Tag Archives: Stanwell Pipes

Found and reclaimed – A Vintage Stanwell Selected Grain 49 Zulu


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe is a vintage Stanwell that is quite exceptional. It is a well executed Zulu made between 1948-1960s. Some think the shape was designed by Sixten Ivarrson but I am not sure we will know for sure. Jeff and I picked up this pipe in a batch of pipes we purchased from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. The pipe is stamped on the top side of the shank and reads Stanwell [over] Regd. No. 969-48 [over] Hand Made. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Selected Briar. The stamping is clear and readable. The briar was dark with tars and oils that almost obscured the amazing grain around the bowl  and shank. There was a thick hard cake in the bowl with an eruption of lava on the rim top that made it hard to know what the condition of the rim top and edges was underneath. The truth would be revealed once it was cleaned. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks on the button surface and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. It really was mess that had glimmers of promises peeking through the grime of time. Jeff took photos of the pipe to give you a sense of what it looked like before cleanup. He captured the cake in the bowl and the thick eruption of lava on the rim top and edges exceptionally well in the next photos. It was very clear that the pipe had not been seriously cleaned since the first smoke. But it is also very clear that it was an exceptional smoker! The stem shows the took marks on the button surface and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff somehow captured some of the beauty of the shape and the grain in the next photos. You can certainly see what lies beneath the grime on the briar. He captured the stamping on the top and underside of the shank. It is readable but the topside is definitely more worn than the underside. The Crown S stamp on the stem is deep and workable but has a lot of corrosion and grime in the stamping.I have worked on a lot of Stanwell pipes over the years and have found the Pipedia site very helpful in terms of giving background and an historical overview of the company from its founding to the present day. Here is the link to the article on the site on Stanwell pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell).

I also scanned through the catalogues in the margins and in the links on the site and found a page that included the shape #49 Oval stem large sized Zulu pipe that I am working on. I have done a screen capture of the page below and encircled the shape in red. I then turned to a linked page on the article to the section on Shape Number and Designers that was primarily the work of a friend of mine named Bas Stevens. Bas initially had this article on the rebornpipes site so I am familiar with it. I include the link here if you want to check it out (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell_Shape_Numbers_and_Designers). I was hoping that Bas had a clue to who designed the shape 49 but alas he did not seem to. What was there though was that there were two versions of this shape. The first was what he calls a Dublin and others call a Zulu and the second was a freehand. I am working on shape “a” from the chart below. It is described there as a Dublin, slightly bent, oval stem and mouth piece.Armed with the information that I had gleaned from my research, I turned my attention to the pipe itself. I was amazed at how clean and new the pipe looked when I took it out of the box. It is really a beautiful piece. Jeff had done a great cleanup on the pipe. He 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 bowl exterior with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime on the finish of the bowl and the lava from the rim top. He rinsed it under running water. One of the benefits of this scrub is that it also tends to lift some of the scratches and nicks in the surface of the briar. He dried it off with a soft cloth. He cleaned the internals and externals of the stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water and cleaned out the airway in the stem with alcohol. I took photos of the pipe as I saw it when I put it on the table. I took a photo of the rim top and stem to show the condition. The rim top looked pretty good and there was some darkening on the inner edge at the front of the bowl. The stem was vulcanite and there were tooth marks on the button and some light marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.The stamping on the top and underside of the stem are clear and readable. The stamp on the top side is more worn but it is still readable. The stamped Crown S on the stem is very clear and should retain the new white acrylic very well.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. I started my work on this pipe by dealing with the darkening on the inner edge of the bowl. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and give it form once again. The cleaned up rim edge looked very good.     I polished the briar with 1200-1500 micromesh sanding pads and wiping it down with damp cloth after each sanding pad. As I worked through the cycle of pads the shine developed with each change of pad. The pipe looks very good.           I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 10 minutes, then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The Balm did its magic and the grain stood out on the briar. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I polished it with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I paused the polishing to touch up the Crown S stamp on the top of the oval stem. I have been using an acrylic white fingernail polish and find that it works well and is long lasting. I painted it on the stamp and worked it into the stamp with a tooth pick. Once it had hardened I scraped and sanded the excess off with a 1500 grit micromesh sanding pad. It came out looking very good.I picked up the polishing once again. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. The photos below show the polished stem.This Vintage Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 Selected Grain 49 Zulu with a vulcanite stem is a beautifully grained pipe with a flowing shape that is stunning . The rich browns of the stain made the grain come alive with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Selected Grain Zulu really is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look 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. The weight of the pipe is 1.31oz./37grams. This one will soon be on the Danish Pipe Makers section of the rebornpipes store if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

This Rare Sixten Ivarrson Design Stanwell Shape 96 – a shape I have never understood


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table was purchased from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. This one is obviously a Stanwell made pipe from just looking at it. The sandblast finish is quite beautiful even through the grime. The shape of the pipe is very odd in my opinion – almost oval but odd and designed to sit on the desk top. There is a Crown S stamped in the left side of the saddle stem. It was stamped on the underside of the shank on a smooth panel. The shape number 96 is stamped mid shank. Under that it reads Hand Made. Next to that it reads Stanwell [over] Regd. No. 969-48. With the Regd. No. I know it is an older pipe. The finish was dirty with dust and grime ground into the nooks and crannies of the sandblast finish. There was a thick cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the rim top. The inner edge of the rim was covered so thickly in lava it was hard to know what was underneath. The vulcanite fancy saddle stem was calcified, oxidized and had tooth marks and chatter ahead of the button on both sides. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started to work on cleaning it up for us. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the heavy coat of lava filling in the blast on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The stem is calcified and oxidized with light tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. It really is a strangely shaped pipe in my opinion but it has a great sandblast around the sides. The next photo Jeff took shows the stamping on the underside of the  shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. The Crown S logo is also visible on the left side of the saddle stem.Before I started working on it I did a bit of research on the brand to get a feel for where it fit in the Stanwell line. I turned to Pipephil’s site to see if I could some information on the shape or line (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-r6.html). While there was a lot of information on the brand there was nothing on this particular shape. There was a note on one of the shapes regarding the “Regd. No.” stamping being discontinued in late 1960s to very early 1970s. That helped to pin down and end date for the manufacture of this pipe.

I then turned to Pipedia and quickly scanned the article on Stanwell getting a great overview of the history. I went through the photos and did not find the shape of the pipe that I was working on (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell).

I followed one of the links at the end of the site to an article on rebornpipes written by Bas Stevens on the shape numbers and the designers who originally carved those shapes for Stanwell (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell_Shape_Numbers_and_Designers).

The shape number 96 is listed as follows: 96. Freehand, oval bowl, long saddle mouthpiece by Sixten Ivarsson. It also appears to be a rare shape that has been compared to a potato sack.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl edges look very good. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter was very light.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see from the photo that it is clear and readable.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe.The bowl was in such good condition that I started by rubbing the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm working it into the briar with my finger tips and into the blast and plateau with a shoe brush. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. Continuing with Al’s (upshallfan) recommendation I applied some acrylic white nail polish to the stamping on the stem side. I was paying so much attention to getting it in the stamp that I forgot to take a photo until after I cleaned it up. The nail polish worked great. Thanks again for the reminder Al!I polished out the tooth chatter and marks on the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another pipe that I am really happy about the look of the finished restoration. This reborn Sixten Ivarrson Design Stanwell 96 Sandblast Freehand turned out really well. I think that it really is a great looking pipe with a great shape and grain. The freehand/plateau top bowl and the vulcanite saddle stem goes well together. The polished black of the stem works well with the briar. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains of the finish make the grain really pop with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell 96 Sandblast Freehand really feels great in the hand and it looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 34 grams/1.20 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. It was a fun one to work on!

Restemming a Stanwell Design Choice 892 Ukelele with a proper stem


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table is one that was purchased in 2020 from an auction in Bloomingdale, New York, USA. It has been here for a while and I am just now getting to it. Work has been demanding so it is slowing down my restoration work a bit. This flat bowled volcano shaped pipe obviously has a a poorly fit replacement stem that has made it into an odd shaped churchwarden. I don’t think that it looked like this when it came out but I had no idea what it would have looked like before. It has a really mix of grains around the bowl and shank. It was stamped on the underside of the shank and it reads Stanwell [over] Design [over] Choice [over] Made in Denmark. To the left of this it is stamped with the shape numbers 892. The pipe was dirty with grime ground into the finish. There was a moderate cake in the bowl and lava overflow on the rim top. The inner edge of the rim was covered in lava it was hard to know what was underneath. The vulcanite shank extension was oxidized and worn. The churchwarden stem is overly bent and the fit in the shank extension is not quite right – just a few of several reasons that I knew it was a replacement stem. Jeff took some photos of the pipe before he started to work on cleaning it up for us. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The oxidized and replacement churchwarden vulcanite stem was over bent and would need to be straightened or replaced with a more original stem. This one has chatter and deep tooth marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. It really is a nicely shaped pipe with some great grain. There are some flaws in briar on the bottom of the bowl. The next photo Jeff took shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. I Googled the Stanwell shape 892 Design Choice pipe to see if I could find photos of what the pipe looked like when it was made and to see if I could see if there was information on who had made the pipe originally. I found a link to the shape on smokingpipes.com to the shape number (https://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/estate/denmark/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=238398). I have included the description from the site below as well as a photo of one of the pipes.

A shape designed for Stanwell by Sixten Ivarsson, this is a take on the Ukelele, with plenty of plump curvature and low-slung charm on display. This example is still in good condition overall, though it has picked up some light scratches around the bowl, and the chamber is slightly out of round.Now I knew that I was dealing with a shape designed by Sixten Ivarrson called a Ukelele that had a short fancy saddle stem and there was no reference anywhere I looked for a churchwarden stemmed Ukelele. I would need to fashion a new stem for the pipe to give the pipe a similar look to the one above.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the smooth bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good but I was more convinced than ever that a new stem was needed. I decided that I would work on this stem while I was looking for a new stem.I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl look good. The edge was clean but there was some damage on the rim top at the front of the bowl. The Churchwarden stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter were still present. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see from the photo that it is readable.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe. I started my work on the pipe by addressing the flaws in the bottom of the bowl. Under a lens there were small sand pits along the line of the CA glue that I filled them with in the photo below. Once the repair cured I sanded it smooth with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to blend it into the surrounding briar. I polished the smooth briar and the vulcanite shank extension with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-4000 grit pads to smooth out the surface of the briar and the repair on the bottom of the bowl. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust. The briar began to take on a shine. I paused after polishing the bowl with the 4000 grit micromesh pad to stain the repair on the bottom of the bowl. I used a Maple stain pen to match the surrounding briar. Once the stain cured I finished polishing the bowl with 6000-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. The bowl really did begin to shine. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm working it into the briar with my finger tips. The product works to clean, revive and protect the briar. I let it sit on the pipe for 10 minutes then buffed it off with a soft cloth.   I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I decided to deal with the stem even though I would replace it on the finished pipe. I straightened the churchwarden stem with a heat gun to get the angle more in keeping with the angles of the shank. I sanded out the tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button with 220 grit sandpaper and started the polishing with 400 grit sandpaper.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. Now that the churchwarden stem was finished I turned my attention to a shorter stem that I shaped to match the one in the photo from smokingpipes.com. I used a stem blank that I shaped with a Dremel and sanding drum. I shaped the saddle above the tenon to flow into the blade of the stem. I also shaped the tenon area to also have the same slope. I wanted  the slope on both sides to match. I used 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the angles. I took photos of the newly shaped stem in place in the bowl. I like the looks of the pipe with the new stem. I heated the vulcanite with the flame of a lighter to soften the stem and give it a slight bend. The bend fit the angles of the shank and allowed it to sit on the desktop.I put the stem on the pipe and took photos of the pipe with its new stem. I looked very good and the angles were perfect. I liked the way the pipe looked at this point.I polished the new stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another pipe that I am really happy about the finished restoration. This reborn Stanwell Ivarrson Designed Ukelele turned out really well. I used a blank to shape and craft a new stem for it as the churchwarden stem just did not work well. After restemming I think that it really is a great looking pipe with a great shape and grain. The bowl is flattened volcano shape and the vulcanite shank extension goes well with it. The new vulcanite saddle stem is very close to the original stem that would have come with the pipe when it was new. The polished black of the stem works well with the briar. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich brown stains of the finish make the grain really pop with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Design Choice Ukelele really has a unique beauty and feels great in the hand. It looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 ¼ inches, Height: 1 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 55 grams/1.98 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. It was a fun one to work on!

Restoring a Stunning Sandblast Stanwell Hand Made 50 Oval Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

This particular sandblasted Stanwell pipe was purchased in 2020 from a fellow in Los Angeles, California, USA. It really is nice looking shape that I would call a bent Dublin. The shape of the bowl is a bit oval and that is picked up by the oval shank and stem. The finish is a deep sandblast that has been stained with an undercoat of cordovan and a top coat of black or dark brown. It is stamped on a smooth panel on underside of the shank and reads 50 followed by Hand Made [over] In Denmark. That is followed by Stanwell [over] Regd. No. 969-48. The pipe is very dirty and there is some wear on the sharp edges. There is a thick cake in the bowl and a thick lava overflow on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl filling in the sandblast. There was grime ground into the sandblast finish and dust and debris in the valleys of the blast. The vulcanite saddle stem had the Stanwell Crown S logo on the left side of the saddle. It had light tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. The stem was oxidized and had some calcification on the end neat the button. The pipe must have been a great smoker judging from the condition it came it. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his work on it. Jeff took photos of the rim top and the stem to show the condition of the pipe when we received it. You can see the thick cake in the bowl and the lava on the rim top and inner edge of the bowl. The bowl is oval (almost shaped like and eye) while the chamber is round. The oxidized vulcanite stem and has chatter and tooth marks on both sides near the button. He took photos of the sides of the bowl and the heel to give an idea of the shape and the condition of the briar around the bowl. It really is a nicely shaped pipe with great sandblast finish. The next photo Jeff took shows the stamping on the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above. The stem logo is also clear. I turned to Pipephil (http://pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html) to see what I could find. I found a side bar note on the stamping on the pipe. I found there that the company had begun in 1942 and that the “Regd. No.” stamping was discontinued in late 1960s to very early 1970s. So now I knew that the pipe was made after 1942 and before the late 1960s or early 1970s. I wanted to see if I could pin down the date a bit more.

I turned to Pipedia to learn more about the pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell). I read through the article by Smoking Pipes.com there and would recommend it as being a good read. In the material there I found no additional information. I scrolled through the photos and the included catalogue pages and there I found something helpful. There was a late 1950s catalogue shown there that had the description of the pipe I have and also the shape 50 shown in the pages. I have included a screen capture of the page below. I have circled the shape in the photo below.With that information I had learned that this pipe was available in the late 1950s in the shape that I had in hand. The Regd No. stamping ended in the late 1960s or early 1970s. My guess would place this pipe in the period between 1958-1965. It is a real beauty.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe following his normal cleaning process. In short, he reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the sandblast bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the lava and debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove the debris and oils on the stem. He soaked it in a bath of Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good. I took close up photos of the stem and the rim top to show both how clean they were and what needed to be addresses with both. The rim top and bowl look good. The stem looked better and the tooth marks and chatter though much lighter were still present. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. You can see from the photo that it is readable.I removed the stem from the bowl and took a photo of the parts to give a sense of the beauty of the pipe.The bowl was in such good condition after the clean up that I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips and a horse hair shoe brush to get into the crevices of the sandblast. The product is incredible and the way it brings the grain to the fore is unique. It works to clean, protect and invigorate the wood. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I touched up the stamping on the left side of the saddle stem with PaperMate Liquid Paper. I painted it on and worked it into the stamp with a toothpick. Once it dried I polished off the excess. The stamp came out looking good. I was able to polish out the tooth chatter and marks on the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it 1500-12000 pads. I wiped it down with some Obsidian Oil each pad to remove the dust and polishing debris. I polished it with Before  After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine. I gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another pipe that I am really happy about the finished restoration. This Stanwell Oval Dublin turned out beautifully. It really is a great looking pipe with a great shape and rugged sandblast finish. The vulcanite saddle stem is really nice. The polished black of the stem works well with the briar. The briar really came alive with the buffing. The rich cordovan and black stains of the finish gave the pipe a sense of depth with the polishing and waxing. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Dublin really is a beauty and feels great in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches long x 1 ½ inches wide, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 37 grams/1.31 oz. The pipe will be going on the rebornpipes store soon. It will be in the section on Danish Pipe Makers if you would like to add it to your collection. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. It was a fun one to work on!

Look at the Birdseye Grain on this Stanwell Royal Prince 02 Bent Egg


Blog by Steve Laug

I am enjoying an evening free to work on a few pipes. The next pipe on the table came from an online auction on 02/18/21 in Upland, California, USA. Even though the finish was a dirty and worn it had some amazing grain showing through the grit and grime of the years. On the left side of the shank it was stamped Stanwell [over] Royal Prince. On the right side it is stamped with the shape number 02. On the underside it is stamped Made in Denmark. The pipe is a bent egg and as the shape number identifies. The finish is filthy with grime and oil ground into the briar of the bowl and shank sides. The bowl had a thick cake and there was an overflow of lava on the inner edge of the rim. The stem was a bent vulcanite taper stem that fit snugly in the shank. It had the Stanwell Crown S faintly stamped on the left side of the stem. The vulcanite was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show its overall condition before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the lava and dust ground into the finish of the rim top and edges. There is dust and debris stuck to the walls of the bowl clearly visible in the photos. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, chatter and tooth marks. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the grime.He took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It read as noted above and is clear and readable. I turned first to Pipephil’s site to get a quick idea of when this pipe line was made and where it stood in the Stanwell hierarchy. I found nothing (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html).

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).

I turned to the section on Stanwell shapes and numbers on Pipedia to see if I could identify the designer (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell_Shape_Numbers_and_Designers). Finally I found a bit of help there. It stated that the shape number 02 came in two versions – a Freehand, oval bowl and stem designed by Sixteen Ivarsson and a Bent Egg Shaped Bowl sloping top and full mouthpiece. Now I knew that I was dealing with the second. There was also a catalogue photo that I have included below that shows the shape 02 at the top left of the photo.

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the shape of the pipe. I am pretty sure it is a pipe that was made in the 80s or 90s. I was not certain but that is my educated guess. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Briarville’s Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove remaining oxidation on the ferrule and the stem. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good. The rim top and the inner edge of the rim showed some nicks and marks after the cleaning. The stem had a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. I took photos of the stamping on the sides of the shank. It was clear and read as noted above.I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. I decided to address the damage to the inner edge of the bowl first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the damage and clean up the edge. I was pleased with the reshaped rim top and edge. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.I “painted” the stem surface on both sides with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift all of them on the underside of the stem but one of them on the topside remained. I filled it in with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I smoothed it out and also the tooth chatter on the underside with 220 grit sand paper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.I touched up the stamping on the top of the stem. It was a Stanwell Crown S logo. Parts of it were faint but I was able to get some of the stamping to show up with the Paper Mate Liquid Paper White.I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. This beautiful Stanwell Royal Prince Sloped Bent Egg with a taper vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Royal Prince Bent Egg fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 46grams/1.62oz. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly in the Danish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Breathing New Life into a Stanwell Black Diamond Polished Model 185185 Bent Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me from either a trade I made (pipes for labour) or a find on one of my pipe hunts. I honestly don’t remember where it came from. It has been around for a while waiting to be worked on. It is a black stained pipe that allows the grain to peek through which is unusual for the black dress pipes that I have worked on. It has a Stanwell Silver Crown S and silver band make it one of the Black Diamond Polished line of pipes. The Black Diamond series from Stanwell isn’t completely black. The grain is vaguely visible through the stain. I have worked on this line before and written about it on the blog. Here is the link to that pipe (https://rebornpipes.com/tag/stanwell-black-diamond-pipes-with-a-semi-transparent-black-stain/).

The stamping on this bent Apple is clear and readable. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Stanwell [over] Made in Denmark. To the right side of the shank it is stamped with the shape number 185. The pipe had a lot of grime ground into the smooth finish on the bowl and some darkening around the sides of the bowl. The bowl was heavily caked and had an overflow of lava on the back side of the rim top. It was hard to know what the rim top and inner edge of the bowl looked like under the grime. The acrylic filter stem dirty and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside and the top surface of the button had a tooth mark. There an inset silver Crowned S on the left side of the taper stem. The pipe had promise but it was very dirty. I took photos of the pipe before I started my cleanup work.   I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. It is hard to know for sure if there is damage to the inner edge of the bowl because of the thickness of the lava coat. The thin silver band is tarnished and black. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the light chatter and tooth marks. I took photos of the stamping on the underside and right side of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. There is a silver Crown S logo on the top of the saddle stem.I took the stem off the bowl and took a photo of the parts. It is a nicely shaped pipe. The tenon is a filter tenon. Now it was time to work on the pipe. I have to say it once again that I am really spoiled having Jeff clean up the pipes for me. Having to start with them in this condition adds time. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second and third cutting heads. I followed up by scraping the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished cleaning up the cake in the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the walls of the bowl.    I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim top with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the debris from the finish. I rinsed the bowl with warm water to remove the grime and soap and dried it off with a soft towel. I used a small knife to carefully scrape off the lava on the rim top. I scrubbed the surface with cotton pads and saliva to remove the grime that remained.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.     I polished the Sterling Silver shank band with Hagerty’s Silver Polish to clean up the silver and remove the tarnish. I buffed it with a jeweler’s cloth to deepen the shine. Both of these things work to slow down the tarnish process. I took some photos of the band and bowl after the polishing. I cleaned out the mortise and airway in the shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. It took quite a few of them to clean out the chamber. I find that filter pipes are often dirtier than none filter pipes. I scraped the walls of the tenon with a dental spatula to remove the hardened tars there. I clean it out with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol as well. Once finish the pipe smelled far better.    I gave the bowl a coat of Conservator’s Wax and set it aside and turned my attention to the stem. The stem was made for a 9MM filter. I have a box of Vauen Dr. Perl Junior Filters that is perfect for this stem. The filter has a blue end and a white end and I can never remember which way they fit in the tenon. I looked it up on the Vauen site and did a screen capture of the way it sits in the stem. The blue end goes into the stem.The stem was in very good condition and the chatter and tooth marks were light. I polished them out of the acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.     This beautiful Stanwell Black Diamond 185 Bent Apple with an acrylic taper stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rich blacks of the stains on the bowl allow the grain to poke through. It came alive with the polishing and waxing. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax as I did not want to buff off the stain. I gave the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Black Diamond is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look 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. . The weight of the pipe is 67grams/2.36oz. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly and it will be in the Danish Pipe Makers section of the store. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Look at the grain on this Stanwell Regd No. 969-48 Freehand


Blog by Steve Laug

I woke up to the sound of something large jumping on the roof next to our bedroom window around 4:30am this morning. That gave me an early start at the work bench. I have to tell you that on days like today I miss my old supervisor Spencer who would greet me no matter what time and beg for a treat… strange to not have him here. Ah well time to work. The next pipe on the table came to us in a group of pipes that we picked up from an Antique Store in Montana, USA in mid-2019 so it has been sitting here for a while. Even though the finish was a dirty and worn it had some amazing grain showing through the grit and grime of the years. On the underside of the shank it was stamped Stanwell [over] Regd. No. 969-48 [over] Made in Denmark. The pipe is a freehand and there is no shape number stamped on it at all. The finish is filthy with grime and oil ground into the briar of the bowl and shank sides. The bowl had a thick cake and there was an overflow of lava on the rim top filling in the plateau and inner bevel of the rim. The stem was a fancy turned vulcanite stem that fit snugly in the ferrule. It had the Stanwell Crown S faintly stamped on the topside of the saddle stem. The vulcanite was oxidized, calcified and had tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took some photos of the pipe to show its overall condition before he started his cleanup work. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the lava and dust ground into the plateau finish of the rim top. There is dust and debris stuck to the walls of the bowl clearly visible in the photos. He also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the chatter and tooth marks. Otherwise the stem is quite clean. Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There are a lot of angles on this pipe and there is some stunning grain under the grime.    He took a photo of the stamping on the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. 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.

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).

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. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff had cleaned up the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.  He scrubbed the bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. He worked over the debris on the rim top and was able to remove it. He rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He soaked the stem in Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and rinsed it off with warm water. He scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads to remove remaining oxidation on the ferrule and the stem. He rinsed it with warm water and dried it off. I took photos of the pipe once I received it. It really looked good.  The rim top and the inner edge of the rim looked very good after the cleaning. It had a few small tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button.  I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It was clear and read as noted above. I removed the stem and took a photo of the pipe to give a sense of the whole. The stem is fancy turned vulcanite. I polished the bowl and the smooth portions on the rim top with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth.  The bowl had lightened around the top edge and on the shank end. I touched up the stain on the bowl with a Maple stain pen.    I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips. I used a horsehair shoe brush to work it into the plateau on the rim top and shank end.. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for 15 minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. I “painted” the stem surface on both sides with the flame of a lighter to lift the tooth marks. I was able to lift all of them on the underside of the stem but two of them on the topside remained. I filled them in with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I reshaped the button with a rasp and a file. I smoothed out the repairs further with 220 grit sandpaper. I started the polishing with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I touched up the faint stamping on the top of the stem. It was a Stanwell Crown S logo. Parts of it were faint but I was able to get some of the stamping to show up with the Rub’n Buff Antique Gold.    I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.  This beautiful Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 Freehand with a fancy, turned vulcanite stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Danish Freehand fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¾ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 54grams/1.90oz. I will be adding it to the rebornpipes store shortly in the Danish Pipe Makers Section. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

 

 

Breathing New Life into a Stanwell Golden S Dublin 64


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me from either a trade I made (pipes for labour) or a find on one of my pipe hunts. I honestly don’t remember where it came from. It has been around for a while waiting to be worked on. It is a beautifully grained Stanwell Golden S Dublin that really looks quite nice. The stamping is clear and readable. It is stamped on the underside of the shank and reads Stanwell [over] Regd. No. 969-48 [over] Golden S [over] Made in Denmark. To the right of that stamping is the shape number 64. The pipe had a lot of grime ground into the smooth finish on the bowl and some darkening around the sides of the bowl. The bowl was heavily caked and had an overflow of thick lava on the plateau rim top. It was hard to know what the rim top and inner edge of the bowl looked like under the grime. The stem was calcified, oxidized and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside and the top surface of the button had a tooth mark. There an inset golden Crowned S on the top of the saddle stem. The pipe had promise but it was very dirty. I took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. It is hard to know for sure if there is damage to the inner edge of the bowl because of the thickness of the lava coat. I also took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, calcification, light chatter and tooth marks.     I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable. There is a gold Crown S logo on the top of the saddle stem.I looked on Pipephil’s site for information on the Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 Golden S line and found the following information (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html). I found one piece of information on the Regd. No. that was helpful to me. I quote:

The “Regd. No.” stamping discontinued in late 1960s to very early 1970s

I also went to Pipedia and read the article on the Stanwell brand. It is a great read and worth the time to read it (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell). There was a note toward the end of the article on the Golden S series. I quote that note below:

Golden S: This series was last produced in the mid to late 1970s. Its distinguishing mark was an 18 carat gold Stanwell logo, crown and “S”, on the mouthpiece.

Now it was time to work on the pipe. I have to say it once again that I am really spoiled having Jeff clean up the pipes for me. Having to start with them in this condition adds time. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the first two cutting heads. I followed up by scraping the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I finished cleaning up the cake in the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the walls of the bowl.  I used a dental pick to pick out the lava in the plateau finish on the rim top. I used a brass bristle wire brush to remove the debris from the finish. The rim top cleaned up really well with the lava coat removed. I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim top with a tooth brush and undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the debris from the finish. I rinsed the bowl with warm water to remove the grime and soap and dried it off with a soft towel. While I was scrubbing the bowl I felt a rough spot on the front of the bowl. I examined it and found cracks on the front. There was a short one at the top from the rim down about ½ inch and below that were two further cracks extending down the height of the bowl. None of them go through to the inside of the bowl and are quite shallow. In the second photo below I showed the line of the crack with red ink. I used a microdrill bit on the Dremel to drill pin holes at the ends of each crack. You will see 7 pin holes in the photo below. I filled in the drill holes and the cracks with briar dust and clear super glue. Once the repair cured I sanded it smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and followed that with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads.  I stained the bowl with a dark brown aniline stain and flamed it with a Bic lighter to set it in the grain. I repeated the process until the coverage of the briar was even and the repaired areas were hidden.  I stained the plateau rim top with a black stain pen to highlight the grooves in the finish. I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a paper towel to remove the excess stain and bring the grain to the surface. I polished the bowl and the rim top, sides and shank with micromesh sanding pads –sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth. I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.   While I was working on the bowl the stem was soaking in Briarville Pipe Repair’s – Pipe Stem Oxidation Remover. The stem sat in the mixture for 2 ½ -3 hours. I removed the stem from the bath, scrubbed lightly with a tooth brush and dried if off with a paper towel. I was surprised that it was quite clean. Just some light tooth marks on the button and underside of the stem near the button.   I filled in the small tooth marks on the surface of the stem on both sides with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper and started polishing it with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper.  I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. At this point it dawned on me that I had not cleaned the inside of the shank or stem… boy I am rusty at this and have to tick off the steps! I cleaned the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until the pipe smelled and looked clean.  This beautiful Stanwell Golden S shape 64 Dublin with a vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. The rich browns and blacks of the contrasting stains on the bowl and the plateau rim top came alive with the polishing and waxing. The repairs to the cosmetic cracks on the front of the bowl blended in very well. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Golden S Dublin is a beauty and fits nicely in the hand and looks very good. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

Breathing Fresh Life into a Stanwell Royal Briar 301 Pick Axe


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the work table came to me from one of my pickups. Jeff and I pick up many together but this was one I traded for. Between us we pick up quite a few pipes for restoration. I try to work them into the restoration queue so that I can keep them moving. This next one a Stanwell 301 shape that came in a red Stanwell pipe bag. The pipe is stamped on the left side with the shape number 301. On the underside it is stamped Stanwell Regd. No. 969-48 [over] Royal Briar [over] Made in Denmark. The finish had a lot of grime ground into the smooth finish on the bowl and some darkening around the sides of the bowl. The bowl was thickly caked with an overflowing lava coat on the top of the rim. The edges looked to be in good condition. The shank is lined with a Delrin insert. The stem was oxidized, dirty and had light tooth chatter and marks on the top and underside near the button. The stem bore the Stanwell Crown “S” on the top of the fancy saddle stem. It had promise but it was very dirty. I took some photos of the pipe before I started the cleanup work. This was one of those that I picked up and did the cleanup and restoration work.    I took photo of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the thickness of the cake and the overflow of lava on the rim top. There were also nicks on the front outer edge of the bowl. I took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the oxidation, light chatter and tooth marks. Otherwise the stem is quite clean.     I took a photo of the left side and heel of the bowl to give a picture of what the briar around the pipe looked like. There is some stunning grain under the thick ground in grime.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. It reads as noted above and is clear and readable.  Later photos will give a clearer picture of the stamping.I turned to Pipephil to see if there was any information on the line that gives me the background info that I enjoy as I work on a pipe (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-stanwell.html). I am including a screen capture of the line that I found there. The crown stamp on the stem is the normal Stanwell shaped crown that differs from the one in the photo below.From this information I knew that I was working on an older Danish model that still had the Regd. No 969-48 on the shank that means it was made post 1948. It is an interesting shape that I could not find on Pipedia’s great history article.

Jeff and I follow the same process in our cleanup of pipes. I started my work on the pipe by reaming it with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife and followed up sanding the bowl with a piece of dowel wrapped with 220 grit sandpaper.  I scraped the rim top with the sharp edge of the knife to clean off the lava build up.I scrubbed the externals bowl with undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap with a tooth brush. I rinsed it under running warm water to remove the soap and grime.   I cleaned out the inside of the shank and the airway in the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners.      I took some photos of the stamping to show the clarity of it after the clean up. It reads as noted above.   I polished the bowl and the rim top, sides and shank with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads and wiping it down after each pad with a damp cloth.    I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine.    I set the bowl aside and turned to work on the stem. I redefined the button edges with a needle file. Once I had it finished it looked clean and well defined.  I scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub to remove the oxidation on the surface of the vulcanite. It took a lot of scrubbing and you can see from the pile of pads below in the photos the amount of oxidation that came off during the scrubbing.    I touched up the gold stamp on the stem surface with Rub’n Buff Antique Gold. I rubbed it onto the stamping and buffed it off with a cotton pad.I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.    This Stanwell Royal Briar 301 Pick Axe with a fancy vulcanite saddle stem is a great looking pipe now that it has been restored. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Pickaxe fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in adding this pipe to your collection send me a message or an email. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!

A Pause from Bob Kerr’s Estate – Repairing a Bite Through on a Stanwell Calabash for my Local Pipe Shop.


Blog by Steve Laug

On Friday a fellow from my local pipe shop called and said that he was bringing a pipe by for repair. He had a pipe that he had bitten through on the top side of the stem. He said he would leave it for me to work on. I have been having the shop drop their repairs off in my mail box. When my daughter picked this one up she was blown away by the heavy vanilla aromatic smell that filled the mail box and wafted from the pipe wherever it was. She brought it to my basement work table for me to see. This is what I saw. It was obviously a well smoked pipe that the pipeman must have really loved. It had a thick cake in the bowl and heavy overflow of lava on the rim top that was also very thick. The inner edge of the bowl was also thickly caked. The photos I took of the stem are also very clear. There were tooth marks and chatter on both sides of the acrylic stem and a small bit through on the topside of the stem. Fortunately it was not too big a bit through so it was repairable.I took a photo of the stamping on the shank and it read Stanwell [over] Made in Denmark [over] Calabash in script. The brass decorative band was dull and oxidized.I took the stem off the shank and took photos of the pipe. The first photo below shows the pipe in profile and shows the bite through very clearly. The second photo shows the end of the tenon and how clogged it was with the tars and oils. My first thoughts were that it had an adapter in the tenon to fill it and convert it to a non-filter pipe. Once I cleaned it up it was clear that it was a regular tenon with a slight inset.I like working on clean pipes so I reamed the bowl with three of the four cutting heads on the PipNet Pipe Reaming set. The bowl is conical so it took all three heads to remove the cake from the bowl. I cleaned up the remnants of cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. I also scraped the calabash rim top with the knife to remove the lava. I cleaned out the internals of the shank and stem with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. I worked them over until the inside of the pipe was clean.I scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap. I scrubbed the buildup on the rim top with the soap and tooth brush and was able to remove it all from the calabash top. I rinsed it off with running water and dried the pipe with a cotton cloth. I polished the smooth calabash rim top with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the rim top down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. The rim top began to look very good as it took on its shine. I rubbed the bowl and rim top down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair 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. The Balm does a great job in bringing life to aged briar that has been cleaned. I set the bowl aside and went to work on the stem. I cleaned off the surface of the stem with alcohol to remove greases and oils from the acrylic. I wanted it clean and dry so I could do the repair. Once it was clean I greased a pipe cleaner with Vaseline and inserted it into the airway of the stem. The greased pipe cleaner keeps the glue from filling in the airway.Since the hole in the top of the stem was quite small I decided to use just black super glue to fill in the damaged spot. I also used it to fill in the tooth marks and the dents in the surface. I set the stem aside to let the repairs cure.Once the repair cured I used a needle file to smooth out the repaired areas. I also cut the edges of the button on both sides and smooth it out. I would need to do a lot of sanding to blend it in but it would certainly look better. I sanded it with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. I started the polishing with a folded piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the acrylic stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with a damp cloth after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. The repairs and restoration of the Stanwell Calabash turned out really well. The mix of brown stains highlights the sandblasted grain around the bowl sides as well as the smooth calabash rim top. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished acrylic saddle stem. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished Stanwell Calabash fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I am looking forward to hearing what the pipeman who dropped it off thinks of it when he picks it up. It should continue to serve him well. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting pipe to bring back to life.