Tag Archives: Savinelli Extra Pipes

Restoring a Savinelli Extra 606KS with an Accidental Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe from the estate lot that I brought to my work table was a Savinelli Extra Bent Billiard. It is stamped Savinelli in an oval over Extra on the left side of the shank and on the right side was the Savinelli shield with an S inside and to the left of that was the shape number 606KS over Italy. It was a great looking piece of briar with swirled grain on the left side of the bowl and birdseye on the right side and cross grain and mixed grain around the shank and the front and back of the bowl. Even the rim has some nice grain.

The odd thing was that the stem that was on the pipe was obviously not the right one. The diameter of the shank and the stem did not match. It was a saddle stem and was a little shorter than the original one. It was obvious that the estate owner had put the stem in place on the shank and used it on this pipe because it had the same tooth chatter and marks as the rest of the lot.

My brother took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. I have included those here. There was a cake in the bowl and the lava had overflowed onto the rim top. The lava was heavier on the back side of the rim top. The inner bevel and the outer edge of the bowl were protected and they looked to be in good shape under the grime.He took some close up photos of the bowl sides and bottom of the bowl to show the grain and the condition of the pipe. The next photos show the tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides of the stem near the button. Even though it was the incorrect stem it was definitely the one that had been used by the owner of the rest of the pipes.My brother did a thorough cleaning of the pipe – the bowl had been reamed and the finish scrubbed with Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime and the tarry build up on the rim top and beveled inner edge. The inside had been scrubbed clean as well. When the pipe arrived in Vancouver it was very clean. I took the next four photos to show the condition of the pipe when it arrived here. I took a close up photo of the rim and the inside of the bowl to show how clean both were. He had really done a great job on the bowl and rim.The next two photos show the condition of the stem but what you should notice is how the diameter of the shank and the stem do not match. The stem is slightly smaller in diameter than the shank. The joint is circled in red in both photos below. Look at the difference in the shank and the stem diameter inside the red circle.My brother has picked up my habit of picking up loose stems along with pipes and he saw a stem sitting at the sale. It was priced high so he left it and went back the next day to pick it up half price. He bought it, cleaned it and put it in the box of cleaned pipes that he sent to Vancouver. When I unpacked the box I put the stem on the top of my work table. When I was working on this pipe I happened to glance at the stem on the table. It looked like it was the correct diameter stem for the Savinelli. There was a faint Savinelli Crown stamp on the left side of the stem. I was pretty sure that this was the right stem for the pipe. I removed the incorrect stem from the shank and put the new stem in place there. The fit was perfect and it looked really good. The new stem also had the characteristic tooth chatter and marks as all of the other stems. They are on both sides of the stem near the button. The stem was also lightly oxidized.I sanded the tooth marks and chatter with 320 grit sandpaper to remove them from the surface of the vulcanite. Fortunately like the other stems the tooth marks and chatter were not too deep in the stem surface.I ran a pipe cleaner and alcohol through the airway in the shank and stem and folded it and wiped the inside of the mortise clean. The pipe was spotless on the inside.I cleaned up the remnants of cake in the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I scraped the cake back to bare briar and smoothed out the bowl walls.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil. At this point the light of the flash revealed more oxidation on the stem.I put the stem in the shank and buffed the pipe with red Tripoli to remove more of the oxidation from the stem surface. I polished it again with 3200-4000 grit micromesh pads and rubbed it down with another coat of Obsidian Oil. It is definitely improving but there is still oxidation that is showing through in the flash.I buffed it hard with Blue Diamond with the stem in the shank and was able to remove the remaining oxidation. I polished it with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it another coat of Obsidian Oil.I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond a final time to polish it and remove the small minute scratches. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine in the stem and briar. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful grained piece of briar and with the correct stem it looks much like it must have looked the day it left the factory. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outer bowl diameter: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ inches. This beauty will also be going on the rebornpipes store and can be added to your collection. If it interests you contact me by email at slaug@uniserve.com or by private message on Facebook.

Reworking Rustication on a Savinelli Extra Lumberman


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother and I picked up this long shanked Canadian when I was in Idaho. We bought it from the same seller that had all of the Calabash pipes. It is a wire wheel rustication that follows the bowl at an angle and runs almost chevron like on the top and bottom of the shank. It is a large pipe. The dimensions are: length – 7 ½ inches, height – 2 inches, external diameter – 1 ½ inches, inner bowl diameter – ¾ inches. There were some obvious issues with the pipe that I will point out through the following photos. First of all the big picture look at the pipe. It is stamped Savinelli Extra Lumberman on the underside of the shank. Next to that it is stamped Italy. In the second photo below you can see the line where the two sections of shank are joined. The next two photos of the rim top and the underside of the bowl and shank show some of the other issues. The rim top was worn smooth in places and the front right outer edge was rough from knocking the pipe out on hard objects. There was also some cake on the wall that needed to come out on the front right of the inner edge. The underside of the shank shows a hairline crack above the Lumberman and Italy stamping and another at the edge of the bowl just above my thumb. There was also a hard patch of something stuck to the bottom front of the bowl that was hard and rough. I am not sure if it is a repair or what but it will need to be addressed.The band on the shank is part of a shank repair that had been done on the pipe. The shank had been smoothed out and most of the rustication removed under and in front of the band. There was a repaired crack on the underside of the shank. The band was loose on the shank as the glue had dried. The band is an aftermarket repair band and not original. The replacement stem has been poorly fitted to the shank end. The diameter of the oval stem does not match that of the shank and band.There were definitely a lot of little issues that needed to be addressed on this long shanked Canadian but there was something about it that attracted me to its potential. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper and removed the damage to the outer and inner edges of the rim.I pressed some briar dust into the small crack on the right side of the bowl toward the bottom and added some clear superglue. I repaired the hairline crack on the shank and on the lower left side of the bowl – drilling the ends carefully with a microdrill and then filling in the crack with briar dust and super glue. I circled the small cracks in red in the photos below.I used a series of dental burrs and drill bits on the Dremel to replicate the striated pattern of the wire rustication on the bowl and shank. It took some slow and careful handwork. I ran the Dremel at a speed of 5 so that I could easily maneuver it around the bowl and shank to match the pattern of the rustication. I used it to remove most of the thick, hard spot on the front of the bowl and match the rustication pattern surrounding it. I reworked the rustication on the rim of the pipe. I repaired the rustication under and against the band on the end of the shank and the repair on the underside of the shank. The first go at it I used the dental burrs but would later have to use files and rasps to cut the proper pattern in the briar. The next photos show the progress of the rustication. I slid the band off the shank, put the stem in place and shaped the stem to fit the curvature of the shank. I worked on it with 220 grit sandpaper until the flow of the shank and the stem matched. I personally like a smooth junction between the stem and the shank and the only way to do that correctly is to remove the band and rework that area before gluing the band back in place. The next two photos show the fit of the stem to the band and also the striated rustication pattern. Progress is being made.I slid the band off and put white all-purpose glue around the shank where the band would go. I pressed the band in place and wiped away the excess glue. I let the glue under the band set until the band was tight against the shank.I gave the bowl and shank an under stain of dark brown aniline based stain. I applied it and flamed it to set it in the briar. I repeated the process until the coverage was what I wanted.I hand buffed the pipe with a cotton cloth to give it a basic polish. I wanted to see what the coverage looked like once the stain had dried. I took photos to show how the pipe looked once I had gotten to this point in the restoration. The rim did not look right to me so I used a file to cut lines into the rim top. I used a large rasp and also a set of needle files to hand cut the lines. The photo below shows the lines after I used the wood rasp. I stained the rim top again with dark brown stain to have a look.I used some smaller needle files to cut lines between the lines that were already on the rim from the rasp. I wanted the pattern to look more like the patterns on the bowl sides and shank. I restained it with a dark brown stain. Once the stain was flamed and dried I gave the bowl a coat of cherry Danish Oil as a top coat that would add some contrast to the look of the briar and blend the all the repairs and the joint of the two parts of the shank into one cohesive looking piece. I hand buffed the bowl and shank with a soft cloth and then gave it a light buff with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. The contrast looks really good and the coverage makes the repairs blend in really well with the rest of the bowl and shank. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wetsanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I buffed the stem between the 2400-3200 grit pads and then finished with the pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each grit of pad and then a final time after the 12000 grit pad. I set the stem aside to dry. There were still some faint sanding marks on the stem showing so I buffed the stem with Red Tripoli and then carefully buffed out the scratches with Blue Diamond on the wheel. I was able to polish the stem and it shone nicely. I buffed the nickel band and then lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and gave the bowl and shank several coats of Conservator’s wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beauty and should provide a cool smoke to whoever wants to add it to their collection. I will be posting it in the rebornpipes store soon. Thanks for looking.