Fresh Life for a GBD Pedigree 254 Canadian

Blog by Steve Laug

I have always liked GBD pipes. There is just something about the brand and their take on shapes that catches my eye. This particular GBD is a really nice looking Canadian with a saddle stem – at least I would call it a Canadian because of the oval shank. It is stamped both on the topside and underside of the shank. On the top of the shank it is stamped with the GBD Oval over Pedigree. On the underside it is stamped London England 254. There is also the brass GBD oval roundel on the top of the saddle stem. It was dirty but the bowl had been reamed back to bare briar. There was a light lava coat on the inner edge. The pipe had a rich medium brown stain that highlighted nice grain on the bowl sides under the grime and the finish appeared to be in good condition. There is a band on the shank that appears to be an add on. The shank is not cracked though it is thin on the top and underside. A lot would be revealed once Jeff had worked his magic on it. The vulcanite saddle stem was in good condition with some oxidation and light tooth chatter and marks on both sides ahead of the button and on the button surface itself. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup work. Jeff tried to capture the condition of the bowl and rim top with the next series of photos. You can see the work that is ahead of us even though the bowl is clean. The beveled rim edge has some lava buildup. The grain around the bowl is quite stunning. Jeff took some great photos showing what is underneath the grime and debris of time and use. He captured the stamping on the left side of the shank and both sides of the half saddle acrylic stem. They are clear and readable. It read as noted above.The photos of the stem show the stem surface. It is dirty and has light tooth marks and chatter on both sides ahead of the button.I turned to Pipephil and looked to see if there was any information on the Pedigree line. There was nothing there other than a great brief history. I turned to Pipedia to the specific section on GBD to read about the line ( There was a page from an Oppenheimer Catalogue on the Pedigree line. I have included a screen capture of that page below.Now it was time to work on the pipe itself. Jeff had cleaned the pipe with his usual penchant for thoroughness that I really appreciate. This one was in decent condition with a bit of buildup on the rim top but virtually no cake in the bowl. He cleaned up the bowl walls with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed out the internals with alcohol, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs until the pipe was clean. He scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap and a tooth brush to remove the grime and grit on the briar and the light lava on the beveled rim top. The finish looks very good with good looking grain around the bowl and shank. Jeff scrubbed the stem with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Before & After Deoxidizer to remove the oxidation on the rubber. When the pipe arrived here in Vancouver for the second stop of its restoration tour it looked very good. I took photos before I started my part of the work. I took some photos of the rim top and stem. Once Jeff removed the lava on the inside bevel of the rim top. Both the inner and the outer edge of the bowl look very good. The close up photos of the stem shows that is it very clean and there is some oxidation and some minimal tooth chatter on the button and surface just ahead of the button.I took the stem off the shank and took a picture of the pipe. It really is an elegant and  delicate looking pipe with great grain.I was happy with the way the rim top and edges looked so I did not need to work on them more. I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down after each pad with a damp cloth. The grain really began to stand out and the finish took on a shine by the last sanding pad. The photos tell the story! I worked some Before & After Restoration Balm into the surface of the briar with my fingertips. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for about ten minutes and then buffed with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The photos show the bowl at this point in the restoration process. I laid the bowl aside and turned to deal with the stem. The tooth marks and chatter on the stem were not deep. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit sanding pads. I wiped it down after each sanding pad with a cloth containing some Obsidian Oil. I finished polishing it with Before & After Pipe Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine and buffed it off with a cotton cloth. This delicately shape classic GBD pipe came together amazingly well. Thanks to the fact that it was in pretty good condition before we started it was a clean pipe to work on. The finish on the pipe is in excellent condition and the contrasting stains work well to highlight the stunning grain on the pipe. The black vulcanite saddle stem just adds to the mix. With the grime and debris gone from the finish and the bowl it was a beauty and the grain just pops at this point. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I carefully avoided the stamping on the shank and stem during the process. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing it with a clean buffing pad on the buffer. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished GBD Pedigree Canadian is quite beautiful and is a classic Canadian shaped pipe. The finish on the bowl combines various stains to give it depth. It is very well done. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. I can only tell you that it is much prettier in person than the photos capture. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 5/8 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. I really like this delicate and elegant GBD pipe and it is a great looking pipe in great condition. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over another beautiful pipe. I had a GBD pipe sock around that I have put together with the pipe. This pipe will be added to the rebornpipes store soon. If you want to add it to your collection send me an email or a message! Thanks for your time.

3 thoughts on “Fresh Life for a GBD Pedigree 254 Canadian

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