Blog by Steve Laug
I restored this older GBD New Standard Lovat probably 15-20 years ago. I had not been working on pipes for too long – maybe a year or two. I really had no idea about staining or reshaping a stem or how to make the grain on the pipe like it must have when the pipe first came out. I was going through a box of pipes that I was getting rid of and came across this one in the bottom of the box. Looking at it closely I decided to take it on again and rework it. The finish was worn, the outer edge of the rim was in rough condition with chips out of it and the rim top had been topped but I had not even bothered to polish out the scratches from the sandpaper. The bowl was out of round and the inner edges were worn and had some nicks and gouges. The shank end was lighter in colour than the rest of the bowl. I had not even bothered to match the colours… good to see that I have still been learning. The bowl and shank were very clean so at least I had done that well back then. The stem still had some oxidation around the button. It had a lot of potential and I really wanted to see if I could bring it out with a bit more work. Time would tell!
The petite pipe is stamped GBD in an oval [over] New Standard on the left side of the shank and on the right side of the shank it reads London England [over] 91327 (shape number). I found that the New Standard was made in England. It originally had a smooth finish with brown staining in what was called a “tobacco brown” finish. The shape number is one that I cannot find listed anywhere so I am not sure what to make of that but it is a neat little pipe. I have often found shape numbers on GBD pipes that are not on the list of known shape I did a quick look on Pipedia and found the flyer to the left that described the New Standard London Made Pipe (https://pipedia.org/images/b/b8/GBD_1961Flyer_NewStandard_Shape9447.jpg)
I took photos of the pipe when I took it out of the box before I started reworking it. You can see the overall look of the pipe at this point in the process. As you look at the photos of the pipe pay attention to the flaws in the previous restoration of this pipe. What do you see? As I work over the pipe let me know if I caught the things that you saw. Thanks for reading through this chronicle of a reworked restoration.
I took photos of the rim top and bowl to give a clear picture of the damage to the rim top and edges of the bowl that I had not dealt with before. There were large nicks out the inner edge on the front and the rear of the bowl. There was also a chip out of the outer edge on the right rear of the bowl. You cannot see it from these photos but the rim top is not smooth and has a lot of sanding scratches that I did not bother removing. I took photos of the top and underside of the stem to show the remaining oxidation on the topside and underside near the button and at the saddle. The stamping on both sides was faint but readable. It read as noted above.I removed the stem from the shank and took a photo of the pipe.I reworked and reshaped the edges of the bowl with a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage and to bring it back to round. I gave it a slight bevel that will become obvious in the photos of the polishing process. (I forgot to take a photo of the rim top before I started the process of polishing it.)To even the stain colour around the bowl and make the grain stand out more clearly I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth after each pad. Note the rim top and you can see the change to the inner edge worked above. I used a Cherry stain pen to touch up the sanded edges and top of the rim and blend them into the rest of the bowl.I rubbed the bowl and shank down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the surface of the bowl sides and shank with my fingertips to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I let the balm sit for ten minutes and then buffed it with a cotton cloth to raise the shine. The grain came alive and the finish looked rich. I polished the vulcanite stem with micromesh sanding pads – 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each sanding pad. I used Before & After Pipe Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine to further polish the stem. I am pretty happy with the upgrade to this GBD New Standard 91327 Lovat. The rim top looks far better and the finish is now uniform and reveals the grain really well. The stem is clean and no longer has residual oxidation in the crease at the button or the saddle. I put the stem back on the bowl and carefully buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel using a light touch on the briar. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax on the buffing wheel and followed that by buffing the entire pipe with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished small GBD Lovat fits nicely in the hand and feels great. Give the finished pipe a look in the photos below. The dimensions of the pipe are Length: 5 inches, Height: 1 ½ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe was 29g/1.02oz. I will be putting it on the rebornpipes store shortly. Thanks for reading this blog and my reflections on the pipe while I worked on it. There are many more to come!