Tag Archives: stem work

The next pipe from Bob Kerr’s Estate – a Savinelli Punto Oro 614 Full Bent


Blog by Steve Laug

I am continuing to work on the pipes in Bob Kerr’s estate for a while. I am getting closer to finishing restoring this large estate with only about 33 more pipes to do. This is one of his two Savinelli pipes that I am working on. I am cleaning them for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting. This rugged sandblasted Savinelli Punto Oro is a great pipe to work on. It is a shape that is interesting and unique. It will go on the rebornpipes store.

This Savinelli Full Bent Punto Oro 614 has a rugged, swirling sandblast finish with lots of nooks and crannies in the briar. It is a beauty! The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the heel and shank and reads Savinelli over Punto Oro. That is followed by the Savinelli logo Shield S and the shape number 614 over Italy. The valleys and ridges of the sandblasted grain showing through the grime and dirt are a mixture that leaves a rich texture. It had rich dark and medium contrasting brown stains that do not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The inner edge of the rim are dirty and may have some damage under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. This one had the characteristic tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. He took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. It was hard to know for sure from the photos.Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful swirls of the sandblast. There is a lot of dust and grime filling in the valleys. He took a photo of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos and read as noted above.Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button. I turned to Pipephil’s site to get a feel for the Punto Oro line. I have worked on both smooth and sandblast finish Punto Oro pipes in the past. This was another sandblast one – this time a dark one rather than natural. Here is the link (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-savinelli3.html). I have included a screen capture of the pertinent information on the line below. It appears the line came out in both smooth and sandblast finishes. I turned to Pipedia to look at what information they had on the brand. I found a catalogue page on the Punto Oro which confirmed what I had surmised about the line having both smooth and sandblast finished pipe (https://pipedia.org/images/d/db/Sav_Punto_Oro.jpg). I have included a screen capture of the page below. It says that the line was available in 2 distinct finishes – a rich Mahogany smooth finish and a genuine sandblast.The Savinelli shape number was 614 so I turned to the Savinelli Shape Chart on Pipedia and included a screen capture (https://pipedia.org/images/4/41/Sav_Shape_Chart_2017.jpg). I have drawn a blue box around the 614 shape in the photo below.With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked a lot better. The stem still had a lot of deep oxidation. I took photos before I started my part of the work.  I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top good but there was some damage on the left front inner edge. The sandblast finish is very nice. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.I took the stem off the shank and took some photos to give a clear picture of the pipe from the left side profile and the top looking down. It is a really pretty pipe.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to my part of the restoration of this Savinelli Punto Oro Full Bent. I decided to start by dealing with the damage to the inner edge of the rim. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the edge and give it a slight bevel to remove the damaged area and bring the bowl back into round.I used a black Sharpie Pen to touch up the washed out area on the left side of the shank. It did not take too much to blend that area into the browns and blacks of the surrounding sandblast. I used a Walnut stain pen on the newly beveled inner edge and on the rim top to blend in the repairs.I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the still oxidized stem. I used a lot of elbow grease and scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and cotton pads. It took some time to work out much of the oxidation but it was definitely looking better.I worked over the rest of the remaining oxidation and the tooth marks with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.  I polished the vulcanite 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 Savinelli Punt Oro 614 from Bob Kerr’s estate turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the sandblasted grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The lighter brown stain on the flat bottom of the heel and underside of the shank is a great contrast. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished vulcanite 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 full bent Savinell Punto Oro 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

Renewing another pipe from Bob Kerr’s Estate – a Comoy’s Sandblast Apple 334


Blog by Steve Laug

I am changing up my work and turning back to Bob Kerr’s estate for a while. I am getting closer to finishing restoring this large estate with only about 35 more pipes to do. This is one of his Comoy’s pipes that I am working on. I am cleaning them for the family and moving them out into the hands of pipemen and women who will carry on the trust that began with Bob and in some pipes was carried on by Bob. In the collection there were 19 Peterson’s pipes along with a bevy of Dunhills, some Comoy’s and Barlings as well as a lot of other pipes – a total of 125 pipes along with a box of parts. This is the largest estate that I have had the opportunity to work on. I put together a spread sheet of the pipes and stampings to create an invoice. I was taking on what would take me a fair amount of time to clean up. I could not pass up the opportunity to work on these pipes though. They were just too tempting. This Comoy’s Sandblast is a great pipe to work on. It is a shape that is interesting and unique. It will go on the rebornpipes store.

This Comoy’s Sandblast has a rugged, swirling sandblast finish with lots of nooks and crannies in the briar. It is a beauty! The pipe is stamped on a smooth panel on the underside of the heel and shank and reads Comoy’s Sandblast. That is followed by Made in London England and the shape number 334. The valleys and ridges of the sandblasted grain showing through the grime and dirt are a mixture that leaves a rich texture. It had a rich dark and medium contrasting brown stain that does not look too bad. There was a thick cake in the bowl with remnants of tobacco stuck on the walls. There was a fair lava overflow filling in the blast on the rim. The edges of the rim and top are dirty but look pretty pristine under the grime. It was a beautiful pipe that was dirty and tired looking. The stem was oxidized and calcified toward the end. Again, surprisingly it did not have the tooth marks that I have come to expect from Bob’s pipes. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work on it. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the edges of the bowl. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The edges look pretty good.Jeff took photos of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish. You can see the beautiful swirls of the sandblast. There is a lot of dust and grime filling in the valleys. He took a photo of the stamping on the smooth panel on the underside of the bowl and shank. The stamping was readable as you can see from the photos. It read Comoy’s Sandblast followed by Made in London England and the shape number 334.  The second photo shows the C logo on the left side of the taper stem is formed by three circles working to make the C. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the tooth chatter, scratching and oxidation on the stem surface and wear on the edges of the button.Before my work on the pipe began, I wanted to see where it fit in the Comoy’s timeline. I looked on Pipedia to pin down a date for the pipe. Since the pipe is stamped Made in London England I decided to use that to see what I could find. Pipedia has a great article on dating these pipes (https://pipedia.org/index.php?title=Comoy%27s_Dating_Guide#Made_in_London_England). I found the information below. I have highlighted the pertinent portion in red in the paragraph below. The stamping matches the pipe I am working on.

Appears in two versions. This is again stamped in a circle with “MADE” at the top, “IN” in the middle, and “LONDON” at the bottom, with “ENGLAND” in a straight line beneath. It can be assumed that this stamp was first used in the export drive in the early 1950s. On a Bulldog Sandblast from the early 50s the Comoy name no. 2 above [I insert number 2 here. A return to the slightly more fancy block letters with serifs and the apostrophe. (It seems that some grades carried different stamps, or at least that the stamping changed in different years for some grades.)] was used together with “MADE IN LONDON” over “ENGLAND”. There are no known examples of pre-WW II Comoy’s stamped in this way. The second version is the same as above but in a “rugby ball” shape. This shape is verified on Comoy´s “Extraordinaire” pipes.

From that I knew that I was working a Comoy’s Sandblast from the early 1950’s which fit very well into the timeframe of Bob’s other pipes.

I have also included two catalogue pages from Pipedia as well to show the line for sale at several time periods in Comoy’s history (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Comoy%27s). The first page is from the 1922 Catalogue and the second one is from a later date. Read the description that highlights how they did their sandblasting combining heat and sand to bring out the grain. With over 125 pipes to clean from Bob’s estate I took a batch of them to the states with me when I visited and left them with Jeff so he could help me out. Jeff cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was a real mess and I did not know what to expect when I unwrapped it from his box. He reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed the stem down with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work.   I took some close up photos of the rim top and also of the stem surface. I wanted to show what cleaned bowl and rim top looked like. The rim top looks excellent and the edges and surface are undamaged. The sandblast finish is very nice. I also took close up photos of the stem to show the light tooth marks and the remaining oxidation on the stem surface.I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank and it is clear and readable. It is stamped as noted above.I took the stem off the shank and took some photos to give a clear picture of the pipe from the left side profile and the top looking down. It is a really pretty pipe.Since this is another pipe Bob’s estate I am sure that some of you have read at least some of the other restoration work that has been done on the previous pipes. You have also read what I have included about Bob Kerr, the pipeman who held these pipes in trust before I came to work on them (see photo to the left). Also, if you have followed the blog for long you will already know that I like to include background information on the pipeman whose pipes I am restoring. For me, when I am working on an estate I really like to have a sense of the person who held the pipes in trust before I worked on them. It gives me another dimension of the restoration work. I asked Brian if he or his wife would like to write a brief biographical tribute to her father, Bob. His daughter worked on it and I received the following short write up on him and some pictures to go along with the words including one of Bob’s carvings. Once again I thank you Brian and tell your wife thank you as well.

I am delighted to pass on these beloved pipes of my father’s. I hope each user gets many hours of contemplative pleasure as he did. I remember the aroma of tobacco in the rec room, as he put up his feet on his lazy boy. He’d be first at the paper then, no one could touch it before him. Maybe there would be a movie on with an actor smoking a pipe. He would have very definite opinions on whether the performer was a ‘real’ smoker or not, a distinction which I could never see but it would be very clear to him. He worked by day as a sales manager of a paper products company, a job he hated. What he longed for was the life of an artist, so on the weekends and sometimes mid-week evenings he would journey to his workshop and come out with wood sculptures, all of which he declared as crap but every one of them treasured by my sister and myself. Enjoy the pipes, and maybe a little of his creative spirit will enter you!

Now on to my part of the restoration of this Comoy’s Apple. The bowl and rim top were in great condition so this part of the restoration was very easy for me. I only had to rub the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth and shoe brush to raise the shine. Mark Hoover’s Balm is a product that I have come to appreciate and one I use on every pipe I have been working on. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I worked over the light tooth marks and blended them into the stem surface with 220 grit sandpaper. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point it is starting to look much better.  I polished the vulcanite 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 Comoy’s Sandblast 334 Apple turned out to be a great looking pipe. The mix of brown stains highlights the sandblasted grain around the bowl sides, top and bottom. The lighter brown stain on the flat bottom of the heel and shank as well forming a band around the shank end is a great contrast. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well with the polished vulcanite taper 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 Comoy’s Sandblast Apple 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 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. If you are interested in carrying on Bob’s legacy with this pipe send me a message or an email. I have a lot more to work on of various brands. Perhaps one of those will catch your attention. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. This is an interesting estate to bring back to life.

A Stanwell Sixtus 212 Tom Eltang Designed Hex Shank Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is from the next box of pipes I am working through. It is another Stanwell pipe. This time it is a nicely grained bent billiard. It is a Stanwell Sixtus shape 212 ¼ bent billiard with a hexagonal shank and stem. The Billiard shaped bowl, hexagonal shank and black acrylic hexagonal stem combine to make this Stanwell Sixtus a beauty. To me this is another classic Stanwell shape and it instantly recognizable. The finish is a smooth well grained piece of briar stained with a mix of stains to highlight the grain. The top of the bowl is smooth. It was stamped on the second panel and third panel of left side and reads Stanwell Made in Denmark followed by the line Sixtus and the shape number 212. 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 plateau rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The acrylic stem was dirty and there was a Softee bit that was made to protect the surface of both sides and on the top and bottom edges of the button. I would not know if it worked until we removed it during the cleanup. Originally the Stanwell Crown S on the top of the hexagonal stem was a gold decal. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up so you could see what we saw. Jeff took a photo of the rim top to show lava build up in the plateau rim top, the edges and cake in the bowl. This one was obviously someone’s favourite pipe and it was a mess.     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.     The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photo below. It is clear and read as noted above. There was a Stanwell Crown S logo decal on the top of the stem that was damaged and missing parts. The acrylic stem was dirty and had debris stuck to the surface. In the first photo of each pair below you can see the rubber Softee bit on the stem and in the second photo of each pair it is removed. The bit did a good job of protecting the stem surface from the majority of tooth damage but even so there are light spots on the surface that will need to be removed. I checked my usual sources for information on the Sixtus line but there was nothing specific on either Pipedia or Pipephil’s site. I also checked on the Pipedia site in the article there on shape number and shape designers(https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell_Shape_Numbers_and_Designers). From there I found that the shape number 212 was designed by Tom Eltang and was a Freehand with and acrylic stem. I did a screen capture of the listing and have included it below.It looks like I am dealing with a pipe designed for Stanwell by Tom Eltang. Now it was my turn to work on the pipe. Jeff had done his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. 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. The inner edge of the rim had some damage and was slightly out of round. The rim top had some darkening and light nicks. The stem is clean and the minimal damage on the button top and bottom edges is not too bad.     I took a photo of the stamping on the hexagonal patterns of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above.     I took the stem off the bowl and took a photo of the pipe showing the overall look of the design.I decided to address the issues of the damage to the inner edge and rim top first. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out edge and reshape it. I also smoothed out the damage on the rim top and darkening at the same time. It looked a lot better once I had finished.  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 sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the small tooth chatter and marks near the button. I started polishing the stem with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I wiped the stem down with Obsidian Oil before further polishing it.        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 Stanwell Sixtus 212 Tom Eltang Designed Billiard with hexagonal shank and 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 Billiard 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 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This Stanwell Sixtus 212 Bent Billiard designed by Tom Eltang 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.

Restoring a Stanwell Antique 144 Chonowitsch Designed Calabash


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 Antique 144 Calabash. The Calabash shaped bowl with a plateau rim top, round shank and red acrylic shank extension combine to make this Stanwell Antique a beauty. To me this is a classic Stanwell shape and it instantly recognizable. The finish combines a smooth natural patch with great grain on the front of the bowl with the rest of the bowl a dark brown finished rugged sandblast. The top of the bowl is plateau. The pipe was stamped on the underside of the shank on a smooth patch and read Stanwell over Antique followed by the shape number 144. The Antique stamp continues into the red acrylic shank extension. 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 plateau rim top and the inner edge of the bowl. The stem was heavily oxidized 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 a Stanwell Crown S on the top of the saddle stem. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he cleaned it up so you could see what we saw. Jeff took a photo of the rim top to show lava build up in the plateau rim top, the edges and cake in the bowl. This one was obviously someone’s favourite pipe and it was a mess.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. The stamping on the underside of the shank is shown in the photo below. It is clear and read as noted above. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had debris stuck to the surface of the vulcanite. It also shows the tooth chatter and marks on the stem and on the button surface.  There was a Stanwell Crown S logo stamped on the top of the stem. I checked my usual sources for information on the Antique line but there was nothing specific on either Pipedia or Pipephil’s site. I also checked on the Pipedia site in the article there on shape number and shape designers(https://pipedia.org/wiki/Stanwell_Shape_Numbers_and_Designers). From there I found that the shape number 144 was designed by Jess Chonowitsch and was a large pipe (Freehand) with plateau top and a saddle stem. I did a screen capture of the listing and have included it below.It looks like I am dealing with a pipe designed for Stanwell by Jess Chonowitsch. Now it was my turn to work on the pipe. Jeff had done his usual thorough cleanup of the pipe. 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. The edges of the rim look very good. Some of the black colour on the plateau is washed out and missing but otherwise it is clean. The stem is clean and there is some residual darkening. The tooth damage on the button top and bottom edges is minimal. I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the shank. The stamping is readable as noted above.   I used a Black Sharpie to touch up the black areas on the rim top. I would look better after buffing.I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and a horse hair shoe brush. 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 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 Rub’N Buff Antique Gold to touch up the Stanwell Crown S stamp on the topside 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 Stanwell Antique 144 Calabash with a saddle vulcanite stem turned out very nice. The mix of brown stains highlights the sandblasted grain around the bowl sides and bottom. The plateau 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 Calabash 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 ½ inches, Height: 2 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 2 inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. This Stanwell Antique Calabash designed by Jess Chonowitsch 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.

Bringing a Square Shank  Benaderet’s Coral Pot Back to Life


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a sandblasted square shank pot. The pipe is a real mess with dust and grime in all of the valleys of the sandblast and the rim top is covered in lava. The inner edge of the bowl is very dirty and darkened and there is a thick cake in the bowl. The cake was so thick in parts of the bowl that it was hard to guess the condition of the rim edge. The finish appears to be a reddish brown or oxblood colour with dark highlights underneath. On the heel of the bowl and shank it is stamped Benaderet’s Coral followed by London Made and the shape number 9488. The stem was oxidized, calcified and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. There was not any stamping on the stem so it did not have any identifying marks. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. I include those below. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the rim top and dust and grime in the rustication. It was thick and hard and heavier toward the front of the bowl. Hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The lava is deep in the rustication and there is a buildup on the inner edge of the bowl. Jeff took a photo of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The grooves in the sandblast are full of grime but it is interesting. This is a very tactile finish and one that I enjoy.      Jeff took two photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture all of it. It is very clear and readable other than the edge of the shank where the London Made and 9488 number are stamped.   Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the scratching, oxidation, calcification and tooth marks on the stem surface and button. Some of the tooth marks are quite deep on both sides of the stem. From the shape number on the shank I was pretty certain I was dealing with a GBD pipe. The stamping Benaderet’s Coral was a dead end but the shape number hit the mark. I turned to Pipedia’s shape number listing and found it (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Shapes/Numbers). I have included a screen capture of the listing below.I did a quick google search for a Benaderet’s Pipe Shop and came on two good links. The first is from a post on reddit that included a quick bit of information on the shop being located in San Franscisco, California that closed in the 1970s. (https://www.reddit.com/r/PipeTobacco/comments/dzg3y8/any_info_on_a_benaderet_pipe_year_etc/ ). I quote:

Benaderet’s was a pipe shop in San Francisco that closed in the 70’s. Their house pipes were made by comoys or sasieni although smokingpipes had one made by gbd once. Good find.

The other link was to a blog (http://theothersideofthelizard.blogspot.com/2018/11/benaderets-pipe-shop.html). That blog gave the original address of the shop in San Francisco and the names of the owners of the shop.

Benaderet’s Cigarette, Pipe and Tobacco Shop

215 Sutter Street [Formerly at 566 California Street],San Francisco.

Owners: Robert and Edith Rashaw (Robert Rashaw: born 1916. Edith Edna Rashaw: born 1916.)

Store still extant in the late seventies. No longer there by the eighties.

At one point, they had Egyptian cigarettes made for them.

Their house pipes were usually by Comoys. There are also Benaderet Sasienis. More research required.

Quote: “Benaderet’s Inc., was California’s oldest pipe and tobacco store when it went out of business in 1980. Sam Benaderet was a tobacconist from New York City who came to San Francisco in 1915 to work at the Panama Pacific International Exposition. An immigrant to the United States from Turkey, Mr. Benaderet decided that he liked the West Coast’s Mediterranean like climate. After the Exposition closed, he stayed to open his own tobacco business. This new firm produced custom private-label cigarettes for men’s clubs. A lavish retail store was opened in the late 1920’s that quickly became a mecca for tobacco connoisseurs.”

So what I could find out about the pipe is that it is a pipe made by GBD (Shape number confirms this). It turns out that the pipe was a GBD pipe made for Benadert’s Cigarette, Pipe and Tobacco Shop in San Francisco, California. Since the shop went out of business in 1980 I now knew that the pipe was made before that time. Now it was time to work on the pipe.

This pipe was a real mess like many of the pipes we work on. I was curious to see what it would look like when I unpacked it. I was surprised at how good it looked. Jeff reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish on the bowl looked really good when I got it. The rim top looked much better and the inner and outer edges were looking good. He had cleaned the internals and scrubbed the exterior of the stem and soaked them in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked very good other than the tooth marks and chatter in the surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it.   I took photos of the condition of the rim top and stem before I started working. The rim top looks very good. The crevices and valleys of the sandblast and the beveled inner edge of the rim are clean and look great. The bowl is spotless. The stem is lightly oxidized and has some tooth marks and tooth chatter.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the heel and the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain and the separate finishes really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The bowl really looks good at this point. I tried to lift the tooth marks with a flame but they did not come up. I filled in the deeper ones on each side with clear super glue. Once the repairs cured I used a needle file to flatten the filed in areas in preparation for sanding.    I sanded the stem to remove the oxidation that was on the surface and to smooth out the repaired areas. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point the stem is looking better and the tooth marks are gone.  I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine.    Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the Benaderet’s Coral 9488 pipe back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a heavier touch with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. The reddish brown stain on the Benaderet’s Coral Pot looks absolutely great. It is nice to know that it has a west coast tie to the San Francisco area and a long gone pipe shop. It must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it. Have a look at it in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 7/8 of an inch. This is one that will go on the British Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Renewed Life for a Savinelli Capri Root Briar 115 Pot


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is a nice rusticated looking pot shaped pipe. The rim top and bowl are clean with variations of brown and black stains. On the heel of the bowl it is stamped Savinelli Capri over Root Briar. That is followed by The Savinelli “S” shield and Italy and the shape number 115. The pipe has a Sea Rock or coral style rustication that I really like. The finish was very dirty with dust in all of the rustication, making it hard to see beyond that to the finish underneath that. There was a medium cake in the bowl and it had overflowed with lava onto the rim top. It was hard to know at this point the condition of the rim edges. The stem was oxidized and there were tooth marks and chatter on both sides just ahead of the button. The Savinelli S shield logo on the top of the stem is worn and lightly stamped. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started working on it. I include those below. Jeff took photos of the bowl and rim top to show the cake in the bowl and the lava build up on the rim top and dust and grime in the rustication. It was thick and hard but hopefully it had protected the rim and edges from damage. The lava is deep in the rustication and there is a buildup on the inner edge of the bowl. Jeff took a photo of the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition of the finish – the grime and grit all over the sides and bottom of the bowl. The rustication is deep and dirty but it is interesting. This is a very tactile finish and one that I enjoy.    Jeff took two photos of the stamping on the underside of the shank to capture all of it. It is very clear and readable other than the shape number 115. Jeff took photos of the top and underside of the stem showing the scratching, oxidation and tooth marks on the stem surface and button. The tooth marks are quite deep on both sides of the stem.  This pipe was a real mess like many of the pipes we work on. I was curious to see what it would look like when I unpacked it. I was surprised at how good it looked. Jeff reamed it with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaned up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the lava on the rim top. The finish on the bowl looked really good when I got it. The rim top looked much better and the inner and outer edges were looking good. He had cleaned the internals and scrubbed the exterior of the stem and soaked them in Before & After Deoxidizer bath to remove the oxidation. The stem looked very good other than the tooth marks and chatter in the surface. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos of the pipe before I started my work on it.    I took photos of the condition of the rim top and stem before I started working. The rim top looks very good. The crevices and valleys of the rustication are clean and look great. The bowl is spotless. The stem is lightly oxidized and has some tooth marks and tooth chatter. The Savinelli S shield on the top of the stem is worn and very shallow. It will be hard to save in the clean up work.   I took a photo of the stamping on the underside of the heel and the shank. It is clear and readable as noted above.I took the bowl and stem apart and took a photo of the pipe to show the look of the pipe.I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the finish of the bowl and the rim top and shank with my fingertips and a horsehair shoe brush to clean, enliven and protect it. I find that the balm really makes the briar come alive again. The contrasts in the layers of stain and the separate finishes really made the grain stand out. I let the balm sit for a little while and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The bowl really looks good at this point. I sanded the stem to remove the oxidation that was on the surface and to smooth out the repaired areas. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper and a piece of 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. At this point the stem is looking better and the tooth marks are gone.     I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-12000 grit pads. I polished it further with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both fine and extra fine. Once again I am the part of the restoration that I always look forward to – the moment when all the pieces are put back together. I put the pipe back together and lightly buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond. I buffed the stem with a heavier touch with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. It is fun to see what the polished bowl looks like with the combination of rustication and smooth finishes. The black vulcanite stem stands out as a shiny black contrast to the colours of the bowl. This dark stained Savinelli Capri Pot 115 must have been a fine smoking pipe judging from the condition it was when we received it. Have a look at it in the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 5 ¾ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ½ inches, Chamber diameter: 1 inch. This is one that will go on the Italian Pipemakers section of the rebornpipes online store shortly. Thanks to each of you who are reading this blog. Remember we are not pipe owners; we are pipemen and women who hold our pipes in trust until they pass on into the trust of the next generation.

Restoring an Orlik Double Bore Long Shank Saddle Stem Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on the table is an interesting Orlik Long Shank Billiard with a saddle stem. It is stamped Orlik Double Bore over Made in England on the left side of the shank. On the right side it is stamped with the shape number W36. The pipe was very dirty with a thick cake in the bowl and some tobacco remnants from the last bowl smoked. There was some darkening and light lava around the rim top and beveled inner edge of the bowl. The long shank and bowl has some great grain on it. There are a few dark fills in the bowl sides but they are pretty small and blend well. The twin bore/double bore vulcanite saddle stem has some light oxidation and tooth marks and chatter on both sides near the button. It is billed as a bite proof stem designed for chompers. Jeff took some great photos of the pipe to show its general condition before he started his cleanup. Jeff took a photo of the rim top to show the thick cake in the bowl and the lava overflow all over the rim top. It is hard to know what the inner edge of the rim looks like until we remove the cake and the lava. There also appears to be some burn damage on the rear left side.He took photos around the sides and heel of the bowl to show the condition. You can see the grime in the finish and the crackling of the varnish coat. He took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. You can see that it is clear and readable. On the right side it is stamped with the shape number W36. The top of the saddle stem has a brass O inset in the vulcanite.The next two photos show the condition of the stem. You can see that it is lightly oxidized and has some tooth chatter and marks on both sides near the button. There is also some wear on the button surfaces on both sides.I turned to the listing on Pipephil on Orlik pipes hoping to find a similar pipe to the one I am working on (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-o2.html). Unfortunately there was not a pipe like the Double Bore I am working on. It is also not listed in the section I included below.I turned next to Pipedia to gather a more detailed history of the brand and see if I could find any information on this particular pipe (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Orlik). Once again there was nothing on the particular line. The history of the brand is concise and pointed. I quote that below.

In 1899, a pipe manufacturer was founded in London, Bond Street, by Louis Orlik. L. Orlik Ltd. started to produce high quality pipes for a relatively low price but high service and soon became quite popular. By 1907 they used the name L & A Orlik, which apparently added Louis’s brother, Alfred to the company name. In the first quarter of 1900 they also established in Birmingham. This can be verified by silver hallmarks. In 1980 the company was acquired by Cadogan. Like many of London’s other pipe manufacturers they moved to a new built factory in Southend-on-Sea. As all current brands in the Cadogan group, Orlik was being produced in those factories.

Orlik used the slogan “Smoked by all shrewd judges” “(who are also loved by his hard judge)” with a portrait of a judge wearing a wig. The picture is still used in Denmark for manufacturing of Orlik cigarettes.

The article also had a catalogue of the various pages. I am including a copy of the page that shows the shape 36. I think that the W on the shape number of the one I am working on may refer to the Double Bore Bit.There was also some helpful information on the dating of the brand. The pipe I am working on is Pre-Cadogan era as is proven by the stamping on the shank as below.

In the Pre-Cadogan era of the Orlik, the name is ORLIK in a straight line, capital block letters. Also the MADE IN ENGLAND is in a straight line, capital block letters. However, there are a konwn model (ORLIK NATURAL T 1155) stamped with MADE IN ENGLAND in a straight line, capital serif letters. Date is unknown. The mouthpieces have the Orlik logo, a circular O as a brass inlay. After joining Cadogan the same origin stamp as other Cadogan brands like Comoy´s etc. was used, MADE IN LONDON in circular an below ENGLAND in straight.

I also am including a list of the various lines of Orlik pipes sold. I have included a screen capture of the list below. I have drawn a red box around the Double Bore Pipes. Interestingly my assumption about the W being a notation for the Double Bore stem turned out to be correct.It is definitely an interesting piece of pipe history. This Pre-Cadogan Orlik was made before 1980 when Cadogan bought the brand.  Armed with the brand information and some parameters for the age of the pipe I turned to work on it. Jeff had done a great job cleaning up the pipe as usual. He reamed the pipe with a PipNet reamer and cake from the walls of the bowl. He cleaned up any remnants of 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 was not able to remove the bowl from the base so a thorough cleaning of the base was not possible. He worked on the rim edge 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 washed it off with warm water to remove the cleanser. 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 the roughness on the top and the inner edge of the rim on the front right side of the bowl. The bowl and rim looks much better without the thick lava and cake. The stem looked better. There are tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem near the button.I took a photo of the stamping on the left side of the shank. The stamping is very readable and it reads as noted above. The right side of the shank is smooth and the shape number is near the bowl shank junction (no photo). I took a photo of the Double Bore stem.I took a photo of the pipe with the stem removed to show the overall look of stem, tenon and profile of the pipe. I decided to start my work on the pipe by dealing with what looked like checking and damage on the inner walls of the bowl on the back side above the entrance of the airway into the bowl. I poked at it with dental pick and was pretty sure I was dealing with cracks in the cake rather than deep into the walls. I sanded the walls smooth with a dowel wrapped in 220 grit sandpaper. Once I sanded it the damage was a lot less. I sanded the inside of the rim edge with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to smooth them out and also minimize the burn damage to the beveled inner rim edge. I wiped off the finish on the bowl with alcohol to remove the remnants of finish on the bowl sides and shank. It really cleaned off a lot of the dirty finish. I polished the bowl with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I worked over the rim top and edge of the bowl with the pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad to remove the sanding debris.  I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and preserve the even that material. The balm is absorbed by the briar and gives it real life. I buffed it with a cotton cloth to deepen the shine. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the vulcanite stem. I sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and tooth chatter on both sides of the stem. I started the polishing of the surface with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. I polished the stem 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.  With both parts of this Orlik Double Bore Long Shank Billiard finished, I polished the bowl and the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. This older Orlik Double Bore W36 Billiard polished up pretty nicely. The rich browns of the finish and the grain came alive with the buffing. The finish on the briar works well with the polished vulcanite saddle stem. The finished pipe is a well-proportioned, well-made Orlik long shank billiard. Have a look at it with the photos below. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. This Orlik Double Bore is a great looking pipe and it will be going on the rebornpipes store in the British Pipemakers section shortly. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me on this older British Made pipe.