Tag Archives: Savinelli “Lollo” pipes

New Life for a Small Savinelli Lollo Pocket Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is one that Jeff picked up on eBay in 2016 from San Francisco, California, USA. That means that it has been sitting here for over 4 years and I am just now getting to work on it. This seems to be the story of my life these days. I am trying to work through the large backlog of pipes that I have sitting in boxes in my workshop/office and try to catch up a bit. It is an interesting pocket style pipe that has a mix of grains around the bowl and shank that really are quite nice. The bowl has a rich reddish brown colour combination that highlights grain. It bears a heavy varnish coat that I will want to remove. The pipe has some grime ground into the surface of the smooth finish and on the rim top. This pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and has the Savinelli “S” shield logo with Savinelli stamped in an arch underneath the shield. That is followed by the stamping ‘LOLLO’ [over] Pipe. There is a thin cake in the bowl, but the top and inner edge of the bowl looks very good. The stubby vulcanite stem was oxidized, calcified and there were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The pipe looks to be in good condition under the grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup. He took photos of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see some scratching from an earlier reaming on the back wall of the bowl. There was a small spot of the finish missing on the rim top toward the back of the bowl. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.It was time to work on the pipe. As usual Jeff had done a thorough cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol. The pipe looked good. I took a photo of the bowl, rim top and stem to show the condition. The inner edge of the bowl was in good condition. There were a few spots on the rim top where the varnish had come off. The vulcanite stem had light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button edges.  The stamping on the underside of the shank is clear and readable even with my poor photo. It reads as noted above.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. It is a interesting looking pipe that should clean up very well. It also has a short stinger in the tenon.I started working on the pipe by wiping the bowl down with acetone to remove the spotty varnish coat from the bowl and shank. I wiped it down with a cotton pad until the varnish coat was gone and the grain began to stand out.    I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped down the bowl after each sanding pad.    I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out. I set the bowl aside and turned to the stem. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. The photo below shows the polished stem. This nicely grained Savinelli Lollo Pocket Pipe with its short snub nosed vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The briar is clean and really came alive. The rich walnut coloured stain gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain really popped. I put the vulcanite 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 Lollo Pocket Pipe 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: 4 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 38grams/1.34oz.Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Repairing a Broken Tenon on a Birks Savinelli “Lollo”


Blog by Steve Laug

I received a call from a local pipeman who said he had broken the stem off of his favourite pocket pipe. He had been given my name by a local pipe shop. He stopped by and dropped off a small bag with the parts of his pipe in it. He had dropped the pipe down the stairs and it had bounced down to the bottom in two pieces. He was able to remove the broken tenon but the damage was done. The pipe was stamped Birks and next to that it was stamped “Lollo” over Savinelli over Italy. The pipe was actually in really good shape. The bowl was clean and the briar had some nice grain all around the sides, top and bottom. The rim was clean and there was a very light cake inside. The broken tenon had a stinger in the tenon that he wanted to preserve. The stem was oxidized and showed some tooth chatter on both sides near the button. I told him I would have a look at the pipe and decide whether to replace the tenon or the stem. He was fine either way as long as the pipe was the same when he picked it up. I put the parts of the pipe on my work table and took photos of the pipe before I started working on it. I went through my box of tenons and found one that was the proper size for the mortise. I use threaded replacement tenons on stems like this. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to smooth out the rough edges of the broken tenon left on the stem. I used a sharp knife to bevel the edge of the airway in the end of the stem. Beveling it keeps the drill bit centred when I drill out the airway for the threaded end of the tenon.I chucked a drill bit the same diameter as the threaded end of the replacement tenon.  The photo below shows the tenon on the end of the drill bit. I lined it up before drilling it so that the stem was straight and the airway would not be curved. I drilled the airway to the same depth as the threaded end of the tenon. Once the airway was straight I used tap to cut threads in the airway in the stem so that I could turn the new tenon in place. I put a drop of glue on the threads of the tenon and quickly turned it into the stem until it sat flush against the face of the stem. I pushed the stinger into the tenon end and aligned it so that the slot in it was facing the top of the stem. I checked the alignment on the new tenon and all was straight and ready.The oxidation on the stem really showed up under the bright light of the flash. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I brought it back to the table and sanded it with the final three 6000-12000 grit pads. After the final pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and gently worked the pipe over on the buffing wheel using Blue Diamond to polish the bowl and shank. I used a gentle touch on the pipe when I was buffing to polish the bowl. I buffed the stem with a harder touch to raise the gloss on the rubber. I gave the bowl and 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 finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It looks better than it did in the beginning. It is the first little Savinelli “Lollo” I have worked on. It is well made and a beautiful piece of briar. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 4 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Diameter of the bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Diameter of the bowl: 3/4 inches. I will be calling the pipeman who dropped it off for repair. I think he will enjoy his pipe!