Tag Archives: Stanwell seconds

What a Mess – Restoring a Stanwell Made Danish Sovereign 332


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is from the next box of pipes I am working through. It is a Stanwell Made Danish Sovereign 332. The acorn/pear shaped bowl, round shank and saddle stem made up a nicely made pipe in a classic Danish shape. The smooth finish showed great grain through the ground in dirt and grime. There are also quite a few fills and deep gouges in the surface of the briar. It was stamped on the left side of the shank and read Danish Sovereign over Made in Denmark. On the right side it had the shape number 332 stamp. The finish was very dirty with a heavy coat of grime ground into the bowl and rim top as can be seen in the photos. The bowl had a thick cake with a lava overflow onto the rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. There were hash marks on the top front of the rim top and nicks around the edges. The stem was oxidized, calcified and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. It was also stamped with three XXX marking it as a second. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up so you could see what we saw. Jeff took photos of the rim top to show lava build up around the rim, the edges and cake in the bowl.  This one was obviously someone’s favourite pipe and it was a mess. You can also see the hash marks on the front edge and top of the bowl. Jeff took some photos of the bowl sides and heel to show the absolutely dirty finish ground into the briar. It was a dirty pipe but I think it will be a beautiful one once we are finished. You can see all the damaged areas and fills on the bowl in these photos. The bowl is really quite dirty. The stamping on the sides of the shank is shown in the photos below. It is clear and read as noted above.  There was a triple XXX stamped on the left side of the stem. The stem was a good fit to the shank. It was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth marks on the stem and on the button surface.  I turned first to Pipephil’s site (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-d2.html) to see what information I could find there. On the site was a pipe similarly stamped to the one that I am working on. It is clearly identified as a Stanwell second that was marketed only in the USA and Canada.I turned to Pipedia to read more about the brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Danish_Sovereign). There was nothing definitive there only a statement that it may be a Stanwell second line.

It looks I am dealing with a pipe made especially for the American and Canadian market by Stanwell. Now it was my turn to work on the pipe now. I was really looking forward to what the pipe would look like once Jeff had worked his magic. What would the rim top look like? What would the dirty bowl look like? I had no idea. When I took it out of the box I was struck great job cleaning up the pipe Jeff had done. It was impressive! He had reamed the pipe with a Pipnet piper reamer and taken the cake back to bare briar. He cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the interior of the bowl and shank with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to remove the tars and oils. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime from the finish. He worked on the rim top lava and darkening with the soap and tooth brush. He scrubbed the inside of the stem with alcohol and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer. He washed the stem off with warm water to remove the Deoxidizer. The pipe looked far better. I took photos of the pipe when I received it before I started working on it. I took photos of the bowl and rim top as well as the stem to show how clean they were. You can see the hash marks on the front of the rim top and the darkening and damage to the inner edge of the rim. There are nicks on the top all the way around. The stem is clean and the tooth damage on the button top and bottom edges.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above.    I decided to start my work on the pipe by addressing the damage to the rim top and edges. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the inner edge and sand the darkening on the top and smoothing out the nicks and scratches and minimizing the hash marks on the front top and outer edges.    I filled in the deep gouges and nicks in the briar on both sides of the bowl with clear super glue and when the glue cured I sanded them smooth to blend them into the surrounding briar.    I stained the briar with a tan stain. I applied it to the stummel with a dauber and then flamed it with a Bic lighter. I repeated the process as often as needed until I was happy with the coverage on the briar. I set it aside to cure for several hours.    I wiped the bowl down with alcohol on a paper towel to make the stain a bit more transparent. I buffed the bowl on the buffer with Red Tripoli to polish it and get a sense of what the bowl looked like at this point in the process.    I polished the briar with micromesh – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the bowl down after each sanding pad with a damp cloth.  I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes while I worked on the stem. After the time passed I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. The briar really comes alive with the balm.      I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I filled in the indentations on the button edge and built it up with clear super glue. Once the repair cured I used a needle file to reshape the button edges and also flatten the repaired areas.    I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to finish the shaping and to remove the remaining oxidation. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil before further polishing it.   I used some Paper Mate Liquid Paper to touch up the white that remained in the XXX stamp on the left side of the stem.   I polished the vulcanite with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem.    This Danish Sovereign 332, made by Stanwell with a saddle vulcanite stem turned out very nice. The mix of brown stains highlights the grain around the bowl sides and bottom. The rim top and edges look very good. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. 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 Bent Acorn is very nice and feels great in the hand. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. It is a nice pipe whose dimensions are Length: 5 inches, Height: 2 ¼ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This Stanwell made Danish Sovereign 332 will be going on the rebornpipes store shortly. If you are interesting in adding it to your collection let me know! Thanks for your time.

Stanwell Made Royal Guard Plateau Dublin


Blog by Steve Laug

This one was sold as a Parker on Ebay and came with a Parker pipe sock and box. There was nothing about it that looked like a Parker in my opinion. Everything about it said Stanwell made. When the pipe arrived my brother took it out of the box and sure enough it was a Royal Guard pipe which is listed on pipephil’s website as a Stanwell second.  http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-r6.html It was in decent shape. The plateau was dirty with tars and oils. The rim had some darkening but no damage to the bowl. There was a light cake in the bowl. The finish was dirty and there was dust in the grooves of the sandblast. The stem was in great shape though there was some tooth chatter on the top and bottom sides near the button. The stamping on the saddle stem was in good shape though there were spots where the white was missing in the stamped letters. My brother took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it.

Guard1Guard2Guard3He took photos of the stamping. On the left side of the shank it was stamped Royal Guard. On the underside of the shank it was stamped Made in Denmark.Guard4The next photo he took shows the tooth chatter on the bottom of the stem.Guard5He also took a close up photo of the rim top. It shows the dust and the tars and oils in the grooves of the plateau.Guard6My brother scrubbed the exterior of the bowl and rim with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush. He rinsed it off with water and dried it. He scrubbed the rim and removed the tars, oils and dust in the plateau. The soap and rinse also removed the dust and grime in the sandblast finish. He cleaned out the inside of the shank and stem. Once he had finished there was not much that I would have to do once I received it.

When the box came I opened the Parker box, took out the Parker pipe sock and slipped the Royal Guard pipe out of the sock. It really was a beautiful pipe. The sandblast and the smooth portions worked together to make a stunning pipe. The plateau on the rim was also perfect and the darkening worked well with the colouration of the briar in the sandblast finish. I took some photos of the pipe when I took it out of the box.Guard7 Guard8I took some close up photos of the rim and the stamping on the stem. The plateau looks really good and the inner edge of the bowl is clean. The stamping on the stem is clearly an interlocking RG. The white colour in the stamp is in great shape.Guard9I used the Savinelli Pipe Knife to clean up the remnants of cake in the bowl. It did not take much to remove the last of the cake. I took it back to bare briar and wiped out the inside of the bowl with a cotton pad.Guard9aI wet sanded the stem with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-4000 and with 6000-12000 grit pads and gave it a rub down with the oil between each set of three pads. I finished by giving it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry.Guard10 Guard11 Guard12I gave a quick touch up cleaning with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. It took very few because the pipe was clean other than the dust from my sanding.Guard13I gave the bowl several coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush.Guard14I buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel and lightly buffed it with several coats of carnauba wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad and then hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This one is available if you are interested in adding it to your rack. Send me an email (slaug@uniserve.com) or a message. Thanks for looking.Guard15 Guard16 Guard18 Guard19 Guard20 Guard21 Guard22 Guard23

Royal Danish Acorn Shape 971 Reborn


Blog by Steve Laug

This is another pipe from the lot I picked up on Ebay not long ago. The lot is pictured in the photo below and this one is the third pipe down on the first column, left side. It is stamped Royal Danish in script over MADE IN DENMARK on the underside of the shank. It is also stamped 971. To me the shape is an oval shanked acorn. It has a sandblast finish with a smooth area on each side of the bowl and on the area that bears the stamping on the shank. The bowl was heavily caked as can be seen in the second photo. The finish was not in bad shape just dirty and the smooth areas had small scratches on the surface. The rim was caked with spill over from the bowl and would need to be scrubbed to remove the build up and make the sand blasted rim visible again. The bowl came without a stem.

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I sorted through my box of stems to see if I had one that was suitable for this pipe and found an estate stem that would work with a little cleanup. It was heavily oxidized and had some tooth chatter on the surface of the stem that became very visible as I cleaned it. The stem was clogged with tar and oils and I would have to unclog it to make it work. I used a paper clip that I straightened out to clean out the build up in the stem then sanded the tenon until the stem fit the pipe. I lined it up with the curves on the shank. Because of the sandblast on the shank the stem would not line up perfectly so I decided to sand a smooth band around the shank for the stem to line up with. I used a Dremel with a sanding drum to smooth out the edge of the shank. The next four photos show the finished band around the shank. Once it was stained I thought it would be a good contrast with the stem and the finish of the sandblast.

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I reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. I began with the smallest cutting head and worked my way up to the second cutting head (first photo below). Once I had the bowl cleaned out I worked on the stem to clean up the oxidation and work on the tooth marks. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper and then with a fine grit sanding sponge (photos 2 and 3 below). I also sanded the banded area that I cut with the sanding drum.

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I wiped the bowl and shank down with acetone and a cotton pad. I wanted to remove the grime in the crevices of the blast on the shank and bowl. I used a soft bristle tooth brush and acetone to clean up the rim of the pipe. I scrubbed it until the finish was clean. Photos 1 and 2 below show the finish after the cleaning. The grey is the finish after it broke down with the acetone. I continued to scrub it until the finish was clean.

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I set up the heat gun and heated the stem and bent it over the rolling pin that I use to get a good straight bend in the stem. I also buffed the stem and bowl with White Diamond. I used a light touch on the stem as I intended to keep sanding it with the micromesh sanding pads. I took it back to the work table and restained it with a dark brown aniline stain thinned with isopropyl alcohol. The mix was my attempt to match it to the original stain. I wanted the dark stain in the grooves of the blast to stand out against the brown over stain. The next three photos show the bend in the stem and the restained bowl. The band that I sanded in the shank is a nice contrast to the sandblast and the black of the vulcanite stem.

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I sanded the stem with micromesh sanding pads from 1500-12,000 grit. I wet sanded with the 1500-2400 grit pads and then dry sanded with the 3200-12,000 grit pads. The next series of four photos show how each progressive grit of sanding pads bring a deeper shine to the stem.

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I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil to protect the new shine against oxidation and then once it was dry took it to the buffer and buffed the stem with White Diamond. I finished by buffing the bowl and stem lightly with White Diamond a second time. It took the pipe back to my work table and gave it several coats of Halcyon II Wax. I have found that it does a great job on sandblast and rusticated finishes. When it was dry I hand buffed it with a shoe brush until it had a rich shine. The next series of photos show the finished pipe. I like the new look to the shank and bowl and the new stem looks like it came with the pipe!

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Not So “Mint” Danish Sovereign Reborn


Blog by Greg Wolford

I picked up this Danish Sovereign off eBay for my son as a gift. I have one in a different shape and he has admired it since I got it. I knew that he had been wanting a Danish pipe and when I was this one it looked to be right up his style-alley.

This pipe came described as in “mint condition” from an eBay seller. It was a Father’s Day gift for my son, his first Father’s Day pipe actually; he took up the pipe only about 8 months ago. The photos the seller provided were not good and none of the problems were shown/disclosed; I could see some oxidation but didn’t expect the chatter and dents.

The seller shipped it not as expediently as I had hoped so the pipe didn’t arrive in time for Father’s Day; it came yesterday. I spent the evening getting it cleaned up for him, not doing anything to alter the originality of the pipe, which is what he wanted. If he decides he wants me to, I may end up sanding it down and re-staining it, filling the dents as needed, to make it much more like new. But that’ll be his call since it’s his gift.

I thought I would try something, actually a few things, different for this project: I used a few new things/processes, yes, but mainly the difference is I took video as I went instead of photos and will show the steps/progress in the video rather than writing it all out. This is something I have been wanting to try and so, now I have! Since it is the first time doing a resto-video I’m sure there will be things that could’ve been done better. And hopefully with time and practice, if this idea seems to “fly”, they will in the next projects.