Tag Archives: Savinelli Made Pipes

Moving yet another one of my own – a Savinelli Oscar Lucite 313 Prince


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another pipe that I have taken out of my personal collection as I just do not use enough to warrant keeping it. This pipe was one that I kept from a group of pipes Jeff and I purchased a few years ago. It was not used very often and I believe it is one that I actually found unsmoked or lightly smoked when I picked it up. It smells of faint Virginia tobaccos so there is no real ghost in the pipe. The airway in the shank and the mortise were quite clean. The smooth finish and rim top were in good condition. There was some darkening on the inner edge of the bowl on the backside. The stamping on the pipe is very simple on the left side of the shank it is stamped Oscar [over] LUCITE. On the right side it is stamped Savinelli S shield logo followed by the shape number 313 [over] Italy. On the underside it is stamped Savinelli [over] Product. There was a gold shooting star on the left side of the stem. The finish is a natural brown with just time and some light polishing adding colour. The rich brown finish goes well with the Lucite/acrylic stem which is in good condition with some light tooth chatter and some tooth marks ahead of the button on both sides. I took photos of the pipe before I did my clean up work on it. I took a photo of the bowl and rim top to verify the description above. I also took photos of the stem surface showing the light chatter and tooth marks on both side. I took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.  I took the stem off the bowl and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of proportion of the pipe. You can also see the around the side of bowl and the shank and it is a beauty. Now it was time to work on the pipe. I worked on the inner edge of the bowl 220 grit sandpaper to give the inner edge a slight bevel and clean up the damage that was present there. I used a ball and a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. The rim came out looking quite good. I polished the rim top and the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the dust and debris. The rim top polished out and matched the oil cured look of the bowl and shank. I cleaned the mortise and airways in the shank and stem with cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol to remove the debris and tars from my smoking. You can see that it was not too bad as I tend to keep my pipes clean. The bowl was in such good condition that decided to give the bowl and shank a coating of Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush 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 photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on the stem surface and button with 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to smooth out the marks on the surface of both sides.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I rubbed it down between pads with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Fine and Extra Fine Pipe Stem Polish. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil and buffed it off. It is a beautiful stem. It is good to put the final touches on another of my own pipes that I am selling – Savinelli Made Oscar Lucite Prince 313. I put the pipe back together and buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the beautiful grain and the polished vulcanite saddle stem. This smooth Oscar Lucite 313 Prince is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 38 grams/1.34 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe that I will soon be putting on the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection send me an email or a message. 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 an Oscar Aged Briar 704 Birks Liverpool


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a Savinelli Made Liverpool that we purchased in 2018 from a fellow in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. It is a thin pencil shank pipe in a shape that I would call a Liverpool from the  flow of the stem and shank. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Oscar [over] Aged Briar. On the right side it is stamped with a Savinelli “S” shield followed by the shape number 704 [over] Italy. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Birks. The stem bears the stamp of BB with the left B stamped backwards. The bowl had a thick cake and lava overflow on the rim. It was hard to estimate the condition of the rim top with the cake and lava coat but I was hoping it had been protected from damage. The bowl was smooth and a natural finish. The finish was dusty and tired but had some nice grain under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The stem was dirty, oxidized, calcified and had tooth chatter and deep tooth marks near the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff captured the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us in the photos. The cake is very thick and heavy. The next two photos of the stem show the top and underside of the stem. It is oxidized and calcified an you can see the tooth marks and chatter on the surface of both sides. Jeff took some great photos of the sides of the bowl and heel showing the worn finish and what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. It will be interesting to see what happens as the pipe is cleaned and restored.He captured the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clear and readable. The left side reads Oscar [over] Aged Briar. On the right side it has the Savinelli Shield S followed by the shape number 704 [over] Italy. On the underside it is stamped Birks. The stem bears an interesting BB logo. All of the stamping is understandable as it is a typical Savinelli made pipe. The only stamp that leaves me a bit mystified is the Birks stamp. I know that Birks is a designer, manufacturer and retailer of jewellery, timepieces, silverware and gifts, with stores and manufacturing facilities located in Canada and the United States. I wonder if that is the connection with the stamping on this pipe. Was it a gift made by Birks and sold as such? Was it a line they sold in their stores? I have worked on these in the past and that is the best I can find.

The pipe has been here for a few years now so it is about time I worked on it. I took it out of the box where I had stored it and looked it over. It was amazingly clean and looked like a different pipe. 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 bowl looked very good. The rim top showed a lot of darkening but the inner bevel was in good condition. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. When he took it out of the soak it came out looking far better. I took photos before I started my part of the work.   I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top is clean but there is a lot of darkening around the top and edges. The bowl itself looks very clean. The close up photos of the stem show that is it very clean and the deep tooth marks are very visible.I took photos of the stamping because they had cleaned up very well. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the bowl and to give a sense of the proportion of the pipe. It is a nice looking pencil shank Liverpool.I decided to take care of the damage on the rim top and inner edge first. I worked over the rim top and the inner edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and was able to remove much of the darkening. Once I had finished the bowl was round and the edge looked very good.I polished the briar and the shank with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I was able to blend in the repairs into the side of the bowl. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the smooth briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for fifteen minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. I filled the tooth marks with clear CA glue. Once it had hardened I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the vulcanite. I touched up the BB stamp on the left side of the taper stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I rubbed it on and worked it into the stamping with a tooth pick. Once it had been sitting for 5 minutes I buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The BB was worn but it definitely looks better. I believe that it is the logo for Birks!I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I gave the stem a final coat of Obsidian Oil to preserve and protect it. This Savinelli Made Oscar Aged Briar 704 Liverpool was another fun pipe to work on and I really was looking forward to seeing it come back together again. With the grime and debris gone from the finish it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The rich natural finish on the bowl looks really good with the polished black vulcanite stem. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ 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 33grams/1.16oz. This is truly a great looking Oscar Aged Briar. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be adding it to the Italian Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Restoring The Tinder Box Milano Pot Made by Savinelli


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me from another of our estate purchases. It has been around for a while waiting to be worked on. Jeff did the original photographs of the pipe in June of 2017. It is a beautifully grained Savinelli Made Pot that is really quite nice. The stamping is the clear and readable. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads The Tinder Box in an arch [over] Milano [over] Made in Italy. There is not a shape number stamped on either side of the pipe. The smooth finish had a lot of grime and dirt ground into the briar. The bowl was heavily caked and had an overflow of lava on the top of the rim. It was hard to know what the rim top and beveled inner edge of the bowl looked like under the grime. The vulcanite saddle stem and was calcified, oxidized and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside but the surface of the button. There was a deep trough bitten into the top of the button but it did not go through the button. There was not any logo on the stem. The grain on the bowl of the pipe was gorgeous with even the few small fills well blended into the finish. The pipe certainly had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. The inner bevel on the rim does not look too bad and the outer edge looks good. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification, light chatter and tooth marks as well as the damage to the top of the button. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some interesting grain under the grime. Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the sides of the shank and the top of the stem. It reads as noted above. Since Jeff follows the same pattern of work in his cleanup we do not include photos but rather just a simple summary. Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up 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. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove the lava build up on the rim top and you could see the damages to the top and edges of the rim. I think this pipe may well been before we worked with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Deoxidizer so he cleaned the internals and externals. The stem was clean but oxidized. I took photos of what the pipe looked like when I brought to my worktable. The rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. The rim top and inner edges of the rim showed some damage. The stem surface showed heavy oxidation remaining and some tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button. The worst damage was to the top of the button where there was a crease in the vulcanite.      I took a photo of the stamping on the left side if the shank. It reads as noted above.  Now it was time to do my work on the pipe. To remove the damage to the rim top and the edges of the bowl I topped it on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I also worked over the inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damages there.    I polished the bowl and the rim top, sides and shank with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. I carefully avoided the stamping on the top and underside of the shank so as not to damage the already faint stamping.     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 a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.  It helped to blend the stain into the rest of the bowl.      While I was working on the bowl the stem was soaking in a new product I received from Briarville Pipe Repair – Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. It is a liquid of about the same consistency as apple juice. The stem sat in the mixture for 2 ½ -3 hours. I removed the stem from the bath, scrubbed lightly with a tooth brush and dried if off with a paper towel. I was surprised that it was quite clean. Just some light oxidation on the top of the stem remained. The bath was dark with the removed oxidation of the seven stems. I cleaned out the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. I filled in the tooth marks on the top of the stem and rebuilt the button surface with black superglue. Once the glue cured I used a needle file to reshape the button and flatten the repairs. I sanded out the repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the stem. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  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.      This well made, classic Italian Made Tinder Box Milano Pot with a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rich finish that Milano used came alive 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 and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Milano Pot is a beauty and fits nicely 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 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

A Rebirth for a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 4011 Zulu from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

I have just over 20 more of Bob’s pipes to finish before I have completed the restoration of his estate so I am continuing to work on them. The next one from Bob Kerr’s Estate is a Savinelli Capri Root Briar Zulu. (Bob’s photo is to the left). If you have not “met” the man and would like to read a bit of the history of the pipeman, his daughter has written a great tribute that is worth a read. Because I have included it in most of the restorations of the estate to date I thought that I would leave it out this time. Check out some of the recent Dunhill restoration blogs that include the biographical notes about Bob (https://rebornpipes.com/2020/01/01/restoring-the-last-of-bob-kerrs-dunhills-a-1962-dunhill-bruyere-656-f-t-bent-billiard/).

The Savinelli Capri Root Briar Zulu has a rusticated finish (looks a lot like the Castello Sea Rock finish). It is a coral like rustication around the bowl that was filled in with dust and debris. It was stamped on underside of the shank. It is stamped Capri [over] Root Briar followed by Savinelli Italy and the shape number 4011. The finish was dirty with dust and grime ground into the bowl sides. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the rim top. The vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he did his cleanup. As I mentioned above the exterior of the pipe was very dirty – grime and grit ground in from years of use and sitting. The rim top was covered with a coat of thick lava that overflowed from the thick cake in the bowl. It was hard to know what the rim edges looked like because of the lava. Jeff took photos of the sides and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the briar around the bowl. You can also see some of the few fills in the briar in the photos.

The next photo show the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is very readable. It reads as noted above. The stem was dirty, calcified and oxidized with tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button.    I have always like the Savinelli Capri Root Briar finish so I was glad to be working on this one. With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipes with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. Once he finished he shipped them back to me. Bob’s pipes were generally real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. I was surprised to see how well it turned out. 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 looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. I took photos before I started my part of the work.  I took some close up photos of the rim top and the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top and the inner and outer edges of the bowl were in excellent condition. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.    I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.    I removed the stem for the shank and took a photo of the bowl and stem to give a picture of what it looked like. The heavy oxidation is very visible.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used a Bic lighter to “paint” the surface of the stem with the flame to lift the tooth marks on both sides of the stem. The heat lifted the tooth marks to the degree that was able to sand out the remaining marks on the stem surface.       I filled in the remaining divots with black super glue. I set the stem aside to let the glue cure. Once they cured I used a needle file to flatten repaired areas. I sanded out the remaining tooth dents in the top and underside of the stem with 220 sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I polished the vulcanite 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 left a little oxidation around the stamp so as not to damage it more.    This Savinelli Made Capri Root Briar 4011 Zulu from Bob Kerr’s estate cleaned up really well and looks very good. The mixed stain brown finish on the pipe is in great condition and works well with the polished vulcanite taper stem. 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 stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Capri Root Briar 4011 Zulu fits nicely in the hand and I think it will feel great as it heats up with a good tobacco. The tactile finish will add to the experience. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Refitting the stem  and restoring a Savinelli Made Rectangular Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a different looking Savinelli made Billiard. It had a flat shank and stem that are rectangular. It was functionally a sitter. It was a different looking piece of briar in that it is a mix of grains hidden beneath the dirt. There was one fill on the shank bowl junction on the right side of the bowl. The briar was very dirty. The bowl had a thick cake overflowing like lava onto the bevel of the rim top. It is hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looks like because it is buried under the cake and lava coat. The fit of the stem in the shank appeared to be a bit off but cleaning would make that clear. The variegated brown and gold acrylic stem was dirty, scratched and had some light tooth marks and chatter at the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before his cleanup work. The next photos capture the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see the work that is ahead of us in terms of cake and lava buildup.The grain around the bowl is a mix of cross grain and birdseye. The pipe follows the grain well. Jeff took photos to show how the grain is laid out. The stamping on the underside of the shank read as noted above. You can also see that the stem is poorly fit to the shank in this photo.The photos of the stem show the stem surface. The first photo shows the fit of the stem against the shank. It was a poorly fit stem. The stem has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Now it was time to work on my part of the restoration of the pipe. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was in decent condition with a bit of buildup on the rim top but virtually no cake in the bowl. He reamed the bowl with a Pipnet Reamer and then cleaned up the bowl walls 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 beveled rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. There is one fill on the right side at the shank bowl junction. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the grime. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. Once Jeff removed the lava on the inside edge of the rim top it was in pretty rough condition. There were cuts, nicks and burned areas all around the inner edge and the bowl was out of round from the damage. The outer edge of the bowl looked very good. The close up photos of the stem shows that it was very clean and there was some tooth marks and chatter on the stem just ahead of the button. The acrylic was very scratched.The fit of the stem in the shank is off. It looked like the shank end had been rounded slightly and the stem was definitely larger than even the straight portion of the shank. It was poorly fit and that makes me think it is a replacement stem. The question I needed to answer was how far to go with the refitting of the stem. I knew that I wanted to bring it down as close as possible so that transition between the shank and stem was smooth. I decided to work on this as the first item of my part of the restoration. I took some photos to try and capture the variation between the stem and shank. Hopefully you can see what I mean even with my poor photos. I have used red arrows to identify trouble areas.I probably spend an hour or more hand sanding the stem to fit the shank. Often I do that with the stem off and flatten it, constantly checking for progress. I left the stem in place on this pipe for much of the sanding process as I was seeking to make a smooth transition on an already rounded shank end. The photos below tell the story. The next two photos show the stem after much sanding my way through movies on Netflix. It is far better than when I began. The transitions on the sides are perfect while the top and underside I tried to accommodate the rounded shank end as much as possible.With the shank/stem transition improved I was ready to move on to dealing with the issues of the inner edge and rim top. I removed the stem and set it aside and took the bowl in my hands. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and clean up the slight bevel to mask the damaged areas. I lightly topped the bowl as well to remove the damage on the rim top and smooth out briar. Once the bowl is polished the bevel is hardly visible and the bowl looks better.With that done I decided to call it a night. The pipe still smelled strongly of old tobacco even after all the cleaning so I stuffed the bowl with cotton bolls and used a syringe to fill it with isopropyl alcohol. I set the bowl in an old ice tray and left it while the cotton and alcohol did its work. The second photo shows what I found this morning when I came to the work table. I removed the cotton bolls and pipe cleaner and cleaned out the shank with pipe cleaners and alcohol. It was very clean and it smelled far better!I was happy with the way the rim top and edges looked so I moved on to polish the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the refit stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I was able to remove the scratching and tooth marks with the micromesh. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This Savinelli Made Billiard Sitter was a bit of a pain to work on. The amount of sanding to fit the stem even the way I have it now was a lot. But I am happier with the pipe now that I have finished it. The pipe looks a lot better. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to highlight the different grain patterns on the pipe. The variegated brown and gold acrylic stem just adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl back in round it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point.

I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Savinelli Billiard with a flat rectangular stem is a nice take on a classic billiard. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. It a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another interesting pipe. This pipe will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

Cleaning up a Unique Savinelli Made Antique Shell 623 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

In the next box of pipes Jeff sent me there was an interesting Bulldog with a blue acrylic stem that I wanted to restore. It is stamped on the left underside of the diamond shank Antique Shell and the shape number 623 over Italy. The shape number is definitely a Savinelli shape number so I am safe to assume that this is a Savinelli Product. I have not seen one with a blue acrylic stem before so I was looking forward to the restoration. It was a dirty pipe when we received it. There was a coat of lava and dust in the rusticated finish of the rim top. The inner edge and outer edges of the rim looked very good. There was a thick cake in the bowl that had remnants of tobacco stuck in it. The finish was dirty and there dust and debris in the rusticated finish around the bowl. There also appeared to be what looked like either a crack or a fissure in the right side of the bowl toward the bottom. The blue acrylic stem looked good but there were tooth marks on the top and underside ahead of the button. There was tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show their general condition. You can see the tars and debris in the rustication of the rim top. The cake in the bowl is quite thick and there is tobacco debris on the walls of the bowl. The finish on the bowl is dirty but looks good. Jeff took some photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the finish on this particular piece of briar. It is different and tactile looking. I cannot wait to see what it looks like once it is polished and waxed.Jeff took a photo of the heel of the bowl. On the right side of the photo (also right side of the bowl) there is an area that looks like a crevice or possibly a crack in the bowl. I have circled it in red for easy identification. I will need to check that out once I am working on the pipe.He took a photo of the stamping on left underside of the diamond shank. There was a smooth panel with the stamping on it. It reads as it is stated above.This pipe has a very unique clear blue acrylic stem that goes really well with the contrasting browns of the bowl and shank. It is in very good condition with light tooth marks and chatter near the button.  I have worked on Savinelli Antique Shell pipes in the past but this was the first one with the blue acrylic stem. There are no stampings on the stem so it may be a replacement but it fits the shank very well. I moved forward to work on the pipe itself and see what I had to do with it. It had come back looking amazingly clean. The bowl looked very good and the crevice on the bottom of bowl, though still visible was even more obviously a crevice rather than a crack. I would need to probe it more once I started to clean up the pipe. The stem looked like new, with most of the tooth chatter gone. I was impressed. Jeff had done his normal thorough clean up – reaming, scrubbing, soaking and the result was evident in the pipe when I unpacked it. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. The rim top and bowl looked very good. The cake and lava overflow were gone and the rim was very clean. Jeff had been able to get rid of the lava and tars. The close up photos of the stem shows that it is a much cleaner and better looking stem. The light tooth chatter was greatly reduced and the stem looked really good.I took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the shank to show the condition after the cleanup. Often the stamping takes a hit with the cleaning and is lessened in it clarity. Jeff does a great job in leaving the stamping looking very good.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe at this point. It really is quite a stunning pipe with the clear blue acrylic stem.I started my restoration work on this pipe by addressing the crevice or potential crack on the lover right side of the bowl. I probed it with a dental pick to see how deep it went and if it was a crack or just a natural flaw in the surface of the briar. It did not appear to go very deep into the briar but my examination with the probe using a lens were inconclusive. I used a light and lens to check out the inside of the bowl and it was flawless – whew! I was glad to see that. It added credence to my thinking that it was a crevice. However, I decided to address it as a cosmetic crack and do the repair accordingly.I used a microdrill bit on my Dremel to drill a small pilot hole at what I ascertained were the ends of the crevice/crack. These are tiny holes shown in the next two photos. I have circled them in red below. The first photo has two and the second has one hole.I filled in the holes and the crevice on the heel and side of the bowl with clear super glue. I pressed briar dust into the holes and the crevice with a dental spatula. I cleaned off the debris with a brass bristle wire brush. It removes the loose debris but leaves the repairs in the crevice and holes intact.I was happy with the coverage of the repair but as is often the case a super glue and briar dust repair leaves smooth shiny spots on the finish. I dislike these shiny tells! I used a small round burr on the Dremel to create the same kind of rustication that was on the rest of the bowl. Once it was stained I was pretty sure it would look great.I used a Walnut stain pen to restain the newly rusticated surface of the repair. I like the way it looks and it will look even better as the bowl is polished and waxed.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The repair looks really good. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the blue acrylic stem. I sanded out the remaining tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. Once it was finished it was smooth.I used some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish that I have in my kit to start polishing out some of the scratches and remaining oxidation on the stem. I rubbed it in with a cotton pad and my finger tip and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. I love the end of a restoration project like this one that needed more than first appeared. It is the moment when all of the parts come together and the pipe looks better than when we started the cleanup process. I put the stem back on the bowl and lightly buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank sides during the process. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is a really beautiful rusticated bowl with a stunning blue acrylic stem. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. 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. This Savinelli Made Antique Shell Bulldog shape 623 is a great looking pipe. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I will be putting this pipe on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you want to add it to your collection let me know. Thanks for your time.

Freshening up a Savinelli Made Egg Sitter with a Saddle Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

One thing that can be said for staying home and indoors is that I am able to work through the large backlog of pipes in my queue and maybe make a dent. The next pipe on the work table is an interesting egg shaped sitter with a long shank. The only stamping it bears is the Savinell “S” shield and Italy on the underside of the shank. Otherwise there is nothing else. It has a natural smooth finish on the bowl and shank. The grain is mixed but very interesting and flows up and around the bowl and shank. The round shank flows well into saddle stem. The rim top is smooth and crowned inward. There was a thick cake in the bowl and some lava on the inner edge. There was also some darkening. The pipe was dirty and tired looking. The saddle stem was vulcanite and had a slight bend in the blade. There were light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. It was oxidized and spotty. 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. It looked pretty good. There is light coat of lava around the inner edge of the bevel and some rim darkening. There were a few rough spots on the rim top on the front right. 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 beautifully grained bowl. Under the dust and grime it was a nice looking bowl. I think it will be another beautiful pipe once it is restored. He took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was very readable and matches what was spelled out above. The next two photos show the top and underside of the stem. It is dirty, oxidized and has some tooth chatter and some tooth marks with some damage to the button edge on both sides. The third photo shows the flow of the stem and shank.This is a nice Savinelli pipe and it is fun to work on a shape I have not seen before. When I received it Jeff had once again done his usual thorough 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 clean out the dust and grime on the edges of the rim top and it looked very good. The stem looked good just some light tooth chatter and several tooth marks on the button.Even the stamping cleaned up well and is still very clear and readable.The pipe was in really good shape so it was a matter of cleaning up the edges and polishing the briar. I started the work by dealing with the darkening of the inner edge and part of the bevel. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the edge and then polished it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads. I wet sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the briar with my fingertips. I let the balm sit on the briar for 10 minutes the buffed it off with a soft cloth. 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 sanded the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the remaining oxidation and tooth chatter. 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 Egg shaped sitter! Once again 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 blast of the bowl. I gave the bowl 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 briar bowl looks like along with the polished vulcanite stem. This Savinelli made pipe is a beautiful pipe. It is quite comfortable in hand and should be so when smoking. It is quite light and well balanced. The flat base provides the option of sitting the pipe down on a desk top. 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 320KS stamped Knudsen’s Pipe Dream


Blog by Steve Laug

Recently I was traveling in Alberta with my brother Jeff and his wife, Sherry. In between work appointments and presentations we took some time to visit local antique shops and malls. We found quite a few pipes. In a small Antique Shop in Nanton we found a few interesting pipes. The fourth of the pipes that I have chosen to work on from that find is a beautifully grained Savinelli Shaped Author. The taper stem has a K.P.D. stamped logo on the left side. The pipe was dirty and caked when we picked it up. The rim top had a little lava and some small scratches in the edges of the bowl. The bowl had a thick cake in it that was hard and dense. The exterior of the bowl and shank are very dirty with grime and oils from prolonged use. It was also dull and lifeless. The stamping on the left side of the shank was readable and read Knudsen’s over Pipe Dream. On the right side of the shank it is stamped 320 KS over Italy. The vulcanite stem was had tooth chatter and tooth marks on the top and the underside near the button. I took photos of the pipe before I started the cleanup. I took close up photos of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before I started my cleanup work. The rim top had some lava build up on the edge and there were some small nicks on the inner edge. There was a thick cake in the bowl. Other than being so dirty it appeared to be in great condition. The stem was dirty and there was tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button surface itself. The stem was lightly oxidized.I took a photo to capture the stamping on the left side of the shank. The photo shows the stamping Knudsen’s Pipe Dream. The stamping on the right side says 320KS Italy. The first photo also shows the K.P.D. stamp on the left side of the stem. The shape number tells me this is a Savinelli made pipe and the shape is the 320KS.While we were traveling I decided to do a bit of work on some of the pipes that we had found. This was the fourth one that I worked on. I scraped the inside of the bowl with a sharp knife. I scraped the tars and lava off the top of the rim with the same knife.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with warm water and Dawn Dish Soap to remove the buildup of tars and grime around the bowl and on the rim top. I rinsed it well and wiped the bowl down with a clean paper towel to polish the finish on the bowl. The pictures that follow show the condition of the pipe after it had been scrubbed. When I got it home I would scrub the exterior and the interior some more. I did some digging to see if I could find anything out about the brand stamped on the left side of the shank. I found that there was a Knudsen’s Pipe Dream Pipe Shop in Regina, Saskatchewan. It was originally located at 4621 Rae St, Regina SK S4S 6K6. The company was originally incorporated on 7 February 1974 in Canada and was dissolved as a company on 2 May 2002. I worked on a previous Knudsen’s pipe that had been made by Charatan and was stamped London, England as opposed to having been made by Savinelli and stamped Italy. Here is the link to the previous blog on the English made pipe: https://rebornpipes.com/2016/09/09/charatan-made-knudsens-pipe-dream-oval-shank-banker-brought-back-to-life/

When I returned from my trip I turned my attention to cleaning up the pipes that we had found. I did a deeper and more thorough cleaning of the bowl and shank. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer using the largest cutting head to take the cake back to bare walls. I followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the remnants of the cake in the bowl. I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel to smooth out the inside walls of the bowl. I scraped the inside of the mortise with a dental spatula to remove the buildup of tars and oils on the walls. I scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank, the metal mortise and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I cleaned up the scratching and darkening on the rim top with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. I steamed out the deeper scratches with a damp cloth and an iron. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding the bowl walls and rim top with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to wipe of the dust. I scrubbed the bowl down with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Briar Cleaner. I rubbed it into the surface of the briar, and as Mark wrote me it lifted the grime and dirt out of the briar. I rinsed the cleaner off the bowl with warm running water and dried it with a soft cloth. The photos below show the cleaned briar… Look at the grain on that pipe! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I painted the vulcanite stem with lighter to lift the tooth dents in the stem surface. I was able to lift them almost to the surface which allowed me to sand out the remnants of the tooth marks and chatter.I sanded out the remnants of the tooth marks with 220 grit sand paper and started to polish it with a folded piece of 400 wet dry sandpaper. I carefully worked my way around the KPD stamp on the left side of the stem. Once it was finished it began to shine.I polished the stem with some Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. It is a coarse red paste that works to remove oxidation. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and buffed it off with the same cotton pad. It did a good job of further removing the oxidation.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 a damp cloth. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This is a chubby shanked and nicely grained Savinelli made pipe with a black tapered vulcanite stem. It has a great look and feel. The shape is a handful and feels comfortable and substantial in my hand. I polished stem and the bowl with Blue Diamond polish 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. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The grain on the bowl came alive with the buffing. The rich contrasting browns works well with the polished vulcanite stem. The finished pipe has a rich look that is quite catching. Have a look at it with the photos below. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over the next of the finds of Jeff and my Alberta pipe hunt. It is a beautiful straight grain Savinelli 320KS that bears the stamping of a now defunct Regina, Saskatchewan based pipe and tobacco shop. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store soon so if you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know.