Tag Archives: Savinelli Capri pipes

Renewed Life for a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 115 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a nice rusticated looking pot shaped pipe. The rim top and bowl are clean with variations of brown and black stains. On the heel of the bowl it is stamped Savinelli Capri over Root Briar. That is followed by The Savinelli “S” shield and Italy and the shape number 115. The pipe has a Sea Rock or coral style rustication that I really like. The finish was very dirty with dust in all of the rustication, making it hard to see beyond that to the finish underneath that. There was a medium cake in the bowl and it had overflowed with lava onto the rim top. It was hard to know at this point the condition of the rim edges. The stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. The Savinelli S shield logo on the top of the stem is worn and lightly stamped. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. I include those below. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the rim top and dust and grime in the rustication. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The lava is deep in the rustication and there is a buildup on the inner edge of the bowl. Jeff took a photo of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The rustication is deep and dirty but it is interesting. This is a very tactile finish and one that I enjoy.    Jeff took two photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture all of it. It is very clear and readable other than the shape number 115. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the scratching, oxidation and tooth marks on the stem surface and button. The tooth marks are quite deep on both sides of the stem.  This pipe was a real mess like many of the pipes we work on. I was curious to see what it would look like when I unpacked it. I was surprised at how good it looked. Jeff reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish on the bowl looked really good when I got it. The rim top looked much better and the inner and outer edges were looking good. He had cleaned the internals and scrubbed the exterior of the stem and soaked them in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked very good other than the tooth marks and chatter in the surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it.    I took photos of the condition of the rim top and stem before I started working. The rim top looks very good. The crevices and valleys of the rustication are clean and look great. The bowl is spotless. The stem is lightly oxidized and has some tooth marks and tooth chatter. The Savinelli S shield on the top of the stem is worn and very shallow. It will be hard to save in the clean up work.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the heel and the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I took the bowl and stem apart and took a photo of the pipe to show the look of the pipe.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain and the separate finishes really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The bowl really looks good at this point. I sanded the stem to remove the oxidation that was on the surface and to smooth out the repaired areas. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point the stem is looking better and the tooth marks are gone.     I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. 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 pipe back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a heavier touch 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 combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. This dark stained Savinelli Capri Pot 115 must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it. Have a look at it in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. This is one that will go on the Italian Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. 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.

Restoring Jennifer’s Dad’s Savinelli Capri 313KS Root Briar Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

I decided to work on another of Jennifer’s Dad’s pipes. For the next pipe from the estate of George Rex Leghorn I have chosen a Savinelli Prince shaped pipe. You may not have read about this estate before, so I will retell the story. I received an email from Jennifer who is a little older than I am about whether I would be interested in her Dad’s pipes. My brother Jeff and I have been picking up a few estates here and there, so I was interested. Here is the catch – she did not want to sell them to me but to give them to me to clean up, restore and resell. The only requirement she had was that we give a portion of the sales of the pipes to a charity serving women and children. We talked about the organization I work for that deals with trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and their children and she decided that would be a great way to carry on the charitable aspect of her Dad’s character. With some great conversation back and forth she sent the pipes to Jeff and he started the cleanup process on them. Once he had finished cleaning them all he sent them to me to do my work on them.

The pipe on the table is stamped on the underside of the bowl and shank on a smooth panel. On the heel of the bowl it is stamped Savinelli Capri over Root Briar. That is followed by The Savinelli “S” shield and Italy and the shape number that looks like 313KS but it hard to read as it is stamped in the rustication. The pipe has a Sea Rock or coral style rustication that I really like. The finish was very dirty, making it hard to see beyond that to the nice grain underneath that. There was a thick cake in the bowl and it had overflowed with lava onto the rim top. It was hard to know at this point the condition of the rim edges. The pipe was a dirty and tired looking old pipe. The stem was badly oxidized and there were George’s usual tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. It had been sitting in boxes for a lot of years and it was time to move ahead with the restoration. Jennifer took photos of the pipes she was sending. I have included the photos of this pipe below. When the box arrived from Jennifer, Jeff opened it and took photos of each pipe before he started his cleanup work on them. This pipe was another real mess but since it bore a coral finish which I like I could see some promise under all of the grime of the years. The shape was a Prince with the normal slightly bent stem. The briar appeared to be in good condition underneath the grime. The pipe really was covered with the grime and oils on the bowl sides from George’s hands. It left the finish looking mottled and dark on the high points. The bowl had a thick cake that had hardened with time. The lava overflow on the rim top filled in the rustication on the rim top. It was very thick but it could very well have protected the edges of the rim from damage. We won’t know what is under it until Jeff had cleaned it off. The stem was oxidized and there were deep tooth marks on both sides just ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. I include those below.  Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the rim top and dust and grime on the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The lava coat looks horrible but it points to a well-used, favourite smoking pipe. Judging from the condition of George’s pipe I think it can be assumed that he was rarely without a pipe and that he seriously enjoyed smoking them. This was no exception. Jeff took a photo of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The rustication is deep and dirty but it is interesting. This is a very tactile finish and one that I enjoy. Jeff took two photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture all of it. It is very clear and readable other than the shape number 313KS which is in the rustication itself.    Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the scratching, oxidation and tooth marks on the stem surface and button. The tooth marks are quite deep on both sides of the stem. Before I get on to cleaning up the pipe I thought I would once again include the tribute that Jennifer wrote to her Dad for the blog. She also sent some photos and an article that her Dad wrote for Jeff and me to be able to get a feel for him. I have included those below. Note in each of them that he is holding a pipe in his left hand. I asked her to also send me an email with a brief tribute to her Dad. Here is her tribute from an email to me.

Steve, I want to thank you again for accepting my dad’s pipes.  They were so much a part of my dad’s life that I could not simply discard them. But as his daughter, I was not about to take up smoking them either. *laughing* I think my dad would like knowing that they will bring pleasure to others.  I know that I do.

I’m not sure what to say about his pipes. I always remember Daddy smoking pipes and cigars.

First a bit about my dad. Though my father, George Rex Leghorn, was American (growing up in Alaska), he managed to join the Canadian Army at the beginning of WWII, but in doing so lost his American citizenship.  He was fortunate to meet a Canadian recruiting officer who told him the alphabet began with “A” and ended with “Zed” not “Zee”, and also told him to say that he was born in a specific town that had all its records destroyed in a fire.  When the US joined the war my dad, and thousands of other Americans who had made the same choice*(see the link below for the article), were given the opportunity to transfer to the US military, and regain their citizenship.

After WWII, my dad, earned his degree at the University of California Berkeley and became a metallurgist. There is even a bit about him on the internet.

He loved taking the family out for a drive, and he smoked his cigars on those trips. (As a child, those were troubling times for my stomach.)

I most remember my father relaxing in his favorite chair with a science fiction book in one hand and a pipe in the other… Sir Walter Raleigh being his favorite tobacco… and the pipes themselves remind me of him in that contented way.  If I interrupted his repose, he’d look up, with a smile on his face, to answer me.

It seemed he smoked his Briarwood pipes the most, though he had others.  At the time, it was only the Briarwood I knew by name because of its distinctive rough shaped bowl.  And it was the Anderson Free Hand Burl Briar, made in Israel, which I chose for his birthday one year, because I thought he might like that particular texture in his hand.

At least two of his pipes, he inherited from his son-in-law, Joe Marino, a retired medical laboratory researcher (my sister Lesley’s late husband)… the long stemmed Jarl (made in Denmark), and the large, white-bowled, Sherlock Holmes style pipe.  I believe Joe had others that went to my dad, but Lesley was only sure about those two.

The Buescher, corncob pipe my older sister Lesley bought for Daddy while on one of her travels around the States.

A note on the spelling of my sister’s name…

My dad met my mother, Regina, during WWII and they married in Omagh, Ireland.  My mother was English and in the military herself.  The English spelling of Lesley is feminine, and Leslie masculine, in the UK… just the opposite of here in the United States.  I guess my mom won out when it came to the spelling of the name…

This pipe was a real mess just like the other ones in the collection. I was curious to see what it would look like when I unpack it. I was surprised at how good it looked. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish on the bowl looked really good when I got it. The rim top looked much better and the inner and outer edges were looking good. Jeff had cleaned the internals and scrubbed the exterior of the stem and soaked them in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked very good other than the deep tooth marks and chatter in the surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took several photos of the pipe from the side and then got called away and did not finish taking photos. Here is what I have.   I forgot to take photos of the condition of the rim top and stem and when I came back to work on the pipe I just jumped in to do the restoration. I decided to clean up the darkening and smoothing of the rim top first. I used a brass bristle brush to work over the surface of the briar. When I was finished it looked better.     I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoebrush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain and the separate finishes really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The bowl really looks good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks with black super glue. I built up the edge of the button at the same time. I set it aside to dry. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to re-cut a sharp edge on the button on both sides and to flatten the repaired areas.  I sanded the stem to remove the oxidation that was on the surface and to smooth out the repaired areas. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point the stem is looking better and the tooth marks are gone.  I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish and a cotton pad to remove remnants of oxidation and to further blend in the sanding. The stem was showing some promise at this point in the process. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. I finished by wiping it down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil and buffing it to a 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 pipe back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a heavier touch 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 combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. This little Capri Prince must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it from Jennifer. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This is one that will go on the rebornpipes online store shortly. If you want to carry on the pipe trust of George Rex Leghorn let me know. Thank you Jennifer for trusting us with his pipes. 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.

New Life for a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 510 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a Savinelli Capri Bulldog. This Capri Bulldog has a Sea Rock finish on the bowl and shank. There are twin rings separating the cap from the bowl. The diamond shank flows well into diamond saddle.  I really like this style of rustication and the tactile nature of the pipe in your hand. It only gets better as the briar is heated during a smoke. The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the left underside of the shank and reads Capri over Root Briar over the shape number 510. Next that is stamped Savinelli Italy. The rim top is rusticated and it is filled in with a lava overflow. It was hard to know what the inner edge looked like due to the cake and lava. There was a thick cake in the bowl. The pipe was dirty and dusty in all of the nooks and crannies of the rustication. The saddle stem was vulcanite and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. It was oxidized and had some calcification on the end. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show the general condition of the pipe before he started his clean up. Jeff took some close-up photos of the rim top and bowl from various angles to show the overall condition. There is thick coat of lava in f the grooves and almost flattening the rustication. You can also see the cake in the bowl. It was a well loved pipe and smoked a lot by the previous pipe man. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish on the pipe. The photos show the beautiful sea rock style rustication around the bowl. Under the dust and grime it was a nice looking bowl. I think it will be a beautiful bulldog pipe once it is restored. He took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the shank. On the shank it was stamped Capri over Root Briar over the shape number 510. Running perpendicular to that it was stamped Savinelli over Italy.The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. It is dirty and has calcification on both sides at the button. There is also some tooth chatter and some light tooth marks with some damage to the button edge. The third photo shows the flow of the stem and shank. You can also see a remnant of the Savinelli S Shield logo on the stem.I have always like the Savinelli Capri Root Briar finish so I was glad to be working on this one. When I received it Jeff had once again done an amazing job cleaning the pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and got rid of the cake. He cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife so that we could see the walls of the bowl and assess for damage. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and alcohol. He scrubbed the exterior with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed the pipe under warm water. He dried it off with a cloth and then let it air dry. The stem was scrubbed with Soft Scrub and soaked in Before & After Deoxidizer. It came out looking very good. The finish on the bowl and the rim top cleaned up beyond my expectations. I took pictures of the pipe to show how it looked when I unpacked it. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show how clean it was. Jeff had been able to remove the entire thick lava coat and the rim looked very good. The inner edge of the rim and the ridges and valleys of the plateau looked good. The stem looked good just some light tooth chatter and several deeper tooth marks on the button.Even the stamping cleaned up well and is still very clear and readable. Because the pipe was rusticated and so clean my work was pretty minimal. I cleaned up some of the darkening and smoothed out the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the smooth briar with my fingertips and the plateau and sandblasted side with a horsehair shoe brush. The product is a great addition to the restoration work. It enlivens, enriches and protects the briar while giving it a deep glow. I appreciate Mark Hoover’s work in developing this product. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to addressing the issues with the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a Bic lighter to try and raise them a bit. Remember vulcanite has “memory” and if the marks are not sharp edge the heat well raise them. In this case while they came up some on the blade there were still two deep marks. I filled in the remaining tooth marks on the button edge with clear CA glue and set the stem aside to dry.I sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to further blend in the repairs. I started the polishing process with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the stem with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish from a tin of it I have in the drawer here. It is a gritty red paste (similar in grit to red Tripoli) that I rub on with my finger tips and work it into the surface of the stem and button and buff it off with a cotton pad. It gives me a bit of a head start on the polishing work.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I buffed the stem with a soft cloth to raise the shine. I wiped the stem down with Briarville’s No Oxy Oil to preserve and protect the stem surface. I am on the homestretch with this Savinelli Made Capri Root Briar Bulldog 510! As always I am excited to finish a pipe that I am working on. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I used a gentle touch to keep the polish from building up in the rustication of the bowl. 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 and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like along with the polished vulcanite stem. This Capri Bulldog is a nice looking pipe. It is quite comfortable in hand and should be so when smoking. It is quite light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It is another beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store soon. You can find it in the section of Pipes by Italian Pipe Makers. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.

New Life for a Savinelli Capri Bruna 310 Cherrywood


Blog by Steve Laug

I don’t remember where Jeff picked up this old pipe but it is a shape that I like to work on. It was a mess with lava overflowing a thickly caked bowl and filling in rusticated rim top. The rusticated finish was very dirty and had darkened around the bowl where the hand had held it and where the flame of the lighter had touched the rim in the lighting process. The pipe had a classic Capri Sea Rock style rustication that was very dirty. The stem was a mess with oxidation, calcification near the button and tooth chatter and marks ahead of the button on both sides. The stem was stuck in the oxidized vulcanite shank extension due to the buildup of tars and oils. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the bowl and shank and under a bright light with magnification I could read Savinelli over Capri Bruna on the bottom of the bowl. On the shank it was stamped with the Savinelli S shield and next to that 10 (shape number) over Italy. The pipe was a oldtimer and had seen a lot of use. It was obvious to me that this pipe was some pipeman’s favourite smoker. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup process to show the condition it was in when he found it. The next photos show the stamping on the heel of the bowl and the shank.Jeff had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil soap and removed the dust and grime that had accumulated in the sea rock style rustication. The finish looked dry and tired but the rustication was in very good condition once it had been scrubbed. He had been able to remove the grime and oils from the sides of the bowl leaving it clean and evenly coloured. The rim top looked much better though some darkening remained in the grooves along the inner edge of the bowl and rim top toward the back. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the interior of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe came to me clean and ready to do the restoration. The stem and shank extension were heavily oxidized. I took some photos of the pipe to show the condition at this point in the process. I took some photos of the rim top to show the darkening to the surface of the rim that I would need to spend some time on. There seemed to be some deeply ground in tars and oils almost filling in the grooves of the rustication on the top surface toward the back of the bowl. I also took close up photos of the stem and vulcanite shank extension to show the oxidation of those areas. The stem had some tooth chatter and marks on the surface near the button. There were some tooth marks in the surface of the top and underside of the button edge.I began my clean up work with the rim top. I scrubbed at the surface of the rim with a brass bristle wire brush and was able to remove much of the lava build up in the rustication. It was still darkened but looked much better.I sanded the oxidation on the shank extension with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to break it down and reveal the black vulcanite underneath the surface. In handling the bowl the briar began to darken from the oils of my hands. The pipe was beginning to show some promise. I polished the vulcanite shank extension with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the extension down after each pad with Obsidian Oil to enliven the rubber. I polished the vulcanite shank extension with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to give a deeper shine to the rubber. As I photographed the bowl for the above photos I could see that the rim top needed more attention. I scrubbed the top of the bowl with the brass bristle brush to remove move of the lava on the rim top. The photo shows the cleaner top surface. There is still some darkening on the right side inner edge and the back inner edge of the bowl.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the briar bowl and the rim top as well as the briar shank. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers, working it into the exterior of the pipe. I worked it into the rusticated surface of the briar with a horsehair shoe brush. After it had been sitting for a little while, I buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The pipe really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I had removed the stem when I was working on other pipes and put it, along with two other stems to soak in a Before & After Deoxidizer bath. I left them in the bath for about 4 hours to soak and break through the oxidation. I took the stems out of the bath and rinsed them under running water and scrubbed them dry with a coarse piece of cloth. I took photos of the three stems before I continued my work. The military style bit was much cleaner and the oxidation had broken down. I flamed the surface of the vulcanite to minimize the tooth marks. It worked very well. I used some black super glue to build up the top and underside of the button and fill in the remaining tooth mark on the underside of the stem near the button. Once it had cured I filed the edge of the button with a needle file to clean that up and smooth out the sharp edge. There was some residual oxidation on the stem surface so I sanded it out with 220 grit sandpaper. I worked on it until all the oxidation and the light tooth chatter was removed.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil. I set the stem aside to dry. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish 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. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The rustication and the vulcanite shank extension came alive with the buffing and work well with the polished black vulcanite stem. Together the pipe looks much better than when I began and has a rich look. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. I will be adding this beautiful Capri Bruna Cherrywood Sitter to the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection and carrying on the trust. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another Savinelli Capri. I really like the look and feel of this finish.

Breathing Life into a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 141KS Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is another pipe from the estate of a Vancouver pipe smoker whose widow left them with a local Pipe Shop. I was asked to clean them and sell them for the shop. The photos show the pipe when I brought it to my work table. It is a nice Savinelli Capri Root Briar with an almost Sea Rock type finish. The bowl was heavily caked with a lava coat on the top of the rim. It was hard to tell how the inner and outer edge of the rim actually looked until the bowl was reamed. The exterior of the bowl was dirty and covered with grime dust in the deep grooves of the finish. The stem had the same tooth marks and chatter on the top and underside near the button as the rest of the pipes in this estate. There was calcification on the first inch from what looked like a Softee bit. The stem has the Savinelli Shield S logo on the top. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank with the words Savinelli Capri over Root Briar. There is a Shield S logo next to that and the shape number 141KS at the shank/stem junction. I have included a Savinelli Shape Chart and circled the 141KS in red. It is a billiard with a tapered stem.I took photos of the pipe when it arrived so I would have a base point before I did any clean up or restoration. When I went back to the States after Christmas to visit my parents and brothers I took a box of these pipes with me so that I could have Jeff clean them for me. When they came back to Canada they looked like different pipes. He had reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned it up with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to clean off the grime on the finish and the heavy overflow of lava on the rim top. He cleaned up the internals of the shank, mortise and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove all of the oils and tars in the pipe. When it came back to Vancouver it was a quite different pipe. I took pictures of it to show the condition at this point – the bowl looked great and the stem was very oxidized. I took photos of the rim top and the stem to show their condition. Jeff was able to clean out the bowl completely and the rim top. He removed the tars and lava and left behind a clean top that showed all of the original rustication and looked very good. The stem was oxidized and there was tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button and on the surface edges of the button itself.I am working on five of the pipes from that estate at the same time. I put all of the stems in a bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak. I submerged them all of the stems in the bath and let them soak overnight to break down the oxidation.I took the stem out of the deoxidizer and rinsed it under warm water to rinse off the mixture. I blew air through the stem and ran water through it as well to rinse out the mixture there as well. The stem still had some oxidation spots but it was all on the surface as seen in the first two photos below. I painted the surface of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the tooth marks. One of the benefits of the lighter is that it burned off the sulfur on the surface of the stem. It did not take too much work for the vulcanite to return to its smooth condition. I sanded out the lighter tooth marks and chatter with 220 grit sandpaper until there were two deep tooth marks on the underside of the stem that remained. I filled those in with clear super glue and laid the stem aside to let the repairs cure. While the repairs on the stem were  curing I rubbed down the briar with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the nooks and crannies of the rusticated briar to clean, enliven and protect the finish. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed it with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl now. Once the repairs had dried/cured I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the bowl. It took a lot of sanding to smooth them all out.I polished out the scratches in the vulcanite with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper and with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanded with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with Obsidian Oil. After sanding with the 12000 grit pad I polished the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. With the stem polished I put it back on the pipe and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a more aggressive buff of Blue Diamond. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and 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 finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I will be posting it on the rebornpipes store very soon. It should make a nice addition to your pipe rack if you have been looking for a reasonably priced pipe with a Sea Rock style finish. It should be a great smoking pipe with a good hand feel. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/8 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 inches. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked this pipe over.

Putting the Rusticated Rim back on a Savinelli Capri 121 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

One of the gift pipes received from a friend when I repaired his pipe was a beautiful little Savinelli Capri 121 Pot. I love the finish on the Capris. There is something about the rusticated finish that adds a tactile dimension to the pipe that I thoroughly appreciate. This pipe was no exception. The finish on the bowl was in excellent condition though at some point in its life it had been topped. The typical rustication on the rim surface had been sanded smooth and the rim had been stained with a reddish brown stain. The internals of the pipe were very clean. The bowl had been reamed and the airway in the mortise was spotless. The stamping on the bottom of the shank was sharp and legible – it reads Savinelli Capri over Root Briar and the Savinelli shield and next to that the shape #121 over Italy.

The stem had seen better days but it was still repairable. It was oxidized and the gold stamping was faint on top of the saddle. There were tooth marks on the top and the bottom of the stem. The ones on top had been repaired and filled with a white looking epoxy. It was hard and smooth but it was white and it looked really bad with the brown oxidation on the stem. These would need to be removed and repaired when I worked on the stem. The tooth marks on the underside of the stem were not as deep and could easily be remedied by sanding the stem. The inside of the stem was also very clean. I took the following photos when I brought the pipe to the work table.Capri1

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Capri4 I took some close-up photos of the rim and the stem to show the condition of both. The topping job on the rim actually was very well done. The refinish on it was impeccable – no scratches or grooves, just a clean smooth surface. The stem shows the story I mentioned above. The top side view shows the repairs and the underside view shows the dents.Capri5

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Capri7 Taking care of the dents on the underside of the stem was an easy matter. They were not too deep so I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and they disappeared.Capri8 The top of the stem was another matter. I wanted to remove the white repairs. I sanded the stem until they were four distinct repairs. Then I used the dental pick to pick away at the white epoxy repair until it was pitted and gave me a new divot to work with. I used some black super glue to refill the divots and cover the white that had been present before.Capri9

Capri10 I sprayed the glue with an accelerator and then sanded the repair with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the stem. In the next photo you can see that the white no longer was visible. The trick would be to keep it that way!Capri11

Capri12 Now it was time to address the rim. I was not sure about rusticating it because it actually looked quite fine the way it was. I went online and found a photo of a Capri that was the same shape and the rim was rusticated. I liked the look of the rim blending into the finish of the bowl. The decision was made. Now I had to work to get a similar look.Capri13 took out my Dremel and my assortment of burrs. I was pretty certain that I would use them all in the process of rusticating the rim with a deep and pebbled look.Capri14 I started with a simple cylindrical burr to carve some random swirls across the rim. I did this lightly at first and then deepened them. At this point I kept to the middle of the rim as I had ideas about rusticating the edges a little differently.Capri15 I followed that by using the ball burr to deepen the swirls and work on the inner and outer edges of the rim. At this point the surface was beginning to look good. But too me it was not rustic enough for the Capri finish on the bowl – it was too tame looking.Capri16 I used cone burr next with a cross hatch pattern to randomize the pattern even more and deepen the grooves in the surface and edges.Capri17 I next moved onto another cone burr with a spiral pattern and continued to work on the rim pattern. It was getting close to the point I was aiming for.Capri18 I used the last cone burr that had a swirl pattern in the opposite direction and went over the rim again to further accent the roughness.Capri19 I used the cylindrical burr to cut some of the lines between the divots and edges of the bowl and make it more craggy looking.Capri20 At this point in the process I was finished with the burrs and I put a coat of medium brown stain on the high points in the rustication using a stain pen. I followed that up with using a black Sharpie pen to fill in the divots and low spots on the rustication.Capri21

Capri22 I scrubbed the newly stained rim with a brass bristle brush to knock off some of the high spots and get a more burnished look like the bowl sides. I still was not happy with the stain so I used the sharpie again to darken the low spots and grooves. I then restained the rim with the dark brown stain pen. The colour was very close to the sides of the bowl.Capri23

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Capri25 I could have probably stopped there but I did not. I studied the photo of the rim above and noted that there were some striations or cuts in the surface of the rim that connected all the rustication and gave it a distressed look. I have a serrated edge letter opener here that I thought might work to give me more of that look. I cut the surface from every direction with the edge of the letter opener and carved and hacked it to distress it. I used the brass brush once again and then recut the rim with the opener.Capri26 I restained the rim with the black Sharpie and the dark brown pen. And then gave it a light buff on the wheel with Blue Diamond. I say light because if I had pressed any harder the polishing material would have gone into the grooves and made a mess. The rim looked good to me. The finish was done and all that remained was to wax it with some Conservator’s Wax.Capri27 I gave the bowl and rim several coats of Conservator’s Wax (works like Halcyon II on rusticated finishes) and buffed it with a shoe brush to polish and give a shine. I wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh pads to begin the polishing process. It was tricky around the stamp on the shank so I had to work carefully with the pad to get as much of the oxidation as possible.Capri28

Capri29 I buffed the stem with White Diamond to further polish it and then sanded it with 4000 grit wet dry sandpaper to really work on the oxidation at the shank. It is a finicky part of the process because of the weak stamping. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and then progressed to 3200-4000 grit micromesh pads. Another coat of oil preceded the final sanding with 6000-12000 grit pads. I gave the stem a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.Capri30

Capri31 I buffed the pipe with a shoe brush and then with a microfibre cloth. I gave it several more coats of the Conservator’s Wax and polished it to a shine. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond and gave it several coats of carnauba to protect it and then buffed the stem with a clean buff to raise the shine. I hand buffed the entirety one final time with a shoe brush and then took the finished photos below. This was a fun project. You can see that the white stem repairs have disappeared and the rustication on the rim fits the overall look of the pipe far better than the smooth finish that was there before. Thanks for looking. Capri32

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