Tag Archives: Malibu basket pipes

A Malibu Bent Billiard by Savinelli Restemmed and Restored.

The next pipe from the gift box of bowls was a bent billiard stamped MALIBU on the left side of the shank and Italy on the underside. There is no other stamping on the pipe. I searched the internet for information on the brand and also looked in the book Who Made That Pipe and there found that the pipe was made by Savinelli. I emailed Savinelli but have not yet received a confirmation of that information. I will update this post as soon as I hear from them. In the meantime I worked on the bowl. It was in decent shape though covered by a thick varnish coat that gave it a perma-shine. The bowl and shank were dirty but had not been smoked enough to build up a cake or tars. The rim was in excellent shape and the finish other than being very plastic looking was clean. In the first photo below you can see the two large fills that were on the bowl and shank on the left side. The first is on the side of the bowl, just ahead and below the bend. The second is on the shank next to and below the stamping. They seemed to have taken the stain and though they are visible are not a bright pink. There was no stem with the pipe so I found the one in the photo below that would fit the shank with a little work.
I turned the tenon down with a PIMO Tenon Turning Tool and then sanded some of the seams that still showed on the side of the bowl. The diameter was very close to being the same – I had to make a few adjustments on the top and the right side to get a seamless fit.



I sanded the stem in place and sanded the shank at the same time. I needed to remove the varnish coat anyway so I figured it would be okay to sand the shank at the same time. I did not want to reduce the size of the shank – merely that of the stem and then match them. I find that if I do that with the stem off the shank it is easy to round the edges of the stem. With it in place and using a sanding block I can get a smooth transition. I also work to restain the sanded area of the shank to match the bowl.



Once the transition was smooth I wiped down the bowl with acetone to remove the varnish coat. It took some scrubbing with acetone wet cotton pads. I was finally able to break through the finish with the acetone.


I sanded the bowl and shank, carefully avoiding the stamping, with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. I sanded the entire bowl and shank and then wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol to remove the sanding dust.

I sanded the stem with the same sanding sponges and removed the majority of the scratches left behind by the sandpaper. I set up a heat gun and heated the stem to soften it so I could bend it. When it was pliable I bent it over a rolling pin with a hard cardboard tube over it to smooth out the wood. I bend it until the stem looks right with the bend in the shank and then use cool water to set the bend.


With the bend set I took it back to the worktable to sand the bowl to even out the existing finish and the stem.



I stained the bowl with a medium brown aniline stain, flamed it and repeated the process. I sanded the stem with the usual battery of micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads and then as a final rub down once I had buffed the stem with White Diamond. I buffed the entire pipe with White Diamond and then gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax – buffing with a soft flannel buff between coats of wax. The finished pipe is shown below. The fills on the left side are still visible but the blend into the bowl is quite good. It is tolerable. The pipe is cleaned, refinished and ready for the rack of the next pipe man who will smoke it.