Blog by Steve Laug
I still receive referrals for repairs from a local pipe and cigar shop and this week I received and email from a fellow about his new pipe. The story is one of those that make you cringe and grimace for if it has not happened to you sometime in your “pipehood” it very well may happen. This is the email I received:
Hi. I just picked up a new Sav 311KS and promptly proceeded to drop it and chip the stem before even getting a chance to smoke it…. Sad day. Could you give me a quote on what a repair/ replacement would set me back? — Josh
I wrote him back and asked for photos of the pipe so I could see what he was referring to. He wrote again and sent the following note and the photos.
It’s just a little chip but annoying.We wrote back and forth and I let him know I could fix it. Yesterday Josh dropped off the pipe at my house for repair. This morning I decided to tackle the repair on this pipe. The fact that he had never smoked it and that it was new really touched me and decided it would be the next pipe on the worktable. I took photos of the pipe to give a sense of the beauty of the piece. It is a smooth finished Poker with what looks like a Walnut finish. The band on the shank is silver. The stem is acrylic with a silver Savinelli logo on the top of the saddle. The shank is stamped on the left side and read Savinelli [over] Trevi. On the right side it had the Savinelli Shield S followed by 311KS [over] Italy. The pipe had an inwardly beveled rim top and the bowl was smooth, unsmoked briar. The pipe had a Savinelli Balsa Filter in the tenon. I took a photo of the rim top and bowl to give a sense of the shape and finish of the bowl. It is a pretty pipe. I also took photos of the acrylic stem to show the general condition apart from the chipped right underside of the button and the stem (encircled in red in the photo below).I took photos of the stamping to try and capture it. The shiny varnish finish reflects light so much that the stamping is not clear in the photos. It reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe. It is a proportionally nice looking pipe.Now it was time to work on the stem. I cleaned off the chipped area with alcohol and a cotton swab to remove any debris. I took photos of the chipped area before I started working on it. You can see the damage. Though it is small it is rough to the touch and would certainly be rough to the mouth. I have drawn a red box around the damage in the photos below.I carefully filled in the chipped area with black CA glue and pressed it into the chipped spots with a tooth pick. I laid the stem aside to let the repair cure. Once the repair cured I reshaped the button with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the right edge and the button to match what was on the other side of the stem. Once finished it looked better. I started polishing the acrylic with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the acrylic 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 and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil to finish it. With the stem repaired on this Savinelli Trevi 311KS Poker it is ready to go back to Josh so he can enjoy his first bowl in his new pipe. It is a great looking pipe with a rich walnut finish that highlights the grain and works well with the silver band and the polished acrylic stem. 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. I have email Josh and let him know it is ready to pick up. I take a moment to remind myself and each of us that we are trustees of pipes that will outlive us and the lives of many other pipe men and women who carry on the trust of their care and use. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.