Restorations, Uncategorized

Cleaning Up a Wire Rusticated Savinelli Extra 2005

This is another of the pipes I picked up over the summer, a good-looking silver-mounted Savinelli Extra 2005 Apple.

The pipe came to me in decent estate condition. It was dirty, of course, with a fair bit of dust, grease and wax jammed into the wire-rusticated finish. The chamber carried a light cake, and there were scraps of carbon “lava” creeping up over the rounded rim. The shank band was tarnished to the point of illegibility, but overall the pipe promised to clean up nicely.

The pipe is stamped on the flat underside with “Savinelli” in an oval over “Extra” then “2005” followed by the Savinelli shield logo and finally “Italy”. After a good cleaning and polishing, the shank band proved to be stamped “Sterling Silver” (arched).

A bit of research provided a few clues as to the age of this Straight Apple, the biggest indicator of which is the 4-digit shape number, “2005”. Savinelli used 4-digit shape numbers up until sometime in the 1970s when they moved to the current 3-digit shape number system. Old brochures posted to date the release of the Extra line to about the same time. Logically, then, this Savinelli Extra 2005 dates to no later than about the mid-1970s.

As I had already started the cleanup by removing the tarnish from the silver shank band, I carried on by wiping the worst of the dirt and grime form the pipe with alcohol on a cotton pad, then reamed the chamber back to briar.

The reaming proved to be the easier part pf cleaning the stummel. The shank and airway proved to be quite dirty, packed with old tars and debris. It took quite a bit of effort to get things clean.

In sharp contrast to the stummel, the stem was remarkably clean. I only used one pipe cleaner dipped in alcohol to freshen the airway.

I completed the cleaning by scrubbing the wire rusticated exterior of the stummel with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a toothbrush. This removed a LOT of dirt and grime, revealing a rather patchy stain coat underneath.

I revived the finish with a good coat of Fiebing’s Black leather dye to match the original colour. I allowed the stain coat to dry then hand buffed away the excess with an old towel. A wipe of mineral oil helped inject some moisture into the stummel and gave the new finish depth and pop.

I finished up this quick refurbishment by wet-sanding the acrylic stem to 2000-grit. This smoothed out a few tooth scratches and random handling marks.

Then it was time to take the finished pipe to the buffer where the stem was polished with both Red Tripoli and White Diamond compounds. I did not use the compounds on the stummel as it would have simply packed the rustication with gunk all over again. Instead, I gave the stummel a light touch of Carnauba wax to give it some shine. I also used the wax on the stem, but a bit heavier than on the stummel.

The finished pipe is now fresh and ready to find a new steward. If you are a fan of classically shaped Italian briars, this late 1960s or early 1970s Savinelli Extra 2005 may just be for you! It is available on the Pipe Inventory page now.

Thanks for joining me for another estate pipe refurbishment. Until next time, Happy Piping!

Here’s the finished pipe.


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