Tag Archives: Savinelli Pipes

Renewed Life for a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 316EX Squat Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a pipe hunt that Jeff and his wife recently did in Utah, USA.  The pipe is a great looking squat Dublin shape. 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 316EX. 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 had worn off. 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. He 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.   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 316EX. 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 of the shank and stem 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 soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked better other than some light oxidation and 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 off. 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 set it aside and worked on the stem. I filled in the tooth dents and marks with Black Super Glue and set it aside for the repairs to cure. Once they cured I flattened them with a file. I cleaned up the repaired areas with 220 sandpaper to blend the repairs into the surface of the stem. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  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 Root 316EX Dublin 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: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: 1 ¼ inch. The weight of the pipe is 49grams/1.69oz.  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 a Savinelli Nonpareil 9412 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a pipe hunt that Jeff and his wife recently did in Utah, USA. The pipe is an interesting almost Danish looking Savinelli pipe with a faux horn shank extension that has a metal cup in the shank to stabilize the extension. The pipe is well shaped and has nice sandblasted grain around the bowl. The pipe is stamped on the heel of the bowl and reads Savinelli [over] Nonpariel [over] 9412 (shape number) [over] Savinelli S shield followed by Italy. There was a grime and dust in the nooks and crannies of the sandblast on the briar. The bowl was moderately caked while the top and inner edge of the rim were dusty but otherwise quite clean. The inside edge looks like it may have burn damage on the front right. The outer edge has a lot of nicks and chips. The faux horn shank extension looked very good and the metal insert was snugly in the shank end. The fancy vulcanite stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button and on the button edge. The pipe showed a lot of promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some 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 tobacco debris as well as the relatively clean inner edge of the rim. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem as well as the horn shank extension. The photos show the overall condition of the stem. The stem had two brass dots on the left side of the taper just past the saddle portion of the stem.  Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. It truly has some nice sandblasted grain – birdseye and cross grain around the bowl and shank. The faux horn shank extension is quite nice looking. The stamping on the underside of the shank is clear and readable and read as noted above. I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html) to get a quick view of the Nonpareil Line. I did a screen capture of the site’s information and have included that below. I am also including a screen capture of the Shape and code chart introduction that is link in the above capture.It appears that the Nonpareil 9412 that I am working on is made before 1970 so it is at least 50+ years old. It is in great shape. I am not sure what the exception noted above is about.

I turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the Savinelli brand and it philosophy of pipemaking. There was nothing specific on the Nonpareil line however so it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet pipe reamer and removed the rest of it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in a Before & After Deoxidizer bath and rinsed it off with warm water. I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration work. The rim top cleaned up really well. The rim top, inner and outer edge of the bowl is in excellent condition. The stem surface looked very good with a few tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The fancy saddle stem is nice and the photo gives a sense of what the pipe looks like. The bowl was in such great condition after Jeff’s cleanup that I did not have a lot to do with it. 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 about 10-15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive and the fills while visible look better than when I began.     I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I “painted” the stem surface with the flame of a lighter and was able to lift out all but one deep tooth mark on the top surface ahead of the button. Once the repair cured I used a file to flatten it out and then sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub All Purpose cleanser to remove the remaining oxidation. I have found that a good scrub with this product removes the oxidation left behind by the other methods. You can see it on the cotton pads underneath the stem.I still found that the stem had some oxidation that was quite deep in the vulcanite. I put it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover and let it soak for 2 ½ hours. When I took it out of the bath I rubbed it down with a paper towel remove the oxidation and the product. It came out significantly darker.I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Savinelli Nonpareil 9412 Freehand is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The sandblasted finish gives the shape an elegant look. The flow of the bowl and stem are well done make for a great hand feel. The faux horn shank extension has a metal insert in the shank end to keep it from splitting. 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 Savinelli Nonpareil 9412 fits nicely in the hand and feels great. 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: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 50grams/1.8oz. It is a great looking and light weight pipe. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. 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!

Restoring a Savinelli Oscar Aged Briar 701 Rusticated Lovat


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me from Jeff’s pipe hunts or auction purchases. We pick up quite a few pipes from his hunts. I try work them into the restoration queue so that I can keep them moving. This is an interesting looking piece – a multi-hued rusticated Lovat showing through the grime. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Oscar [over] Aged Briar to the right of that it is stamped with a Savinelli Shield S followed by the shape number 701 [over] Italy. The finish had a lot of grime ground into rustication on the briar. 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 stem was in decent condition with tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. It had the typical Savinelli Made Oscar shooting star on the left side of the saddle stem. It had promise but it was very dirty. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.   He took a photo 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. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. Otherwise the stem is quite clean.   He took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the rustication patterns and variations in colour on the bowl. It is a pretty pipe. The stamping on the heel of the bowl and shank is clear and readable and reads as noted above. The shooting star on the stem side is also clear.       Jeff had picked this pipe up in April of 2017 and had cleaned it and sent it to me not long after that. That will tell you how far behind I am on the restoration projects sitting all around me. Jeff had done his usual thorough cleanup on the pipe. He reamed it with a Pipnet Reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife.  He had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush and rinsed it off with warm water to remove the grime from the finish. He cleaned the internals of the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the tarry residue and oils in the shank and airway. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove any oxidation on the stem surface. When it arrived here on my work table I took photos of the pipe before I started my part of the restoration. The pipe looked amazingly good.   The inner and outer edges of the rim were in good condition. The inner beveled edge of the rim looks very good. The rim top is absolutely beautiful! The stem look good but there was still some oxidation and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.    I took a photo of the stamping on the heel of the bowl and underside of the shank. The stamping is clear and readable and reads as noted above.      I took the stem off the pipe and took a photo of the parts to show the look of the pipe as a whole.The pipe was in such good condition after Jeff’s clean up work that the rim top only needed to be polished with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to raise a shine.  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 and a horsehair shoe brush 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. You can see the sparkle in the rustication surfaces as the light hits them.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I touched up the Shooting Star logon the left side of the saddle stem with Antique Gold Rub’n Buff. I am out of white paint and for some reason the liquid paper does not work on the shooting star. I am going to hunt down some Rub’n Buff White that should work as well. I pushed it into the stamping with a tooth pick. I rubbed it off with a cotton pad to remove the excess and still leave some in the stamping.     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 Savinelli Made Oscar Aged Briar 701 Lovat is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The mix of brown stains makes the rustication almost sparkle 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 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 Savinelli Made Oscar Aged Briar Lovat fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an 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.

The next pipe from Bob Kerr’s Estate – a Savinelli Punto Oro 614 Full Bent


Blog by Steve Laug

I am continuing to work on the pipes in Bob Kerr’s estate for a while. I am getting closer to finishing restoring this large estate with only about 33 more pipes to do. This is one of his two Savinelli pipes that I am working on. I am cleaning them for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting. This rugged sandblasted Savinelli Punto Oro is a great pipe to work on. It is a shape that is interesting and unique. It will go on the rebornpipes store.

This Savinelli Full Bent Punto Oro 614 has a rugged, swirling sandblast finish with lots of nooks and crannies in the briar. It is a beauty! The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the heel and shank and reads Savinelli over Punto Oro. That is followed by the Savinelli logo Shield S and the shape number 614 over Italy. The valleys and ridges of the sandblasted grain showing through the grime and dirt are a mixture that leaves a rich texture. It had rich dark and medium contrasting brown stains that do not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The inner edge of the rim are dirty and may have some damage under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. This one had the characteristic tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. It was hard to know for sure from the photos.Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful swirls of the sandblast. There is a lot of dust and grime filling in the valleys. He took a photo of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos and read as noted above.Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a feel for the Punto Oro line. I have worked on both smooth and sandblast finish Punto Oro pipes in the past. This was another sandblast one – this time a dark one rather than natural. Here is the link (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent information on the line below. It appears the line came out in both smooth and sandblast finishes. I turned to Pipedia to look at what information they had on the brand. I found a catalogue page on the Punto Oro which confirmed what I had surmised about the line having both smooth and sandblast finished pipe (https://pipedia.org/images/d/db/Sav_Punto_Oro.jpg). I have included a screen capture of the page below. It says that the line was available in 2 distinct finishes – a rich Mahogany smooth finish and a genuine sandblast.The Savinelli shape number was 614 so I turned to the Savinelli Shape Chart on Pipedia and included a screen capture (https://pipedia.org/images/4/41/Sav_Shape_Chart_2017.jpg). I have drawn a blue box around the 614 shape in the photo below.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 pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. 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. The stem still had a lot of deep oxidation. I took photos before I started my part of the work.  I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top good but there was some damage on the left front inner edge. The sandblast finish is very nice. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.I took the stem off the shank and took some photos to give a clear picture of the pipe from the left side profile and the top looking down. It is a really pretty pipe.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to my part of the restoration of this Savinelli Punto Oro Full Bent. I decided to start by dealing with the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and give it a slight bevel to remove the damaged area and bring the bowl back into round.I used a black Sharpie Pen to touch up the washed out area on the left side of the shank. It did not take too much to blend that area into the browns and blacks of the surrounding sandblast. I used a Walnut stain pen on the newly beveled inner edge and on the rim top to blend in the repairs.I rubbed the bowl down with 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 it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the still oxidized stem. I used a lot of elbow grease and scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads. It took some time to work out much of the oxidation but it was definitely looking better.I worked over the rest of the remaining oxidation and the tooth marks with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.  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. This Savinelli Punt Oro 614 from Bob Kerr’s estate turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the sandblasted grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The lighter brown stain on the flat bottom of the heel and underside of the shank is a great contrast. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished vulcanite saddle 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 full bent Savinell Punto Oro fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ 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.

New Life for a Savinelli Extra 412KS Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts. It is an interesting straight Dublin shaped pipe with darkening and lava around the rim edge and top. It is stamped with a oval with SAVINELLI inside and EXTRA below that on the left side of the shank. On the right side of the shank it was stamped with the Savinelli “S” shield and the shape number 412KS over Italy. The stamping is clear and readable. The pipe has a combination of brown stains that highlighted some nice mixed grain around the bowl sides. The finish was very dirty with grime ground into the bowl. The bowl had a thick but even cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the inner edge of the top and beveled edge all around the bowl. It was hard to know what was underneath the lava and grime in terms of damage to the inner edge and the top of the rim. The taper stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. There was gold crown stamped on the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow on the rim top and the beveled inner edge of the rim.  Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the great looking grain around the bowl. It is actually a nice looking pipe.  The stamping on the sides of the shank is shown in the photos below. They look very good and readable.  There is also a crown on the left side of the taper stem. The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli2.html) to read about the Extra Line. It is a smooth finished pipe with the same stamping on the shank and on the stem as the one that I am working on. I have included the screen capture from the site below.Armed with that information and a clearer picture of the original pipe I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the damage and the darkening on the inner edge and the top on the right front and the rear of the bowl. The stem looks clean of oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter are fairly light.  I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. They are clean and readable and read as noted above.    I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and the inner edge. I topped the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper on a board. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work on the inner edge to remove the darkening. It took a bit of work but I was able to remove the majority of it and the end product looked much better. I polished the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris.      I used an Oak stain pen to blend the cleaned rim top into the colour of the rest of the bowl. The match was perfect.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to “paint” the stem surface to raise the dents in the vulcanite. The process worked very well.     I built up the edges of the button and filled in the small dents in both sides of the stem. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to recut the edge of the button. I worked over the oxidation on the stem and blended the repaired area of the button with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.   I touched up the gold crown on the stem side with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I pressed the gold into the stamp and buffed it off with a cotton pad.   I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone!     I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Savinelli Extra 412KS Dublin is a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the mix of grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished black 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 Savinelli Extra 412KS Dublin is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added 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.

 

A Savinelli Sherwood Rock Briar 608 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts. It is an interestingly rusticated Bent Billiard with darkening around the rim edge and top. It is stamped with Sherwood over Rock Briar on the heel of the bowl followed by the Savinelli “S” shield and the shape number 608 over Italy on the shank. The stamping is clear and readable. The pipe has a combination of brown stains and the worm trail rustication is not only tactile but also a purposeful pattern to the finish. The finish was very dirty with grime ground into the bowl. The bowl had a thick but even cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the inner edge of the top toward the back of the bowl. There was darkening on the briar around the inner edge and the top of the rim. The saddle stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. There is no stamping on the stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow on the inner edge of the beveled rim.  Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the “worm trail” rustication around the bowl and the great looking grain as well. It is actually a nice looking pipe.  The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photos below. They look very good and readable.The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I am including the section from the previous blog I did o the Sherwood Rock Briar pipe that I restored. I quote:

I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html) to read about the Sherwood Rock Briar. It is a smooth pipe with the worm trail carving around the bowl. Sometimes I wonder if it was not Savinelli’s answer to the Custombilt Craze or what Lorenzo was selling that was similar. This is definitely tamer! I have included the screen capture from the site below. Armed with that information and a clearer picture of the original pipe I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the darkening on the inner edge and the top on the right front the bowl. The stem looks clean of oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter are very clear in the photos.    I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. There was a crimped aluminum tube in the tenon once the stem was off and it inhibited airflow and was really unnecessary.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and the inner edge. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work on the edge and the rim top at the front of the bowl to remove the darkening. It took a bit of work but I was able to remove the majority of it and the end product looked much better.I polished the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris.   Because the bowl and rim top looked so good I decided to move on to rubbing the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the crevices. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to pull the crimped tube in the tenon so I heated it with a lighter and twisted it free. Behind and under the aluminum tube there was a lot of tars and oils so I recleaned the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol.   I worked over the oxidation on the stem and the button with 220 grit sandpaper and sanded it until I had removed it. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.   I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone!   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Savinelli Sherwood Rock Briar 608 Bent Billiard is another interesting looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the smooth briar between the rusticated patterns around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished black vulcanite saddle 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 Sherwood Rock Briar 608 Bent Billiard is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added 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.

Recommissioning a Smart Savinelli Dry System 3621 Bent Dublin


Blog by Dal Stanton

This is the second of 4 pipes that pipe man Nathan, from St. Louis, has commissioned from the online ‘Help Me!’ baskets that I call ‘For “Pipe Dreamers” Only!’ – a collection of pipes waiting to be commissioned by pipe men and women which benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  I acquired this Savinelli Dry System along with almost a twin brother from a seller in Poughkeepsie, New York.  What attracted me initially to the pair was the ‘Peterson-like’ description – ‘Dry System’.  I also liked the tight 3/4 bend and the ‘Dublin-esque’ conical bowls – a tight configuration that got my attention immediately.  They almost seemed identical, but one had the shape number 3621, the one on my worktable now, and the other had 362.  When I unpacked them here in Bulgaria and took a closer look, I could see the differences.  Both have identical shapes but the 362 was a lighter rusticated finish with a smooth rim.  The 3621, Nathan’s choice, is a darker blasted finish with a blasted rim.  These pictures show the before & after comparison of the results of my first restoration, the Savinelli Dry System 362, which is now under the watchful care of a steward in Jackson, Mississippi.  It turned out great!Nathan commissioned 4 pipes after seeing some of my other restorations posted on various pipe Facebook groups.  I appreciate the opportunity to work on this next pipe that got Nathan’s attention, the Savinelli Dry System 3621. The smooth underside panel holds the nomenclature.  To the left is stamped arched, SAVINELLI [over] DRY [over] SYSTEM (reversed arch) forming a unified oval stamping.  The Savinelli crown ‘S’ logo is to the right of this.  Then on the far right of the logo is 3621 [over] ITALY.  The nickel shank cap is stamped on the left side with ‘SAVINELLI’ along with ‘S’ on the topside of the military stem. In my previous research, I found nothing about the Dry System on Pipedia but Pipephil.eu helped with some useful information – especially about the shape number differences.  Looking at the Savinelli shapes chart on Pipedia’s Savinelli article, shapes 362 or 3621 were not among those listed.  Pipephil.eu provided this on the Savinelli Dry System with the information that the Dry System could be stamped with either 3 or 4 digits for the shape number:I find interesting that the panel above also references a link comparing Savinelli’s Dry System P-Lip stem with the Peterson standard. Repeating my previous research: I found the most information about the Savinelli Dry System on another site as I broadened my online search.  A South African based tobacconist, Wesley’s  (See LINK), provided a gold mine of information about the Savinelli Dry System:

Launched in 1981, it had taken several years of research into the negative points of existing system pipes, in order to improve on them. Perseverance paid off – by combining trap and filter, and enlarging the smoke hole, Savinelli achieved the “Dry System”, which in our opinion is the best answer to “Wet Smoking” so far developed.

Especially for new pipe smokers, the Savinelli Dry System pipe incorporates everything needed to provide a cool, dry smoke.

The name “Dry” comes from the introduction of the Balsa “filter” into the traditional system pipe – the “System” being the presence of the built-in moisture trap in the shank, linked with the “smokehole on the top” mouthpiece. The balsa mops up the moisture in the smoke hence the term “Dry” system, and if the pipe is smoked without the balsa all that will happen is that this moisture will condense and collect in the trap. It can then either be mopped up with a folded pipe cleaner or flicked out. Just be careful where you flick it!

Put this all together and you can see why we say these are technically our best designed pipes. But the technical qualities are not all these pipes have to offer. Extra bonuses are the feel, the finishes and the balance.

This information marks the genesis of the Savinelli Dry System line in 1981. Added to this information, Wesley’s included the following benefits of the Savinelli system with a helpful cut-away showing the internals:The description of the ‘smokehole’ of the mouthpiece, is interesting in the way it disperses the smoke so that it avoids tongue burn as well as keeping moisture entering the stem from the mouth. The trademark filtering system is also optional – use of the balsa insert which I use with great satisfaction with some of my own Savinelli pipes.  Yet, even if you do not utilize the absorbing qualities of the balsa insert, the built-in moisture trap will hold the moisture for clean-up after smoking.  Sounds good!

Wesley’s Tobacconist also included this helpful Shapes Chart for the Savinelli Dry System pipes. The description for the 3621 suggests:

Regular shapes 3613 & 3621 are ideal for the new pipe smoker or for a short smoke for anybody.

Looking now at the 3621 now on my worktable, the chamber shows thick cake that will be removed to recover fresh briar and to inspect the condition of the chamber walls. The blasted rim and stummel have grime and in need of cleaning.  The blasted briar landscape is attractive, and I look forward to what cleaning will reveal.  The nickel shank cap is in ok shape but needs cleaning and polishing. There are evidences of the nickel plated surface around the facing having come off revealing the base metal beneath.  The stem has deep oxidation and will take some work to clean it out.   The P-Lip, which is much easier to clean than Peterson’s version, has some compressions and chatter and needs sanding out.

To begin the recommissioning of this Savinelli Dry System 3621, the military stem’s airway is cleaned using pipe cleaners and a cotton bud dipped in isopropyl 95%. As I said above, this P-Lip system is much friendlier than Peterson’s!  The cotton bud reaches up into the balsa wood filter cavity to clean.  The pipe cleaner works through the airway and P-Lip ‘smokehole’.To get a head start on the deep oxidation, a ‘Soft-Scrub’ like product available here in Bulgaria is used with 000 grade steel wool.  I’m hoping to break up the oxidation to enable the Before & After Deoxidizer to be more productive.Next, the Savinelli stem joins other stems in the Before & After Deoxidizer soak.  I leave it in the soak for several hours, but it seems that more hours does not translate into more effectiveness.After removing the stem from the Deoxidizer, the liquid is drained back into the vat and I help by squeegeeing with my fingers.  Pipe cleaners and cotton buds wetted with isopropyl 95% are used to clear the liquid from the airway and filter cavity. Cotton pads wetted with alcohol also wipe the surface to remove raised oxidation.To help with conditioning the vulcanite stem, paraffin oil is applied, and the stem is set aside to absorb the oil.Turning now to Dublin stummel, I first take a picture to show the starting point.  I remember my experience with the 3621’s brother – the conical chamber is angled severely toward the floor of the chamber. To avoid carving a reaming ‘shelf’ from using the regular reaming blade heads, I go directly to using the Savinelli Fitsall Tool which lives up to its billing.  My general rule of thumb in reaming to determine if you’ve removed all the carbon cake build up is, cake crunches as you’re using the tool, but wood surface is smooth.  After cleaning the carbon cake off the walls of the chamber, the chamber is sanded using 240 paper wrapped around a Sharpie Pen.After reaming is completed, an inspection of the chamber reveals healthy briar – no burning or heating problems.Next, using undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap, a cotton pad goes to work on cleaning the blasted surface of the Savinelli Dublin stummel.  A bristled toothbrush assists in cleaning the blasted surface and the brass wired brush helps with lava flow on the blasted rim.Next, the stummel is transferred to the kitchen sink where internal cleaning is commenced using warm water with anti-oil dish liquid soap and shank brushes.  After scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly, the stummel comes back to the worktable.Next, internal cleaning is continued using pipe cleaners and buds wetted with isopropyl 95%.  The built-in moisture trap has done a good job of trapping the gunk in the trap.  It takes many buds and pipe cleaners wetted with isopropyl 95% to do the job.  Using a small dental spoon also helps by scraping the buildup on the internal walls allowing me to scoop out the old gunk left behind.  When the buds and pipe cleaners start emerging lighter, I call it a cease fire with the plan of continuing the cleaning at the end of my work day using a kosher salt and alcohol soak to further clean and refresh the internals for the new steward.Pausing now to examine the stummel after cleaning, I like the blasted finish.  The finish is thin, but a good foundation is present. On the rim, I’m interested to observe that the right side has more of a rough blasted surface, but the left side is smoother.  Looking at the picture above you can see the grain moving upwardly toward the rim.  What one would expect the rim to be showing as a result, would be the bird’s eye grain formations.  Hence, smoother roughness on the left side of the rim.  Also, on the rim, the Savinelli folks cut a ‘smart bevel’ on the internal rim edge.  My next step before sprucing up the stummel’s color is to refresh the bevel. To do this, I use a hard surface to back 240 sanding paper and recut the bevel. I follow the 240 paper with 600 grade paper.  The results are good!  This slight bevel which reveals some smoother briar will look great later in contrast to the rough, blasted rim surface. To refresh the stummel’s hue, I use Fiebing’s Dark Brown Leather Dye to provide an undercoat foundation.  The great thing about blasted surfaces, they are forgiving but later with some light sanding, the tips of the blasted briar landscape can give an attractive lighter contrasting that gives the surface depth and character.  I assemble the desktop staining module and after covering the nickel shank cap with masking tape, I heat the stummel with the hot air gun to help the briar surface to open and be more receptive to the dye. I then paint sections of the stummel with a folded pipe cleaner and flaming it as I go.  The lit candle ignites the alcohol in the aniline dye and after it combusts it leaves the pigment in the grain.I then put the newly stained stummel to the side for several hours allowing the new dye to set.With the stummel on the side, I turn to the military mount P-Lip Savinelli stem.  I take another closer look at the issues with the stem.  Both upper and lower bit have some tooth chatter, but it is minor.  It should sand out without difficulty. The bigger issue is the oxidation. The picture below tries to show the contrast between the inserted part of the stem that is black, without oxidation, and the rest of the exposed stem.  UV light is not good for vulcanite and the oxidation comes primarily because of this.To address the oxidation and the light tooth chatter, 240 grade paper is used to sand the upper- and lower-bit area.The sanding it expanded to address the oxidation throughout the stem.  To protect the Savinelli ‘S’ stem stamping, I cover it with masking tape.After the 240 grade paper, the entire stem is wet sanded with 600 grade paper and this is followed with 000 grade steel wool.Continuing with the stem, the full regimen of micromesh pads is applied.  Starting with pads 1500 to 2400, the stem is wet sanded.  Following this the stem is dry sanded with pads 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000.  Obsidian Oil is applied between each set of 3 to condition the stem as well as protect it from oxidation. Turning now back to the stummel, the flamed dye has been resting for several hours and ready to be unwrapped.  To do this, a cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted to the Dremel with the speed set at about 40% full power.  Tripoli compound is used to help clear the fire crusted dye revealing the blasted surface beneath.After using the cotton cloth buffing wheel, I transition to a felt buffing wheel again using Tripoli compound with the Dremel set to the slowest speed.  I lightly go over the rough blasted surface primarily to buff the peaks of the blasting with the coarser wheel to create flecking in the surface.  This gives the surface more contrast and depth.I then wipe the dyed surface with a cotton pad wetted with alcohol not so much to lighten the dye but to blend the hue and to dissolve any dye clumps that didn’t dissolve during the buffing process.I reattach the stem and mount another cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel setting it at 40% full power.  I then apply Blue Diamond compound to the Savinelli blasted surface and to the stem.After completing the application of Blue Diamond compound, I look at the stummel more closely.  I’m getting the desired flecking affect in the blasted surface, but I’m not satisfied with the hue of the flecks.  The flecks appear more of a light brown rather than a darker, richer reddish bend. I decide to apply a dye wash of red aniline dye over the dark brown. After heating the stummel once again, I apply the red dye over the entire stummel surface with a folded pipe cleaner.  After applying the dye thoroughly, the stummel is set aside for a few hours for the overcoat red dye to set.After a few hours, I again use the Dremel and apply Blue Diamond compound with a cotton cloth buffing wheel.  I realize later that I didn’t picture this process.  I like the results of the overcoat red dye wash.  Next, to prevent the new dye coming off on the hands later when the pipe is put into surface, I warm the stummel with the hot air gun.  This emulates the heating up of the stummel when lit and this usually is when newly dyed briar leaches dye onto the hands. After heating the stummel, I give it a rigorous hand buffing using a cotton cloth to remove the raised dye. Before moving on to the waxing of the stem and stummel, I have a few mini projects to do.  The first is to clean and shine the nickel-plated shank cap.  I first use a tarnish remover which is applied to the nickel with a cotton pad. After the liquid is buffed on, I rinse the cap with tap water.  The tarnish remover does some good but leaves a lot to be desired.  The nickel cap is rough, and you can see some small patches of the nickel I referenced earlier have worn off.After the tarnish remover, I transition to using Blue Diamond compound on the nickel.  After mounting another cotton cloth buffing wheel onto the Dremel dedicated to nickel buffing and I methodically apply the compound to the metal working around the cap.  I like these results.  The nickel has cleaned and shined up very nicely.The second mini project is to color the Savinelli ‘S’ stamping on the stem.  Using white acrylic paint, I place a small amount of paint on the ‘S’ and then dob it dry with a cotton pad.Then I use the flat edge of a toothpick rubbing gently over the stamping removing the excess paint from the stem.  The ‘S’ is left with color and with definition.In the home stretch – another cotton cloth buffing wheel is mounted on the Dremel with the speed at 40% of full power.  Carnauba wax is then applied to both stem and stummel.  After a few coats of wax, the pipe is given and rigorous hand buffing to raise the shine and to disperse undissolved carnauba wax.Ugh – I thought I was finished but remembered that I was going to further clean and freshen the internals with a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  After twisting and stretching a cotton ball to form a wick, I use a wire to help guide the cotton wick down the airway into the mortise/trap and airway. The cotton wick serves to draw out the residual tars and oils during the soak process.  After inserting the wick, kosher salt is placed in the bowl.  Kosher salt has no aftertaste unlike iodized salt.  Using a large eye dropper, Isopropyl 95% fills the bowl until it surfaces over the salt.  After a few minutes, the alcohol is absorbed into the internal cavity and I top off the alcohol once again.  After several hours, the wick and salt do not appear to have been soiled at all.  I hope this means that the internals are clean.  After removing the expended salt from the bowl, paper towel is used to wipe the chamber and I blow through the mortise to make sure all the salt crystals have been removed.  I follow this by using one cotton bud and pipe cleaner to confirm that the internals are indeed clean.  I forgot to picture this!After reassembling the pipe and a quick hand buffing with a microfiber cloth, the recommissioning of this Savinelli Dry System 3621 is completed.  The tight Dublin bend presents a smart, compact look, with a genuinely nice flow from the bowl through the nickel shank cap that is carried through the military mount P-Lip stem.  The smooth briar contrasts are nice – the internal rim ring and the nomenclature panel.  Nathan commissioned this Savinelli Dry System 3621 and will have the first opportunity to acquire him in The Pipe Steward Store.  This pipe benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

This Savinelli de luxe Milano 206 Apple was worn and tired pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one I have been avoiding working for this whole box of pipes. I just keep putting under others. Today I am getting to the bottom of the box and decided to take this one on. It is a well-shaped sandblast apple made by Savinelli. That is itself is not an issue as it has a great shape and look. The round bowl, slender shank and saddle stem with a thin blade – what’s not to like?  It was stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and read Savinelli de luxe Milano on the heel and that was followed by the Savinelli S shield and the shape number 206 over Italy. The finish was very dirty with a heavy coat of grime ground into the bowl and rim top as can be seen in the photos. There were dark spots all around the bowl and a deep nick on the right side of the crowned rim top. The bowl had a thick cake with a heavy lava overflow on the rim top. There was too much lava on the rim top and edge to know what they looked like but more would be revealed once it was cleaned. The stem was oxidized and there were deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up so you could see what we saw. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show lava build up around the rim, the wear on the edges and cake in the bowl. The lava actually was running down the edges of the crown of the bowl and had filled in some of the nooks and crannies in the sandblast. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the dark spots around the bowl sides mixed in with the nice sandblast. It was a dirty pipe but I think it will be a beautiful one once we are finished.    The stamping on each side of the shank is shown in the photos below. They are clear and read as noted above.  There is a brass bar on the left side of the saddle stem. The stem was a good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  It was my turn to work on the pipe now. I was really looking forward to what the pipe would look like once Jeff had worked his magic. What would the rim top look like? What would the dark spots around the bowl look like? I had no idea. When I took it out of the box I was struck great job cleaning up the pipe Jeff had done. It was impressive! He had reamed the pipe with a Pipnet piper reamer and taken the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed the stem off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. While some of the dark marks had faded it became clear that they were dark stains rather than burn marks as I suspected. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see that there is still some darkening to both the briar rim top and inner edge. The stem is clean and the tooth damage on both sides is very clear in the photos. Lots more work to do on this pipe.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above. There is also the expected inset brass bar on the left side of the saddle.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It really is a beautifully shaped pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the briar rim top. I sanded the crowned rim top and inner edge of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to remove some of the darkening to the top and smooth out the inner edge of the bowl. I wiped the rim top down with alcohol on a cotton pad.I wiped down the entire bowl with alcohol and used a brass bristle wire brush to work over the darkened areas on the bowl sides and top. Once it was dried off I restained the bowl and shank with a Tan Aniline Stain. I applied it to the briar and flamed it with a Bic lighter. I repeated the process. The alcohol burns off with the flame and the stain is set in the briar. I let the bowl sit and the stain cure overnight. In the morning I buffed it on the buffer with Red Tripoli and Blue Diamond. I took photos of the bowl with its new look. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to get it into the crevices of the sandblast. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the deep dents in the surface.I filled in the remaining indentations and built up the top and bottom of the button with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I used a needle file to reshape the button edges and also flatten the repaired areas. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to finish the shaping and to remove the remaining oxidation. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil before further polishing it.   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.     This nice looking Savinelli deluxe Milano 206 Apple with a saddle stem turned out very nice. The addition of a tan stain to the mix of brown stains highlights the nooks and crannies of the sandblast around the bowl sides and bottom. The finish on the pipe looks much better and they go well with the polished black vulcanite saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and 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 straight apple is very nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interesting in adding it to your collection let me know! Thanks for your time.

A Savinelli Sherwood Rock Briar 316KS Bent Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table came to us from one of Jeff’s pipe hunts. It is a interestingly rusticated saddle stem Bent Dublin with a smooth crowned rim top and darkening around the rim edge. It is stamped with Sherwood over Rock Briar on the heel of the bowl followed by the Savinelli “S” shield and the shape number 316KS over Italy on the shank. The stamping is clear and readable though the shape number is hidden slightly by the nickel repair band. The pipe has a combination of brown stains and the worm trail rustication is not only tactile but also a purposefully pattern to the finish. The finish was very dirty with grime ground into the bowl. The bowl had a thick but even cake in the bowl and a heavy lava overflow on the inner edge of the top toward the back of the bowl. There was darkening on the briar around the inner edge and the top of the rim. The stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. there were some hash marks on the left side of the stem about an inch from the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow on the inner edge of the crowned rim.  Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the “worm trail” rustication around the bowl and the great looking grain as well. It is actually a nice looking pipe.  The stamping on each side of the shank is shown in the photos below. They look very good and readable. The shooting star logo on the stem side is clear but faint. I am hoping that it can be repainted once it is clean. It all depends on how deep the stamping on the stem side is.The stem was a very good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html) to read about the Sherwood Rock Briar. It is a smooth pipe with the worm trail carving around the bowl. Sometimes I wonder if it was Savinelli’s answer to the Custombilt Craze or what Lorenzo was selling that was similar. This is definitely tamer! I have included the screen capture from the site below.From what I could find there were several things about the pipe on my table that did not add up to what I was seeing in the various photos. I found a picture of the same pipe on Worthpoint (https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/wow-savinelli-sherwood-rock-briar-143136918). It has a long slender tapered stem on the shank and no band. I was pretty certain before I saw this picture that the pipe I was working on had a replacement stem – it was a saddle stem and was poorly fit to the shank. I was also confident that the band was for a cracked shank repair and was not original. It also covered the stamped KS portion of the shape number. I think both were added at the same time to repair a break that happened which cracked the shank and broke the stem. The photos I was seeing confirmed my suspicions about the pipe in hand.Armed with that information and a clearer picture of the original pipe I turned to work on the pipe on my work table. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cut back the cake back to the bare briar. He cleaned up the walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed it off with warm water to remove the deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the darkening on the inner edge and the top at the back of the bowl. The stem looks clean of oxidation and the tooth marks and chatter are very clear in the photos. However one of the issues that I saw in looking at the fit of the shank to the stem was that whoever had done the replacement stem had rounded the edges of the saddle so the fit against the band was not smooth but slightly hipped.  You can see that on the fit of the stem to the shank in the photos below. There are bulges on the sides and underside.     I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping is clear and readable as noted above. I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the rim top and the inner edge. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work on the edge to remove the darkening. It took a bit of work but I was able to remove the majority of it and the end product looked much better. I did not sand the rim top as I figured that polishing it with micromesh pads would take care of the rim top for me. I polished the bowl and rim with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris. Because the bowl and rim top looked so good I decided to move on to rubbing the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush to get it into the crevices. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to address the diameter of the saddle portion of the stem and remove some of the rounding on the edge. I also wanted to get rid of the “hips” on the sides and underside of the stem. I sanded the saddle with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and repeatedly checked the fit to the shank and band. When I finally had removed the majority of the issues it was time to move on. I polished it with a piece of 440 grit wet dry sandpaper. I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish – a red, gritty Tripoli like substance that is a paste. I rubbed it into the surface of the stem and polished it off with a cotton pad. It helped to remove the transition between where the Softee Bit had covered the stem and the rest of the stem surface. I have found that is a great intermediary step before polishing with micromesh pads. I am not sure what I will use once the final tin I have is gone!   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This Savinelli Sherwood Rock Briar 316KS Dublin is an interesting looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the smooth briar between the rusticated patterns around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished black vulcanite saddle stem. The replacement stem and nickel band look good with the bowl and 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 Sherwood Rock Briar 316KS Dublin is quite nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½  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 another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be added 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.