Tag Archives: Royal Danish Pipe

A Bleak Looking Royal Danish with an indistinguishable shape number

Blog by Steve Laug

My brother Jeff found this old pipe either on eBay or in his travels and picked it up. He sent me photos of the pipe when he received it. It looked pretty bleak to me but there was some promise in the interesting shape of the pipe and the grain that was visible in the photos. There were also some dark spots on the sides of the bowl that I wondered about as I looked at the photos. The finish was very dirty and underneath the grime it was gone. There were some burn marks around the top of the bowl. The bowl was lightly caked but very dirty. The stem was lightly pitted and oxidized but there were no tooth marks or chatter on the stem.dan1 dan2My brother cleaned the pipe really well and the grime and remnants of the finish were all gone by the time I received the pipe. I took some photos of the pipe before I started to work on it. The dark spots on the sides of the bowl are visible in the photos below. The damage to the rim is also visible. There are some nicks in the top of the bowl and some burned areas that will need to be addressed. He cleaned out the airway in the shank and the stem as well as the mortise area. I noticed however that there was a slight ledge in the mortise that was hard and made me wonder what was happening there.dan3 dan4I took a close up photo of the bowl to show the extent of the damage to the inner edge of the rim and the rim top. The bowl was quite out of round and the burn marks though not deep were prevalent in the briar. I took some close up photos of the stem as well to show the condition they were in when I started the clean up.dan5I topped the bowl on the topping board with 220 grit sandpaper until all of the damage was removed.dan6I sanded the inside of the bowl and the inner edge of the rim with a tube of sandpaper until the edge was smooth and round.dan7I sanded the top of the rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. The rim took on a shine.dan10I wiped the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad to remove the remaining debris and worked on the dark areas. The dark areas turned out to be fills and the darkening occurred around the edges of the fills.dan8 dan9I warmed the briar and then stained it with a dark brown aniline stain mixed 50/50 with isopropyl alcohol. I flamed the stain to set it in the briar and then repeated the process until the coverage on the bowl was good.dan11I hand buffed the bowl with a microfiber cloth to see what the coverage looked like particularly over the filled areas. The photos below show the pipe at this point in the process. The putty spots are visible in the first two photos. I have circled them in red to make them clear. Both fills were solid and tight but had a red overtone that stood out.dan12The top of the rim came out looking really good. The burned spots and damage to the rim top and inner edge have been minimized.dan13I recleaned the interior of the shank using the dental spatula to scrape away the hardened tars and oils. I scrubbed it with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until it was clean. I cleaned up the airway in the stem with bristle cleaners and was able to remove the last of the tars.dan14The stem fit against the shank with a slight gap on the right side. I heated the tenon with a Bic lighter and while it was still soft held it straight in the shank until it cooled.dan15On the underside of the shank next to the stem there was a chipped area where the briar was missing from the shank. I cleaned out that area and filled it in with clear super glue and briar dust. Once it dried I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and then polished it with 1500-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I used a dark brown stain pen to touch up the sanded area.dan16I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the pits and roughness. I polished it with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil between each set of three pads. After the final rubdown I let the stem dry.dan17 dan17a dan18I used a black Sharpie Pen to draw “grain” lines through the fills and used the dark brown stain pen to blend the pen lines into the body of the pipe. I buffed the pipe and stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel to finish cleaning up the small remnants of oxidation. I gave it several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks for looking.dan19 dan20 dan21 dan22 dan23 dan24 dan25 dan26


Royal Danish Acorn Shape 971 Reborn

Blog by Steve Laug

This is another pipe from the lot I picked up on Ebay not long ago. The lot is pictured in the photo below and this one is the third pipe down on the first column, left side. It is stamped Royal Danish in script over MADE IN DENMARK on the underside of the shank. It is also stamped 971. To me the shape is an oval shanked acorn. It has a sandblast finish with a smooth area on each side of the bowl and on the area that bears the stamping on the shank. The bowl was heavily caked as can be seen in the second photo. The finish was not in bad shape just dirty and the smooth areas had small scratches on the surface. The rim was caked with spill over from the bowl and would need to be scrubbed to remove the build up and make the sand blasted rim visible again. The bowl came without a stem.



I sorted through my box of stems to see if I had one that was suitable for this pipe and found an estate stem that would work with a little cleanup. It was heavily oxidized and had some tooth chatter on the surface of the stem that became very visible as I cleaned it. The stem was clogged with tar and oils and I would have to unclog it to make it work. I used a paper clip that I straightened out to clean out the build up in the stem then sanded the tenon until the stem fit the pipe. I lined it up with the curves on the shank. Because of the sandblast on the shank the stem would not line up perfectly so I decided to sand a smooth band around the shank for the stem to line up with. I used a Dremel with a sanding drum to smooth out the edge of the shank. The next four photos show the finished band around the shank. Once it was stained I thought it would be a good contrast with the stem and the finish of the sandblast.





I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. I began with the smallest cutting head and worked my way up to the second cutting head (first photo below). Once I had the bowl cleaned out I worked on the stem to clean up the oxidation and work on the tooth marks. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and then with a fine grit sanding sponge (photos 2 and 3 below). I also sanded the banded area that I cut with the sanding drum.




I wiped the bowl and shank down with acetone and a cotton pad. I wanted to remove the grime in the crevices of the blast on the shank and bowl. I used a soft bristle tooth brush and acetone to clean up the rim of the pipe. I scrubbed it until the finish was clean. Photos 1 and 2 below show the finish after the cleaning. The grey is the finish after it broke down with the acetone. I continued to scrub it until the finish was clean.



I set up the heat gun and heated the stem and bent it over the rolling pin that I use to get a good straight bend in the stem. I also buffed the stem and bowl with White Diamond. I used a light touch on the stem as I intended to keep sanding it with the micromesh sanding pads. I took it back to the work table and restained it with a dark brown aniline stain thinned with isopropyl alcohol. The mix was my attempt to match it to the original stain. I wanted the dark stain in the grooves of the blast to stand out against the brown over stain. The next three photos show the bend in the stem and the restained bowl. The band that I sanded in the shank is a nice contrast to the sandblast and the black of the vulcanite stem.




I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit. I wet sanded with the 1500-2400 grit pads and then dry sanded with the 3200-12,000 grit pads. The next series of four photos show how each progressive grit of sanding pads bring a deeper shine to the stem.





I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil to protect the new shine against oxidation and then once it was dry took it to the buffer and buffed the stem with White Diamond. I finished by buffing the bowl and stem lightly with White Diamond a second time. It took the pipe back to my work table and gave it several coats of Halcyon II Wax. I have found that it does a great job on sandblast and rusticated finishes. When it was dry I hand buffed it with a shoe brush until it had a rich shine. The next series of photos show the finished pipe. I like the new look to the shank and bowl and the new stem looks like it came with the pipe!