Tag Archives: Stem repairs

Cleaning and restoring a Ropp Cherrywood De Luxe 805


Blog by Steve Laug

Not long ago I got an email from Mark, who had been reading the rebornpipes blog. He said that he had seven pipes that had belonged to his uncle that he was wondering if I would be interested in restoring. He said that the pipe were in good condition in terms of the bowls (though in looking at them they were in need of a good cleaning). The finishes were in decent shape – just dirty. He said that the stems all had issues and he was right with that. Some were worn with tooth marks on the stem on both the top and underside at the button. Some had been chewed off. All were oxidized to varying degrees. He sent me the following photos of the pipes for me to have a look at and we talked back and forth via email. About a week ago or so they arrived here in Canada. He had done an amazing job packing the lot. Each one was packaged in its own baggy with the stem separated for shipping. They were nicely wrapped in bubble wrap and boxed with the return mailing address inside! Very nicely done package. I opened the box and unpacked each pipe. I went over them carefully to assess what was needed in terms of repair. I chose to work on the Cherrywood pipe at the top of the first photo and on the far left of the second photo. It is a nice looking Cherrywood pipe with panels. The high points on the bowl all had bark on them with stripes without the bark. The shank also had bark on it. The bowl had a light cake in it. The rim top had a thick overflow of lava on it that had overflow from the bowl. There were also some light nicks in the rim top. The underside of the bowl was dirty but it was stamped ROPP over De Luxe over Made in France. Underneath that what the shape number 805. The stem had tooth marks and tooth chatter on the top side of the stem with some deep marks on the underside. The stem surface was oxidized. It had the ROPP oval on the left side of the stem. I took the following photos before I started to clean up the pipe. I took a close up of the rim top to show the lava build up and the cake in the bowl. It appeared that the bowl had been reamed before I received it but there were some remnants of the cake in the bowl. I took some close up photos of the stem to show the condition of both sides.I chose four of the pipes to work on first and put the stems in the Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer. I pushed them under the solution and left them to soak overnight.While the stems were all soaking I turned my attention to the bowl. I scrubbed the surface of the Cherrywood with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime that sat on the surface. There were also some paint flecks that needed to be addressed as well. I scrubbed the surface with a tooth brush and rinsed it off with running water. I dried the bowl and shank off with a soft cotton towel to make sure I did not damage the bark. I took photos of the cleaned Cherrywood bowl. It actually looked really good. The rim top still needed work but it looked better. I cleaned up the inside of the bowl to remove the remaining bits of cake on the walls and the bottom of the bowl with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife.I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to sand off the remaining thick lava on the rim top and the damaged areas as well. I worked on it to smooth out the surface and then polished it with 1500-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I cleaned up the inner edge of the rim with a folded piece of sandpaper and removed the damaged areas there as well.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the Cherrywood and the bark with my finger tips to deep clean the finish, enliven and protect the wood. I let it sit for a few minutes and then buffed it with a cotton cloth. The wood came alive and really had begun to show through at this point and there was a rich shine to the bark as well. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and called it a night. The bowl was ready other than touching up the cleaning of the shank. In the morning. In the morning I removed the stem from the Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and wiped it off with a paper towel to remove the remaining oxidation and bath. I cleaned out the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol until it was clean. I cleaned out the shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs at the same time  to remove any debris that remained inside. The stamping on the stem looked good. The stem was clean and black with the scratching, tooth marks and an odd red tint in the vulcanite visible on the left side. It was ready for repairs to the tooth marks and polishing. I lightly sanded the stem to remove the scratching and tooth chatter. I heated the stem with a Bic lighter to lift some of the tooth marks. Once that was done I built up the edge of the button on the underside and filled in the two remaining tooth marks on the underside of the stem with clear super glue. Once the repair had dried I sanded the repaired areas with 220 grit sandpaper to blend them into the surface of the stem. I sanded the rest of the stem as well working on getting rid of the red tint on the left side. I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and let it dry. Once it had dried, I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with final coat Obsidian Oil and took the following picture. I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I carefully buffed the bowl and shank with Blue Diamond. I did not want to damage the bark on the bowl or shank so I used a very light touch. I worked on the stem with Blue Diamond to polish it. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and hand buffed it with a shoe brush. I gave the stem multiple coats carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The bark now has a rich glow to it and the peeled areas of the Cherrywood bowl look rich as well. The shank looks good. The hard rubber/vulcanite stem came out quite nice with a shine to the ROPP oval on the left side. The pipe came out really well. Now I have six more of the uncle’s pipes to finish up and then I will pack these back in their well packed box and send them back to the US to carry on life for the nephew of the pipe man who left them to him. Thanks for looking.

 

 

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Restoring a Newer Cadogan Era GBD Marquis 411 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

This GBD Marquis is the last of the local pipe shop pipes that I will work on for a bit. It came from the estate of the same older gentleman whose wife returned them to the shop for restoration and resale. This is a smooth finished GBD. The briar has some beautiful straight, flame and birdseye grain around the bowl. On the right side of the shank are two putty fills that have shrunk and left rough spots around the number stamp. It is stamped on the left side of the shank with the GBD oval logo next to the line stamp – Marquis. On the right side it is stamped St. Claude – France over the shape number 411. From the lack of a brass rondel on the stem and the GBD logo stamped on the left side of the saddle instead I am putting this pipe in the Cadogan era of the brand. The stem is original but is a stamped stem blank with none of the original GBD Charm. It is a pretty good looking pipe even though it is dirty. I included this little GBD pot in the box of pipes that I sent off to my brother for cleaning. This is the fourth pipe that I have brought to the work table from the lot of about 50 to rework. I can only repeat how thankful I am for his willingness to clean and ream the pipes for me. It really has allowed me to move through the repairs much more quickly. When he received the pipe he took a series of photos of it to show its condition. He took a close up photo of the beveled rim top showing the thick cake and the overflow of lava onto the top of the bowl. The lava pretty well hid the beveled rim top from view. The cake is very thick and hard. Like the rest of the pipes in this estate the cake made the bowl appear to be quite small and in this condition would hold very little tobacco. The photo of the underside of the bowl and shank shows the beautiful birdseye grain. The next photos show the stamping on the left and the right side of the shank. It is clear and readable. The GBD Oval stamped logo on the side of the stem is in very good condition.The next photo shows the two shrunken fills on the right side of the shank and on the underside edge. Other than those two the pipe is flawless.Jeff took a close up of the GBD oval logo stamped on the side of the saddle stem. It is great shape. The stem itself has some wear and tear with tooth chatter, tooth marks and oxidation but it should clean up well.Jeff cleaned the pipe up very well. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet Reamer and a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the mortise and the airway in the stem and shank with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the grime and dust of time. When I received the pipe it was very clean. I took photos of it to record what it looked like before I started my work.   Jeff removed the thick hard cake and the lava buildup on the rim top and revealed a deep inward bevel to the rim. The inner and outer edges of the rim were in good condition. The top surface of the rim had some minor darkening and a few small nicks but otherwise looked very good. The vulcanite stem looked far better than when Jeff started the cleanup. There were a lot of scratches on the surface and a few tooth marks on both the top and underside if the stem. The GBD oval logo was undamaged.The stem still had some remaining oxidation in the vulcanite so I dropped it into the Before & Stem Deoxidizer bath and let it soak overnight. The photo below shows the stem before I pushed it into the bath.While the stem soaked I turned my attention to the bowl. I cleaned up the fills on the right side of the shank. I used a dark stain pen to try to blend them into the briar a little better (ineffective by the way). I filled in the dips in the fills with a few drops of clear super glue. I made sure to overfill the repairs as the glue shrinks as it dries. Once it cured I used a fold piece of sandpaper to sand the spots and blend them into the surrounding briar without damaging the stamping. That was a bit tricky because of the location of the fills. When I had the area smooth I used 1500-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads to polish those areas. I used a dark brown stain pen to blend the repaired areas into the surrounding stain. I hand buffed the shank to further blend the stain. I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips to deep clean the smooth finish, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for a few minutes and then buffed it with a cotton cloth. The grain of the briar really had begun to show through at this point and there was a rich shine to the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and called it a night. In the morning I removed the stem from the Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and wiped it off with a paper towel to remove the remaining oxidation and bath. I cleaned out the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol until it was clean. The stamping on the stem looked good. The stem was clean and black with the tooth marks very visible. It was ready for repairs to the tooth marks and polishing.I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue on both sides of the stem and set it aside to allow the repairs to cure. When the repairs had dried I sanded them smooth and blended them into the surface of the stem. I reshaped the button on both sides of the stem with a needle file and sanded the stem down 220 grit sandpaper. The surface of the stem on both sides looks good. The tooth marks are gone and the surface is smooth. I carefully polished the saddle portion of the stem being careful to not damage the GBD oval stamping. Once the saddle portion was shining I applied some Antique Gold Rub’n Buff with a cotton swab to the stamped area. I made sure that it was deep in the stamp and let it sit for a few minutes before rubbing it off with the other end of the cotton swab and a cotton pad. I took all the excess away and left the stamping looking like brass. Once I buffed it the stem and logo would look like new.I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and let it dry. Once it had dried, I polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with final coat Obsidian Oil and took the following picture. I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I buffed the bowl and stem once again with Blue Diamond to polish it. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a really nicely grained GBD pipe 411 Pot that came out in the Cadogan era of the brand. Its amazing grain is only marred by the two fills on the right side of the shank. They are blended into the shank better than before but they still show. The pipe still looks great and feels comfortable in the hand. The medium brown stain and the polished black vulcanite work together to give the classic pot shaped pipe a rich look. It will make a great pipe addition to the rack and should be a great smoker.  The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 1/2 inches, Outer Diameter of the Bowl: 1 ½ inches, Diameter of the Chamber: 7/8 inches. I will be adding this one to the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. If you are interested email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

 

Restoring a Danish Handmade Kriswill Chief 40


Blog by Steve Laug

This Kriswill is yet another one from a local pipe shop. It came from the estate of the same older gentleman whose wife returned them to the shop for restoration and resale. This one is a smooth finished Kriswill. The briar is a combination of mixed grain around the bowl. It is stamped on the left side of the shank Kriswill over Chief over Handmade in Denmark. On the underside near the shank stem junction it has the shape number 40. I reviewed the information I had on Kriswill and have included some of that here.Kriswill was one of the large pipe manufacturers in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s, and closed around 20 years ago. Their catalog cover read “By Appointment to the Royal Danish Court, KRISWILL, Kriswork Briar Trading, Briar Pipes Hand Made in Denmark.” After the Danish Kriswill enterprise ended, pipes were made in Norway and in France under the Kriswill label. In the 1970s Kriswill was bought by Lillehammer, and in the 1980s the pipes were made for a while at the Catalan factory, Iberica de Pipas. https://pipedia.org/wiki/File:Kriswill_Factory.jpg

The finish on the pipe was dirty and dull. The beveled rim top had lava built up that extended up and over the outer edge. It was hard to tell if there was damage to the inner edge of the rim. The bowl had a thick, hard cake filling the bowl. The stem was heavily oxidized and had some deep tooth marks on the top and underside at the button. It also appeared to have had a Softee bit at some point as the usual calcification was present on the stem from the button forward about an inch. This was included in the pipes that I sent off to my brother for cleaning. This is the third pipe that I have brought to the work table from the lot of about 50 to rework. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate his willingness to clean and ream the pipes for me. It allows me to move through the repairs much more quickly. When he received the pipe he took a series of photos of it to show its condition. He took a close up photo of the rim top showing the thick cake and the overflow of lava onto the top of the bowl. The cake is very thick and the lava hides the rim top. The bowl is quite small and in this condition would hold very little tobacco.The next photos show the stamping on the left and the underside of the shank. It is clear and readable. The Kriswill snowflake logo on the top of the stem is in very good condition and is undamaged.The vulcanite stem was heavily oxidized and had some deep tooth marks on both the top and underside near the button. They were deep but did not go all the way through the stem. There were scratches and nicks in the surface of the stem all the way around the stem. The button was worn down on both sides. There was some heavy calcification going on where there must have been a Softee bit covering the end of the stem. There were no surprises as this was true of most of the pipes in this estate.I am once again very grateful for the thorough cleanup that Jeff did on the bowl and stem. He carefully reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the internals of the bowl and stem with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs – scrubbing out the mortise as it was dirty. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil soap and a tooth brush and was able to remove all of the oils and dust in the smooth finish on the briar. He was able to remove all of the lava and grime from the beveled rim top and left it looking very clean. The inner edges of the bowl were slightly out of round and would need to be worked on. The outer edge of the rim top looked very good. He soaked the stem in an Oxyclean bath to remove the grime and calcification and to bring the oxidation to the surface. When the pipe arrived I took some photos to show how it looked before I did the restoration. It really is a beautifully grained piece of briar that should look amazing when it is polished. Jeff removed the thick, hard cake and the lava buildup on the rim top and clean off the inner and outer edges of the rim. The inner edge had some minor damage that made it slightly out of round. The outer edge looked really good. The top surface of the rim had some minor darkening but otherwise looked very good. The vulcnaite stem looked far better than when Jeff started the cleanup. There were a lot of scratches on the surface and a few tooth marks on both the top and underside if the stem. The snowflake logo was undamaged.The stem still had some deep oxidation in the vulcanite so I dropped it into the Before & Stem Deoxidizer bath and let it soak overnight. (The photo below shows the stem before I pushed it into the bath.)I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to reshape the inner edge of the bowl and to smooth out the surface and remove the darkening. I used 1500-4000 grit micromesh pads to polish the surface of the rim and the inner edge.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my finger tips to deep clean the smooth finish, enliven and protect the briar. I let it sit for a few minutes and then buffed it with a cotton cloth. The grain of the briar really had begun to show through at this point and there was a rich shine to the briar. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and called it a night. In the morning I removed the stem from the Before & After Stem Deoxidizer and wiped it off with a paper towel to remove the remaining oxidation and bath. I cleaned out the airway with pipe cleaners and alcohol until it was clean. The stamping on the stem was untouched. The stem was pitted slightly and the tooth marks were very visible. It was ready for repairs to the tooth marks and polishing.I filled in the tooth marks with clear super glue on both sides of the stem and set it aside to allow the repairs to cure. When the repairs had dried I sanded them smooth and blended them into the surface of the stem. I reshaped the button on both sides of the stem with a needle file and sanded the stem down 220 grit sandpaper. The 3rd and 4th photos below show the stem at this point in the process. The surface of the stem on both sides looks good. The tooth marks are gone and the surface is smooth. I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and let it dry. After the polishing I could still see light scratches in the vulcanite on the top at the curve and on the underside next to the stem. I buffed it on the buffing wheel with Red Tripoli and Blue Diamond and polished them out. I took it back to the work table and polished it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish Fine and Extra Fine. I rubbed it down with some Obsidian Oil and took the following picture.I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I buffed the bowl and stem once again with Blue Diamond to polish it. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful older Kriswill pipe in one of their classic shapes that looks great and feels comfortable in the hand. The reddish brown stain and the polished black vulcanite work together to give the pipe a rich look. If you are a fan of older Danish pipes this is one of the classic shapes from Kriswill. It will make a great pipe addition to the rack and should be a great smoker.  The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 2 1/4 inches, Outer Diameter of the Bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Diameter of the Chamber: 3/4 inches. I will be adding this one to the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. If you are interested email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

 

Restoring and repairing a stem on a GBD Golden Blue 119 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is another one from a local pipe shop. It is a pipe from the estate of the same older gentleman whose wife returned them to the shop for restoration and resale. This one is a smooth finished GBD with a Blue Perspex stem. The smooth finish shows mixed grain around the bowl. It has a rim top that is beveled inward to the inner edge of the bowl. It is stamped on the left side of the shank GBD in the oval over Golden Blue. On the right side it reads London, England over the shape number 119. The finish on the pipe was dirty and dull. The beveled rim top had lava built up that extended up and over the outer edge. The bowl had a thick, hard cake filling the bowl. The stem had deep tooth marks on the top and a bite through on the underside at the button. The bite through was repairable but it would be visible. I sent the pipes off to my brother for cleaning. This is the second pipe that I have brought to the work table from the lot of about 50 to rework. I really appreciate his willingness to clean and ream the pipes for me. When he received the pipe he took a series of photos of it to show its condition. He took a close up photo of the rim top showing the cake and the overflow of lava on the beveled top of the bowl. The cake is quite thick and the lava has almost leveled the bevel in many spots around the bowl. He also took photos of the bowl sides and underside to show some of the nicks and dents in the finish. The next photos show the stamping on the left and the right side of the shank. It is clear and readable. The brass rondel on the left side of the saddle stem is in very good condition and is undamaged.The stem was Blue Perspex and had some deep tooth marks on the top side near the button. They were deep but did not go all the way through the stem. There were scratches and nicks in the surface of the stem all the way around the stem. The button was worn down on both sides. On the underside of the stem there was a large bite through. With the stem being blue it was going to be a challenge to repair. The repair on the bite through would be hard to blend in as there was not a blue super glue or epoxy that I could match.As I have come to expect, Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup on the bowl and stem. He carefully reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the internals of the bowl with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs – scrubbing out the mortise as it was dirty. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipes with Murphy’s Oil soap and a tooth brush and was able to remove all of the oils and dust in the smooth finish on the briar. He was able to remove all of the lava and grime from the beveled rim top and left it looking very clean. The inner edges of the bowl were in excellent condition and outer edges have many small nicks. He soaked the stem in an Oxyclean bath remove the grime in the bite through and the edges of the stem. He cleaned out the blue Perspex with soapy water to remove the tarry oils and grime in the airway. He was able to remove much of the internal grime. When the pipe arrived I took some photos to show how it looked before I did the restoration. Jeff was able to remove the lava buildup on the beveled rim top and clean off the inner and outer edges of the rim. The inner edge looked very good but the outer edge had nicks and scratches. The top surface of the bevel had some minor darkening but otherwise looked very good. The Blue Perspex stem was in rough condition. There were a lot of scratches and nicks in the surface, tooth marks on the top side and a bite through on the underside. The airway still showed darkening from the tars and oils of the tobacco.I took a close up photo of the bite through to show the size and shape of the damaged area on the underside of the stem.I folded a pipe cleaner and flattened it to fit in the funnel of the airway. I greased it with Vaseline so that it would prevent the glue from sticking to the inside and anchoring the pipe cleaner in the airway. I worked my way inward building up the edges of the hole. I filled in the tooth marks on the top side of the stem and sprayed it with an accelerator. I filled in the remaining hole in the underside of the stem with clear super glue. Once it was filled in I sprayed it with accelerator and removed the pipe cleaner. Filling in the hole with the glue was a messy proposition as the glue was thin and ran up the stem surface.I used a needle file to remove all of the excess glue on the surface of the stem and blend the repairs into the surface. I also reshaped the button on both sides of the stem. I sanded the stem down with 180 grit and 220 grit sandpaper. The photos below show the stem at this point in the process. The top side is in excellent condition now. The tooth marks are gone and the surface is smooth. The underside where the bite through was filled in is solid but visible.I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the Blue Perspex – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I polished it with Before & After Stem Fine Polish and wiped it down. I followed that by polishing it with the Extra Fine Polish. I buffed it with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine. I sanded the inner edge of the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and remove the darkening. I used a 1500 grit micromesh pad to smooth out the outer edge of the bowl. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the smooth finish, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers to get it deep into the briar. I let it sit for a few minutes and then wiped it off with a soft cloth and buffed it with a cotton cloth. The briar really began to have a deep shine. The smooth surface showed some nice grain patterns and begun to look really good. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to polish the briar. I buffed the stem at the same time to raise the gloss on the Blue Perspex. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful GBD pipe that looks great and feels comfortable in the hand. The reddish brown stain and the Blue Perspex work really well together. Though the repaired area on the bite through is visible it is solid. Thankfully it is on the underside of the stem. It will make a great pipe addition to the rack and should smoke dry and cool.  The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 5 1/2 inches, Height: 1 3/4 inches, Outer Diameter of the Bowl: 1 1/4 inches, Diameter of the Chamber: 3/4 inches. I will be adding this one to the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. If you are interested email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

Restoring a Kriswill Made Danish Special Smooth Panel Bent Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is one from a local pipe shop. It came from the estate of an older gentleman whose wife returned them to the shop for restoration and resale. This one is an interesting sandblast finish bent billiard. The sandblast is interesting showing a variety of grain around the bowl. It has smooth panels on the right and left side of the bowl and the right side of the shank. It is stamped on the smooth right side of the shank Danish Special over Made in Denmark. The finish on the pipe was dusty and some of the grooves were almost filled in with grime and dust. The rim top had lava built up in the blast on the flat surface. The bowl had a thick, hard cake almost filling it in. The stem had several tooth marks and was lightly oxidized. I sent the pipes off to my brother for cleaning. I have about 50 of them to rework and a waiting queue of pipes to repair. I really appreciate his willingness to clean and ream the pipes for me. When he received the pipe he took a series of photos of it to show its condition. He took a close up photo of the rim top showing the cake and the lava on the flat top of the bowl. The cake is quite thick and the lava has filled in the sandblast on the surface of the rim. He also took photos of the sandblast around the sides and underside of the bowl. His final photo shows the stamping on the right side of the shank. It is clear and readable. The brand Danish Special was unfamiliar to me. I had heard of Danish Pride, Danish Star, Royal Danish and other Stanwell brands but this one was unfamiliar.I Googled the name and found that the brand was a sub-brand or second brand of Kriswill pipes. From there I did some reading on Pipedia on the Kriswill Brand and found the following:  Kriswill was one of the large pipe manufacturers in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s, and I believe closed around 20 years ago. Their catalog cover read “By Appointment to the Royal Danish Court, KRISWILL, Kriswork Briar Trading, Briar Pipes Hand Made in Denmark.” https://pipedia.org/wiki/Kriswill

I also went to the PipePhil logos and stamping site and found more on the date of the brand. It had no explicit ties to the Danish Special that I had but it was interesting nonetheless.

Kriswill is a brand of Kriswork Briar Trading, in Kolding (Denmark) established about 1955. Some of Kriswill pipes were designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, Swedish prince and brother to the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark. He collaborated with his Danish partner Acton Bjørn. When the company went bankrupt in the late 1970s it was on a level with Stanwell. Dan Pipe Cigar & Company (Hafenstrasse 30 D-21481 Lauenburg/Elbe, Ge) bought the rights to use the name and it is Holmer Knudsen and/or Poul Winsløw who make the Kriswill line. Nørding, on its side, bought the plant and introduced a Kriswell line. http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-k3.html

Jeff did his usual thorough cleanup on the bowl and stem. He carefully reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet Pipe Reamer and cleaned up the remnants with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs – scrubbing out the mortise as it was dirty. He scrubbed the exterior of the pipes with Murphy’s Oil soap and a tooth brush and was able to remove all of the oils and dust in the smooth finish on the briar. He was able to remove all of the lava and grime from the rim top and left it looking very clean. The inner and outer edges of the rim top were in good shape. He soaked the stem in an Oxyclean bath to raise the oxidation to the surface of the vulcanite. It was clean and the remaining oxidation was very light. When the pipe arrived I took some photos to show how it looked before I did the restoration.  Jeff was able to remove the lava buildup on the rim top and clean grooves and crevices of the sandblast surface and edges of the rim. The inner and outer edges of the rim were in excellent condition and the rim top looked new. The stem was lightly oxidized and had tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the nooks and crannies of the finish, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers to get it deep into the grooves. I let it sit for a few minutes and then wiped it off with a soft cloth and buffed it with a horsehair shoe brush. The briar really began to have a deep shine. The smooth panels showed some nice grain patterns and the sandblast looked really good. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I sanded out the tooth chatter and many of the tooth marks with 220 grit sandpaper. There was a small tooth mark on the top and underside of the stem that I cleaned up and filled it in with a drop of clear super glue. When the glue cured, I sanded the repaired areas smooth to blend them into the surface of the stem. I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I polished it with Before & After Stem Fine Polish and wiped it down. I followed that by polishing it with the Extra Fine Polish. I buffed it with a microfiber cloth to raise the shine. I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond to polish the briar. I buffed the stem at the same time to raise the gloss on the vulcanite. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are: Length: 6 1/2 inches, Height: 2 1/4 inches, Outer Diameter of the Bowl: 1 1/8 inches, Diameter of the Chamber: 7/8 inches. I will be adding this one to the rebornpipes store shortly if you are interested in adding it to your collection. It is a beautiful Kriswill made pipe that feels comfortable in the hand. It will make a great pipe addition to the rack and should smoke dry and cool. If you are interested email me at slaug@uniserve.com or send me a message on Facebook. Thanks for looking.

The Restoration of a Savinelli Alligator 207 Apple


Blog by Steve Laug

If you read the previous blog on the Bari Special Handcut pipe you have also read that for the past month or more I have been carrying on an online conversation with a Colonel in the Indian Military about his own pipe refurbishing and repair work. In the process of talking through a variety of the processes of pipe restoration he asked if I would be willing to work on a few of his pipes that had chipped or broken stems. We decided to look into what it would take to ship them to Canada from India. It seemed like a pretty daunting task but nonetheless he has some pipes in transit to me in Vancouver. In the meantime he wrote and said he had picked up a Bari and a Savinelli Alligator pipe and had the EBay seller send them directly to me in Canada so I could refurbish them for him and add them to the box of other pipes I would be sending back to him. I agreed and this week the pipes arrived.

Once I finished the Bari I worked the Savinelli Alligator apple shaped pipe. I have never been attracted to the alligator finish as it just did not work for me. This one however had some very nice looking grain underneath the rustication and in the smooth portions of the finish. The finish was dirty with dirt, grime and oils in the finish and rim edge. It looks good underneath that grime. The bowl has been reamed but a bit poorly. There is some scraping to the inner edge that has affected the roundness of the bowl on the left side and rear edges of the bowl. It is a filter pipe made for the Savinelli triangular Balsa filter that fits in the stem and extends partially into the shank. These are one of the better filters but should be either flushed out with alcohol or replaced often. The seller put a new filter in place in the stem. The stem fit well in the shank but looking down the shank it is dirty and covered with oils and tar. The stem is oxidized (though not as bad as the Bari was). It had some small tooth marks and chatter on the stem near the button. The stem logo is very faint and may not show up well once the stem is cleaned up. I took photos of the pipe to record the condition it was in when it arrived here in Vancouver. It gives me a benchmark to measure the finished pipe against as well. I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl. The bowl had a thick cake in it all the way down to the heel. The rim top has some light lava overflow but it is not too bad. There is damage on the left side and back inner edge of the bowl that can be seen in the first photo below. The stamping on the underside of the pipe is quite readable through the grime. It reads Alligator and next to that is the Savinelli S Shield logo followed by the shape number 207 over Italy. Next to that it reads Savinelli Product. There is a brass separator on the stem that adds a touch of class to the shank/stem union.I took photos of the stem condition as well. You can see it is oxidized but not in bad condition. The light tooth marks on both sides are barely visible in the photos below. There is a very faint alligator stamp on the left side of the stem in an oval. It is faint enough that I am concerned that there is not enough depth to recolour it but time will tell.I dropped the badly oxidized stem in a bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak away the oxidation. In this case the oxidation was quite thick and the stamping on the left side was so shallow that I did not want to do a lot of sanding. The deoxidizer could do its work. I put the lid on the airtight container and left the stem to soak overnight.I turned my attention to the bowl and the cleanup that was awaiting me there. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the second cutting head to work away the heavy cake. I worked at it very slowly so as to keep the blade from creating further damage to the roundness of the bowl. I cleaned up the remaining cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife taking it to almost bare briar and smoothing things out. I used a folded piece of 180 grit sandpaper to work on the inner edge and the damage to the top of the rim on the left and back edge of the bowl and down into the bowl about an inch. With the bowl reamed it was time to clean out the internals of the bowl and shank. I used 99% isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the accumulated tars and grime in the shank and airway. I folded the used pipe cleaners and swabbed out the walls of the bowl with them. I scraped out the walls of the mortise using a small pen knife blade to remove the buildup on the walls and give the interior a clean smell and feel.I wiped the exterior of the bowl with a damp cloth and then scrubbed it with the Before & After Restoration Balm. I was sure that it would work well on the alligator pattern and the dirty condition of the finish on this pipe. I worked it into the grooves of the rustication with my fingers, rubbing it deep into the grooves. I used a shoe brush to further work it into the finish. I touched up the repaired rim top and edges with a dark brown stain pen and blended the colour into the rest of the stain on the bowl. I buffed the bowl with a shoe brush to further blend the stain on the rim. At this point the rim was looking far better. I buffed the bowl on the buffing wheel with Blue Diamond using a light touch. The photos below show the bowl after the buffing. It is really starting to look good at this point. Once the stem is done I will buff it a bit more and give it several coats of wax but for now it is finished and I am calling it a night. I took the stem out of the bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and wiped it down with a paper towel to remove the excess deoxidizer. I ran pipe cleaners and alcohol through the airway to clean out the buildup inside. The stem was very clean and the oxidation was gone. The tooth marks in the surface of the stem on both sides near the button were even less visible.I used some European God Rub’n Buff to touch up the very faint logo on the left side of the stem. It helped a bit but it is pretty shallow so I am not sure it will last too long.I sanded the pipe lightly around the button to remove the tooth marks using 220 grit sandpaper. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. At this point I was not happy with the remaining oxidation that showed up under the flash of the camera so I went back to the drawing board and reworked it with the sanding pads. Once I finished reworking the oxidation, I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I gently buffed the rusticated bowl with Blue Diamond to polish the briar. I buffed the stem at the same time to raise the gloss on the vulcanite carefully working around the faint stamping on the stem. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I am hoping that the fellow I am restoring it for enjoys the second of his “new pipes”. For now he will have to enjoy it by looking at the photos but soon it will wing its way back to India. Thanks for looking.

The Resurrection of a Bari Special Handcut 848 Pinched Stem


Blog by Steve Laug

For the past month or more I have been carrying on an online conversation with a Colonel in the Indian Military about his own pipe refurbishing and repair work. In the process of talking through a variety of the processes of pipe restoration he asked if I would be willing to work on a few of his pipes that had chipped or broken stems. We decided to look into what it would take to ship them to Canada from India. It seemed like a pretty daunting task but nonetheless he has some pipes in transit to me in Vancouver. In the meantime he wrote and said he had picked up a Bari and a Savinelli Alligator pipe and had the Ebay seller send them directly to me in Canada so I could refurbish them for him and add them to the box of other pipes I would be sending back to him. I agreed and this week the pipes arrived.

The first one that I decided to work on was a Bari Special Handmade, a really delicate and interesting looking pipe. The bowl has a pretty thick cake but otherwise looks sound. The finish and the rim are very dirty with dust and grime from years of use and then sitting unused. The finish is an interesting wire rustication that follows the angles of the bowl and looks good under the grime. The interior of the mortise and shank are very dirty and the stem does not fit the shank well – very tight because of the tars. In fact it will not seat all the way in the mortise at this point. The style of the stem is one I have seen on Bari pipes before – a pinched stem is how it has been described. You can see why when looking at it from the top or bottom view. The stem is very oxidized and also has some deep tooth marks on both sides of the stem at the button. It is a very delicate stem. There is something about the pipe that assures me that it will look very good when it is finished. I took photos of the pipe to record the condition it was in when it arrived here in Vancouver. It gives me a benchmark to measure the finished pipe against as well. I took a close up photo of the rim top and bowl. The bowl had a thick cake in it all the way down to the heel. It was thick enough that I could not get my little finger into the bowl. It is a narrow conical bowl anyway but the cake is very thick and hard. The rim top has some lava overflow but it is not too bad. The stamping on the underside of the pipe is quite readable through the grime. It reads Bari over Special over Handcut. Next to the shank/stem junction the shape number 848 is also readable. Both are stamped in a smooth unrusticated band on the underside of the shank.I took photos of the stem condition as well. You can see why it is called a pinched stem from the photos. It is oxidized and very delicate. The tooth marks on both sides are visible in the photos below. You can see the ones on the underside as they are worse. There is a number 10 stamped on the underside of the saddle portion of the stem. My guess is that it is a replacement stem number should one be required by a repairman back when the pipe was made.I dropped the badly oxidized stem in a bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer to soak away the oxidation. In this case the oxidation was quite thick and the stem was delicate so I did not want to do a lot of sanding so the deoxidizer could do its work. I put the lid on the airtight container and left the stem to soak overnight.I turned my attention to the bowl and the cleanup that was awaiting me there. I reamed the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer using the smallest cutting head to work away the heavy cake. I worked at it very slowly so as to keep the blade from ruining the roundness of the bowl and to keep from splitting or damaging the delicate bowl. I finished up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife taking the cake back to bare briar and smoothing things out. I used a folded piece of 180 grit sandpaper to work on the inner edge of the rim and smooth out that edge of the bowl and down into the bowl about an inch. With the bowl reamed it was time to clean out the internals of the bowl and shank. I used 99% isopropyl alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners to remove the accumulated tars and grime in the shank and airway. I folded the used pipe cleaners and swabbed out the walls of the bowl with them. I scraped out the walls of the mortise using a small pen knife blade to remove the buildup on the walls that kept the stem from seating.I wiped the exterior of the bowl with a damp cloth and then scrubbed it with the Before & After Restoration Balm. I wanted to see how well it would work with the wire rustication pattern and the dirty condition of the finish on this pipe. I worked it into the grooves of the rustication with my fingers, rubbing it deep into the grooves. I used a shoe brush to further work it into the finish. I wiped it off with a clean cloth and buffed it on the buffing wheel with Blue Diamond using a light touch. The photos below show the bowl after the complete treatment I described. It is looking really good at this point. Once the stem is done I will buff it a bit more and give it several coats of wax but for now it is finished and I am calling it a night. I took the stem out of the bath of Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and wiped it down with a paper towel to remove the excess deoxidizer. I ran pipe cleaners and alcohol through the airway to clean out the buildup inside. The stem was very clean and the oxidation was gone. The tooth marks in the surface of the stem on both sides near the button were visible.I painted the tooth marks with a Bic Lighter flame to lift the vulcanite. One of the beauties of vulcanite is its “memory”. When heated the dents will come back to the surface. In this case the tooth dents on the top of the stem came up almost even. The ones on the underside were greatly reduced but still present (first two photos below). I sanded out the tooth marks and was able to blend the majority into the surface of the stem (third and fourth photo below). Those that remained I filled in with clear super glue (fifth and sixth photo) and after the repairs dried sanded them smooth to blend (seventh and eighth photo). The photos below tell the story. I worked over the stem with micromesh sanding pads. I polished out the sanding scratches and marks in the vulcanite – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads and wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each one. When I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem back on the bowl and took the pipe to the buffing wheel to work it over. I gently buffed the rusticated bowl with Blue Diamond to polish the briar. I buffed the stem at the same time to raise the gloss on the vulcanite carefully working on the delicate stem. It would be very easy to break it at the pinched area. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem several coats carnauba wax. I buffed the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. I am hoping that the fellow I am restoring it for enjoys this beauty. For now he will have to enjoy it by looking at the photos but soon it will wing its way back to India. Thanks for looking.