Tag Archives: GBD New Standard Pipes

A Challenging Makeover for a GBD New Standard 9242 Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

I finished the restoration work on Mark’s uncle’s pipes and a few of his own and sent them back to him in late January of this year. I wrote a blog on each of the restorations. They were a fun batch of pipes to restore for him. He sent me another package a few weeks ago that had just three pipes in it – A GBD Classic Straight Bulldog, a GBD 9242 Rhodesian (one of my holy grail pipes) and a long Churchwarden pipe. Each pipe had a different set of issues that would provide a variety of challenges. The Bulldog was in excellent condition other than the first ½ inch of the stem missing in chunks. The Churchwarden had a broken tenon stuck in the shank. By far the worst of the lot was the 9242 pipe. When I saw it in the bag I was excited. When I took it out of the bag I was saddened at the condition of the pipe. The bowl was dirty and there was some lava and rim darkening on the top. There were a few nicks in the edges of the bowl. The finish was dirty but the grain on the pipe was really nice. If I had stopped my observation at this point I would have been quite happy.

But to stop there would not begin to tell the story of the abuse carried out on this pipe. Someone (I cannot call them other than a hacker) had taken upon themselves to do a stem repair for a broken tenon and in doing so almost destroyed an otherwise nice looking stem. I think that it had a broken tenon so the hacker had pulled out the broken tenon from the shank. He had drilled out the end of the stem – so far so good right. If he had quit then it would have been good. But he did not. He found a piece of steel tubing and drilled out the mortise to fit it – but did so at an angle and hacked up the inside of the mortise. The stem itself was not only drilled but had been opened up even more to accommodate the tube. In fitting it in the stem he had cracked the stem on one side. Fortunately it appeared that it did not go all the way through. He then slopped glue – an amber looking goop, all around the sides of the scored tube and shoved it into the airway on the stem. It was not even close to straight. Then he smeared some of the same glue on top of the crack, wiped it off a bit and called it good. This poor pipe really was in awful condition.

When I wrote Mark to give him my assessment I laid out the issues on this pipe I think he must have laughed. He knew that once I saw it, because it was a shape that is on my hunt list, I would be hooked and have to try to fix it. He as much as said so in his email back to me. Sooo… here we go on that restoration project. The photos show the look of the pipe when it arrived in all of its tattered splendour. Note the beautiful grain on the bowl. It was a beautiful looking piece of briar. Note the stem damage and obvious angle of the stem in the shank. Note the repaired split in the stem. Note the tooth marks on the stem on both the top and underside on and in front of the button. This was a project for certain and I figured I could not really make things worse… but then again who knows. I took a close up photo of the rim top to show the general condition of the pipe. You can see the nicks in the briar rim top and on the inner edge. You can also see the fit of the stem to the shank as well as the tooth marks and damage to the stem from the “repair” that had been done to the stem.I took the stem off the bowl to show the metal tubular tenon on the stem end. It looks to me that the drilling out of the stem and the moving the tenon around in the stem caused the damage in the stem surface.I took photos of the end of the stem showing the tenon and the drilled out mortise in the shank. You can see the damage to both. The metal tenon is not totally round and it is heavily scored and damaged. The fit in the stem is crooked so there is no way to align the stem and the shank.I smoothed out the light damage on the rim top with 220 grit sandpaper and then with 1500-4000 grit micromesh sanding pads. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the briar and the smooth rim. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers and wiped it off with a soft cloth and buffed it with a shoe brush to polish it. The briar really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and worked on the stem. I used a cotton swab to dribble acetone around the stem/tenon joint. I repeated that process for several weeks on a daily basis. I wanted to dissolve the epoxy that held the metal tenon in place in the stem. While it sat I filled in the damaged areas on the stem surface and the deep tooth marks in the top and underside of the stem at the button with black super glue and set the stem aside to dry. Once the glue had cured I sanded the repairs smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and blended them into the surface of the stem. There were still some small spots that needed work but overall it was starting to look better. I dribbled acetone into the area around the metal tenon every morning and evening after work. I was pretty certain that after a matter of time the epoxy would give way and I would be able to remove the tenon. I wiggled it daily with a pair of pliers to loosen it. This afternoon it finally came loose and I was able to remove it from the stem.With the metal tenon removed from the stem I was able to clean out the airway in the stem and the drilled out area of the stem. I used pipe cleaners, cotton swabs and alcohol to clean out the debris and tobacco oils.The replacement tenon was a little larger than the mortise and needed to be sanded down. I used a Dremel and sanding drum to reduce the diameter of the tenon. I also carefully sanded the face of the stem to smooth out the damage there, Once I had the fit correct in the shank I worked on anchoring it in the drilled out stem. I coated the threaded tenon with some thick gel glue and inserted it in the hole in the stem. I lined things up with a pipe cleaner in the airway and set the stem aside to dry. While the glue on the new tenon cured I cleaned up the inside of the mortise. I hand turned a drill bit that was the same size as the tenon slowly into the mortise to clean up the jagged drilling on the inside of the mortise. I turned it into the mortise to smooth out the misdrilling that had been done to fit the metal tenon. Once I was finished I sanded it lightly and then put the stem in the shank to have a look. The fit was pretty good at this point. Once the tenon had cured I worked on the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped it down with Obsidian Oil after each micromesh pad. After I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it another coat of oil. I polished the stem down with Before & After Pipe Polish – Fine and Extra Fine. I finished by giving it one more coat of Obsidian Oil and put it aside. I put the stem back on the bowl and buffed the pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel. I gave it several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise a shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The repair on the right side of the stem is still visible and I will need to work on that a little bit more but the overall look and fit of the stem is far better than when I began on this project. It won’t take too much more work before it is ready to head back to Mark for his smoking pleasure. This is one of those pipes that suffered much at the hands of someone trying to repair something and actually making it worse. I think it is better than it was… thanks for looking.

A Simple Refresh – a GBD New Standard 9438 Rhodesian


Blog by Steve Laug

I chose a second easy pipe to work on – another of my favourite shapes, a GBD Rhodesian. It is stamped on the left side of the shank with GBD in an oval over the words New Standard in script. On the right side of the shank it is stamped London, England over 9438. The stamping is quite readable. The finish was in decent shape. There was a light cake in the bowl and overflowing onto the topside of the rim. There was a slight burn mark on the outer edge of the rim from repeated lighting in that spot. The stem has the brass roundel on the left side of the saddle. The stem was lightly oxidized and there was tooth chatter on both the top and underside near the button. The next series of photos show the pipe when my brother received it in Idaho. He sent along a few close up photos to show the rim top and cake in the bowl. It shows the thickness of the cake and the light build up on the top. The photos that follow show the stamping on the shank sides and the roundel on the stem side. The next two photos show the tooth chatter on the top and the underside of the stem at the button. There were a lot of tiny tooth marks that covered the first inch of the stem on each side.My brother did his usual exceptional job of cleaning the pipe on the inside and out before he sent it to me in Vancouver. I ran a pipe cleaner through it when it came and it was spotless. He was able to remove much of the grime from the finish and the tars from the rim top.In the next photo you can see the burn marks around inner edge of the rim and on the front left outer edge. These would take a bit of work to minimize.I took a close up photo of the rim top to focus in on the burn marks around the edges of the bowl and rim top. I also took some photos of the stem to show the oxidation and the tooth chatter. I worked on the rim top with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads to remove the burned areas. I was glad to see that they were only surface and did not go too deep. I was able to remove them for the most part. There is a small remnant of the mark on the front edge of the rim. I polished the entire bowl with the 1500-2400 grit micromesh while I worked on the rim to begin to bring a shine to the briar. I continued to polish the rim and the bowl with 3200-12000 grit micromesh sanding pads to deepen the shine and polish the briar. I buffed the bowl lightly with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel and set it aside. I worked on the stem. I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the tooth  chatter on both sides. They were not too deep so it did not take too much work to remove the marks in the vulcanite. I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and then buffed it with Red Tripoli on the buffing wheel to breakdown the oxidation further. I then dry sanded it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads to bring life to the rubber and to also give the micromesh something to bit in during the polishing. Once I finished with the 12000 grit pad I gave it a final coat of oil and set it aside to dry. I put the stem on the pipe and buffed the entire pipe with Blue Diamond on the buffing wheel to polish out the remaining scratches. I gave the pipe multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect it and buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I took it back to the work table and hand buffed it with a microfibre cloth to deepen the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. The grain is unique and a mix of grains – flame grain, cross grain and some straight grain. There is even birdseye on the bottom and on the rim. The stain that was on the bowl is a reddish-brown and it allows the grain to shine through. It is a beautiful example of the GBD 9438 shape Rhodesian and one that will grace the pipe rack. Thanks for walking through this simple refresher with me.  

Restoring Sheen and Glory to a GBD New Standard 9447 Billiard


Blog by Steve Laug

My brother picked up this GBD New Standard 9447 billiard somewhere along the way in his pipe hunting or on Ebay. The finish was in rough shape. There was some sticky surface finish on the bowl and the stain was blotchy. The bowl had a thick cake that was hard. It overflowed over the top of the beveled rim. The stem was in decent shape with no tooth marks. My brother took the following five photos before he did the cleanup of the pipe.gbd1He took some close-up photos of the bowl, the stamping and the GBD roundel in the stem. The first photo shows the rim damage and the thick cake in the bowl. The cake was hard and gritty. The overflow onto the rim was also thick and hid the bevel. The stamping on the left side of the shank was faint but I could read it with a loop and it said GBD in an oval with New Standard stamped below that. The roundel on the stem was in excellent condition.gbd2 gbd3 gbd4My brother reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer and took the bowl back to bare briar. He scrubbed the externals with a tooth brush and Murphy’s Oil Soap and was able to remove the finish. The cake on the rim came off well. The finished stripped off to bare briar. He scrubbed the internals as well. The stem cleaned up nicely. The next photos show what the pipe looked like when it arrived in Vancouver.gbd5 gbd6The stem had some oxidation but there were no tooth marks or tooth chatter on the surface of the stem.gbd7In the photo below you can see that some of the finish on the rim did not come off with his scrubbing.gbd8I scrubbed off the surface of the bowl with acetone on cotton pads. I worked on the rim top to remove more of the hard cake that remained.gbd9 gbd10I sanded the rim with 220 grit sandpaper and scrubbed it some more with the acetone and I was able to remove all of the buildup and the stain from the rim.gbd11I ran a pipe cleaner through the stem and it came out clean. I ran it through the airway to the bowl and rand some cotton swabs in the mortise. There were some ridges in the shank so I used a dental spatula to scrape out the inside of the mortise walls. I then scrubbed it again with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners until the internals were clean.gbd12I wiped down the surface of the bowl with alcohol and then gave it several coats of Cherry stain in Danish Oil. I set the bowl aside to dry. The photos below show the new stain and the colour of the bowl once I was finished.gbd13I hand buffed the bowl with a microfibre cloth and gave it multiple coats of Conservator’s Wax. I buffed it with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. The photos below show the bowl.gbd14 gbd15I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding it with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding it with 3200-12000 grit pads. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil after each set of three pads. After the last pad I set the stem aside to dry.gbd16 gbd17 gbd18I buffed the bowl and stem with Blue Diamond on the wheel and then gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I gave the pipe several coats of carnauba wax and buffed it with a clean buffing pad. I hand buffed the pipe with a microfibre cloth to raise the shine. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. It is a beautiful thick shanked pipe that is great in the hand. It should be a great smoking machine. The pipe will make a great addition for someone’s pipe rack. It is available if any of you wish to pick it up. Send me an email at slaug@uniserve.com or a message on Facebook and we can work out a deal.gbd19 gbd20 gbd21 gbd22 gbd23 gbd24 gbd25 gbd26

Restoring a GBD New Standard 4/271 London Made Straight Bulldog


Blog by Steve Laug

When I was at the antique mall in Edmonton a few weeks ago I found this GBD straight bulldog. It is stamped GBD in an oval over New Standard on the left side of the shank and 4/271 London Made on the right side of the shank. The stem had the brass GBD roundel on the side of the saddle. The pipe was badly cake with a thick carbon build up. The rim had build up and was also damaged. There was darkening, whether burn or tar build up flowing down the crown of the bowl at the top all the way around the rim. The finish was worn and there was a black ink stain on the left side of the bowl down low toward the bottom. It looked like a hot spot when I first saw the pipe so I almost left it in the shop. I examined it under a bright light and could see that it was not a burn but a spot of what looked like India Ink. The stem was oxidized and there was tooth chatter on the top near the button and a tooth mark on the underside along with the chatter there. The button is different from most of my other GBD’s in that it is concave rather than convex. It is shaped like this “(“ looking at it from above.
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The photo below shows the stain on the bowl. I used a flash to highlight the nature of the stain. It was not solid but rather slightly opaque so that the grain could be seen through it. I thought it was worth a try to see if I could remove the ink from the briar.
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I reamed the bowl back to bare briar with a PipNet reamer starting with the smallest head and working up to the next head that fit the bowl.
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I dropped the bowl in an alcohol bath to soak for several hours and dropped the stem in a bath of Oxyclean.
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I left the stem in the Oxyclean while I worked on the bowl. I removed it from the bath and dried it off with a piece of cloth.
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I wiped it down with acetone on cotton pads to remove the finish that remained and scrubbed the ink stain. I sanded the bowl with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge to finish removing the finish and also the ink stain. I lightly topped the bowl with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the damage to the outer edge of the rim.
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I used a piece of folded 220 grit sandpaper to work on the beveled inner edge of the rim. I wanted to repair the burn damage and take away the ridge left behind by the light topping of the bowl.
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I sanded the bowl where the stain was and with sanding and scrubbing with isopropyl alcohol I was able to remove the ink stain from the briar. The photo below shows the area that had previously been stained.
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I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol a final time to remove the sanding dust and grit from the twin rings on the bowl.
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I cleaned out the shank of the pipe with isopropyl and cotton swabs and when it was clean I took out the stem and dried it off. I cleaned out the inside of the stem with pipe cleaners and alcohol. I scrubbed the stem with Mequiar’s Scratch X2.0. I rubbed it onto the stem surface with my finger and scrubbed it off with cotton pads. The photos below show the stem after one application of the polish after about 2 hours of soaking in Oxyclean.
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I continued to scrub down the stem with the Meguair’s until the oxidation was gone. I sanded the areas where there was tooth chatter with 220 grit sandpaper and then with a medium and a fine grit sanding sponge. I put the stem on the pipe and took the photos below. I could not believe how easily the oxidation had come off the stem. There was still more polishing to do but the overall effect of the Oxyclean and the Meguiar’s was amazing to me
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Though there was still oxidation to work on I decided to stain the bowl. I used a dark brown aniline stain. I applied it, flamed it and repeated the process until the coverage was even.
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I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl to thin the stain down and make it more transparent. I repeated the wash until the stain was the colour I was aiming for. Then I scrubbed the stem some more with the Meguiar’s and was able to get the rest of the oxidation of the stem.
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I buffed the pipe with White Diamond – both bowl and stem being careful around the stamping so as not to damage it. I rubbed the stem down with Obsidian Oil and then gave the bowl and stem multiple coats of carnauba wax to protect and shine. I buffed it a final time with a soft flannel buffing wheel. The finished pipe is pictured below. The colour on the green background appears redder than the pipe actually is. The wax and buffing did bring out the red highlights in the briar. It is more brown than red but the contrast is quite nice. The grain is visible through the stain. I am pleased with the finished look to the pipe. It is cleaned and restored and ready for the next chapter of the trust with me.
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A GBD “Dublinish” Poker Brought Back to Life


Blog by Steve Laug

The fourth pipe I have refurbished from the lot I just picked up is an oval shanked “Dublinish” Poker that has a GBD on the brass stem roundel. It is stamped on top of the shank with GBD in an oval over New Standard in script. On the underside of the shank it is stamped London England over 9558. I looked up the shape number on the GBD shape site and was unable to find a listing for a pipe of this shape. I looked other places on the web and did not find this shape either listed or pictured. It is certainly not a shape that I have seen for the years that I have been working on pipes and collecting GBD pipes.
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The picture below shows the state of the bowl when I brought it to the work table. It had a thick and crumbly carbon cake and carbon and tar build up on the concave surface of the rim. The front of the outer edge had burn marks from repeated lighting. The GBD roundel on the stem was badly oxidized and looked to be corroded. The stem was badly oxidized and on the bottom had a large hole where the previous owner had bitten through the stem.
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The picture below shows the size of the bite through and gives a pretty clear picture why I chose not to patch the stem but rather to cut the bite through off and rework the stem and button.
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I cut off the end of the stem with a Dremel and sanding drum attachment. I cut it back to the place behind the bite mark that was solid and undamaged. The next four photos show the pipe with the damaged portion of the stem removed and a straight cut made across the end of the stem.
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I took it back to the work table and reamed the bowl with a PipNet reamer. I used three of the cutting heads from the smallest up to remove the cake and clear out the debris in the bowl. I wanted to remove the cake to assess the soundness of the rim and the bowl of the pipe. I scrubbed the rim down with saliva and cotton pads. It took a lot of elbow grease to finally get the rim clean of the buildup and tars. In the photo below the burn mark on the front of the bowl is visible.
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I used files, a wood rasp and needle files to cut the line on the button across the top and the bottom of the stem. I trimmed the thickness of the stem tapering toward the shank with the needle files. I wanted to thin down the stem and taper is more smoothly into the new button making for an even transition from the saddle to the edge of the button.
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I used the needle files to open the end of the button and shape it into and oval and a funnel into the airway. I wanted a good open airway that would easily take a pipe cleaner.
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After working with the files I sanded the stem with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the oxidation and to continue to shape the stem into a smooth taper from the saddle to the button.
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I sanded the end of the button to angle it back toward the slot and to smooth it out and shape it. I also used the needle files to clean up the straight edge of the button.
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Once I had the taper and the angles correct I sanded the stem with a medium grit sanding sponge to remove the scratches from the sandpaper.
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When the stem was finished in terms of shaping I moved on to work on the bowl. I wanted to stain the rim and the edges of the bowl where the burn marks were. I used a red mahogany Minwax stain and rubbed it into the rim and gave the entire pipe a stain coat. Once I had wiped that off with a clean towel I gave it a second coat of medium walnut stain to blend it in even more with the rest of the bowl. I buffed it with White Diamond to polish it and give it a shine.
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I sanded the stem with my regular regimen of micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with the 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with the 3200-12,000 grit pads. I rubbed in a coat of Obsidian Oil and when it had dried took the stem to the buffer and buffed it with White Diamond to give it a shine.
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I buffed the entire pipe with White Diamond and then multiple coats of carnauba wax. I finished by buffing the bowl and stem with a clean buff with soft flannel to bring out a high shine. The finished pipe is shown below in the pictures. The shortened stem came out looking very good and the reduced length does not detract from the look of the pipe as a whole.
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