Tag Archives: Stanwell Pipes

Back to Working on my Inheritance; a Large Stanwell # 82R Billiard with Regd No.


Blog by Paresh Deshpande

Having completed the Dunhill Bruyere that once was in the trust of Farida’s Dad; I wanted to work on something easy as I was to proceed on leave to my home in the next 15 days leaving behind my tools and paraphernalia that I use for restoring pipes. I rummaged through the pile of 50 odd pipes that Abha, my wife, had cleaned up and sent me and from that lot, I chose this inherited Stanwell as my next project on the premise that it would be a simple ‘refurbishing only’ task.

This large straight sandblasted Billiard pipe is stamped on the smooth underside of the shank from the foot towards the shank end as “STANWELL” in an arch over “REGD. No 969-48” followed on the right by “HAND MADE” over “MADE IN DENMARK” in block capital letters followed by shape code/ model number “82R” towards the shank end. The Silver Crowned S adorns the left side of the vulcanite stem.There is adequately detailed and informative material available on both pipedia.org and pipephil.eu on the brand; however, I was keener to know the exact dating and correlate the pipe details with the shape code. The late Basil Stevens was considered an authority on all things Stanwell and on surfing the net, I came across this site which gives out pointers to dating a Stanwell pipe; here is the link https://www.scribd.com/document/45022903/Stanwell-Dating-Pricing-Information-by-Basil-D-Stevens.

I reproduce the relevant pointers which help in dating the Stanwell on my work table:-

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).

2) 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”.

Next I wanted to ascertain if I could pinpoint this particular shape and model numbered pipe in any catalogs and sure enough, pipedia.org, in one of its offsite links to the catalog from the period 1960-70 does have this same pipe on page 18 under STANWELL GIANTS, here is the link; http://files.homepagemodules.de/b169807/f122t2510p9193n1.pdf

The last bit of curiosity in my mind was to link the model number on my Stanwell to the description of the shape and designer, if possible. Again pipedia.org has a section on “Stanwell Shape Numbers and Designers” and sure enough, 82R finds a mention as large billiard, taper bit, but no mention of designer! (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell_Shape_Numbers_and_Designers).

Thus from the above, it is amply evident that the pipe now on my work table is from the 1960s and is from the “GIANT” line offering from Stanwell!!

Now on to restoring this Stanwell Giant billiard with a taper bit……..

INITIAL VISUAL INSPECTION
This large sandblasted billiard pipe has a nice heft and nicely fills the hand and like most of the pipes from my inheritance; this too has a thick layer of cake in the chamber with overflow of lava on the rim top. The inner rim edge appears sans any damage and would be confirmed once the chamber has been reamed. The condition of the walls of the chamber can be commented upon once the cake has been taken down to the bare briar. However, the external surface of the stummel feels and looks solid and hence I do not foresee any major issues surprising me later. The ghost smells are very strong in the chamber.As is commonly seen on sandblasted pipes with some serious age on them, the crevices are always filled with dust, dirt, oils, tars and grime from all the years of smoking and storage. This one is no exception to this observation. The grooves of the sandblast are filled with dust while the small smooth bottom of the shank which bears the stamping is covered in dust and grime. The fact that the textured patterns of the rustications are dusty and filled with dirt is accentuated more due to the contrast of dark and medium brown stains on the stummel and the shank. The briar looks lifeless and bone dry and has taken on black dull hues. The mortise is full of oils, tars and gunk and air flow is restricted. The stem is heavily oxidized with a couple of deep tooth indentations on both the upper and lower stem surface in the bite zone. The lip edges on either surface are without any serious damage. The stem logo of the letter ‘S’ with a crown on top is crisp and deep.INITIAL CLEANING BY ABHA…
The initial cleaning on this pipe was done by Abha, my wife (she has cleaned up around 40-50 pipes and this is one of the lot that had reached me for further restoration). She reamed out the complete cake and further smoothed out the chamber walls with a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper. She further cleaned out the internals of the shank with pipe cleaners, alcohol and cotton buds. She followed the internal cleaning of the shank with external cleaning of the stummel using Murphy’s Oil soap and hard bristled tooth brush and dried it with paper napkins and cotton cloth.

Next she cleaned out the internals of the stem air way and immersed it in “Before and After Deoxidizer” solution along with the stem of other pipes in line for restoration. Once the stem had soaked overnight, she cleaned the stem under running warm water and scrubbed the raised oxidation from the stem surface using Scotch Brite pad. She further removed the oxidation by scrubbing the stem with 0000 grade steel wool and applied a little olive oil to rehydrate the stem.

ONCE THE PIPE IS ON MY WORK TABLE…
The cleaned up pipe presents a very clear picture of what needs to be done to restore this pipe to a decent and smoke worthy condition. I really cannot thank my wife, Abha, enough for all the help and support that she extends me in my pursuance of this hobby. I proceed to carry out my appreciation of the work that needs to be done on this pipe to restore it.

As with all the cleaned pipes that Abha packs, there was a note in the zip lock pouch with issues that she had observed in the pipe. The first point was that she was not happy with the way the stummel had cleaned up and that the inner rim edge appears to be charred in the 6 o’clock direction. She also mentioned about heat fissures along the walls of the chamber. Here are the pictures of the pipe as I had received. To be honest, the pipe had cleaned up nicely. The sandblasted rim top surface does show some accumulation of hardened overflowed lava which should be easy to dislodge with the use of brass wired brush and Murphy’s Oil soap.

The second point was that the chamber has developed heat fissures (marked in red arrows). Close scrutiny of the chamber walls made me realize that there is still a very thin layer of cake in the chamber and it is my experience that this gives an appearance of heat fissures! Only after the cake has been completely removed will I be able to confirm presence of heat fissures or otherwise. The outer rim edge is in good condition. I concur with Abha’s assessment of a likely charred inner edge in the 6 o’clock direction (marked in yellow circle). The ghost smells are still all pervasive. This would necessitate a more invasive internal cleaning of the shank and the chamber. The draught hole is dead center and at the bottom of the heel and leads me to believe that this pipe should be a fantastic smoke. The stummel surface has cleaned up nicely with the intricate sandblast patterns on full display. While Jeff and Steve had been to my place, the importance of preserving stampings on a pipe was discussed in detail and Abha diligently works to preserve the same on all the pipes that she cleans up. This pipe is no exception with stampings clear and crisply preserved. The dark brown hues intermingled with black lends this pipe an attractive appearance which will be further enhanced after a nice polish. The mortise is nice and clean with the airway completely cleaned out and with a full and smooth draw.Now that Abha had rid the stem of all oxidation, the damage to the stem was all too apparent, not severe in this case. A couple of deep tooth marks could be seen on upper stem surface while minor bite marks are seen on the lower surface. The button edge on either surface is in decent condition with a clean airway and horizontal slot opening! These should be easy to address.THE PROCESS
Firstly, I heat the surface of the stem with the flame of a lighter to raise the tooth indentations to the surface and follow it up with a sanding with a piece of folded 220 grit sand paper. This helps to even out the raised surface, address minor tooth chatter and also remove the deep seated oxidation. I wiped the stem with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove the raised oxidation and the resulting sanding dust. The tooth indentations, though greatly reduced, are still prominent. I need to address this issue. Next I spot fill in these tooth indentations with clear superglue and set the stem aside to cure.While the stem fills were curing, I moved ahead with addressing the issue of heat fissures to the chamber walls. With my fabricated small knife, I scrap the walls and removed all the remaining cake from the chamber and followed it up by sanding the walls with a folded piece of 180 grade sandpaper. Once I had reached the bare briar wood, I wiped the chamber walls with a cotton swab and alcohol to remove all the residual carbon dust. I was pleased that the chamber walls are sans any heat lines/ fissures.I gently scraped away the charred briar from the rim inner edge till I reached solid briar. Even though the rim deformation is not as pronounced as seen on Farida’s Dad’s Dunhill, it is still a eyesore. I need to address this issue.Prior to moving ahead with the rim repairs, I decided to address the strong ghost smells from the chamber. To eliminate the ghost smells from the pipe, I decided to treat it with salt and alcohol. I do not use Kosher salt as it is not readily available here and if available, it’s very expensive. I use cotton balls which is an at par substitute as I have realized over the last year or so. I draw out a wick from the cotton and along with a folded regular pipe cleaner; insert it in to the mortise and through the draught hole in the chamber. Thereafter, I pack the chamber with cotton balls to about quarter of an inch below the rim inner edge. I soak the cotton balls with isopropyl alcohol up to the brim. About half an hour later, the level of alcohol has gone down, having being absorbed by the cotton. I top it up once again and set it aside overnight. By next afternoon, the cotton and alcohol has drawn out all the remaining oils and tars from the chamber and mortise and the cotton and alcohol had fulfilled its intended task. I removed the cotton balls and ran pipe cleaners through the mortise to clean out all the loosened tars and gunk. The chamber now smells clean and fresh. I set the stummel to dry out naturally. 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. With the rim top cleaned of all the overflowing lava, the extent of damage can now be clearly appreciated. I had reached that point in restoration where I had to decide on the way ahead for rim repairs. I could either just let it be as topping would eliminate the sandblast patterns from the rim top (would be very tedious to replicate) or I could go for a complete rebuild. I decided on the latter as topping would significantly increase my work. Using a worn out piece of 150 grit sand paper, I completely remove the charred briar from the outer and inner rim edges in preparation for rebuilding the rim top. Using the layering technique (layer of glue followed by briar dust pressed on to this layer and repeating till the fill is over and above the intact rim surface), I completely rebuild the rim top and set the stummel aside for the fills to harden. Once the rim top surface fill had hardened, I mounted a coarse 150 grit sanding drum on to my hand held rotary tool and setting a speed at half, I carefully sanded off the excess fill from the rim top surface and the rim inner edge till I had achieved a rough match with the intact portion of the rim top and inner edge. With a folded piece of 220 grit sand paper, I worked the inner rim to a crisp and perfectly rounded edge. I gently scrubbed the rim top surface with a brass bristled brush to clean the surface as well as create patterns on the rim top. I further stained the rim repairs with a dark brown stain pen. I was very pleased with the rim surface rebuild at this stage in restoration. I set the stummel aside and worked the stem. The stem fills had cured nicely and using a flat head needle file, I sanded the fill to achieve a rough match with the surrounding stem surface. I further sanded the stem surface with a folded piece of 220 and 320 grit sand papers to further blend in the repairs and followed it with wet sanding the entire stem with 1500 to 12000 grade micromesh pads. I wiped the stem with a moist cloth to remove the dust and monitored the progress being made after every three grit pads. The stem polished up nicely and had a rich deep black shine to it. I applied a little Extra Virgin Olive oil to rehydrate the vulcanite and set the stem aside.Next, I rubbed a small quantity of “Before and After Restoration Balm” in to the briar with my finger tips, working 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 added an interesting dimension to the appearance of the stummel. I further buffed it with a horse hair brush. The last picture is of the rim top that had the refreshed fill and even the most discerning reader will be hard pressed to accurately pin point the fill. I refreshed the stem stamping with a white correction pen. The end result shows a perfectly refreshed stem logo.To complete the restoration, I mounted 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 rebuild the small portion of the rim inner edge, it was necessary to prevent this part (though very unlikely being too high on the rim edge) from coming in to contact with the burning tobacco. I addressed this by mixing activated charcoal and plain yogurt to a thicker consistency, just enough that it 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.I wish to thank each one for sparing their valuable time to read through this write up.

 

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.