New (To Me) Capri Root Briar With Bit Issue

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odobenus

Member
Dec 15, 2018
250
10
Vermont
Hey friends, I recently bought a restored estate Savinelli Capri Root Briar 130 bent stack. It's a real looker (photos below) and it's also my first Savinelli, for reasons that are too boring and nebulous to explain but mostly involving my predilection for vulcanite.

I regret to say that it's a real whistler. Running a pipe cleaner through it after my first smoke (probably should have done that first), I found that the airway closest to the button is so constricted that the cleaner only barely passes, and only with maximum pressure. My first few cleaners just bent double trying to pass through. [Very likely this tiny, possibly obstructed airway is the source of my whistle.]

On close inspection, there is not the slightest tooth indentation on the bit. It is perfectly smooth and streamlined, and though it is very flat, I wouldn't gauge it as over-buffed to the naked eye.

But I don't think Savinellis are known for having particularly narrow airways, right? I thought the opposite. And in no way do I cast aspersions on the maker or the restorer.

But what are we thinking here? That the mouthpiece was crushed at some point by a clencher and all signs of said crunchage effectively eliminated by buffing?

And can anything be done? It's so tight as it is, and with the bend in the stem I am extremely wary of taking any sort of drill to it.

Thanks for any ideas.





 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,896
19
Get some needle files (that's my first thought). Hard to say to much without seeing the pipe.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,411
194
Chicago, IL
You can try opening the bit end by hand with a small twist drill locked in a pin vise.

In the long run it would be less trouble to have the draft opened professionally.

Also, Decatur makes a stiff pipe cleaner which will resist bending: https://www.pipesandcigars.com/p/decatur-tapered-pipe-cleaners-pipe-cleaners/1508629/
Great looking pipe, though... :puffy:

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,941
116
From the profile photo, I'd say the stem on the pipe is unusually thin top to bottom. I have a number of Savinelli's and none have a stem that thin. Obviously, there is some little burr of stem material acting as a sort of woodwind reed and giving you a "C" above high "C." You can definitely try filing open the airway, but it looks to me like you don't have a lot of material to file, so you might end up with a stem that is near paper thin. The back-up plan might be to simply have this handsome pipe refitted with a replacement stem, which would not be expensive, and probably well worth it. File away, and if that doesn't work out, send the pipe, complete with unacceptable stem, and give a full explanation, and any instructions on what you want. This is a chance to do a tasteful color change. I wouldn't change the shape or bend, which look just right.

 

odobenus

Member
Dec 15, 2018
250
10
Vermont
Thanks guys, I just ordered a needle file set and a pin vise, neither of which I had in my workshop (more suited to a farmer's needs).

Also put some of those tapered cleaners in my P&C cart. Along with some tobacco of course!

And MSO, that sounds like a very good plan A & B.

 

odobenus

Member
Dec 15, 2018
250
10
Vermont
Update: I went after the mouthpiece with the pencil vise and the needle file, the end result being that it now passes a pipe cleaner much more easily (though not without some effort). However, it still whistles and gurgles (the latter also a function, I'd guess, of whatever is constricting/obstructing the airway, so condensation gets hung up and gathers). The funny thing is that it doesn't whistle if the tobacco is packed down and I draw really, really slowly. So if I hang onto it, maybe this is the pipe that will teach me to sip.

Or a new mouthpiece may be in its future. All I can say is that if it weren't such a beauty I probably wouldn't think twice about selling it off to SP.com or something. Rick Newcombe certainly wouldn't keep it around.

 

donjgiles

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2018
865
23
You may want to pass a flame over the indented bit area, it may be enough warmth to lift the vulcanite back to it's original position.
Carefully.
Don