GBD 2006 Virgin Bulldog Restoration (Perspex)

By Al Jones

The 2006 is the classic straight bulldog shape from the GBD catalog.  This one was a Virgin and grade and like many came with a Perspex stem.  The sellers photographs were sparse, but the price was right so I bit.

The bowl top has some build-up, but that is not always a bad thing.  While the Perspex acrylic stem was brown and discolored, it had very little teeth marks.  Below is the pipe as it was received.

I used some bristle cleaners dipped in alcohol to remove most of stains inside the stem.  I always run a dry cleaner thru to avoid hazing.  That didn’t quite get all of the brown so I used a little acetone (finger-nail polish remover) also on a bristle cleaner.  That had the stem looking like new.  The very slight teeth chatter was removed with 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper followed by 8,000 grade micromesh. The stem was then polished with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.  I was very pleased with this outcome and it now looked like a nearly unused stem.

I used a worn piece of scotch-brite to remove the build-up on the bowl top.  The cake was removed with my reamer set and a piece of 320 grit paper on a reamer bit to finish it.  The bowl was soaked with alcohol and sea salt.  There were several handling marks on the bowl and I used an electric iron and wet cloth to stem them out.  The briar bowl was then buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe. With no oxidation to remove from the stem, this was all completed rather quickly compared to a vulcanite stemmed pipe.  The biggest challenge was photographing the clear Perspex stem on a white background!


5 thoughts on “GBD 2006 Virgin Bulldog Restoration (Perspex)

  1. Jason Guilford

    I have had good luck cleaning perspex stems with hot water and a bristled brush. Mostly out of fear of ruining the stem.

  2. Dave

    Al, thanks for sharing this project with us. The pipe looks great. I am partial to GBD’s and especially Bulldog/Rhodesians. I have quite a few with Perspex stems, but seldom smoke them due to the staining. I have been reluctant to try different solutions for fear of damaging the clear stems. I’ll try Acetone. Thanks for your help.


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