Tag Archives: Italian Made pipes

New Life for an Italian Made Harvey Futura Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is another pipe that came to me from the estate of a Vancouver pipe smoker whose widow left them with a local Pipe Shop after he died. I was asked to clean them up and sell them for the shop as it has since closed. The photos below show the pipe as it was when I brought it to my work table. It is a nicely shaped billiard – with a swirling grain all around the bowl and shank. The unusual patterns of the grain on the briar is unique and a bit captivating. The bowl was heavily caked with a lava coat on the top of the rim. It was hard to tell how the inner and outer edge of the rim actually looked until the bowl was reamed. The bowl was dirty but the finish was still shiny as if it had a top coat of varnish or shellac over the stain coat. The stem had some tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. The push tenon was quite long and stepped down. The pipe had promise it was very dirty. Since it was an Italian Made Pipe I did a bit of research to see if I could find it on the web. I checked on the PipePhil website and it was not listed there. I also check on Pipedia and found a listing under Italian made pipes that read Harvey pipes but gave absolutely no information on the brand. I have a theory that the brand was made by Rossi because I knew that the factory made many pipes for various sellers around the world. I have no proof of it of course but it is a good possibility. I have no idea of the connection between Rossi and Harvey pipes but I sense that there is one.

I took photos of the stamping on the shank to show the stamping around the sides and bottom of the shank. The top two photos show the left side of the shank which is stamped HARVEY over Selected Grain over FUTURA. Both photos show the same stamping with the angle slightly different to give a clear idea. The third photo shows the Made in Italy stamp on the right side of the shank. The fourth photo shows a number stamped on the underside of the shank. It reads 25-853.When I went back to the States after Christmas to visit my parents and brothers I took a box of these pipes to Jeff to clean up for me. He reamed this Harvey Italian Made Billiard with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime on the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it came back to Vancouver it was a quite different pipe. I took photos of it before I started the restoration. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean out the bowl completely and the rim top. He removed the tars and lava to reveal some peeling of the varnish coat on the rim and some very obvious fills that can be seen in the first photo. The stem was oxidized and pitted. There were scratches, tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button.I am working on five of the pipes from that estate at the same time. I put all of the stems in a bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak. I submerged them all of the stems in the bath and let them soak overnight to break down the oxidation.While the stem soaked I worked on the rim top with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the peeling varnish and clean up the filled areas. I wiped it down with a damp cloth and dried it off. I repaired the damaged fills with clear super glue being careful to keep the glue in the filled areas alone. Once the glue cured I sanded down the repaired fills with the corner of a filled piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the rim. Once it was smooth I polished the rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I used a cherry stain touch up pen to blend the sanded and polished rim top with the colour of the rest of the bowl. Once the stain dried I wax it with carnauba wax and buffed it with a buffing wheel to polish and make it shine.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the briar. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers and worked it into the finish. I wiped it off with a soft cloth. I buffed the bowl with a micromesh cloth to polish it. 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. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I took it out of the deoxidizer and rinsed it under warm water to rinse off the mixture. I blew air through the stem and ran water through it as well to rinse out the mixture there as well. The stem still had some oxidation spots but it was all on the surface as seen in the first two photos below. I painted the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks. One of the benefits of the lighter is that it burned off the sulfur on the surface of the stem. It did not take too much work for the vulcanite to return to its smooth condition. I sanded out the remaining tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper until both sides were smooth at the button. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. I used the Before & After Pipe Polish to remove the small minute scratches left in the vulcanite. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the pipe and carefully worked the stem over with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 interesting Italian made Harvey Futura pipe came back to life nicely with the restoration. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. It will be a great yard pipe or working pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 3/4 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Breathing New Life into an Italian Made ¼ Bent Acorn


Blog by Steve Laug

When Mark sent me his uncle’s pipes for restoration he also put in several of his own pipes. This is the first of those. It is a ¼ bent rusticated acorn shaped pipe. The only marking on the pipe was the stamping Italy at the stem/shank junction on the underside of the pipe. There was a lot of dust and grime deep in the grooves of the rustication. There was a smooth band around the end of the shank and on the underside. Overall the finish was in decent condition but it was a very dirty pipe. The stem was oxidized – more on the topside than the underside. The tooth chatter was light and the tooth marks were even lighter. This pipe reminded me of one that I restemmed not long ago with the same finish and stamping. It has a great ruff finish that feels great in the hand (https://rebornpipes.com/2017/10/22/this-old-italian-canadian-showed-promise/). I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the lava build up and the light cake in the bowl. Mark kept the pipe relatively clean in terms of the cake. It appeared that the bowl had been reamed not too long ago. There were some remnants of the cake in the bowl. The rusticated rim top had some lava deep in the grooves of the finish. The edges of the rim looked to be in good condition. I took some close up photos of the stem to show the condition of both sides. The stem was oxidized and showed tooth chatter and light tooth marks on both sides near the button.I added this stem to the other three stems that I put in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer. I pushed them under the solution and left them to soak overnight.While the stems were all soaking I turned my attention to the bowl. I scrubbed the grooves and rustication on the rim top with a brass bristle brush to break up the tars and lava. I followed that by cleaning the surface of the briar with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime that sat on the surface. I scrubbed the surface with a tooth brush and rinsed it off with running water. I dried the bowl and shank off with a soft cotton towel. I took photos of the cleaned Italian pipe with the sea rock finish. It actually looked really good. The rim top still needed work but it looked better. I cleaned up the inside of the bowl to remove the remaining bits of cake on the walls and the bottom of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips to deep clean the finish, enliven and protect the wood. I used a cotton swab to work the balm into the grooves in the rustication. I let it sit for a few minutes and then buffed it with a cotton cloth. The wood came alive and the grain had begun to show through at this point and there was a rich shine to the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and called it a night. The bowl was ready other than touching up the cleaning of the shank. In the morning I removed the stem from the Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and wiped it off with a paper towel to remove the remaining oxidation and bath. I cleaned out the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol until it was clean. I cleaned out the shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs at the same time to remove any debris that remained inside. The stem was clean and there was still some oxidation on the surface with some scratching, tooth chatter and marks. It was ready to be sanded and polished.  I sanded the stem to remove the scratching and tooth chatter. I heated the stem with a Bic lighter to lift the light tooth marks. The heat smoothed out the surface enough that I was able to sand out the rest of the remnants of the marks.I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and let it dry. Once it had dried, I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with final coat Obsidian Oil and took the following pictures. I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish them. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The briar has a shine and a rich glow to it and the vulcanite stem came out quite nice with a deep shine. The pipe came out really well. Now I have four more of the uncle’s pipes to finish up and then these will be heading back to the US. Thanks for looking.