Tag Archives: Kriswill Pipes

A Fresh Lease on Life For a Tired Looking “Count”!


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

A few months back I had restored two Kriswill pipes from my grandfather’s collection; a “CHIEF” and a “GOLDEN CLIPPER”. Both these pipes were a big challenge to restore and took considerable time and effort. However, the end results on both these pipes were highly satisfying!! To those interested in reading the write up on both these pipes, here are the links; https://rebornpipes.com/2018/08/04/breathing-new-life-into-a-kriswill-chief-20/

https://rebornpipes.com/2018/08/11/restoring-a-kriswill-golden-clipper/

This is the third Kriswill from my grandfather’s collection, a sandblasted KRISWILL “COUNT” in an impressive Oom Paul shape. The sandblast follows the beautiful grain pattern on the stummel surface and on the steeply raking shank, save for the smooth portion on the left side of the shank which bears the only stamping visible on the pipe and is stamped as “KRISWILL” over “COUNT” over “HANDMADE IN DENMARK”. This smooth surface extends to the shank end and forms a smooth ring all around. When polished and revitalized, this ring will contrast beautifully against the glossy black of the vulcanite stem. The full bent vulcanite stem is devoid of any stamping.

While working on the Kriswill Chief and Golden Clipper, I had researched the brand and detailed information can be referred to on the links provided above.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
Age definitely shows on the stummel surface!!! The briar is dull and lifeless and has taken on a layer of aged patina, through which one can make out the beautiful sandblast patterns all around which follow the grains. There is a slight overflow of lava on to the stummel surface. A thorough cleaning of the stummel followed by polish will accentuate the sandblast pattern on the stummel. There is an uneven buildup of cake in the chamber with a thicker layer seen at the bottom half of the chamber. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber can be ascertained only after the cake has been removed completely and taken down to bare briar. The bowl feels robust and solid to the touch from the outside. This issue should be a breeze to address.The rim top has darkened on the due to a slight overflow of lava. This can be seen in pictures above. The condition of the inner and outer edge and rim top is pristine. The shank end of the pipe is clean. However, the mortise does show signs of accumulated dried oils, tars and remnants of ash, greatly restricting the air flow.The vulcanite stem has tooth indentations and minor tooth chatter on the upper and lower surface. It is heavily oxidized. The air flow through the stems is laborious to say the least. The fit of the stem in to the mortise is very loose, which will loosen further after the mortise and tenon have been cleaned. These issues will need to be addressed.THE PROCESS
I started this project by reaming the chamber with size 2 and followed it up with size 3 head of PipNet reamer. I used a 220 grit sand paper, pinched between my thumb and forefinger, to sand the inner walls of the chamber of the pipe. Once I had reached the bare briar, I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol. This removed all the residual carbon dust and also rid the chamber of all ghost smells. The walls of the chamber are nice and solid with no signs of heat fissures or cracks. I followed up the reaming by cleaning the mortise and air way of the pipe using hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners, q-tips dipped in alcohol. The mortise and the draught hole were given a final clean with shank brushes dipped in alcohol. I dried the mortise with a rolled paper napkin. The shank internals and the draught hole are now nice and clean with an open and full draw.I cleaned out the internals of the stem using hard bristled and regular pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol. I scraped the dried oils and tars from the tenon with the sharp edge of my fabricated dental spatula. The deep bite marks on the stem were flamed using a Bic lighter. However, this did not work. From my experience, I have learnt that getting rid of the oxidation from and around the surface to be filled helps in subsequent better blending of the fill with the stem surface. With a folded piece of used 150 grit sand paper, I sand the area that is required to be filled. I cleaned the sanded portion of the stem with cotton pad dipped in alcohol and spot filled the damaged area with a mixture of activated charcoal and clear superglue. I set the stem aside for the fill to cure.Now, it was the turn of the stummel to get cleaned up. Using a hard bristled tooth brush dipped in undiluted Murphy’s oil soap, I very deliberately scrubbed the stummel, cleaning the surface thoroughly. Special attention was paid to scrub out all the dirt and dust from the crevices in the sandblast on the stummel and shank. I cleaned the plateau rim and shank end too. The stummel, plateau shank end and rim top were dried using paper napkins and soft cotton cloth. I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to briar and let it rest for a few minutes. I took some extra efforts to work the balm in to the sandblast finish of the bowl. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance. I further buff it with a horse hair shoe brush. With the stummel nice and clean and attractive, I worked the stem of the “COUNT”. I sharpened the lip edges using a needle file and sand the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 800 and 1000 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. By mere sanding itself, the minor tooth marks seen on stem surfaces were completely addressed. This process also eliminated the deep oxidation seen on the vulcanite stem. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with alcohol after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil. The internals of the stem was cleaned out using alcohol and pipe cleaners. The pictures of the process and final results are shown below. To finish, I re-attach the stem with the stummel. I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my local machine which is similar to a Dremel.  I set the speed at about half of the full power and applied White Diamond compound to each of the three pipes. I wiped/ buffed the pipe with a soft cotton cloth to clear it of any leftover compound dust. I then mounted another cotton cloth wheel on to the polishing machine and applied several coats of carnauba wax over the stummel and the stem. I finished the restoration by giving the pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The completed pipe, with the dark brown hues of the sandblast stummel contrasting with the shiny black stem, looks lovely, fresh and vibrant; the photographs speak for themselves. If only the pipe could tell some of my grand Old man’s stories and recount incidents witnessed while being smoked.…………… Cheers!!

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Restoring a Kriswill “Golden Clipper”


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

“………. and now make me handsome and desirable too!!!!!” This is what the sibling of the Kriswill “CHIEF”, the “GOLDEN CLIPPER” appeared to be demanding of me and who am I to refuse this lovely pipe. So here I am with all my enthusiasm to work on this beautiful pipe with mixed grains.

This was one of the pair of Kriswill pipes which was dug out by my younger daughter from the large pile of pipes, the other being Kriswill “CHIEF”. Both these beauties had an issue with their stems. The stem of the “CHIEF” did not sit flush with the shank and appeared smaller in diameter compared to the shank, while the stem of the “GOLDEN CLIPPER” sat flushed with the shank but was larger in diameter than the shank. I addressed this issue in an ingenious way and completed the restoration of the “CHIEF”. For those interested in knowing the issue of stem in detail, process to address it and the complete restoration, please follow the link https://rebornpipes.com/2018/08/04/breathing-new-life-into-a-kriswill-chief-20/. I am sure you will find it an interesting read.

My joys knew no bounds when the “CHIEF’S” stem fit perfectly like a glove in the shank of the “CLIPPER” (the time-consuming, cautious, accurate and nerve-wracking but enjoyable work of matching the stem and shank of the “CHIEF” still fresh in my mind!!!!!!). Here are the pictures of a perfectly matching stem and shank on the CLIPPER.This KRISWILL “GOLDEN CLIPPER” has a medium sized bowl with mixed grain. It is stamped “KRISWILL” over “GOLDEN CLIPPER” over “HANDMADE IN DENMARK” on the left side of the shank. At the bottom of the shank and close to the edge of the shank where it takes the stem, is stamped with number “54”.As I had determined the dating of this pipe, while searching information for the “CHIEF”, from 1970s (the snowflakes stamp on the stem and block letters on the shank were adopted post 1970), I proceeded to carry out a visual inspection of the condition of the pipe in my hand. This helps me map the road to restoring the pipe by identifying the issues involved and identify methods/ options to address the same.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION

The bowl is covered in dust, oils, tars and grime of yesteryear. It is filled with a thick cake and the lava has overflowed on to the rim. I would still say that this bowl is not as heavily caked as I have gotten used to with my grand old man’s pipes. The cake has completely dried out.The rim surface is pock-marked with few minor dents and dings of being banged around. Exact extent of damage, there appears to be some, to the inner edge will be known after the bowl has been reamed down to its bare briar. The outer edge of the rim appears to be in decent condition.The interchanging of stem with the CHIEF ensured a perfect fit of the stem on this pipe and required no matching the fit to the shank end. The stem is, again comparatively to what I have dealt with before, lightly oxidized with light tooth chatter. The lip has been bitten off at one place and will need to be rebuilt and reshaped. There is some calcification seen around the lip on either surface. As I have come to expect, the airway in the stem is blocked and the mortise is clogged with gunk, debris and tars. I will need to clean both to ensure an open draw.The stummel needs to be cleaned. I will have to decide if I should retain the stain finish or polish it to its natural look and match it to its bigger sibling, the “CHIEF”.
THE PROCESS
Abha, my wife, dealt with the cake by reaming the chamber with a Kleen Reem pipe tool and a British Buttner pipe tool. Using the fabricated pipe knife, she further scraped the cake from the bottom of the bowl and also the walls of the chamber. She was especially very careful while reaming with the knife so as not to damage the inner edge of the rim. Once the solid briar was exposed, she further smoothed the walls and removed remaining cake by sanding with a 180 followed by 220 and 600 grit sand paper. Another advantage of this process is the elimination of traces of ghosting to a great extent. She gently scraped the rim top with the sharp edge of the knife and removed the accumulated overflow of lava. Abha followed this by scrubbing the chamber walls with cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol. This removed the fine cake dust, leaving the chamber clean, fresh and smooth. As can be seen from the picture, after the cleaning, the dents and dings are more pronounced and will need to be addressed. Further, if observed closely, there is a small chip to the inner edge which can be seen on the right side in the 3 o’clock direction. I had the following two courses of action to choose from to address these issues:-
(a)        Create a slight bevel on the inner edge to eliminate the inner edge chip.
(b)        Topping the rim on a topping board.

Abha suggested proceeding with the second option since the “CHIEF” was without a bevel and as these were together, she wanted to maintain the similarities as far as possible. I concurred with her since topping will also address the minor dents and dings seen on the rim top. I gently topped the stummel on a 220 grit sand paper, frequently checking the progress.  This is very important since you do not want to lose too much briar and there is always a fear of distorting the proportions of the pipe due to excessive sanding. How much sanding is sufficient, is a question to which the answer can never be quantified. For me the mantra is, topping or sanding should be kept to the minimum and preserve maximum briar even at the cost of very minute dents/ chips being visible.

I topped the bowl just enough to address the dents and dings on the rim surface. The small nick to the inner edge of the rim has also been addressed to a great extent, but not completely. It is barely perceptible in person and acceptable to me. Hence, I left it at that!!I cleaned out the internals of the shank/ mortise and airway using pipe cleaners, cue tips and isopropyl alcohol. Thereafter using undiluted Murphy’s oil soap and tooth brush, I cleaned all the tars, oils, dust and grime from the bowl and washed it under running water. I wiped it down with paper towels and a soft cotton cloth.

Using a brown stain pen (Yes!!! I finally have them, thanks to my guru, Mr. Steve who had diligently packed them with the pipes that he had sent me after repairs, when he learnt that I was unable lay my hands on them), I stained the rim to match the rest of the bowl and set it aside to dry out. In my haste to finish the restoration, I forgot to click pictures of the above mentioned process and the look of the pipe at this stage.

While the stummel was kept aside for drying, I turned my attention to the stem. Starting with the use of Bic lighter, I painted the surface with its flame to raise the tooth chatter and bite marks as much as possible. I scrubbed the stem with a piece of moist Mr. Magic Clean sponge to clean the stem of the calcification. Minor tooth chatter was addressed to a great extent, however, some stubborn and deep bite marks and the bitten off lip stood out like sore thumb!!! Having learnt my lessons and working around the handicap of glue, I spot applied clear CA superglue with a tooth pick and set it aside to cure over night. The next morning, I applied another layer of the superglue and set it aside to cure. The reason I decided to adopt this technique is because the glue I have and available to me is of very thin consistency and hence the layering technique. After 24 hours, I checked the fills and proceeded to sand down the fills and reshape the edge of the button with a flat head needle file to match the surface of the stem. Using a 220 grit sand paper followed by wet 320 grit sand paper, I evened out the fill and removed oxidation from the stem surface. Thereafter, I used micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 pads. I deeply rubbed a very small quantity of Extra Virgin Olive oil after every three pads. I am pleased with the way the stem has turned out. It is now smooth and shiny.Using normal and bristled pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol, I completely cleaned out the airway in the stem till the pipe cleaners came out nice and clean from the other end. However, when I checked the draw, I found it to be constricted and laborious. It was not a free flowing and open draw. I checked the alignment of the airway in the stem and shank and realized that the airway was not aligned. With a rounded needle file, I file down the tenon hole and the mortise opening in the shank to the point where there are perfectly aligned. Now the draw is full and open.

By this time, the stain on the rim top has dried out and I applied a small quantity of Before and After Restoration balm to the entire surface of the stummel, including the rim top. This product is absolutely fantastic as it freshens up the briar and makes the grain to pop out. Using a horse hair shoe brush, I buffed the bowl. Later, with a soft cotton cloth, I polished it to a nice shine. As a final touch, I rubbed a very small quantity of PARAGON wax on to the stem and the stummel. A few seconds later, using muscle power and a microfiber cloth, I polished the entire pipe to a lovely shine. Here are the pictures of the finished pipe. Hope you enjoyed reading the write up and yes, my apologies for the lack of pictures since I had to catch a flight late in the evening to rejoin my duty station, I forgot to take pictures at this stage as completing the restoration was priority task.

Breathing New Life into a Kriswill “Chief” # 20


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

I had completed the refurbishing of LANE ERA CHARATAN’S MAKE “SPECIAL” and thoroughly enjoyed the process. Apart from preserving memories, the thing that I enjoy the most while refurbishing/ restoring my inherited (and some purchased) pipe collection, is the transformation of the pipe that unfolds before your eyes as you progress. It is something akin to a flower bud that gradually blooms and opens itself in all its beauty for you to feast your eyes upon. This is what I love when I work on a pipe.

While rummaging through the large box with an equally large number of my inherited pipes with my younger 10 year old daughter, she laid her hands on a pair of pipes with “SHINING SUN”, as she liked to call it, on its stem. With the selection of next two projects decided by her, I had a closer look at these pipes. These were a pair of KRISWILLS, one stamped as “CHIEF” and the other as “GOLDEN CLIPPER”. The first thing that struck me was that there was something amiss with the way the stems sat into the shank of each pipe. The “CHIEF” did not have its stem sitting flush with the shank. Also, the shank’s outer diameter appeared larger than that of the stem. The “GOLDEN CLIPPER” had its stem flush with the shank; however the diameter of the stem was larger than that of the shank. The following picture will clarify what exactly I was faced with……

CLIPPER

CHIEF

As I was wondering what could be done to address this issue and surfing the net for buying new/ used original stems for these pipes, Abha, my wife who was having a closer look at both these pipes simply interchanged the stems and surprise of all surprises, the stem that was on the “CHIEF”, sat flushed and perfectly matching with the shank of the “CLIPPER”. However after considerable effort, though the stem that was on the “CLIPPER” sat flushed with the shank of the “CHIEF”, the diameter of the shank was larger than that of the stem. So now what we have is a KRISWILL “GOLDEN CLIPPER” with a perfectly matching and fitting original stem and a KRISWILL “CHIEF” with a fitting, but mismatched stem diameter.

KRISWILL “CHIEF”

KRISWILL “GOLDEN CLIPPER”

I discussed with Abha and it was decided that since the “CLIPPER” has a perfect stem match, I would work on the “CHIEF” and make the shank match the stem. With this decision made, I kept the CLIPPER aside and took the “CHIEF” into my hands.

The CHIEF has a nice, deep bowl and nicely fills the hand. The size, weight and heft of the pipe is just beautiful. Beautiful cross grains adorn the sides and the back of the bowl while the front of the bowl boasts lovely mixed grains of swirls, flame and Birdseye. It is stamped “KRISWILL” over “CHIEF” over “HANDMADE IN DENMARK”. At the bottom of the shank where it meets the stem, is the numeral “20” and yes…. this positioning of the number did cause me a great deal of grief during the process of sanding!!! All the stamps are crisp and clear.I was curious to know about the history, geography and carvers for Kriswill while attempting to date this pipe. While referring to “Pipephil” I came across this information which I have reproduced below verbatim (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k3.html)

“Kriswill is a brand of Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark) established about 1955. Some of Kriswill pipes were designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, Swedish prince and brother to the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark. He collaborated with his Danish partner Acton Bjørn. When the company went bankrupt in the late 1970s it was on a level with Stanwell. Dan Pipe Cigar & Company (Hafenstrasse 30 D-21481 Lauenburg/Elbe, Ge) bought the rights to use the name and it is Holmer Knudsen and/or Poul Winsløw who make the Kriswill line. Nørding, on its side, bought the plant and introduced a Kriswell line”.

Prior to 1970 the stampings are in script letters on the shank and on the mouthpiece. The star on the stem and block letters on the shank were introduced from that date on.

While researching for more information on Kriswill pipes on “Pipedia”, I came across this additional information which is reproduced below:

Kriswill was one of the large pipe manufacturers in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s, and I believe closed around 20 years ago. Their catalog cover read “By Appointment to the Royal Danish Court, KRISWILL, Kriswork Briar Trading, Briar Pipes Hand Made in Denmark.”

Thus, from the above information, it is safe to assume that this pipe is post 1970.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
As with all other pipes, the CHIEF, too is covered in dust, oils and grime of all past years, though comparatively to a lesser extent. The chamber is heavily caked with lava overflowing on to the top of the rim. A few small dents and dings, though minor, are visible on the outer edge of the bowl. The condition of the inner edge and that of the inner surface of the chamber will be ascertained once the bowl has been reamed and the lava removed from the rim top.The airway in the shank is blocked and air does not flow through the shank. Close observation of the shank revealed presence of debris in the mortise. This needs to be cleared and cleaned. Maybe this will also help in a smooth and snug fit of the stem into the mortise.The stem shows calcification near the button and deep oxidation all along the stem. There are bite marks near the button and some deep tooth chatter. The button has been bitten and will need to be reconstructed.THE PROCESS
Since this would be the first time I would be attempting to undertake the process of adjusting the fit of the tenon and matching the diameter of the shank with that of the stem, I Face timed with Mr. Steve who advised me to, firstly, be very careful during the sanding of the shank so as not to lose too much briar making the shank diameter too small, secondly, he told me to ensure that the entire shank should be sanded such that the taper at the shank end is not abrupt and blends well into the overall shape of the pipe. Thirdly, it is most important to exercise a lot of patience and diligence while working and check very frequently the fit, finish and shape of the shank and the stem.

I started with cleaning the shank of all debris using a dental spatula, pipe cleaners, cue tips and isopropyl alcohol. I was surprised to see the amount of gunk that was removed from the shank. I tried to fit the stem on to the shank. Though the tenon has inched further in to the mortise, a prominent gap is clearly visible between the shank end and the stem.Using a 220 grit sand paper, I very carefully began the process of sanding down the tenon, checking ever so frequently for the fit of the tenon into the mortise. Finally I was able to achieve a perfect fit of the stem and the shank with all the right noises!!!!Now that the issue of fit of the stem into the shank has been addressed, I turned my attention to match the size of the diameter of the shank with that of the stem by sanding down the shank. I started this sanding using a 220 grit sand paper. This process was made difficult and uneven at the bottom of the shank due to the stamped number “20” being very close to the shank end.I took care so as not to sand off the stampings on the shank and stem by masking them. Once I was satisfied with the results of sanding with 220 grit paper, I switched to sanding with a 440 grit sand paper to further blend the shank and stem. Mr. Steve’s advice of being very diligent and frequent checking was always ringing in my ears as I progressed towards the goal of matching the shank with that of the stem. A word of caution for first timers like!!!!!!!! During the process of sanding you may notice a considerable dip at the shank end.This signifies that the sanding of the shank end is excessive and thus sanding needs to be done from further up the shank and a bit over the stem too. This will ensure a seamless joint between the shank and the stem.

Using a 220 grit sand paper, I sanded the shank to match the dip at the shank end and also a little of the stem end, all through taking care of the stampings on the shank and stem. I further evened out the shank and the joint with 600 and 800 grit sand paper. Once I was satisfied with the seamlessness of the joint, I showed it to Abha, my wife and she too approved of the job done. Thereafter, I further blended and merged the entire shank and the stem through the joint using micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 pads and dry sanding with 3200 through to 12000 pads. I wiped the sanded area with alcohol after each pad to remove the sanding dust. Boy!! Was I pleased with the results, hell YEAH!!!! I shared pictures of the end result with Mr. Steve on What’sApp and he too approved of the seamless joint. Next I turned my attention to the stem and painted the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to raise the tooth chatter and minor bite marks. The deeper tooth bites with a mixture of activated charcoal and clear CA superglue and let it cure for 24 hours. Using a flat head file needle, these fills were blended into the surface of the stem. For a better blending of the fill, I further sanded the entire stem with 220 followed by 400 and 800 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the sanding marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with alcohol after each pad and rubbed it down with Extra Virgin Olive oil. The internals of the stem was cleaned out using alcohol and pipe cleaners. The finished stem is shown below.With the stem taken care of, I once again turned my attention to the stummel. The sanded shank was lighter hued as compared to the rest of the stummel. Since I was still awaiting my stain pens, which have been held back in custom clearance for the last 50 odd days and also since I have not yet graduated to use of aniline stains/ dyes, I was contemplating what could be done to blend the finish of the shank with that of the stummel. Being the intelligent of the two, Abha suggested that the bowl could be sanded using micromesh pads to match the finish of the shank.  That decided, Abha reamed the chamber using Kleen Reem pipe tool and with the fabricated pipe, she removed the remaining cake from the chamber.With the same knife, she gently removed all the overflow of lava, oils and tars from the rim surface. She further sanded the interiors of the chamber with a 220 grit sand paper to get rid of the last traces of the remaining cake. She also topped the rim on 220 grit sand paper and evened out all the remaining lava and minor dings and dents that were revealed after the lava was removed.  Using isopropyl alcohol, hard bristle and normal pipe cleaners, she completely cleaned out the internals of the shank.I cleaned the external surface of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil soap and tooth brush to remove all the grime and dirt and rinsed it under running water. I took care that no water enters the chamber and the shank. Using paper napkins and soft cotton cloth, I completely dried the surface. Thereafter began the entire process of sanding down with micromesh pads as enumerated while working on the shank. I also worked on the rim top to match it with the rest of the bowl. The bowl has some interesting grains and patterns.   I rubbed in some Before and After Restoration balm in to the briar to bring out the shine and enliven the briar. After a few minutes, I rubbed and polished the bowl with a soft cloth. Finally, I finished the pipe by rubbing a small quantity of Paragon wax and polishing it using raw and undiluted muscle power and a microfiber cloth. I am very pleased and happy with the way the complete project has turned out. It was an exhilarating experience to be able to appreciate the transformation and a sense of accomplishment that accompanied it. I must thank Abha and Mr. Steve for walking with me through this project. Here are the pictures of the finished pipe.

Restoring a Danish Handmade Kriswill Chief 40


Blog by Steve Laug

This Kriswill is yet another one from a local pipe shop. It came from the estate of the same older gentleman whose wife returned them to the shop for restoration and resale. This one is a smooth finished Kriswill. The briar is a combination of mixed grain around the bowl. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Kriswill over Chief over Handmade in Denmark. On the underside near the shank stem junction it has the shape number 40. I reviewed the information I had on Kriswill and have included some of that here.Kriswill was one of the large pipe manufacturers in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s, and closed around 20 years ago. Their catalog cover read “By Appointment to the Royal Danish Court, KRISWILL, Kriswork Briar Trading, Briar Pipes Hand Made in Denmark.” After the Danish Kriswill enterprise ended, pipes were made in Norway and in France under the Kriswill label. In the 1970s Kriswill was bought by Lillehammer, and in the 1980s the pipes were made for a while at the Catalan factory, Iberica de Pipas. https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Kriswill_Factory.jpg

The finish on the pipe was dirty and dull. The beveled rim top had lava built up that extended up and over the outer edge. It was hard to tell if there was damage to the inner edge of the rim. The bowl had a thick, hard cake filling the bowl. The stem was heavily oxidized and had some deep tooth marks on the top and underside at the button. It also appeared to have had a Softee bit at some point as the usual calcification was present on the stem from the button forward about an inch. This was included in the pipes that I sent off to my brother for cleaning. This is the third pipe that I have brought to the work table from the lot of about 50 to rework. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate his willingness to clean and ream the pipes for me. It allows me to move through the repairs much more quickly. When he received the pipe he took a series of photos of it to show its condition. He took a close up photo of the rim top showing the thick cake and the overflow of lava onto the top of the bowl. The cake is very thick and the lava hides the rim top. The bowl is quite small and in this condition would hold very little tobacco.The next photos show the stamping on the left and the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable. The Kriswill snowflake logo on the top of the stem is in very good condition and is undamaged.The vulcanite stem was heavily oxidized and had some deep tooth marks on both the top and underside near the button. They were deep but did not go all the way through the stem. There were scratches and nicks in the surface of the stem all the way around the stem. The button was worn down on both sides. There was some heavy calcification going on where there must have been a Softee bit covering the end of the stem. There were no surprises as this was true of most of the pipes in this estate.I am once again very grateful for the thorough cleanup that Jeff did on the bowl and stem. He carefully reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the internals of the bowl and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs – scrubbing out the mortise as it was dirty. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil soap and a tooth brush and was able to remove all of the oils and dust in the smooth finish on the briar. He was able to remove all of the lava and grime from the beveled rim top and left it looking very clean. The inner edges of the bowl were slightly out of round and would need to be worked on. The outer edge of the rim top looked very good. He soaked the stem in an Oxyclean bath to remove the grime and calcification and to bring the oxidation to the surface. When the pipe arrived I took some photos to show how it looked before I did the restoration. It really is a beautifully grained piece of briar that should look amazing when it is polished. Jeff removed the thick, hard cake and the lava buildup on the rim top and clean off the inner and outer edges of the rim. The inner edge had some minor damage that made it slightly out of round. The outer edge looked really good. The top surface of the rim had some minor darkening but otherwise looked very good. The vulcnaite stem looked far better than when Jeff started the cleanup. There were a lot of scratches on the surface and a few tooth marks on both the top and underside if the stem. The snowflake logo was undamaged.The stem still had some deep oxidation in the vulcanite so I dropped it into the Before & Stem Deoxidizer bath and let it soak overnight. (The photo below shows the stem before I pushed it into the bath.)I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reshape the inner edge of the bowl and to smooth out the surface and remove the darkening. I used 1500-4000 grit micromesh pads to polish the surface of the rim and the inner edge.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips to deep clean the smooth finish, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for a few minutes and then buffed it with a cotton cloth. The grain of the briar really 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. 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. The stamping on the stem was untouched. The stem was pitted slightly and the tooth marks were very visible. It was ready for repairs to the tooth marks and polishing.I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue on both sides of the stem and set it aside to allow the repairs to cure. When the repairs had dried I sanded them smooth and blended them into the surface of the stem. I reshaped the button on both sides of the stem with a needle file and sanded the stem down 220 grit sandpaper. The 3rd and 4th photos below show the stem at this point in the process. The surface of the stem on both sides looks good. The tooth marks are gone and the surface is smooth. 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. After the polishing I could still see light scratches in the vulcanite on the top at the curve and on the underside next to the stem. I buffed it on the buffing wheel with Red Tripoli and Blue Diamond and polished them out. I took it back to the work table and polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with some Obsidian Oil and took the following picture.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 once again with Blue Diamond to polish it. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats 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. It is a beautiful older Kriswill pipe in one of their classic shapes that looks great and feels comfortable in the hand. The reddish brown stain and the polished black vulcanite work together to give the pipe a rich look. If you are a fan of older Danish pipes this is one of the classic shapes from Kriswill. It will make a great pipe addition to the rack and should be a great smoker.  The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 2 1/4 inches, Outer Diameter of the Bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Diameter of the Chamber: 3/4 inches. I will be adding this one to the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. If you are interested email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

 

Restoring a Kriswill Made Danish Special Smooth Panel Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one from a local pipe shop. It came from the estate of an older gentleman whose wife returned them to the shop for restoration and resale. This one is an interesting sandblast finish bent billiard. The sandblast is interesting showing a variety of grain around the bowl. It has smooth panels on the right and left side of the bowl and the right side of the shank. It is stamped on the smooth right side of the shank Danish Special over Made in Denmark. The finish on the pipe was dusty and some of the grooves were almost filled in with grime and dust. The rim top had lava built up in the blast on the flat surface. The bowl had a thick, hard cake almost filling it in. The stem had several tooth marks and was lightly oxidized. I sent the pipes off to my brother for cleaning. I have about 50 of them to rework and a waiting queue of pipes to repair. I really appreciate his willingness to clean and ream the pipes for me. When he received the pipe he took a series of photos of it to show its condition. He took a close up photo of the rim top showing the cake and the lava on the flat top of the bowl. The cake is quite thick and the lava has filled in the sandblast on the surface of the rim. He also took photos of the sandblast around the sides and underside of the bowl. His final photo shows the stamping on the right side of the shank. It is clear and readable. The brand Danish Special was unfamiliar to me. I had heard of Danish Pride, Danish Star, Royal Danish and other Stanwell brands but this one was unfamiliar.I Googled the name and found that the brand was a sub-brand or second brand of Kriswill pipes. From there I did some reading on Pipedia on the Kriswill Brand and found the following:  Kriswill was one of the large pipe manufacturers in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s, and I believe closed around 20 years ago. Their catalog cover read “By Appointment to the Royal Danish Court, KRISWILL, Kriswork Briar Trading, Briar Pipes Hand Made in Denmark.” https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kriswill

I also went to the PipePhil logos and stamping site and found more on the date of the brand. It had no explicit ties to the Danish Special that I had but it was interesting nonetheless.

Kriswill is a brand of Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark) established about 1955. Some of Kriswill pipes were designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, Swedish prince and brother to the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark. He collaborated with his Danish partner Acton Bjørn. When the company went bankrupt in the late 1970s it was on a level with Stanwell. Dan Pipe Cigar & Company (Hafenstrasse 30 D-21481 Lauenburg/Elbe, Ge) bought the rights to use the name and it is Holmer Knudsen and/or Poul Winsløw who make the Kriswill line. Nørding, on its side, bought the plant and introduced a Kriswell line. http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k3.html

Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup on the bowl and stem. He carefully reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs – scrubbing out the mortise as it was dirty. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipes with Murphy’s Oil soap and a tooth brush and was able to remove all of the oils and dust in the smooth finish on the briar. He was able to remove all of the lava and grime from the rim top and left it looking very clean. The inner and outer edges of the rim top were in good shape. He soaked the stem in an Oxyclean bath to raise the oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. It was clean and the remaining oxidation was very light. When the pipe arrived I took some photos to show how it looked before I did the restoration.  Jeff was able to remove the lava buildup on the rim top and clean grooves and crevices of the sandblast surface and edges of the rim. The inner and outer edges of the rim were in excellent condition and the rim top looked new. The stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the nooks and crannies of the finish, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers to get it deep into the grooves. I let it sit for a few minutes and then wiped it off with a soft cloth and buffed it with a horsehair shoe brush. The briar really began to have a deep shine. The smooth panels showed some nice grain patterns and the sandblast looked really good. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and many of the tooth marks with 220 grit sandpaper. There was a small tooth mark on the top and underside of the stem that I cleaned up and filled it in with a drop of clear super glue. When the glue cured, I sanded the repaired areas smooth to blend them into the surface of the stem. 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 set it aside to dry. I polished it with Before & After Stem Fine Polish and wiped it down. I followed that by polishing it with the Extra Fine Polish. I buffed it with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine. I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to polish the briar. I buffed the stem at the same time to raise the gloss on the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats 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 dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 6 1/2 inches, Height: 2 1/4 inches, Outer Diameter of the Bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Diameter of the Chamber: 7/8 inches. I will be adding this one to the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. It is a beautiful Kriswill made pipe that feels comfortable in the hand. It will make a great pipe addition to the rack and should smoke dry and cool. If you are interested email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

A Damaged Danish Crown 49 Oval shank Dublin Given New Life


Blog by Steve Laug

This Danish Crown was the last of the pipes Steve and I had discussed restoring from the box he sent my way. He had sent it to me to chip away at in my spare time. I have been working away at them a few at a time for a few months now. On the weekend I decided it was time to finish the remainder of the box. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them (the last two are nothing spectacular but I may just clean them up anyway so I can send him the entire batch cleaned and usable). The pipe looked like a Stanwell make to me but a little research told me that it was a Kriswill, made by Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark). The company started about 1955 and went bankrupt in the late 70s. They had a line of seconds (pipes with fills and flaws that were still usable) which included the Danish Crown. This pipe was stamped on the topside of the shank with the name Danish Crown over Handmade in Denmark. On the underside of the shank is the shape number 49 at the shank/stem junction. The stamping on the pipe is probably the most readable of the entire batch of pipes. I took photos before cleaning the pipe.The bowl is heavily caked and there is a thick overflow of tars and cake onto the rim top almost obscuring the inner edge of the rim. There was a large chipped area on the front right of the rim top as well as more dings and dents around the rim top. The finish on the bowl was worn and dirty. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and chatter. There was also oxidation on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the restoration. I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl. You can see from the photo how thick the cake was and the amount of lava over flow on the rim top. The damage to the rim is at the 9:00 and 11:00 o’clock position in the photo below.The stamping on the shank is very readable. In person, it is clearer than it appears in the photo below. The next two photos of the stem show oxidation on the whole stem and tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem near the button.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them. The stems soaked over a period of 24 hours.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the third head, which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I scraped the rim with a sharp penknife to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scraped it until the rim was debris free.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the rim top and the bevel with a tooth brush. I picked the damaged areas clean with a dental pick to remove the buildup deep in the rough spots on the rim. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean. I used a rolled piece of sandpaper wrapped around my finger to sand out the inside of the bowl. The bowl walls were a little rough on this one so it was going to take some work to smooth things out. I wiped down the damage on the rim top with a cotton swab and alcohol and filled them in with briar dust and clear super glue.When the repairs had hardened I sanded the rim top and edges with 220 grit sandpaper to begin the process of blending them into the briar. With the rim top repair and the discovery of many small fills around the bowl sides and the bowl/shank junction, I decided to use a darker stain on this pipe than the other ones. I stained it with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it to set it in the grain of the briar. I repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage.When the stain had dried, I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the excess and blend the colours to a rich dark brown that allowed some of the grain to show through. Unfortunately, it also allowed the fills to show. More work needed to be done to take care of that issue. I used a dark brown stain pen and a Sharpie pen to colour over the fill areas. I used the dark brown aniline stain dauber to put over the top of the colouring I had done. I flamed the aniline stain spots with my lighter to set the stain in them. I lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I was careful when buffing around the repaired area on the top of the bowl and the fills that I had darkened. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I am happy with the look of the bowl at this point. The grain shows through nicely and the fills and repairs blend in pretty well. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I removed it from the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and dried it off. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway to remove the Deoxidizer that was on the inside of the stem. I used alcohol to clean out the airway in the stem. It came out of the bath pretty clean of oxidation. The tooth marks and chatter showed up clearly on both sides near the button.I lightly sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and filled in the deeper tooth marks with black super glue. The largest mark was on the underside of the stem.Once the glue dried I sanded the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the stem.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a light touch on the areas that were repaired. I gave the bowl 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 is the fifth of this batch of five pipes that I have restored for Steve. It is a well-made Kriswill pipe. I think Steve will really like this last addition to his rack. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.