Tag Archives: Stanwell Antique Pipes

Replacing a Stem on a Stanwell Antique 156 Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I brought to my work table is another Stanwell Antique. This one is stamped on the underside of the shank with the words Stanwell over the script Antique and over the top of them both is the number 156 which is the shape number. This one came in the same lot as the two victims of Jaws that I have already written about on the blog – the Estella and the GBD Midnight (https://rebornpipes.com/2016/12/06/jaws-and-an-estella-non-pareil-%c2%bc-bent-9606-stack-by-savinelli/ and https://rebornpipes.com/2016/12/09/another-jaws-victim-a-gbd-midnight-788-oval-shank-apple/). This Stanwell Antique Bulldog had a poorly fit replacement stem – a diamond shaped stem from a classic bulldog shape. The stem had many deep tooth marks on both the top and the underside of the stem. anti1The finish on the bowl was in decent shape though the rim had some tarry buildup and there was a thick cake in the bowl. The first photo shows the mixture of sandblast and smooth on this pipe was a nice contrast. The front of the pipe was smooth and joined the smooth rim. The second photo shows that the front outer edge had nicks and dents in it as did the surface of the rim. The close up photo of the rim shows the condition of the pipe when my brother received it.anti2The Lucite shank extension is amber coloured. The thickness of the extension makes it hard for the light to shine through it. The mortise had been damaged – it is my thought that whoever put the new stem in place redrilled the mortise and damaged the inner edge and the bottom of the mortise. anti3The stamping on the underside of the shank is better than the stamping on the previous Antique I just finished. The shape number is very clear and sharp. The Stanwell logo is lighter on the left side and the Antique stamping is also very clear and sharp.anti4The next photo shows the transition from the smooth front of the bowl to the sandblast on the rest of the bowl. You can see some of the grit in the grooves and crevices of the blast and the grime on the smooth portion.anti5The last photo that my brother sent me shows the bite marks on the diamond stem. They are identical in pattern to the ones on the previous two “Jaws” pipes.anti6My brother cleaned up the pipe with his usual thoroughness. When the pipe arrived in Vancouver the finish was clean and the grooves and crevices clean. The rim was better though it show the damage to the front edge and the dents to the top of the rim. He had reamed and cleaned the mortise and the airway in the replacement stem so the pipe was very clean and ready for me to work on.

I cleaned up the shank extension end and used clear super glue to rebuild the damage portion of the Lucite. I sanded it with 180 grit sandpaper and also with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs. I cleaned out the shank with a cotton swab and warm water to remove the debris in the shank. I took photos of the bowl after I cleaned it up and scrubbed it with Murphy’s Oil Soap.anti7 anti8The rim shows some damage to the top and the back edge in the photo below.anti9The stem was an obvious replacement so I put it in my can of stems and looked for a stem that would be a good candidate for a replacement. I had one in a lot of stems that my brother sent me. It was a Danish looking freehand stem that had a long tenon and a step up toward the ring in the middle. I forgot to take a photo of the stem before I worked on it but I had another example of one that was similarly shaped that is shown in the next photo.anti10I sanded the stem with a Dremel and sanding drum to shorten and remove the step down area. I wanted to have a smooth transition from the tenon end to the mid ring. I also wanted to make the slope to the ring more abrupt that it was in the one above. The stem was in pretty rough shape. There was deep tooth mark on the topside of the stem from the damaged button forward. There was also some tooth damage on the underside of the stem in the middle and on one side. The button was also damaged on the underside. There was a missing chunk of vulcanite on the button edge. I filled in the damaged areas with black superglue to build them up. I let the glue dry and once it was dry I sanded it smooth to match the surface of the rest of the stem. I filled in the damaged button and built up the edge on the top and bottom sides. I sanded the button as well once it had cured and reshaped it.anti11I sanded the diameter of the tenon area on the new stem until the fit in the mortise was correct. The stem still looked a little long but I would take care of that shortly. I put it in the mortise and took photos of the pipe with the new stem.anti12 anti13I sanded the stem with 180 grit and 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the repairs and reshape the stem to match the rest of the stem.anti14I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads and rubbing it down with the oil after each set of three pads. After the final set I gave it a final coat of the oil and set the stem aside to dry.anti15 anti16 anti17To remove the damage to the front edge and the top of the rim I topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper on the topping board. I sanded it with 1500-6000 grit micromesh sanding pads to sand out the scratches in the rim surface. I restained the rim to match the front of the bowl using a dark brown stain pen. I buffed it lightly with a microfibre cloth.anti18I sanded the smooth portions of the bowl face and the rim with 1500-6000 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish them.anti19 anti20I buffed the rim and smooth part of the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the wheel. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The repairs on the stem show under the bright lights of the flash but in person they are pretty well blended into the surface of the stem. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.anti21 anti22 anti23 anti24 anti25 anti26 anti27 anti28

A Stanwell Antique 127 with an Amber Shank Extension


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is a beautiful little Stanwell Acorn. The finish on the pipe was in excellent condition. There were some tars and oil that had overflowed the bowl onto the rim but it was pretty clean. The cake was not too thick. The inner and outer edge of the rim was in excellent shape. The amber Lucite shank extension was in excellent shape and the mortise hole was in perfect condition. The underside of the shank is stamped with the Stanwell logo over the word Antique in script. To the right of it was stamped 127 which is the shape number. The stem was clean with some tooth chatter and quite a bit of oxidation on the top and the underside. The white Stanwell Crowned S logo was stamped on the left side of the stem.

The next series of photos were taken by my brother before he cleaned up the pipe. He did his usual thorough job of cleaning the inside and the outside of the pipe. He reamed the bowl and cleaned out the airways in the shank and stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.antique1The next two photos show the two sides of the bowl. The left side of the bowl is a beautiful tight sandblast finish. The rim is also sandblasted as is the entire shank. The right side of the bowl is a smooth medium brown patch of briar that is on all of the Antique line of Stanwell pipes that I have seen.antique2The photo of the rim shows the condition and the thin cake in the bowl. The pipe was well cared for and did not need to have a lot of work done to bring it back.antique3The next photo shows the underside of the shank and the stamping. You can read the Stanwell stamping even though it is a bit faint on the left side. The Antique stamping is also light but the shape number is clear and deep.antique4The last two photos show the condition of the stem and the light oxidation and tooth chatter on the top side near the button. The Crown S stamping on the stem is in perfect condition.antique5The next four photos show the condition of the pipe when it arrived in Vancouver. I took the photos to show what the pipe looked like before I began the cleanup.antique6 antique7I took a close-up photo of the rim and the shank extension to show the contrast in colours and the condition of the rim at the point I received the pipe.antique8I also took some close up photos of the stem to show the oxidation and the light tooth chatter on both sides of the stem.antique9I gave the bowl and shank several coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed the pipe with a shoe brush and then a microfibre cloth to raise and deepen the shine on the briar. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway and the mortise and it came out clean.antique10 antique11The stem was lightly oxidized so I decided to only use micromesh sanding pads to clean it up. I wet sanded it with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and gave it a coat of Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and gave it a rub down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. I set it aside after the final set of pads to dry.antique12 antique13 antique14I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish it. I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The complexity of the contrast of dark and medium browns as well as a hint of black gives a dimensionality to this pipe that is quite stunning. It did not take a lot of work to bring it back but it was a pleasure to work on it. Thanks for walking with me through the process.antique15 antique16 antique17 antique18 antique19 antique20 antique21 antique22 antique23

Cleaning and Restoring a Stanwell Antique 56 Canadian


Blob by Steve Laug

One of the first pipes I chose to restore from the estate lot my brother and I purchased in Idaho from an older pipeman, Gene was this Stanwell Canadian. It was a nice looking contrast stained pipe that was sandblasted over most of the surface area – the shank and ¾ of the bowl. The underside of the shank and the front of the bowl were smooth and stained a medium brown. The rim top was also smooth and had a matching stain. The stem was a replacement and while it fit the mortise well it did not fit against the shank. It was well chewed by what Gene called a beaver. The tooth marks were deep and many. Fortunately the stem did not match the shank of the pipe so it would not be a loss. I would need to look for a stem in my can of stems and see if I could find one that matched the stem. Maybe I would even find one that bore the Stanwell logo and worked with the pipe. My brother Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up. The next photos show the pipe when he received it.stanwell1Jeff took close up photos – the first shows the cake in the bowl and the overflow of tars and lava over the top of the rim. The outer and inner rims were in great shape. The bowl was still in round and the outer edge is smooth where the smooth portion is and rougher where the sandblast portion of the bowl was. The underside of the shank was stamped Antique in script over Made in Denmark. Next to that it was stamped Stanwell. Next to the shank/stem junction it bore the shape number 56 which is the shape number for a long Canadian.stanwell2 stanwell3He also took some photos of the stem top and bottom. I have included them as they show the chewed surface of the stem on the top and the bottom side. It was a mess and the button was chewed down as well.stanwell4When the pipe arrived in Vancouver I took a photo of the pipe with the stem that came with it. I went through my can of stems and found a stem that bore the silver Stanwell logo on the top side of the saddle. It fit the shank well and with a little cleanup it would work very well. It was oxidized and had some light tooth chatter on both sides. It was almost straight from the shank to the edge of the button.stanwell5I removed the stem and took photos of the bowl without a stem to give you an idea of the condition of the bowl and shank of the pipe. You can see from the photos that my brother had cleaned up the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush and removed the grime that was in the grooves and crevices of the sandblast finish. There was also a small fill on the front of the bowl on the smooth portion of the bowl front. He was also able to remove much of the tars and lava on the rim top.stanwell6 stanwell7I took a close up photo of the stem – both top and bottom sides in order to show the general condition. You can see the crown S on the top of the saddle portion of the stem.stanwell8The tenon was the perfect size to fit the mortise on the Canadian. The width of the stem was the same as the shank. The height was slightly larger than the height of the shank. It would need to be sanded lightly to bring about a match. The photos show what the pipe looked like with the new stem.stanwell9 stanwell10I took a close up photo of the bowl rim and the underside of the shank. It was in great shape. The stamping on the shank underside was clear and readable.stanwell11 stanwell12I also took a close up photo of the stem top and underside with it in place in the shank. You can see from the photos that the stem fit nicely in the shank and looked like it belonged on the pipe.stanwell13I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth chatter and the tarnishing to the crown S logo. I worked on the height of the stem so that it was more in line with the thickness of the shank.stanwell14Once I had the stem fit better I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit sanding pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three sanding pads. I gave it a final coat of oil after the last set of three pads and set it aside to dry.stanwell15 stanwell16 stanwell17I rubbed the bowl down with a light coat of olive oil and hand buffed it with a shoe brush. I gave it several coats of Conservator’s Wax and buffed it with the shoe brush. I buffed the smooth portions on the bowl and rim with Blue Diamond and buffed the stem as well to polish it. I gave the stem and smooth portions of the bowl with carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The shine and the contrast finish and stains make the pipe a unique looking pipe. The new stem looks right with the pipe. Together they combine to make a good looking pipe. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.stanwell18 stanwell19 stanwell20 stanwell21 stanwell22 stanwell23 stanwell24 stanwell25 stanwell26