Staining an unfinished pipe

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CupOjoe
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Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by CupOjoe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:47 pm

Savinelli have unfinished pipes they are selling these days. From what I understand, they aren’t really seconds, just not the grain quality they want to finish. They are going for around $50. I’ve considered picking one up and staining or rusticating it myself. Is there a special type of stain for pipes or will any wood stain do?


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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by UncleBob » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:48 pm

Use an alcohol-based stain. Leather stains are popular.
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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by Bloodhound » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:59 pm

CupOjoe wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:47 pm
Savinelli have unfinished pipes they are selling these days. From what I understand, they aren’t really seconds, just not the grain quality they want to finish. They are going for around $50. I’ve considered picking one up and staining or rusticating it myself. Is there a special type of stain for pipes or will any wood stain do?


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I was in a pipe shop one day looking for an in-expensive pipe and the owner told me to look at the Basket of "Nude" pipes on the counter. He said they were Savinelli "cast a ways" and that they were well made pipes, but due to excessive voids or sand holes they didn't stamp them and sold them off as basket pipes. I found one I liked the shape of and it did have some sand voids...but hey for $9.99...This was 30+ years ago. I didn't stain it, I just smoked it and now with use and handling it has a very pleasant mellow golden brown color. At that time I only had 2 pipes so it saw some use. It is kind of like a poor mans meerschaum pipe.
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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by CupOjoe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:03 pm

Bloodhound wrote:
CupOjoe wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:47 pm
Savinelli have unfinished pipes they are selling these days. From what I understand, they aren’t really seconds, just not the grain quality they want to finish. They are going for around $50. I’ve considered picking one up and staining or rusticating it myself. Is there a special type of stain for pipes or will any wood stain do?


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I was in a pipe shop one day looking for an in-expensive pipe and the owner told me to look at the Basket of "Nude" pipes on the counter. He said they were Savinelli "cast a ways" and that they were well made pipes, but due to excessive voids or sand holes they didn't stamp them and sold them off as basket pipes. I found one I liked the shape of and it did have some sand voids...but hey for $9.99...This was 30+ years ago. I didn't stain it, I just smoked it and now with use and handling it has a very pleasant mellow golden brown color. At that time I only had 2 pipes so it saw some use. It is kind of like a poor mans meerschaum pipe.
I had considered that as well (possibly picking up 2). I think I’d like the staining process as an experiment or a learning opportunity in the craft.


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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by CupOjoe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:04 pm

UncleBob wrote:Use an alcohol-based stain. Leather stains are popular.
Good to know, that’s very helpful. Thanks


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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by Bloodhound » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:28 pm

CupOjoe wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:04 pm
UncleBob wrote:Use an alcohol-based stain. Leather stains are popular.
Good to know, that’s very helpful. Thanks


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There are videos on youtube showing the stain process and burning the alcohol off the stain. very cool stuff
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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by JimVH » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:38 pm

I've got a couple of those naked Savs and used them to play with finishes. They turned out to be butt-ugly (my bad), but smoked like champs.

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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by Hovannes » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:59 pm

I've always been treated very nicely by naked 'nellis. They'll stain from your own body's oils as you handle them whilst smoking---that makes them extra special in my eyes, but you can certainly do whatever you want. In my experience they are reliable smokers but in the cosmetic dept. they are very much seconds as far as briar goes---expect fills, sand pits, funky grain etc... OTOH drilling and fit are very nice, just what you'd expect from Savinelli.

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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by FredS » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:11 pm

Fiebing's alcohol leather dye is probably the most commonly used in the US. You can buy it at Tandy, Walmart, or Amazon for $6-9 a bottle. If you're local to a brick and mortar Tandy shop they might have some open bottles from their classes that they'd let you try. I like Oxblood, British Tan.
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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by CupOjoe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:59 pm

Is there anything that goes on after stain? A clear varnish or anything?


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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by CupOjoe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:02 pm

What about Rustication? Would that bypass the issues of pits, grain, and other flaws? Or would those flaws cause problems?


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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by CupOjoe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:10 pm

Hovannes wrote:I've always been treated very nicely by naked 'nellis. They'll stain from your own body's oils as you handle them whilst smoking---that makes them extra special in my eyes, but you can certainly do whatever you want. In my experience they are reliable smokers but in the cosmetic dept. they are very much seconds as far as briar goes---expect fills, sand pits, funky grain etc... OTOH drilling and fit are very nice, just what you'd expect from Savinelli.
I picked up a Bent Paneled Sav a few years back and it was $29 b/c it was a seconds. Has a decent size fissure on on side near the top of the bowl. Ironically, I’ve come to appreciate that mark as part of its uniqueness. Smokes VAs and English good, but gets a little gurgley on aeros

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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by FredS » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:21 pm

The pipe smoking masses freak when one speaks of 'varnishing' a pipe. Some people will apply carnuba wax (not car wax) after staining and then buff it. Actually, for a smooth pipe you would apply stain, let dry, wipe with an alcohol soaked cloth to get the bulk of the stain off the surface, sand with fine paper/cloth (400 on up depending on your tastes), stain/wipe/sand a few more times if you want, buff with some sort of fine polishing compound, then apply wax and buff again. Your pipe will stay shiny for about four smokes before you need to buff it again.

Some people use shellac cut very thin with alcohol to 'set the stain' after staining and sanding. A few coats. Cut very thin. So thin the alcohol flashes off and leaves very little shellac behind. Fine sand between coats. Then buff with polishing compound. Then wax over that if you care to.

Of course rustication can hide pits and flaws. That's why pipe makers rusticate. Some guys, like JT Cooke and Bruce Weaver, have blasting down to a science and will set out from the get-go to make a blasted pipe showing off it's rings, but most pipes are blasted/rusticated because there is a flaw in the briar or the grain is meh.
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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by DepartedLight » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:10 pm

And I don't have a FredS pipe yet because, why?

Yo cupo'joe! Good to see you.
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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by CupOjoe » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:28 pm

DepartedLight wrote:And I don't have a FredS pipe yet because, why?

Yo cupo'joe! Good to see you.
Nice to be back, Long hiatus that life forced, but rekindled the bowl and my appreciation for this simple pleasure.


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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by FredS » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:30 pm

Or you could just leave it neckid and see what happens. That's what I'd do. You have lots of stained pipes after all.
"If we ever get to heaven boys, it aint because we aint done nothin' wrong" - Kris Kristofferson

"One of the things I love about CPS is the frank and enthusiastic dysfunction here. God help me, I do love it so." – OldWorldSwine

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Re: Staining an unfinished pipe

Post by DepartedLight » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:52 pm

Image

Always liked this series. I had this pipe.

Had.

:(
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