Daily Archives: October 17, 2016

Another Easy Restoration – a GBD Seventy Six 255 Canadian

Blog by Steve Laug

When I opened the box of pipes from my brother there was a long shanked clear stem pipe that stood out to me. The stem was in perfect condition, with no tooth chatter or marks and was very clean. In fact, the stem was probably a replacement made of Lucite. Looking at the classic shape and the grain on it I was pretty sure it was a GBD but had not even looked at it. When I got around to examining the pipe I saw that it was stamped on the top of the shank with GBD in the oval logo over Seventy Six in script. On the underside of the shank it is stamped Made in England over the shape number 255 which when I looked it up was a GBD number for a Canadian with an oval taper stem. Finding out that pretty well sealed the fact that the stem is a replacement. It is an oval shaped saddle stem.gbd1I remembered reading about the Seventy Six line before but had to look it up again. From what I found with a simple search I could see that the pipe was introduced by GBD in1976 in honor of the American Bi-Centennial. According to what I read the pipe was released as a polished dark brown “take off” finish. The best I can understand is that the dark brown was removed leaving it in the dark grain and birdseye of the pipe.

So my memory was nudged and I remembered that Al Jones (Upshallfan) had written about his repair of a classic GBD Seventy Six and given information on the brand in this link: https://rebornpipes.com/2013/06/17/gbd-oval-shank-pot-seventy-six-restoration/ I quote: “In 1976 GBD introduced a series called the “Seventy-Six” to commemorate the United States Bicentennial.  I was a Sophomore in high school during 1976 and the year-long celebration had a big impact on me.  The Seventy-Six model remained in the GBD catalog until 1981.”

He also quotes from the 1976 Catalogue: “The GBD “Seventy-Six” is our contribution to the Bicentennial celebrations.  We have really pushed out the boats for “the colonies” in launching this new series that will be remembered by its proud owner long after the celebrations are forgotten.”gbd2My brother took the above photos and the close up photos that follow before he did any clean up on the pipe. The first photos shows the condition of the bowl and the rim. There was a cake in the bowl and an overflow of lava on the rim. I did not know until the pipe arrived that the rim was beveled inward to the bowl. There appeared to be a lot of damage on the rim. The second and third photo show the stamping on the top and underside of the stem. It is clear and readable. The last photo shows the condition of the stem. There were no bite marks on the top and underside near the button. There was some light tars in the airway in the stem.gbd3 gbd4 gbd5My brother scrubbed the exterior of the pipe with Murphy’s Oil Soap to remove the wax and the buildup on the rim. It removed the oils and wax and left the pipe clean and natural briar. He cleaned out the airway in the shank and stem. He also cleaned out the mortise with alcohol, cotton swabs, pipe cleaners and alcohol. The photos below show the pipe when I received it. When I saw the rim it was then that I knew that it was beveled inward. The briar on this pipe was truly stunning. There were no sandpits or flaws in the briar.gbd6 gbd7He was able to remove most of the lava on the rim and what had appeared to be burned areas was merely dirty. It would not take much to clean it up and make it shine.gbd8There was still some inner edge darkening and some damage on the inner edge. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up the darkening and the damage. The third photo shows the process of sanding the inside of the bowl with a piece of 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around the end of a Sharpie pen to smooth out the inside of the bowl. The fourth and final photo shows the interior of the bowl after it was sanded.gbd9 gbd10I decided not to stain the pipe but to leave it natural. I rubbed it down with a light coat of olive oil to bring life back to the briar. I liked the look of the pipe with the natural oil finish. I buffed the bowl with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to raise the shine. I gave the bowl and the stem several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below.gbd11 gbd12 gbd13 gbd14 gbd15 gbd16 gbd17 gbd18

Restoring a Cracked Chacom 296 Canadian

I have a GBD panel that Charles used the same method to repair the cracked bowl. Mine had a lot of cracks and splits around the bowl and he pinned them/stitched them with the brass pins. I have been using for a long time now and there is no flex in the cracks.

I came across this Chacom 296 Canadian pipe at a local antique market, and though it was in rough shape, it had a few things going for it in my mind. First was the unique leather pipe case it came in that featured a snap closure just like Grandma’s change purse. The case is unmarked, so I don’t know if it is original to the pipe or was simply purchased to use with it. At any rate, its novelty caught my attention.

Releasing the pipe from its case, I could see that the pipe was a Canadian, one of my favourite pipe shapes. It had been a constant, though poorly maintained, companion to its previous owner. The rim was hidden under a thick crust of lava, the bowl was nearly choked off with cake, and the stem looked like it had been chewed on by a puppy instead of a…

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“Chinrester” Pipe stamped Screwball would be an interesting restoration project

Blog by Steve Laug

Over the years I have seen photos of the strangely shaped pipes with the long almost tortuously bent stems but I had never seen one close up. Then my brother sent me photos of one that he had picked up for me to restore. It was stamped Screwball on the left side of the shank and 6044 over Italy on the right side. It had a tarnished silver coloured band on the shank that covered what appeared to be a cracked shank. The finish had been sanded free of the area that was banded but the rest of the bowl was still covered with a shiny plastic coat finish that seemed impermeable. The stem was intact which was interesting as many of the ones I have seen were either twisted or bent or broken. The bowl was a unique shape as well. At a side glance it was a combination of a prince and pot but there was a ring around the top of the rim that divided the rim into two enclosed circles. It is a large pipe – 11 inches long, 1 ¼ tall, 1 ¾ inches diameter and a ¾ inch chamber diameter.chin1The stem was oxidized and slightly brown. The silver band was tarnished but the pipe still had a glossy shine in the photos he sent me.chin2The rim showed darkening and some lava over flow on the top of the bowl. There was a light cake in the bowl. The ring around the top was filled with grit and grime. chin3My brother took some close up photos of the pipe. The first of these shows the rim top and the cake and overflow on the rim. The second shows the stamping. The name of the pipe as it appears in the photo is SCREW. Underneath the band is the second half of the name BALL.chin4The next two photos show the stamping on the shank and the imprint of Sterling Silver on the band. They also show the grain peeking out of the shiny topcoat on the underside of the bowl.chin5Here are a couple more shots of the bowl – you can see that the shiny coat has some scrapes in the surface and the almost painted on look that makes me wonder if it is not a later coat of varathane.chin6When my brother received the pipe the band was loose so he slid it off the shank and revealed not only the complete stamping on the pipe but a large cracked area that had been repaired. The cracked area looks like a large chunk of briar had broken free. It had been glued in place and then a band slid over the repair. The glue had dried and long since let the band fall loose.chin7 chin8My brother did the clean up and took off the rim burn on the top and scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap and the interior with pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol. When I received the oxidation on the stem was on the surface and the pipe was ready to restore. I have to be honest with you all it was not a restoration that I was looking forward to. The long and curved stem just spelled trouble to me. Trying to run pipe cleaners through it and also polishing and cleaning the oxidation seemed a daunting task. But finally I brought it to the table. Here are some photos of the pipe before I started.chin10 chin11I took the pipe apart and took photos of the parts. With the band removed you can see where the repair person had sanded the shank and done the crack repair before banding the shank.chin12 chin13Trying to scrub off the shiny topcoat with acetone was next to useless. The only place it came off was in the area that had already been sanded. I lightly sanded the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to break up the surface of the shiny coat. Once that was done I was able to scrub it off with acetone quite easily. In the next photos you can see the repaired crack. It was quite large.chin14 chin15I took photos of the repaired crack to show the extent of it. The band fortunately covered the entire cracked area so it provided stability to the glued crack. Unfortunately it also covered up half of the stamping on the left side of the shank.chin16I used some Weldbond white all-purpose glue to glue the band in place on the shank. I applied it with the tip of the bottle and spread it around with my finger tip to get good coverage. I pressed the band in place on the shank.chin17While the band repair was drying I worked on the stem. I broke up the oxidation on the surface by wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads. I wiped the stem down with a damp cloth. I scrubbed the stem with Before & After Pipe Stem Deoxidizer and was able to remove more of the oxidation. This was a labour intensive effort and took a lot of scrubbing with the solution and paper towels. When there was no more brown coming off the stem I scrubbed it with Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further address the oxidation.chin18 chin19You can see from the above photos that much of the oxidation had been removed but under a bright light such as the camera flash the oxidation still showed. At this point I had a decision to make – either scrub the stem with more of the deoxidizer or use my tried and true method of micromesh sanding pads. I chose to use the pads. I wet sanded it again with 1500-2400 grit pads and rubbed it down with Obsidian Oil. I dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads and gave it a coat of Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the final set and another coat of oil I set the stem aside to dry.chin20 chin21 chin22While the stem dried I sanded the bowl with the micromesh sanding pads to polish the briar. I had decided not to stain the bowl but leave it natural with a light oil finish and a good buffing. I cleaned off the tarnish on the band with a jeweler’s cloth and polished it to a shine.chin23 chin24With the bowl and stem both hand polished I took the pipe to the buffer and buffed it with Blue Diamond on the wheel. I was able to raise more of a shine with the buffing on both the bowl and stem. Buffing the stem was a real interesting challenge – lots of twisting and turning to get the entire stem buffed. At one point I removed it from the bowl to make it easier to maneuver on the wheel. I gave the bowl and stem several coats of carnauba wax to protect it and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I finished by hand buffing it with a microfibre cloth. It turned out pretty decent considering where it started. I don’t know if I would call it a chinrester or a shoulder rester as it is a big pipe. I do know that the original design to make it easier on the teeth of the pipeman may not apply here. In the original design the stem rested against the chin of the smoker. In this design unless the smoker has a jutting jaw there is no way that it can rest against the chin. Anyway, the finished pipe is shown in the photos below. Thanks for looking.chin25 chin26 chin27 chin28