Tag Archives: Scandia sandblast pipes

Restoring a Lovely Danish Pickaxe

Blog by Kenneth Lieblich

Next on the chopping block is a beautiful Danish pipe from Scandia. This terrific pipe came to me from an antique shop in the Fraser Valley (an area to the east of Vancouver). The price was reasonable, so I had to have it. The pipe is beautiful and a great example of Danish pipe-making. The pipe is a Danish pickaxe pipe by Scandia, produced from the esteemed pipemaker, Stanwell. The pickaxe is a very attractive shape and this one is no exception. It really makes an impression. It has beautiful, sandblasted briar from the bowl, down the shank and transitions into the vulcanite ferrule. It also has a fantastic push stem. The underside of the shank reads Scandia [over] Made in Denmark. There is a faint marking on the ferrule, which appears to show “10” or possibly “1C”. I don’t think this is a shape number, for reasons I will explain momentarily. Finally, the stem’s top also has the SC, indicating the Scandia make. Both Pipedia and Pipephil list Scandia as being a Stanwell sub-brand or second (and not much else), as per the photo below.Meanwhile, Pipedia has a good amount of information on the Stanwell brand and its history. I certainly recommend looking it over: https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell.Despite the (possible) number 10 on the ferrule, I went to check the list of Stanwell shapes, here on Reborn Pipes, and I found that this definitely did not match. However, I did find something that was a match! Shape 1b is listed as “Freehand, Pick Ax, push mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson. (1975)”. To further confirm this, here is a page from an old 70s or 80s Stanwell catalogue which clearly shows the same shape of pipe with the matching shape number. I think we can safely assume that this is a pickaxe, designed by the legendary Sixten Ivarsson.Anyway, this really is a good-looking pipe. No major issues to resolve – just a few minor ones. The stem was dirty, and some small scratches. There were a couple of significant bite marks, as well as some oxidation and calcification on the vulcanite. The rim on the stummel was blackened and burnt – that would need to be addressed. The insides were fairly dirty and would need some work to clean out. There was also a small nick along the inside edge of the rim. The stem was first on my list. I wiped down the outside of the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap on some cotton pads. I also took a BIC lighter and ‘painted’ the stem with its flame in order to lift the bite marks and dents. Unfortunately, this didn’t really work, but I have ways of sorting this out. Then, I cleaned out the insides of the stem with pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol.Once this process was done, I used SoftScrub and cotton pads to wipe down the stem before throwing it in the Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover overnight. The following day, I cleaned all of the de-oxidizing mess and again scrubbed with SoftScrub on some cotton pads to remove the leftover oxidation. This worked well. I used some nail polish to restore the letters SC on the stem. I painted the area carefully and let it fully set before proceeding. These letters were too worn to be fully restored, but they definitely looked better after I worked on them.Before I moved on to the Micromesh pads, I built up the dents on the stem with cyanoacrylate adhesive and let them fully cure.I used my miniature files to ensure that the repairs keep the shape and look like they should. I then sanded the stem down with 220-, 400-, and 600-grit sandpapers to meld seamlessly into the stem. I did the same to the remaining tooth marks. I then used all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit) to bring out the lovely black lustre on the stem. I also used Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil in between each pad scrubbing.I repeated all of the above procedures for the vulcanite ferule, which only came off the stummel after applying heat and some gentle force. On to the stummel, and the usual cleaning procedures were in order for this pipe. I used both the PipNet Reamer and the KleenReem to remove the built-up cake and take the bowl down to bare briar, as I wanted to ensure there were no hidden flaws in the walls of the bowl. Fortunately, there were none.I then proceeded to clean out the insides of the shank with Q-tips, pipe cleaners, and isopropyl alcohol. There was lots of filth inside this stummel, and it took a good number of pipe cleaners etc. to sort that out. I followed that up by cleaning the insides with some dish soap and tube brushes. I then moved on to cleaning the outside of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and some cotton pads. That removed any latent dirt. I decided to de-ghost the pipe in order to remove any lingering smells of the past. I thrust cotton balls into the bowl and the shank and saturated them with 99% isopropyl alcohol. I let the stummel sit overnight. This caused any remaining oils, tars and smells to leach out into the cotton. The bowl was nice and clean after this.As I mentioned earlier, there were some small burn marks on the rim of the stummel that also needed to be addressed. Some of this was removed by the Murphy’s. For the burns that remained, I took some oxalic acid on a Q-tip and rubbed and rubbed. As you will see, the treatment worked reasonably well and the rim was improved. Some would remain, but that is part of the history of this pipe. I completed this step by gently sanding the interior rim edge to remove any remnants that remained. Then I addressed the nick on the rim by filling it with cyanoacrylate adhesive and briar dust. I sanded it down and made it look great. After this, the entire stummel was treated to a rub-down with all nine Micromesh pads (1,500 through 12,000 grit). A light application of Before & After Restoration Balm brought out the best in the stummel’s sandblast. There is some beautiful wood on this Danish pipe! In fact, as I was working, my youngest child came to watch me for a bit and said, “Is that a doggy?” I wasn’t sure what she meant, but she grabbed the stummel and pointed this out. That’s pretty funny!I glued the ferrule back I place and then it was off for a trip to the buffer. A dose of White Diamond and a few coats of conservator’s wax were just what this pipe needed. I had to be especially careful with the bench polisher, since the edges had a tendency to catch on the buffing wheels. This pipe was a delight from the start and its beauty only increased through the restoration process. This pipe is elegant, light, and incredibly comfortable to hold. Finally, I am pleased to announce that this pipe is for sale! If you are interested in acquiring it for your collection, please have a look in the ‘Danish’ pipe section of the store here on Steve’s website. You can also email me directly at kenneth@knightsofthepipe.com. The approximate dimensions of the Stanwell are as follows: length 5½ in. (140 mm); height 2½ in. (64 mm); bowl diameter 1⅝ in. (41 mm); chamber diameter ¾ in. (19 mm). The weight of the pipe is 1⅝ oz. (47 g). I hope you enjoyed reading the story of this restoration as much as I enjoyed restoring it. If you are interested in more of my work, please follow me here on Steve’s website or send me an email. Thank you very much for reading and, as always, I welcome and encourage your comments.

This Made in Denmark Scandia Volcano 770 was a tired looking pipe

Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one that was also at the bottom of the box of pipes I am working on. It is a Stanwell made Scandia sandblast pipe – a 770 Volcano shape with an oval tapered stem. The volcano shaped bowl, oval shank and taper stem made up a nicely shape pipe. The sandblast though dirt and grime showed some interesting colour mixes and the blast was very interesting.  It was stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the shank and read SCANDIA over Made in Denmark and the shape number 770. The finish was very dirty with a heavy coat of grime ground into the sandblasted bowl and rim top as can be seen in the photos. There dust in all of the deep crevices of the blast. The bowl had a thick cake with a heavy lava overflow on the sandblasted rim top. There was too much lava on the rim top and edge to know what they looked like but more would be revealed once it was cleaned. The stem was oxidized and there were deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up so you could see what we saw. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show lava build up around the rim, the edges and cake in the bowl. The lava actually had filled in some of the nooks and crannies in the sandblast.   Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the absolutely dirty finish ground into the sandblast. It was a dirty pipe but I think it will be a beautiful one once we are finished.  The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photos below. It is clear and read as noted above.  There was nothing stamped on the top of the stem. The stem was a good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I had in my memory the thought that the Scandia brand was a Stanwell second so I quickly turned to Pipephil’s website to check it out (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-s4.html). I am including the following screen capture.It was my turn to work on the pipe now. I was really looking forward to what the pipe would look like once Jeff had worked his magic. What would the rim top look like? What would the dirty sandblast on the bowl look like? I had no idea. When I took it out of the box I was struck great job cleaning up the pipe Jeff had done. It was impressive! He had reamed the pipe with a Pipnet piper reamer and taken the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed the stem off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it.   I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see that there is still some darkening to both the briar rim top and inner edge. The stem is clean and the tooth damage on both sides is very clear in the photos.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above. There is also the expected inset brass bar on the left side of the saddle.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. It really is a beautifully shaped pipe.I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the darkening on the briar rim top. I wiped down the entire bowl with alcohol and used a brass bristle wire brush to work over the darkened areas on the bowl top.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to get it into the crevices of the sandblast. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.     I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the stem with the flame of a Bic lighter to lift the deep dents in the surface. The dents on the top side lifted well. The underside was better than before. The button edge on the top was rough.    I filled in the remaining indentations and built up the top and bottom of the button with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I used a needle file to reshape the button edges and also flatten the repaired areas. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to finish the shaping and to remove the remaining oxidation. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil before further polishing it.   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.   This interestingly stained sandblast Stanwell Made Scandia 770 Volcano with a taper vulcanite stem turned out very nice. The mix of brown stains highlights the nooks and crannies of the sandblast around the bowl sides and bottom. The darkening on the rim top does not look too bad and adds a bit of contrast to the light coloured stain and the dark highlights. The finish on the pipe looks much better. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Volcano is very nice and feels great in the hand and can be used as a sitter with the wide base. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. It is a nice pipe whose dimensions are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interesting in adding it to your collection let me know! Thanks for your time.