Tag Archives: Stanwell made Danish Sovereign pipes

Another Bob Kerr Estate – A Danish Sovereign 305 Bulldog Variant


Blog by Steve Laug

I am having some fun with Bob’s pipes now that Jeff has done the cleanup on them. When I was doing both the cleanup and restoration it was slow moving and tedious as he had smoked these pipes last in the 90s and the cake was rock hard and the pipes were dirty. The next pipe is a Stanwell second – Danish Sovereign that is a Danish take on an oval shank Bulldog. It is a shape 305 with a taper stem. This is another of Bob’s pipes that I am working on. I am cleaning them for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting. This quaint Danish Sovereign is an interesting and unique shape to work on.

I think this would have been a Stanwell regular line pipe if it did not have the many small and large flaws that had been puttied. Stanwell did a great job with the fills on the underside of the bowl as they are well blended in the finish. The layout of the shape to the grain is perfect with birdseye on the sides and cross grain on the front and back of the bowl. It is a beauty. To me the shape is a Danish take on a Bulldog – though with the rounded bottom and an oval shank it has come a long way. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank Danish Sovereign over Made in Denmark. Following the name stamp is the shape number 305. The top of the tapered stem has a XXX stamp on it. The bowl has a rich contrasting brown stain that makes the grain pop and hides the fills pretty well. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow built up on the rim top. The edges of the rim and top are dirty but look pretty good under the grime but I would know for certain once it was clean. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and had some calcification on the first half of the stem. There was a lot of tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. Again, surprisingly it did not have the deep tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good. Jeff took photos of the heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful cross grain running across the front of the bowl and the birdseye on the side of the bowl. Though the pipe is quite dirty the grain and layout are stunning. The third photo shows the large chipping fill on the left side of the bowl on the lower back. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank and the top of the tapered stem. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read as noted above. The photo of the stem top shows the XXX stamp on the vulcanite stem.Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.    I turned to Pipephil’s site to confirm my memory about the pipe being a Stanwell product. I vaguely remembered it and also the shape just sang Stanwell make! Sure enough it was indeed a Stanwell second pipe (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-d2.html) made exclusively for the USA and Canada. I have included a screen capture of the section on Danish Sovereign pipes below.Pipedia (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell) confirms the connection listing the brand as a sub-brand or second. So now I knew what I was dealing with but still had no idea as to the time period of its manufacture.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me on a recent visit and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. This is another of the pipes that Jeff cleaned up and sent back to me. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff soaked the stem 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 very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. (The first photo is out of focus slightly but you can still see the flaw on the bottom part of the bowl.) I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. Once again Jeff did a remarkable job in his cleanup of the rim top. The bowl and the rim top looks good. The grain really stands out and the outer edge looks good. There is some roughening on the front inner edge and some burn damage. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the lack of tooth marks on the stem surface. You can also see the light tooth marks and the slight wear to the button edge.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to the rest of the restoration on this Stanwell made Danish Sovereign 305 Bulldog. Since Jeff had done such an amazing clean up job on the bowl it was very easy for me. I decided to address the damage to the fills on the left side and the bottom of the bowl. The fill on the left can be seen in the first photo below. In the second photo of the bowl underside below you can see what appears to be a crack to the naked eye. It is not a crack but rather a series of 5-7 fills in a cluster. They form almost an “H” shaped figure on the bowl bottom. The fills all showed pits and flaws in the original putty repairs.I wiped the areas down with alcohol and filled in the damaged spots on the fill with clear super glue. The next three photos show the extent of the repairs to the briar. When the repair had cured I sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper until the surface as smooth.I started the polishing process on the repaired areas with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. The repairs are solid on both the side and the bottom of the shank.While I was at it with the sandpaper I worked on the damaged rim edge with the 220 grit sandpaper and the 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. When I was finished the rim looked better.I decided to polish the bowl as a whole with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wipe the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The outcome of the polishing is a rich deep shine that is only enhanced by the wax at the end of the process. I decided to clean the briar with Mark Hoover’s Before & After Briar Cleaner to clean up the sanded surface of the briar and blend the repairs into the briar. I rubbed it into the surface of the briar and let it sit for 10 minutes. I rinsed the bowl off with warm running water to remove the product and the grime. I used an Oak stain pen to touch up the sanded areas on the bottom and side of the bowl. I stained the rim top at the same time. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm at this point in the process. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips 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 use this product on every pipe that I work on as it really works. Have a look at the stained portions of the bowl. The product really worked to blend it into surrounding bowl colour. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I “painted” the tooth indentations on the top and underside with a “Bic” style lighter. Since vulcanite has memory the dents lifted nicely and I would be able to lightly sand the stem to remove the remaining marks.  I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the oxidation. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratching. It is starting to look good. I rubbed the stem down with Denicare Mouthpiece Polish. I have a few tins of this laying around so I am trying to use them up. It does a pretty good job polishing the stem.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each sanding pad with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. Once I had finished the polishing I gave it final coat of oil and set it aside to dry.    With Bob’s pipes I am always excited to be on the homestretch and seeing the final look when it is put back together, polished and waxed. I put the bowl and stem back together. I polished the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond to polish out the scratches in the briar and the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The birdseye grain on the sides of the bowl and the cross grain on the front and back looked good with the polished black vulcanite. This Stanwell made Danish Sovereign Danish Style Bulldog was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. The combination of various brown stains really makes the pipe look attractive. It is a comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¼ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This one will go on the rebornpipes store shortly if you would like to carry on Bob’s legacy with it. No worries though, I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

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A Sad Old Danish Sovereign 330 Bent Dublin Made New


Blog by Steve Laug

This old Stanwell looking Dublin was in the box of pipes that came from my friend Steve in Dawson Creek. It is one of the batch he sent for me to chip away at in my spare time. Today was the day for that chipping away to happen. I pulled out five of the remaining seven pipes and worked on all of them today. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank with the shape number 330 over Danish Sovereign over Made in Denmark. The stamping on the pipe is faint.  The bowl is heavily caked and there is a thick overflow of tars and cake onto the rim top almost obscuring the beveled inner edge of the rim. The finish on the bowl is worn and dirty. There is paint on the surface of the briar on the left side. The stem has a lot of tooth marks and chatter. There is also oxidation on the stem. I took photos of the pipe before I started the restoration. The next photo is a close up of the rim top. The cake was thick but the worst part was the heavy overflow onto the rim. It was impossible at this point to know the condition of the rim and edge of the bowl because of the mess covering it all.The stem was worn and had tooth dents and chatter on both sides near the button. The button itself was worn down and the edges almost indistinct from the rest of the stem surface.I put the stem in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath to soak with the other stems from Steve’s pipes. While they soaked I worked on the five bowls that went with them.I reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer starting with the smallest cutting head and working my way up to the second head which was the same size as the bowl. I cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I took the cake back to bare briar. I scraped the rim with a sharp pen knife to clean up the lava buildup on the rim top. I scraped it until the rim was debris free.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and shank with Murphy’s Oil Soap and scrubbed the rim top and the bevel with a tooth brush. I rinsed the bowl under running water and continued to scrub it until it was clean and the bevel was clearly defined. After removing all of the lava on the rim there was quite a bit of rim damage on top. To remove the damage on the outer rim edge I decided to lightly top the bowl on a topping board with 220 grit sandpaper. I took a photo of the process and of the top once I had finished it.There were three sandpits or fills in the top of the bowl. I sanded the bevel on the inner edge of the rim to remove some of the burn damage. I repaired the fills with clear super glue. When the repairs dried I sanded them smooth with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the rim top. I sanded the outer edge and the beveled inner edge of the bowl some more to clean them up. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol to remove remnants of the finish and the grime on the bowl. I stained the rim top and inner bevel with a light brown stain pen to blend it into the rest of the bowl. I gave the repair areas a little heavier coat of the stain to try to blend them in better.I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cotton pad to remove the sanding grit. I scrubbed out the airway in the shank and mortise with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It was pretty dirty. I probably should have cleaned it earlier but totally got caught up in working on the top of the rim.I decided to give the bowl several coats of Danish Oil with Cherry stain to give it a contrast coat. The cherry stain highlighted the grain on the bowl and gave the pipe a rich look.I buffed the bowl with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine and gave it a light coat of carnauba wax. The photos show the new look of the bowl. The grain pops and the bowl is ready once I get the stem finished. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I took it out of the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer bath and dry it off. I ran a pipe cleaner through the airway to remove the Deoxidizer that was on the inside of the stem. I used alcohol to clean out the airway in the stem.I wiped down the stem a cotton pad and alcohol to remove any film or debris on the surface of the stem that would get in the way of the repairs. I filled in the tooth marks and deeper dents with clear super glue. When the glue dried I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and used a needle file to clean up the sharp edge of the button. I cleaned up the file marks and blended the repairs into the surface of the stem with 220 grit sandpaper. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads (I opened a new package for this pipe) and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each pad. After the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil and set it aside to dry. The last photo below has a brown tint that I cannot get rid of but in natural light the stem is shiny black. I put the stem on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl several coats of carnauba wax and buffed the 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. It is the fourth of this batch of five pipes that I have restored for Steve. It is very obviously a Stanwell made pipe – everything from the shape to the look of the stem and shank says Stanwell. I think Steve will really like this latest addition to his rack. Steve, if you are reading this I hope you enjoy this beauty. It will be on its way to you very soon. Thanks for looking.