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Savinelli- Bing’s Favorite

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Bing Crosby’s White Christmas LP spinning on the hifi, growing up that album played every Christmas morning for as long as I can remember and its become a tradition I carry on with my daughter. I grew up with a wide variety of music, blues, jazz, swing, rock, punk and everything in between, my daughter has that same variety, Bing’s greatest hits is part of my daughter and my  morning ritual, its always playing as we get ready before dropping her off at school, it puts a little spring in your step. A replica of Bing Crosby’s preferred shape and style the Savinelli Bing’s Favorite is a pipe I’ve wanted to get my hands on, it reminds me of a simpler time when men were men and women left more to the imagination.

Bing’s Favorite 


The well loved Bing had seen a bowl or two in its lifetime, a thick cake, rim overflow, chatter and someone buffed the bejesus out of the stem I’m guessing to try and remove the oxidation, luckily sparring the club and ball logo. On the plus side the nomenclature is crisp, right side shank- BINGS FAVORITE , left side shank- Italy, bottom shank- SAVINELLI PRODUCT.


Reaming the chamber would be the first task, the chamber being on the smaller size only added to the difficulty of removing the rock hard carbon build up. When I started with the stummel I could not fit a pinky in the chamber its amazing the bowl didn’t crack under the stress. I attempted to ream the chamber with the smallest attachment that the PipNet reamer offered but to no avail the carbon was to hard and I risked damaging the rim. So I took the slow and steady approach, slowly picking away at the cake with a small pocket knife. Once I had opened the chamber a bit I tried the PipNet reamer again but the hard carbon build up was forcing an uneven cut, if I continued I would eventually dig into the briar on one side of the chamber. My third and final approach would leave the chamber free of cake, using a rotary sanding bit and variable speed drill I carefully removed the rock hard carbon I was then able to sand with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper leaving a carbon free chamber. I did uncover spider webbing along the chamber walls.


The overflow on the rim was thick, in the past I would chip away at the build up but would risk damaging the rim itself and end up creating more work for myself. Now with thick build up I take my time, I sprayed a makeup pad with Method Wood For Good Polish and placed the stummel rim side down on the pad and went shopping with my daughter for an hour or so, when I returned to my desk I could see the Method had softened the build up. I now simply wiped the residue away with Q-Tips and a makeup pad, the rim beneath was flawless not a ding or dent. The previous owners lack of maintenance had preserved the rim, I wish this was true with all my estates.


The internals of the pipe were much like the rest of the pipe ill maintained, I started off with my standard cleaning but my efforts would prove useless. My wife seeing the pipe cleaners and Q-Tips piling up suggested a retort “what a wonderful idea” it would seem my last few subjects were a bit relaxed and the thought of using the retort never crossed my mind. I hooked up the retort using EverClear and ran the pipe as a whole through the process a couple of times loosing the stubborn build up.


I then proceeded with my standard internal cleaning of the stem and stummel using EverClear, stiff/soft pipe cleaners, mortise/shank brushes, cotton balls and Q-Tips , cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in.


After the internal cleaning I could see the spider webbing throughout the chamber walls better, it would seem the thick cake did not preserve the chamber as it did with the rim. I mixed a batch of pipe mud using cigar ash and a little water and applied it to the chamber with a finger pushing it into the small cracks. I left it aside to dry, once dry I removed the leftover with a rag.


With the heat still pumping in the house I rocked the bowl coating once again.

(I have cut and paste the process for the bowl coating from a previous post below.)

Prepping the chamber before applying the bowl coat, the chamber was scrubbed thoroughly with EverClear during my internal cleaning but I gave it one more round with an EverClear dipped Q-Tip and allowed it to dry, removing any the loose debris from the crack with a pick. I then mixed a little cigar ash and water together to make pipe mud to fill the crack, I applied it with a finger and left to dry. Once the mud was hardened in the crack I wiped the excess from the chamber with a rag. The bowl coating is a three step process starting first with mixing the primer coat. (Step One)- I start with honey about 2.5 ml in an old medicine cup, I add activated charcoal powder a little at a time to the honey and stir with a toothpick until I get the right constancy (it will ball up on its self as the charcoal coasts the honey but continued mixing will combined the two) basically your looking for the toothpick to stand on its own for a few seconds before falling to the side of the cup. I let the mixture settle until the bubbles rise to the top. (Step Two)-I apply a thin layer of the mixture to the chamber with a small flat paint brush, starting from the bottom of the chamber and working up the side walls being careful not to get it on the rim  (If you do get it on the rim warm water and a Q-Tip will remove it just try not to get water in the chamber itself).  There will be quite a bit of primer coating leftover, I store it in a lock&lock and will keep for a while for reuse.

          I let the coating set in the chamber for a few minutes just so it looses some of its shine, I then insert a folded pipe cleaner into the airway and lay down a piece of printer paper on my desk top before moving to the next step.(Step Three)- I add a little charcoal powder to the bottom of the chamber and slowly turn the stummel in hand to coat the entire chamber any excess charcoal powder that falls to the paper can be reused. I leave the stummel aside to dry, the chamber should be a dark gray color when completely coated if any dark wet spots reappear repeat step three. When the chamber is well coated and wet spots have not re-emerge I tap the stummel lightly on the side of my finger to remove any leftover charcoal powder. In warm dry conditions I leave the chamber to cure for a couple of days before buffing the stummel, in high humidity it could take up to a week or longer. Once the coating has cured for a few days and is dry to the touch and doesn’t smear (If it does smear and appears wet again repeat step three and let dry) I’ll remove the pipe cleaner, blow out any leftover powder and wait an additional week before packing and puffing. To be honest its a pain and takes a long time to fully cure which is why I avoid it if I can but I believe the clean smooth finish is worth it. All I can say is if you decide to try this bowl coating take your time and be patient, its all trial and error.


Next the stems oxidation, I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub and left the stem aside to allow the  Soft Scrub to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag or makeup pad adding more Soft Scrub as needed, scrubbing until all oxidation has been removed. I use Q-Tips and Soft Scrub to remove the oxidation from around the button. (Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed)


After the oxidation removal I concentrated on the tooth impressions I used a Bic lighter and lightly brushed the bit with the flame raising some of the deeper impressions. (Using this method can be risky and could result in a burn stem, the flame must be moving at all times never leaving it in one spot too long)  


What remained of the tooth impressions after heating I removed with 400 and 800 grit sandpaper wet, I also ruffed up the surface of the button for repair. The button was worn down from over buffing and there was a small chip. I mixed thick black CA glue and activated charcoal powder together to form a paste, using a toothpick I applied the paste to the button building up in layers, I then hit it with accelerator to set the repair.


I reshaped the button with a flat needle file, I then moved to 400, 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper wet to remove fine sanding marks and further shape the button. I tape off the bulk of the stem as it was in fine shape and I wanted to keep my more abrasive sanding in one area, I finished the bite with Micro-mesh pads 1500-2400 wet and 3200-4000 dry.


 Before a final polish with 6000-12000 micro-mesh pads I reapplied the stem logo using gold Rub&Buff, applying the Rub&Buff with a Q-Tip allowing to sit for a moment before removing the excess with a rag. I removed the painters tape and polish the whole stem with 6000-12000 micro-mesh pads and in the process also removed any leftover Rub&Buff.



I finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a round on the nude wheel, buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba. I hand buffed the pipe as a whole with a microfiber cloth before the photos.

Thanks For Stopping by


Savinelli Roma 614


I’m down to the finial few from the pipe lot I picked up. Savinelli I can’t say enough, just a great smoking pipe and this one more to add. Savinelli Roma 614 a smaller pipe then I would typically puff but very comfortable clenched in jaw while working on more pipes.

The Restore


A great looking pipe if you can see past the dirt, grime and oxidation. The nomenclature is well stamped, the stem logo buffed almost clean off which is nothing new with this lot and the softy bit didn’t save this one completely from chatter, just a couple of tooth impressions that would need attention. The rim and chamber looked good just a little rim burn on the right side.


I started with the chamber and my PipNet reamer, starting with the smallest and working up to the largest the chamber would except, reaming the cake back to a suitable thickness.


The rim had a light build-up and a burn to the right of the bowl. I applied Method Wood For Good Polish to the rim and allowed it to penetrate the old tars and oils. Once the build-up softens it would be removed with Q-Tips and makeup pads.


Next the stummel and stem internal cleaning. Using EverClear, Q-Tips, stiff/soft pipe cleaners and shank/mortise brushes, I cleaned the airways and chamber until my finial pipe cleaner came out as it went in. I then stuffed the chamber and mortise with cotton balls and added EverClear to pull out the more stubborn tars, oils and lessen any ghosting.


The stem was heavily oxidized, I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub and left it aside to penetrate the oxidation. Once the soft turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag adding more Soft Scrub as needed ( Holding he stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation has been removed. ) I would repeat this process a few times to remove all the oxidation .


The bit portion of the stem had a few shallow tooth impressions but the rest of the stem looked good. I taped off the bit end of the stem with painters tape to keep my sanding in one area. I removed the impressions with micro-mesh pads 1500-3200 wet and 4000-3600 dry, then I removed the tape and sanded the whole stem with 6000-12000 dry.



I finished her up on the wheel with a few coats of carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buff, buffing the stem with blue compound and a few coats of carnauba.

Thanks For Taking A Look.


Savinelli SherWood Rock Briar 504


One more from the lot. Savinelli one of my favorite brands, beautiful pipes, that smoke great and at a price an average Joe can afford. I have quite a few in my collection, from my more expensive Autograph 4 to my less expensive Trevi each one preforms wonderfully.

The Restoration.


The pipe had a few issues, oxidation, chatter and the stem logo was buffed clean off. The edge of the rim towards the shank was sanded or buffed down unevenly compared to the rest of the rim. A ton of carnauba wax was used and caked in every nook and cranny. On the plus side the nomenclature is crisp and the pipe seemed pretty clean.


The use of both the PipNet and the CastleFord reamer would be used once again to ream back the cake in this smaller chambered pipe.


Next I cleaned the internals of the stem and stummel with EverClear,  stiff/soft pipe cleaners, Q-Tips and makeup pads, cleaning until my final pipe cleaner came out as it went in. The internals were surprisingly clean.


The stummel was over waxed, every crevice was caked in the stuff. Using Method Wood For Good Polish, a children’s toothbrush and a straight pin I began to remove the excess wax.


I removed the little build up on the rim with Method and a Q-Tip. The rim was uneven, it looked as if the previous owner tried to remove a rim burn and left it unfinished. To even things out I sanded the higher portions of the rim with 400, 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper until I had a uniformed shape. I re-stained the rim with a light brown touch-up marker and removed the excess with a alcohol dampened rag.


The stem was heavily oxidized, I applied a generous amount of non-bleach Soft Scrub and left it aside to penetrate the oxidation. Once the Soft Scrub turns from white to a brownish color its time to scrub vigorously with a rag until the oxidation is removed, adding more Soft Scrub as needed. Holding the stem under natural light will help to see if all oxidation was removed. I tried heat to remove some of the deep tooth impressions using a Bic lighter (moving the flame at all times never leaving it in one spot to long) a few raised but a couple of stubborn deeper impressions would need filling.


I mixed thick black CA glue and charcoal powder together to fill in the deep impressions hitting it with accelerator to set the patch, I left it overnight to cure. The following morning I taped off the bit/lip area so my more abrasive sanding would remain in one area. I sanded with 400, 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper to blend the repair.


I now ran the stem though the various grits of micro-mesh pads.



I finished up on the wheel with white diamond, a few coats carnauba and a micro-fiber hand buff. Buffing the stem with blue compound and carnauba.

Thanks For Taking A Look.


Savinelli Hercules 320 EX


About a month ago my wife surprised me with a haul of five that I could have never pulled off. She is an incredible woman and apparently has a better eye then myself.  This was the worst of the lot.


The pipe upon receiving, a Savinelli Hercules 320 EX. She was big and beautiful.


She was in decent shape a little cake, rim char,the button was worn and the biggest problem was the stem logo, it was beyond saving very worn.


I started with my Castleford Reamer working from the smallest to the largest attachment and in this case the largest was too small. I moved to 250 grit sandpaper so I could take it back to the briar and finished it off with 400 grit paper.


 Next the build up on the rim, I applied Method wood for good polish and let it soak in for 10 min . After the 10 min I worked at the area with a children’s toothbrush to break up the tars. 


I was able to remove the build up but there was still char present . In fear of changing the shape of the bowl I decided to work at it slightly with micro mesh pads to lighten it as much as possible.


The internals were pretty clean when I received the pipe, I cleaned the mortise and chamber with EverClear, Q-tips, hard/soft pipe cleaners and a shank brush.


I un-rolled two cotton balls then twisted them together, I then turned them tightly into the mortise . I filled the chamber with a little EverClear and waited for the swab to absorb the alcohol. I then placed two cotton balls in the chamber soaked them with EverClear and set the bowl aside to absorb what I missed with my previous cleaning.


Next I moved to the stem . I applied non-bleach Soft Scrub with a children’s toothbrush and worked it into the oxidation. After leaving it for 15 min I used a rag and Magic Eraser and scrubbed until the oxidation was removed.


With the oxidation removed I could now address the button.


I roughed up the area of the button with 400 grit sandpaper and then cleaned the stem with alcohol. I mixed a paste of thick black CA glue and activated charcoal powder and applied it to the button with a toothpick spreading it evenly across the surface. Happy with the shape I sprayed it with accelerator.


 With the paste hardened I could form the new button. Using needle files and sandpaper the new button took shape. It was now ready for the final sanding.


I let the bowl soak for a few hours after removing the cotton balls I could see the chamber was worn. I’ve seen a fellow Pipes Magazine forum member make a bowl coating and thought this was a good time try it. I applied a layer of honey to the chamber then filled it with activated charcoal I let it sit for 15 min then dumped the excess  and I then left it for a week.


After a week the coating hardened.


After the bowl coating cured I could begin work on the stem. I tapped off what was left of the logo and then began sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper then working through the various grits of micro mesh pads to bring back the shine. Now onto the buffer.

Here she is.


Finished her up with white diamond, a few coats of carnauba and a micro fiber hand buffing.