Tag Archives: Aldo Velani Pipes

Cleaning a Second Aldo Velani Ultima 1 Straight Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up a pair of Aldo Velani Ultima 1 pipes in a lot he purchased on an auction. The Ultima 1 has a composite stem with briar inserts on the saddle and along the sides of the stem with Lucite forming the base of the stem. There are strips of Lucite on the top and underside and in the bite area around the button. It really is a beautiful looking pipe with a lot of class and distinction. Most Aldo Velani pipes are made in Livorno, Italy, for the USA market by Cesare Barontini. They were previously imported by Lane Limited. The name “Aldo Velani” is actually fictional and the brand was made for export (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Aldo_Velani  http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-a3.html).  The second pipe of the pair was in significantly better condition than the first one. The pipes were probably made in the 1990s. This one was dirty but the exterior was in better shape. There was a thick cake in the bowl and there was a lava overflow on the rim top. This one was as it was made – no band added and no changes to the pipe. The stem was dirty and had light tooth marks on the Lucite around the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took some photos of the rim top and the side of the bowl to show how dirty it was. You can see the lava on the rim and the cake in the bowl. You can also see the sticky buildup on the exterior of the bowl.He took photos of the stamping on the shank – it read Aldo Velani over Ultima 1. On the underside of the shank it is stamped ITALY next to the shank/stem union. There was a nice acrylic band on the stem between the briar of the shank and the briar on the stem. The stem showed some wear and tear but it was in much better condition than its brother. The left side of the saddle stem also had the AV stamp in the briar. It always amazes me how dirty some folks let their pipes get. This one has a sticky substance all over the stem surfaces and a build up of gunk on the button and along its edges. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual thoroughness – reaming the bowl and scrubbing the internals with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime on the finish. The rim top looked very good and the bowl itself looked great. The stem was in great shape other than a bit of tooth chatter. He cleaned the inside of the airways with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He did not put this one in the Before & After Deoxidizer Bath having seen the effects on the other one. I took photos of the pipe when it arrived here. I polished the bowl and shank with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The photos below show the progress in the polishing. The pipe was beginning to look really good and the grain was beginning to really pop. It was time to work some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar on the bowl and the rim top. I worked it into the surface with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the wood. I let the balm sit for about 20 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth. I took photos of the pipe at this point in the process to show what the bowl looked like at this point. I set the bowl aside at this point and turned my attention to the stem. I was really glad to see that this composite briar and Lucite stem was in decent condition. There was some light tooth chatter and scratching but nothing serious. It would only need to be polished. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratching left behind by the 220 grit sandpaper and give the briar and the Lucite a shine. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. When I was finished the stem looked great. The photos tell the story. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and acrylic. 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 contrast of colours between the briar bowl and the briar inserts on the stem really looked good with the polished black Lucite. The Aldo Velani Ultima 1 looked really good and was a great match to its bent brother. The pipe has a unique look that catches the eye. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This one will soon be on the rebornpipes store if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for reading this while I worked on it. It was interesting and unusual piece to restore and I really enjoyed the work.

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Life for a Really Filthy Aldo Velani Ultima 1 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff picked up a pair of Aldo Velani Ultima 1 pipes in a lot he purchased on an auction. The Ultima 1 has a composite stem with briar inserts on the saddle and along the sides of the stem with Lucite forming the base of the stem. There are strips of Lucite on the top and underside and in the bite area around the button. It really is a beautiful looking pipe with a lot of class and distinction. Most Aldo Velani pipes are made in Livorno, Italy, for the USA market by Cesare Barontini. They were previously imported by Lane Limited. The name “Aldo Velani” is actually fictional and the brand was made for export (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Aldo_Velani  http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-a3.html).  The first of the pair had definitely seen better days in its ‘not so long life’. The pipes were probably made in the 1990s. This one was filthy and there was a thick coat of scum on the outside of the briar bowl and the stem. It was sticky to touch and really a mess. The bowl had a thick cake and there was a lava overflow on the rim top. The previous owner must have thought the pipe would look better with a band so he cut a piece of aluminum conduit and made a band. It is quite thick and really scratched and edges were rough from cutting – it was a real cob job! The stem was dirty and had tooth marks on the Lucite around the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. It really was a mess and needed new life breathed into it! He took some photos of the rim top and the side of the bowl to show how dirty it was. You can see the lava on the rim and the cake in the bowl. You can also see the sticky buildup on the exterior of the bowl.He took photos of the stamping on the shank and the fit of the aluminum band. You can see how thick it is in the photos. You can see it with and without the band. The shank was discoloured and scratched by the poorly made band. It would take some work to deal with that. The sad thing is that the band was purely “cosmetic” because the shank was not cracked or damaged. The band definitely had to go for cosmetic reasons! The stem definitely showed some wear and tear as well but the structure was sound. It always amazes me how dirty folks let their pipes get. This one has food particles or something jammed against the sharp edge of the button. The AV logo was stamped on the left side of the briar portion of the saddle stem. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual thoroughness – reaming the bowl and scrubbing the internals with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime on the finish. The rim top looked very good and the bowl itself looked great. There were a few nicks or sandpits on the right side and heel of the bowl. The area where the band had been was quite a bit better but still was not right but it still looked better without the band than with it.

Sometimes the cleaning and restoration work has some unexpected results that end up making more work for the restorer! In this case the issue arose when Jeff soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer. He did not leave it in too long but the time it sat in the mix made the briar inserts almost black and it swelled above the Lucite. When he took it out and rinsed it off the stem looked awful and Jeff was just sick! I took photos of the stem and bowls on both pipes to show the contrast in the stem. Originally the stem on the bent looked like the stem on the straight. The photos below show the comparison and the damage to the stem on the bent. Now the trick would be to try to restore the stem to a semblance of its original colour. I was not sure I would be able to get it back but time would tell. I decided to start my restoration on this pipe by addressing the most irritating issue facing me with this pipe! I wanted to see what I could do with the stem and the staining where the band had been. I mixed up a batch of oxalic acid – crystals and water. I made it fairly concentrated –1 teaspoon of oxalic crystals to ½ cup of water. When my Dad was here we used it to remove water stain damage to a pipe stand that I was refinishing. I figured it was worth a try. I wiped the stem down with a cotton pad dipped in the oxalic mixture. I also wiped the darkened ring around the shank where the band had been. I wiped it on repeatedly and dried it off. The first set of four photos show the immediate results of the action. I sanded the shank area (carefully avoiding damaging the stamping) and the briar portions of the stem with a worn piece of 220 grit sandpaper to further remove the darkening. I was able to remove much of the issue on the stem. I sent the following photos via Facebook Messenger to my brother to ease his mind about the stem. You can see that things are looking quite hopeful with the stem and the shank at this point. Please ignore the curmudgeonly model that is posing with the pipe!I wiped the stem and bowl down with an alcohol wetted cotton pad to remove the sanding dust. I polished the briar with 1500-2400 micromesh sanding pads. I used some clear super glue to repair the deep sand pits and nicks in the briar. Once the repairs had cured I sanded them smooth with a small piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the briar and then sanded the repaired areas with 1500-2400 grit micromesh pads. When I had finished the repairs were smooth (I failed to take photos of this part of the process).I stained the repaired areas, the rim top and the shank end where I had stripped the finish with the oxalic acid wash with an Oak stain pen. The colour most accurately matched the rest of the bowl. I was happy with the overall look of the bowl but the ring damage on the shank end still stood out too much to my liking. The colour on the bowl was even but still was significantly browner than the reds of the stem. I decided to rub the bowl down with several coats of Danish Oil Cherry stain. I rubbed it down and wiped it off several times until I had the colour I wanted. I set it aside to let the stain sink into the briar. The pictures below show the bowl at this point in the process. I am making progress. I was happy with the finished bowl colour and the darkening left by the poorly done band looked better than it had before. There were still remnants that were left behind and these are the war wounds from the journey this pipe took before it came to me. Here are some photos of the bowl at this point. The colour is very good and works with the stem and the grain really sings. I set the bowl aside at this point and turned my attention to the stem. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads to remove the scratching left behind by the 220 grit sandpaper and give the briar and the Lucite a shine. The stem was looking far better than I expected or had hoped. Now came the test – would the bowl and stem look good together? I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and rubber. 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 Cherry Danish Oil had really breathed life into the briar on the bowl and stem and the pipe came alive with the buffing. The contrast of colours between the briar bowl and the briar inserts on the stem really looked good with the polished black Lucite. The Aldo Velani Ultima 1 looked far better than when it enter the queue and I was able to redeem the darkened stem. The finished pipe has a unique look that catches the eye. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This one will soon be on the rebornpipes store if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Thanks for reading this while I worked on it. It was interesting and unusual piece to restore and I really enjoyed the work.

Repairing and Restoring an Aldo Velani Fumata Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

I have been corresponding with Paresh for some time now and have repaired and restored two of his pipes and sent him others as well. We carry on conversation via WhatsApp on the internet and discuss the various pipes he is purchasing as well as ones that he has inherited from his grandfather. This little Aldo Velani was one of the first pipes that he sent me from India to work on. It took a long time to arrive. When it did it appeared as shown in the photos below. It was stamped Aldo Velani on the left side of the shank and Fumata on the underside of the right of the shank. It also had Italy stamped on the underside of the left of the shank next to the shank/stem union. I am assuming that the Fumata referred to the black paint like finish on the cap and partway down the bowl and the shank. It was flaking off and really did not look good. Paresh had reamed the bowl and cleaned the rim and in doing so did a great job removing the flaking finish on the rim. The bowl was clean as were the internals of the shank. When he was working on the acrylic stem the entire upper portion of the button broke off leaving the button top missing. I took close up photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition it was in when it arrived in Vancouver. You can see the rim is quite clean there are a few stubborn spots that will need to be worked on. You can also see the chipped portion missing from the button on the topside of the stem and the tooth marks in the underside of the button.The grain on the bowl was quite nice so I decided to remove the paint from the cap and the shank. I used acetone on a paper towel to work over the bowl. As you can see from the following photos the finish came off quite easily. There were some nicks and dents in the sides of the bowl and the twin rings around the cap were very dirty. I buffed the bowl once I had removed the finish to get a better idea of what I was working on and to see what the grain looked like at this point in the process. It really was a pretty little bulldog and with some sanding and polishing it would really look good. Personally I like the pipe better without the black rim cap. I sent pictures to Paresh on WhatsApp to show him the progress at this point and he also liked the new look of the bowl. I used the Dremel and sanding drum to cut off the damaged portion of the stem and give me solid material to work with to reshape and rebuild the button.I put the stem back on the bowl to have a look at what the pipe would be like now that the bowl was stripped and the stem was cut back. I sent the photos to Paresh on WhatsApp as a progress report. He liked the new look and said he could not wait to see what the stem looked like with the new button cut. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I cut the new button in the surface of the acrylic stem with a needle file. I did not worry about shaping it yet, I was more interested in getting the sharp edge defined. I matched the two sides of the button so that both sides would be equal. I sanded the surface of the stem on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper to further define the edge of the button. Once the edge was defined I built up the top and bottom surface of the button. I used clear super glue to add more definition to the button. I checked out the inside of the shank and noticed that there was a build up of hardened tars and oils on the walls of the mortise. I scraped them out with a dental spatula. I was able to remove a lot of hardened tars with the spatula. Once the inside was scraped clean I scrubbed the mortise and airway in the shank with alcohol, cotton swabs and bristle and smooth pipe cleaners until they came out clean. I cleaned out the airway in the stem with bristle pipe cleaners to remove more of the oils on the inside of the airway. Once the inside of the stem was clean I build up the newly cut button with clear super glue. It would take a lot of thin layers to get it to the point that I would be happy with it but it was starting to look like a button. When the repair had hardened I cleaned up the edges and the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I used needle files to funnel the slot in the end of the new button. The stem is definitely beginning to take shape at this point.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads. When sanding Lucite it is important to wash the pads repeatedly to remove the fine sanding dust that otherwise clogs the pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth. The briar on the bowl has some nicks that are really character marks. I chose to leave them and not fill them in and sand them. To me they are parts of the story of the pipe. I decided to polish the briar and raise a shine. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust. The grain in the briar really began to stand out. I rubbed some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar to lift out the dust in the grain, enliven and protect the newly stripped bowl. I let it sit for a little while then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I like the way the grain stands out now. I am not going to stain the pipe as I like the way it looks at this point. I will check with Paresh and see if he wants me to darken it at all, but to me it looks grand. With the stem reshaped and polished I put it back on the pipe and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond. I used a light touch on the stem to polish out any remaining scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This is the fifth pipe I have worked over for Paresh. Once I finish the other two pipes that he has in the queue I will pack them up and send them to India. I look forward to hearing what he thinks one he has them in hand. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as this one provided a few different challenges to the restoration craft. Cheers.

Refreshing a Beautiful Aldo Velani Bent Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

This is the second pipe from the lot my brother Jeff picked up an estate sale a few weekends ago. He had received a call from the auction house that was running the sale to let him know that there were going to be some pipes in the sale. They said that many of the pipes were what they called higher end pipes. They talked a bit and he asked if they would mind sending him a list of the pipes that were coming up. They went one step better and sent him the two photos to the left of the pipes as a preview of what was going on sale. Using FaceBook Messenger we went through the pipes and picked the ones that we wanted to purchase. He would go to the sale the next day and see what he could find. It is times like this that I wish I lived close so I could go with him to these sales.

Friday morning he went into the sale and they handed him a bucket and the box of pipes that they had set back behind the counter for him. There were indeed some nice pipes in the batch and certainly pricier than the average lot we usually find at estate or antique sales and malls. There were quite a few Savinelli pipes as well as Stanwell, GBD, Aldo Velani, Nording, Il Ceppo, Barlings, DiMonte and a Chacom Sahara. They made him a proposition for the entire lot of pipes and he went for it. He came home with all of the pipes in the photos to the left.

When he got home he called me on FaceTime and went through the pipes he had picked up. We were both pretty excited by the lot. As we went through them we noted the names, brands and the stamping on the shank of each pipe. I got more excited as we noted each pipe and its condition. We realized that these pipes were in pretty decent shape other than the usual dirtiness and grime from smoking. There was not any significant damage to rims or bowls. Almost all the stems had tooth marks near the button on both sides that would need to be cleaned up. But other than that, it was a very nice lot of pipes. We had done well with the purchase.

I chose to work on the Aldo Velani Italian Dublin next. It is a beautiful Dublin shaped pipe that was in pretty good shape. It was stamped on the left side of the shank with the brand ALDO VELANI. On the underside of the shank next to the stem shank junction it bore the stamp ITALY. The saddle stem was Lucite and had not stamping or logo on it. My brother took the following photos before he worked on the pipes.The finish on the bowl was in pretty decent shape. The rim surface was dirty and had some tars and oil build up. Around the inner edge of the bowl some of varnish coat was peeling off and the briar was showing through. There were some dents and nicks in the surface. On the front right of the bowl there was a spot where the varnish was damaged like the bowl had been rubbed against a rough surface (it is visible in the second photo below). I would need to smooth out those areas and stain and give them a top coat to replace the shine. The finish on the sides and the  bottom of the bowl was in excellent shape. The next two photos show the stamping on the pipe – the brand on the left side and the country of origin on the underside next to the silver band.The stem had tooth chatter on the top side next to the button and on top of it. On the underside there were tooth marks and chatter that would need to be sanded out. Fortunately none of them were too deep.Once again Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. He scrubbed the interior and exterior and sent me a very clean pipe that I only needed to put the finishing touches on. The next four photos show the pipe when I brought it to my work table. The pipe looked really good. The finish on the bowl sides, bottom and shank were in excellent condition. The scrape on the front of the bowl and the rim scrapes where the varnish coat was missing were clean and ready to repair. The stem was clean as well other than the light oxidation and the tooth chatter. I took a photo of the rim top to show the damage on the inner edge. You can see the area on the right side of the inner edge and the back side. There was also some damage on the front inner edge of the bowl. These would need to be sanded and repaired.The stem was very clean other than the tooth chatter and tooth marks.When I removed the stem the silver band fell off in my hands. The glue that had held it in place had dried and cracked. I used a tooth pick to spread all purpose glue around the end of the shank and pressed the band in place.I sanded the inner edge of the rim to remove the damaged finish. I used 1500-6000 grit micromesh sanding pads to smooth out the damaged areas. I wet sanded the areas to minimize the damage. I touched up the sanded areas with a dark brown stain pen. It matched the stain on the surrounding bowl. I ran a pipe cleaner and alcohol through the mortise and airway in the shank and stem. The pipe cleaner came out very clean and showed that the pipe was spotless.I sanded out the tooth chatter and tooth marks with 220 grit sandpaper until the surface of the stem was smooth. Once I had it sanded smooth I polished it with micromesh sanding pad – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cotton pad to remove the sanding dust after each pad so that I could see how it was polishing. To give the repaired areas on the rim top a shine like the rest of the bowl I buffed it with Blue Diamond and then applied some Cherry Danish Oil to the rim top with a cotton swab. I repeated the process until the top of the rim shone. It looked like the rest of the bowl once again. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. It polished out all of the minute scratches in the surface of the Lucite and the briar. It does a great job with a soft touch when polishing briar and the shine that the Blue Diamond gives Lucite is glassy. I gave the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It really is a beautiful looking pipe. The Dublin shape is perfectly laid out to maximize the grain. This one will soon be for sale on the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know either by email to slaug@uniserve.com or a private message on FaceBook. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a Long Diamond Shank Aldo Velani Grande 39


Blog by Steve Laug

This pipe came to me through my brother. I am not sure if it was one of his eBay finds or his pipe hunting adventures. Either way it is a unique and unusual pipe. It has a long diamond shaped shank ending in a tapered diamond shaped stem with a slash of briar inserted into the Lucite. The bowl is a variation on a Dublin shape with the diamond shape of the underside of the shank carrying through to the bottom of the bowl. The rim had been obviously tapped out on some hard surface and the top and the outer edges of the rim had nicks and dents. Somewhere along the way someone had cracked the shank and put on a poorly installed Sterling silver band. The stem had some slight tooth chatter on the top and the bottom near the button and there were several small tooth marks on the underside.aldo1It is stamped Aldo Velani Grande on the left side of the shank. The centre portion of the top line of the stamp is faint. It is stamped on the right underside of the shank with the shape number 39. There was no other stamping on the shank. The stem bore an AV stamp that had originally been gold in colour but had faded. In the second photo below you can see the glue from the band oozing out onto the shank. It was that way all the way around. Someone had carelessly used the glue and not cleaned up the overflow. You can also see that the stem does not fit properly against the shank end.aldo2The stem listed to downward and to the left side of the shank and was crooked. Once I pulled the stem out I could see that the tenon was no longer straight.aldo3The next two photos show the top of the rim and the bottom of the bowl respectively. You can see the light cake and the rounding of the outer edges of the rim in the first photo. The underside of the pipe looked pristine. The finish was dirty and a bit spotty.

aldo4My brother, Jeff cleaned up the pipe. He scrubbed out the internals and the external of the pipe. When it arrived in Canada it was very clean and the finish had basically been removed. I am really growing to like having these pipes arrive cleaned and ready to restore. Thanks Jeff!aldo4a aldo4bThe next photo shows the rim after he had cleaned up the surface. There was a burn mark on the front edge of the rim that would need to be addressed. You can clearly see all the nicks and chips in the rim edges in this photo.aldo4cOnce I removed the stem the band fell off in my hands. I could see the band covered a sloppy crack repair. Though the repair held and the crack was sealed there was a lot of glue. I am not sure whether it was for the crack or for the band. Either way it was over kill. The glue had hardened and somewhere along the way the silver band had picked up the ridges and valleys of the hard glue underneath.aldo4dI sanded the glue until it was smooth on the shank end. I squared up the band and made the angular corner of the diamond shape more sharp. I smoothed out the dents in the band as much as possible from the inside of the band. I slid band on the shank and used a small ball-peen hammer to carefully tap the band flatter from the outside. I was able to remove much of the damage to the silver band with this process. I used a small bit of glue to hold the band snug on the shank.aldo4eTo take care of the rim damage and to reduce the damage to the outer edge of the rim I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I sanded until the edge was clean and then worked on the outer edge of the rim with sandpaper. In the second photo below you can see the area where the burn has affected the outer edge at the front of the bowl.aldo5I wrapped a KleenReem pipe reamer with 220 grit sandpaper and used it to sand the interior of the bowl and clean up the inner edge of the rim.aldo6On the right side of the bowl there were two larger chips in the outer edge. I used crazy glue and briar dust to fill in the divots. Once the repair dried I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to reshape it.aldo7I heated the tenon with a Bic lighter until the tenon was flexible and then carefully inserted it into the mortise and aligned it with the shank. I held it in place until the tenon cooled. That repaired the fit of the stem to the shank.aldo8Since I was working on the stem I decided to finish polishing it. I sanded out the tooth marks and tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper. I polished it by wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth. Once the pipe was finished I would buff the stem and pipe together.aldo9 aldo11 aldo12I used European Gold Rub n’ Buff to touch up the AV stamp on the side of the stem and hand buffed the stem.aldo13I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain cut by 50% with isopropyl alcohol. I flamed it and repeated the process until I got an even coverage.aldo14I took the next set of photos to show the bowl after the stain had dried. It was too opaque for me and hid the grain on the pipe but I would deal with that in the morning. I set the pipe aside of the night and let the stain dry.aldo15 aldo16In the morning I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to thin the stain coat and make the grain stand out.aldo17 aldo18With the stain looking good and the stem finished I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and gave it multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and then by hand with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the pictures below. It is a beautiful pipe. It is ready for whoever wants to add it to their rack. Send me a message or an email at slaug@uniserve.com if you are interested in this beauty. Thanks for looking.aldo19 aldo20 aldo21 aldo22 aldo23 aldo24 aldo25 aldo26 aldo27

 

 

An Unsmoked Aldo Velani Trio 56


Blog by Steve Laug

I have never worked on or seen an Aldo Velani Italian made pipe before. I have read about them but never had one in my hands. This one came to me from my brother and it needed no clean up or refurbishing. This pipe was spotless and appeared to be unsmoked. I am always dubious when I get what appears to be an unsmoked pipe. I spent some time going over the internals of this pipe to check that out. It did not smell like tobacco or smoke. When I ran a pipe cleaner through the stem and shank it came out pristine. So I am fairly convinced that the pipe is unsmoked. The bowl has a dark neutral tasting bowl coating on the walls. The finish is clean and unblemished. There are no scars or damage to the finish on the bowl. It has a combination of cross grain on the top and underside of the bowl and shank and up the front and back of the bowl. There is also some great birdseye grain on the bowl sides. It is not a pipe that I will be keeping. If any of you who are reading this blog want to add it to your rack it can be yours for $60 + postage. The shape is great in the hand and it would be one I would keep if I did not have so many already. AV1 AV2AV3Av4The stamping on the bowl read Aldo Velani over Trio on the left side of the shank and Italy 56 on the underside. There is no stamping on the right side of the shank. The stem was a shiny black Lucite and there was a brass end cap/band on the shank. The band sat between the bowl and the shank. The stem had the stylized Aldo Velani stamp – a kind of AV that ran together. The pipe came with a thick velvet pipe sock with drawstrings.AV5I took the pipe apart to make sure that it was clean and had no dust or debris from sitting in the bag and it was very clean. There is no smell of tobacco in shank or the stem. The stem has a well done funnel at the end of the tenon. The drilling in the shank is at the top of the shank but comes out at the bottom of the bowl and is centred. The draught on the pipe is open and easy.AV6 AV7 AV8 AV9 AV10 AV11 Av12Once again if you are interested in adding this one to your collection email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. We can work out a deal. Thanks for looking.