Restoring a Newer GBD London Made C133 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

The next pipe on my work table a nice looking newer Cadogan era GBD pipe. It is stamped GBD in an oval [over] London Made on the left side of the shank. On the underside of the shank it is stamped with a K. On the right side of the shank it is stamped with the circular COM Stamp with MADE IN LONDON (“IN” is in the centre) and England stamped underneath that. The shape number C133 is stamped mid shank on the right side. The taper stem has an oval GBD logo stamped on the left side. The briar has a mix grain around the bowl and shank. This pipe was bought off eBay in January, 2017 from Greenville, New Hampshire, USA. The finish was dirty but the grain shone through well. The rim top had a thick lava coat on backside and the inner edge was also coated. There was a thick cake in the bowl and some tobacco debris. The shank and stem airway was very dirty. The stem was oxidized, calcified and had light tooth chatter on both sides ahead of the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his clean up. He took photos of the rim top and bowl to show the cake in the bowl (heavier on the back side of the bowl), the lava on the bevel and rim top. The edges look very good under the grime. The stem photos show the oxidation, calcification and tooth chatter very well. Jeff took photos of the sides of the bowl to highlight the grain around the bowl sides and base. He captured the stamping on the shank sides in the next photos. They are clean and readable as noted above.I have worked on quite a few GBD London Made pipes in the past so I turned to a blog on one of them to read the background on the brand and remind myself how to understand the stamping on the shank. Here is the link (https://rebornpipes.com/2019/08/10/cleaning-up-a-gbd-london-made-9664/). I quote from the blog below rather than redo the research.

I turned to Pipedia’s article on GBD to see if I could find any information on the London Made. The article gives a lot in terms of the history of the brand and a list of various lines of GBD pipes (https://pipedia.org/wiki/GBD_Model_Information). I quote the section where I found the reference to the London Made.

London Made — Factory unknown: Some might not be marked with GBD logo and some with additional “house” stampings. Introduced in 1978(?) plain wax finished branded pipes” available in at least six stains. – catalog (1981)

With that information in hand I knew what I was dealing with in terms of the stamping and the age of this pipe. I knew from the information from the section quoted that the London Made originally came out in 1978 in a variety of colours. Now I had an idea of the age of the pipe and it was time to work on the pipe.

Jeff cleaned up the pipes with his usual thoroughness – reaming the bowl with a PipNet pipe reamer and cleaning up the reaming with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He scrubbed the internals of the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. He scrubbed the exterior with Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean off the dust and grime on the finish. When he sent it the pipe was ready to restore. I could not believe how good the rim top looked in comparison to what it was when he started. I took photos of the pipe when I unpacked it. The briar was clean and the grain quite stunning. The finish looked dull and lifeless. I took a close up photo of the bowl and rim top after Jeff had cleaned it up. The look of the rim top and edges is very good. He had been able to remove the cake and the lava very well. The bowl was spotless. The stem is also shown and was very clean but lightly oxidized. He had scrubbed it with Soft Scrub and then soaked it in Mark’s Before & After Deoxidizer. There was light tooth chatter still remaining.I took some photos of the stamping on the shank sides. The first photo shows the GBD in an oval [over] London Made stamp on the left side as well as the stamped GBD oval logo on the left side of the stamp. The second shows the COM stamp Made in London [over] England and the shape number C133 on the right side. The third shows the letter “K” on the underside of the shank near the shank/stem joint.I polished the briar with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding (carefully avoiding the stamping on the shank sides) with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the bowl down with a damp cloth between each pad. The grain to take on a shine. I rubbed the briar down with Before & After Restoration Balm. I worked it into the briar with my fingertips and let it do its magic. The product cleans, enlivens and preserves the briar. I let it sit for 10 minutes and then buffed it off with a cotton cloth. The bowl really is looking good at this point. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I scrubbed it with Soft Scrub cleanser to remove the residual oxidation that remained on the surface of both sides. I find that when I let the pipe sit a long time before getting to it this light oxidation almost always happens.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – dry sanding with 1500-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a cloth impregnated with Obsidian Oil. I polished it with Before & After Stem Polish – both Fine and Extra Fine then gave it a final coat of Obsidian Oil and set it aside to dry. This is another beautiful pipe – this one is a GBD London Made C133 Billiard. It is made by Cadogan as can be seen from both the stamping on the stem, the shank. It would have come out after 1978. The grain on the pipe is quite nice and the few small fills are hidden in the stain and the finish. I put the stem on the shank and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the wheel (being careful of the stamping so as not to damage that). I gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax and buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The dimensions of this pipe are – Length: 5 ½ inches, Height: 1 ¾ inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 ¼ inches, Chamber diameter: ¾ of an inch. The weight of the pipe is 1.31 ounces/37 grams. It is a great looking pipe and one that will be going on the rebornpipes store in the British Pipe Makers section. If you want to add it to your collection let me know via email to slaug@uniserve.com or by message. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me.

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