Tag Archives: Savinelli Pipes

Refurbishing System Pipe From Savinelli…A “Dry System” # 2101


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

Since the time I completed the pipes selected by Karthik, last of the lot was a lattice design meer (Refurbishing Karthik’s Second Selection – A Stacked Lattice Design Meerschaum | rebornpipes), I have completed another 13 odd pipes that had reached me for repairs and restoration. Each had its own set of challenges which were relatively easy to overcome. What was difficult, however, was dealing with the owner’s instructions as to how I should carry out the repairs, which were very frustrating. Just imagine, a beautiful Brakner that required a tenon replacement to maintain its originality and value and the owner wanted me to replace the stem as it would be cheaper and faster!! Of course, the heart of a restorer won over the mind of repairman and I did a tenon replacement.

Moving on, the next pipe that I chose to work on came to me from Steve!! SURPRISED? Well, the truth is that I was on a lookout for a Savinelli Dry System pipe as I was keen to try one and experience the difference between the Pete System pipe and the Savinelli System pipe. Steve and Jeff had been on a road cum pipe hunting trip and had come up with a rich haul of some cool pipes. We worked out a mutually beneficial deal and just when Steve was to send the parcel, COVID happened….. A wait of more than a year and the parcel with selected pipes reached me when I was under shifting to present location. Another wait of settling down period and the pipe finally made its way to my work table.

I love classic shaped pipes and this one has a classic Billiard shape with a substantial sized chamber and thick walls. Save for a bald patch that is seen at the lower half over the right side of the stummel, the stummel boasts of plenty of Bird’s eye and cross grain across the surface. It is stamped on the left side over the shank as arched “SAVINELLI” over “DRY” over reverse arched “SYSTEM” forming the shape of a rugby ball. The right side of the shank bears the shape code # 2101 over the COM stamp “ITALY” towards the bowl while the Savinelli trademark “S” in shield is to the left of the shape code towards the ferrule end. The nickel ferrule is stamped on the left as “SAVINELLI” in capital letters. Letter “S” adorns the top face of the saddle of the vulcanite stem. The stampings are all crisp and easily discernible. I searched rebornpipes to see if I could find any information on this pipe, as I invariably always do, to save time in digging out information about the brand. And true enough, my friend Dal Stanton, aka The Pipe Steward, had worked on a Dry System pipe from Savinelli, albeit a sandblasted one. The research done by Dal is always very detailed and comprehensive to an extent that there is hardly any information that he has missed out. To avoid the proverbial reinvention of the wheel, I have included the link here for those interested in knowing more about this offering from Savinelli (and a big thank you to Dal goes without saying!)

Recommissioning a Smart Savinelli Dry System 3621 Bent Dublin | rebornpipes

With a better understanding of this line from Savinelli, I move ahead with my visual inspection of the pipe.

Initial Visual Inspection
The first thing that you notice is the size and heft of the pipe in hand; it’s a lot of pipe for sure! The chamber walls are nice and thick with a thin layer of cake in the chamber. The rim top surface has thick layer of lava overflow, which given the layer of cake in the chamber is mystifying. The flow of air through the pipe is not very smooth and full. The interestingly grained stummel surface is covered in dirt, dust and grime with a number of dents and dings signifying extensive and uncared for usage. The vulcanite saddle stem is heavily oxidized with damage to the button and in the bite zone. The following pictures will give the readers a rough idea to the general condition of the pipe. Dimensions Of The Pipe
(a) Overall length of the pipe: –          6 inches.

(b) Bowl height: –                               1.9 inches.

(c) Inner diameter of chamber: –         0.7 inches

(d) Outer diameter of chamber: –        1.3 inches

Detailed Inspection Of The Pipe And Observations
The chamber has a thin crust of carbon over the chamber walls suggesting that the chamber had been reamed in the recent past. The chamber walls are sans any damage and has years of smoke left in it. However, the thick layer of lava crust over the rim top surface has me surprised as it is an indicator of heavy usage while the chamber is neatly reamed! Through the lava crust, suspected charring to the inner rim edge is observed in the 12 and 6 o’clock direction (encircled in yellow). A number of dents are visible over the rim top surface (encircled in green), probably a result of knocking against a hard surface edge. The exact extent of damage and the condition of the rim surface will be apparent once the lava crust is completely eliminated from the top surface. The geometry of the pipe is spot on with the draught aperture in dead center and at the bottom of the chamber and that makes me believe that it should smoke smoothly. The ghost smells of the previous tobacco is not very strong and should be completely eliminated once the cake has been removed and the shank internals are thoroughly cleaned. The substantial briar estate is sans any fills and boasts of beautiful Bird’s eye grain to the sides and cross grain to the front and aft of the stummel. The only sore spot over the entire stummel surface is the bald patch that is seen to the right bottom portion. There are numerous dents/ dings over the surface (encircled in pastel blue); a testimony of all the falls this pipe has endured during its existence. The surface is mired in grime and dirt and appears dull and lackluster. The well and mortise is not very dirty and should clean up easily. The nickel ferrule has absolutely no damage but is oxidized with age. This should clean up nicely. The high quality vulcanite stem is so heavily oxidized that it appears dirty green in color! Some minor tooth chatter and deep bite marks are seen on either surfaces of the stem in the bite zone. This issue should not be a major headache to address. The upper surface edge of the large horizontal slot appears damaged, extent of which can be ascertained after the clogged slot has been cleaned up. The lip edge on both sides has bite marks and would need to be reconstructed and reshaped. The wide tenon that houses a 6mm Balsa filter has accumulated oils and tars that have dried out on the inside. The bite zone has calcium deposits which will have to be cleaned. The Process
I started the restoration of this pipe by first reaming the chamber with size 2 head of a PipNet reamer followed by scraping with my fabricated knife to remove the carbon deposits. I scraped off the crusted lava from the rim surface with the fabricated knife. Once the cake was scraped back to the bare briar, I used a 220 grit sand paper to remove all the traces of remaining cake and also to smooth out the inner walls of the chamber surface. Finally, to remove the residual carbon dust, I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad wetted with 99.9% pure isopropyl alcohol. The chamber walls are in pristine condition. The char to the inner rim edge in the 12 o’clock direction is severe and would need to be addressed. The smells from the chamber have greatly reduced. The walls are nice and stout and should provide a cool smoke. The dents/ dings to the rim surface are now amply evident and the best way to address this would be to top the surface.This was followed by cleaning the mortise with pipe cleaners and q-tips dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I scraped the walls of the mortise with my dental tool to remove the dried oils and tars. The mortise needs further cleaning with anti-oil dish washing detergent and shank brush and will be done once the external surface of the stummel is cleaned. This helps me in saving a heap of pipe cleaners, which is a very precious commodity here in India.Next, I cleaned out the stem internals. I ran a couple of pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol through the stem air way. Unfortunately the pipe cleaner couldn’t pass through completely. I realized that the large slot on the upper surface was clogged and the airway compressed due to tooth indentation. Using a dental tool, I tried prying out the blockage from the slot and realized that there was broken edge of the slot that was glued back and the reason for the blockage. With a bit of effort and lots of care, the broken piece was removed. I would now have to rebuild the top surface of the large horizontal slot. I would later try to open the airway by heating and thus expanding the compressed area with the flame of a lighter.I sanded the entire stem surface with a 220 grit sand paper in preparation for subjecting it to the deoxidizer solution treatment. It has been our experience that the deoxidizer solution works most efficiently in removing oxidation when a stem has been sanded prior to immersion in the solution. I immersed the stem in the deoxidizer solution developed by Mark and set it aside overnight for the solution to do its intended job.The next step was to clean the exterior surface of the stummel. I generously applied Murphy’s oil soap with a hard bristled tooth brush and scrubbed the stummel and rim top with the soap. I washed the stummel under running warm water with anti oil dish washing detergent till the stummel surface was clean and dried it using paper towels and a soft cotton cloth. I deliberately cleaned the rim top with a piece of Scotch Brite pad and set the stummel aside to dry out naturally. The stummel surface has cleaned up nicely with the intricate grain patterns on full display. The brown hues of the rest of the stummel contrast beautifully with the black of the briar grains. These contrasting hues will be further accentuated once the briar is rehydrated and rejuvenated using the balm and subsequent wax polishing. I simultaneously cleaned the shank internals with the detergent and hard bristled shank brush. The ghosting is completely eliminated and the pipe now smells fresh and clean.Staying with the stummel, I decided to address the issues with the rim top surface. The first issue to be addressed was the numerous dents and dings over the rim top. I rotated the rim top on a piece of 220 grit sand paper, checking ever so frequently for the progress being made. Once, I was satisfied that the rim top was an even and smooth surface, I stopped. This topping also helped in reducing the charred surface over the inner rim edge. Here is how the rim top appeared at this stage in restoration.The charring to the inner rim in 12 o’clock direction was still evident, albeit greatly reduced and lent the chamber an out of round appearance. To correct this, I created a bevel to the inner edge with a 220 grit sand paper.The third issue with the stummel was that of the numerous dents and dings over the surface which I have marked over the stummel. I steamed out all these dents and dings by heating my fabricated knife on a candle and placing it on a wet towel covering the dents. The generated steam expands the wood fibers and fills the dents up to, or as close as possible to the surface. The steam leaves behind a discolored surface as compared to the rest of the stummel surface. To address this issue and also to even out and match the raised dings with the rest of the surface, I sanded the entire stummel with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. This also evened out the other minor scratches and dings from the surface. I set the stummel aside and turned to address the stem repairs. I removed the stem from the deoxidizer solution and scrubbed it with a Scotch Brite pad followed by a 0000 grade steel wool scrub. This helps to remove the oxidation that is raised to the surface by the solution. Patches of deep seated oxidation over the stem surface could still be seen as dirty brownish green color and would be addressed by subjecting the stem to further sanding by progressively higher grit sand papers.Next, I used a 220 grit sand paper to sand the stem and removed all the oxidation from the surface. Using a lighter, I flamed the surface of the stem. This helped in raising some of the tooth chatter and bite compression from the slot to the surface as vulcanite has a property to regain its original shape on heating. I wiped the stem with Murphy’s Oil soap on a cotton swab. This cleaned up the stem surface while removing the loosened oxidation.I reconstructed the broken slot end with a filling of CA superglue and activated charcoal after I had inserted a folded plastic coated visiting card. This prevented the fill from seeping in to the air way and clogging it once it had cured. I set the stem aside for the fill to harden before I could proceed with the sanding, shaping and polishing of the stem. While I worked the stem, Abha polished the stummel with micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 12000 pads. She polished the freshly topped rim surface to a nice luster, wiping the surface with a soft cloth at the end of the micromesh cycle. The stummel looks amazing with a deep shine and beautiful grains popping over the stummel surface. She massaged a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” with her fingers into the briar. The immediate and incredible transformation that takes place is a worthy reward for all the efforts!!! She let the balm sit on the surface to be absorbed in to the briar for about 20 minutes. The bowl now looks fresh and attractive with the grains popping out any which way you look at the briar. She polished off the balm with a soft cloth to a lovely shine. I am surprised that the rim top surface has the same deep brown coloration as the rest of the stummel surface and that the use of a stain pen was not required. With the stummel rejuvenation almost complete, save for the final wax polish, I worked the stem. The fills had cured and with a flat head needle file, I worked on the fill till I had achieved a rough match with the surrounding surface and had sufficiently sharpened the button edges. For a better blending, I further sand the entire stem with 220 followed by 400, 600, 800 and 1000 grit sand paper. This helps to reduce the scratch marks left behind by the more abrasive 220 grit paper. Even the best of my efforts at the repairs, these did not blend in to the rest of the stem surface and can be noticed with a keen eye. There are stems which do not take to repairs easily and seamlessly and this definitely is one of those.To bring a deep shine to the vulcanite stem, I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2000 grit sandpapers and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. At the end of micromesh cycle, I polished the stem with “Before and After Fine & Extra Fine” paste. The finished stem is shown below.This now gets me to that part of the process where I get to savor the fruits of our labor until this point. The final polishing with Blue Diamond and Carnauba wax!

I began the final polishing cycle by mounting a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied a coat of Blue Diamond to the stummel and the stem to polish out the minor scratches.With a cotton buffing wheel that I use for carnauba wax, I applied a coat of carnauba wax and continued to work on it till the complete coat of wax had been polished out. I mounted a clean cotton cloth buffing wheel and gave the pipe a once over buff. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buff using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further. The finished pipe is as shown below 🙂 P.S. I enjoyed working on this pipe alongside my wife, Abha. Her expertise and dedication in polishing the stummel and stem lends a finish that I always seek in all my restorations. And not to forget her editing of the write up to eliminate all the spelling and grammatical errors!

Well, as for this handsome pipe, I am not very sure if I want to hold on to it as since receiving this Savinelli System pipe from Steve, I have acquired another similar pipe with a Cumberland stem. Do let me know if this pipe interests you and we can take it further from thereon.

I wish to thank each one for sparing their valuable time to read through this write up while also praying for the health and safety of entire mankind. Stay home…stay safe!!

Cleaning up a Savinelli Oceano 320KS Author that I Received on a Trade


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I am working on is a beautiful looking Savinelli Oceano 320KS with a swirled blue and white stem and a tightly rusticated bowl. It is stained with an oxblood stain that gives it a red tint in the light. There appears to also be a black stain as an undercoat. The pipe is originally made for the Savinelli Balsa Filter System. The fellow I traded it with said the stem was just too thick for his liking and he was looking to trade it for something he would use. I have included the photos that he sent of the pipe as we talked.The pipe was in great condition. It had a light cake in the bowl which concurred with the fact that he stated he did not smoke it much. The stem was in great condition with some light tooth chatter but nothing serious on either side. He also said that he had the pipe sock it came with and the box as well. He also said he would throw in the balsa filters with the pipe. Over the course of quite a few emails we struck a deal and the pipe came to me. The stamping on the heel was clear and readable as he had mentioned – Savinelli Oceano 320KS.When the pipe arrived in Vancouver I unpacked it and this is what I saw. It came in the original Savinelli Pipe box and included the blue sock, a small booklet in multiple languages on pipe smoking and care and a bag of Balsa Filters. In our discussions I had come to believe the pipe was a filter pipe and unpacking seemed to confirm that for me. Little did I know that once I removed the stem I would see the adapter insert that converted it to a non-filter pipe. The added removable adapter allows the pipe to be smoked with or without a filter.I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up work on it. You can see the light cake in the bowl and the ash on the walls. The pipe had a strong aromatic aroma to it that I would need to remove before reselling it to the next pipe smoker. The finish was in great condition and the stem was free of tooth marks and only had some light chatter on the surface near the button on both sides. It is stamped on the heel of the bowl and reads Savinelli [over] Oceano followed by the Savinelli S Shield logo and the shape number 320 and a faint KS [over] Italy. I took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the condition. You can see the thickness of the cake in the bowl and general cleanness of the rim top. The stem looks very good other than faint tooth chatter that is hard to capture in the photos.I took a photo of the stamping on the shank and it read as noted above. There is also a Savinelli S Shield logo on the top of the stem.I removed the stem to show the parts of the pipe. In the first photo you can see the adapter in place in the tenon converting it to a standard pipe. The second photo shows the adapter removed and the filter version of the same pipe. It is made for the 6mm filters – Balsa or otherwise.Now it was time to clean up the pipe and try to exorcise the strong and prevalent ghost that was “haunting” the bowl. STEP 1: I reamed the bowl back to briar with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and then sanded the walls smooth with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper.STEP 2: I scoured the inside of the mortise and the airway in the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and 99% isopropyl alcohol. I was a little surprised to not only see the tars and oils coming out of the shank but also some oxblood stain that was present under the “gunk”. The stem cleaned up nicely as well. I removed the adapter and cleaned both it and the airway in the tenon. I took photos of the adapter in place and removed from the cleaned stem. It is a great looking stem.
STEP 3: I stuffed the bowl with cotton bolls and twisted one into a wick and turned it into the shank and filled the bowl with 99% isopropyl alcohol being careful to not splash any on the finish of the bowl and damage it. I set the bowl upright in an old ice cube tray that I use for this purpose and left it over night.In the morning I took a photo of the filthy cotton bolls and wick that had drawn the oils and tars from the bowl and the shank of the pipe. I twisted the wick out of the shank and used a dental pick to remove the cotton bolls from the bowl. I cleaned out the shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to make sure it was clean. Once it had dried the bowl smelled much better though there was still a slight remnant of the ghost. With the bowl clean and smelling sweeter, I decided to rub the bowl down with some Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the rustication with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush. The product is spectacular and works to clean, enliven and protect the finish on briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cotton cloth. I really like the way a pipe looks after this process and this one is no exception. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished out the tooth chatter with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded with 1500-12000 and wiped the acrylic down with some Obsidian Oil on a cloth. I know that it does nothing for acrylic but I find that it really picks up the debris left behind by the sanding pads. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polishes – both Fine and Extra Fine and wiped it down a final time with Obsidian Oil. With the bowl and stem finished I put the Savinelli Oceano 320KS back together and buffed it on the buffer. I gently buffed the briar with Blue Diamond so as not to clog the valleys and crevices of the finish and buffed the stem with a bit heavier touch to raise a shine. The classic Author shape really looks good with the dark reddish brown stain and the swirled blue acrylic stem. It is a beautiful pipe. The dimensions of the pipe are – Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outer diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. The weight of the pipe is 2.47 ounces/70 grams. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your rack let me know via email or messenger. It will be added to the rebornpipes store shortly in the Italian Pipe Makers section. Thanks for walking through the clean up of this beauty.

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.

New Life for a Sandblast Savinelli de Luxe Milano 506 Panel Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

When my brother Jeff saw this pipe he went for it. He picked it up from a fellow in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. This pipe appeared to be in rough shape. The bowl was full and the sandblast was filthy. It had definitely seen better days. However, there was something about the shape that caught Jeff’s eye. The stamping on the underside of the shank reads de Luxe [over] Milano. That is followed by the Savinelli S shield logo and the shape number 506 over Italy. It is faint but readable with a loupe and light. The bowl and shank are sandblasted with a rugged blast and the panel sides all have indents where the blast went deep into the grain. It is an interesting pipe. The stain on the bowl is a medium brown that highlights the sandblast finish. It is a panel billiard with a square shank and a saddle vulcanite stem. The pipe was dirty with a thick cake and tobacco debris in the bowl. There was a heavy overflow of lava on the rim top that made it hard to know if the rim edges were damaged. There were dark areas on each side of the bowl. The grime and dirt had been ground deeply into the sandblast finish. The stem was calcified and heavily oxidized and was a brownish green colour. There was tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides of the stem near the button and on the button surface itself on both sides. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he did his cleanup.The next photos show the bowl and rim top. You can see the cake in the bowl and the overflow of lava and grime on the top. You can also see the likelihood of damage to the rim edges but also that it is impossible to know what it would look like once it was clean. The photos of the stem show a lot of tooth chatter on both sides of the stems. There are also some tooth marks on the button top and bottom.   The sandblast finish on the bowl, though dirty, showed interesting patterns – straight grains and birdseye. There were also some swirls in the grain. The photos also show some darkening on each side of the bowl and some dark spots. The stamping on the underside of the shank is faint but readable. It reads as noted above. I had a vague memory that there was a great photo of the same pipe in a smooth finish on the Pipephil site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli1.html). I turned there and sure enough it was not only a De Luxe it was also a 506 Panel Billiard with a smooth finish. I have included a screen capture of the section from that site below. There was also a link to a series of shape charts for Savinelli Pipes that I have found helpful in the past (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/infos/savinelli-chart.html). I did a screen capture of the section of the chart that included the 506 shape. Now it was time to work on the pipe. Jeff worked his magic in cleaning up this pipe. He reamed it with a PipNet reamer and smoothed the walls of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. 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 and shank with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to the oils and tars on the bowl, rim and shank. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. The cleaning of the stem raised more oxidation in the vulcanite. The tooth marks and chatter was clean but visible. I took the stem off and put it in a bath of Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and totally forgot to take pictures of the pipe before I started. I took photos of the condition of the rim top and stem before I started working. The rim top looks very good and the bowl is spotless. The rim top is heavily darkened and stained. The stem has light oxidation remaining and some tooth chatter and marks on both sides near and on the button.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping was faint but still readable. It reads as noted above.  The stem has a brass bar on the left side of the saddle.  I started my work on the bowl by dealing with darkening around the bowl sides. I took photos of the darkening. I poked and probed them with a dental pick to check on the integrity of the briar and it was solid. I also worked the areas over with a brass bristle brush and was able to remove some of the darkening. There was no cracking or checking on the inside of the bowl in each of those areas so I was fairly certain I was dealing with darkening caused by the oils of the pipeman or woman’s hands who had previously smoked the pipe. I would need to stain the pipe to deal with the dark areas. I stained the bowl with an aniline Light Brown stain. I was surprised at how dark it came out on the bowl itself. I applied the stain and flamed it with a lighter to set it in the grain. I set it aside while I had dinner to let the stain cure.   After dinner I took the pipe off the cork rest and took photos of the newly stained bowl. You can see the depth of the blast in the photos below.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl, rim top and shank with my fingertips 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 really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The bowl really looks good at this point. I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on the surface of the stem and was able to lift them significantly. I filled in the remaining tooth marks on the button surface with clear super glue. I used a file to smooth out and shape the button. I smoothed out the remaining repairs with 220 sandpaper to blend them and started polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.     I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub All Purpose cleaner to remove the residual oxidation on the stem surface. The product works very well to cut through residual oxidation on vulcanite.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine.     I really enjoy finishing the work on a pipe because I love bringing it back to life and then administering the final touches that make it sing. I put the Savinelli De Luxe Milano 506 Panel Billiard 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 worked it into the deep sandblast with a horsehair shoe brush. I gave 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 smooth finish and the black vulcanite saddle stem. This richly finished De Luxe Milano Panel Billiard is light weight and ready for you to load up a tobacco of preference and enjoy smoking it. Have a look at it in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¼ 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 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 Long Savinelli Extra 804KS Canadian


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us from a Goodwill Easter Seal Auction in 2018 from Minnesota. The pipe is an interesting long shanked Savinelli Canadian with sharp edges on the oval shank. The pipe is well shaped and has nice grain around the bowl and shank. The pipe is stamped on the topside of the shank and reads Savinelli [over] Extra. On the underside of the shank it had a Savinelli S shield followed by 804KS [over] Italy. There was a grime and dust in the surface of the briar. The bowl was moderately caked while the top and the beveled inner edge of the rim had a thick coat of lava. The inside edge looks very good but we will know for sure once it is cleaned. The taper vulcanite stem was oxidized, calcified 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 to show its overall condition. Jeff took a photo of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar looked like. It truly has some nice grain – birdseye and cross grain around the bowl and shank. The stamping on the top and underside of the shank is clear and readable as noted above.   I turned to Pipephil (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli2.html) to get a quick view of the Extra 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.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 a photo of a brochure that included the Extra (https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Sav_Extra.jpg) that came from Doug Vliatchka.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 there is darkening on both. The stem surface looked very good with a few tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.   The stamping on the shank top and underside is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.   I removed the stem started working on the darkening on the rim top and edges. I worked them over with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. Once it was finished it looked better.   I polished the rim top and bowl with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad to remove the debris and dust. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive and the pipe looked great.    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 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surface of the vulcanite. 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 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 Extra 804KS Long Canadian is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The smooth finish gives the shape an elegant look. The flow of the bowl, long shank and short stem are well done make for a great looking pipe. 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 Extra 804KS Canadian 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 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 45grams/1.59oz. 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 pipes to come!

New Life for a Small Savinelli Lollo Pocket Pipe


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is one that Jeff picked up on eBay in 2016 from San Francisco, California, USA. That means that it has been sitting here for over 4 years and I am just now getting to work on it. This seems to be the story of my life these days. I am trying to work through the large backlog of pipes that I have sitting in boxes in my workshop/office and try to catch up a bit. It is an interesting pocket style pipe that has a mix of grains around the bowl and shank that really are quite nice. The bowl has a rich reddish brown colour combination that highlights grain. It bears a heavy varnish coat that I will want to remove. The pipe has some grime ground into the surface of the smooth finish and on the rim top. This pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and has the Savinelli “S” shield logo with Savinelli stamped in an arch underneath the shield. That is followed by the stamping ‘LOLLO’ [over] Pipe. There is a thin cake in the bowl, but the top and inner edge of the bowl looks very good. The stubby vulcanite stem was oxidized, calcified and there were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The pipe looks to be in good condition under the grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup. He took photos of the rim top to show the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see some scratching from an earlier reaming on the back wall of the bowl. There was a small spot of the finish missing on the rim top toward the back of the bowl. He took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.It was time to work on the pipe. As usual Jeff had done a thorough cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol. The pipe looked good. I took a photo of the bowl, rim top and stem to show the condition. The inner edge of the bowl was in good condition. There were a few spots on the rim top where the varnish had come off. The vulcanite stem had light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button edges.  The stamping on the underside of the shank is clear and readable even with my poor photo. It reads as noted above.   I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. It is a interesting looking pipe that should clean up very well. It also has a short stinger in the tenon.I started working on the pipe by wiping the bowl down with acetone to remove the spotty varnish coat from the bowl and shank. I wiped it down with a cotton pad until the varnish coat was gone and the grain began to stand out.    I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped down the bowl after each sanding pad.    I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out. I set the bowl aside and turned to the stem. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. The photo below shows the polished stem. This nicely grained Savinelli Lollo Pocket Pipe with its short snub nosed vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The briar is clean and really came alive. The rich walnut coloured stain gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain really popped. I put the vulcanite stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Lollo Pocket Pipe is a beauty and feels great in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 4 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 38grams/1.34oz.Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Fresh Life for a Savinelli Oscar Lucite 111KS Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to us 2018 from a fellow in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. It is a nice looking Billiard with cross grain and birdseye grain and has a Fancy Lucite half saddle stem. The Lucite stem fits the name on the left side Oscar Lucite. The bowl has a rich reddish brown colour combination that highlights grain. The pipe has some grime ground into the surface of the briar. The finish had a few small fills around the sides but they blended in fairly well. This pipe is stamped on the sides of the shank. On the left it reads Oscar [over] Lucite. On the right it has a Savinelli “S” Shield and next to that was the shape number 111KS [over] Italy. There is a thick cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the top beveled inner edge of the bowl. The rim top looks good but it is hard to be certain with the lava coat. There were some light tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the Lucite stem near the button. The pipe looks to be in good condition under the grime. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup. He took photos of the rim top to show the thick cake and the thick lava coat. It is hard to know what the condition of the rim top and edges is like under that thick lava. It is an incredibly dirty pipe but obviously one that was a great smoker. The acrylic half saddle stem had light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.   He took a photo of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the beautiful grain around the bowl and the condition of the pipe. You can see the grime ground into the surface of the briar. He took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Savinelli Product. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to look at the Savinelli write up there and see if I could learn anything about the Oscar Lucite line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html). There was a listing for the Oscar Lucite and I did a screen capture of the pertinent section.I looked up the Savinelli brand on Pipedia to see if I could find the Oscar Lucite line and the 111KS Shape (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli). There was nothing that tied directly to the line I am working on. There is a detailed history of the brand there that is a good read. I also captured the shape chart and boxed in the 111KS shape in red. The shape is identical to the one that I am working on. The stem on this one is the original shape that was on the Lucite Line but there was no shooting star logo on the left side.It was time to work on the pipe. As usual Jeff had done a thorough cleanup on the pipe. He reamed the bowl with a 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. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub all-purpose cleanser and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol. Other than the damaged rim top the pipe looked good.   I took a photo of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top was in very rough condition. The rim top and the edges of the bowl had darkening, burn marks and some nicking. The Lucite half saddle stem had light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button edges.  The stamping on the sides of the shank is clear and readable as noted above.     I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. It is a nice looking billiard that should clean up very well. I started working on the pipe by dealing with the damaged rim top and edges. I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on a topping board. I worked over the rim top and inner bevel of the rim with 220 grit sandpaper. I smooth out the damage and gave the  rim top and edge a clean look that would polish out nicely. I wiped the rim top down with a damp cloth to remove the dust and debris.   I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped down the bowl after each sanding pad.     I stained the rim top with an Oak stain pen to match the rest of the bowl. Once I buffed and polished the bowl it would be a perfect match. 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. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out.  I polished the Lucite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. The photo below shows the polished stem. This nicely grained Savinelli Made Oscar Lucite 11KS Billiard with Lucite half saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The briar is clean and really came alive. The rich reddish, brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain really popped. I put the vulcanite stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Oscar Lucite Billiard is a beauty and feels great in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 46grams/1.62oz.Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Bringing a Savinelli Estella Non Pareil  9128 Billiard Back to Life


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table is a Savinelli made Estella that my brother purchased 2 years ago at an antique shop in Pocatello, Idaho, USA. It is stamped on the heel of the bowl on a smooth patch – Estella over Non Pareil over 9128 with the Savinelli S shield next to that and Italy to the left of that very faintly stamped. There was also an upper case E on the top of the stem. The rugged rustication on the bowl and shank looked to be dirty or at least had darkening where the hand of the previous owner had wrapped around the bowl. The thick cake in the bowl had overflowed on to the rim top and left behind a thick black mess. It was hard to know what the inner edge of the bowl looked like because of the thickness of the cake and lava. The outer edge of the bowl looked very good. The Lucite shank extension and the matching Lucite stem in grey, brown and ivory tones looked really good – from the side view. The stem had light tooth chatter on both the top and underside near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. The close up photos of the rim top and bowl show the condition of the pipe. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the thick lava on the rim top. The stem is in decent condition with light tooth marks and chatter on both sides and the button surface. The next photo shows the stamping on the bottom of the bowl and the shank extension. Other than the S shield logo pointing to a link between Estella and Savinelli the stamping on the Lucite shank extension certified the connection.  There was also an uppercase E on the top of the stem. My brother did his usual thorough clean up on the pipe. He reamed the bowl and scrubbed the externals with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a soft tooth brush. He was able to remove all of the buildup on the rim top. It looked better but there was some burn damage on the inner edge of the rim all the way around the bowl as well as some darkening on the top of the rim. He cleaned the internals of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. He wiped down the stem so that when the pipe came to me it was ready to restore. The next four photos show the pipe when I brought it to my work table. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the damage on the inner edge of the bowl and the rim top. I took close up photos of the stem. It was in decent condition with light marks on both sides.   I took a photo of the stamping on the heel of the bowl and the underside of the shank extension. They were readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the pipe and took a photo of the parts to show the overall look of the pipe before I started my work on it.I started my work on the bowl by addressing the issues with the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. I reshaped the inner edge and cleaned up the rim top with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I was able to minimize the damage to the edge by giving it a slight bevel and the top by smoothing it out and removing the burn marks.   Once the top and edge were clean I polished them with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim down after each pad to remove the debris. By the last sanding pad the rim top looked very good.  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 get into the rusticated grooves and channels. The product works well 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.  I set aside the bowl and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth marks and chatter on both sides with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. You will note some darkening on the tenon end that would not come off with scrubbing and sanding would reduce the diameter of the tenon and affect the fit in the shank. I touched up the stamp on the top of the stem with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I rubbed it on the stem surface and worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. I buffed it off with a cotton pad. It looked better when it was finished.    I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. After each set of three pads I wiped the stem down with the damp cotton pad to check the progress. I had been able to blend in the tooth marks on both sides.  This Savinelli Estella Non Pareil Rusticated 9128 Billiard with a variegated brown, grey and ivory Lucite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. There is some great grain on the rim top that really shines and the Caminetto Style rustication is exceptionally well done. I gave the bowl a coat of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a shoe brush. I buffed the stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel to see if I could further smooth and blend the repairs. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad and then once again by hand with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The bowl and rim look really good and the finish is clean and as good as new. The stem and shank extension have a rich glow and they look amazing. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 51gr/1.80oz. 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!

Repairing a broken shank on a Savinelli Liquirizia 920KS Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

On Tuesday this week I received the following email from a fellow here in Vancouver regarding repairing a couple of pipes for him. He wrote as follows:

Hi Steve… You were recommended to me by our good friends at City Cigar (Vancouver).  I have 2 pipes I’d love to have rescued – if possible!  Please let me know if you could be of service.  I’ve attached a few photos.

One is a Peterson 2018 Pipe of the Year, Smooth Fishtail.  Pipe is great – except there is an unsolvable (for myself) blockage in the stem.  I think the filter is damaged.

The other is an unfortunate Savinelli; the actual wood is broken, right at the connection between pipe body and stem.

Let me know your thoughts!  I’d love to regain these to a workable state if possible; they are lovely pipes.

Thanks kindly and best regards, Zak

He included pictures of both pipe for me. I decided to tackle the Savinelli first. Here are the photos that Zak included with his email. As you can see the shank is snapped with a clean break about ½ inch up the shank. Zak fortunately had the pieces of the broken pipe and delivered them to me. The break had not damaged the stamping on the pipe. It read on the left side Savinelli [over] Liquirizia. On the right side it had the Savinelli Shield S logo followed by the shape number 920KS [over] Italy. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Hand Made. The pipe had a beautiful acrylic stem with a white band on the end. The tenon was Delrin and had been drilled out for a Savinelli 6mm filter or a Balsa filter. The bowl had a moderate cake and some lava on the rim top. The stem and shank had tar and oils. I cleaned out the shank and the areas of the break and glued the broken piece back in place on the shank using clear CA (super glue). The photos below show the glued shank piece.  When I repair this kind of break in a shank gluing and clamping it is not sufficient to hold. As the stem is put back in place the break will happen again due to the pressure from the tenon on the walls. I have learned that a simple band will bind it together and add strength. I have some brass bands that I picked up online that are quite thin but have and end cap that works really well to bind it all together and strengthen the joint. I went through the bag of bands I have and found the one that fit the best.I sanded the repaired area smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend the repair into the surface of the briar. Once the repair was smooth heated the band with a lighter and pressed it onto the shank end against my topping board to press it in place. The band added stability to the repair.I filled in a few spots with clear CA glue and resanded them with 220 grit sandpaper. Once the repairs cured I wiped the bowl down with acetone to remove the spotty varnish coat that was on the rest of the bowl. I touched up the repaired areas with a Cherry stain pen to blend it in and prepare it for a further stain coat a little later.I reamed out the uneven cake in the bowl with a PipNet reamer and cut it back to bare briar so I could inspect the interior walls. I cleaned up the remnants of the cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. The walls of the bowl looked very good with no heat damage or fissures.I put a cork in the bowl and stained it with a dark brown stain. I flamed the stain to set in the briar and then repeated the process until I was happy with the coverage on the bowl. It did a great job blending the repaired area into the briar.   I set the bowl aside so the stain coat would cure overnight. Here is what it looked like in the morning when I brought it to the table.   I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol to make the finish more transparent. I began to see the grain stand out.  I continued to wipe it down until I had the variation in colour I was looking for. The grain really stood out now and the brass band was a great contrast.   I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping the bowl down between each pad with a damp cloth. The contrasting colours really came alive.  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. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out.    I polished the acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The photo below shows the polished stem.  This nicely grained Savinelli Liquirizia 920KS Bent Dublin with a thin brass repair band and a swirled acrylic stem is a great looking pipe. The briar around the bowl is clean and really came alive. The rich brown stains gave the grain a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. The grain really popped. The brass band binds the cracked shank repair and gives it a bit of bling. I put the acrylic stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Savinelli Liquirizia Bent Dublin is a beauty and feels great in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 44grams/1.55oz. The pipe will be going back to Zak as soon as finish the second one. He will soon, so he can enjoy it again. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

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.