Tag Archives: pipe restemming

New Life for a Peterson’s System Standard 312 with Great Grain


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I removed from box of Peterson’s Pipes that I have to work on was a Peterson’s System Standard pipe. It was purchased from an online auction on 09/12/2019 in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. It had a smooth finish. It was stamped on both sides of the shank. On the left side it read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it was stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines) and under that was the shape number 312. The nickel ferrule was in great condition and was stamped K&P [over] three Faux Hallmarks followed by Peterson. There was a thick coat of lava in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top. The inner rim had some darkening and is damaged and slightly out of round. The vulcanite stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter near the button on both sides. There was also a hole in the underside of the stem so a decision would need to be made whether to replace it. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work on it. Jeff took close up photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the bowl and the darkening and damage to the inner edge as well. You can also see the thick cake in the bowl and the light lava on the rim top. He also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition as mentioned above. He took photos of the stamping on both sides of the shank. On the left side it reads Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it read Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) over the shape number 312.  The nickel ferrule stamping is very readable and undamaged.  He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the sensational grain on this pipe. It is a real beauty that has a shape that follows the grain. I have included the information on the shape number on this pipe that I picked up on researching the other pipes. It is a Peterson’s System Standard pipe with a 312 shape number. I started my hunt for information by turning to a Peterson Catalogue that I have on rebornpipes and looked up the System Standard pipes (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/peterson-hallmark-chart/). I have put a red box around the 312 shown in the catalogue page shown below. That should give a clear picture of the size and shape of the pipe.I am also including the information from Pipedia’s article on Peterson pipes. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson). I have included a bit of the pertinent history here.

1950 – 1989 The Republic Era – From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Pipedia also included a section of information on the System pipes including a diagram of the sytems look (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson#Republic_Era_Pipes). I quote a section of the article in part and include a link to another article on Pipedia on the System pipe.

The Peterson System pipes are the standard bearers of the Peterson pipe family, famous for the excellent smoking pleasure they provide. Often imitated but never equaled, the Peterson System smokes dry, cool and sweet, thanks to the scientific effectiveness of the original design. The heart of the System is the unique graduated bore in the mouthpiece. This makes the suction applied by the smoker 15 times weaker by the time it reaches the tobacco chamber. The result is that all the moisture flows into the reservoir and, thus cannot reach the smoker’s mouth. The Peterson Lip further enhances the effectiveness of the graduated bore by directing the flow of smoke upwards and away from the tongue. This achieves a uniquely even distribution of smoke and virtually eliminates any chance of tonguebite or bitterness. Furthermore, the shape is contoured so that the tongue rests comfortably in the depression under the opening. Each “PLip” mouthpiece is made from Vulcanite. For the Peterson System pipes to work properly, the stem/tenon has to have an extension, the tip of which will pass by the draft hole from the bowl and into the sump. Upon the smoker drawing in smoke, this extension then directs the smoke down and around the sump to dispense a lot of the moisture before the smoke enters the extension and stem. On the System Standards and other less expensive systems, this extension with be made of Vulcanite turned integrally with the stem. On the more expensive System pipes this extension will be made of metal which screws into the Vulcanite stem. This extension on the earlier pipes will be of brass and the newer pipes will be of aluminium. Most smokers not knowing this function of the metal extension, assumes that it is a condenser/stinger and will remove it as they do with the metal condensers of Kaywoodie, etc. Should you have a System pipe with this metal extension, do not remove it for it will make the System function properly and give you a dryer smoke (https://pipedia.org/wiki/A_closer_look_at_the_famous_Peterson_Standard_System_Pipe).

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information that the pipe was made during the Late Republic Era between 1950 and the present day. Personally I think this is probably a 60s-70s pipe. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With that information at hand I turned to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had thoroughly cleaned up the pipe. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the sump in the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub to remove as much of the oxidation and calcification as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. The hole in the stem was big enough that I chose not to keep it. Fortunately last weekend I was gifted some new replacement stems for Peterson’s pipes that came from the factory. I had the perfect stem that was the same size, shape and style, a veritable twin of the damaged stem so I replaced the stem with a hole. I took photos of the pipe and the new stem before I started to work on it.  I took close up photos of the bowl, rim and the new stem. You can see the reamed bowl and the darkening, remaining lava and damage on the rim top and the inner edge. The new stem is in perfect condition and will only need to be polished. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and the nickel ferrule. All are clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking. I decided to start my work on this one by reworking the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted to try and bring it back into round and smooth out the rim top and edges.I wiped off the varnish coat with acetone and a cotton pad to remove the spotty finish and to also blend in the sanded rim top. I polished the briar and the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. You can see a few of the flaws in the sides of the bowl and shank in the photos below. The bowl looks great though. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This nice looking Peterson’s System Standard 312 and a classic Peterson’s P-lip vulcanite stem looks much better now that it has been restored and restemmed. The rim top and edges cleaned up very well. The rich brown stain on the bowl came alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. The polished nickel ferrule looked great. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 312 is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 61grams/2.15 ounces. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipemakers Section soon. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Fitting a new stem on a Savinelli Made Stone Age K11 603 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table was a bowl sans stem that a reader sent to me after reading my blog on a similar pipe – a Stone Age K11 [over] shape number 609 followed by Italy. His pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Stone Age K11 [over] shape number 603. From my previous work on one of these I knew that I was dealing with a Savinelli product. The pipe had been reamed and cleaned by the sender and looked good. The rim top had some light darkening around the inner edge but otherwise was clean. The finish had been scrubbed and cleaned so it looked good just a bit lifeless. Last evening while going through my collection of stems I found one that would work on the pipe. It would need some shaping and tapering but the size and shape were perfect to start with. It has a very unique rustication that is quite different – both rugged and spun that reminds me of a honey swizzle stick. The flared shank and rim top both look like rusticated plateau – faux or real, I am unsure. Overall it is a pretty pipe. I took some photos of the bowl before I worked on it and the new stem. The next two close up photos show the condition of the bowl, rim top and shank end. You can see the darkening on the front and back inner edge of the bowl and in the rustication of the rim top and shank end.The stamping is readable but faint on the underside of the shank. It reads as noted above. I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/images/4/41/Sav_Shape_Chart_2017.jpg) and found a shape chart and the listing for the 603 shape. It shows up as a saddle stem bent billiard. The shape of this pipe is more of a Dublin shape so I do not know how to explain the shape chart. I have included the chart below.I decided to start my work on restoring the pipe by addressing the debris and darkening on the rim top. I used a brass bristle brush and scrubbed the surface of the rim top and shank end working on removing debris and darkening from the grooves of the plateau and rustication.I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to address the darkening on the inner edge of the bowl. I carefully sanded out the darkening to give it a cleaner look. It looked much better than when I started.    I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar and the grooves around the bowl and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 15 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.   The stem had a broken tenon that I removed with a Dremel and sanding drum. I flattened the stem end. I used the Dremel to shape the stem end into a tapered cone. It was rough but the shape was getting there. I cleaned up the roughened stem end with a small flat file to further shape it. I sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to shape it more. It is starting to take shape at this point. There was a gouge on the top side of the stem mid stem that almost looked like a crack but was not one. I sanded the area smooth with the 220 grit sandpaper at the same time.Now it was time to straighten the bend I the stem to match the flow of the pipe. Instead of using my heat gun I painted the stem surface with the flame of a Bic lighter until the vulcanite became flexible. I straightened it out to the angles I wanted for the pipe. I put the stem in the bowl and took photos of it at this point in the process to get a sense of the overall look of the pipe. It is looking pretty good to me at this point! I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This restemmed, rusticated Savinelli Made Stone Age K11 603 Italian Freehand is a beautiful looking pipe that combines a rusticated finish with a unique shaped. The brown stains on the bowl work well to highlight the finish. I put the newly finished stem on the bowl and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel being careful to not buff the stamping. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that like the other pipes I am working that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 54grams/1.90ounces. It will soon heading back to the pipeman who sent it to me. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Restoring & Restemming the last the 8 Peterson Bowls – Republic Era System Standard 314


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I often purchase pipe bowl/stummels of brands that we like and want to restore. These have included a lot of different bowls. If you have followed us for long you know that some of these have included Peterson’s, Dunhill’s, and a wide range of Danish and English pipes. Awhile ago Jeff and I were sorting through the bowls in our collection and pulled out eight Peterson’s bowls that were dirty and stemless. A friend referred us to a contact named Silas Walls, of Walls Pipe Repair in Wallace, Idaho, USA as he seems to have a good supply of original Peterson’s stems. Our friend has had him fit stems for some of his Petes and was very happy with the work. We made contact with him and sent him eight bowls for restemming.

In the photo above I show the 8 restemmed pipes. I have marked the 7 I have worked on already with a red X). This eighth one that we cleaned up before mailing them out was a bowl that we received on 06/05/21 from a friend in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [over] Standard. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) over the shape number 314. The ferrule is stamped K&P [over] Peterson’s. The before photos of this bowl were on a corrupted memory card and are gone. But needless to say the pipe was just as bad as the rest of this lot.

As with the others before this one I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) and read through the article before starting on my work. I found an interesting note in the middle of the page. I quote the pertinent section below and have highlights some important information in red below.

From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland” in a block format generally in three lines but two lines have been used with or without Republic being abbreviated.

During the 1950’s and 60’s the Kapp & Peterson company was still in the ownership of the Kapp family. However 1964 saw the retiral of the company Managing Director Frederick Henry(Harry) Kapp.

Since I found a new stem it was now it was time to work on this final bowl of the lot. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. It looked much better. I took pictures of the bowl without the new stem. It is a great looking piece of briar even with the gouges and marks on sides, top and heel of the bowl. The nickel ferrule has a few dents but otherwise looks very good. When the pipes came back to Jeff with their new stems they looked great. When the pipes arrived here I checked them out. Here is what I found. The first six pipes from the lot were flawless and quite beautiful. The last two – this 314 and a 313 I reworked previously, looked great at first glance but upon further examination it was clear that the stems were not Peterson’s style stems. The draught on the P-lip portion of the stem is on the top of the stem, but in the case of these two stems the airway came straight out the end of the stem like a Wellington pipe. I was not happy with them. I have already replaced the stem on the 313 and this 314 was the only one I still needed a stem for. Today I was gifted some Peterson’s P-lip stems and one was what I was looking for. It fit well but I would need to give it a bit more of a bend for a perfect look. With the new stem chosen, I turned to work on the damage on the top and the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner bevel of the rim and remove the damage on the rim top. Once I had finished I think that it looked much better. I filled in the deep gouges in the bowl on the right heel and the underside of the heel with CA glue and also briar dust. I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them in. They looked significantly better. I stained the sanded areas with a Cherry stain pen to match the surrounding area around the rest of the bowl sides, top and heel.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is going to be a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Since it was a new stem I did not need to polish it. The stem was looking very good. I heated the stem with a lighter to soften the vulcanite and bent it to the shape that it needed to be for the shape of the bowl. I held it in place to let it cool and set the shape. It looked very good.  This Republic Era Ireland Peterson’s System Standard Bent 314 with a Nickel Ferrule and a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 44 grams/1.55 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restemming and restoring a Vauen Dr. Perl 5049 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

This past weekend a fellow stopped by on a recommendation from a local pipe shop about my restemming a couple of pipes that he purchased on Ebay. Both of the pipes were Vauen pipes and both were sandblasted with P-lip style stems. The stems had the additional feature of being 9mm filter pipes. The second of these I chose to work on was the sandblast Dublin with a beautiful and deep blast. The stem was worn on the edge of the P-lip and had tooth marks on both sides. I believe it was a vulcanite stem as it showed oxidation on the P-lip surface itself. The rim top was quite clean and the blast and beveled inner edge looked very good. The finish was dirty but had a charm that was characteristic of older sandblast pipes. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank logo like figure that did not look like the crossed pipes I was accustomed to. That was followed by the words Vauen [over] Dr. Perl. That was followed by the shape number 5049. It was quite lightweight and would clean up quite nicely. In chatting with the fellow on Sunday he was clear that he wanted to get rid of the p-lip stem altogether and have an acrylic fishtail style stem in the same shape made for a 9mm filter tenon. I took photos of the pipe before I started working on it. I took photos of the rim top and the top and underside of the stem that came with the pipe. You can see how it fit against the shank and you can see the light cake in the bowl. It is a nice looking pipe.The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the overall look of the pipe. It is really a nicely designed looking bent Dublin that will look great once it is cleaned up.I wanted to get some background on the Dr. Perl pipe by Vauen. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-v1.html). I did a screen capture of the information on the site. There was a great sidebar that gave some history of the brand. I include both of them below. There was also a note at the bottom of the screen capture below that has a link to the Vauen Dr Perl variant on the P-Lip pipe.In 1848, Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener establish a pipe factory in Nuremberg. In 1901 they merge with Gebhard Ott an other factory in town and they create a firm named Vereinigten Pfeifenfabriken Nürnberg (abbreviated : VPFN*). Shortly after Ernst Eckert, a member of the Ott family became manager of the society. During the 20th century Adolf, Ernst (jr) and Alexander Eckert (CEO in 2012) followed one another at Vauen’s head.* VPFN : “V” is said VAU in German (pronounce faou) and “N” becomes EN. Hence VAUEN.

I followed that link on the bottom of the photo above (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/p-lip-en.html). I found that there was description of the Vauen Dr. Perl that had the same style stem as the pipe I was working on. I have included a screen capture of the Dr. Perl pipe below:I could not find anything in the information to help establish the date for the pipe but it is fascinating to see the look of the P-lip.

I also turned to a blog written on rebornpipes by Dal Stanton (Pipesteward.com) that I quote a section from the blog below that gives a great sense of the history of the German brand and some photos from the website (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/04/27/breathing-new-life-into-a-german-vauen-6294-p-lip-saddle-billiard-for-a-special-young-lady/).

… I turn to the question of the history of the VAUEN name? I look to the History section of the VAUEN website and again, I am impressed with the presentation. Whenever I work on a pipe, and especially when a pipe name is new to me, I enjoy looking at its history to appreciate the pipe more fully now on my worktable. From VAUEN’s website:Quality and a wealth of ideas have a long tradition at VAUEN. 160 years of VAUEN: that means 160 years of skilled workmanship and modern technology and 160 years of experience in fulfilling the individual wishes of today’s pipe lovers, and those of tomorrow.

In Nuremberg in 1848, Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener turned an idea into reality: Germany’s first pipe manufacturer produced tobacco pipes for connoisseurs around the world using a selection of the best wood. In an amalgamation with the Gebhard Ott pipe factory, which was founded in 1866 in Nuremberg, the Vereinigten Pfeifenfabriken Nuremberg (United Pipe Factories Nuremberg, or VPFN) was born in 1901.  Under the management of Ernst Eckert, a descendent of the founding Ott family, a company was born whose products and services would shape the tobacco and smoking culture in Europe and overseas for the next 160 years and counting.

The question about the name, VAUEN, not being a name of a person and why it is capitalized throughout is explained:

In his search for a name that would be easily remembered by all pipe lovers, Ernst Eckert’s son, Adolf Eckert, coined a new name for the company in 1909: VAUEN – a composition of the first letters V (pronounced vow) of Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken and N (pronounced en) of Nuremberg. A brand for the future was born.

Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. In chatting with the pipeman who brought me the pipe we decided to add a small thin brass band for decorative purposes. I went through my bands and found one that was a perfect fit and matched the one I put on the billiard. I put a thin band of glue around the inside edge of the band and pressed it into place. I took photos of the new look of the pipe. I really like the looks of the band in place. I cleaned out the thin cake on the bowl walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded the walls smooth with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I cleaned out the mortise and airway into the bowl and the stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol until they came out clean. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the finish with my fingers and used a shoe brush to press it deep into the crevices of the sandblast. The product works to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank and enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really came alive with a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I went through my collection of stem and found an acrylic stem with a fishtail end that was a perfect replacement. It would need to be cleaned up and polished but it would look good with the bowl. I sanded out the light remaining tooth marks and chatter in the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil 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.  As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the acrylic.  I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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 grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black acrylic stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Sandblast Vauen Dr. Perl 5049 Bent Dublin  was another fun pipe to work on. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the grain on the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.55 ounces/ 44 grams. This is the second of the Vauen Dr. Perl Pipes that were dropped off for me to clean up and restem. I will be sending the pair back to the pipeman who dropped them off. Thanks for reading my reflections on the pipe while I working on it.

Restemming and restoring a meerschaum lined Vauen Dr. Perl 1242 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

This past weekend a fellow stopped by on a recommendation from a local pipe shop about my restemming a couple of pipes that he purchased on Ebay. Both of the pipes were Vauen pipes and both were sandblasted with P-lip style stems. The stems had the additional feature of being 9mm filter pipes. The first of these I chose to work on was the sandblast billiard that had a meerlined bowl. The tenon had snapped in the shank in the process of the shipping and the thin filter stem was stuck in the shank. The meerlined bowl was also dirty and had a light to moderate cake on the walls. The rim top was stain dark from use and was much the same colour as the stain on the bowl. The finish was dirty but had a charm that was characteristic of older sandblast pipes. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Vauen [over] Dr. Perl. That was followed by the shape number 1242 followed by the crossed pipes Vauen logo. It was quite lightweight and would clean up quite nicely. In chatting with the fellow on Sunday he was clear that he wanted to get rid of the p-lip stem altogether and have an acrylic fishtail style stem in the same shape made for a 9mm filter tenon. I took photos of the pipe before I started working on it. I took photos of the snapped tenon on the stem to show how close to the shank it had broken. The broken tenon was tight in the shank and would be difficult to remove.I took a photo of the meerschaum insert in the bowl. It looks good in the photo below. It is smooth and shows some darkening on the top of the insert where it seems to almost blur into the surround briar.The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I wanted to get some background on the Dr. Perl pipe by Vauen. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-v1.html). I did a screen capture of the information on the site. There was a great sidebar that gave some history of the brand. I include both of them below. There was also a note at the bottom of the screen capture below that has a link to the Vauen Dr Perl variant on the P-Lip pipe.In 1848, Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener establish a pipe factory in Nuremberg. In 1901 they merge with Gebhard Ott an other factory in town and they create a firm named Vereinigten Pfeifenfabriken Nürnberg (abbreviated : VPFN*). Shortly after Ernst Eckert, a member of the Ott family became manager of the society. During the 20th century Adolf, Ernst (jr) and Alexander Eckert (CEO in 2012) followed one another at Vauen’s head.* VPFN : “V” is said VAU in German (pronounce faou) and “N” becomes EN. Hence VAUEN.

I followed that link on the bottom of the photo above (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/p-lip-en.html). I found that there was description of the Vauen Dr. Perl that had the same style stem as the pipe I was working on. I have included a screen capture of the Dr. Perl pipe below:I could not find anything in the information to help establish the date for the pipe but it is fascinating to see the look of the P-lip.

I also turned to a blog written on rebornpipes by Dal Stanton (Pipesteward.com) that I quote a section from the blog below that gives a great sense of the history of the German brand and some photos from the website (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/04/27/breathing-new-life-into-a-german-vauen-6294-p-lip-saddle-billiard-for-a-special-young-lady/).

… I turn to the question of the history of the VAUEN name? I look to the History section of the VAUEN website and again, I am impressed with the presentation. Whenever I work on a pipe, and especially when a pipe name is new to me, I enjoy looking at its history to appreciate the pipe more fully now on my worktable. From VAUEN’s website:Quality and a wealth of ideas have a long tradition at VAUEN. 160 years of VAUEN: that means 160 years of skilled workmanship and modern technology and 160 years of experience in fulfilling the individual wishes of today’s pipe lovers, and those of tomorrow.

In Nuremberg in 1848, Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener turned an idea into reality: Germany’s first pipe manufacturer produced tobacco pipes for connoisseurs around the world using a selection of the best wood. In an amalgamation with the Gebhard Ott pipe factory, which was founded in 1866 in Nuremberg, the Vereinigten Pfeifenfabriken Nuremberg (United Pipe Factories Nuremberg, or VPFN) was born in 1901.  Under the management of Ernst Eckert, a descendant of the founding Ott family, a company was born whose products and services would shape the tobacco and smoking culture in Europe and overseas for the next 160 years and counting.

The question about the name, VAUEN, not being a name of a person and why it is capitalized throughout is explained:

In his search for a name that would be easily remembered by all pipe lovers, Ernst Eckert’s son, Adolf Eckert, coined a new name for the company in 1909: VAUEN – a composition of the first letters V (pronounced vow) of Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken and N (pronounced en) of Nuremberg. A brand for the future was born.

Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. I needed to pull the broken tenon from the shank but it was harder than I thought it would be. I tried to drill it out but it would not move. I painted it with alcohol to try to soften the grime on it but again no movement. I was nervous about putting it in the freezer because of the meerlining so I was left to other methods. I finally used a knife to scrape away as much of the tenon as possible. I finally used a small file and was able to pull out the last piece of the broken tenon. With it gone I sanded the mortise smooth with a rolled piece of 220 grit sandpaper until the fit in the shank was smooth.I examined the bowl and saw that the meerschaum insert ended just above the entrance of the airway. It is a meerschaum sleeve rather than a bowl insert. The bottom of the bowl is still briar. I carefully scraped out the cake on the meerschaum walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I sanded it with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel to make it smooth.I cleaned out the mortise and airway into the bowl and the stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol until they came out clean. In chatting with the pipeman who brought me the pipe we decided to add a small thin brass band for decorative purposes. I went through my bands and found one that was a perfect fit. I put a thin band of glue around the shank edge and pressed the band into place. I took photos of the new look of the pipe. I really like the looks of the band in place.  I restained the briar portion of the rim top and edges with a combination of Black and Walnut stain pens to match the colour around the bowl sides. It looked much better. I polished the meerschaum portion a bit as well but it has some great colour to it.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the finish with my fingers and used a shoe brush to press it deep into the crevices of the sandblast. The product works to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank and enliven and protect the briar. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The briar really came alive with a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I put it in a cup of water and boiled the water to straighten out the new stem. Heated the stem and the water in the microwave for 2 minutes until the material became flexible. I straightened it out and set the stem shape with cold running water.I sanded out the light remaining tooth marks and chatter in the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil 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.  As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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 grain really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny black vulcanite stem is a beautiful contrast to the browns of the bowl and thick shank. This Meerschaum Lined Vauen Dr. Perl 1242 Billiard was another fun pipe to work on. It really is a quite stunning piece of briar whose shape follows the flow of the grain on the briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.48 ounces/42 grams. The first of two Vauen Dr. Perl Pipes that were dropped off for me to clean up and restem. Once the second is finished, I will be sending them back to the pipeman who dropped them off. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I working on it.

Repairing and Restoring a Nording Nord-Coat Denmark 125 Oval Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one I have had for quite a while in a drawer here with meerschaum pipes. Jeff and I are not certain where we picked it up as neither of us have any memory of its purchase or where we found it. I had always assumed that it was a meerschaum as well until I started working on it this afternoon. The pipe looks like a meer with some fluming around the top of the bowl and shank bottom and end. It has some coloring that looks like a meerschaum. Once I started working on it I was not so sure. It is stamped on the underside and reads NORDING [over] NORD-COAT [over] DENMARK. On the shank end it was stamped 125 which is the shape number. The pipe is a classic shaped oval shank Billiard. The orange acrylic stem was in a bag with it and had a broken tenon. The tenon itself was missing so I was not certain of the fit. I took photos of the pipe when I took it out of the bag. It was dirty and the rim top was dirty. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was stamped as noted above and was clear and readable.Now I knew that the pipe I was working on was a Nording that had been given a special coat called a NORD-COAT. Now I wanted to know what that was. Was it a meerschaum? I did not think so and in fact that NORD-COAT stamp made me pretty certain that it was not. It was rather coated with some kind of finish to give the pipe the look of a meerschaum. I wanted to know more so I did a quick search on the web for NORDING NORD-COAT. I am quoting what I found below.

The first link I found was to a thread on Pipesmagazine.com forum where a person was seeking information on the pipe(https://pipesmagazine.com/forums/threads/nordcoat-by-nording.15584/). I quote:

pipesharkOct 10, 2012 Bounced around a bit after I saw this, and apparently this is something that is supposed create a life lasting coating that will color similar to meerschaum but not lose it’s color for any reason. Supposedly all Nordcoat pipes should have the big man’s signature on them, and the hubbub is that if they don’t, they may be seconds. According to another post, there was a page on the Nording site some years ago that “guaranteed these pipes to color like meerschaum and provide a great cool smoke”. I read on post that claimed to have one of these pipes from 30 years ago, so they must have been around for some time. Maybe Storient or another meer expert has heard of coatings like these before. I didn’t see anything about the pipes being lower quality briar as such, but I have just discovered the subject and will continue the search. I must say that I have not substantiated this with any official sites or sources, this is just what I have seen on multiple threads of blog/forum postings, some claiming to have checked it out, but yea… I will post again if I find anything more.

That pretty much settle whether the was meerschaum or not. It clearly was not. It had a coating on the briar that would colour like meerschaum and permanently hold its colour. Nording had guaranteed  that they would colour like meer and provide a cool smoke.

I turned to a second link that was on the Google search that was on smokingpipes.com. (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=404914). I quote from the description that was there.

It’s presented in a sandblasted, virgin finish with darkened portions along the rim and shank end meant to emulate the look of a weathered patina. Erik designed these pipes with patinating in mind, meant to emulate the look of meerschaum

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%B8rding) and read the background info on the brand. It is a great read. There was also an example of the NORD-COAT pipe and nomenclature. I have included the photo below.I then turned to a last listing on the brand on Worthpoint – an online site that auctions of pipes (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/estate-clean-erik-nording-nord-coat-140692535). I quote:

Estate restored Erik Nording Nord-coat #2 #109 sandblasted imported briar pipe. Made by master artisan pipe maker Erik Nording in Denmark. This premium beauty is hued to look like a meerschaum pipe. This is a very collectable great smoking briar pipe.

Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. I decided to replace the broken tenon the acrylic stem that had come with the pipe. I went through my box of tenons and found a white threaded tenon that would work with a slight adjustment in length for the shank and fitting it into the stem. The white tenon would work well with the opaque colour of the stem once it was glued in place. I took photos of the tenon with the pipe and stem and have included them below.  I drilled out the airway in the stem with gradually increasing sized drill bits to open it up to take the threaded end of the new tenon. I find that working from a bit slightly larger than the airway in the stem to one that is the correct size for the tenon keeps it from chipping or breaking the acrylic stem. I used my Dremel and sanding drum to reduce the diameter of the tenon, shorten its length and remove the colour between the smooth and threaded portion of the tenon. I tried the fit in the stem and it worked perfect. I took a photo of before putting it in the stem and after. I also fit it in the shank as well. Once the fit was correct I glued it in place with clear CA glue.  I set the stem aside to let the glue cure on the tenon insert. I turned my attention to the bowl. I scrubbed it with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed it off with running warm water. I dried it off with a soft cloth. The grime in the finish came off quite easily and the pipe looked significantly better. The grime was clear in the sandblast grooves around the bowl and shank as well as the rim top. I put the stem in the mortise and took photos to show the slight difference in the diameter of the stem and the shank. I am pretty sure it is original as there is a faint N on the top of the stem. It was not much but it bugged me and left a bit of lip that I did not like. I took photos of the fit and have included them below.    I went through some of my Sterling Silver Bands and found one that I think will work for the pipe and the stem. It is a nice oval silver band that I will fit on the shank. I slipped the band on the shank and put the stem in place see the fit and feel of the new look of the stem. While it covers the shape number, I still like it a lot!   I touched up the rim top stain with a black Sharpie pen. I was able to blend it into the rest of the rim top and edges of the bowl. It looked much better at this point.I glued the band in place on the shank end with some Weld Bond all purpose glue. I coated the shank end with the glue and pressed the band onto the shank. I aligned the stamping on the top of the band with the shank top.I scraped out the thin cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. It did not take too much to clean out the bowl. I then cleaned the shank and the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol.   I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the finish on the bowl and shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I worked it into the finish with my fingers and a horse hair shoe brush. After it sat for 15 minutes I wiped it off with a soft cloth. The Nord-Coat really began to have a rich shine and some colour. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. It is a beautiful bowl.  I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter in the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 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 acrylic. I finished by wiping the stem down with a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   As usual at this point in the restoration process I am excited to be on the homestretch. I look forward to the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with a light touch of Blue Diamond on the wheel. I polished the Silver Band with a jeweler’s cloth. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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 sandblast really pops with the wax and polish. The shiny orange variegated acrylic stem is a beautiful contrast to the meerschaum like colour of the bowl and shank. This Nording Nord-Coat Oval Shank 125 Billiard was another fun pipe to work on. The Sterling Silver Band that I added adds a nice contrast between the acrylic stem and the Nord-Coat briar and binds it all together. It really is a quite stunning pipe whose shape follows the flow of the sandblasted briar. The pipe is comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.52 ounces/43 grams. This beautiful pipe will be going online on the rebornpipes soon in the Danish Pipe Makers section. If you want to add it to your collection let me know. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring and Restemming a Made in Ireland Peterson’s System 313 Bent


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I often purchase pipe bowl/stummels of brands that we like and want to restore. These have included a lot of different bowls. If you have followed us for long you know that some of these have included Peterson’s, Dunhill’s, and a wide range of Danish and English pipes. Awhile ago Jeff and I were sorting through the bowls in our collection and pulled out eight Peterson’s bowls that were dirty and stemless. A friend referred us to a contact named Silas Walls, of Walls Pipe Repair in Wallace, Idaho, USA as he seems to have a good supply of original Peterson’s stems. Our friend has had him fit stems for some of his Petes and was very happy with the work. We made contact with him and sent him eight bowls for restemming.

In the photo above I show the 8 restemmed pipes. I have marked the 6 I have worked on already with a red X). This seventh one that we cleaned up before mailing them out was a bowl that we purchased on 08/31/2019 from an auction Nyack, New York, USA. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System. On the right side of the shank it is stamped Made in Ireland (two lines) followed by the shape number 313. The ferrule is stamped K&P [over] Sterling Silver. Next to that it reads Peterson [over] Dublin. The bowl was dirty with lava on the rim top and a moderate cake in the bowl. The Sterling Silver ferrule was quite dirty and worn with some small dents in the surface. Jeff took photos of the bowl before he did his cleanup work in preparation for sending them to Walls Pipe Repair for their new stem. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. There is also some great grain around the bowl and shank. I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Peterson) and read through the article there. I found an interesting note in the middle of the page. I quote the pertinent section below and have highlights some important information in red below.

As usual when trying to get accurate facts in regard to Peterson history, something will jump up and get in the way. They are missing many of their records. The following is the best that we can do for a guide to the myriad markings during the period 1922 – 1949. Prior to 1920 it was rare for a country of origin to be stamped on the pipe, just Peterson’s Dublin on the band. After 1921/22, if it is stamped “MADE IN IRELAND” and the “Made in” is stacked over “Ireland” or “MADE IN EIRE” or several other forms, it was made between 1922 and 1938.  A considerable number of Peterson pipes were stamped “Irish Free State”. From about 1930 to 1949, most of the pipes (those which were stamped) were stamped “Made in Ireland”.” If the stamp reads “MADE IN IRELAND” in a circle, the pipe was made between 1939 and 1948. These are all “pre-republic” pipes. I can tell you that the mark “Irish Free State” was adopted in 1922;and replaced by “Eire” in 1937 and then by “Republic of Ireland” in 1949.

I turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s System 0 Made in Ireland stamp. On page 126 it had the following information

The stamp reads IRISH over FREE STATE, in small letters, usually perpendicular to the line of the shank, very close to and parallel to the seam where the shank meets the mouth piece. On banded pipe, this often hidden under the band itself. At the same time, they issued a smaller number of pipes stamped MADE IN over IRELAND. Today’s collector may encounter specimens of these with mountings hallmarked for every year from 1922-1937.

The information was very helpful. I have highlighted the pertinent reference to regarding the stamping. I knew that I was dealing with a Pre-Republic period pipe stamped Made in Ireland made between 1922-1938.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. It looked much better. I took pictures of the bowl without the new stem from Silas Wall. It is a great looking piece of briar and the sterling silver ferrule looks very good. When the pipes came back to Jeff with their new stems they looked great. When the pipe arrived here this week I took photos of it with its stem so you can see what I see. The first six pipes from the lot were flawless and quite beautiful. The last two – this 313 and a 314 looked great at first glance but upon further examination the stems were not correct. The draught on the P-lip portion of the stem usually was on the top of the stem in all Peterson’s pipes but in the case of these two pipes the airway came straight out the end of the stem. Here are the photos of the pipe and stem. I took photos of the flawed stem next to a properly drilled stem. You can see in the photos where the airway exits the stem. In the photos below the new stem is on the left side and an original is on the right side. It is a little hard to see but in the new stem the airway exits at the end of the button and on the original it is on the top. The hole is the same size but the position is wrong. The shape of the button/p-lip is also quite different and more flat. It is obviously the wrong stem. I contacted Walls Pipe Repair about the problem and sadly it took many months to get some resolution. I suggested that they send me two unfinished stems and I would fit them myself. The problem was that these two were also not quite correct. You can see that the shape is very different and the blade itself was significantly thinner that the stem that had been fitted to the bowl. I took a photo of the pair below.I put the two stems aside and went through my cans of stems and found a stem that is quite similar. The blade is slightly longer and thinner than the one from Wall but the shape of the button and the shank end of the stem would work well with a few adjustments. Here are some photos of the stem I chose from a variety of angles. I used a topping board to shorten the extended end of the stem to match the length of the stem fitted by Wall. I fit the new stem to the shank and took photos of the pipe as it looks now.  The fit is good but I will need to polish it and give it a slight bend. With the new stem chosen I turned to work on the out of round and damage inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the inner bevel of the rim edge and remove the damage and bring it back into round. It looked much better. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each  pad to remove the grit. The bowl began to take on a rich shine. It is going to be a beauty.   I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips. I let it sit for 10 minutes and the Balm did its magic. It enlivens, cleans and preserves the briar. It certainly brought this bowl back to life. I buffed it off with a clean cloth and took the following photos.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Made in Ireland Peterson’s System Bent 313 with a Sterling Silver Ferrule and a vulcanite P-lip stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain that shines through the polished finish is stunning. As the pipe is smoked the patina should develop and look even better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Peterson’s System 313 Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 37 grams/1.31 ounces. I will be adding the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you are interested in purchasing this pipe send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restemming and Restoring a Svendborg Sandblast Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

There is something about Freehand pipes that catches Jeff and my eye when we come across them. This stemless one was no exception as it quite captured our attention. The combination of sandblast, carved rim top to look like plateau, the horn shank extension all worked together to make this a stunning looking pipe. Jeff purchased the stummel on 06/16/22 from a seller in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA. The pipe was stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and read Svendborg [over] Danish [over] Hand Made. The rich reddish brown overstain on an undercoat of black stain on the sandblast finish looked very good. It had a lot of dust and debris in the grooves of the sandblast. The bowl had a thick cake in it and it overflowed into the carved plateau style rim top. It was dirty but very interesting looking. The horn shank extension was dry but in good condition and flared out to receive a freehand stem. It had long before been separated from the bowl and there was no memory of what it may have looked like when it was present. Jeff took photos of the bowl before his clean up work to give a sense of its beauty and the filthiness of its current condition. It is an interesting and beautiful looking bowl. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to show clearly the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava in the rustication of the faux plateau rim top. It is quite remarkable. The next photos capture the sandblast in the briar on the sides and heel of the bowl. It is a beautiful blast that shows the grain around bowl sides and the heel. It is a beautiful blast that truly shows the quality of the briar.  He captured the stamping on the underside of the shank and the shape of the horn stem in the next photos. The stamping is clear and readable and reads as is noted above. The horn is solid and has no damage or worm holes.   I looked first on the Pipephil website (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-s14.html) to see what I could find. I have found through the years that it gives me a good summary of the information available and some pictures of some of the pipes from the brand. I have included a screen capture of the pipes in the listing and the stamping that is on the underside of the shank. The one I am working on is stamped like the first pipe below but without the C grade stamp.The sidebar on Pipephil included the following information on the brand. It is a helpful summary.

“Brand founded in 1970s by Henrik Jørgensen, Poul Ilsted and Tao Nielsen. They bought an old factory (Nordisc Pibefabriker) in Svendborg on Funen Island. Poul and Tao gradually bowed out from machine manufactured pipes (1982) and Henrik Jørgensen manages the brand until its takeover by Design Berlin (D) in the late 90ies. Kaj C. Rasmussen jointed the firm for several years. 17 employees worked for this brand under Henrik Jørgensen direction.

That link gave me a bit of information on the brand – a joint venture of Henrik Jorgensen, Poul Ilsted and Tao Nielsen. I could see from the information that usually the carvers stamped their names on the shank of the pipe. In the case of the one I have there is no name stamp. My assumption is that the pipe was made after Ilsted and Nielsen bowed out which would put the date of the carving between 1982 and the late 90’s when Design Berlin took over. The Danish Hand Made stamping also confirms that assumption.

Next I turned to Pipedia for more information and detail (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Svendborg). I find that the articles there fill in some interesting information on the relationships and history of a given brand. In this case I found that also true. I quote pertinent pieces of the article. If you would like more information follow the above link.

Jens Tao Nielsen and Poul Ilsted Bech met each other when working together for Erik Nørding and soon became close friends. Both felt a bit tired to make nothing but bizarre fancy shapes and agreed they wanted to produce pipes of more style and more classicism. They decided to establish their own brand “Tao & Ilsted” – But how to do it?

A good fortune brought them in contact with Henrik Jørgensen, a passionate pipe lover and a wealthy Copenhagen banker who was willing to retire from bank business and change his career to become a pipemaker. The trio joined in 1969 and decided to start a new pipe brand together. Nielsen and Ilsted started to search for a suitable workshop while Jørgensen took care of the finances. In early 1970 the partners found an old, closed down pipe factory in Svendborg on Funen, and bought it shortly after for a mere 16.500 Danish Kroner. It was the earlier Nordic Pipe Factory – Nordisc Pibefabriker – maybe the oldest Danish pipe factory. And now it became the home of Svendborg Piber…

…But in spite of it’s magnificent success the trio fell apart after less than two years, when wilful Poul Ilsted stepped out declaring he didn’t want to make serial pipes anymore, but wanted to make individual specimens… Strange enough, he approached this aim returning to Nørding!

Ilsted’s argumentation doesn’t seem to be absolutely fair: even though Svendborg turned to produce mainly serial pipes under Seiffert’s influence each of the three partners was free to work on his very own one of a kind pieces as well! Since it was Seiffert’s basic idea to profit from – especially – Tao ‘s and Ilsted’s creativity to design new shapes. There are many knowledgeable collectors who confirm that these early Svendsborg pipes class among the most individual, innovating and exciting designs Danish pipecrafters created at that time…

The firm developed well and prospered throughout the 1970’s but around 1980 dissensions between Tao and Jørgensen occured. Tao: “Most pipes were delivered to the United States and whereby the Americans tried to dictate us the conditions. It was not only so that their taste and their view on aesthetics were simply horrible – no, moreover they wanted that the pipes should be as cheap as possible. That did not suit my plans at all, for I strove for high quality and artistic freedom in the end.”

Tao and Jørgensen, who tended to accommodate the US customers’ wishes, could not find a compromise on their different opinions, and so Tao left the firm in 1981 and opened his own pipe workshop near the harbour of Svendborg.

…Henrik Jørgensen continued Svendborg Piber bravely for more than a decade on his own until he finally sold the brand to Seiffert around the midst of the 1990’s. Seiffert, focusing on their mainstay brand Sillem’s, sold Svendborg – a ghost brand now – again before 2000 and the current owner is Planta’s Design Berlin.

The article also included this set of pages from a catalogue that were interesting as they included the Handcarved line. The philosophy that drove the brand is also there to read.

Catalog page, courtesy Doug Valitchka

That gives a good picture of the history and development of the Svendborg brand and the connection to some of the great carvers of Danish pipe history. Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe in hand.

It is really a beautiful piece. Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table. I took photos of the rim top and horn shank end to show the condition. The rim top carvings and plateau look much better. The horn shank extension looked very good.  I cleaned up the remaining lava on the rim top with a brass bristle brush. It looked much better with the brushing and you can see the grooves in the rim top carving.I polished the horn shank extension with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down between pads with a damp cloth to remove the debris.  I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and horn shank extension with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem I had chosen. I took a photo of the bowl with the stem below it. (I had started to remove the excess  vulcanite on the tenon with my Dremel then remembered to take the photo.)  With that much done I drilled the airway with a small drill bit to fit the guide pin on the tenon turning tool. I used the tenon turning tool to take back the diameter of the tenon so that it would fit the shank. I would need to reduce I a bit more but the overall look is what I was looking for.I used a flat file to make the final adjustments to the shoulder of the stem at the tenon end. I flattened out the edge and then smoothed out the fit in the shank with the file and 220 grit sandpaper.With the tenon the right size I put the stem in the shank and took photos of the pipe from each side to show what the new stem looked like in place. I still needed to bend it and fit it well but it was going to work well. I decided to use my old school method of bending the stem. I filled a mug half full of water and placed the stem in it. I put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and removed it from the cup. The vulcanite was pliable and I bent the stem to the proper angle for the pipe. I cooled it with cold water to set the bend. I put the stem on the pipe and took photos of the pipe and the new stem at this point in the process. I was liking what I saw!  I removed the stem and worked on the shape of it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted the transition between the tenon and the bulge in the saddle to be smooth so I worked on that until the saddle and tenon began to take shape. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I finished the polishing with Before & After Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.   This Svendborg Danish Hand Made Freehand with its newly fit fancy, vulcanite saddle stem is a beautiful  sandblast pipe with a flowing shape that looks great . The rich browns and blacks of the contrasting stain makes the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Svendborg Danish Freehand really is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 7 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.93 ounces/83 grams. This pipe will soon be on the Danish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restemming and Reclaiming a worn and tired Nording Danmark 116 Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

Though I am not currently not taking on new work but trying to catch up on my backlog of pipes I have a commitment to doing repairs for customers of our local pipe shop. I have worked on several pipes for the pipeman who dropped this pipe and two others off at my house on Tuesday morning. All three had the tenons snapped off in the shank and two with broken or damaged stems. All three were heavily smoked with cakes almost completely filling in the bowls. It always make me wonder how one can fill a bowl when cake is so thick my finger would not fit in the bowl. The exterior of all three bowls were heavily caked with tars, oils and grime ground into the finish. The pipes reeked of the aromatic tobaccos that had been smoked in them. My wife bagged the three pipes and sealed them until I could get to them.

It was time to work on the last of the pipes – Dublin with oval shank. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Nording [over] Danmark [over] 116. It had a tenon stuck in the shank and a large chip on the top of the shank. I took photos of the bowl to show its condition before I started on it. I took photos to show the heavy grime on the bowl sides, the cake in the bowl and the heavy lava and damage to the rim top and inner edge. Somewhere along its journey the pipe had been banded. It was a real mess. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake in bowl and the damage on the inner edge of the rim. It was another very dirty pipe. I also took a photo of the chip out of the top of the shank showing the broken tenon in the shank. I tried to pull the broken tenon and was not surprised that it was stuck in the shank. I put the bowl in the freezer and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once I removed it I used a screw turned into the airway to wiggle the tenon out of the shank. It actually came out quite easily.  I decided to repair the large chip on the topside of the shank. I rebuilt it with clear CA glue and briar dust. I layered them into the chipped area using a dental spatula to apply the briar dust to the layers of glue. It took a bit of work but I quickly finished the repair. I flattened the repair with different files to blend them into the surface. I would need to sand them further but the repair looked good. At this point I decided to clean up the pipe so I could work on it. I like restoring clean pipes so that was going to be a lot of work but worth it to me to get rid of the grime. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using the largest cutting head. I cleaned up the reamer with a Savinelli Fitsall PipeKnife. I sanded the walls of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. There was a small mountain of carbon. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe to remove the heavy oils and tar build up on the bowl. It took a lot of elbow grease using a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I worked on it until the grime washed away with running water. It looks much better at this point.  I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the rim top and clean up the inner edge of the bowl. I also sanded the repair on the top of the shank with the 220 grit sandpaper at the same time. It took a bit of work but both repairs looked much better.   With the sanding done it was time to band the shank end to bind the repair and the hairline crack from the repair up the shank a slight distance. I spread white glue around the shank end with a tooth pick and pressed a brass band onto the end of the shank. I took photos of the banded shank and it looked good. With the externals cleaned I turned my attention to the internals. I scrubbed the shank and the airway in the bowl with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol until it was clean. It was a mess. The stem was brand new and was very clean.I set the bowl aside and worked on the fit of the stem. I drilled out the airway with a bit the same size as the guide pin on the tenon turning tool. I then used the tenon turning tool to remove and reduce the diameter of the tenon. I smoothed out the tenon with a sanding drum on my Dremel. I used a flat file and a smaller file to remove the casting marks on the sides of the stem and the end of the button. Once finished with the file it was looking much better. I put the stem on the shank and took photos of the look of the fit of the stem to the shank. I will need to do some shaping around the shank end but the fit in the shank is perfect. It is a snug fit. I took the stem off and went back to the bowl to polish it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. It looks far better than it did before even with the many fills in the briar around the bowl.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar. To get it into the nooks and crannies of the plateau I used a shoe brush and worked it deeply into the grooves. The balm works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. It is a beautiful pipe.  I turned back to the stem. I shaped the stem and adjusted the saddle portion of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I removed excess vulcanite all around the top, bottom and underside to shape and get the fit next to the shank and brass band. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The fit looked very good.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished hand polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with another coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry. The stem really was beginning to look very good.   This was a very beat up Nording Danmark 116 Dublin and now with its restoration and newly fit black vulcanite saddle stem it looks far better than when I started. The reworked rim top works very will with the rest of the bowl. I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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 brown stain makes the grain just sing and it works well with the polished vulcanite stem. Have a look at the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 46 grams/ 1.62 ounces. Once I finish restemming the last of the pipes the three will be going home with the fellow who dropped them off. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe.

Restemming and Reclaiming a worn and tired Portland Bruyere Garantie Canted Egg


Blog by Steve Laug

Though I am not currently not taking on new work but trying to catch up on my backlog of pipes I have a commitment to doing repairs for customers of our local pipe shop. I have worked on several pipes for the pipeman who dropped this pipe and two others off at my house on Tuesday morning. All three had the tenons snapped off in the shank and two with broken or damaged stems. All three were heavily smoked with cakes almost completely filling in the bowls. It always make me wonder how one can fill a bowl when cake is so thick my finger would not fit in the bowl. The exterior of all three bowls were heavily caked with tars, oils and grime ground into the finish. The pipes reeked of the aromatic tobaccos that had been smoked in them. My wife bagged the three pipes and sealed them until I could get to them.

I decided to work on one of two oval shank canted eggs with oval saddle stems next. I opened the bag and removed both the bowl and the broken stem. I took photos of the bowl to show its condition before I started on it. I took photos to show the heavy grime on the bowl sides, the cake in the bowl and the heavy lava and damage to the rim top and inner edge. Somewhere along its journey the pipe had been banded. It was a real mess. I tried to pull the broken tenon and was not surprised that it was stuck in the shank. I put the bowl in the freezer and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once I removed it I used a screw turned into the airway to wiggle the tenon out of the shank. It actually came out quite easily. I went through my stems and found a new one that matched the broken piece of the previous stem. I took a photo. I would need to turn the cast tenon and remove the casting marks on the sides and the button on the pipe to get a fit. Here is a photo of the bowl with the new stem. Now it was time to clean it up so I could work on it. I like restoring clean pipes so that was going to be a lot of work but worth it to me to get rid of the grime. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer using the largest cutting head. I cleaned up the reamer with a Savinelli Fitsall PipeKnife. I sanded the walls of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. There was a small mountain of carbon. I scrubbed the externals of the pipe to remove the heavy oils and tar build up on the bowl. It took a lot of elbow grease using a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I worked on it until the grime washed away with running water. It looks much better at this point.  With the externals cleaned I turned my attention to the internals. I scrubbed the shank and the airway in the bowl with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol until it was clean. It was a mess. The stem was brand new and was very clean.I topped the bowl to prepare it for reworking the damage to the inner edge of the bowl. I wanted to smooth it out before working on the inner bevel of the bowl. I used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to give the bowl a bevel. The final photo of the four below shows the repaired and reshaped rim edge.  I set the bowl aside and worked on the fit of the stem. I drilled out the airway with a bit the same size as the guide pin on the tenon turning tool. I then used the tenon turning tool to remove and reduce the diameter of the tenon. I smoothed out the tenon with a sanding drum on my Dremel. I used a flat file and a smaller file to remove the casting marks on the sides of the stem and the end of the button. Once finished with the file it was looking much better. I put the stem on the shank and took photos of the look of the fit of the stem to the shank. I will need to do some shaping around the shank end but the fit in the shank is perfect. It is a snug fit. I went back to the bowl to finish the cleanup and restoration of it. I polished the it with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. It looks far better than it did before even with the many fills in the briar around the bowl.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The balm works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. It is a beautiful pipe.  I turned back to the stem. I shaped the stem and adjusted the saddle portion of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I removed excess vulcanite all around the top, bottom and underside to shape and get the fit next to the shank and brass band. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The fit looked very good. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished hand polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with another coat of Obsidian Oil and let it dry. The stem really was beginning to look very good.   This was a very beat up Portland Bruyere Garantie Canted Egg and now with its newly fit black vulcanite saddle stem it looks far better than when I started. The reworked rim top works very will with the rest of the bowl. I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I 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 brown stain makes the grain just sing and it works well with the polished vulcanite stem. Have a look at the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 46 grams/ 1.62 ounces. Once I finish restemming the last of the pipes the three will be going home with the fellow who dropped them off. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe.