, and the Mr. A. line are all the result of Savinelli’s unique handmade process, with the Autographs reflecting the larger Freehand aesthetic, the Creativity line delving into more complex hand carving, and the Mr. A. line sidestepping the standard shape chart for remarkable and unusual pipes.

All of the briar for Savinelli’s Autographs and other freehand pipes is sourced specifically for those pieces. While the majority of the marque’s serial production is made from extra grade ebauchon blocks, Savinelli keeps a separate supply of Extra Extra plateau blocks for Freehands. This variety of briar is much larger, and of a higher quality, which explains why so many Autographs and Savinelli handmades are naturally larger designs.

These handmade pieces are shaped much like traditional Danish Freehands: they are shaped first and drilled second. Using this method, Savinelli’s team of artisans is able to showcase their own creativity, as it maximizes flexibility and facilitates a more grain-centric approach to shaping. The resulting Freehand designs are at once both a departure from the marque’s classical standard shapes, yet very much still “Savinelli” in their nature—i.e. proportioned so that the bowl is the visual focus when viewed from the profile, juxtaposed by the comparatively trim lines of the shank and stem. To provide a little more insight into the differences between Savinelli’s standard production and freehand lines, Luisa Bozzetti comments:

“When we choose to make Freehand pipes we must stop production on the standard shapes. The process for Freehands is much more involved and takes much more time. Finding the best people from the production line and pulling them to make Freehands is challenging since it’s not an assembly line, but rather a one or two man operation.

After the rough shaping of the stummel, we must get together and brainstorm which style of stem will be paired before the pipe can be finished since we do not use pre-shaped stems. All accents and stems for the Freehands are cut from rod here in the factory. A lot of care goes into the few pieces lucky enough to make the cut; to end up with a certain number of Autographs, for instance, means that many, many more will be made, and only the few will be selected.”

The quality control process for Savinelli handmades is even more rigorous than that employed in the standard lineup. Many blocks are started and later discarded because of pits or defects. While Savinelli’s briar sourcing is a constant process, working with some of Italy’s top cutters to ensure only the finest and most suitable blocks make their way to the factory, it’s impossible to source plateau briar that’s completely free from flaws. That’s just nature. Savinelli creates the standard for quality by working through the rough (a very high-quality rough, mind you) to find that shining diamond with the potential to become a Savinelli handmade.

It looks like the Autograph 4 I am working is pretty high in the hierarchy of the line. Like other autographs I have worked on in the past this one has a unique twist to the stem.

I started my work on the pipe by reaming it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe knife. I then sanded the walls smooth and wiped it down with a cotton pad so that I could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. I scraped the mortise walls with a pen knife and was able to remove a lot of tarry/oily buildup. Once I had scraped it clean, I scrubbed the internals of the shank, mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. It smelled considerably cleaner at this point in the process. I scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to get into the grooves and valleys of the sandblast. I worked on the rim top and edges of the bowl to remove some of the tars and darkening there. I rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. I decided to address the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a wooden ball and a piece of 220 grit sand paper to give the inner edge a slight bevel to take care of the damage and burn marks. I cleaned it up lightly with a folded piece of 220 grit to smooth out the notches from the reaming work done before it arrived here. I was able to minimize the damaged area. Before I called it a night I stuffed the bowl with some cotton bolls, plugged the shank end and filled it with 99% isopropyl alcohol to leach out the oils and tars in the bowl and shank that gave it a bit of a funky smell. I set it aside for the night to do its magic. When I came back to the work table in the morning the cotton had darkened all the way down the bowl and the plug. The pipe smelled considerably better.I ran some pipe cleaners through the shank and dried the bowl edges. I used a black stain pen to stain the inner edge of the bowl to blend it into the bowl and give definition to the rim top. I like the way this looks on a cleaned pipe.I polished the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to pop and stand out on the polished briar. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my finger tips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product is a great addition to the restoration work. It enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. It is a product I use on every pipe I work on. I set the bowl aside and turned to address the stem issues. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the acrylic stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the stem. I polished out the scratching and marks left behind from the 220 grit sandpaper by wet sanding it with a 600 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the acrylic 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 Savinelli Autograph 4 Sitter with a Fancy Acrylic Stem has a beautiful sandblast finish around the bowl and shank and a smooth rim top that has some great grain. The polished light briar highlights some great grain around the pipe. The polished black acrylic fancy stem adds to the mix. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful to not buff the stamping. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Savinelli Autograph 4 Sitter is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches x 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.43 ounces/70 grams. I will be boxing it up and shipping it to its current steward to enjoy and care for. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe.

Restoring a Savinelli Nonpareil 9101 Plateau Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe is another one that has been here for a long time  – so long in fact that I cannot remember where I picked it up. I know it came to me from a trade or my own hunt because it had not been cleaned or reamed by Jeff. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing on to the plateau and the smooth portion of the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The exterior of the pipe was dirty but the grain really shone through the grime. The pipe was stamped on the heel of the bowl and read Savinelli [over] Nonpareil. The left side of the shank is also stamped and had a Savinelli S shield followed by the shape number 9101 [over] Italy. The vulcanite taper stem had a single brass dot on the left side. Here is the pipe! I took close up photos of the rim/bowl and stem. The cake in the bowl was thick and there was a thick coat of lava overflow on the rim top and edge. The valleys of the plateau were quite filled in. The stem was dirty and had light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the bowl and the left side of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.  I removed the stem from the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It is quite an attractive shape and should clean up well. I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html) to get a quick view of the Nonpareil Line. I did a screen capture of the site’s information and have included that below. I am also including a screen capture of the Shape and code chart introduction that is link in the above capture.It appears that the Nonpareil 9101 that I am working on is made before 1970 so it is at least 50+ years old. It is in great shape. I am not sure what the exception noted above is about.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the Savinelli brand and it philosophy of pipemaking. There was nothing specific on the Nonpareil line however so it was time to work on the pipe.

I used a PipeNet pipe reamer (first 3 cutting heads) to strip back the cake to bare briar. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. I sanded the bowl with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the walls. I worked on the lava in the rim top plateau with a brass bristle wire brush. I was able to remove much of the lava with that. Scrubbing it would remove the rest. I scrubbed the externals of the bowl and rim top with a tooth brush and some undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed it off with warm water and dried it off with a soft cloth. Now it was time to scrub the inside of the shank and rid it of the tars and oils. I scrubbed the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and 99% isopropyl alcohol. There was some stain in the inside of the shank that came out.   I polished the briar on the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The briar really took on a rich shine with the polishing.    I rubbed the bowl down with some Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush on the plateau rim top to clean, revive and preserve the wood. It really brings the grain alive once again. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The grain really pops at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I smoothed out the tooth marks on the stem and button surface with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It was starting to look better.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down between each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to deepen the shine. I gave it a final wipe down with Obsidian Oil.      I put the Savinelli Nonpareil 9101 Plateau Freehand back together and buffed it 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 and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping around the bowl and shank. Added to that the polished acrylic variegated brown stem was a beautiful touch. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 65 grams/2.29 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipemakers section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. I want to keep reminding us of the fact that we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next trustee.  

Cleaning up a Television Imported Briar Italian Made Churchwarden


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table was purchased from an antique store on 10/14/17 in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. It is a nice looking Rusticated Billiard Churchwarden with a long straight stem. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads TELEVISION [over] Imported Briar [over] Italy. The stamping is very clear and readable. The rusticated finish had a spotty coat of varnish around the rusticated rim, sides and shank but it was primarily on the high spots with little of it going into the depths of the rough rustication. The bowl had a thin cake and dust and debris in the rustication on the rim top and the rest of the bowl and shank. The stem was acrylic and in decent condition with some ripples in the underside from when it had been heated to bend it. It had some tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe when he unpacked it and before he started his clean up work. It is a great looking piece of briar. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the light cake bowl and the debris in the rustication. He also took photos of the stem to show the wrinkles in the middle of the underside as well as the light tooth marks and chatter on the acrylic stem. He took photos of the bowl and heel to show the condition of the finish. Though the photos show the deep rustication around the bowl sides and heel. It is a rugged, tactile looking pipe with a nickel band on the shank. The stamping is on a smooth portion of the shank. You can also see the spotty finish on the bowl and shank. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It read as noted above and was readable. It took two photos to capture the full stamp on the shank. You can also see the crackle in he varnish coat on the shank. Jeff also took photos of the shank band. The photos show that it had an EP in a diamond stamped on it and underneath were some faux hallmarks.I have worked on quite a few Television Pipes over the years – old timers, billiards and at least one Churchwarden pipe. I checked all the usual sites for information and I could find nothing about the brand. I decided to leave the hunt behind and just work on the pipe.

I took some photos of the pipe as I took it out of the box. Here is what I saw. I slid it out of the wrapper around it. I could see that Jeff had cleaned it well. The bowl had been reamed with a PipNet reamer and Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He had scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. He rinsed it with warm water. He cleaned out the internals with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The stem was twisted and tweaked to the right as can be seen in the photos of the top and underside of the pipe. The grain on the bowl is quite nice with just a few small fills that are solid and well blended in with the surrounding briar. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. The rim top had cleaned up very well and the rim top and edges looked very good. The stem was in decent condition other than light tooth chatter on both sides at the button. The stem also has some casting marks on the sides and a wrinkle on the underside from when it was heated and bent originally. I was surprised to see that the stem was acrylic rather than vulcanite. It really does shine. I took a photo of the stamping on the smooth panel on the left side of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to show the proportion of the stem to the bowl. It is a nice looking pipe.I decided to start work on this pipe by addressing the spotty varnish coat on the bowl. It was a bit odd in that it was on the high spots not in the crevices of the rustication as much. I scrubbed it with a brass bristle wire brush and acetone to try and break it down. Once finished it did look better. I would at least be able to stain the valleys and crevices! I stained the bowl with a dauber and a light brown aniline stain. I put the stain on quite heavy to let it get down in the crevices. I flamed it with a lighter to set the stain in the grain and repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage.When the stain dried I buffed the finish with a clean buffing pad and a horsehair shoe brush to raise the shine. I also polished the Electro Plated band with a jewelers cloth to bring out the shine. It is quite nice looking at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the casting marks along both sides of the stem as well as the wrinkle in the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I also smoothed out the tooth chatter on both sides. It became exceptionally clear that I was working with an acrylic stem. The sanding dust was almost blue looking and plastic feeling dust. I started polishing the stem 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 used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. Once I finished working on the stem, this Television Imported Briar Italy Churchwarden was another beautiful pipe. The rusticated briar around the bowl is clean and really tactile. The rim top and edges are in great condition. The rich brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The depth of the rustication really stood out. I put the acrylic stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Television Italian Churchwarden is a beauty and feels great in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 11 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of pipe is 1.38 ounces /40 grams. It is another one that is much more beautiful in person than these photos can capture. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store soon. Look for it in the Italian Pipe Makers section. If you would like to add it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Rebirthing an Oldrich Jirsa Bent Octagonal Panel 138 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The picture to the left is the pipe carver Oldrich Jirsa (photo from Pipephil). He is the carver of the next pipe I have chosen to work on. It is octagonal paneled pipe with smooth and rusticated finishes around the panels. The rim top is beveled inward and smooth. It is an interesting looking pipe. We purchased it from an antique mall in Utah on 03/05/21. it has a mixture of various brown coloured finishes with amazing grain around the smooth panels on bowl sides and shank and a nice looking rustication on the other panels. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Jirsa over the shape number 138. It was in filthy condition when Jeff brought it to the table. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava and debris rim top and the beveled inner edge of the bowl. The acrylic stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside on and near the button. There is an inserted briar ring around the saddle stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work to give a picture of its condition. Jeff took photos of the rim top and stem to show the general condition of the pipe. The bowl is heavily caked and the rim top and edges have a thick lava overflow on the beveled inner edge of the bowl and on the rim top. The stem has grime and tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. Jeff took photos of the tenon and the briar insert on the stem.Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain that was around this bowl. It is a nice looking pipe. He took photos of the sides of the shank to show the stamping. The stamping is readable in the photos below and is as noted above. The logo stamp is also readable on the top of the saddle stem.I turned to Pipephil’s site to see what he had on the Jirsa brand (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-j2.html). He had an entry that I did a screen capture of and also the following information on the brand. Artisan: Oldrich Jirsa (born 1962) makes pipes since 1994. I turned to Pipedia for more information on the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jirsa). I quote from the article below.

Jirsa is a Czech Republic brand owned by the family company headed by the artisan Oldrich Jirsa. They use Ebonite and cumberland stems. Best Grading: SG (Grain), three stars. Symbol: stylized J coming out of an oval. I knew that I was working on a Czech made pipe by Oldrich Jirsa. The stem on the one I was working on was acrylic and had a briar insert like the one in the photo above. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top and beveled edge lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked very good when it arrived here. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. The rim top and the beveled inner edge looked very good. The stem was clean and the tooth marks and chatter were few. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable. The logo on the stem top is also readable. I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the parts. It is a good looking pipe and has some nice looking grain and rustication around the bowl. The briar came out looking very good so I did not need to polish it with micromesh. Instead immediately worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes 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 filled in the deep tooth marks in the acrylic with clear CA glue and set it aside to let the repairs cure. Once they cured and hardened, I sanded out the repairs on the top and underside of the stem ahead of the button with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I used Rub’n Buff Antique Gold to repaint the logo on the stem top. I worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick and buffed off the excess. It looks quite good.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 am excited to finish this Jirsa Octagonal Panel Bent 138 Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping all around the smooth panels and the interesting rustication on the other panels. Combining that finish with the black, fancy acrylic stem with a briar ring all work to make this a beautiful pipe. This smooth Octagonal Panel Bent Billiard 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: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 55grams/1.94oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the PIPES FROM VARIOUS MAKERS – CZECH, BELGIAN, GERMAN, ISRAELI, SPANISH PIPEMAKERS ALONG WITH METAL PIPES section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Breathing Life into a Caminetto Business 127KS Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my worktable is another Caminetto Business pipe but different from the others that I have worked on in that it is a Pot (really quite similar in shape to a Castello 55). With each one that I have worked on I am increasingly impressed by the craftsmanship. The pipe has a rugged rusticated finish and a stepped variegated brown acrylic saddle stem. It had come to us from an antique mall in Utah, USA. It was a filthy pipe with grime and oils ground into the rusticated finish on the bowl. The pipe had some rustic beauty shining through the dust and debris in the valleys of the rough finish. The rustication covered the rim top, bowl and shank with a smooth panel on each side of the shank. The finish was dull and lifeless and dirty from sitting around. There was a very thick cake in the bowl with lava flowing out of the bowl and over the rim top. The lava had filled in the deeper grooves of the finish on the rim top. The inner edge of the rim appeared to be in good condition under the lava coat but we would know more once it was cleaned. The stamping on the left side of the shank read Caminetto in script over BUSINESS. To the right of that toward the stem was the shape number 127 in a cartouche and below that it read KS. On the right side of the shank it was stamped MADE IN ITALY [over] CUCCIAGO (CO). The taper stem was variegated brown and had the classic Caminetto Moustache on the top side. The surface was dirty and there was light tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. Jeff took the following photos before he started his cleanup work on the pipe. He took close-up photos of the bowl and rim top from various angles to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top edges. You can see the lava overflow and debris in the rustication of the rim top. You can see the cake in the bowl. This was a dirty pipe but it was the finish was in great condition. The stem is also very dirty with tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the beautiful incredibly deep rustication around the bowl. It is the same kind of rough finish that I really like on Castello Sea Rock and Savinelli Capri Pipes. You can see the oil, dust and debris in the finish on both sides of the bowl. There is also some red ink or paint on the sides of the bowl. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It reads as noted above. The stamping is clear and readable. I have worked on several Caminetto in the past so I turned to one of the restorations on the rebornpipes blog and reread the background information on the brand. I am including that info here with this restoration (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/04/19/pretty-tired-and-dirty-messy-restoration-of-a-caminetto-business-tomahawk-182/).

When the pipe arrived I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c1.html) to see if he included not only information on this Caminetto Business 182. He gave some interesting information about the brand. It was created in 1986 by Guiseppe Ascorti, Luigi Radice and Gianni Davoli as the distributor. It states that in 1979 the first Caminetto period ended with Luigi Radice leaving the company. Guiseppe Ascorti continued making the pipe with his son Roberto. In 1986 the New Caminetto period began by Roberto Ascorti.I turned to Pipedia for more information on the Caminetto and how to date the pipe I had in hand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/The_History_of_Caminetto_(shapes,_stamping,_articles,_etc.). I quote a pertinent paragraph:

Stampings and dating: First off, dating earlier Caminetto’s is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, there were three phases, some in which were much earlier, of development that occurred in the stamping process of Caminetto. Before that though, every pipe had the stamp of Caminetto in one of two ways: Caminetto in script or Caminetto within quotation marks in block letters (I do not know how it was decided which pipe got which stamp, as I have had EARLY Caminetto’s with both)…

The stampings are shown in the photo to the left. The stamping on this pipe is like #2.

…Now, the question is which stamps are earlier and more likely to have been made by Ascorti and/or Radice. The answer is #1. The differences in #2 and #3 seem to be minute, as Cucciago is simply a suburb of Cantu. Pipes stamped like #1 are the most valuable Caminetto’s as they are the earliest production of the brand, as well as what some would claim the most perfect of Ascorti and Radice’s work. The last tidbit is, of course, debatable…

… There is also another factor in stamping, that is, which series the pipe falls in. The majority of Caminetto’s one sees are those of the “Business” series, which are stamped such with their collective shape (see photo of shapes below). Another stamp that sometimes follows the “Business” one is “KS,” which from what I know means “King-size” (this could be wrong, as there are pipes stamped with KS1, KS2, and KS3).

Now it was time to look at it up close and personal. Jeff had done an amazing job in removing all of the cake and the lava on the rim top. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He took the cake back to bare briar so we could check the walls for damage. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove the lava and dirt. He cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. He cleaned the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the exterior and cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration.  To show how clean the rim top and stem really was I took a close-up photo of the rim and stem. The bowl was clean and cake free. The rim top is very clean with no residual lava in the finish. The inner edges of the bowl look good. The variegated brown acrylic taper stem cleaned up nicely. The surface had some light tooth marks (heavier on the top side than the underside) but the button edge looked really good.   I took a photo of the stamping on the smooth panels on each side of the shank. The stamping was clear and readable and reads as noted above.   I took the stem off the bowl and took a picture of the pipe to give an idea of the look of the rustication and the stem. It is going to be a pretty pipe.The bowl looked very good so I did not need to do any further work on it. 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 in with my fingers and with a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the nooks and crannies of the deep rustication of the finish on the bowl and shank. I let it sit for about 20 minutes to let it do its magic. I buffed it 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.   The bowl was finished so I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. There was one deeper mark on the top side of the stem near the button. I filled it in with clear super glue and let it cure. I sanded out the light tooth marks and chatter with 200 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I touched up the moustache stamp on the topside of the saddle stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I rubbed it into the stamp and pressed into it with a toothpick. I buffed it off with a soft cloth and left the gold in the moustache to bring it back into place.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and worked it into the crevices with a shoe brush. I buffed it with a soft cloth and a shoe brush to raise the shine. Once I put the stem in place I would buff it with a clean buffing pad to deepen the shine.  This Caminetto Business 127KS Pot is shaped a lot like a Castello 55 shape and it is a real beauty and has a lot of life left. I put the bowl and stem back together again and buffed the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a soft touch on the rusticated bowl so as not to fill it in with the polishing product. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax. I carefully buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I finished buffing with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe looks very good. The rustication is very tactile and feels great in the hand. It is comfortable and light weight. The finished Caminetto Business Pot 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 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This great looking rusticated Caminetto turned out very well. It should be a great pipe. It will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

New Life for an Ascorti Peppino 137 Handmade Brandy


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interesting Ascorti that I picked up somewhere along the way in a trade. Jeff and I picked this one up on a pipe hunt in Utah. It is a rusticated bowl and rim with a smooth panel on the underside and a band around the shank end. The pipe is stamped on the smooth panel and reads Ascorti over Peppino on the heel of the bowl followed by the shape number 137 then Hand Made over Italy. Along the bottom of the panel it also is stamped For Tinder Box. The finish was mottled and dirty with some flume around the rim and rim top that darkened it. There was a thick cake in the bowl and some lava overflow in the grooves of the rustication on the rim top. The acrylic oval stem is in good condition with some small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button edges. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the rim top. It is hard to see the cake in the bowl. The cake was much thicker than it appears in the photo. The top of the bowl looks dirty with lava overflow. The inner edges of the bowl look very good. The stem has some light tooth marks on both sides that do not show up well in the photos. Overall the tooth marks are light and should be able to be sanded smooth. The stem bears an AP logo that I will need to look into in the cleanup and research.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is clear and reads Ascorti over Peppino followed by the shape number 137 and Hand Made Italy. Underneath all of it is stamped For Tinder Box.I was intrigued by the FOR TINDER BOX stamp on the pipe so I did some searching on the internet and came to the Tinder Box site where there was a page on the Peppino line. Here is the link (http://www.tinderboxinternational.com/ascorti_peppino.htm). I am including that article in full below as well as a picture that was included on the site.

Ascorti Peppino Series Pipes

He was very young boy, when Giuseppe Ascorti, “Peppino” to all his friends began his career working as a joiner in a small furniture factory for his father. When he was about 30 years old, his passion for design and his great desire to create, he began to make pipes. In a very short time he became a great master with his revolutionary ideas to create new pipe shapes while still maintaining the classic lines of Italian pipe design. In the 1970’s, a chain of upstart pipe shops named Tinder Box while traveling in Italy, immediately realized his talent, and together collaborated in bringing the Ascorti Pipe to pipe smokers around the world. Peppino taught all his pipe making secrets to his son Roberto, who also had a natural talent as well. Today, after 25 years since Peppino’s disappearance, Roberto Ascorti and Tinder Box has a pleasure to produce a great once in a life time series of smoking pipes to be treasured forever.

Inspired from the original pipe designs, handcrafted in the 1970’s and 1980’s by his father Peppino, Roberto has remade the original designs, with the same hand making process used in those years, the same seasoned and selected briar, and the same care in working that his father was able to do. The pipes are also fitted with the same acrylic mouthpieces that are being specially remade from 30 years ago. Each design will include a certificate that shows the original copy of the old Peppino design drawings. These pipes have a special logo with “A.P.” and stamp with the Peppino name in honor of him and thanking him for the teachings of his passion to his son Roberto.

Roberto now has retired all shapes that were introduced as part of the original set in 2006. These shapes are never to be made again as part of the Peppino Serie. There is still availability but quantities are limited. Contact your local Tinder Box to see what finishes and shapes are available. In 2008…Roberto carved two new shapes from the old shape chart to be part of this marvelous series of pipes. 2009 was a very special year in the history of Ascorti Pipes. Roberto reintroduced and carved one shape for the Peppino Series. This shape is in remembrance of the passing of his father, Peppino in 1984…From the reading I knew that the pipe I was working on was made and released as one of the 2007 shapes. The shape has since been retired. All were carved by Roberto from shapes done by his father Peppino. They were done to honour his memory. All of them were released with the unique AP logo on the top of the stem. Now I had the background information in hand it was time to work on the pipe.

This morning I started by reaming the pipe. It had a thick cake but it was quite soft. I reamed it with a PipNet reamer and worked my way through two of the four cutting heads. I cleaned up the rest of the cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the walls of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. I removed the cake from the walls and they are smooth and clean. I scrubbed the bowl and rim with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. I was able to remove much of the grime from the rim top and the grooves and valleys of the sandblast finish. I rinsed it under warm running water to flush away the grime and dust in the soap. The following photos show the cleaned rim and bowl sides. I worked on the remaining debris and darkening on the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush. I was able to remove all of it and leave behind a clean rim top.I scrubbed out the airway in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I cleaned out the mortise area so that all of the oils have been removed.I rubbed the bowl and rim down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the rim top and rusticated briar with my fingertips and with a horsehair shoebrush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed the pipe with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I really like watching the Balm do its magic and bring the briar alive.  With the bowl done it was time to address the stem. I sanded the stem surface with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and was able to remove the dents in the surface. I followed that up with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to start polishing out the sanding marks.I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. I have found it is a great pre-polish for my use as it shows me areas that I need to work on with the micromesh sanding pads. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed it with a soft cloth to raise a shine. I put the bowl and stem back together again and buffed it lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to raise the shine on the briar and the acrylic stem. The buffing also removes minute scratches in the two materials and adds depth to the shine. I gave the stem several coats of carnauba wax and the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing wheel and then by hand with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe was alive now and look great to me. It has a great feel in the hand that is very tactile and should really pop when smoked. The bowl will also develop a deeper colour with smoking. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This rusticated Ascorti Peppino 137 Italian Hand Made Brandy is a beauty should make someone a great pipe. It is one that will be on the rebornpipes store very soon. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Lifting Tooth Marks from a Lucite Stem with a Heat Gun


A normal pattern of behaviour for me in my refurbishing work is that once I figure something out that works on one kind of material I want to try it on a variety of similar items. In this case once I had used the heat gun to lift the tooth dents on a vulcanite stem I wanted to experiment with Lucite stems. I had no clue whether it would work or even if Lucite had some kind of memory that would bring the dents back to a smooth surface on the stem. There was only one way to find out since I could find no answers online and that was to give it a try. I figured the worst that could happen if I was careful was that the stem would remain the same – dented or a bit melted and I would have to do a different kind of repair. I had a nice little Stanwell bulldog that was given to that had a Lucite stem that had some tooth dents in the stem – just ahead of the button. There was one dent on top and one underneath.

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The two pictures below show the depth of the marks (Again I ask your forgiveness the poor quality of the photos, several of them are a bit blurry but I think that they give you a good idea of the nature of the problem. The dents look far worse in person than the pictures show). The top photo shows the top of the stem and the second photo the underside. I decided to continue my experiment with lifting the tooth dents with my heat gun on this Lucite stem as it seemed like a good candidate for the trial.

I personally like working with a clean surface when I am doing this kind of work so I scrubbed the tip to clean it of any grime or grit that might be in the dents. I used a soft cloth dampened with Isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface then I buffed it with a quick light touch on a White Diamond wheel.  The pictures below show the stem just before I used the heat gun on it. You will see in the photos that there are small pits close to the button as well as the larger dents on both sides. The crevice between the button and stem body also has some scratches that would need to be sanded out once the tooth dents were dealt with.

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As I explained in the post on the vulcanite stem I once again stood the heat gun on its end pointing upward. I used the wire stand built into the handle to stabilize the gun in this position (see the picture previous post on lifting tooth marks from vulcanite). I wanted to be able to have both hands free to maneuver the stem over the heat so having the gun positioned in this manner allows me to do that. I set the heat gun on low heat as before because I did not know how the heat would affect the Lucite. I have found that high setting can too easily burn the vulcanite so I was assuming the same thing would be true of the Lucite.

I worked the stem over the heat keeping it about 4-6 inches above top of the gun tip as it allows it to thoroughly heat the Lucite. I move the stem constantly back and forth across the heat. I kept the stem on the pipe as before and used the bowl as a handle. In this instance I worked to just keep the first 3/4 inches of the stem from the button forward in the heat. I stopped frequently to check on the progress and see if there was any blistering on the stem. It took a bit longer for the heat to work on the Lucite. I think it must be the density and hardness of the Lucite that makes the difference. With the application of heat the Lucite began to return to its original smoothness. I kept the heat on the stem until all the dents were gone. The reason I believe the process worked was because the dents in the Lucite were not cuts in the surface but actual dents. The application of the heat did the trick.

Once the surface was smooth I took it off the heat and cooled it the same way I did the vulcanite. I did not want the stem to bend accidentally while it was soft so I dipped the tip in some running cool water to set the new surface. I dried off the tip and then sanded the area with 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper (with water on the stem as I sanded) and then moved through the grades of micromesh pads – 1500, 1800, 2400, 3200, 4000 and 6000 grit. By the 3200 grit micromesh pad I found that the Lucite was beginning to have a smooth and glossy finish. The sanding with the final two grades of the pads really polished the stem and gave it the glassy finish that polished Lucite has. I finished by giving it a final polish on the buffer with White Diamond polishing compound and a coat of carnauba wax.

Here are some pictures of the top and the underside of the finished stem.

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