Tag Archives: Stanwell Pipes

A Unique Stanwell 33 Bulldog from Bob Kerr’s Estate


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe I chose to work on is another one from Bob Kerr’s estate and is part of his collection of Danish made pipes. It is their uniquely shaped Danish Bulldog. I have worked on the restoration of others in this collection which include a Stanwell Jubilee Shape 118 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-stanwell-jubilee-1942-1982-shape-118/); a Stanwell de Luxe Shape 812 (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/10/back-to-bob-kerrs-estate-changing-up-and-working-on-a-danish-made-stanwell-de-luxe-812-billiard-regd-no-969-48/); a WO Larsen (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/01/13/restoring-pipe-17-from-bob-kerrs-estate-a-w-o-larsen-super-15-bent-stack/); a Danish Sovereign Bulldog variation (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/11/another-bob-kerr-estate-a-danish-sovereign-305-bulldog-variant/) and a Danmore Deluxe Volcano (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/20/restoring-a-petersons-dunmore-70-bent-apple-sitter-from-bob-kerrs-estate-2/).

To this list of Danish pipes I am adding the next – a unique Stanwell Bulldog shaped pipe. Like the others it is part of Bob’s estate that the family asked me to clean up and move out to others who will carry on the trust that began with Bob. In the collection there were BBBs, Peterson’s, Dunhills, Comoy’s and Barlings as well many others – a total of 125 pipes. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I created a spread sheet to track the pipes, restoration and sales. This job would take a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes and help the family.

The pipe on the table is a Stanwell Bulldog stained with a rich brown stain with a vulcanite shank extension and a fancy saddle stem. The grain pokes through the dirty finish on the pipe. It was stamped Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 Handmade in Denmark shape 33 on the left underside of the diamond shank. The finish was dirty like the rest of the pipes in this estate. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was an overflow of lava on the rim. The top and edges of the rim were dirty. I could see a beautiful pipe underneath all of the grime and buildup of years of use. The stem was oxidized with tooth chatter on both sides. The Silver Crown S was on the topside of the saddle stem. Surprisingly it also had none of 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 sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the grain on the sides of the bowl and the heel. There is a lot of dust and grime on the surface of the briar but the grain can be seen through the grime.    Jeff took a photo of the stamping on the left underside of the diamond shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Stanwell over Regd. No. 969-48. To the left of that it had the shape number 33 and directly underneath it read Handmade in Denmark. The saddle portion of the stem had an inlaid silver Crown “S” on top behind the saddle. 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 first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of the time period of the Regd. No. Stanwell pipes (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html). I quickly found what I was looking for. The pipes stamped this way were made until the late 60s or early 70s then the stamping was discontinued. I have included a screen capture of that information below.I also turned to Pipedia’s article on Stanwell and read some more about the history of the brand. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell). Once again there was no specific information about the pipe I have in hand. I did find however that the stamping with the Regd. No. 969-48 started after 1948 and continued until the late 60s and early 70s.

With that information in hand I had a sense of the history of this pipe. It had been made after 1948 and before the early 1970s. I could estimate that from the rest of Bob’s pipes this one was probably purchased between the 50s and late 60s and at the very latest the early 70s. I would guess that this pipe fits that time frame. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate it was taking me forever to clean and restore them by myself. I enlisted Jeff’s help with the cleanup. He cleaned over half of the pipes for me. He cleaned up this pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. It 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. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show the great job Jeff did on the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks good though there is some damage on the front inner edge on the left side. The finish is dull, but still is in great condition. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth chatter and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface and the vulcanite shank extension.  One of the things I appreciate about Jeff’s cleanup is that he works to protect and preserve the nomenclature on the shank of the pipes that he works on. The stamping on this one was very readable though there are spots that are faint. He preserved the stamping as you can see. I took a photo to show the clarity of the stamping.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 Regd. No. Stanwell Bulldog! I decided to begin the restoration of the bowl by cleaning up the rim damage on the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the roughness on the front left. The first photo shows the damaged area on the front inner edge of the bowl circled in red. The second and third photos show the cleaned up rim edge. The bowl looks better. I polished the briar and the vulcanite shank extension with micromesh sanding pads to blend in the stain and to polish the briar and remove the scratches in the surface of the bowl, heel and shank. I wet sanded with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiped the bowl down between each pad with a damp cloth.     I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. 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 to raise the shine.    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 carefully worked on the Crown S stamp. The Silver Crown is coming alive.     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 a coat of “No Oxy Oil” developed by Briarville. I am experimenting with this product on the pipes I am restoring.    I am excited to be finishing work on yet another one of Bob’s pipes. This is the part of the restoration part I look forward to when it all comes 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 medium brown stained bowl looks really good with the polished black vulcanite. This Stanwell Regd. No Danish Bulldog was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Danish look that catches the eye. The brown stain really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½   inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. 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.

Breathing Life into a Stanwell Sterling Silver Banded 126 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

Jeff picked the next pipe up from an auction out of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The brand the shape caught his eye. The condition of the pipe also was a big plus. The markings on the pipe are on the underside of the shank. The first stamp reads 126 which is the shape number. That is followed by Stanwell over Made in Denmark. The silver band is stamped Stanwell over Sterling Silver.  The shape of the bowl is what I would call a horn. It is flared at the top of the bowl into an open bowl. There is a plateau finish on the top and the inner edge of the bowl is sanded smooth with a slight bevel that is set off by the plateau above and around it. The finish is smooth, well grained and shiny. It is dirty so it is hard to know the exact condition of the finish under the grime. The application of a silver band seems to pinch the shank like a tight belt around the waste of the pipe and acts good transition between shank and the saddle stem flared shapes. The stem is acrylic with a Silver Crown S off center on the top of the saddle. There is a light tooth chatter on both sides near the button but otherwise it is in excellent condition. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff took close up photos of the rim top from various angles to show the general condition of the bowl and rim. The first photo shows the thin cake in the bowl clean inner rim edge. The photos give a clear picture of the bowl sides and rim edges.Jeff took a photo of the side and heel of the bowl to give an idea of the beauty of the grain and the condition of the bowl.The underside of the shank is stamped Stanwell over Made in Denmark. The silver band is stamped Stanwell Sterling. There is a Silver Crown S on the top of the saddle stem slightly off to the left side. The stamping is very readable. The photos of the stem show the condition of the acrylic stem on both sides. The first one shows top side with a clean undamaged view (slight chatter visible in person) and the second shows the chatter on the underside of the stem.I knew that my old friend the late Bas Stevens had written a bit about the designer of the shape on his listing that is on the rebornpipes blog so I looked it up https://rebornpipes.com/2013/09/03/stanwell-shapes-compiled-by-bas-stevens/). On the list Bas states that the 126 shape is the same shape as the 125 but with plateau top. This horn shaped freehand was designed by Tom Eltang.

I also found out on the web through a variety of sites that the Stanwell Sterling Smooth pipes came in a nice variety of Stanwell’s signature shapes, finished in a golden-brown stain and polished to a high gloss. The sites stated that these beautiful briars were accented with silver bands which make for a nice contrast against the shimmering black acrylic stems.

Knowing that the pipe was designed by Tom Eltang added some interest to the pipe for me. He is a premier designer with amazing looking pipes of his own and in the Stanwell line. I turned my attention to the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. 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 cleaned the stem with Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish. 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. I took some close up photos of the plateau rim top and also of the stem surface. The bowl and the rim top look good. The inner edge of the rim was smooth and had some darkening on the back side of the beveled edge. The plateau top looks very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show how clean the stem was. There were no tooth marks or chatter on either side of the stem.  I took photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank. I reads 126 (the shape number) and Stanwell over Made in Denmark. The silver band is like a tight belt with a flare of briar above and a flare of acrylic below. The band is stamped Stanwell Sterling and the Silver Crown S is golden on the stem top.The mortise was lined with a Delrin tube that allowed the Delrin tenon to slide easily into the shank of the pipe. The photo below shows the lining in the shank and the Delrin tenon.There was a faded portion on the back right side of the bowl. The stain had faded out and left a light stripe on the backside of the bowl. I sanded the inside beveled edge of the rim and stained both areas with a Maple stain pen.I wet sanded the briar with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped the bowl surface down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad to remove the sanding dust. Once I finished the exterior of the briar was clean and the grain really stood out. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. 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 to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on.  I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to 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 a coat of “No Oxy Oil” distributed by Briarville Pipe Repair that I am experimenting with. I wiped it down and set it aside to dry.   Once again I am excited to be on the homestretch with beautiful Stanwell Sterling 126 pipe. The fact that the design is a Tom Eltang design is an additional bonus. This is the part I look forward to when it all comes 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 acrylic. 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 beautifully grained finish and the plateau rim top looks really good with the interesting grain patterns standing out on the shape. The Sterling Silver band, Silver Crown S, the grain and the polished black acrylic stem went really well together. This Horn shape plateau Freehand was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Danish look that catches the eye. The combination of various brown stains really makes the pipe look attractive. It is another comfortable pipe to hold in the hand. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 7/8 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This one will soon be on the rebornpipes store. 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.

Restoring an Interesting Acorn # 7472 from Stanwell


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

One of the pipes in my Mumbai Bonanza lot which intrigued me no end was a small Acorn shaped pipe from the Danish pipe maker, Stanwell. I prefer large pipes and so this pipe was always being relegated to the next-in-line project status. Finally I decided to break the shackles of resistance and brought it to my work table as the next project. It’s a Stanwell pipe with shape code # 7472.

I was fortunate enough to have heeded the advice of my dear friend and mentor, Steve, and struck a deal with a junk collector from Mumbai. He did not know what he was selling and I did not know what I was buying as we reside in different cities!! The argument that Mr. Steve presented was that if not anything, I shall at least have some spares and this was logical. I struck a deal and here are pictures of the pipes that I received in this lot. This lot contains some very nice collectible pipes, a few well known brands and some mediocre brands. Overall, with seven Dunhill pipes, a Preben Holm #1 FH, a couple of “Made in England” Pete System pipes, a couple of  Charatan’s Belvedere, Custom-Bilt, Stanwell and other assorted pipes, I would say that I had struck a decent haul!!! This is indeed my “Mumbai Bonanza”.

This, then, is the 13th pipe that I decided to work on from this find and is an Acorn shaped pipe indicated in blue colored arrow in the picture below. It is stamped on the bottom middle half of the smooth surface of the shank as “# 7472” over “MADE IN DENMARK”. Towards the shank end, it is stamped as “STANWELL” in its trademark inverted arch in block capital letters. The stem bears a plain “S” logo on the left side of the stem.Now coming to the research of this brand and line/ model in specific, I referred to pipedia.org and as expected there is an extensive research on this pipe and even has a separate page on Stanwell Shape numbers and Designers, a study compiled by Stanwell collector and an undisputed authority on these pipes, Basil Stevens. However, there is nothing on this particular shape and number, in fact, this shape and number does not find any mention. I even visited rebornpipes.com in the hope that I would be able to unravel the mystery shrouding this pipe, but to no avail.

The only input I received was from Steve was that this is most likely a Sixten Ivarsson carved pipe, but nothing to date and confirm. Any reader who has any information or knowledge about this pipe is earnestly requested to share it with us on rebornpipes!

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The stummel has beautiful sandblast patterns on the uniquely shaped stummel with a short neck and a nice flow to the shape profile of the pipe. The sandblasted stummel is covered in dirt and grime of yesteryear. This should clean up nicely. The stummel surface is solid with no damage to the external surface. The dark browns of the raised sandblast contrast beautifully with the black stain of rest of the stummel. A thick layer of cake can be seen in the chamber. The sandblasted thin and inward curving rim top surface is covered in thick overflow of lava, dirt, dust and grime. The condition of the inner walls of the chamber and rim top surface will be known once the cake has been taken down to bare briar and the rim top crud has been scraped off completely. The inner rim condition appears to be in good condition with no burn/ charred surfaces. Even the outer rim edge appears to be in a decent condition. Only once the stummel has been thoroughly cleaned that I can be sure of my initial appreciation. In spite of the thick cake, the chamber odor is, surprisingly, not strong and should be addressed once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar and the shank internals have been thoroughly cleaned. The draught hole is dead center at the bottom of the chamber and should be a great smoker. The shank end and the mortise are blocked with dried gunk, adversely affecting the airflow.The delicate vulcanite saddle stem is heavily oxidized and has calcification deposits towards the button end. There are deep tooth marks on the lower and upper stem surface and appears that the previous owner has literally chomped on the bite zone of the stem. The button edges also have bite marks, in fact, they are badly worn out. The horizontal slot shows accumulated oils and tars.Along with the stems of other pipes in line for restoration, I immersed the stem of this Stanwell #7472 in a mix of one part Hydrogen Peroxide 20% with one part hot water after I ran a couple of pipe cleaners dipped in alcohol through the stem air way. A couple of hours later, the stem oxidation on all these stems were raised to the surface. After I had fished out the stem from the Hydrogen Peroxide bath, I scrubbed it with Magiclean sponge and followed it up with a wipe of cotton swab and alcohol. I further scrubbed the stem surface with 0000 grade steel wool. The loosened and superficial layer of oxidation was easily removed and revealed the condition of the stem. It was not as horrifying as I had imagined it to be during the initial inspection. There are deep bite marks in both the upper and lower bite zone. The bite marks are deep enough to cause significant thinning of the surface and complete disfigurement of the button edges. The deeper oxidation that was pulled to the surface would require more abrasive techniques.THE PROCESS
I started with cleaning of the stummel as I was keen to know the condition of the walls of the chamber. With size 1 head followed by head size 2 of a PipNet pipe reamer, I took the cake down to bare briar. Using a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper, I sand out the last traces of cake and expose the walls of the chamber. I wiped the chamber with a cotton pad dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove the carbon dust left behind by all the reaming and sanding process. Once the chamber walls were cleaned out, I saw very minor and superficial beginnings of heat fissures/ pits all along the chamber walls. I shall address this issue by a simple bowl coat. I used my smaller of the two fabricated knife to gently scrap away at the overflow over the rim top surface while being careful not to damage the sandblast on the rim top. I was pleased to find the inner and outer edge of the rim intact and without any burn or char marks. Next, I cleaned out the internals of the shank and mortise. Using my dental tool, I scraped out all the dried oils, tars and gunk that had accumulated in the shank airway and mortise. The amount of crud that was scrapped out and the condition of the pipe cleaners that were used leaves no surprise why air flow through it was restricted. I finished the cleaning by running a few pipe cleaners dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I also wiped the shank with cotton buds and alcohol. With this cleaning, all old smells in the pipe are history. The pipe now smells clean and fresh.With the internals of the stummel now clean, I cleaned the external surface using a hard bristled toothbrush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I diligently scrubbed the stummel to remove all the dust and dirt that was embedded in the crevices of the sandblast. With a soft bristled brass wired brush, I removed the overflowing lava from the rim top surface and cleaned the internals of the shank with a shank brush and dish washing soap to remove what little crud remained in the shank. I rinsed it under running tap water and wiped the stummel dry with an absorbent soft cotton cloth. Once I had wiped the stummel dry with paper towels and soft cotton cloth, I thought I saw a fill on the left side of the bowl, near the bowl and shank joint. It was perfectly matched and blended with the sandblast on the stummel and stained in dark as seen on other surfaces of the stummel. It is marked in yellow circle. My fears were confirmed when I probed it with a dental pick. Very carefully and painstakingly, I completely removed the old fill with a pointed dental pick. I cleaned the fill of all the debris of old fill material, wiped it with alcohol and refreshed the fill with a mix of clear CA superglue and briar dust and set it aside to cure overnight.By next day, the fill was hard and well set. With a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper, I worked the fill till I had achieved a nice blend with the shape and contours of the stummel. It turned out much better than I had anticipated. With a soft wire brass brush, I again cleaned out all the debris that lodged itself in the sandblast surface as a result of all the sanding and use of briar dust.Next, I rub a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips, work it deep in to the sandblasts and let it rest for a few minutes. The balm almost immediately works its magic and the briar now has a nice vibrant appearance with the beautiful sandblast patterns on full display. The contrast of the dark browns of the raised sandblast with the dark black of the rest of the stummel adds an interesting dimension to the appearance of the stummel. I further buffed it with a horse hair brush. The last picture is of the side that had the refreshed fill and even the most discerning reader will be hard pressed to accurately pin point the fill. With the stummel nearly completed, I turned my attention to the stem repairs. I masked the stem logo “S” with a whitener pen to protect it during the sanding process. I cleaned the internals of the stem using hard and normal bristled pipe cleaners and isopropyl alcohol. With a pointed dental tool, I scraped out the entire dried gunk from the slot. I addressed the deeper oxidation by sanding the entire stem with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. Once the oxidation was completely removed, I wiped the surface clean with a cotton swab and alcohol. I flamed the damaged button edge and the nicks and dents with the flame of a lighter. This helps the vulcanite to rise to the surface as it has an inherent property to regain its original shape when heated. At this stage, I noticed that the bite zone on the upper stem surface has a crack which extends over to the button. This was further accentuated due to heating with the flame of a lighter. Continuing with the stem repair, I inserted a triangulated index card covered in transparent tape in to the slot. The tape prevents the mix of superglue and charcoal from sticking to the index card. I mixed superglue and activated charcoal powder and generously applied it over the bite zone, including over the button and set it aside to cure. Once the mix had cured, I removed the index card from the slot.Using a flat head needle file, I reshaped the button and roughly matched the fills with the rest of the stem surface. However, things rarely happen as you want them to happen and in this case, a few air pockets were revealed. With a permanent black marker I darkened the air pockets and spot filled them with clear superglue. Once the superglue had cured (I had set it aside overnight), I sanded the fills with a folded piece of 180 grit sand paper. I followed it up by further sanding the stem with 320, 600 and 800 grit sand papers to achieve a perfect blending of the fills with the stem surface and a crisp button edge on either side of the stem.Using the micromesh pads, I completed the polishing cycle by wet sanding the surface with 1500 to 3200 girt pads. I had read that White diamond polish is between 3600 and 4000 grit of micromesh pads and best used between these two. I decided to give this a try to see if there is any difference in the final stem finish. I mount a fresh cotton buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and apply white diamond polish and buffed the stem. I wiped the stem with microfiber cloth and go through the remaining pads, dry sanding with 4000 to 12000 grit pads. The stem looks great with the fills nicely matched with the rest of the surface. I rub a little quantity of Extra Virgin Olive oil in to the stem surface and set it aside to be absorbed by the vulcanite. To complete the restoration, I mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel on to my hand held rotary tool and applied several coats of carnauba wax. I finished the restoration by giving the entire pipe a rigorous hand buffing using a microfiber cloth to raise the shine further and remove any residual wax from in between the sandblasts.The finished pipe looks amazingly beautiful and is now ready for its long second innings with me. I only wish it could share with me its life story of the past years while I enjoy smoking my favorite Virginia blend in it or maybe an English blend!! P.S. There was only one more issue that needed to be addressed and one that could not be ignored, being a functional issue. After I had reamed and sanded the chamber walls, I had observed very minor and superficial beginnings of heat fissures/ pits all along the chamber walls. I addressed this by mixing activated charcoal and plain yogurt to a thicker consistency, just enough that I would spread easily and applied it evenly all along the chamber walls after inserting a folded pipe cleaner through the draught hole to keep it open. Once dry and set, this will not only protect the walls but also aid in faster build up of cake.There are two more pending write ups which I shall be tackling before I undertake to restore a pipe which my dear friend and mentor, Steve, had sent me about a year back with the intention of providing me an opportunity to test my own skills. I wish to thank each one for sparing their valuable time to read through and once again request you for any inputs or advice on dating and designer of this pipe.

Another Bob Kerr Estate – A Stanwell Jubilee 1942-1982 Shape 118


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 Jubilee 1942-1982 Freehand designed by Sixteen Ivarrson. It is a shape 118 which is a saddle stem Danish take on a pot. This is another of Bob’s Stanwell 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 beautiful Stanwell is an interesting and unique shape to work on.

Stanwell did a great job on the shape and finish of this pipe. 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 pot – though with the rounded bottom and scooped bowl it has come a long way. The pipe is stamped Stanwell in script. Below that it is stamped Jubilee with the dates 1942-1982 over Made in Denmark. To me a jubilee is 50 years and this only commemorates 40 years but that is Stanwell’s decision! The bowl has a rich contrasting brown stain that makes the grain pop. 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 pristine under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was lightly oxidized with 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 a photo of the heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful cross grain running from side to side and the birdseye on the side of the bowl. Though the pipe is quite dirty the grain and layout are stunning. This is a gorgeous pipe. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the underside of the bowl and shank. Together the two photos capture the stamping that wrapped up the sides a bit. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read as noted above. On the right side of the shank is the shape number 118. The third photo shows the gold inlaid Crown S on the left side of the stylized saddle 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. Since I already had a pretty good idea of when the pipe was made from the stamping – Jubilee 1942-1982 I did not need to do much research on that. The pipe obviously was a commemorative of the 40 years of Stanwell history made around 1982. I also knew that the shape was designed by Sixten Ivarrson. I am including the link on Pipedia’s article on Stanwell as it is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell).

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. I am really glad that 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. 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 look very good. The grain really stands out and the edges look very good. 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 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 Jubilee shape 118. Since Jeff had done such an amazing clean up job on the bowl it was very easy for me. Because it was smooth briar and seemed to show some fine scratches in the finish I decided to do a bit of polishing on the bowl. When this is the case I polish the briar 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 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. 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 Jubilee 118 Ivarrson design was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Stanwell finish that catches the eye. 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I am seriously thinking of keeping this one in my own collection and carrying 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.

Back to Bob Kerr’s Estate – Changing Up and Working on a Danish Made Stanwell de Luxe 812 Billiard Regd. No. 969-48


Blog by Steve Laug

I am changing up my work on Bob Kerr’s estate a bit by taking on this Stanwell de Luxe 812 sandblast billiard. This is the first of his Stanwell 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 beautiful Stanwell is a great break. It is a shape that is interesting and unique. It will go on the rebornpipes store.

I really like the sandblasts that the Danish Stanwell Company did. This one also has a rugged, swirling sandblast finish with lots of nooks and crannies in the briar. It is a beauty! The pipe is stamped Stanwell over Regd. No. 969-48. That is followed by the line which is de Luxe and the shape number 812. The valleys and ridges of the sandblasted grain showing through the grime and dirt are a mixture that leaves a rich texture. It had a rich dark and medium contrasting brown stain that does not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The edges of the rim and top are dirty but look pretty pristine under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. Again, surprisingly did not have the 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 sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful swirls of the sandblast. There is a lot of dust and grime filling in the valleys. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48. That is followed by de Luxe and the shape number 812. 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. The “S” on the stem was in very good condition. Interestingly it did not have the crown over the “S”. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of when this pipe was made by reference to the Regd. No. on the underside of the shank (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html). I quote what I found there. Logo without crown. The “Regd. No.” stamping discontinued in late 1960s to very early 1970s.

I also turned to Pipedia’s article on Stanwell but it did not add any further information. It is a great read in terms of the history of the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell).

Talking with Chris van Hilst on Facebook Tobacco Pipe Restorers Group he helped me understand that the crown was introduced mid- to late 50’s. Before that they didn’t have a stem logo.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information from Pipephil that the Regd. No. stamping was discontinued in the late 60s to very early in the 70s. I learned from Chris that the crown was added late in the 1950s so this one is most probably an early 1950s pipe. Most of Bob’s pipes were purchased between the 50s and late 60s so my guess is that this pipe fits that time frame. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

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. 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. I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what an amazing job Jeff did in the cleanup of the rim top. The rim top looks very good. The sandblast finish is very nice. The bowl looked very good. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the lack of tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.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 de Luxe 812 Billiard. Since Jeff had done such an amazing clean up job on the bowl it was very easy for me. I only had to rub the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair 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. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. 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. I am excited to be on the homestretch with this pipe and I look forward to 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 multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax 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 valleys and ridges of the sandblast looked good with the polished black vulcanite. This Stanwell de Luxe 812 billiard was another fun pipe to work on thanks to Jeff’s cleanup work. It really has that classic Stanwell sandblast finish that catches the eye. 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 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. 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.

Fresh Life for  a Stanwell Brazilia 87 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe in the queue came from a group of pipes Jeff and I purchased from a fellow in Pennsylvania who was selling out his collection as he no longer smoked a pipe. We picked up quite a few of his pipes and they included this beautiful Stanwell Made in Denmark Brazilia with a horn shank extension. It is a round apple shaped pipe with a round rim top curving from the sides into the bowl. The entire pipe had some beautiful mixed grain around the bowl. The rim top was covered with a thick tar and lava coat. The pipe was filthy but the grain underneath was rich and the finish looked like it would clean up well. The pipe is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Stanwell over Brazilia over Made in Denmark. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the shape number 87. The stem is vulcanite and has the Stanwell Crown S on the top side. The stem is dirty and had deep tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the stem at the button edge. The photos below tell the story and give a glimpse of the pipe before clean up.Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim from various angles to capture the condition of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. There was a thick coat of lava on the rim and the cake in the bowl. It appeared that the beveled inner edges were in good condition. The outer edges actually appeared to be in excellent condition. He also took a series of photos of the sides of the bowl and shank to show the straight grain around the bowl. It is very dirty but the grain is visible in the photo. Jeff took photos of the stamping on the underside and the right of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and legible. The horn shank extension is quite stunning and should shine up nicely. The next two photos show the stem surface. They show the deep tooth marks on both sides near the button. The stem is oxidized and has a thick build up around the button end.Jeff did his usual thorough clean up job on the pipe so that  when it arrived here in Vancouver it looked really good. 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 of the pipe. He rinsed it off under running water. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He was able to remove all of the lava build up on the beveled rim top of the pipe. The rim top looked really good with a little darkening on the inner bevel toward the front of the bowl. The mixed grain stood out on the clean pipe. He soaked the stem in Before & After Deoxidizer and was able to remove the oxidation. The pipe looked very good.I took photos of the pipe to show its condition before I started my work. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim to capture the condition of the pipe before he started my restoration of the pipe. The rim top was clean but had some darkening on the inside edge of the rim at the front of the bowl. It was solid so it was not charred. The horn shank extension looked dry and lifeless but otherwise in good condition. The stem was quite clean with some deep tooth marks on the top and underside near the button.I started the process of the restoration by working on the bowl. I worked over the inner bevel of the rim with 220 grit sandpaper to address the darkening and light damage.I polished the briar with 2400-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-4000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. I found that with each successive grit of micromesh the grain on the bowl and shank sides stood out more and gave a shine to the pipe. The sanded rim top was beginning to blend in quite well. I stained the top of the bowl to match the rest of the bowl. I used a Maple stain pen and set it aside to dry.As is my pattern on these restorations, I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm 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 to raise the shine. The following photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. The bowl and the rim top look really good and the darkening is lessened. The finish looks very good with the rich brown stain on the bowl and rim. The horn has come alive once again and the striations of colour are rich. I am very happy with the results. With the bowl finished I set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the deep tooth marks with black super glue and rebuilt the damage on the button. I set the stem aside to let the repairs cure overnight.In the morning when the repairs had cured I used a needle file to cut the sharp edge of the button and to flatten out the repairs. I sanded the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out tooth chatter and light tooth marks. I polished the surface of the whole stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the Stanwell Crown S with a white touch up pen. I used a dental pick to push it into the grooves and polished the excess off with a coarse cotton cloth. I did it early in the polishing to make sure I did not polish off any of the deep grooves of the stamp.I continued to polish the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth after each pad. I further polished it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I wiped it down with a coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. Since I had finished both the bowl and stem I put them together and polished them both with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple 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 mixed grain really began to stand out with contrast as I buff the bowl. The rich medium brown finish on the briar works well with the polished horn shank extension and the black vulcanite stem. Stanwell has a knack for making pipes that not only look good but also feel great in the hand. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 7/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 1/2 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 of an inch. I will be putting this beauty on the rebornpipes store shortly and it can be added to your collection. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this beautiful Stanwell Brazilia 87 Apple.

Restoring a STANWELL # 89


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

This pipe, because of its interesting Dublin shape with a round rim, beautiful grain and it being a STANWELL, had been attracting my attention for some time now. However, I was always relegating its restoration since the condition was far worse and would require a ton of work as well as time to complete it.

After I had finished the pair of KRISWILLS, I could not think of working on any other pipe but this STANWELL!!!!!! And so, here I am with this pipe, admiring the shape, feel of the pipe in my hand and the beautiful grain that could be seen through all the dirt, oils, tars and grime.

A medium sized fancy Dublin with an oval shank, this pipe has beautiful densely packed birdseye grain on either side of the bowl with lovely cross grain extending from the front of the bowl right down the bottom to the shank end. Similarly, the grain extends from the back of the bowl up to the shank end!!!!! The flattish surface of the shank further accentuates the dense grain. No wonder then that this Stanwell is stamped as “SELECTED BRIAR”!!!!!!!! This beauty is stamped “STANWELL” in an inverted arch over “REGD No. 969- 48” over “HANDMADE” on top of the shank while on the bottom of the shank it is stamped “SELECTED BRIAR” over “89” over “MADE IN DENMARK”. The stem is stamped on the top of the saddle with a crown over “S” and on the bottom of the saddle with “HANDCUT”.All the stampings are crisp and easily readable.

I searched the net for information on this brand in general and this pipe in particular. The first site I always visit is Pipedia. I gathered a lot of information about the brand and some important snippets of information are reproduced below:

Stanwell Article from smokingpipes.com

When pipe smokers talk about pipes that are consistently great smokers, exhibit the creative and beautiful designs that exemplify Danish pipemaking and offer the best value in factory produced pipes, they are talking about Stanwell. We hear time and time again, from customers and top pipe makers from around the world, that Stanwell is the best factory produced pipe in the world. Stanwell maintains the most modern pipe making facility in the world and for many years has enjoyed some unique relationships with many legendary Danish pipe makers. In fact, Stanwell occupies a pivotal place in the history of the world-wide popularity of Danish-made pipes.

At the end of the war, briar became available again, so Nielsen began importing his own briar and started making briar pipes to compete with the English manufacturers. It must be remembered that in 1948, England was the single great center for pipe making. Therefore, Nielsen changed the name of his pipes to “Stanwell”, which sounded much more like a proper English name than “Nielsen”. He also created the horse drawn carriage logo for its English connotations. He later changed his own last name from Nielsen to Stanwell, a testament to his devotion to the pipes he made. Stanwell’s relationships with Danish pipe makers goes back to Sixten Ivarsson, who is considered the originator of modern Danish pipe making. Ivarsson was commissioned to design Stanwell shapes. In 1969, the factory was moved a town called Borup, just outside of Copenhagen to be closer to Ivarsson.

Essentially the goal of Stanwell is, and always has been, to produce high quality pipes at a price that is truly within the reach of the common man. In this they have succeeded admirably, offering perhaps more pipe for the money than any other pipe manufacturer in their price range. Stanwell pipe offers exceptional quality at a remarkably affordable price. Today it often seems that there are few options in between low cost, very low quality pipes and the handmade pipes that fetch hundreds of dollars. Stanwell manages to fill this void commendably by offering pipes close to the quality of the handmade with prices that are only slightly higher than drug store pipes.

Stanwell pipes are a must for any pipe collection. The Stanwell name is a cornerstone of Danish pipe making. In owning a Stanwell, you will not only enjoy beautifully styled, great smoking pipe at a great price, you will own a piece of pipe making history.

Now that I have some historical information about the brand, I went ahead with my attempt at dating this pipe. I had read that Mr. Basil Stevens is generally considered an authority on Stanwell pipes and so that was logical start point for me. I gathered some information from a site, https://www.scribd.com/document/45022903/Stanwell-Dating-Pricing-Information-by-Basil-D-Stevens, which I have reproduced from the above site:-

Dating Information:

1) Regd. No. stamping discontinued in late 1960s to very early 1970s. This is the Stanwell trade mark registration. The “48” indicates that the registration was made in 1948. (info rec’d from Jorgen Grundtvig, Managing Director, Stanwell A/S)

3) Up until the early 1960s only the top pipes, e.g. “Hand Cut” had the stem/mouth pieces stamped with the Stanwell logo of a crown over “S”.

6) “Handcut” stamped on black vulcanite stems have not been done since at least the 1970s and possibly earlier. (info from J.G.).

STANWELL SHAPES
Shape “89”
Two versions of this shape number
a) Freehand, oval stem, short oval saddle mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson.
b) Large pot, thin, long saddle mouthpiece.

From the above information that I have gathered and highlighted in blue, I feel that this particular pipe was from the 1960s and is a freehand made by Sixten Ivarsson. Any variation or additional information or any incorrect assessment on my part may please be conveyed through your comments on rebornpipes.com

Armed with this information, I carried out my detailed initial visual inspection of the entire pipe. This assessment helps me in identifying the issues that are seen as well as understand likely issues that may present themselves subsequently while making a mental map of the entire restoration process.

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
The stummel is covered in oils, tars and grime to such an extent that the bowl is very dull to look at with all the grains hidden and sticky to the touch. This will need thorough cleaning. Whether to sand the bowl with micromesh pads to bring to fore the lovely grain will be decided later. The bowl is heavily caked and has large amounts of lava overflow on top of the rim. The internal condition of the bowl and rim will be ascertained only after the cake has been completely reamed out. There is always the fear of possibility of charred rim edges or burn fissures or charred briar inside the chamber of pipes in this condition. However, the entire stummel appears solid to touch from the outside reducing the probability of any of the above possibilities being present.The short oval saddle stem is heavily oxidized with a number of light tooth chatter on both surfaces. The lips on both sides have been chewed off. I had masked both the stampings on the stem with a whitener pen, you could of course use acrylic paint or any other stuff, but I found the whitener pen to be the best option as it helps to fill the letters at a later stage. As expected, the airway is clogged and a test draw was rewarded with debris and carbon dust. This will have to be cleaned.THE PROCESS
The first step that I usually follow is the reaming of the bowl. Using a Kleen Reem pipe tool and my trusty and effective fabricated knife, Abha, my wife, cleaned out the cake from the chamber. To smooth out the inner surface of the chamber and completely remove the last traces of remaining cake, she sanded the inner surface with a 220 grit sand paper. With a sharp knife, very gently scraped the surface of the rim top and removed the accumulated tars, oils and grime.She cleaned the bowl and rim using undiluted Murphy’s Oil soap and a toothbrush. Thereafter, the bowl was washed under running tap water and immediately dried out using paper towels and a soft cotton cloth.

The stummel is now clean and fresh. Inspection of the rim and chamber revealed an intact inner edge and a perfect condition of the inner walls of the chamber. What a relief this was!!!!! The only issue was that the rim top is still blackened and an eye sore. I addressed this issue by sanding the rim and the entire stummel with micromesh pads. I very lightly and briefly wet sanded with 1500 to 2400 pads, gently wiping with a moist soft cloth to remove the dust left behind due to sanding.I dry sanded the rim and stummel using 3200 to 12000 grit micromesh pads. At the end of the dry sanding, I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” with my fingers into the briar. The immediate and incredible transformation that takes place is a worthy reward for all the efforts!!! The bowl now looks fresh and attractive with the grains popping out any which way you look at the briar; it feels somewhat like DIWALI, festival of lights celebrated here in India. I polished off the balm with a soft cloth to a lovely shine. I AM ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH THIS PIPE!!!!!Turning my attention to the stem, I started by sanding the stem with a 220 grit sand paper. I was especially careful around the edges and the stampings. Using the crisp edge of the folded sand paper, I reshaped the buttons and sanded it to even out the surface. Thereafter, I sanded the stem with 320 and 440 grit sand paper. To finish the stem I went through the complete set of micromesh pads, wet sanding with 1500 to 2400 pads and dry sanding with 3200 to 12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem with moist cloth after each pad and rubbed olive oil into the stem after every three pads. I carefully removed excess whitener from the stampings. The stem is now looking nice and shiny with crisp stampings. Having addressed the “appearance” aspects of this beauty, I turned my attention to the “performance” aspect to ensure that this beauty smokes as well as it looks. I thoroughly cleaned the shank internals using shank brush, pipe cleaners, cue tips and isopropyl alcohol. The stem airway was cleaned using regular pipe cleaners and also bristled ones dipped in alcohol. The airway is now clean and the draw is full and open.

To complete the restoration, I rubbed a minute quantity of PARAGON WAX on the stummel and the stem. After a few seconds, using muscle power and a microfiber cloth, I polished the entire pipe to a lovely shine. Can’t wait to load and fire up this stunning piece of briar!!!! The finished pipe is shown below and yes… for the curious reader, the prop is not Beer filled mug, but a Beer mug filled with GREEN TEA!!!!! Thank you for your valuable time spent in reading my amateurish chronicle.