Tag Archives: L’Anatra Pipes

Replacing a Broken Tenon in a L’Anatra Square Shank Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

I received a phone call referral from another customer of City Cigar. I was at work so I gave him a quick call and once again after playing some phone tag we connected. I had Friday off so he stopped by with his pipe. It was a beautiful L’Anatra Smooth Pot shaped pipe with amazing grain all around the bowl. The pipe was in parts – he held the stem in one hand and the bowl in the other. He had dropped it and it had flown across the floor in his parking garage. There was a bit of road rash on the left side of the bowl and the tenon had snapped off in the shank. He had smoked maybe one or two bowls in the pipe before it broke so he was pretty heartbroken. I could see why he was shaken as it was a very beautiful pipe. There was still unsmoked tobacco in the bowl. The pipe was stamped on the left side of the shank with an egg at the bowl shank junction. That was followed by “L’Anatra (over) dalle Uova d’Oro”. On the underside of the shank it was stamped Hand Made in Italy. There was some darkening on the back top side of the rim. The Lucite stem was in excellent condition with just a little tooth chatter on both sides near the button. There was a golden duck head on the top of the stem that would make things interesting. I needed to pull the broken tenon from the shank and drill out the stem and add a new tenon. It was a small pipe so the tenon would take work to get the right diameter. I took a few photos of the pipe in pieces to show what I was dealing with. I tried to pull out the tenon in my usual way – a screw in the airway and wiggling it but it was stuck and would not come out. I put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes and when I took it out I screwed the screw into the airway in the broken tenon and wiggled it free of the shank (a side benefit of the freezer was that as the bowl warmed up I was able to wipe the blackening away from the rim top and it looked new).I took a photo of the bowl side to show the “road rash” on the left side down low. I have circled the damaged area in red to make it easily identifiable. I decided to steam it out. I heated a butter knife over the gas stove and put a wet cloth on the marks and applied the hot knife to the cloth. The steam that was generated helped to raise the dents in the briar. I was not able to take all of them out of the briar but a few were left behind. I really have come to appreciate Mark Hoover’s Before & After Restoration Balm for its restorative properties with dry briar. I use it on virtually every pipe that I work on. I worked it into finish of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it as I usually do at this point in the process. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Restoration Balm really makes the grain stands out beautifully. I went through my box of tenons and found one that would fit once I had reduced the diameter. The photo below shows the original tenon while the upper one shows it after I have shaped and reduced it. I used the PIMO tenon cutting tool to reduce the tenon as far as I could with the adjustments available. I finished the reduction with a Dremel and sanding drum. It took work to get it the right diameter. I also cut the length to match the depth of the mortise and to make sure I had enough length to glue into the drilled stem. (I of course was on a roll and forgot to take photos of the process of shaping the tenon.)I drilled out the end of stem as well. This was a touchier job as there was the Duck head on the topside of the stem. I would need to be careful of the diameter of the drill bit so that I would not damage the pin that held the duck in place. I started with a drill bit a little larger than the air way. I went through 5 other bit until the diameter was big enough for the newly shaped tenon end.I took a photo of the drilled airway and the tenon before I glued it in place. I put super glue on the tenon and swabbed it around the entire end. I pressed it in place in the stem. I took photos of the newly installed tenon. There was quite a bit of tooth chatter on the top and underside ahead of the button. Though in talking to the client I did not mention cleaning up the stem to me it is just part of the process. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad and gave it a final coat and the 12000 grit pad and set it aside to dry. I put the newly repaired stem and bowl back together and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the stem until there was a rich shine. This Italian Hand Made “L’Anatra (over) dalle Uova d’Oro” has a classic Italian shape and a rich finish that highlights the amazing grain on a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the grain just popped. The black Lucite stem had a rich glow. The finished pipe is actually quite stunning. It is a beautifully grained pipe that fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I will be giving the owner a call to let him know it is ready for pickup. Thanks for walking through the repair on the stem with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Replacing a broken tenon on a L’Anatra dalle Uova d’Oro Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

I got a call from a customer of a local pipe shop about a possible pipe repair. He had dropped his L’Anatra dalle Uova d’Oro pipe and the stem had snapped at the tenon. He wanted to know if I could repair it for him. He stopped by yesterday afternoon for me to have a look at it and today I had the time to work on it. This kind of break is actually a nice one if you are going to have them. It snapped off pretty close to the stem end and he was able to pull it out of the shank. This is actually the first L’Anatra pipe that I have worked on and one I could easily have added to my collection. It is my kind of shape. I have looked at them in various pipe shops and always like the look and the feel but this is the first one that has crossed the work table. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank with the name of the brand L’Anatra, under that it read dalle Uova d’Oro. Underneath it reads Made in Italy. L’Anatra dalle Uova d’Oro in English means “The Duck that Lays Golden Eggs”. On the underside of the shank it is stamped with three eggs which refers to the grade of the pipe.

When he dropped the pipe off, I took some photos of the broken tenon. The first three photos show the pipe before I started the repair. I used the Dremel and sanding drum to flatten out the end of the stem and finished it on the topping board to make a flat surface for the new tenon to sit against. I started drilling out the airway with a drill bit slightly larger than the airway and worked my way up to the same size as the threaded end on the new tenon. I do not use the power on the drill but rather carefully turn the stem onto the drill bit slowly making sure to hold the stem straight against the bit.Once the airway is opened to the length of the threaded portion of the new tenon I used a tapping tool to thread the sides of the newly drilled airway so that I could screw in the new tenon.Once the airway was tapped I used a knife to cut a small bevel in the end of the stem so that the new tenon would sit tight against the face of the stem. I used the knife to also bevel the end of the tenon to match the original tenon that had broken off. With all the preparations done I screwed the tenon in place to check the fit. Once I knew that the fit was correct I unscrewed it from the stem, brushed the threads with some slow drying epoxy and turned the new tenon into the stem. This was a case of a perfect fit. The photo below shows the newly replaced tenon.I noticed there was some light tooth chatter on the stem so I polished it out with micromesh sanding pads. 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 to remove the sanding dust. I polished the tenon with micromesh sanding pads to remove the sanding marks and scratches in the Delrin. I put the stem in place in the shank and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and then gave the stem and bowl several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to give it a deep shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The owner will soon pick up his pipe and fire it up again with his favourite tobacco. Thanks for looking.