Tag Archives: restemming a pipe

Replacing a Broken tenon on a Savinelli Estella Hand Made Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

Last week I received a from Curtis, a gentleman who had been referred to me by City Cigar. I asked him to email me some photos of his pipe so I could see what I was dealing with before I took on the project. He sent the following email and photos:

I was referred to you by Ben at City Cigar.  I was curious if I could send my pipe to you for repairs. Here are some photos of it, I know you probably can’t give a proper estimate until it’s in your hands.  Forgive my ignorance on pipe repair but I’ve never had any work done before.  If possible, after viewing my photos, would a “ballpark” estimate be possible ?  I don’t know if I’m looking at 100.00 or 1000.00.  The pipe might  not be “worth” much but my son gave it to me and it has sentimental value to me.  I’m just looking to get a new or used or repaired stem for the pipe, if possible.

Thanks for you time,

Curtis

I called him back and we arranged for him to mail the pipe to me. It was a very heavily rusticated Estella Hand Made with an acrylic stem with a tenon that had snapped off fairly close to the saddle on the stem. It is a bit of a bent Dublin with a fancy half saddle acrylic in variegated silver and grey colours. The stem is in pretty decent condition. The bowl has a light cake and the rim top has some lava in the valleys. It will need to be cleaned up as well as having the tenon replaced. He sent the pipe to me through Canada Post and when it arrived it looked just as Curtis had photographed it.The pipe is a heavily rusticated Freehand with a plateau rim top. It is stamped on the smooth heel of the bowl and onto the shank on the underside of the pipe. It reads Estella [over] Hand Made followed by Savinelli S Shield logo then Italy. The stem was a variegated grey and silver half saddle. The tenon had snapped very close to the spot at the end of the stem. The stem itself was quite clean with some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was a moderate cake in the bowl that went half way down the bowl. There was a lava overflow on the rim top and some nicks on some of the high spots. There was also some grime on the bowl at the midpoint where it is held in the hand. It was a nice looking Freehand pipe that showed great promise. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake and the condition of the stem when I received the pipe. It was a bit of a mess. You can see the lava overflow on the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The stem looked good other than having a broken tenon. There were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.The next photo shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer to remove the cake from the bowl – using the #1 and #2 cutting heads to take out the majority of the cake in the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and a piece of dowel wrapped with some 220 grit sandpaper. I cleaned up the lava on the rim top with a brass bristle wire brush and was able to remove much of the build up. I cleaned out the mortise and airway in the bowl and shank with isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until the shank and airway were clean.I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush on the rustication on the bowl and rim top. I rinsed the bowl with warm running water to rinse off the soap and the grime left behind. It looked better. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the rustication with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to get it deep in the valleys of the rustication. I let it sit for 15 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cloth.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I went through box of replacement tenons. I found one that was the right fit for the mortise. It was a little long for insertion into the end of the stem once drilled it. I would need to shorten the tenon in order to not have it break through the underside of the half saddle.I flattened the broken edges of the original tenon with a Dremel and sanding drum. I used a penknife to create a funnel in the stem end to guide the drill bit straight. I drilled it with a series of drill bits from one slightly larger than the airway in the stem and finished with a ¼ inch bit that was the same size as the tenon end. I cleaned up the drilled out stem with a round file and a half round file. I smoothed out the walls of the drilled out area. I roughened and rounded the end of the tenon that was going to be inserted in the stem. I coated it with some black superglue and twisted it in place in the stem end. I aligned it with the shank end to make sure the fit was correct.I cleaned out the airway in the stem shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol to remove the tars and oils. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit sandpaper. The marks are smooth and blended in. I also sanded the diameter of the stem slightly on the right side and underside to adjust the fit to the shank. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. The oil both preserves the rubber and also provides some needed friction for the micromesh pads. I polished it with Before & After Fine & Extra Fine Polish. I rubbed it down a final time with the oil and set it aside. This Estella Hand Carved Rusticated Freehand by Savinelli combines a great looking piece of rusticated plateau briar with a variegated grey/silver acrylic stem to make a beautiful pipe. The cleaned rustication 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. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the acrylic 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 Estella Hand Carved 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: 6 inches, Height: 2 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾  x 2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.05oz./58grams. It is the second pipe I have finished for Curtis. Next week I will put it in the mail and send it back to him. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

New Life and New Look for a Neerup Made in Denmark Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

Last week I received a call from Curtis, a gentleman who had been referred to me by City Cigar. He called to inquire if I could repair a broken tenon on a Savinelli Hand Made Estella that was gift from his son and he had dropped it and snapped the tenon off. We chatted and he sent photos and eventually agreed on the repair. He sent the pipe to me through Canada Post and when the box arrived on Monday it also included a second pipe. I talked with Curtis about the second pipe and we decided to restem it as the chip on the top button edge and stem were too big for a repair. The pipe is a sandblast Freehand style Bulldog with a smooth briar band, a black acrylic band and a white acrylic band. It is stamped on the smooth underside of the briar band and reads Neerup followed by Made in Denmark. The stem was vulcanite and had a fitted brass cap above the tenon. It was a slight saddle stem with a gentle bend. It was seriously damaged. There was a large wedge missing from the topside and just ahead of that there was a carved line like a dental bit to facilitate holding it in the teeth. There was a very thick cake in the bowl that took up over half of the diameter of the bowl and the shank was filled with gummy tars and oils. There was an overflow of lava on the rim top and some damage on the back right outer edge from knocking out the pipe. It was a pretty little pipe that looked great. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top to show the thickness of the cake and the condition of the stem when I received the pipe. It was a bit of a mess. The stem was in rough condition as noted above. You can see the damage on both sides of the stem – the chipped and broken top of the stem and button as well as the tooth damage on the underside of the stem. Looking at it you can see why we chose to restem it.The next two photos showed the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is faint but readable as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of perspective to the parts.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer to remove the cake from the bowl – using the #1 and #2 cutting heads to take out the majority of the cake in the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and a piece of dowel wrapped with some 220 grit sandpaper. I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush on the sandblast and the a brass bristle brush on the rim top. I rinsed the bowl with warm running water to rinse off the soap and the grime left behind. It looked better. I touched up the nicks and marks on the sandblast bowl and rim top with a black stain pen to blend them into the rest of the bowl. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the sandblast with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to get it deep in the grooves of the sandblast. I let it sit for 15 minutes and buffed it off with a soft cloth. I went through my stem and found this slightly longer taper stem that would need very little adjustment to fit in the shank. I also found a metal ferrule cap in my collection that would fit on the end of the stem and approximate the one that was on the original stem. I took pictures of the old stem with the replacement stem in the photo to show the difference.I glued the polished aluminum ferrule onto the end of the stem – sliding it over the tenon to give a metal end decoration and create a metal look to the stem. I cleaned up the excess glue and took a photo of the finished look of the stem. I liked it.Then I remembered that I had not cleaned out the shank and the internals of the pipe or the new stem. I did it now. I cleaned out the shank and the mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol to remove the tars and oils. I also cleaned out the airway in the stem I had chosen to use as well.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. The oil both preserves the rubber and also provides some needed friction for the micromesh pads. I polished it with Before & After Fine & Extra Fine Polish. I rubbed it down a final time with the oil and set it aside. This Neerup Made in Denmark Freehand Bulldog carved by Peder Jeppesen combines a great looking piece of sandblast briar with a multi-banded shank extension and a vulcanite stem to make a beautiful pipe. The removal of the thick shiny coat allows the grain to 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. 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 Neerup Made in Denmark Bulldog 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: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.80 ounces/51 grams. Once I finish the second pipe this one will be going back to Curtis to enjoy. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Restoring an Impressive Meerschaum Figural


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block, we have a unique and large, carved, meerschaum figural pipe. As I’m sure you know, meerschaum is a German word which literally means “sea foam” (meer = sea and schaum = foam). Incidentally, schaum is also where we get the English word scum from. But where did the Germans get the meerschaum word from? Obviously, meerschaum is so called because it is white and light, but the Oxford Dictionary of Etymology further explains that the term is itself a translation of the Persian word kef-i-daryā – literally meaning “foam of sea”. Now you can impress friends at your next cocktail party. I acquired this pipe in a large lot in the summertime. This meerschaum pipe was notable as its stem had been lost in the mists of time, on its way from Asia Minor. I searched through the lot of pipes that it came in, but there was no sign of it. Fortunately, Steve kindly supplied me with a suitable stem which worked perfectly. The pipe is a large piece of block meerschaum, presumably from Turkey, although it has no markings of any sort. However, it has all the hallmarks of Eskişehir, so I feel confident in saying it’s Turkish. As for the carving, I’m not totally sure what it is meant to be. I can’t tell if it’s intended to be an image of the Virgin and Child, people from an ancient Anatolian myth, or some historical characters with which I am unfamiliar. Steve didn’t recognize them either, so if you have some idea who these people are, please feel free to clear up the mystery with a comment below.

The pipe was in very nice condition, though a bit dirty. There was dust and debris in the grooves and even on the smooth surfaces. It had been smoked, though not heavily. The main part of the pipe was in good condition, without any notable damage. There was a tenon left in the shank that was broken and would need replacement. There was also a meerschaum shank extension which was dirty, but otherwise in good shape too. To work! I began by removing the tenon in the shank with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Meerschaum is too fragile for a proper reamer, so I used 220-grit sandpaper on the end of a wooden dowel to clean out the bowl and it turned out very nicely. I then cleaned the shank with lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol, pipe cleaners and Q-tips. One of the frustrations of cleaning meerschaum is that once smoked, the stains never go away. However, I did what I could and cleaned the shank extension in a similar manner. There were some unusual purple stains on parts of the meerschaum. I don’t know what they were, but I took a good-quality eraser and they came off with ease, fortunately. Then I took Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton rounds (and Q-tips) and cleaned the meerschaum. It’s important to be cautious in one’s use of fluids around meerschaum. Allowing it to soak in a liquid causes it to soften. I also used a soft bristle toothbrush with the Murphy’s in some of the nooks and crannies. Now that the figural was all clean, I set about using my MicroMesh sanding pads to polish up the meerschaum. I didn’t use the coarser grits over the entire pipe – only in the areas that required it – as I didn’t want to risk any damage. I neglected to take pictures, but I also rubbed some Clapham’s Beeswax into the meerschaum. In fact, I used Q-tips as well to get it into the nooks and crannies. Then I let it sit for 15-20 minutes, buffed it with a microfiber cloth and then repeated the beeswax process. Worked like a charm! As I mentioned, Steve was kind enough to give me an acrylic stem which came with its own push-tenon. He also gave me a handful of other plastic, bone and metal tenons so I could find the right fit for the pipe in question. The stem was terrific, but it had been used and was plenty dirty.First, I removed the push-tenon by heating it lightly with my heat gun. That allowed it to unscrew without much trouble. I then cleaned out the stem and tenon with the usual lemon-infused isopropyl alcohol, cotton pads, Q-tips etc. Just like meerschaum, acrylic tends to stain after smoking, no matter how dutiful you are with your cleaning. However, I put in a lot of elbow grease to sterilize the stem and tenon as much as I could. I even used some Castile soap and tube brushes. There were a couple of very small nicks on the stem, which I repaired with cyanoacrylate adhesive. However, I forgot to take pictures of that. I then used all nine MicroMesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) and some Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing. Once that was done, I fitted a new bone tenon for the shank extension and a new mortise for the push-tenon. Finally, as meerschaum pipes don’t do well on a bench-polisher, I buffed the pipe by hand with a microfibre cloth. And that’s that! This big meerschaum looks fantastic and is ready to be enjoyed again by the next owner. I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the “Meerschaum” section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the pipe are as follows: length 7½ in. (190 mm); height 3½ in. (89 mm); bowl diameter 1½ in. (38 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (20 mm). The weight of the pipe is 4 oz. (114 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this pipe’s restoration as much as I did restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

Restoring and Restemming a Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 307


 

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. The next pipe I chose to work on is another Peterson’s System Standard. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Peterson’s [arched over] System [arched over] Standard. On the right side of the shank it is a Made in the Republic of Ireland (in 3 lines) [over] the shape number 307. The nickel ferrule is stamped K&P [over] three faux hallmarks. That is followed by the stamping Peterson’s. The bowl was a dirty with some light cake and an overflow of lava on the rim top. The inside edge of the bowl was in good condition but I would know more once I remove the cake and lava. It did not have a stem so I would go through my stock and find one that would fit. The nickel ferrule was lightly oxidized but otherwise looked pretty good. I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl. I wanted to show how the thickness of the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. You can see that somewhere recently it had been reamed and then resmoked enough to start building a new cake in the bowl. The inner edge was in good condition as was the outer edge. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is readable as noted above.  I took some photos of the stem that I had chosen for the bowl. It is a properly shaped new Peterson’s Fishtail stem that looks great on the bowl.I am including the link to the 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 turned to “The Peterson Pipe” by Mark Irwin and Gary Malmberg to get some background on the Peterson’s System Line. On page 314 it had the following information.

Peterson’s over System – Pipes stamped Peterson’s System have been documented as early as 1920. A ’20 brochure is the earliest printed reference to the Peterson System. The pipe came in three quality grades (no mark, 2, or 3) until 1959, thereafter as De Luxe (no mark), Premier (the old 2) and Standard (the old 3).

Peterson’s over System over Standard (c1945-)

From this I learned that I was dealing with a late Republic Era System Standard 307 that because of the stamping was made between 1945 and the present. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

I set the stem aside as it was in perfect condition and turned to work on the bowl. I decided to clean up the bowl first. I reamed it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and then sanded the bowl walls with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel.I scrubbed the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime around the bowl sides and top. I rinsed it off with warm water and dried if off with a towel. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the lava on the rim top and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. There was a dark spot on the top of the shank toward the bowl that appears to be a deep stain rather than a burn mark. It is solid and makes me wonder if the was just a spot on the briar that took the dark understain more deeply than the rest. At this point it suddenly dawned on me that I had not cleaned out the shank and sump on the bowl. Sometimes when I get captivated by the way the grain is coming alive and the pipe is coming together this can happen. Oh well! I backed up and cleaned the shank and sump with pipe cleaners,  cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol. I worked on them until the cleaners showed no more tars or oils and the pipe smelled clean. I polished the nickel ferrule with a jeweler’s cloth to raise the shine and to protect the metal. The shine of the metal is a great contrast between the black of the stem and the rich browns of the briar.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. Since the stem was new condition the pipe was basically finished. I am excited to put the final touches on this Made in the Republic of Ireland Peterson’s System Standard 307 Bent Billiard with a Fishtail Stem. 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 mixed grain all around it. Added to that the polished black vulcanite stem combined with the bowl and made a stunning pipe. This smooth Classic Peterson’s System Standard 307 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: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 55 grams/1.94 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe that I will soon be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Irish Pipe Makers section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

Restoring a Republic Era Peterson System Standard 317


Blog by Steve Laug

I am finally getting close to the bottom of the drawer full of Peterson’s pipes that I have had languishing here for a long time. It is seriously crazy how many pipes I have to work on and the serious lack of time I have to do so! However, I have time for another one this evening. This Peterson rusticated System pipe was purchased from an antique mall on 08/21/2019 in Ogden, Utah, USA. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Made in the Republic of Ireland (3 lines) [over] the shape number 317. That is followed by Peterson [arched over] System [over] Standard. That is followed by. The Peterson System Standard 317 bent billiard pipe is a small and light weight bent billiard offered in the “300 editions” of Peterson pipes. The pipe was very dirty with dust and debris in the crevices of the rustication. The bowl had a thick cake that overflowed in thick lava, filling in the rustication of the rim top. There was some wear on the outer edge of the bowl at the front from where the pipe had been knocked out repeated. The stamping was faint but readable as noted above. The stem was badly oxidized and calcified with tooth marks on both sides and on the button. There was a short split in the underside of the stem that was a problem and would most probably require a new stem. Jeff took the following photos of the pipe before he started his clean up so you can see the difference before and after.Jeff took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a sense of the condition. You can see the cake, the lava and the outer edge damage on the front of the bowl in the rim top photos. He also captured the condition and the look of the stem. In the photo of the underside you can see the line that appears to be a short crack. He took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the rugged rustication around the bowl and also the amount of debris that was ground into the crevices of the finish. There is something ruggedly charming about this old timer that grabbed our attention. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was faint but was still readable and read as noted above. He also captured the stamping on the nickel ferrule as the P logo on the damaged stem. I am 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.

I turned to Mark Irwin’s site to an article that he wrote on the System shapes from 1896-2019 (part 1) and found the shape I am working on there. I did a screen capture of the pipe shape and the details as shown in the photo below (https://petersonpipenotes.org/2019/09/03/146-a-guide-to-system-shapes-1896-2019-part-1-the-300-shape-group/).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 1989. Pipedia qualifies the dating as follows: From 1950 to the present time, the stamp for this era is “Made in the Republic of Ireland”. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Armed with that information I turned to work on the pipe itself. 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 scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He cleaned the nickel ferrule with Soft Scrub and buffed it off with a soft pad. Somewhere along the journey from Idaho to Vancouver I had replaced the damaged stem with the one in the photos. It is an identically shaped and sized stem and with it in place the pipe looks good. I took photos of the pipe before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show how clean it was. There is some wear on the finish around the outer edge and the rim top is roughened. The replacement stem looks clean of oxidation and there is light tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. The stamping on the underside of the shank was faint but still readable as noted above.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It is a great looking pipe.Since the bowl looked so good I decided to rub the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips to get it into the deep briar. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The rustication came alive with the balm. Even the areas on the rim top and outer edges looked good. The new stem was in great condition so 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 Republic Era Peterson’s System Standard 317 Rusticated Bent Billiard is a nice looking pipe. The combination of reds and brown stains really gives depth to the rustication around the bowl sides and shank. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to give some contrast to the pipe. The polished black vulcanite P-lip taper stem and polished nickel ferrule add to the mix. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel, carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and 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 Peterson’s 317 System Bent Billiard is quite nice and feels great in the hand. 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 inch, Chamber diameter: 5/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.09 ounces/ 31 grams. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. I will soon add the pipe to the Irish Pipe Makers Section of the rebornpipes store. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

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.

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.