Tag Archives: sanding a stem

I like the shape & finish of this GBD Americana 1970 Diplomat


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a pipe was that was purchased from an antique mall in Northern Utah, USA early in 2020 and I am finally getting to it. It is a nice looking GBD with a smooth finish and a vulcanite saddle stem. It is stamped on the top side of the shank GBD in an oval logo [over] Americana. On the underside of the shank it is the stamped with the circular Made in London over England [over] the shape number 1970. The vulcanite saddle stem had a brass inlaid GBD oval. The finish was absolutely filthy with grime ground into the smooth finish. There was a light cake in the bowl and no real overflow on to the rim top. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had some tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem was fitted with a filter tenon. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he did any clean up.   He took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of both. The photo of the rim top shows how clean the rim top actually was – other than some grit and grim it is smooth. The stem photos show tooth chatter and tooth marks and chatter on both sides. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a sense of the grain and finish on the pipe and the sheer filthy condition of the finish. There is still something attractive about the bowl even with the fills visible on the bowl sides. He took photos of the stamping on the top and underside of the shank. The stamping is clear and reads as noted above. You can also see the top of the stem with the brass GBD logo. I turned to Pipedia and read the history section to see if I could find any information on the Americana Line. There was nothing specific in the main article there.

I turned to the related article on Shape numbers for GBD pipe to see if I could find anything about the 1970 shape (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Shapes/Numbers). I found the following listed item:There was a slight issue in the information above. I would indeed call the shape a Diplomat and it has a 1/8 bent stem. However, the shank is oval not round.

I turned to another Pipedia article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Model_Information) looking for information on the Americana line. I found it listed under the heading of a  List of GBD “Seconds”

It said: The lines listed below are either 2nds or lines made for other makers/pipeshops. Please send me any corrections or additional information you might have on these.

Americana — Factory unknown.

I knew that I was working on a GBD second labeled Americana. It was a decent looking pipe with some nice grain. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. 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 stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good.   I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl edges look very good. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter were very visible. I took a photo of the stamping on the top and underside of the shank. You can see from the photo that it is readable. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe. I decided to start my work on this pipe with the stem. I “painted” the stem with a Bic lighter to try and lift the tooth marks in the surface of the vulcanite. I was able to lift them quite a bit. I filled in the remaining marks with clear CA glue and set it aside to cure. Once the repairs cured I used a file to recut the edge of the button and reshape it. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks and chatter and blend them into the surface of the acrylic. 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 a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.    The tenon was drilled for a 6mm filter. I fit a Savinelli Balsa Wood Filter in the tenon and the fit is perfect. I am assuming it will take all 6mm filters without any issue.   I set the stem aside and turned to the bowl. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris. The began to take on a deep shine.    I rubbed the it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl with my fingertips to get it into the briar. The product works 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.     Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the GBD Americana 1970 Diplomat back together and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain peeking through the dark finish. The vulcanite saddle stem stands in contrast to the dark colours of the bowl. It is a light weight pipe that could be clenched and smoked while doing other things. Have a look at it with 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 40 grams/1.41 oz. This one will soon be on the British Pipe Makers Page on the rebornpipes online store. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. 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.

A Sad and Tired Looking Jobey Stromboli 440 Square Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is one that came to us from a fellow we have bought pipes from in Brazil, Indiana, USA early in 2020 and I am finally getting to it. It is a nice looking Jobey rusticated, square shank billiard with a fancy acrylic stem. It is stamped on the underside of the shank Jobey [over] Stromboli. To the right of that is the stamped shape number 440. The yellow acrylic saddle stem was missing the brass inlaid Jobey oval. The pipe has a heavily rusticated finish with deeper random craters carved in the rusticated surface. The finish was absolutely filthy on this one with grime and dust deep in the crevices. There was a heavy cake in the bowl and a heavy overflow of lava onto the rim top. There were some nicks or at least worn spots on the outer edge of the rim but the rustic carved rim top makes it hard to know if they deep or just worn. The stem had a blackened airway from the tobacco juices and it had some shallow tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem was screwed onto the shank with the Jobey Link system which was in excellent condition. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he did any clean up.    He took photos of the rim top and the stem. The photo of the rim top shows the incredibly thick cake in the bowl and the heavy coat of lava on the filling in the crevices and valleys of the heavily rusticated rim top. The stem photos show the oils and tars in the airway of the bright yellow stem and some tooth chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a sense of the rustication on the pipe and the sheer filthy condition of the finish. There is still something attractive about the rusticated finish on the bowl. I took photos of the stamping on the right and left side of the shank. The stamping is clear and reads as noted above. You can also see the top of the stem where the brass Jobey logo is missing. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the Jobey Link system tenon. The threads screw into the threaded shank and the smooth portion is supposed to fit snugly in the stem.I reread several of the blogs I have written on the brand in the past restorations of Jobey pipes and decided to include the material on the brand before I write about the cleanup of the pipe. Here is the link to the blog (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/04/03/restoring-jennifers-dads-jobey-asti-245-pot/). I quote:

I turned to Pipephil’s site for a quick review of the brand (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-j3.html). I quote a section of the post on the Jobey brand: These pipes are made in St Claude (France) by Butz-Choquin (Berrod-Regad group) since 1987. Before this date some were manufactured in England and Denmark (Jobey Dansk).

I turned then to Pipedia to gather further information regarding the brand and quote the first part of the article (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Jobey).

English – American – Danish – French… Sadly, solid information about Jobey is scant…

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 is known the following companies have been involved with the brand:

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!

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I decided to start with the stem. I sorted through some of the pipes remaining for me to work on and I had this broken Jobey stem. I used a small pen knife to lift the brass logo out of the damaged stem to use on the yellow one. I put some white all purpose glue in the indentation on the stem top and used a small dental probe to press the brass logo into the spot it was missing. I wiped off the excess glue and pressed the edges down with the probe and I was happy with the look and fit of the “new” brass logo. The Jobey link was stuck fast in the stem and I had a hard time removing it. I used a small screw driver as a wedge and lifted it out of the stem. Once I had it out I would need to sanded the smooth side to loosen the fit while yet leaving it snug.With the tenon removed from the stem I was able to clean out a lot more of the tars and oils in the airway in the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I also used a small round needle file to file the inside of the airway and remove more of the staining. Once I finished it looked much better. I used a wood rasp to smooth out the surface of the tenon end that fit in the stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the scratches in the Delrin. I wanted the fit to be snug but not tight. I worked well.I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth marks and chatter and blend them into the surface of the acrylic. 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 a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I turned back to the bowl. I rubbed the it down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the rustication on the bowl and with a horsehair shoe brush to get into the nooks and crannies of the finish. The product works 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.   Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the Jobey Stromboli 440 Square Shank Billiard back together and buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. 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. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the dark rusticated finish. The swirled fancy yellow acrylic stem stands in contrast to the dark colours of the bowl. It is a light weight pipe that could be clenched and smoked while doing other things. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 37 grams/1.31 oz. This one will soon be on the American Pipemakers page on the rebornpipes online store. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. 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.

The Italian Swan


Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

I have seen a great many pipes now, but this Brebbia is among the most filthy that I have ever worked on. This pipe came from Sudbury, Ontario – in the same lot of dirty pipes as the one that Steve and I dubbed ‘The Sudbury’. You may recall that I wrote about that pipe last time and you can read about it here. It was obvious from the start that this was a great pipe that just needed some attention and TLC – an ugly duckling, if you will. And just like the Hans Christian Andersen story, this pipe clearly spent a long time in misery and disdain before its true beauty was revealed. This pipe is a Golden Brebbia Natural 8006. It is a slightly bent billiard with an oval shank and stem. The Brebbia pipe company is named after the locality of Bosco Grosso di Brebbia in Lombardy, Italy. The company was founded by Enea Buzzi and Achille Savinelli in 1947, but they parted ways in 1953. Mr Savinelli went on to form his eponymous company, while Mr Buzzi kept the factory and created Maniffatura Pipe Brebbia. His family still run it today.

The stem of this pipe was badly oxidized and thoroughly chewed. In fact, the button had been chewed to the point that there was hardly any left – it would have to be rebuilt. The stummel was covered in grime. Perhaps hand oils or other stuff mixed with dirt over the years to leave the muck you can see in the photos. Furthermore, there were scratches in the wood, gouges in the rim, and an ugly putty fill that needed to be addressed. Well, the usual cleaning procedures were in order for this pipe. I used both the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to take it down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the walls of the bowl. 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 a lot of nastiness inside this stummel and – boy-oh-boy – it took a lot of cotton to get this thing clean! I then moved on to cleaning the outside of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and some cotton pads. What a difference that made! A light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s grain. There is some beautiful wood under the grime! A de-ghosting session seemed in order to rid this pipe of the foul smells of the past. This de-ghosting consisted of thrusting cotton balls in the bowl and the shank, and saturating them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit for 24 hours. This caused the oils, tars and smells to leech out into the cotton. Finally, a relatively clean and fresh-smelling bowl emerged.

While the de-ghosting was going on, I moved on to the stem. I took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to remove the tooth marks. This was moderately successful in raising the dents. Then, I cleaned out the insides of the stem with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. Once this process was done, the stem went for an overnight soak in the Before & After Hard Rubber Deoxidizer. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing sludge off with alcohol, pipe cleaners, et cetera. The oxidation had migrated to the surface and would be fairly straightforward to remove. Before I moved on to the Micromesh pads, I built up the squashed button on the stem with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let it fully cure. I used my miniature files to do a proper cutting of the new button –this ensures that it keeps its shape and looks like it should. I then sanded it down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I did the same to the remaining tooth marks. I then 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. Back to the stummel – the banged up rim needed some serious attention. In order to minimize the impact of the damaged, I “topped” the pipe – that is to say, I gently and evenly sanded down the rim on a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. This successfully eliminated the damage, without altering the look of the pipe. Then I took a solid wooden sphere, wrapped sandpaper around it, and sanded thoroughly. This was to achieve on the inner part of the rim the same thing that I achieved by “topping” on sandpaper. Furthermore, there was an ugly blotch of pink putty in a fill on the shank. What made this more complicated was that part of the fill went into the markings. Naturally, I intended to remove the pink putty, but if I removed it all, I would also remove part of the word “natural” on the shank. I had to decide which was worse (or better): a bit of putty with the marking intact or no putty with a wrecked marking. I opted for the former. I left a bit of putty, added some colour from my furniture markers, and filled in the remaining hole with cyanoacrylate adhesive. Neither option was perfect, but I think I made the right choice. After this, I used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to remove the frustrating scratches in the wood and make everything smooth. All of the work I had done to this point had taken its toll on the colour of the wood. In order to bring back some life to this pipe, I opted for aniline dye. I applied some of Fiebing’s Medium Brown Leather Dye and then applied flame in order to set the colour. Worked like a charm! Since it is an alcohol-based dye, I was able to adjust the colour to my liking by applying my own isopropyl alcohol to the colour. I applied more Before & After Restoration Balm, then took it to the buffer. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of carnauba wax were just what this pipe needed. This Brebbia was in need of a reminder of its Italian beauty. The pipe began its journey looking though it had been dropped down the mines. Now, it can show its true self – a real beauty from Italy. Not an Ugly Duckling, but an Italian Swan. In fact, it turned out so well that this pipe has already sold! I know that the new owner will enjoy smoking it for many years to come. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

What an interesting Butz-Choquin Roquebrune 1710 Cherrywood


Blog by Steve Laug

So when this Butz-Choquin Cherrywood with a mixed finish carved and smooth showed up in an online auction Jeff was watching we went for it and picked it up. This pipe was purchased from in 2018 from a seller in Barbourville, Kentucky, USA. The shape of the bowl is a cherrywood sitter with a vulcanite shank extension. The bowl has carved spots that almost look like leaves around the bowl and shank. The pipe was in overall good condition. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Butz-Choquin at an angle [over] Roquebrune. On the right side of the shank it is stamped St. Claude France [over] the number 1710. The mixed finish was dull and lifeless and a little dirty from sitting around. There was dust and debris in the carvings. There was a thick cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim top toward the back. The vulcanite shank extension was lightly oxidized along with the stem. The stem had a scratch on the top side mid stem and some tooth chatter on both sides near the stem. Jeff took the previous and the following photos before he started his cleanup work on the pipe. Jeff took close-up photos of the bowl and rim top from various angles to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top edges. You can see the cake in the bowl and the lava on the inner of the rim and the top at the back of the bowl. The photos of the stem show the general condition of the stem and the vulcanite shank extension. He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show condition of the briar. You can see the swirls of grain in the smooth bowl side and the carvings on the front, sides and shank. The stamping is very clear on both sides of the pipe. Interestingly the stamping on the left side of the shank is over the carving there so it is blurred in spots. The third photo shows the stamping on the side of the shank extension. I turned to Pipedia to see if I could learn anything about the Roquebrune line of carved finishes but there was nothing listed. I also turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Butz-Choquin) and found a great read of the history of the brand. There was nothing there on the line either. I did find a shape chart however, that had the 1710 shape. I have included that below.Now it was time to look at it up close and personal. Jeff had great job in cleaning up this Origine. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He took the cake back to bare briar so we could check the walls for damage and also see the condition of the inner edge of the rim. He 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 grime and dirt. He cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. The rim top looked much better. The bowl and shank extension looked very good. He cleaned the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime on the exterior. He soaked it in Briarville’s Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water to remove the product. He cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I took some photos of the pipe as I saw it. To show how clean the rim top and stem really was I took a close-up photo of the rim and stem. The bowl was clean and cake free. The rim top is quite clean the inner and outer edges were clean with just some light scratching. The vulcanite shank extension looks very good. The surface and the button edge of the stem look really good. There are no issues that are there to address other than the scratch on the stem top.I took some photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I remove the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe from the left side to give a clear picture of the beauty of this particular pipe. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris. The began to take on a deep shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar of the bowl with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush to work it into the grooves of the carving. The product is incredible and the way it brings the grain to the fore is unique. It works to clean, protect and invigorate the wood. I touched up the BC stamp on the vulcanite extension with some white acrylic nail polish. I rubbed into the stamp with a tooth pick to get it into the grooves. I polished off the excess with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. I took a photo of the reworked stamp below. It is a beauty. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before  After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I am really happy with the way that this Butz-Choquin Roquebrune 1710 Cherrywood turned out. It really is a great looking pipe with character. The vulcanite shank extension is a unique feature of this pipe gives the stem the look of a military bit. The finish and carvings really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains and black carvings gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain really popped. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Butz-Choquin Roquebrune Cherrywood really is a beauty and feels great 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 40 grams/1.41 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on French Pipe Makers 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. It was a fun one to work on!

Sometimes a pipe is so ugly that it just charms you – Someone’s Personalized Chacom Count 875


Blog by Steve Laug

The title on this blog really says it all for me. This next six sided pipe was purchased from an auction in Columbus, Michigan, USA in 2020. Jeff saw it and actually went for it even though he knew I would not like it at first. It was just too much to take in but he picked it up for a good price. It is carved on each side of the bowl with a rising fish. I do not know if the pipeman carved them or if it came that way but it was strange to me! On top of that, the carved fish are then stained with a wash of green as is the stamping on the shank side that reads Chacom [over] Count. It is stamped on the underside of the shank with the shape number 875. If that was all of the unusual features of this pipe that would be enough but there were more unique modifications. The previous pipe man must have like the P-lip feature on Peterson’s pipes because he drilled a round hole in the top of the stem ahead of the button and filled in the slot in the button with what looks like spray foam. Other than the modification the shape was unique and the shiny finish, though dirty, was in good condition. There was a light cake in the bowl and some lava on the back side of the rim top. There was also a bit of damage on the front inner edge and rim top where it appeared that the varnish coat had peeled. The twin brass ringed stem was oxidized and had some calcification. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides. The drilled hole was clean and undamaged. The spray foam oozing from the slot on the stem end was hardened and quite ugly. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup. Looking at the pipe from the top down it is quite a pretty pipe and I had a good idea why Jeff was drawn to it. The hexagonal shape of the bowl and the finish was quite nice as was the grain on the rim top. Okay maybe it would turn out to be a nice looking pipe when it was cleaned up! Time would tell.Jeff took photos of the rim top and bowl to give and idea of the general condition of the pipe. It had some damage on the front edge and some lava on the back left edge and top. There was some scratching on the rim top itself. The stem was the disaster as I noted above with its modifications that would take some work to remedy. The hole would need to be patched and the slot cleared of the spray foam that filled it. Jeff included several photos of the stem to show what was going on with it. Jeff took some photos of the carved fish on the sides of the bowl and the green wash highlighting it. He also took a photo of the heel and underside of the bowl and shank. It appears that there was some nice grain under the carving. The stamping on the shank reads as noted above and is clear and readable. I am not sure if it was originally green but it is now! The CC logo in brass is on the left side of the stem and the underside of the stem is stamped France. There also appears to be a ring of exotic wood between the brass rings on the stem. I turned to Pipephil to see if there was any information on the Chacom Count line of pipes (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-chacom.html). Of course there was not any information that directly referred to the line and there was nothing with the kind of carving on this one. I quote the top bar of the article there.

The brand Chacom Chacom, créateur et distributeur de pipes turned up (1934) after fusion of Chapuis-Comoy with La Bruyère. Yves Grenard (†2012), second cousin of Pierre Comoy headed the company from 1971. He was responsible for Chapuis Comoy’s recovering its independance from Comoy. His son Antoine Grenard took over the direction of the company in 2007. Chacom is a brand of Cuty-Fort Entreprises (Jeantet, Vuillard, Jean Lacroix, Ropp …).

I then turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Chacom) to see if there was any information on the line there. There was a great time line of the history of the brand but nothing specific on this pipe.

The carving looked good but was also too amateurish to me to have come from Chacom who are known as innovators and fine craftsman of great pipes but I thought maybe there would be something. However there was nothing.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. 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 was able to clean out the spray foam that had filled in the slot in the button. I was not sure that would come out as it looked to be hard as a rock. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It cleaned up well and looked better. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl edges look very good. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter was very light. The drilled hole in the stem top was obvious and I think quite repairable.I took a photo of the stamping on the left and underside of the bowl. You can see from the photo that it is readable. The brass bands and insert on the saddle stem look very good. To be honest even the fish had cleaned up well!I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the shape and “attraction” of the pipe.I decided to start by working on the heavy varnish coat on the rim top and bowl. I needed to remove it or at least break the sheen so I could smooth out the damage on the front top of the rim and the end of the shank on both sides where the varnish had peeled. I may well have to leave it on the sides of the bowl where the fish is carved but I would see what I could do without damaging that too much :). I combined wiping it carefully down with acetone and polishing it with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad to remove the varnish coat. I forgot to take a picture of the rim before I stained it to blend in the sanded edge and top. The photo below shows the rim top after staining with a Maple stain pen. You can see how clean the top looks in this photo. I wiped the rest of the bowl down with acetone on a cotton pad and was able to remove the varnish coat. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads.. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris. I was able to get the varnish off without damaging the green carving on the bowl sides. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm working it into the briar and the carving with my finger tips. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Jeff had gotten the spray foam plug out of the slot in the button so I needed to address the drilled hole on the topside of the stem. I greased a pipe cleaner with Vaseline and slipped it into the stem below the hole. I wanted to have  a base to build over but I did not want the cleaner to be glued in place. I mixed a batch of charcoal powder and black super glue and made a thick paste with it. I applied it to the surface of the stem with a dental spatula and made sure it was in the hole. I sprayed it with an accelerator to harden the CA glue enough that I could remove the pipe cleaner without pulling out the patch. I remove it and set the stem aside to cure for what I thought would be overnight but ended up being two days! It was as hard as a rock. When I finally got back to it I used a small file to flatten the repair and prepare it for sanding. I sanded the stem repair with a folded piece of 220 sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the stem. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the repaired stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This pipe has some great grain under the varnish and I have to say that the carving of the fish kind of grew on me during the restoration. This Chacom Count Hexagon Scoop turned out really well. The bowl and shank are hexagonal and the fish carved on the sides look a lot better now. The polished twin brass bands, exotic wood spacer and black of the stem works well with the briar. The grain in the briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains of the finish make the grain really pop 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Chacom Count really has a unique beauty and feels great in the hand. It looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 71 grams/2.54 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on French Pipe Makers 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. It was a fun one to work on!

Cleaning up a Stanwell Royal Danish 963 Sandblast Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table was purchased from an antique mall in Logan, Utah, USA on one of Jeff’s pipe hunts. This one is obviously a Stanwell made pipe from just looking at it. It has a mix of sandblast finish around the bowl with smooth panels on the sides. The rim top is plateau and looks rugged. There is a large Crown stamped in the left side of the saddle stem. It was stamped on the underside of the shank on a smooth panel. The shape number 963 is stamped mid shank. Under that it reads Royal Danish [over] Made in Denmark. The finish was dirty with dust and grime ground into the nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the plateau rim top. The inner edge of the rim was covered so thickly in lava it was hard to know what was underneath. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. There was a large crown stamp on the left side of the saddle stem. The stem had straightened out over the years so it would need to be re-bent. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started to work on cleaning it up for us. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the cake in the bowl and the heavy coat of lava filling in the plateau rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The stem is oxidized with light tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. It really is a nicely shaped pipe with a nice sandblast and smooth panels on the sides. The plateau top shows promise. The next photo Jeff took shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. The large crown is also visible on the left side of the saddle stem. Before I started working on it I did a bit of research on the brand to get a feel for where it fit in the Stanwell line. I was pretty sure that it was a second but wanted confirmation. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if I could get a feel for it (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-r6.html). I did a screen capture of the information on the site. I found that the brand was indeed made by Stanwell and was one of many second lines that they made. I did a screen capture of the pertinent information and have included it below.I then turned to Pipedia and found that it was also listed as a second or a sub-brand made by Stanwell (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell#Sub-brands_.2F_Seconds). I have included the list of seconds from the site below. I have highlighted the Royal Danish in blue in the text.

Sub-brands / Seconds – Bijou (discontinued), Danish Quaint, Danish Sovereign, Danske Club,    Henley (discontinued), Kong Christian (discontinued), Majestic, Reddish (discontinued),  Royal Danish, Royal Guard, Royal Sovereign, Sailor (discontinued), Scandia, Sorn (discontinued), Svendson.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. 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 stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl edges look very good. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter was very light.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the bowl. You can see from the photo that it is readable. The Royal portion of the stamp is covered a bit by the edges of the sandblast but are still readable.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe.The bowl was in such good condition that I started by rubbing the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm working it into the briar with my finger tips and into the blast and plateau with a shoe brush. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I heated the stem with the flame of a lighter to soften the vulcanite. When it had softened enough I bent it to get the angle more in keeping with the angles of the shank.  I put the stem on the shank and took photos of the new look. I like the way it sat now! With Al’s (upshallfan) recommendation I asked my daughter’s to pick up some acrylic white nail polish. They brought me home a bottle of the polish and I put it on the pipe. I was paying so much attention to getting it in the stamp that I forgot to take a photo until after I cleaned it up. The nail polish worked great. Thanks for the reminder AlI polished out the tooth chatter and marks on the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another pipe that I am really happy about the look of the finished restoration. This reborn Stanwell Made Royal Danish 963 Freehand turned out really well. I think that it really is a great looking pipe with a great shape and grain. The freehand/plateau top bowl and the vulcanite saddle stem goes well together. The polished black of the stem works well with the briar. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains of the finish make the grain really pop with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Made Royal Danish Bent Dublin Freehand really feels great in the hand and it looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 44 grams/1.52 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers 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. It was a fun one to work on!

Restemming a Stanwell Design Choice 892 Ukelele with a proper stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is one that was purchased in 2020 from an auction in Bloomingdale, New York, USA. It has been here for a while and I am just now getting to it. Work has been demanding so it is slowing down my restoration work a bit. This flat bowled volcano shaped pipe obviously has a a poorly fit replacement stem that has made it into an odd shaped churchwarden. I don’t think that it looked like this when it came out but I had no idea what it would have looked like before. It has a really mix of grains around the bowl and shank. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and it reads Stanwell [over] Design [over] Choice [over] Made in Denmark. To the left of this it is stamped with the shape numbers 892. The pipe was dirty with grime ground into the finish. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the rim top. The inner edge of the rim was covered in lava it was hard to know what was underneath. The vulcanite shank extension was oxidized and worn. The churchwarden stem is overly bent and the fit in the shank extension is not quite right – just a few of several reasons that I knew it was a replacement stem. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started to work on cleaning it up for us. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The oxidized and replacement churchwarden vulcanite stem was over bent and would need to be straightened or replaced with a more original stem. This one has chatter and deep tooth marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. It really is a nicely shaped pipe with some great grain. There are some flaws in briar on the bottom of the bowl. The next photo Jeff took shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I Googled the Stanwell shape 892 Design Choice pipe to see if I could find photos of what the pipe looked like when it was made and to see if I could see if there was information on who had made the pipe originally. I found a link to the shape on smokingpipes.com to the shape number (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=238398). I have included the description from the site below as well as a photo of one of the pipes.

A shape designed for Stanwell by Sixten Ivarsson, this is a take on the Ukelele, with plenty of plump curvature and low-slung charm on display. This example is still in good condition overall, though it has picked up some light scratches around the bowl, and the chamber is slightly out of round.Now I knew that I was dealing with a shape designed by Sixten Ivarrson called a Ukelele that had a short fancy saddle stem and there was no reference anywhere I looked for a churchwarden stemmed Ukelele. I would need to fashion a new stem for the pipe to give the pipe a similar look to the one above.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. 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 stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good but I was more convinced than ever that a new stem was needed. I decided that I would work on this stem while I was looking for a new stem.I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl look good. The edge was clean but there was some damage on the rim top at the front of the bowl. The Churchwarden stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter were still present. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see from the photo that it is readable.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe. I started my work on the pipe by addressing the flaws in the bottom of the bowl. Under a lens there were small sand pits along the line of the CA glue that I filled them with in the photo below. Once the repair cured I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar. I polished the smooth briar and the vulcanite shank extension with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-4000 grit pads to smooth out the surface of the briar and the repair on the bottom of the bowl. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The briar began to take on a shine. I paused after polishing the bowl with the 4000 grit micromesh pad to stain the repair on the bottom of the bowl. I used a Maple stain pen to match the surrounding briar. Once the stain cured I finished polishing the bowl with 6000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. The bowl really did begin to shine. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm working it into the briar with my finger tips. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to deal with the stem even though I would replace it on the finished pipe. I straightened the churchwarden stem with a heat gun to get the angle more in keeping with the angles of the shank. I sanded out the tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. Now that the churchwarden stem was finished I turned my attention to a shorter stem that I shaped to match the one in the photo from smokingpipes.com. I used a stem blank that I shaped with a Dremel and sanding drum. I shaped the saddle above the tenon to flow into the blade of the stem. I also shaped the tenon area to also have the same slope. I wanted  the slope on both sides to match. I used 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the angles. I took photos of the newly shaped stem in place in the bowl. I like the looks of the pipe with the new stem. I heated the vulcanite with the flame of a lighter to soften the stem and give it a slight bend. The bend fit the angles of the shank and allowed it to sit on the desktop.I put the stem on the pipe and took photos of the pipe with its new stem. I looked very good and the angles were perfect. I liked the way the pipe looked at this point.I polished the new stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another pipe that I am really happy about the finished restoration. This reborn Stanwell Ivarrson Designed Ukelele turned out really well. I used a blank to shape and craft a new stem for it as the churchwarden stem just did not work well. After restemming I think that it really is a great looking pipe with a great shape and grain. The bowl is flattened volcano shape and the vulcanite shank extension goes well with it. The new vulcanite saddle stem is very close to the original stem that would have come with the pipe when it was new. The polished black of the stem works well with the briar. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains of the finish make the grain really pop with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Design Choice Ukelele really has a unique beauty and feels great in the hand. It looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 55 grams/1.98 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers 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. It was a fun one to work on!

Working on a bit of an odd Bari Special Handcut Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is one that was purchased in 2020 from an auction in Salina, Kansas, USA. It has been here for a while and I am just now getting to it. Work has been demanding so it is slowing down my restoration work a bit. This pipe is a Bari Special Handcut Freehand. It has a really mix of flame and straight grain around the bowl and shank. It was stamped on the sides of the shank. On the left side it reads Bari [over] Special [over] Handcut. On the right side it reads Handmade [over] in Denmark. On the underside of the shank it is stamped with the numbers 72  00. The pipe was dirty with grime ground into the finish. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the plateau rim top. The inner edge of the rim was covered so thickly in lava it was hard to know what was underneath. The square saddled vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. BARI was stamped on the left side of the fancy saddle stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his work on cleaning it up for us. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The bowl is square while the chamber is round. The oxidized and calcified vulcanite stem was quite unique and picked up the square angles of the bowl and the shank. It has chatter and deep tooth marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. It really is a nicely shaped pipe with some great grain. The next photos Jeff took show the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. The stem logo is also clear. Jeff took a photo of the partial plateau on the shank end. The top two thirds of the shank end was plateau while the bottom third was smooth. It is quite nice.I worked on a Bari Special Handcut pipe previously so I looked up the blog to refresh myself on the brand a bit (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/07/22/cleaning-up-a-danish-made-bari-special-handcut-b-dublin-freehand/). I quote from the research I did for that pipe below:

I quoted a section from Pipedia on Bari pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bari). It is good to be reminded of the fact that Viggo Nielsen was the pipe maker.

Pipedia states that Bari Piber was founded by Viggo Nielsen in Kolding, Denmark around the turn of 1950/51. His sons Kai and Jørgen both grew into their father’s business from a very young age and worked there till 1975. Both have become successful pipe makers.

Bari successfully adapted the new Danish design that had been started mainly by Stanwell for its own models. Bari was sold in 1978 to Van Eicken Tobaccos in Hamburg, Germany though the pipes were still made in Denmark. From 1978 to 1993 Åge Bogelund and Helmer Thomsen headed Bari’s pipe production.

Helmer Thomson bought the company in 1993 re-naming it to “Bari Piber Helmer Thomsen”. The workshop moved to more convenient buildings in Vejen. Bogelund, who created very respectable freehands of his own during the time at Bari got lost somehow after 1993. Bari’s basic conception fundamentally stayed the same for decades: series pipes pre-worked by machines and carefully finished by hand – thus no spectacular high grades but solid, reliable every day’s companions were what they turned out. The most famous series are the smooth “Classic Diamond” and the blasted “Wiking”.

I did a quick look at Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-b1.html) and did a screen capture of the section on Bari pipes.Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. 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 stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good however, surprisingly there were a number of fills around the shank and bowl. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl look good. The edge was clean but there was some burn damage on the rim top at the back of the bowl. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter were still present.I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. You can see from the photos that it is readable. I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe. I started my work on the pipe by addressing the damage to the back of the plateau rim top. Notice that it is burned but the grooves and crevices are still present. I cleaned it up with a brass bristle wire brush to remove as much of the loose char as possible. Once it was clean I used several burrs on my Dremel to redefine the grooves and crevices in the plateau at the back of the rim top. Once I was finished I was happy with the look or the rim top. I restained the rim top with a black stain pen to match the plateau on the shank end. I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with1500-4000 grit pads to smooth out the surface of the briar and the noticeable fills around the shank and bowl. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The briar began to take on a shine. I paused after polishing the bowl with the 4000 grit micromesh pad to stain the fills around the sides of the shank and bowl. I used a Walnut stain pen to match the surrounding briar. Once the stain cured I finished polishing the bowl with 6000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. The bowl really did begin to shine. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm working it into the briar with my finger tips and into the plateau on the shank end and rim top with a horsehair shoe brush. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a lighter to lift the deep tooth marks in the vulcanite. Since vulcanite has “memory” I was able to lift the marks on the top and underside of the stem significantly. There were a few that did not lift completely so I filled them in with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to cure. Once the repairs cured I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before  After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another pipe that I am really happy about the finished restoration. This Odd Bari Special Handcut Freehand 72 00 turned out beautifully. It really is a great looking pipe with a great shape and rugged plateau rim top and shank end. The bowl is almost square and the shank is the same with virtually the same angles as the bowl from bottom to top. The unique vulcanite saddle stem carries on the shape to the end. The polished black of the stem works well with the briar. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich black and brown stains of the finish make the grain really pop with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Bari Special Freehand really has a unique beauty and feels great in the hand. It looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches long x 1 ½ inches wide, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 70 grams/2.47 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers 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. It was a fun one to work on!

Breathing Life into a Tired Looking Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

This particular Freehand pipe is another one that came in a lot that Jeff and I purchased on early in 2020 from a woman in Australia who had contacted us about selling her late husband’s collection. He had some beautiful pipes in his estate and this was another of them. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Bjarne [over] Hand Carved [over] In Denmark. It is a smooth finish pipe with some interesting carved feathers (leaves) on the right side of the shank and the bowl. The rim top and shank end are finished in rugged plateau. The pipe had a thick cake in the bowl and there was a thick coat of lava on the smooth bevel of the rim and into the plateau. The rest of the plateau on the rim top and shank end was clogged with dust and debris in the valleys and crevices. The original orange variegated acrylic saddle stem had the Bjarne Bj logo on the top of the blade. It was dirty inside and out and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The pipe was dirty but still had a unique beauty. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his work on it. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the cake in the bowl and the build up of lava and debris in the plateau of the rim top and shank end. I really is a dirty pipe. The variegated orange acrylic stem and has chatter and a few deep tooth marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. It really is a nicely shaped pipe that has a great finish under the grime on the briar. The next photos Jeff took show the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. He also took a photo to show the stem logo. In a previous blog I had researched the brand quite a bit. I have included it in full below for information on this pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/03/07/another-pipe-from-the-eastern-canada-lot-a-hand-carved-bjarne-freehand/). I quote:

I turned my favourite go to sites on background of brands. The first is Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-b5.html). There I looked up the Bjarne brand. I have copied the pertinent information below.

Bjarne Nielsen (1941 – † 2008) distributed his own “Bjarne” brand and pipes carved by Danish pipemakers (Mogens Johansen, Tonni Nielsen or Ph. Vigen). High grade pipes were stamped “Bjarne Nielsen” without any logo on the mouthpiece and graded A, B, C and D. Bjarne second brand: Viking.

I have included a screen capture of the section on the brand below.I turned to Pipedia and looked up the brand for a bit more information on the pipes that were stamped like the one that I am working on (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Bjarne). Toward the end of the article I found what I was looking for. I quote:

Among the pipemakers that worked for Bjarne were Johs (for the lower priced high volume pieces), and makers like Ph. Vigen, Ole Bandholm and Tonni Nielsen for high grade pieces. The cheaper line was stamped “Bjarne” while the highest grades were stamped “Bjarne Nielsen” (never with the pipemakers’ name) and graded, from highest to lowest, by the letters: AX, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J.

Now I knew that I was dealing with the cheaper line of pipe made by the company. It was stamped Bjarne while the higher grade pipes were stamped Bjarne Nielsen with a grade stamp.

Jeff did a great job cleaning off the debris and grime on this old. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and smoothed the walls of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to the oils and tars on the bowl, rim and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. Once the grime was removed the finish underneath was in stellar condition. The rich patina of the older briar was a variegated finish of smooth and sandblast looked great. He scrubbed the exterior of the stem with Soft Scrub then soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer. He rinsed off the deoxidizer with warm water and wiped the bowl and stem down with a light coat of olive oil to rehydrate both. The pipe really was quite stunning. I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were. The rim top and bowl were in good condition with some darkening on the inner bevel of the bowl edge and rim top. The stem looked better but the deep tooth marks and chatter were still present. I would need to remove those to bring the stem back.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see from the photo that it is readable. It is clearer on the top half of the stamp than the lower but it is still readable.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe. I started my work on this pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and bowl edge. I sanded the edge bevel with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and to reduce the darkening. It looked better when I  had finished.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 cotton cloth. The briar took on a shine by the last pads.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush to get into the crevices of the plateau rim top and shank end. The product is incredible and the way it brings the grain to the fore is unique. It works to clean, protect and invigorate the wood. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks on the surface of both sides with clear CA glue. Once it cured, I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the briar. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad to protect it and preserve it. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I touched up the stamp on the top of the stem with Paper Mate Liquid Paper. I rubbed it into the stamp with a tooth pick and buffed it off with a cloth. It looked much better. I am really happy with the way that this Bjarne Hand Carved Freehand turned out. It really is a beautiful looking pipe with a unique shape and smooth, plateau and carved finishes. The fancy original acrylic saddle stem is really nice. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown and black stains of the finish gave the pipe a sense of depth 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Bjarne Freehand really is a beauty and feels great 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 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 ½ inches long x 2 inches wide, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 88 grams/3.10 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers 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. It was a fun one to work on!

Finally a Preben Holm Crown Hand Made Standing Freehand…and then I saw this!


Blog by Steve Laug

I have worked on many Preben Holm pipes over the years in many of his lines – Danish Pride, Monte Verde, Ben Wade and even his Walnut line which was a bit more classic in shape. I have always enjoyed his take on the flow of the pipe and how well he follows the way the grain takes him shaping his work. I have never worked on one that bore the Preben Holm Crown stamp on the shank. This particular smooth finished Freehand pipe was purchased from an auction in 2020 in Salina, Kansas, USA. It really is a filthy pipe though underneath all the grime it is a beautiful looking Freehand pipe that stands. It combines a plateau rim top and shank end with a smooth finish on the bowl and shank. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Preben Holm [over] Crown [over] Hand Made [over] In [over] Denmark. The classic walnut finish is incredibly dirty but I was excited about it being a Crown – until Jeff mentioned to me that there was a hairline crack on the heel of the bowl! The bowl had a thick cake lining the walls and overflowing onto the plateau rim top in thick lava. It filled in the inner edge of the bowl and the rim top. It was a mess! There was grime ground into the smooth, grooved finish and dust and debris in the plateau valleys on the shank end.The turned vulcanite saddle had a twist in the saddle and had a faint Crown stamp on the topside. It had deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The pipe must have been a great smoker judging from the condition it came it. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his work on it. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the thick coat I the bowl and the heavy lava on the plateau rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The plateau on the shank end is also filthy. The turned vulcanite stem and has chatter and a few deep tooth marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. The third photo below that shows the flat bottom of the heel shows a hairline crack from the back edge inward for about ½ inch and down into the groove about ¼ inch. I have circled it in red in the photo below. Certainly depressing but fixable! It has a shape that truly reflects the style and process of grain chasing that Preben Holm was famous for in his pipemaking. The next photo Jeff took shows the stamping on the underside of the  shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I turned first to Pipephil to see what I could find about the Crown line of pipes and get some background (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-p5.html). I have included the photo capture below as it shows the look of the stamping and logo on the pipe I am working on.I turned then to Pipedia and read the listing on the brand to refresh my memory and flesh out the knowledge of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Holm,_Preben) and the article on Ben Wade (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Wade). I quote the portion of the Ben Wade article that summarizes the Danish period of the history of the brand:

Young Copenhagen master pipemaker Preben Holm had made a meteoric career heading a pipe manufacture employing 45 people at the age of 22! But around the turn of 1970/71 he was in major financial difficulties. His US distributor, Snug Harbour Ltd. in New York City, left him in the lurch. Holm had three unpaid invoices on his desk and another large shipment was ready for the USA, when Snug Harbour’s manager told him on the phone that there was no money at all on the account to pay him.

So the Dane went to New York for an almost desperate search for a new distribution partner. He made contacts with Lane Ltd. and met Herman G. Lane in February 1971. Lane Ltd. had no interest in Holm’s serial pipes produced at that time but so much the more in the hand-carved freehands because the hype for Danish freehands and fancies in the States was still on its way to the climax then. The meeting resulted in an agreement to start a cooperation. Lane insisted to improve the quality considerably and in return he assured to be able to sell essentially larger quantities.

Holm went back home to work on new samples with all-new designs and altered finishes for Lane. Both, Lane and Holm, agreed that it would be unwise to sell the pipes under Preben Holm’s name as long as Snug Harbour had a considerable stock of Preben Holm pipes and might sell them pipes at very low prices just to bring in some money.

So on Mr. Lane’s proposal it was determined to use the name Ben Wade belonging to Lane Ltd. Lane spent considerable amounts of money for advertising the new brand in the big magazines– the centerpiece being whole-page ads showing a very exclusive Seven Day’s Set.

The cooperation with Lane Ltd. proved to be an eminent business success for both partners. Within a very short time Ben Wade Handmade Denmark sold in much larger quantities and at higher prices than they had ever dreamed of. And the hype these freehands and fancy pipes caused went on unbroken long after Herman G. Lane deceased. Preben Holm – obviously much more brilliant in pipe making than in pipe business – was in major troubles again in 1986 and had to sack most of his staff. The Ben Wade production was significantly lowered but continued until his untimely death in June of 1989.

Up to now Preben Holm made Ben Wade pipes are cult and highly sought for on the estate markets.

With that information my initial thoughts were confirmed. This pipe was a Preben Holm made Freehand distributed in the US by Lane Ltd under his own name. The freehand rage occurred in the late 70s and the pipes were made until Preben’s death in 1989. My guess would be that this pipe was made sometime during that time period and potentially in the late 70s.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer to strip out the cake in the bowl and then cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the plateau rim top and shank end and was able to remove it. 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 stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and then rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl look good. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter were still present. I would need to remove those to bring the stem back.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see from the photo that it is readable. It is clearer on the top half of the stamp than the lower but it is still readable.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the hairline crack on the heel of the bowl. I  examined the inside of the bowl with a light to see if the crack had come through. I had not gone through at all. I looked at the heel of the bowl and saw that it truly was a hairline surface crack probably made by dropping the pipe. I drilled small pilot holes on each end of the crack to stop it from spreading. I cleaned out the crack with alcohol to remove any dust. I filled in the holes and the crack with clear super glue and briar dust. When the repair cured I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar. I used a folded piece 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner bevel of the bowl and the grooves flowing out of the bowl toward the outer edges.I polished the smooth briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped down the briar after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris from the surface. The briar began to take on a shine. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush to get into the crevices of the plateau rim top and shank end. The product is incredible and the way it brings the grain to the fore is unique. It works to clean, protect and invigorate the wood. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to try and lift the tooth marks. I filled in the remaining marks with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the briar. I started the polishing of the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the faint stamp on the top of the stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I rubbed the product into the faint stamping and buffed it off with a soft cloth. While not perfect it was very visible and distinguishable.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each pad to enliven and protect the vulcanite. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave the stem another rub down with Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. I am really happy with the way that this Preben Holm Crown Hand Made Danish Freehand turned out. It really is a beautiful looking pipe with a great shape and smooth finished bowl and rim and the remnant of plateau on the shank end. The hairline crack repair went very well and it is virtually invisible. The fancy original vulcanite saddle stem is really nice. The polished black of the stem works well with the briar. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains of the finish gave the pipe a sense of depth 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. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Preben Holm Crown Hand Made really is a beauty and feels great 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 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 ½ inches long x 2 inches wide, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 86 grams/3.03 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers 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. It was a fun one to work on!