Author Archives: upshallfan

Everyman 398 Squat Bulldog Restoration (Comoy’s 2nd)


By Al Jones

I’ve had a Comoy’s shape 398 squat bulldog on my workbench before, but it’s not a shape I see very often. This pipe, a seconds line “The Everyman” pipe looked like a simple restoration. I have a number of Comoy’s catalogs and shape charts in my files, but I can’t find this shape on any Comoy’s literature.

The pipe arrived with a very clean bowl, with a little darkening on the rim and a heavily oxidized stem. The stem still held the push in “stinger” apparatus, that presented a little challenge to remove. The stem had no teeth marks, save for two tiny specs on the button. The original owner definitely took care of this pipe. Below are pictures of the pipe as it was received.

I used some micromesh on the bowl top, then reamed the very mild cake. The bowl was then soaked with sea salt and isopropyl alcohol. The stem was soaked in a mild Oxy-clean solution. After the soak, I used a bristle brush to thoroughly clean the shank of the tars trapped by the stinger. The bowl was then buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax.

Next, I turned my attention to the stem. Not many modern pipe smokers would want to use the factory stinger, so I attempted to remove it. This one had apparently never been removed and was stuck from years of storage and/or tars. I inserted an alcohol soaked bristle cleaner in the stem, and after a few hours, I was able to carefully twist the stinger out of the tenon. I used a pair of mini vise-grips to hold the stinger. You have to be careful to not crush or break the aluminum stinger because if that occurs, the broken piece has to be removed with a series of drill bits. Thankfully, the stinger did not break.

The stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 400,800, 1,500 and 2,000 grades of wet sandpaper. 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets followed. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. This was no doubt the best quality Everyman stem I’ve encountered.

Below is the finished pipe, ready for use.

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GBD 206 New Standard Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

This is yet another GBD shape that was new to my work bench. I thought for certain that it was a 2006, that was incorrectly listed. But on arrival, it was indeed a 206. I didn’t find many examples of the shape on the web, but learned that it was a smaller profile bulldog shape

The pipe was in decent shape, with a heavily oxidized stem (but great fitment), with the typical bowl-top build-up and a mild cake. The brass rondell had some fuzz on it, but was in otherwise great shape. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I reamed the cake with my Pipenet set and used a piece of worn Scotchbrite on the build-up. Once removed, a nicely beveled bowl top was revealed but it had a few dents and nicks. I used an electric iron on High, with a wet cloth to steam out some, but not all of the dings. Oh well, they add a little character.

The bowl was then soaked in Sea Salt and alcohol. While the bowl was soaking, I soaked the stem in a mild Oxy-clean solution, with a dab of heavy grease on the rondell. Following the soak, I used a bristle brush and alcohol to clean the shank. The stem was mounted and I used 800, 1500 and 2000 grade wet paper to remove the oxidation. This was followed by 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

The bowl was buffed with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

I found one curious item in the stem. While running thru a bristle cleaner soaked in alcohol, it seemed to hang up in the stem. On closer inspection, I could see metal inside the stem. I used a series of drill bits to work the metal out of the stem. It appeared to be perhaps a stinger that had broken off inside. I’ve never seen a GBD with a stinger, so I assume a previous owner may have tried to insert some homemade remedy. Thankfully, it came right out.

Below is the finished pipe.

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Peterson Shape 56 Mystery – Solved!


By Al Jones

July 31,2019 UPDATE:
Well, the Shape 56 mystery is now resolved. Despite all my google efforts, I yielded only two other hits on the Shape 56, as detailed below. Mark Irwin was also stumped but came up with the theory below, that the Shape 56 was for the British market only. Well, further sleuthing from the worlds foremost Peterson authority yielded an answer – which came directly from a blog entry here on Reborn Pipes, by our very own Steven Laug. In 2015, Steve posted a catalog from Canadian importer, Genin, Trudeau & Co. which shows their unique numbering system. I even comment that the Shape 56 looks like a 9BC! So, all the while, the answer was hiding on this blog! Below is that brochure page showing the Shape 56. Steven comments that the postal code used in the address dates the brochure to between 1962 and 1969. I guess not many Canadians appreciated the shape, so they are pretty uncommon. Thanks to Mark Irwin for his superior memory and to Steve for making this type of ephemera available, you never know when it will come in handy.

Genin, Trudeau & Co. Brochure

Original Entry:

If you read any of my posts here or on the PipesMagazine forum, you’ll quickly learn that I am partial to a few select pipe shapes, primarily the Rhodesian. But my all-time favorite shape is the Peterson 9BC, chubby bent billiard. I learned about this shape several years ago on Mark Irwins blog, “Peterson Pipe Notes”.

Peterson Pipe Notes

Mark is a great friend and incredible resource for all things Peterson. He is also the co-author of The Peterson Pipe, a must have for anyone who enjoys and collects Peterson pipes.

Over the past few years, I’ve acquired several 9BC’s in various finishes, including a Shamrock that I featured in this blog a few months ago. I can usually spy a 9BC, despite the way it may be listed. I found this pipe advertised as a Shape 56 Kapruf, which puzzled me, as I never encountered this shape number. It definitely looked like a 9BC or the modern version, the XL90. However the nomenclature did indeed look like it was a “56”. The 9BC is a pre-Republic shape and this pipe was stamped “Made in the Republic of Ireland”, so I assume it was made after 1949. It’s not too often that I get a thrill from an estate pipe. However working on a shape I’ve never encountered definitely gets me excited.

When the pipe arrived, sure enough, it was identical to my 9BC’s in all aspects, save one. The button was significantly slimmer than those on either my 9BC’s or XL90. The stem had what looked like a factory P stamp. I searched thru my old catalog scans and pored over Mark’s new book, looking for this shape number, but to no avail. I then spent a good bit of time Googling the Peterson Shape 56 and I found only two other examples. One theory I had about the shape was that it was a transition piece, between the 9BC and XL90. However, that theory didn’t hold as one of those two found also had pre-Republic stamping.

One Republic era Shape 56 Kapruf was sold by Smokers Haven. It had an incredible blast, pictured below.

The other was from an undated Ebay ad, and it was advertised as belonging to noted collector, Barry Levin. This one had pre-Republic stamping.

These pictures show the slim button of the 56 versus the 9BC, which flares out at the P-lip. It is also shown with my 9BC Shamrock, and as you can see, they are nearly identical. This includes a flat nomenclature panel. I suppose the original owner could have sent the pipe back to Peterson for a replacement stem, which might explain the slimmer button profile. The other two shapes above, don’t show this detail, so I have no comparison.

The pipe was in very good condition, but had some curious damage marks on the stem. It appeared as though someone had pierced the stem in two places with a hot nail, creating gouge-like marks. The bowl interior looked terrific, with very little cake. There were a few shallow dents on the underside of the button and just a small amount of oxidation. Below is the pipe as it was received. The sandblast was terrific, particularly on the cross-grain section, which had a lunar landscape like appearance.

This picture shows the most severe of the two gouge marks.

I used some 320 sandpaper to remove the very slight cake reside from the bowl and filled it with sea salt and isopropyl alchohol and let it soak for several hours. While the bowl was soaking, I used a heat gun to warm the two gouge marks and I was able to work some of the rubber back into the mark. After the soak, I removed the salt/alcohol and cleaned the shank. The stem was mounted and the gouge marks smooth with 400 grit wet paper, then 1500, and 2000 grades. One mark all but disappeared and the other had only a slight mark remaining. It was underneath, so I left well enough alone. I worked around the P stamp. The stem was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. I used some Halycon wax on the briar to bring up the luster.

After the repair and buff, the gouge mark was barely visible.

I’m hopeful that Mark might be able to dig out some additional information about this mystery shape, and I’m quite pleased to add it to my collection. I’m particularly interested in how the slim button smokes, as a smaller profile button is typically my preference. Below is the finished pipe.

UPDATE – July 28, 2019:
Mark Irwin did get back to me with a theory about this shape. He noticed that the 9BC shape is only listed in US or Rogers catalogs. I noticed in the recent 1939 Peterson/Rogers catalog recently shared thru his blog that that the Kapruf finish is described “the earthy finish of Kapruf is achieved by a special carving proceess”. In the 1940 Peterson catalog scan he shared several years ago, the Kapruf finish is described as sandblasted. He further comments below.

I thought I’d figured it out, but my best guess at this point has to do with the two-digit shape numbers assigned to Classic Range pipes through the 1950s. None of the catalogs I have shows a 56, of course, but there the 1955 London & Dublin catalogs shows a 65, 69 and 70 bent billiard. I’m speculating that the 56 was part of that numbering system, which may explain why you found the button slightly different than the 9BC. I also believe the 9BC to be a US-market Rogers Imports number, as I don’t see it in any of the European or non-Rogers catalogs.
Oh well, a brilliant pipe and a wonderful problem to have. Whatever they used to do the blast is also quite singular. I have an 02 Shamrock that’s close, with those circular, almost lunar patterns, but how they achieve that is shrouded, as is so much in our hobby, in pipe smoke and mystery.

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Pictured below is a group comparison shot, from top to bottom:
XL90 Supreme
9BC Shamrock
9BC Kapruff
56 Kapruff

GBD Granitan Bent Billiard Restoration


By Al Jones

Here’s another GBD from that collector in Ohio, who owned the Century finish pipes I posted recently. This one is a Granitan finish in the Shape 508. This one also came with a carefully preserved box and bag. Below is the pipe as it was received. The stem was in great shape, with some heavy build-up on the bowl top. Like the others, the GBD rondell was a bit oxidized as well.

I don’t see too many Granitan finishes, which is a sandblasted briar, then polished. The finish description on the Pipepedia page says this about the finish. The reference to Virgin finish seems a bit of a stretch and perhaps some creative marketing from GBD. When did the Granitan first appear or when did it end? This information is seemingly lost to time.

Granitan — England, unknown if also made in France: sandblasted, then partially sanded smooth, resulting in a pebbley texture, stained light yellowish brown. -TH: “An acceptable concept in a finish which combines the light weight of a sandblasted pipe, the beauty of a Virgin finish and the attractiveness of two-tone brown coloring.” -catalog ( 1976 )

Like the others, this one also came with a carefully preserved box and bag.

I reamed the bowl, then used a piece of worn scotchbrite to remove the build-up. This lightened the bowl top stain a bit, but some carnuba wax restored the original color. The briar was soaked with alcohol and sea salt. The Scotch-brite piece also successfully removed the oxidation from the rondell, without damaging the fragile coating. After the soak the stem was mounted and oxidation removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 wet paper, than 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh sheets. It was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The briar was buffed lightly with White Diamond to bring back the finish, than hand rubbed with several coats of Halycon wax.

Below is the finished pipe.

GBD Century Restlite Bullcap Restoration


By Al Jones

This GBD came from via a seller who was selling her fathers pipes. He passed away at 101 years of age, and was apparently a big fan of GBD pipes, particularly the Century line. The seller remembers her father purchasing these pipes at a downtown Cleveland, Ohio shop between 1957 and 1958, when her Aunt owned a nearby candy shop. Her father would drop them off at the candy store, disappear for an hour, then come back with a new GBD and feeling very pleased for himself. When she would ask to go along, she was told “This is not a place for you”. Too bad, as I would have loved to learn the name of that shop. The pipes from this collection also came with the original box and bag, which were in mint condition. I wish that I knew more about this pipe smoker, as he really seemed to value his GBD pipes.

As I wrote on my previous Century related blog entry, the origin of that finish is a bit mysterious. Mike Hagley tells me that he has catalogs with the Century finish, but I’ve never personally seen one featured in any of the scanned catalogs that I have. Pipepedia says it was made to celebrate the 100th year of GBD, so a 1950’s purchase makes sense. Even more of a mystery is the “Restlite” stamp on this pipe The few Restlite stamps that I found were also in this shape 11, which is pretty rare by my experience. It is nearly identical to the Peterson 411 shape, which was known as the Bullcap. I found absolutely nothing about the Restlite option (as it appears to be). Mike remembers it being advertised as smaller and lighter and indeed, this pipe only weighs 29 grams.

The pipe was definitely enjoyed, but care was shown on the button/stem with no teeth marks. There was some build-up on the pipe bowl top and a slight scorch mark. Another pipe I bought from the same estate showed the same marks, so I guess that was his habit. Here is the pipe as received.

I reamed the slight cake from the bowl, and used a worn piece of Scotch-brite to remove the bowl top build-up. I diminished the scorch marks with some 2000 grit wet paper, taking care not to alter the bowl top shape. A few light marks remained, a fitting testament to the original owner. The bowl was then buffed lightly with White Diamond and several coats of Carnuba wax.

The GBD rondell on the stem has some oxidation (rust?) that I removed also with the Scotch-brite pad. The oxidation was removed with 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grit wet paper, than 8,000 and 12,000 micromesh sheets (while mounted on the bowl). It was then buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish.

Below is the finished pipe.

Three Centuries of GBD


By Al Jones

Well, what we have are is not three centuries of GBD, since the brand has only been around since 1850 (per Pipedia), but rather three, “Century” finish GBD’s – in the shapes of 9456, 9438 and 529. I’m a huge fan of the 9438 and already own a Century finish in that shape. The 9456 is pretty common but the 529 – that was a shape I had not seen or handled before. It’s a beautiful little bent Apple with a tapered stem. It reminds of the Sasieni Regent shape.

According to Pipepedia and the old Jerry Hannah GBD page, the Century finish was introduced in 1950, to celebrate the first 100 years of the brand. I have a 1950’s GBD catalog scan but it doesn’t show this finish. So, its unknown as to the actual introduction date, or how long it was the Century finish offered. If anyone has a catalog page featuring this finish, I’d love a copy. The finish also came in “Century Matte”, and I’ve featured a Century Matt pipe on this blog previously. I don’t find much difference between the two finish. Both have appear to have a matte or satin finish and a very light tan stain. Fortunately, no stain touch was required on any of this group, which would have been a bit tricky to match.

All three of these pipes were in great shape, with the typical bowl top build-up and oxidation on the stem. I worked on them as a group and none presented any particular challenge. The tapered stem 529 was the easiest to complete. All three had excellent nomenclature stamping.

I reamed the slight cake out of each bowl and used some 320 sandpaper to get the bowl back close to the original wood. All three were in excellent condition. A worn piece of Scotchbrite was used to remove the bowl-top buildup, which didn’t damage the finish. The pipes were then soaked in sea salt and alcohol. After the bowl soak, the stems was mounted and I used 800, 1500, and 2000 grade wet paper to remove the very light oxidation. Next up was 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stems were then polished by machine with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowls were buffed lightly with White Diamond and Carnuba wax.

Below are the before and after pictures of each pipe.

9456 – Bent Billard with Saddle stem

Before

After

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529 – Bent Apple with Tapered Stem

Before

After

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9438 – Rhodesian with Saddle Stem

Before

After

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Comoy’s Shape 5 Old Bruyere Bulldog Restoration


By Al Jones

This Shape 5 bulldog was finished at the same time as the Shape 4 recently posted. This one, also an Old Bruyere, is in Sandblast finish. The pipe had a mild cake build-up and some build-up on the bowl top. The stem sported the drilled “C” stem logo and was in very good condition. Curiously, the bowl had no bead lines. Below is the pipe as it was received.

I reamed the slight cake out of the bowl, and which was in excellent condition. A worn piece of Scotchbrite to remove the bowl-top buildup. I used some Fieblings Medium Brown stain to darken the bowl top and match to the bowl. The pipe was then soaked in sea salt and alcohol. After the bowl soak, the stem was mounted and I used 800, 1500, and 2000 grade wet paper to remove the very light oxidation. Next up was 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then polished by machine with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic Polish. The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and Carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe, a relatively easy restoration.