Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the work table came to us from a fellow in West Virginia. We pick up quite a few pipes for restoration from all over the world actually so it is nice to try to remember at least where we got them. You can tell if you have been reading lately I am not always good at that! Wherever we get them, I try to work them into the restoration queue so that I can keep them moving. This next one is a beautifully grained bent billiard pipe with a tapered vulcanite stem with a gold dot on top. It has been here since the summer of 2018. The pipe is stamped on the left side and reads Savinelli [over] Punto Oro [over] Super. On the right side it has a Savinelli S shield logo followed by the shape number 602 [over] Italy. The finish had a lot of grime ground into the smooth finish on the bowl and some darkening around the sides of the bowl. There were some scratches in the briar on the right side. The bowl was thickly caked with overflowing lava coat on the top of the rim. There were some scratches in the rim top but the edges looked to be in good condition. The stem was dirty, oxidized and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. There was a brass dot on the top of taper stem. It had 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 the overflow of lava on the rim top. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. There was damage on the surface of the button on both sides. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime. He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank and band. They read as noted above and are clear and readable. He also took a photo of the “punto oro” brass dot on the top of the stem.I have worked on quite a few Punto Oro pipes over the years but this is the first that was marked Punto Oro Super. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if he had any information that could help with the additional SUPER stamp (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html). The last entry under the Punto Oro line fit the bill. I have included a screen capture of the section below.The last note under the pipes read as follows: Savinelli’s Punto Oro pipes stamped “SUPER” were marketed in the early 1980’s and canceled some few years after. It seems that the Super pipes were short lived.
Since Jeff follows the same pattern of work in his cleanup we do not include photos but rather just a simple summary. Jeff reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and followed up with a Savinelli Fitsall pipe knife to remove the cake. He scrubbed out the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl, rim, shank and stem with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the oils and tars on the rim and the grime on the finish of the bowl. He rinsed it under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove the light lava build up on the rim top and you could see the great condition of the bowl top and edges of the rim. The rim top and the edges of the bowl were in good condition other than some scratching and darkening. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. I took photos of the pipe before I began my part of the work. The rim top cleaned up really well with the light lava coat removed. The inner and outer edge of the rim looked good. There is some darkening and scratching on the rim top and inner edge but nothing too problematic. The stem had tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button and damage to the button surface. There was also a dark spot on the top of the shank at the junction of the stem and shank. I took photos of the stamping on the shank sides. You can see that the stamping is clear and readable. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. It really has some great birdseye on the left side of the bowl and shank.I worked on the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and clean up the bevel. I sanded the rim top at the same time to remove the scratches, nicks and damage there. The dark spot on the top of the shank at the end appears to be a stain rather than a burn mark.I polished the bowl and the rim top, sides and shank with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. As I polished it with the first three pads (1500-2400) I found a deep scratch on the right side of the bowl. I examined it with a light and lens and it is just a gouge in the briar. I had drawn an oval around it in red in the second photo below. I tried to steam out the scratch with limited success. I filled it in with clear super glue. Once it cured I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I restained the area with a Maple Stain pen to begin to blend it into the surrounding briar. I continued the polishing with the next grades of micromesh – 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth between each 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 a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth marks with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift them. The heat raised the dents in the vulcanite significantly. I filled in the remaining dents with black super glue. Once the repairs had cured I used a needle file to recut and reshape the button edge and flatten the repairs to begin blending them into the stem surface. I sanded out the scratching and repairs with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the vulcanite and started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This Savinelli Punto Oro Super 602 Bent Billiard with a taper vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. 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 Punto Oro Bent Billiard fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!