Tag Archives: polishing

Breathing New Life into a BBB Ultonia Sandblast Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is another one that has been here for over five years. It is nice looking short, old style BBB Ultonia Billiard. We picked it up off eBay on 01/29/17 from a seller in Poughkeepsie, New York, USA. The shank is quite short but it is not cut off or damaged. It was designed that way. The sandblast is quite rugged and there is a lot of dust and grit in the crevices. The bowl has a moderate cake and tobacco debris in the bowl. The edges and rim top look quite good. Other than being dirty the finish is in good condition. The stem has a BBB diamond stamp on the left side. It has an older style straight taper cut to it. It is oxidized and has tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up work. He took a photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the pipe. You can see the cake in the bowl and the light lava on the rim top. The stem photos also show the oxidation and tooth chatter on the top and underside ahead of the button. He took a photo of the sandblast and the smooth heel on the bowl. It really is a nice looking blast and shape.He took photos of the stamping on the heel of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. There does not appear to be a shape number stamped on the pipe. The BBB Diamond stamp is visible on the left side of the shank. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if it listed the Ultonia line (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-bbb.html). It did not but it gave a short summary of the brand. I quote:

BBB: ” Best British Briar” is now a brand of the Cadogan Company (Oppenheimer group). American rights to use the brand name were sold to Wally Frank in 1980. Founder of the brand in 1847: Louis Blumfeld. The oldest pipe brand name in the UK has been registered in 1876 (Blumfeld Best Briar) Grading (ascendant): Own Make, Bold Grain, Best Make, Rare Grain.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/BBB) to see if I could get some specific information on the Ultonia. I read through the history on the site and I quote the pertinent section of article below.

Louis Blumfeld develops from the very start of important international trade, with a particular success in Canada, in Australia, in Zealand News, India and in the extrème Is Europe, in Switzerland and, with a special mention, in Denmark. If the USA were never an extraordinary market, a branch is opened all the same in New York. In fact, the marketing strategy was focused especially on the countries of the Britanique Empire. Little before 1914, A Frankau & Co was also a sole agent for the pipes Cherry Wood of the Ropp house to cover the United Kingdom and its colonies.

If the BBB are its the most known pipes, A Frankau & Co had several marks of pipes: Capt. Kidd, Fairway (“F” in white; FAIRWAY/LONDON MADE/ENGLAND), Frankau’ S (London Made/Made in England), Glokar, Major Daff, the Snap-FIT. It also seems that Ultonia and Last word must be regarded as marks with whole share, in spite of the fact that they are presented as being product lines under label BBB. That would explain their absence of catalogues BBB…

In the Thirties, the top-of-the-range one becomes “BBB Best Make” with alternatives like “Super Stopping” and “Ultonia Thule”. The BBB Carlton, sold with the detail with 8/6 in 1938, is equipped with a system complicated out of metal, system which equipped the BBB London Dry too. Blue Peter was not estampillées BBB but BBB Ultonia, and the BBB Two Star (* *) become the bottom-of-the-range one. The calabash leave the catalogues, but some pipes with case and some scums are still produced. The forms also are typical of this time: half are billiards, some princes and bullcaps, a limited number of bulldogs and curved. It is as at that time as the top-of-the-range series receive an incrustation of initials BBB out of metal, whereas the bottom-of-the-range series have only the engraved pipe.

With that information, 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. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the rim and top that would need to be dealt with. He cleaned out the inside of 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 as possible. He soaked it in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it with warm water. The acrylic stem was clean but had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was an BBB Diamond logo on the left side of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. It was an amazing looking pipe. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top and edges looked very good. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button were very light.I took photos of the stamping on the heel and underside of the shank. They are readable as noted above. I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.The bowl was in excellent condition. The rim top and edges looked really good. I started my work by working some Before and After Restoration Balm into the surface of the sandblast bowl. It works to preserve, clean and renew the briar. I worked it into the crevices with a shoe brush. I let it sit for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The bowl really looked good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I touched up the BBB Diamond on the left side with some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I applied it to the stamp and worked it in with a tooth pick. I buffed it off and the stamping looks good. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads and wiping it down after each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. This older BBB Ultonia Made in England Sandblast Billiard with a vulcanite taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain on the briar shines through the polished finish is stunning. 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 BBB Ultonia 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 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 27 grams/.95 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the British Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in 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. There are many more to come!

Restoring a Nino Rossi 1886 Shape 138


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is another that caught my eye when I was going through my boxes of pipes to be refurbished. It was purchased off eBay from a seller in Spearville, Kansas, USA in March of 2017. So, it is another that has been sitting here for over five years now. I sent a message to Jeff to see if he had some before photos of the pipe to show the condition when he received it. He did and sent them to me via Messenger. The pipe is a unique shape but it was a real mess. It is stamped on the left side of the shank with the signature of Nino Rossi [over] 1886. On the right side it is stamped with the shape number 138 and on the underside near the stem it read ITALY. The stem had the brand logo stamped on the left side as well and though fade it was readable. The finish was filthy with dirt and grime ground into the briar. There was some fading near the ride top of the bowl. The was some tarnish on the mid-shank brass band sandwiched between two white acrylic spacers. The bowl was heavily caked and there was a lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. It appeared to me that the bowl edges were damaged but I would not know for sure until the pipe was cleaned up. The stem had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. The inside of the stem and shank was also filthy with heavy tars and oils to the point it was almost clogged. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up and I include those now. He took photos of the rim top to show the condition of the pipe and the cake in the bowl. You can see the potential damage on the inner edge. He also took photos of the stem to show the bite marks and chatter on both sides. Jeff captured the grain around the bowl sides and heel in the next photos. It really shines through even the grime. There are worn spots in the finish and numerous fills in the bowl and heel. They blend pretty well and I think after the clean up it will be a beautiful pipe. He took photos of the stamping on the shank sides and stem. He was able to capture them very well. Before I started to work on the pipe I wanted to remind myself of the background and history of the company. I find that when I do that it gives me another level of appreciation for the pipe that I am working on. I remembered that I had worked on a Nino Rossi 1886 pipe before so I turned to the blog I had written on the brand when I did that pipe and reread the history. Here is the link to the blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2022/01/04/a-fun-restore-of-a-nino-rossi-1886-classico-in-shape-992/). While the shape is slightly different it was informative. I quote from the information I found on the blog below.

I turned first to Pipephil’s site to see what I could learn about the brand as generally the site gives a good summary (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-n1.html#ninorossi). I quote the information from the side bar below and a screen capture of the pertinent section on the site. I drew a red box around the pipe in the photo below with the same stamping as the one I am working on.

Brand founded in 1886 by Ferdinando Rossi senior. He established a factory in Barasso, 5 miles away from Varese. The pipes production by the 850 employees reached 50,000 pipes/day in 1936. Ferdinando Rossi junior headed the company from 1946 until close down in 1985.I turned to Pipedia to read the more complete history of the brand and learn what I could about a possible date for this pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Rossi). First, I wanted to understand the 1886 stamp on the shank under the signature stamp. I found that it was the year that the company acquired land and opened Fabbrica di Pipe di Radica Rossi.

Rossi acquired a large area of land in Barasso in the province of Varese and founded the Fabbrica di Pipe di Radica Rossi in 1886. For sure there was no lack of skilled workers and Rossi personally recruited 30 craftsmen of different occupations from the environment to get started. After a few years the enterprise had developed well and entered into export trades. In 1892 e.g., the ledgers registered the first pipes shipped to Brazil.

I quote a summary section of the article below.

From, approximately, Twenties, Rossi pipes were marked with “FRB” (Fratelli Rossi Barasso) or “MFRB” (Manifattura Fratelli Rossi Barasso), into an oval and above “OLD BRIAR” (or similar – sometimes, there was also “MFD. BY ROSSI”, as “Manufactured by Rossi”); on the stem, there was generally the “R” letter in circle. However, “FRB OLD BRIAR” was maintained for the “traditional pipes” (for cheap models – see below), surely, to Sixties.

From, approximately, the fiftieth anniversary (1936), pipes were marked with “Rossi” (in cursive font), with model name just under it; on the stem, there was “ROSSI” (for expensive models like “extra”, which had the best quality; “racine”, which was rusticated by hand; “extra grain”, which was accurately sandblasted; “super”, which had the best briar selection, and a limited production; “fiamma”, which was the best selection of Sardinia and Greece briar, and a very limited production) or “R” in circle (for inexpensive models like “standard”, “grana” and “FRB”).

From, approximately, Seventies, until 1985, Rossi pipes were marked with “ROSSI”, in an oval (sometimes there was also “ITALY” on the shank); on the stem, there was “ROSSI”. In these years, appeared the signature “Nino Rossi” (in cursive font): he was the last heir of the factory.

With that information, 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. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the rim and top that would need to be dealt with. He cleaned out the inside of 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 as possible. He soaked it in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it with warm water. The acrylic stem was clean but had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was an N logo on the left side of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it.  I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some damage and darkening to the inner edge and rim top on the right front and back side. The bowl was out of round and need some work. The stem cleaned up well and there were tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button.I took photos of the stamping on the sides and underside of the shank. They are readable as noted above.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening and damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top. I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a wooden ball to clean up the bevel on the inner edge and the top of the bowl. I touched it up with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top and edges looked much better. I wrapped a piece of dowel with 220 grit sandpaper and sanded the inside walls of the bowl to smooth them out. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled I the deep tooth mark on the top and underside of the stem with black CA glue. Once it cured I used a small file to flatten the repair and shape the button edge. I sanded the repair smooth to blend it into the surface of the stem with the 220 grit sandpaper to smooth them out. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The stem was looking better with the repairs and polishing. I polished the stem 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. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil. I used some Rub’n Buff Antique Gold to touch up the N stamp on the left side of the saddle. I applied it and worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. I buffed it off with a soft towel. The resultant stamp looked very good.This Nino Rossi 1886 Shape 138 ¼ Bent Stack with a briar shank extension and a short saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain on the briar and the briar shank extension that shines through the polished finish is stunning. There is a brass spacer with a white acrylic space on each side between the shank and the extension. It looks great. 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 Nino Rossi 138 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: 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 56 grams/1.98 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in 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. There are many more to come!

Reviving a Vauen Luxus


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a handsome Vauen, which I acquired from a Craigslist pipe lot. Although not an old pipe, it is a handsome one. It’s rather big and hefty, but not heavy, and feels good in the hand. I’m really glad that my customer picked out this pipe, as it has been sitting around unused for far too long. I’m happy that it has found a new home.This pipe is a Vauen Luxus 2013 chunky, bent billiard with a beautiful horn ferrule, It also takes a 9 mm filter. The stem has the traditional Vauen white dot (not unlike Dunhill’s) and, most interestingly, it has a P-lip, very reminiscent of Peterson’s. The ‘2013’ does not refer to the year of manufacture, rather, it refers to the shape number. The markings on the pipe are as follows: on the left side of the shank, it reads Vauen [over] Luxus. The underside of the shank shows the model number 2013, and the top of the stem shows the classic white Vauen dot.I searched on Pipedia for some history of the Vauen brand. Here’s what I found:

In 1848 Karl Ellenberger and his partner Carl August Ziener turned an idea into reality in Nuremberg. In the first German pipe manufacturing company they produced tobacco pipes from selected woods for connoisseurs throughout the world.

The Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken in Nuremberg (known in short as VPFN) was brought into being in 1901 with the amalgamation with the Gebhard Ott pipe factory founded in 1866, also in Nuremberg. In this way, a business was created under the management of Ernst Eckert, a scion of the founding family Ott, and its products and services were to attend and shape the culture of tobacco and smoking in Europe and overseas for a long time – for 150 years now.

In the 1920s, VAUEN had taken out a trademark on a white dot on the mouthpiece for Germany and Austria, at the same time that Dunhill had done the same for the international market. The companies ended up in court with the result that Dunhill may use the white dot internationally, whereas VAUEN may use it only in Germany and Austria and has to use a differently-coloured dot for all other markets. They have used light blue and grey dots internationally since then. The white or coloured dot denotes the higher quality pipes of VAUEN; the lower-end pipes are only marked by the VAUEN imprint on the stem.

In the search for a term which would be easy for all pipe friends to remember and not confuse with anything else, Ernst Eckert’s son, Adolf Eckert coined a new name for the business in 1909.

VAUEN, consisting of the initial letters V (pronounced VAU) from Vereinigte Pfeifenfabriken and the N (pronounced EN) of Nuremberg. A brand name for the future had been created.

After 1945 Ernst Eckert, son of Adolf Eckert, succeeded in overcoming the destructive effects of the war with an unshakeable pioneering spirit. VAUEN grew to become a business with a worldwide reputation once more.

Alexander Eckert, now the fifth generation of pipemakers, has been at the head of the oldest German pipe-manufacturing company since 1982. The company, which has been in the hands of the founder’s family since it was established, is expanding again in importance as a result of increased international commitment.

Over at Pipephil.eu, they note that “Some of the pipes in Vauen’s Dr. Perl line (Germany) are equipped with a conventional P-lip stem.” In this context, the word ‘conventional’ is referring to the same P-lip invented by Peterson in 1898.

On to the pipe: given that it wasn’t very old, the pipe was in pretty good shape, but as usual, there were a couple of issues. The rim on the stummel was blackened and a bit burnt – that would need to be addressed. The insides were fairly dirty and would need some work to clean out. There were also some small fills in the wood, and they had ever-so-slightly expanded so that you could feel them when rubbing your finger over the surface. My customer didn’t want the fills dug out and replaced, so I would need to stain the fills instead. Mercifully, the beautiful horn was in good shape and wouldn’t need anything other than a polish. The stem needed some work. It was definitely dirty inside and the cavity that holds the filter would need a thorough cleaning. The stem also had some calcification and tooth marks/dents that would need addressing. In addition, the button would need to be reshaped. The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work, but I have ways of sorting this problem out.

Then, I cleaned out the inside with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. It was pretty dirty and required quite a few pipe cleaners. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover.The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. I scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation on the stem.The bite marks on and around the button had to be dealt with, so I whipped out my black cyanoacrylate adhesive to fill those in and let them fully cure. 

I then sanded the adhesive down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. Next, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order. The bowl really needed reaming so I used the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and followed that with 220-grit sandpaper on a dowel to eliminate as much as possible. I took the chamber down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws. Fortunately, there were none. I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was quite a bit of filth inside these stummels and it took a lot of cotton to get them clean. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes.I used a toothbrush and some Murphy’s Oil Soap to scrub the outside of the stummel and then the lava on the rim of the pipe.The burn marks remained, so in order to remove the remaining burns and nicks on the rim, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This effectively removed the damage, without altering the look of the pipe.A de-ghosting session also seemed in order, so I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused the oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this. Just before sanding, I covered the horn with painter’s tape to prevent any damage to it. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) on the stummel to make it lovely and smooth. After that, a light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the wood.In order to minimize the appearance of the fills, I opted to apply some stain to the wood. First, however, I used some furniture pens on the fills and the newly sanded rim to darken them a bit. I began by applying a layer of Fiebing’s Light Brown Leather Dye to the pipe. After applying the dye, flaming it with a BIC, and letting it set for a few hours, I wiped the stummel down with isopropyl alcohol to remove much of the dye. Then it was time for the second round of staining, following the same steps as before. Finally, it was off for a trip to the bench polisher. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what it needed. The lovely shine made the wood look absolutely beautiful. This Vauen Luxus looks fantastic and arise ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I know that the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come. I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe as much I as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 6 in. (150 mm); height 2.3 in. (59 mm); bowl diameter 1.4 in. (35 mm); chamber diameter 0.8 in. (20 mm). The weight of the pipe is 2.5 oz. (72 g). Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring a Jess Chonowitsch Designed Stanwell Zebrano 163 Faceted Hexagonal Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

I went through my pipes to choose what to work on next and this one caught my eye. It is a great looking Hexagonal Faceted Freehand. It is stamped on the left underside of the hexagonal shank and read Stanwell [over] Zebrano. On the right side underside it is stamped Made in Denmark and on the top right side it was stamped with the shape number 163. Zebrano pipes have a shank extension of Zebra wood on the end, sandwiched between two wafers of orange acrylic. Jeff was travelling in Europe for a holiday with his wife  bought this pipe on 09/16/2017 in Frankfurt, Germany at a bazaar. It has been sitting here in Vancouver cleaned and awaiting my part of the work for almost 5 years. When he found it the finish had thick grime and oils ground into the outside of the bowl and shank. The Zebrano insert had dried out and was rough to the touch. The rim top and inner edge of the bowl had burn damage and was slight out of round. There as a thick cake in the lower ¾ of the bowl and lighter cake on that ¼ of the bowl. The black acrylic stem was scratched and filthy and the inside of the filter tenon sans filter was filthy. It was made for a 9mm filter that I would need to replace. There were deep tooth marks and chatter on both side of the stem near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe when he got home and got around to cleaning it. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and edges. You can see the damage on the top and edges. You can see that the bowl is slightly out of round as well. He took photos of the stem surface to show the deep marks and damage on both sides. He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar through the thick grime. He took a photo of the Zebra wood insert with the acrylic spacers as well. It was quite beautiful.  He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is readable but faint in places. Before I started working on the pipe I decided to do a bit of digging on the shape and the design. I turned first to a blog on rebornpipes by Bas Stevens the was a compilation of Stanwell shapes (https://rebornpipes.com/2013/09/03/stanwell-shapes-compiled-by-bas-stevens/). There I found the shape number 163. The information given there said that the shape was a Freehand, “Facet”, hexagonal, with brass ring by Jess Chonowitsch. It was a shape designed by Jess Chonowitsch and that was interesting to me.

I also looked on Pipedia and on Pipephil’s site and while I could read the history of the brand and gather background the Zebrano line was not mentioned. I did a Google search for the Zebrano 163 shape and found a gallery of photos and information on the pipe. I am including both the information on the brand and a few photos of the pipe. It was helpful information regarding what the pipe looked like originally (https://bn-dev.com/pipes-estate/galerie/galerie.php?pipe=3cb469b6b1b5237bdfe99cec04ff4c5feb267fc0). I quote below:

Marque / brand           Stanwell

Marquages / stamping            Stanwell zebrano made in denmark 163

Finition / finish           lisse / smooth

Longueur / length       14.8 cm / 5.83 in

Hauteur / height          4.49 cm / 1.77 in

diamètre tête / bowl diameter             4.22 cm / 1.66 in

diamètre fourneau / chamber diameter          1.93 cm / 0.76 in

Profondeur / depth      3.41 cm / 1.34 in

Poids / weight 43 gr / 1.52 oz

Forme / shape             freehand

Matière tuyau / Stem material            acrylique / acrylic (lucite)

Matière pipe / pipe material   bruyère / briar

Filtre / filter    9mm With that information and a visual idea of what the pipe looked like originally, 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. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the rim and top that would need to be dealt with. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the filter tenon and 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 as possible. The acrylic stem was clean but had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was no stamped logo on the left side of the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some damage and darkening to the inner edge and rim top on the right front and back side. The stem cleaned up well and there were tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the hex shank. The are faint but readable as noted above. I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening and damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the bevel on the inner edge and the top of the bowl. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top and edges 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 with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works 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 set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled I the deep tooth mark on the underside of the stem with clear CA glue. Once it cured I sanded the repair smooth to blend it into the surface of the acrylic. I sanded out the rest of the tooth chatter and marks with the 220 grit sandpaper to smooth them out. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The stem was looking better with the repairs and polishing.   I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem 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.  I have a box of Vauen 9mm System Filters that fit perfect in the tenon on the Stanwell Zebrano. I put one in place in the tenon and took some photos of the fit.This Jess Chonowitsch Designed Stanwell Faceted Hexagon Freehand 163 with a hexagon acrylic saddle stem fit for 9mm filters is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The beautiful grain on the briar and the Zebra wood shank extension that shines through the polished finish is stunning. 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 Stanwell Zebrano 163 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 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 40 grams/1.41 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipe store in the Danish Pipe Making Companies Section. If you are interested in 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. There are many more to come!

Restoring a Savinelli Extra 614 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table was dropped off by a local pipe shop that I do repair and restoration work for. It was in the same bag as the Bewlay that I restored for them earlier and wrote about (https://rebornpipes.com/2022/06/30/new-life-for-a-hard-smoked-older-bewlay-popular-127-billiard/). It is another pipe that the shop wanted me to do a full restoration on and properly fit the stem. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Savinelli in an oval [over] Extra. On the right side it is stamped with the Savinelli shield S then the shape number 614 [over] Italy. The finish was dirty and worn but there was some nice grain peeking through the grime. The rim top had some scratches and nicks on the surface. There was a light cake in the bowl it smelled strongly of aromatic vanilla tobacco. The shank and stem airway was very dirty. The stem was lightly oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It was also loose in the shank. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to show the cake in the bowl, and the fills and marks on the top. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter and marks very well. I tried to capture the stamping on the sides of the shank in the next photos. They are faint but readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the flow of the pipe. Even with the fills on the rim and various sandpits around the bowl sides it is a beautiful bent billiard that has a great shape.I wanted to remind myself of where the Extra fit in the Savinelli hierarchy so I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli2.html) to get a quick view of the Extra Line. I did a screen capture of the site’s information and have included that below.I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the Savinelli brand and its philosophy of pipemaking. There was also a shape chart on the site that had the shape 614 as a full bent pipe. I have circled the specific shape in the chart below.There was also a photo of a brochure on the site that included the Extra line of pipes. It also stated that the pipe came in a guilloche and a smooth finish like the one I am working on presently (https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Sav_Extra.jpg). that came from Doug Vliatchka.Armed with the above information I was ready to work on the pipe itself. I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl. I started it with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second cutting head. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the walls of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. The walls of the bowl looked very good with no damage to the walls. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove much of the lava and dirt. The inner edge of the bowl looked good and the rim top had some darkening but otherwise was in good shape. I cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. I cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the rim top and remove the darkening in and damage. I went over the inner edge of the rim to smooth out any roughness. Once I was finished I liked the way it looked.I decided to deghost the bowl and stuffed with cotton bolls and twisted a paper towel into the shank end. I used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with 99% isopropyl alcohol to wick out the oils in the bowl and shank walls. I let it sit overnight and called it a day. In the morning I checked on it and the cotton had turned amber coloured. I pulled it out and cleaned out the shank once more. The pipe smelled significantly better.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the inner and outer edge of the rim as well. After each pad I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. It really took on a shine by the last three sanding pads. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips where it works to clean, restore and preserve the briar. I let it do its magic for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The pipe looks incredibly good at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter. I was able to lift them significantly. I filled in the remaining marks on both sides with black super glue and set it aside to cure. When the repair had hardened I used a small file to flatten the repairs and recut the edge of the button. I shaped the button with the file. I used 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs to the top and underside of the stem. I was able to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It is starting to look very good. I continued to polish the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to cure. I heated an ice pick and turned it into the airway in the tenon on the stem to swell it slightly so that the fit in the shank would be snug. I am excited to finish this Savinelli Extra Made in Italy 614 Bent Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful straight grain all around it and the birdseye on the rim top. The polished grain on the pipe looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Savinelli Extra Billiard is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 57 grams/2.01 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. Now that I have finished the second pipe the pipe shop brought for repair I will be giving them a call for pickup. I hope that the owner will get great enjoyment from the pair. Remember we are the next in a long line of pipe men and women who will carry on the trust of our pipes until we pass them on to the next trustee. Thanks for your time reading this blog.

 

Restoring and Restemming an Edwards Algerian Briar 8F 1 Handmade


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I purchased a group of pipes on 09/04/20 from Gonzales, Louisiana, USA. It included this Edwards Algerian Briar BF 1 Handmade freehand bowl. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. I had what looked like a leaf on the sides and front of the bowl and underside of the shank. It as also on the sides of the shank.It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Algerian Briar [over] Edwards [over] 8F [over] 1 [over] Handmade. The carving followed the flow of the grain very well and really served to showcase it. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The bowl was lined with a thin cake. There was some darkening and lava on the back side of the rim edge and top. The smooth finish and carved leaf was also dirty and dull looking. The stem had long before been lost so it did not come with the bowl. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the light lava and dust in the crevices of the plateau. The bowl has a light coat of lava on the walls. The inner edge of the bowl is in excellent condition.Jeff took 2 photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and as noted above.I wanted to look at who had carved the Edward’s Freehand line. I started my reading on Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-e1.html). I did a screen capture of the listing on the site and have included it below. I also included the information in the sidebar below that.Edward’s Pipes, headquartered in Tampa, FL, got its start importing pipes from France and continued to do so from 1958 to 1963 when it started producing pipes in Florida from prime Algerian Briar, a practice they continue to this day (2010). Randy Wiley, pipecarver in the USA, got his start at Edward’s.

I then turned to the Edwards listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Edward’s) and found the following information. I quote the information in that article below.

Edward’s pipes were originally produced in Saint-Claude, France when Francais actually was a world-class pipe maker with longstanding business & political connections to Colonial Algeria that allowed them to obtain the finest briar.

During the tumultuous 1960’s, Edward’s created a business model to offer the finest briar available in both Classic and Freehand shapes – all at a fair price. They bought the company & equipment and cornered the market on the finest, choice Algerian Briar just before the supply vanished in political turmoil of Algeria’s independence. Edward’s packed up both machinery and briar-treasure to America, safely caching the essentials to create a new pipe-making dynasty. This was a coup, for the 70’s and 80’s were grim years for pipe smokers as quality briar all but disappeared.

Edward’s Design Philosophy is hard to pin down, think of their style as the “American Charatan” with unique & clever twists all their own. Today, they fashion pipes in several locations across the USA. All of Edward’s pipes are Algerian Briar – a fact very few pipe companies can claim, and all are oil-cured utilizing natural finishes – no strange concoctions are used to interfere in your tastebud’s dance with the briar. Algerian, Calabrian, Sardinian, Corsican – take your pick, but Algerian Briar is generally considered the finest smoking briar ever used. When combined with oil-curing, Algerian takes on a magical quality that even Alfred Dunhill recognized as far back as 1918 as the choice for both his Bruyere and Shell.

The pipe that I was working came from the Edward’s workshops. From what I knew of the history of the company I think that it was American made in the 70’s after they had bought out the French company and brought the equipment and briar to the US. The Freehand shape also fits the popularity of that shape in the 70’s.

Now it was time to work on the pipe on my end. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. I took pictures of the pipe this morning to show how it looked before I started my work. I took a photo of the plateau on the rim top to show how clean it was and to see a well executed finish on the rim top. The ravines, crevices and high points were very beautiful. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It had some colour in the stamp (like ones in the photos on the Pipedia site). It made the stamp very readable.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 any sanding debris left behind. The bowl began to shine through the process. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I had a nice looking fancy turned stem in my collection of stems. It will well with this pipe. I will need to polish the stem to remove the casting marks and give it a slight bend. The tenon was the right size so with some polishing it was a perfect fit. With a nostalgic flash from the past I decided to give the stem a slight bend to match the flow of the bowl using a cup of boiling water. I put enough water in a coffee cup to cover the amount of stem I wanted to soften to bend. I put it in the microwave until it was boiling then dropped the stem in the hot water. I let it sit until it was pliable and then removed it and bent it the amount I was looking for. I cooled the bent stem with running cold water and dried it off.I sanded out the tooth chatter and light marks ahead of the button on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper and also smooth out the casting marks on the sides. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding marks left behind by the 220 grit paper.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Algerian Briar Edwards 8F 1 Handmade Freehand with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Edwards Handmade 8F 1 Freehand pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 3 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ wide, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.82 ounces/80 grams. This Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the American Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

Restoring and Restemming a Jobey Dansk Made in Denmark 4 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff and I purchased an estate last December from a fellow in Longview, Washington, USA. It included this Jobey Dansk 4 freehand bowl. It had really nice grain and plateau on the top of the rim and on the end of the shank. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and read Jobey in script [over] Dansk. Underneath it read Made in Denmark [over] 4. The carving followed the flow of the grain very well and really served to showcase it. There was something familiar about the style of carving that reminded me of other Danish Freehand pipes I have worked on. I seemed to remember that Jobey Dansk pipes were carved by Karl Erik. There was thick dust in the rustication around the bowl and shank as well as the plateau on the shank end. The bowl was lined with a thin cake. The smooth finish was also dirty and dull looking. The stem had long before been lost so it did not come with the bowl. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show the overall condition of the bowl and stem. He took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the condition of the plateau finish. You can see the light lava and dust in the crevices of the plateau. The bowl has a light coat of lava on the walls. The inner edge of the bowl is in excellent condition. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture it. It was clear and as noted above.I wanted to look at who had carved the Jobey Dansk line to confirm my suspicions I had about it. I had a feeling that the pipes were carved by a Danish carver known as Karl Erik. I looked up the Jobey listing on Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey) and found the following information. I quote a portion of the article that is pertinent as follows.

English – American – Danish – French… Information about the brand Jobey are only to be found in form of smithereens… Probably established in England around 1920(?) the brand hiked into the USA later. In the course of time owner, distributor and manufacturer changed repeatedly. As far as known:

George Yale Pipes & Tobacco, New York (1942)

Norwalk Pipe Co., New York (1949)

Arlington Briar Pipes Corp., Brooklyn (when?)

Hollco International, New York (1969).

Weber Pipe Co., Jersey City, NJ (1970’s)

The Tinder Box, (1970’s – 80’s).

Throughout decades Jobey pipes were mainly sold in the USA, Canada and England but remained almost unknown in continental Europe. The bulk of Jobeys was predominantly made according to classical patterns and mainly in the lower to middle price range. The predominant judgment of the pipe smokers reads: “A well-made pipe for the price.” So there is hardly anything very special or exciting about Jobey pipes although a flyer from ca. 1970 assures: “The briar root Jobey insists upon for its peer of pipes is left untouched to grow, harden and sweeten for 100 years. […]Jobey uses only the heart of this century old briar and only one out of 500 bowls turned measures up to the rigid Jobey specifications.” 99.80% of cull… that makes the layman marveling!

Yet then there are partially really exciting Freehands mainly in the seventies, that Jobey – Weber owned back then – bought from Danish pipe genius Karl Erik Ottendahl. These pipes were offered as Jobey Dansk – ’70’s pure! (BTW waning sales caused Ottendahl to discontinue exports to the United States in 1987.)

From that information, my suspicions were confirmed. The pipe that I was working on was carved by Karl Erik Ottendahl. There were some similarities to the Karl Erik pipes that I have worked on in the past. The dating of the pipe line in the 70s fits well with the pipe I have in hand.

Now that I was reminded about the Karl Erik Ottendahl connection it was time to work on the pipe on my end. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. I took pictures of the pipe this morning to show how it looked before I started my work. I took a photo of the plateau on the rim top to show how clean it was and to see a well executed finish on the rim top. The ravines, crevices and high points were very beautiful.I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It had some colour in the stamp (like ones in the photos on the Pipedia site). It made the stamp very readable.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 any sanding debris left behind. The bowl began to shine through the process. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and into the plateau rim top and shank end with a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes and then buffed the bowl with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I had a fancy stem in my can of stems. It is a nice looking panel sided stem. In examining it I could see a faint Stanwell logo on the side of the stem. I will use it on this pipe anyway and smooth out the stamping. I will need to polish the stem before I am finished. The tenon was the right size so with some polishing it was a perfect fit. I sanded out the tooth chatter and light marks ahead of the button on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper and also smooth out the faint Stanwell stamp on the side. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to smooth out the sanding marks left behind by the 220 grit paper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a beautiful Jobey Dansk 4 Hand Made by Karl Erik with a fancy, turned, black vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape fits well in the hand with the curve of the bowl and shank junction a perfect fit for the thumb around the bowl when held. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the plateau on the rim top and shank end multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. 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 rich combination of browns and black in the smooth finishes and the plateau areas took on life with the buffing. The rich colour of the briar works well with the polished vulcanite stem. I like the grain and finished look of this Jobey Dansk 4 pipe. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ wide, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.36 ounces/67 grams. This Danish Freehand is a real beauty. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This one will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Danish Pipe Making Section shortly if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for your time.

New Life for a Hard Smoked Older Bewlay Popular 127 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table was dropped off by a local pipe shop that I do repair and restoration work for. It is an older pipe that the shop wanted me to do a full restoration on and properly fit the stem. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Bewlay in script [over] Popular. On the right side it was stamped London Made and lower on the shank it read 127 (shape number) [over] 0. The shank had an oxidized silver band (stamped on the underside Sterling Silver) on the shank and under examination with a bright light it was a repair for a cracked shank. The poor pipe was another one that had obviously been someone’s favourite and must have been a grand smoker. The finish appears to have some nice grain around the bowl and shank that even stands out with the grime on the finish. The bowl is heavily caked with a thick lava overflow on the rim top. The inner edge looked good under the grime but a clean up would tell the full story. The stem is quite oxidized, calcified and had a lot of tooth chatter on the top and underside near the button. The diameter of the stem is larger than the diameter of the shank. I would need to reduce it for a proper fit. The pipe showed a lot of promise but it was a mess. I took photos of it before starting my work on it. I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem surfaces to show the condition of the well smoked pipe. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava on the inner edge and rim. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I tried to capture the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is faint in spots but is readable as noted above. You can also see the diameter variation in the stem and the shank in the photos. I am pretty certain that somewhere along the way the original stem broke and cracked the shank. The pipe was banded and a new stem put on the pipe. Whoever did the work did not adjust the fit of the stem.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe. Look at the grain on the left side of the bowl.I have worked quite a few Bewlay pipes over the years but wanted a reminder of the background of the brand. I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-b4.html).  I got a quick summary there. I have included a screen capture below. The second pipe in the photograph below is stamped similarly to the one I have. It is also a Bewlay Popular. The shape number is different but that stamp also looks like this one. I have also included the information that was in the sidebar below photos below.Brand distributed by Bewlay & Co (chain of pipe stores) until the 50s, taken over by Imperial Tobacco & Co.

I turned to Pipedia next and include a screen shot of a photo there and a short history of the brand and who made pipes for them (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bewlay).The English brand of Bewlay & Co. Ltd. (formerly Salmon & Gluckstein Ltd.), was in business from the early 20th century until the 1950s. The brand ended up being sold and taken over by Imperial Tobacco Co.. The shop chain closed in the 1980s but there seems to be one shop still in business on Carr Lane in the city of Hull.

Bewlay pipes were made by prestigious firms. Notably Barling, Charatan, Loewe & Co., Sasieni, Huybrecht, and Orlik. So understandably, the English considered a Bewlay pipe a quality pipe.

The information highlighted in red above is very interesting. Key English pipe making firms made pipes for Bewlay. I did a bit of searching for the shape number 127 under those company’s but did not find anything conclusive.

I started my work on the pipe by doing the cleanup work. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar and sanded the walls with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel. I checked the walls of the bowl for damage. It looked very good. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove much of the lava and dirt. The inner edge of the bowl looked good and the rim top had some darkening but otherwise was in good shape. I cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. I cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the rim top and remove the darkening in and damage. I went over the inner edge of the rim to smooth out any roughness. Once I was finished I liked the way it looked.I decided to deghost the bowl and stuffed with cotton bolls and twisted a paper towel into the shank end. I used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with 99% isopropyl alcohol to wick out the oils in the bowl and shank walls. I let it sit for 5 hours and worked on the stem and took my wife to lunch. When we came back the cotton had turned amber coloured. I pulled it out and cleaned out the shank once more. The pipe smelled significantly better.I polished the Sterling Silver band with some silver polish to remove the tarnish and protect it from further tarnish. With it polished the Sterling Silver stamp is visible and readable on the underside.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the inner and outer edge of the rim as well. After each pad I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. It really took on a shine by the last three sanding pads.  I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips where it works to clean, restore and preserve the briar. I let it do its magic for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The pipe looks incredibly good at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used 220 grit sandpaper to reduce the diameter of the stem to match that of the shank. It took a lot of sanding to get there. I also sanded the oxidation, calcification and chatter at the same time. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It is starting to look very good. (The first two photos show the size of the stem diameter in comparison with the shank.) I continued to polish the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to cure. I am excited to finish this Bewlay Popular 127 Billiard. Who made this pipe for Bewlay? My guess, and it is just that, is that the pipe was made by Loewe & Co. Whoever made it the pipe is a beauty. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful straight grain all around it and the birdseye on the rim top. The polished grain on the pipe looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Bewlay Popular Billiard is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 35 grams/1.23 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. Once I finish the second pipe the pipe shop brought for repair I will be giving them a call for pickup. I hope that the owner will get great enjoyment from the pipes. Remember we are the next in a long line of pipe men and women who will carry on the trust of our pipes until we pass them on to the next trustee. Thanks for your time reading this blog.

New Life for a Tired Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314


Blog by Steve Laug

We picked this older Peterson’s System Standard purchased from a seller on 11/17/21 in San Marcos, Texas, USA. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it is stamped and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) with the shape number 314 underneath. The pipe was another tired old workhorse with lots of grime ground into the finish and a thick cake in the bowl. There was a heavy lava over flow on the rim top and some burn damage on the left front and side of the top and edges. The nickel ferrule was tired by undamaged. The sump and mortise were black with tars and oils. The stem was lightly oxidized and a lot of heavy calcification build up on the P-lip button and underside. There were some tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he did his clean up work to give an idea of the condition of the pipe. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow onto the rim top in his photo below. There really was no way of knowing what the edges looked like under the thick cake and lava. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The burn marks on the left side are also visible in the photo. The stem surface appears to have a lot of tooth chatter and marks but perhaps the calcification and grime on the bowl protected it a bit. There is also some oxidation. He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places. The stamping on the nickel ferrule is very clear and readable. I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard (his was a 314) earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present 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.

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 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 as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. (You can see the burn damage on the left edge mid bowl.) I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some scratching on the top and damage to the outer edge and rim top on the side. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are light and should clean up easily.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the outer left edge of the bowl and the rim top.  I lightly topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone.I polished the top with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to prepare it for staining. I stained the rim top and edges with a Walnut stain pen. I let it dry and repeated it until the stain matched.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works 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 sanded the tooth marks and chatter smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem 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 Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 314 Bent Billiard with a vulcanite 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 darken 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 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 inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 41 grams/1.41 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipe store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in 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. There are many more to come!

New Life for a Worn and Tired Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 303


Blog by Steve Laug

We picked this older Peterson’s System Standard on a Facebook auction on 02/02/22 from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, USA. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Peterson’s [over] System [over] Standard. On the right side it is stamped and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (three lines) with the shape number 303 underneath. The pipe was a tired old workhorse with lots of grime ground into the finish and a thick cake in the bowl. There was a heavy lava over flow on the rim top and some serious burn damage on the right front of the top and edges from repeated burning with a flame lighter. The nickel ferrule was tired but undamaged and stamped K&P [over] Peterson. The sump and mortise were black with tars and oils. The stem was a mess with oxidation and a lot of heavy calcification build up on the P-lip button and underside. There were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took these photos before he did his clean up work to give an idea of the condition of the pipe. Jeff captured the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy lava overflow onto the rim top in his photos. It looks like there is some damage to the inner edge on the right front of the bowl. There really was no way of knowing for sure what the edges looked like under the thick cake. You can also see the lava flowing down the sides of the bowl in the photos. The stem surface appears to have a lot of tooth chatter and marks but perhaps the calcification and grime on the bowl protected it a bit. There is also some oxidation.He took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to show the interesting grain patterns in the briar. It was quite beautiful. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and on the ferrule and stem. It is readable but faint in places. I remembered that Paresh had restored a Peterson’s System Standard (his was a 314) earlier this year and as usual had done good work on the research. I turned to his blog and read through his work on the pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2021/07/24/helping-a-fellow-piper-with-his-dream-pipea-petersons-system-pipe/). I quote below from the section on his blog regarding the dating of the pipe.

While dating a Peterson’s pipe, I always fall back to my under mentioned favorite site; http://thepetersonpipeproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/dating-peterons-pipes.html

I quote from the above site.

Stamping of Bowl:

During the years of Kapp and Peterson’s business operations, the country of Ireland has undergone several name changes and K&P’s stamping on their pipes reflects these changes. Knowing these changes, a Peterson pipe can be roughly dated and placed in “eras.”

  • The Republic Era is from 1949 until the present. The Republic of Ireland was formed on 17 April 1949. From 1949 to present 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.

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 shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrubb to remove as much of the oxidation as possible. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. (You can see the burn damage on the right top edge of the bowl.) I took photos of the rim top and bowl as well as the stem to give a sense of the condition of both. The rim top had some scratching on the top and damage to the inner edge and rim top on the right front as I had guessed when I saw the photos before the cleanup. The stem cleaned up well and the tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button are light and should clean up easily.I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The are clear and readable as noted above. There is some faintness on parts of the stamping but it is still readable.I took the stem out of the shank and took a photo of the overall look of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage on the inside edge of the bowl and the rim top.  I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I then used a wooden ball and 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge a slight bevel to remove the burn damage on the right front. I wiped the top and edges down with a damp cloth and the rim top damage and burn marks on the outer edges were gone. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. I did not need to restain the rim top and edge because with polishing the match is very good. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works 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 sanded the repairs smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to begin blending them into the stem surface. I started the polishing with some 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the stem 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. I touched up the “P” logo on the stem with white acrylic fingernail polish. I worked it into the tails on the “P” with a tooth pick and scraped off the excess with my fingernail. I used a worn piece of 1500 and 1800 grit micromesh to polish off the excess, then buffed it with a soft cloth. This Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 303 Bent Apple with a vulcanite 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 darken 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 303 Apple 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 49 grams/1.73 ounces. I will soon be adding it to the rebornpipe store in the Irish Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in 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. There are many more to come!