Tag Archives: Savinelli Pipes

A Rebirth for a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 411 Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table has one of my favourite finishes – a deeply rusticated one with what appears to have originally been a natural finished. We purchased this one on eBay on 10/06/16 from a fellow in Onalaska, Washington, USA. It is a Savinelli Capri Root Briar Zulu with a rusticated finish (looks a lot like the Castello Sea Rock finish). The coral like rustication around the bowl and shank was filled in with dust and debris. The natural finish was dirty and the high spots are darkened by hand oils and grime ground into briar. The pipe was stamped on underside of the shank. It is stamped Savinelli Capri [over] Root Briar followed by Savinelli “S” shield logo followed by Italy over the shape number 411. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the inner edges and 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. The stem was dirty, calcified and oxidized with tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside of the stem at the button. Jeff took a photo of the right side and the heel of the bowl to give a better feel for the condition of the briar around the bowl. It is a great looking piece of briar with a deep rustication.The next photo show the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is very readable. It reads as noted above.I have always like the Savinelli Capri Root Briar finish so I was glad to be working on this one. Jeff had 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 better but there is still darkening on the sides of the bowl and shank. There is also some darkening on the rim top as well. Jeff scrubbed the stem 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. The top of the bowl was quite dark around three sides. 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 remaining oxidation is very visible.I started my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening of the rim top. I used a brass bristle wire brush and some common dish soap to de-grease the bowl and the rim top. I worked over the bowl and the top with the brush and was able to remove the grime and much of the darkening.  I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair 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.     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 many of the marks. I filled in what remained with clear CA glue and set it aside to harden.   Once the repairs cured on the top and underside of the stem I filed them flat and recut the button edge with a small file. I sanded them with a folded piece of 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 Capri Root Briar 411 Zulu cleaned up really well and looks very good. The Before & After Restoration Balm brought the colours and grain out in the rusticated finish on the pipe. It works well with the polished oval 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 multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I 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 411 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: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.20 ounces/34 grams. If you are interested in carrying the previous pipeman’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring a Wire Brushed Savinelli Extra 125 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table a wire rusticated Bent Billiard shaped pipe. It is stamped on the heel of the bowl and the underside of the shank and reads Savinelli [over] Extra followed by the Savinelli shield S then the shape number 125 [over] Italy. The straight taper vulcanite stem is has a very faint Crown stamp on the left side. The briar has a wire rusticated finish around the bowl and shank. This pipe was purchased as part of a lot from an online auction service on 06/07/17 from Lakewood, Colorado, USA. The finish was dirty dusty on the rim edges and sides of the bowl but the shape was good looking. The rim top had some lava in the rustication on the rim top but the edges looked very good. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and some tobacco debris. The shank and stem airway was very dirty. The stem was lightly oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. There was a faint crown stamp on the left side of the taper stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to show the cake in the bowl, and the lava on the top and inner edge. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter and marks very well. Jeff took photos of the sides of the bowl to highlight the rustication around the bowl sides and heel. He captured the stamping on the heel of the bowl and the underside of the shank in the next photos. They are clean and readable as noted above. The stem also had a faint crown stamped on the left side. 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 turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the Savinelli brand and its 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 Valitchka.Jeff cleaned up the pipes with his usual thoroughness – reaming the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaning up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the internals of the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime on the finish. When he sent it the pipe was ready to restore. I could not believe how good the rim top looked in comparison to what it was when he started. I took photos of the pipe when I unpacked it. The briar was clean and the rustication quite unique. The finish was in great condition overall and shone. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top after Jeff had cleaned it up. The look of the rim top and edges is very good. He had been able to remove the cake and the lava very well. The bowl was spotless. The stem is also shown and was very clean. He had scrubbed it with Soft Scrub but there was still some oxidation on both sides. There was tooth chatter and deep marks still remaining.I took a photo of the stamping on the heel and the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to show the look of the pipe. It is a real beauty.The bowl was very clean and the briar looked good. I decided to rub the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product cleans, enlivens and preserves the briar. I let it do its magic. It sat for 10 minutes and then I buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The bowl really is looking good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub to remove the deep oxidation on the stem surface. I was able to remove much of what was present. Once I worked it over with micromesh it would be better.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine then gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.  There is something about this finish that make this a beautiful pipe. This wire rusticates Savinelli Extra 125 Pot looks great. The swirling wire etching of the rustication on the pipe is quite nice with the dark finish. I put the stem on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel (being careful of the stamping so as not to damage that). I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The dimensions of this pipe are – Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.41 ounces/40 grams. It is a great looking pipe and one that will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipe Makers Section. If you want to add it to your collection let me know via email to slaug@uniserve.com or by message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

New Life for a Very Savinelli looking Porto Cervo 316KS


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another one of those pipes that has been here for a long time and I have no memory where it came from. I had not been cleaned so it is not one that ever went to Jeff for clean up. It was a mess. The bowl has a moderate cake (mainly in the top half of the bowl) and a heavy lava overflow on the smooth, crowned rim top. The edges look very good. The rusticated finish is rugged and deep and is nice in the hand. It is dirty with grime and grit deep in the rustication. The pipe stinks like heavily cased aromatics. The brass band is part of the stem and is dull and oxidized. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It looks like the stem had a Softee Bit at some point as the discolouration gives that sense. The tenon is drilled for a 6mm filter or a Balsa Filter. I took some photos of the pipe before I started my work on it. I took close up photos of the bowl and the stem. You can see the thick lava build up on the rim top and down into the bowl. It is really a mess. The stem surface has the mark from a Softee Rubber Bit Guard that is clear and there is calcification and oxidation on the stem. There are also tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the bowl and shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to give a sense of the proportions of the pipe. It is really quite nice looking.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using all four cutting heads. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife to remove all debris. I sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a piece of dowel to smooth out the wall of the bowl. The bowl was in excellent condition with no fissures or checking.  I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the debris from the grooves and to soften and try to remove the lava overflow on the rim top. Once it was finished it looked much better. Polishing with micromesh would remove the rest of the debris and raise a shine. I dried it off with a towel and decided to address the remaining lava and darkening on the crowned rim top. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to work on the top and inner edge until it was clean.   I polished the rim top and edges with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads to raise a shine. I wiped it down with a damp cotton pad to wipe off the debris after each sanding pad.   I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the rusticated briar with my fingertips. I worked it over with a shoe brush to get it deep into the grooves and crannies of finish. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth and raised the shine. The bowl looks great at this point.   I cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway into the bowl and the stem. I scraped the shank out with a small pen knife to remove the thick tars. I then cleaned it with a isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until it was clean. To rid the bowl of the tars and oils that made the bowl still stink I stuffed it with cotton bolls and twisted a boll into a wick that I threaded into the shank. I used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with isopropyl alcohol and set it in an old ice tray over night  to let it wick out the tars and oils.This morning when I went back to the pipe to work on it I took a photo of the cotton to show how the tars and oils had wicked into the pipe. I removed it from the bowl and took photos of the cotton to show how dirty it was.  To begin the process of removing the oxidation from the stem surface I scrubbed it with Soft Scrub All Purpose cleanser. It worked quite well to remove a large part of the oxidation.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and gave it a final coat and set it aside to dry.    I touched up the Savinelli Shield S on the stem top with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I worked it into the stamping with a tooth pick. I buffed it off with a cotton pad and then rubbed it down with some Obsidian Oil.I put the stem back on the Savinelli Porto Cervo 316KS Oval Shank Rusticated Dublin and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I polished the briar and the vulcanite of the stem until there was a rich shine. This classic Savinelli shape and finish really highlights a proportionally well carved pipe. Once I buffed the pipe the briar came alive and the variety of colours in the nooks and crannies of the rustication popped with polishing. The black vulcanite stem with the twin brass bands had a rich glow. This Porto Cervo 316KS fits well in the hand and sits right in the mouth. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of and inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.45 ounces/41 grams. This beauty will be going on the rebornpipes online store in the Italian Pipemakers Section. If you are interested let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as it was a pleasure to work on.

Polishing a New Old Stock (NOS) Unsmoked 1611 Savinelli Dry System Bent Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff picked up this unsmoked New Old Stock Savinelli Dry System 1611 Bent Dublin a while ago from an online auction on 02/02/22 from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, USA. It has a Savinelli Balsa Filter in the tenon and a characteristic Dry Smoke drilling on the P-lip style stem. The airway came out on top like a Peterson but instead of a round hold this one has a rectangular slit. It came with the box, plastic bag, sock and package of Balsa Filters. All of the paperwork that may have come with it was included as well. The box was worn on the corners but it was in great condition otherwise. The stem showed some light oxidation from the light when it was on display. It also had some gummy substance just ahead of the button on both sides where it looked like there had been a price tag. There was a new Balsa filter in the stem. The pipe smelled musty. I took photos of the box before I removed the lid and then after I removed it to show what I saw.   I removed it from the box along with the filters and the papers. I took a photo of the pieces in the box. It is a pretty pipe with a polished nickel ferrule.I took the pipe out the box and took pictures of this beauty. It is a nice looking pipe with a nice rustication that works well on the bowl and goes well with the smooth crowned rim top. I took some close up photos of the rim top and stem to show the condition of the pipe. There were a couple of small fills on the rim top – right side and left side both toward the front. They are solid and not loose at all.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It reads Dry System on the heel of the bowl followed by S in a shield (Savinelli Logo) followed by 1611 (shape number) over Italy. There was a Savinelli stamp on the left sad of the nickel ferrule and an S on the top of the saddle stem. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the look of the pipe to show the nice shape and flow of the pipe.I rubbed the bowl down with some Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the rustication on the bowl and the smooth rim top with my finger tips to clean, revive and preserve the wood. It really brings the grain alive once again. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The grain really pops at this point in the process.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I finished the polishing with some Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down a final time with Obsidian Oil. The stem looked very good.    I put the UNSMOKED, NOS Savinelli Dry System 1611 Bent Dublin back together and buffed it 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 and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping through on the smooth rim top and the variety of colour in the rustication. Added to that the polished nickel ferrule and the vulcanite saddle stem was a beautiful touch. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 ½ inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 68 grams/2.40 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipe Makers Section. If you are interested in breaking in a new unsmoked Savinelli Dry System and adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. I want to keep reminding us of the fact that 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 pipeman or woman.

Restoring a Savinelli Nonpareil 9101 Plateau Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe is another one that has been here for a long time  – so long in fact that I cannot remember where I picked it up. I know it came to me from a trade or my own hunt because it had not been cleaned or reamed by Jeff. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflowing on to the plateau and the smooth portion of the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The exterior of the pipe was dirty but the grain really shone through the grime. The pipe was stamped on the heel of the bowl and read Savinelli [over] Nonpareil. The left side of the shank is also stamped and had a Savinelli S shield followed by the shape number 9101 [over] Italy. The vulcanite taper stem had a single brass dot on the left side. Here is the pipe! I took close up photos of the rim/bowl and stem. The cake in the bowl was thick and there was a thick coat of lava overflow on the rim top and edge. The valleys of the plateau were quite filled in. The stem was dirty and had light tooth marks on the top and underside near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the bowl and the left side of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.  I removed the stem from the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It is quite an attractive shape and should clean up well. 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 9101 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.

I used a PipeNet pipe reamer (first 3 cutting heads) to strip back the cake to bare briar. I cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife. I sanded the bowl with a dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the walls. I worked on the lava in the rim top plateau with a brass bristle wire brush. I was able to remove much of the lava with that. Scrubbing it would remove the rest. I scrubbed the externals of the bowl and rim top with a tooth brush and some undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. I rinsed it off with warm water and dried it off with a soft cloth. Now it was time to scrub the inside of the shank and rid it of the tars and oils. I scrubbed the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and 99% isopropyl alcohol. There was some stain in the inside of the shank that came out.   I polished the briar on the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the briar down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The briar really took on a rich shine with the polishing.    I rubbed the bowl down with some Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush on the plateau rim top to clean, revive and preserve the wood. It really brings the grain alive once again. I let it sit for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. The grain really pops at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I smoothed out the tooth marks on the stem and button surface with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It was starting to look better.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down between each pad with some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to deepen the shine. I gave it a final wipe down with Obsidian Oil.      I put the Savinelli Nonpareil 9101 Plateau Freehand back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the grain popping around the bowl and shank. Added to that the polished acrylic variegated brown stem was a beautiful touch. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions 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 65 grams/2.29 ounces. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipemakers section. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. I want to keep reminding us of the fact that 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 trustee.  

Restoring a Savinelli Extra 614 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table was dropped off by a local pipe shop that I do repair and restoration work for. It was in the same bag as the Bewlay that I restored for them earlier and wrote about (https://rebornpipes.com/2022/06/30/new-life-for-a-hard-smoked-older-bewlay-popular-127-billiard/). It is another pipe that the shop wanted me to do a full restoration on and properly fit the stem. It is stamped on the left side of the shank and reads Savinelli in an oval [over] Extra. On the right side it is stamped with the Savinelli shield S then the shape number 614 [over] Italy. The finish was dirty and worn but there was some nice grain peeking through the grime. The rim top had some scratches and nicks on the surface. There was a light cake in the bowl it smelled strongly of aromatic vanilla tobacco. The shank and stem airway was very dirty. The stem was lightly oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. It was also loose in the shank. I took photos of the pipe before I started my clean up. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to show the cake in the bowl, and the fills and marks on the top. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter and marks very well. I tried to capture the stamping on the sides of the shank in the next photos. They are faint but readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the flow of the pipe. Even with the fills on the rim and various sandpits around the bowl sides it is a beautiful bent billiard that has a great shape.I wanted to remind myself of where the Extra fit in the Savinelli hierarchy so 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 turned to Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli) for a quick read. The site is worth reading the history of the Savinelli brand and its philosophy of pipemaking. There was also a shape chart on the site that had the shape 614 as a full bent pipe. I have circled the specific shape in the chart below.There was also a photo of a brochure on the site that included the Extra line of pipes. It also stated that the pipe came in a guilloche and a smooth finish like the one I am working on presently (https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Sav_Extra.jpg). that came from Doug Vliatchka.Armed with the above information I was ready to work on the pipe itself. I started my work on the pipe by reaming the bowl. I started it with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second cutting head. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished by sanding the walls of the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper. The walls of the bowl looked very good with no damage to the walls. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime on the bowl and rim and was able to remove much of the lava and dirt. The inner edge of the bowl looked good and the rim top had some darkening but otherwise was in good shape. I cleaned out the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol until they came out clean. I cleaned out the airway with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the rim top and remove the darkening in and damage. I went over the inner edge of the rim to smooth out any roughness. Once I was finished I liked the way it looked.I decided to deghost the bowl and stuffed with cotton bolls and twisted a paper towel into the shank end. I used an ear syringe to fill the bowl with 99% isopropyl alcohol to wick out the oils in the bowl and shank walls. I let it sit overnight and called it a day. In the morning I checked on it and the cotton had turned amber coloured. I pulled it out and cleaned out the shank once more. The pipe smelled significantly better.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the inner and outer edge of the rim as well. After each pad I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth to remove the sanding debris. It really took on a shine by the last three sanding pads. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips where it works to clean, restore and preserve the briar. I let it do its magic for 15 minutes then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The pipe looks incredibly good at this point in the process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks on both sides of the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter. I was able to lift them significantly. I filled in the remaining marks on both sides with black super glue and set it aside to cure. When the repair had hardened I used a small file to flatten the repairs and recut the edge of the button. I shaped the button with the file. I used 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs to the top and underside of the stem. I was able to blend them into the surface of the vulcanite. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. It is starting to look very good. I continued to polish the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it further with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to cure. I heated an ice pick and turned it into the airway in the tenon on the stem to swell it slightly so that the fit in the shank would be snug. I am excited to finish this Savinelli Extra Made in Italy 614 Bent Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with beautiful straight grain all around it and the birdseye on the rim top. The polished grain on the pipe looks great with the black vulcanite stem. This smooth Savinelli Extra Billiard is great looking and the pipe feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inch, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 57 grams/2.01 ounces. It turned out to be a beautiful pipe. Now that I have finished the second pipe the pipe shop brought for repair I will be giving them a call for pickup. I hope that the owner will get great enjoyment from the pair. Remember we are the next in a long line of pipe men and women who will carry on the trust of our pipes until we pass them on to the next trustee. Thanks for your time reading this blog.

 

Repairing a Chipped stem on a Savinelli Trevi 311KS Poker


Blog by Steve Laug

I still receive referrals for repairs from a local pipe and cigar shop and this week I received and email from a fellow about his new pipe. The story is one of those that make you cringe and grimace for if it has not happened to you sometime in your “pipehood” it very well may happen. This is the email I received:

Hi. I just picked up a new Sav 311KS and promptly proceeded to drop it and chip the stem before even getting a chance to smoke it…. Sad day. Could you give me a quote on what a repair/ replacement would set me back? — Josh

I wrote him back and asked for photos of the pipe so I could see what he was referring to. He wrote again and sent the following note and the photos.

It’s just a little chip but annoying.We wrote back and forth and I let him know I could fix it. Yesterday Josh dropped off the pipe at my house for repair. This morning I decided to tackle the repair on this pipe. The fact that he had never smoked it and that it was new really touched me and decided it would be the next pipe on the worktable. I took photos of the pipe to give a sense of the beauty of the piece. It is a smooth finished Poker with what looks like a Walnut finish. The band on the shank is silver. The stem is acrylic with a silver Savinelli logo on the top of the saddle. The shank is stamped on the left side and read Savinelli [over] Trevi. On the right side it had the Savinelli Shield S followed by 311KS [over] Italy. The pipe had an inwardly beveled rim top and the bowl was smooth, unsmoked briar. The pipe had a Savinelli Balsa Filter in the tenon. I took a photo of the rim top and bowl to give a sense of the shape and finish of the bowl. It is a pretty pipe. I also took photos of the acrylic stem to show the general condition apart from the chipped right underside of the button and the stem (encircled in red in the photo below).I took photos of the stamping to try and capture it. The shiny varnish finish reflects light so much that the stamping is not clear in the photos. It reads as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe. It is a proportionally nice looking pipe.Now it was time to work on the stem. I cleaned off the chipped area with alcohol and a cotton swab to remove any debris. I took photos of the chipped area before I started working on it. You can see the damage. Though it is small it is rough to the touch and would certainly be rough to the mouth. I have drawn a red box around the damage in the photos below.I carefully filled in the chipped area with black CA glue and pressed it into the chipped spots with a tooth pick. I laid the stem aside to let the repair cure. Once the repair cured I reshaped the button with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I worked over the right edge and the button to match what was on the other side of the stem. Once finished it looked better. I started polishing the acrylic with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I polished the acrylic 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 and gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil to finish it. With the stem repaired on this Savinelli Trevi 311KS Poker it is ready to go back to Josh so he can enjoy his first bowl in his new pipe. It is a great looking pipe with a rich walnut finish that highlights the grain and works well with the silver band and the polished acrylic 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. I have email Josh and let him know it is ready to pick up. I take a moment to remind myself and each of us that we are trustees of pipes that will outlive us and the lives of many other pipe men and women who carry on the trust of their care and use. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it.

Restoring a Wire Rusticated Savinelli Extra 6002 Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table a wire rusticated Bent Billiard shaped pipe. It is stamped on the heel of the bowl and the underside of the shank and reads Savinelli [over] Extra followed by the Savinelli shield S then the shape number 6002 [over] Italy. The bent taper vulcanite stem is stamped with a faint crown on the left side of the stem. The briar has a wire rusticated finish around the bowl and shank. This pipe was purchased on 02/19/21 from a fellow in Victorville, California, USA. The finish was dirty and worn  on the rim edges and sides of the bowl but the shape was good looking. The rim top was caked with lava that also covered the inner edge. There was a thick cake in the bowl and some tobacco debris. The shank and stem airway was very dirty. The stem was lightly oxidized, calcified and had deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to show the cake in the bowl, and the lava on the top and inner edge. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter and deep marks very well. There was also a tarry and dirty stinger in the tenon. Jeff took photos of the sides of the bowl to highlight the rustication around the bowl sides and base. He captured the stamping on the heel of the bowl and the underside of the shank in the next photos. They are clean and readable as noted above. The stem also had a faint crown stamped on the left side. 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. The 6002 shape is not present in the chart.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 its 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 cleaned up the pipes with his usual thoroughness – reaming the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaning up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the internals of the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime on the finish. When he sent it the pipe was ready to restore. I could not believe how good the rim top looked in comparison to what it was when he started. I took photos of the pipe when I unpacked it. The briar was clean and the rustication quite unique. The finish looked dull and lifeless. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top after Jeff had cleaned it up. The look of the rim top and edges is very good. There were some spots where the stain was worn away. He had been able to remove the cake and the lava very well. The bowl was spotless. The stem is also shown and was very clean. He had scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Mark’s Before & After Deoxidizer. There was tooth chatter and deep marks still remaining.I took a photo of the stamping on the heel and the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to show the look of the pipe. It is a real beauty.The bowl was very clean and the briar looked good. In examining it I realized that the worn spots on the briar were part of the finish. I decided to rub the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush. The product cleans, enlivens and preserves the briar. I let it do its magic. It sat for 10 minutes and then I buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The bowl really is looking good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a Bic Lighter. I was able to raise most of them. Those that remained I filled in with clear CA glue. I set the stem aside to let the repairs cure. I smoothed out the repairs with a small file to start the process of blending them in. I continued the blending with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I scrubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub to remove the deep oxidation on the stem surface. I was able to remove much of what was present. Once I worked it over with micromesh it would be better.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine then gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. There is something about this finish that make this a beautiful pipe. This wire rusticates Savinelli Extra 6002 Bent Billiard looks great. The swirling, hairlike etching of the rustication on the pipe is quite nice with the dark finish. I put the stem on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel (being careful of the stamping so as not to damage that). I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The dimensions of this pipe are – Length: 5 ½ 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 1.34 ounces/38 grams. It is a great looking pipe and one that will be going on the rebornpipes store in the Italian Pipe Makers section. If you want to add it to your collection let me know via email to slaug@uniserve.com or by message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

Look at the Straight Grain on this La Savinelli Giubileo D’ Oro Fiammata ** Billiard


 Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table literally called out to me from my box. The Straight Grain on the bowl just called me to pay attention. This one is stamped La Savinelli [over] Giubileo D’Oro on the left side of the shank. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Straight Grain [over] – Fiammata – [over] two stars. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the Savinelli Shield S logo followed by the shape number 114KS [over] Italy. The saddle stem has three brass dots on the top. The briar has some nice straight and flame grain around the bowl with birdseye on the top of the bow, shank and the underside of both. This pipe was bought on December 12, 2019 from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. The finish was dirty but the grain shone through well. The rim top was quite clean but there was some light lava on top and on the bevel. There is a thick cake in the bowl and some tobacco debris. The shank and stem airway was very dirty. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to show the cake in the bowl, the lava on the bevel and rim top. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter very well. Jeff took photos of the sides of the bowl to highlight the amazing straight grain that explains the Straight Grain – Fiammata stamping on this pipe. It is quite stunning even though it is dirty.He captured the stamping on the shank sides in the next photos. They are clean and readable as noted above. I have worked on at one previous La Savinelli Guibileo D’ Oro in the past that I remembered so I turned there on the blog to read the background on the brand and remind myself how to understand the stamping on the shank. Here is the link (https://rebornpipes.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=74052&action=edit&classic-editor). I quote from the blog below rather than redo the research.

There were several things about the stamping that I was unfamiliar with so I did some searching online. I wanted to know when Savinelli stamped their pipe “La Savinelli”. I wanted to know about the “Giubileo D’ Oro” and where it fit in the hierarchy of pipes from the company. I also wanted to understand the three gold dots on the stem.

I turned first to Pipephil – http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli2.html and there I found the first helpful information. Some of my questions were answered in the notes on the page.

  • The “LA” article precedes the “SAVINELLI” stamping on all pipes from the Giubileo d’Oro line.
  • 4 digit shape number means The pipe predates the 1970’s. This new one does not have the four digit number but a three digit 114KS stamp
  • Additional 2 stars indicating the grade (from 1 to 3 stars)

I then turned to the Pipedia article to see if I could learn more about the pipe

( https://pipedia.org/wiki/Savinelli). I have included to pages from Brochures that give some interesting information about the brand. It seems that Golden Jubilee pipe is made from very rare briar burls from Sardinia. Due to the limited raw materials available the pipe can only be produced in small quantities. Each pipe originally came with a certificate of authenticity. Sadly this was missing with the pipe I am working on.

Guibileo D’Oro Brochure Page, courtesy Doug Valitchka

Guibileo D’Oro Brochure Page, courtesy Doug Valitchka

I also did a websearch of Savinelli’s 50th Anniversary and was immediately given a link to their site (https://www.savinelli.it/rw2_en/catalog/product/view/id/15909/s/giubileo-oro-prime-0005?__from_store=rw2_en). They describe the line as follows:

The significance of ‘Golden Jubilee’ is to commemorate the “50th anniversary”; it defines the rarity of these pipes. Only 0.1% of our total production has the quality to be worthy of this unique series. Nature gives us this rare jewel of a pipe as an unparalleled and exceptional combination of perfect raw material and outstanding grain. The selection process is passed on only by word of mouth and is determined by the experience and high quality standards of Savinelli, a guarantee of reliability and elegant style.

Putting all of that together I learned that the pipe was a 50th Anniversary Commemorative and part of a limited production “Golden Jubilee” series. That would make it a mid 70s pipe rather than what Pipephil noted above. It is selected for its special and unique grain and handpicked for a shape to highlight the grain. The entire line was stamped with the La Savinelli marking. It is a unique piece of history. Now to get to work on it!

Jeff cleaned up the pipes with his usual thoroughness – reaming the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaning up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the internals of the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime on the finish. When he sent it the pipe was ready to restore. I could not believe how good the rim top looked in comparison to what it was when he started. I took photos of the pipe when I unpacked it. The briar was clean and the grain quite stunning. The finish looked dull and lifeless. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top after Jeff had cleaned it up. The look of the rim top and edges is very good. He had been able to remove the cake and the lava very well. The bowl was spotless. The stem is also shown and was very clean but lightly oxidized. He had scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Mark’s Before & After Deoxidizer. There was light tooth chatter still remaining.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The first photo shows the La Savinelli [over] Giubileo D’ Oro stamp on the left side. The second shows the shape number 114KS and the Savinelli Logo and the Italy stamp on the right side. The third shows the Straight Grain [over] –Fiammata- [over] two stars stamping on the underside of the shank. The final photo shows the three brass dots on the top of the saddle stem. I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo to show the beauty of this pipe. The grain really is stunning.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding (carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank sides) with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth between each pad. The grain to take on a shine. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and let it do its magic. The product cleans, enlivens and preserves the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The bowl really is looking good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed it with Soft Scrub cleanser to remove the residual oxidation that remained on the surface of both sides. I find that when I let the pipe sit a long time before getting to it this light oxidation almost always happens.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine then gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This incredibly beautiful La Savinelli Giubileo D’ Oro Straight Grain –Fiammata- 2 Stars Billiard (114) is an amazing looking pipe. It is a 50th Anniversary Commemorative and part of a limited production “Golden Jubilee” series. That would make it a mid 70s made of briar that was specially selected because of the spectacular grain. I put the stem on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel (being careful of the stamping so as not to damage that). I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The dimensions of this pipe are – Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.55 ounces/44 grams. It is really a gorgeous pipe and one that will reside in my own collection for now while I figure out if I want to hang on to it. I look forward to enjoying it soon.

Taking it to Church – Churchwarden Aged Briar 601 Savinelli Made


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interesting Savinelli Made Bent Churchwarden. On the left side of the shank it reads Churchwarden [over] Old Briar. On the right side Savinelli [over] Italy and next to that is a Savinelli S Shield [followed by] the shape number 601. This pipe was purchased from an on-line auction in November, 2018 in Bridgton, Maine, USA. It is an interesting piece of briar with a long vulcanite stem. The shape is a bent billiard with some great grain. The finish was dirty and dull with grime ground into the briar around the bowl and shank. The bowl has a moderate cake in the bowl and a light coat of lava on the rim top and beveled inner edge. There is some darkening on the inner edge of the bowl. The stem was oxidized and had tooth chatter on the top and the underside near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work.  He took some photos of the bowl to give a sense of the condition of the bowl and rim top. You can see the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top. There is also some damage and darkening to the inner edges. The stem is oxidized, calcified and has tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. He took photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the grain around the bowl. It really was a nice piece of briar.Jeff took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. It is clear and readable as noted above. 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 when it arrived.   I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show how well it had cleaned up. The rim top photo looks very good and the inner bevel is in perfect condition. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and scratching on the surface near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the left and right side of the shank. You can see that it is stamped as noted above. It is clear and readable.   I took the pipe apart and took a photo of the pipe. It is a good looking pipe and has some great looking grain around the bowl and shank. I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol to remove the uneven stain and even out the finish on the bowl. I was able to remove just enough to make the grain really stand out. I polished the briar bowl and shank with micromesh sanding pads. I dry sanded it with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with a damp cloth after each pad.     I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar 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 photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed it with Soft Scrub cleanser to remove the oxidation on the stem and leave it ready to sand. I sanded out some tooth marks on the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil.   I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final rub down with Obsidian Oil and let it dry. I am excited to finish yet another Churchwarden. This one is a Savinelli Made Churchwarden Aged Briar 601 Bent Billiard. I put the pipe back together and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I hand buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the polished nickel band and the black vulcanite stem. This Classic looking Savinelli Churchwarden feels great in my hand. It is light and well balanced. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 10 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 44grams/1.55oz. It is a beautiful pipe and one that will be on the Italian Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store soon. If you are interested in adding it to your collection let me know. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this pipe. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog.