Dressing Off an Ivarrson Designed Scandia Freehand by Stanwell

This Scandia Freehand had fallen to the bottom of my refurb box more than once, as pipes sometimes do, so when I fished it out this week, I decided it was time to give it some loving attention.

Scandia is a Stanwell seconds or sub-brand, but as far as I can tell, the only flaw in this pipe is a small fill under the stamps on the bottom of the shank. The rather attractive ring grain also isn’t quite consistent on the sandblasted bowl, which has one or two flatter spots.

Otherwise, the pipe was in very good estate condition. The biggest issues were a patch of lava in the plateau top and some light oxidation to both the vulcanite shank extension and the stem. There was also just a smidge of tooth chatter showing near the button.

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The pipe is stamped “Scandia” over “Made in Denmark” and a shape number “63M” on the flat underside of the shank. The shank extension is stamped with an intertwined “SC”, the logo of the Scandia brand.

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I looked up the shape number on Basil Steven’s excellent Stanwell shape chart, available here on pipedia.org to find this entry: “63. Freehand, Plateau top, saddle mouthpiece, by Sixten Ivarsson.” That certainly described the pipe in front of me, with the addition of the “M” suffix to the shape number, which indicates a Military mount stem.

The pipe proved to have been taken care of – pipe cleaners run through the stem came out very clean, and the grease, dirt and oxidation on the exterior of the stem wiped off easily after only a cursory soak in my usual Oxyclean solution.

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I sanded out the light cake from the chamber with a bit of sandpaper wrapped around a marker. The chamber walls were in great shape underneath, so with everything ship-shape there, I worked on lifting the lava out of the plateau rim. Most of the crud came off with my trusty brass tire brush, and the rest washed away during a scrub with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a toothbrush.

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With the exterior sorted, I turned to the internals of the stummel. The shank and airway proved to be as clean as the stem had been. It took very little work to spruce things up.

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Last on my to-do list was to clean up the oxidation on the vulcanite shank extension. For this I used a bit of Meguiar’s Scratch-X Plastic Polish and a cotton pad.

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Finally, I reunited stummel and stem and took the pipe to the buffer. A run of White Diamond compound and several coats of Carnauba wax soon had both briar and vulcanite shining.

This Scandia Freehand exhibits all the traits I look for in a pipe – great design (who can argue with Sixten Ivarrson?), a bit of understated flash (ring grain!) and good balance (at only 42 grams light, this one won’t pull your teeth out). And did I mention it looks great?

I’m rather tempted to add this pipe to my own rack and rotation, but in the spirit of the Holiday Season, I’ve made it available on the DadsPipes Store. I’m sure it will make an excellent stocking stuffer for a lucky piper this Christmas!

Thanks for joining me for this quick freshening-up. Until next time, Happy Piping!

Here’s the finished pipe.

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