Sofia ‘Hole in the Wall’ find – Savinelli Tortuga



Blog by Dal Stanton

Emboldened by the responses and expressions of welcome from my first submission of the restoration of the Dr. Plumbs, Oom-Paul (named, Chicho Pavel for Bulgarian residence), I wanted to tackle a beautiful Savinelli Tortuga 628 that Steve and I met at what I affectionately call the ‘Hole in the Wall’ antique store (first door pictured below – getting a paint job that day – thanks to Google Maps) in an ethnically diverse area of Sofia near Zhenski Pazar (Women’s Market) on Brother Miladinovi Street. After finding a few pipes at the Antique Market near Nevski Cathedral we made the trek to the Hole in the Wall. I remembered on other occasions the shop owner producing (from a safe place behind his desk) a beautiful leather 4-pipe pouch and I asked about it. I was glad that he still had it so that Steve could take a…

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A Newbie Restore of a Dr. Plumb 9456 Oom Paul


Blog by Dal Stanton

It is a pleasure to introduce Dal Stanton to you all. He has become a good friend through the work that I do. I just returned from spending time with him in Sofia, Bulgaria where we went pipe hunting and enjoyed some great smokes over dinner together. Here is his first blog for rebornpipes. I hope that he will do many more. Thanks Dal. Welcome to rebornpipes as a contributor. — Steve

Well, after much encouragement and a bit of prodding from Steve, I’m submitting this, my first full restore, to rebornpipes exclusively (and hesitantly) from a newbie’s perspective. After discovering the hobby of restoration only last year, I’ve been intrigued by the restoration process and amazed at the skills and blogging of Steve Laug (, and Charles Lemon (Dad’ and several other contributors. I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Mission Impossible’ episodes that Steve and Charles collaborated on. All the posts have been workshops for me as I’ve pieced together the different steps and techniques of pipe restoration. Since I live in Sofia, Bulgaria, and on the 10th floor of a formerly Communist ‘Block’ apartment complex, I do not have a basement or a garage to set up a workspace. My wife has lovingly allowed me to set up shop in our bedroom (yes, I know that limits the night-time hours for restoration and reflection!) but it has forced me to develop ‘compact’ ways of approaching the hobby. Instead of polishing wheels I utilize a Dremel with many wheels purchased from China on eBay! It works well for me and most importantly, I’m enjoying something that has surprised me with the satisfaction involved in finding a tired candidate that can be redeemed and brought back to life… click link for entire post.

4/1/2019 – Addendum – I discovered later that my beloved, Oom Paul was more accurately labeled a Bent Billiard.  I still call him ‘Chicho Pavel’, Bulgarian for Uncle Paul and he continues as a favorite in my rotation.  I later finally add the elusive Oom Paul to my growing collection – an L. J. Peretti that is one of my favorites.