Tag Archives: Estella pipes

Restoring a Savinelli Made Estella 614 Full Bent

Blog by Steve Laug

I have always liked the rocky rusticated finish on the Savinelli Made Estella pipes. I have worked on many of them over the years and by and large they seem to have been a well-loved, good smoking and almost indestructible pipe. The finish is a rustication that almost looks like a “blastication” (rustication then sandblasted). It is knobby and very tactile. It feels good in the hand. I have worked on panels, billiards and bulldogs but never a full bent. This one was in good shape. The finish was dirty but was undamaged. The inner edge of the rim was clean and the outer edge had some wear from knocking it out against hard surfaces. There was a light cake in the bowl and the rustication on the rim top was covered with a thick coat of lava. The Lucite stem had tooth marks on the top and the underside of the stem at the button. There was a dark tar stain in the airway in the stem.  The button was in great shape. Jeff took the next series of photos to show the condition of the pipe before he cleaned it. The next photo shows the rim top and you can see the tar buildup in the rustication of the rim. It is almost smooth there is so much tar.The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the bowl and shank. It reads Estella followed by the shape number 614 over Italy. Often there is a Savinelli Shield logo but it is not on this pipe. There is also an E stamped on the left side of the staggered saddle stem. The next two photos show the tooth marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button. There was one deep mark on each side of the stem at the button.Jeff did an amazing job cleaning up the light issues on this pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the dust of the years. He removed the lava coat on the rim surface so that it was clean. He was able to clean up the outer edges of the rim so that the damage was removed and matched the rest of the rustication. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the dust was removed it was clear that the finish underneath was in stellar condition. The random style of the rustication and the high spots gave it a very rough feel that was like rock. Very well carved. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. The rim looked really good. The grooves and carved surface was very clean and the lava that had filled in all of them was gone. The bowl was clean as well.The stem cleaned up well. The majority of the tar stains in the airway came out with the scrubbing with alcohol. What was left was probably not going anywhere. The tooth marks on both sides were dents that were not too deep and could be sanded out.I stained the rim top and the outer and inner edges of the bowl with a dark brown stain pen to blend it in with the colour of the rest of the pipe. There was ring of smooth briar at the end of the shank where the stem sat against it.In my ongoing experiment with Mark Hoover’s new product that he calls Before & After Restoration Balm I used it on the blastication of the bowl and shank. Mark is the creator of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and Polishes.  He says that the product can be used on briar or stems – whether vulcanite, acrylic or horn. He said it was designed to pull the dirt off of the briar as well as polish it. He added some anti-oxidants to keep the briar from getting damaged from both UV rays and water. I chose to use it on this pipe because of the roughness of the rusticated finish on this bowl. I rubbed it into the finish on the bowl and shank with my fingers and worked it into the finish with a shoe brush to see if it pulled out the dirt. It seemed to work very well and I took the following photos to show the results. I will continue using it for a while and see how it works in a variety of settings before I give an opinion of the product. I used a sharp knife to bevel the airway in the tenon. Funneling the airway at that point adds to the smooth flow of air to the button.I sanded the tooth marks on the stem with 220 grit sandpaper until they disappeared into the surface of the stem. When I finished sanding the stem it was smooth and there were not any damaged areas on the stem at the button.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to give the next pad more bite when I sanded. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and again wiped it down with the oil after each pad. After the final pad I wiped it down with a damp cloth and set it aside while I finished the bowl. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish the briar. I used a soft touch on the rusticated areas as I did not want to flatten them or fill in the grooves with polishing compound. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and I gave the rusticated bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rough rusticated finish with its dark brown and medium brown highlights works well with the golden swirled Lucite stem. The pipe looks fresh and new. The dimensions of this pipe are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 2 inches, Bowl diameter: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 inches. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is one that will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. It will make a nice addition to someone’s pipe rack. If you are interested email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.


New Life for a Savinelli Estella 604KS Oom Paul

Blog by Steve Laug

I have always liked the rough rustic finish on the Estella pipes by Savinelli. The texture of the sandblast and the ridges and whorls are a great tactile part of the pipe. This pipe is one that my brother picked up. The finish was dirty and there were some chips and wear around the rim of the bowl. The cake in the bowl and the dust and grime made this look dull but there was a beauty underneath. The stem had no tooth marks and a little chatter and calcification. There was a light oxidation on the stem. The seven photos below are ones my brother took before he cleaned up the pipe.estella1 estella2The next three photos are close up pictures of parts of the pipe. The first one shows the rim and the cake in the bowl. The cake is quite thick. The second photo shows the chips and damage to the outer edge of the rim. The third shows the stamping on the smooth bowl bottom. The final photos show the stem and its condition before the cleaning.estella3 estella4 estella5 estella6My brother Jeff reamed and cleaned the pipe before sending it to me. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush under running water. He cleaned the internals with pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. When the pipe arrived it was in great condition and clean. It was ready for me to restore. The oxidation on the stem came to the surface when he was cleaning it.estella7 estella8The bowl was clean and the rim was also cleaned off. All of the grooves and ridges were clean and there were no tars or oils on the rim. The stain was lightened on the rim and the end of the shank.estella9I took some photos of the stem to show the condition – no tooth marks and other than oxidation it was in great shape.estella10I wiped down the edge of the rim with alcohol on cotton swabs to remove any remaining dust and debris and touched up the stain on the rim, rim edge and shank end with a combination of black Sharpie pen and a dark brown stain pen.estella11 estella12The stem was an easy clean up. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. After final rubdown I set the stem aside to dry.estella13 estella14 estella15I rubbed the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil and then gave it multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and by hand with a microfibre cloth. The photos below show the bowl after buffing.estella16I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and then buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it again with the microfibre cloth. The photos below show the finished pipe. It is a beauty in its cleaned up condition. This one is available if anyone wants to add it to their rack. Just email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send a private message and it can be yours. Thanks for looking.estella17 estella18 estella19 estella20 estella21 estella22 estella23 estella24

Rough Finish – Reworking Damaged Rim on a Savinelli Estella 412KS Dublin

Blog by Steve Laug

Warren, a Facebook friend, gifted me this Estella Dublin made by Savinelli not too long ago. It came to me in decent shape. Someone had topped the bowl and removed the original rustication and the topping had given the bowl a decided cant to the front and to the left side. The finish was in good shape. There was a dark spot on the lower portion of the bowl on the right side that made me wonder what was going on. The stamping was sharp and read Estella 412KS. The inside of the bowl had been reamed but it showed that it was lightly smoked. The stem was dirty but in decent shape as well. There was minimal tooth chatter on both sides and a faint E stamp on the left near the half saddle. There were also some ripples in the Lucite stem from buffing.Estella1



Estella4 I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and to see what was going on with the dark spot on the right. I could see from the inside of the bowl that there was no internal damage or burn through happening there. It appeared to be darkened only in colour rather than in burning.Estella5 I rinsed the bowl with warm water and dried it off. The photos below show the bowl after it had been scrubbed.Estella6



Estella9 The next three photos show the angle on the top of the bowl. From all my research on the brand and shape on the internet I had seen that the top was supposed to be flat and rusticated. I would need to flatten the rim and take care of the cant.Estella10


Estella12 When a bowl is this far out of square with a difference of almost ¼ inch in the slope it is a bit tricky to get a flat top. I used 220 grit sandpaper to begin the process and then used the Dremel and sanding drum to bring all sides even to my eye. Once I had the surface close to flattened I used a topping board and sandpaper to finish the job.Estella13


Estella15 I cleaned out the airway in the mortise and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol.Estella16 With the internals clean and the top flattened it was time to work on rusticating it. I wiped down the top with a cloth to have a clean surface to work with. The photo below is the final photo of the flattened smooth top.Estella17 Originally the Estella had a rim top that went with the rustication on the bowl. In all of my research I could not find one that was smooth topped. I wanted to approximate the original finish of the rim so I looked on the internet to find a close-up photo of what the rim on this particular shaped Dublin would have looked like when it left the factory. The photo below, while not of a new pipe, shows the rustication of the original rim.Estella18 I used a Dremel and an assortment of dental burrs to rusticate the rim surface. I started with a Dremel burr to begin with so I could roughen the surface before using the other burrs. Each burr gave a slightly different pattern to the rustication and gave it a more random appearance.Estella19




Estella23 The finished rustication is shown in the photo below.Estella24 I used a light brown stain pen to stain the rim to match the rest of the pipe.Estella25 I scrubbed the rusticated top with a brass tire brush to clean up the look and give it the same kind aged rustication that the bowl had. The brass brush knocked off the high spots and evened out the surface for a more random look.Estella26 I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the rippled effect on both the top and the bottom of the stem and then used a fine grit sanding sponge to smooth out the scratches. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and then dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit micromesh pads. Estella27


Estella29 I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffer and then gave them both several coats of Halcyon II wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges present by the pipes I work on. This one was no exception. I think the finished look was worth the added effort to rusticate the rim. Once again thank you for taking the time to read and look at the blog.Estella30