Tag Archives: perspex stems

Revitalizing a GBD Colossus International London Made 1759 London England

Blog by Dal Stanton

This is the second pipe I’ve restored that was commissioned by Paresh.  Like the first, a Tom Howard Jumbo Rustified Squat Tomato, this is a large pipe and the name reflects this – a GBD Colossus International.  It truly is a ‘Colossus’ with a huge stylish stummel that is cut with angles that makes one think of a ‘dinner’ pipe.  With the clear, acrylic stem and canted, sharp angled stummel – and his sheer size, sets this pipe on an upper shelf.  Paresh commissioned the GBD from the For‘Pipe Dreamers’ Only! section and this pipe, along with the Tom Howard, benefit the Daughters of Bulgaria.  Here are the pictures that got Paresh’s attention.The left side of the stummel encases the nomenclature, Colossus (in cursive script) [over] GBD (in oval) [over] INTERNATIONAL [over] LONDON MADE.  A classic brass GBD rondel is embedded in the acrylic stem, placing the dating of the pipe as pre-Cadogan.  On the right shank side is stamped LONDON ENGLAND [over] 1759, the GBD shape number.  I also see a ‘D’ stamped on the lower side of the shank which I have no information on!

Based upon the straight COM LONDON ENGLAND and the brass rondel, this GBD is dated pre-Cadogan which is 1981 and earlier.  In the GBD Pipedia article, this reference places the pipe in the 60s or 70s naming the lines that GBD had during that time.  ‘International’ is nestled in the middle of the list.

The following list comprises the better grades in descending order:

Pedigree, Pedigree I, Pedigree II, Straight Grain, Prodigy, Bronze Velvet, Virgin, Varichrome, Prestige, Jubilee, New Era, Prehistoric, International, Universe, Speciale Standard, Ebony, Tapestry, New Standard, Granitan, Sauvage, Sierra, Penthouse, Legacy, Concorde.

This is confirmed by information sent to me from Al Jones, who knows more than most about GBD pipes.  Al sent me a PDF of Jerry Hannah’s finish guide and one reference for an ‘International’ comes from the 1976 catalog. Unfortunately, I found no listing for a shape number of 1759, but the shape is most definitely at least a 3/4 bent – not sure I would call it a Billiard but the sharp canted stummel reminds one of a Dublin! Looking more at the pipe’s condition, it bears normal scratches and nicks from normal use.  The rim is darkened with some lava flow.  There are a few light fills on the side of the stummel that need to be examined.  The acrylic stem has tooth chatter that needs addressing.  The amber colored airway should clean nicely.  I take some additional shots to show the issues. Starting with the basic cleaning, I ream the chamber of the light cake using the Pipnet Reaming kit revealing fresh briar.  The depth of the chamber becomes evident at almost 2 1/2 inches (2 7/16 to be exact) as it swallows the 3 blade heads I use to clean the carbon cake!  This chamber will pack a good bit of tobacco!  Following the Pipnet blades, I use the Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Tool to fine tune and clean the chamber further reaching the depths.  Finally, I sand the chamber by wrapping 240 grit paper around a Sharpie Pen.  I finish the clean up of the chamber by wiping out the carbon dust using a cotton cloth wetted with isopropyl 95% and inspection of the chamber shows no problems.  The pictures show the progress. To clean the externals, I use undiluted Murphy’s Oil Soap and a cotton pad to scrub the briar and darkened rim. I also use a brass wire brush to work on the rim.  Pictures show before and after.Continuing with the stummel cleaning, I work on the internals with pipe cleaners and cotton buds dipped in isopropyl 95%. I also utilize a shank brush to work through the draft hole as well as a dental spatula to scrape the mortise wall.  The pipe cleaners and cotton buds start coming clean, but later, at the close of my work day, I’ll also utilize a kosher salt and alcohol soak to clean and freshen the internals further.Now, looking at the acrylic stem, it’s difficult to see with the pictures I’ve taken, but the button has some compression dents and the bit is clouded from tooth chatter.   The pictures show the starting point.   I first run a bristled pipe cleaner dipped with isopropyl 95% to clean the airway.Then, using a flat needle file and 240 grit paper I sand the bit and button to work out the tooth marks and compression dents on the button lip.  Following this, to erase the scratches of the filing and 240 grit paper, I sand using 600 grade paper and 0000 grade steel wool. Moving from the steel wool, I wet sand the stem using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 and dry sand from 3200 to 12000 to bring out the glassy shine of the acrylic stem. I then mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel onto the Dremel with speed set at about 40% and apply Tripoli compound to the entire stem.  I follow this using another buffing wheel, same speed, and apply White Diamond compound.  To remove the compound dust, I buff the stem with a felt cloth.  Acrylic stems love to be buffed up and this GBD Colossus International’s stem is looking great!  The acrylic is like glass. Looking now at the stummel, to address the dents and scratches on the surface, I wet sand using micromesh pads 1500 to 2400 followed by dry sanding with the remaining pads, 3200 to 4000 and 6000 to 12000. I enjoy watching the grain emerge during the micromesh cycles.  This GBD stummel has a lot of briar real estate and the grain is beautifully showcased.  The pictures show the emerging grain. With my work day closing, I continue the cleaning of the internals of the stummel using a kosher salt and alcohol soak.  To do this I create a wick by pulling and twisting a cotton ball and stuffing it down the mortise and airway as far as I can manage with a rigid straight wire.  I then place the stummel in an egg crate for stability and fill the huge chamber with kosher salt which leave no after taste as its iodized cousin.  I give the stummel a shake capping the bowl and then fill the chamber with isopropyl 95% until it surfaces over the salt.  After a few minutes and the alcohol has been absorbed, I top off the chamber again.  Then, I set it aside until the morning.  The following morning the salt has discolored and the wick has an ink-like color on the top – not sure what that is.  I clear out the expended salt and use paper towel to clean the chamber.  I also blow through the mortise to dislodge used salt.  I then use a pipe cleaner and cotton bud dipped in isopropyl 95% to make sure all was clean, and it was. With the sanding of the GBD stummel with micromesh pads, the briar grain naturally darkens and deepens through the process.  I look again at the fills I identified earlier which are solid but they had lightened.  I want to darken and blend these fills at this point in the process.  I use a maple dye stick and gently color the fills.  To blend, I feather wipe the fills with a cotton pad wetted with a bit of alcohol.  The result looks good. Before proceeding to apply compound to the stummel surface, I apply Before & After Restoration Balm to deepen and enrich the briar.  I apply some Balm to my finger and work the Balm in to the briar.  As I’ve noted on previous restorations, the Balm begins with a light oil texture and thickens as it is applied.  I like the Balm because it treats the natural briar hue and deepens and enriches the look.  I take a picture after applying the Balm and before wipe/buffing it off after a few minutes standing. I now mount a cotton cloth buffing wheel to the Dremel, with speed set at approximately 40% full power and apply Blue Diamond compound to the briar surface.  After this is completed, I reunite the GBD Colossus International acrylic stem with the stummel and apply coats of carnauba wax.  I do this after changing cotton cloth buffing wheels on the Dremel – at the same speed.  I finish the restoration by giving the pipe a rigorous hand buffing with a microfiber cloth.This GBD Colossus International lives up to its name.  The stummel is huge and the grain showcased is a beautiful labyrinth of swirls.  Completing the ensemble is the glass-like acrylic stem with an amber vein dissecting the 3/4 bent orientation.  Paresh commissioned the GBD Colossus International from For ‘Pipe Dreamers’ Only! and will have the first opportunity to acquire the GBD in the The Pipe Steward Store.  This pipe benefits the Daughters of Bulgaria – women and girls who have been trafficked and sexually exploited.  Thanks for joining me!

A Collection of Methods for Cleaning Clear Perspex Stems

Blog by Steve Laug


When I posted a blog on work I had done on the GBD Prestige Billiard recently Dave wrote and asked that I share tips that I may have on cleaning clear Perspex stems. These stems are distinct from clear Lucite or acrylic stems which are treated exactly like other acrylic stems. Perspex stems are typically found on GBD Prehistoric and Prestige as well as periodically on other GBD pipes. Over the years I have struggled with removing the tobacco stains in the airways of these stems. There seems to always be a brown line that fills the airway and looks lousy when viewing an otherwise clean and restored pipe. I have tried many methods that others have recommended with varying degrees of success and sometime no success. I have combined methods and had better success but always I have been seeking a better way of cleaning this part of the Perspex stem. If you have one of these pipes you know the struggle I am talking about. It generally is an issue of the airway and the funnel slot in the button. I thought I would share with you the variety of methods that I have tried, modified and then end with the one I am currently using and a potential new method on the docket.

I think there is a common reason for the issue with these stems. I have worked on a lot of them over the last 20 years so I see some similarities in the stems that are the worst to clean up. I have had some that were relatively easy to clean and others that I never been able to remove all of the stain. In looking them over I believe that the difficult stems share a common issue – the drilled airways in the stem are rough and porous. You can see it when you look at the stem as they are more opaque than the rest of the clear stem material. When the drill bit passed through to create the airway it left a rougher surface in some of them than others. What I have found is that the rougher the surface the more likely it is that the stains will be more difficult or even impossible to remove with the standard methods that I will enumerate below.

When I started cleaning these stems I used the usually my universal airway cleaning method – a pipe cleaner and alcohol pushed through the stem. I immediately regretted doing so because of what happened. I was able to remove some of the stain but the Perspex tended to craze into lots of tiny little spidering cracks. None of them caused the stem to break or fall apart but they all went throughout the material. Later I read on the forums that you are never to use alcohol on Perspex! I bear witness to the damage alcohol does to Perspex. I know others here use it sparingly on the stems with no issues. However, due to my previous experience I will not use it at all no matter how sparingly. Needless to say that left me with a dilemma. How was I going to remove the stain in the stems? I wrote to various restorers and refurbishers to see if they had any tricks up their sleeves that they would be willing to share and I tried them all.

One friend wrote me back and explained his method. He uses lemon juice to clean the inside of the stem. His rationale was that the juice is acidic enough that it should work to loosen the stains in the airway. He said he had experienced good success using it. So I thought why not give it a try. I scrubbed the airway repeatedly and inserted a pipe cleaner in the airway and let the lemon juice work on the stem overnight. When I removed the pipe cleaner and scrubbed the internals of the airway with water I could see that the colour of the stain was lighter and believed that I had removed a portion of the stain. I repeated the process half a dozen times with the lemon juice expecting further stain removal. It did lighten the stain but no matter how many times I scrubbed and soaked the airway with the lemon juice I could never completely remove the stain from the stem.

Another friend wrote about using Bar Keepers Friend scouring powder. He applied it to a wet pipe cleaner and it worked well for him. So with nothing to lose and potential a method that would give better results than the lemon juice I decided to give it a try. I wet a pipe cleaner and dipped it in the powder to coat the pipe cleaner. I pushed it through the airway repeatedly and then coated it again with more powder and repeated the process. With this method I was able to remove more of the stain than with the lemon juice but I could not remove all of it. I had the brilliant idea of combining the two methods to see if together they would do better. I soaked the airway with lemon juice and then scoured it with the powder. The results were the same as I got with either one alone a stain – still remained. As far as I was concerned I had not found a method that gave me the results I wanted.

I read about another method on one of the forums and decided to try it. I dipped a pipe cleaner in a Soft Scrub Cleanser and worked over the inside of the stem repeatedly, recharging the pipe cleaner regularly. I scrubbed it and rinsed it with running water. After I rinsed it I found that it had done a much better job than either of the previous methods I had tried. I repeated the process and found that the stem was about 80% better than when I started. Things went better but still a stain remained in the airway.

I decided to approach the issue from a different starting place. I wanted to test my hypothesis regarding the relation of the roughness of the material in the airway to the presence of stain there. The stem I chose to these this on had a rough airway that was visible in the opacity of its colour through the stem. I used a variety of needle files to smooth out the internals of the funneled slot in the button and a round micro needle file to sand out the inside of the airway in the stem. My intention was to smooth out the rough surface. It took a bit of patience to enter the stem from both ends to reach the length of the stem and smooth out the airway. As I worked on the airway That process removed 90% of the stain in the stem and then I followed it up with the soft scrub cleanser to finish the last 10%. My goal was to make the inside airway as smooth as possible to minimize the surfaces that held the stain. I think I had finally found the method.

There is one other addition to the methodology that I intend to experiment with. If it works well it may be a way to polish the inside of the stem. I read that you can chuck the pipe cleaner in a cordless drill, dip it soft scrub and spin it in the airway. I want to see if I can achieve the same results with less hand work. I would also like to try to spin a bristle pipe cleaner through the stem and see if that works as well. I have gotten emails and had conversations with folks who swear by this method for cleaning out these stems so I want to try it out and see for myself. I will keep you posted on this addition to the process.
Cleaning the externals of the Perspex stems is relatively easy in comparison to what I have just explained. I sand out tooth marks or repair those that need it with clear super glue and sand the surface smooth. I polish the stem by wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit micromesh sanding pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I lightly buff the stem with Blue Diamond polish on the buffing wheel. I give the finished stem several coats of carnauba wax and buff with a clean buffing pad and hand buff with a microfibre cloth to give it a deep shine.

If any of you have tried other methods of cleaning these stems and had success post your additional tricks in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

GBD 9438 Virgin Restoration

Blog by Al Jones

If you have followed my previous posts, you’ve noticed that I am a fan of the GBD 9438 shape. There is just something about the chubby Rhodesian shape that appeals to me. All of the 9438’s in my collection are excellent smokers and feel great in the hand. For the past two years, I’ve been on the lookout for one of the highest grades in that shape, the Virgin. I found this somewhat tattered 9438 Virgin with a Perspex stem on Ebay.

The pipe showed some bruising and nicks on the bowl, but the top looked in decent shape as did the Perspex stem. Photographing details of a Perspex stem is never easy, but this seller had plenty of good photographs.

Below are the pictures posted by the seller.  You can see the handling marks on the bowl in the first shot.

GBD_9438_Virgin-Before (10)


GBD_9438_Virgin-Before (1)

GBD_9438_Virgin-Before (2)

GBD_9438_Virgin-Before (5)

GBD_9438_Virgin-Before (6)

The bowl had a light cake, which I reamed close to the briar with my Castleford reamer. I soaked the bowl overnight with Everclear and sea salt. I use a champagne cork to plug the shank end and try to work a little of the salt/Everclear slurry into the shank.

The stem was in pretty good shape, but had a tooth indention on the lower side and some scratches. I tried to lift the tooth mark with some heat, but the Perspex isn’t as resilient as Vucanite. I removed the scratches with some 1500 then 2000 grit wet 3M automotive grade wet sandpaper. Next I completed the stem work with 8,000 and then 12,000 grit micromesh sheets. I buffed it lightly with some automotive plastic polish. The draft hole isn’t heavily stained, which is a fortunate find on a Perspex stem. The tooth mark is on the bottom and the clear Perspex hides it nicely. (and makes it difficult to photograph)

My biggest concern about the briar was what appeared to be handling pinprick marks in several spots, probably from banging around in a drawer/box for a few decades. Using a torch, wet cloth and a pirated kitchen knife, I was able to lift a majority of the marks. The nomenclature was light, so I carefully buffed the bowl with first White Diamond then two coats of carnuba wax. That helped even out the color and hide some of the bruising. It’s not perfect, but has a nice level of patina.

GBD_9438_Virgin_Finished (6)

GBD_9438_Virgin_Finished (1)

GBD_9438_Virgin_Finished (2)

GBD_9438_Virgin_Finished (3)

GBD_9438_Virgin_Finished (4)

GBD_9438_Virgin_Finished (5)


With this addition of this Virgin, I now have five different grades of the 9438 shape.


GBD_9438_Fantasy_Gallery 3





New Standard


I include this Seventy-Six Colossus as it is an oversized 9438 (stamped 9676) and clearly the 9438 chubby Rhodesian shape.


A Unique Attempt at a Cooler Smoker – An LHS System Pipe

I picked this old pipe up in a lot of pipes that was given to me. The pipe is stamped LHS in a Diamond and next to that SEC on the left side of the shank. The right side of the shank is stamped US Patent 1908630 over Other Patent Applied For. I have hunted through the patent information site and could find the original LHS patent under the number above but the descriptions and diagram do not match the system in this pipe. The stem is Perspex I believe, and has the cross hatched metal end on it. That is threaded and connects to a threaded tenon that is connected to the bowl. When I got the pipe out of the box of pipes it was dirty and the rim had a lot of tar. The bowl was not badly caked but had remnants of tobacco left in it. The stem was dirty and opaque. The internal filtering system was black with tars. The stem also had some crazing in it – this happens when alcohol is used on Perspex stems.

I reamed and cleaned the bowl of the pipe and the rim and then scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil Soap undiluted. I wanted to leave the original light finish without removing any of the stain so I carefully rubbed on the soap and wiped it off. The rim actually came clean very easily and the bowl was ready to go. I took apart the internal contraption and cleaned that with Isopropyl alcohol and also cleaned the shank with pipe cleaners, shank brush and Isopropyl. One the internals were clean I worked on the stem and cleaned it out with soapy water, pipe cleaners and cotton swabs. The finished pipe was then waxed with multiple coats of carnauba wax on my buffer and then polished with a soft flannel buff.

Anyone have any information on this pipe? It is an unusual piece of pipe history and I continue to hunt down information. Thanks for your help and thanks for looking.



Repairing an Over-Reamed Bowl in a GBD Collector Century

Blog by Steve Laug

I picked up this older GBD bent apple with a Perspex stem on EBay for a reasonable price, at least in my opinion it was reasonable. On the left side it is stamped: Collector in script over GBD in an oval over Century. On the right side it is stamped: London England over the shape number 9633. The Collector line is the middle line between the Conquest and the Colossal. These three lines were termed GBD plus sized pipes. The dimensions on this one are length: 5 ½ inches, height: 1 ¾ inches, outer diameter: 1 ¼ inches, chamber diameter: 1 inch. The bowl exterior is chunky and wide and the bowl is larger than normal sized GBD`s.

The two pictures below are the ones that were used on the listing on EBay. The stem is dirty but whole and intact. The bowl rim is badly caked and the bowl itself looks to be caked and maybe a bit over reamed but it is hard to tell. The finish on the pipe was pretty much gone as can be seen in the two photos. There were some dark marks on the bowl front and the sides were faded in colour. Nonetheless it looked like it was worth a bid in my opinion. I asked a few questions of the seller and was answered cordially but with little helpful information regarding the state of the bowl. So I would just have to see it when it arrived. ImageImage

When it came, it was both in better shape and worse shape than the photos in the listing showed. The finish was dirty and really not in too bad a shape other than worn spots. The rim was caked and dirty but was not dented and damaged. The bowl had indeed been over-reamed. In fact it looked to have the beginnings of a burnout – or at least a hot spot on the bottom of the bowl. The stem was dirty but had no bite marks and minimal tooth chatter. Looking at the bottom of the bowl I notice what appeared to be a dark spot and maybe even the beginnings of a hole. This was not a good sign. I had repaired that old Dunhill with a briar plug not long before this so I knew it could be repaired but I wanted to be sure of what I was dealing with. I took the bowl and stem apart and carefully reamed the sides of the bowl to clean out the remaining grit. The top was cleaned with Murphy’s Oil Soap undiluted and scrubbed with a tooth brush. I did not worry about the finish as I was going to restain and refinish it when I was done. I set the stem aside for a bit while I worked on the bowl. Once it was clean I put it in an alcohol bath to soak and remove the remaining finish and grime. ImageImageImage

I removed the bowl from the alcohol bath and wiped it down to dry it off. I turned it over and the three pictures below show what I saw. From the outside the bowl looked like it was beginning to burnout. There was a darkening on the surface and what appeared to be a small crack in the briar. From the inside the over-reaming can be seen clearly. The bottom of the bowl was below the airway and the remaining briar was very thin.


I sanded the bottom of the bowl to see how deep the discolouration went into the briar and was pleasantly surprised. The photo below shows what the spot looked like after sanding. I then used a dental pick to pick at the crack in the surface and see how thin it was and how deep the crack went. The briar was still hard and did not break away with the dental pick. That was another good sign. I cleaned the surface with isopropyl alcohol and dried it off. I used some small drops of super glue to fill the crack and then sanded the surface again to smooth the patch of the glue. I did not plan on selling this pipe as it is a shape I enjoy so all of my work was for my own use at this point.  Image

The picture below shows the bowl after some more sanding and a light coat of medium brown stain. I restained the entire bowl and buffed it to see if the repair would be less obvious. You can see from the photo below that it is a bit darker and would require a few more coats of the brown stain to make it recede into the background.


I fired up a good cigar and made some pipe mud of the ash and water and began to rebuild the bottom of the bowl. I layered on several coats of the mud allowing it to dry to the touch between coats. My goal was to build up the bottom of the bowl to the bottom of the air way. The pipe mud is fairly thick but it actually worked quite well. In the photo below you can see the bottom of the bowl. I also used it to fill in some of the cracks in the cake on the sides of the bowl. I wanted to protect this pipe from further damage to the bowl.


Once that was finished and dry I restained the pipe with two more coats of the medium brown aniline stain. I flamed the stain between coats to set it. Once it was dry I buffed the bowl with Tripoli to make the grain show and lighten the stain. The next series of four photos show the finished look of the bowl. The photo showing the bottom of the bowl shows that I was able to blend in the darkened area with each successive coat of stain. It is still present but it does not pop out at you when you look at it. In the photos you will also notice a pipe cleaner inserted in the stem. I used lemon juice to soak the stain in the Perspex as well as some hand cleaner with grit in it. The stain is stubborn to remove so I left the pipe cleaner soaked in the products in the stem overnight several times in an effort to remove the stain. You can see from the photos that it is lighter than when it arrived but it is still present. (NOTE: do not use alcohol in cleaning Perspex stems as it causes the stems to craze – multitudes of tiny cracks appear throughout the material.) ImageImageImageImage

The last series of photos shows the pipe as it is today. The refurbishment on it was about 2 or more years ago. I have smoked it in my rotation and it smokes very cool. The pipe mud has held up well and is incredibly hard now. The finish has darkened a bit and taken on a patina that I like. The save on this pipe worked incredibly well. One day if the need arises I can put a briar plug in the bottom of the bowl but so far it has not been necessary. ImageImageImageImage

Reworking the button on a Perspex Stem on a GBD Prehistoric

I was gifted this older GBD Prehistoric by a good friend who knows I like working on seeming irreparable pipes.  He knows that I enjoy the challenge and that I work to get them back to a workable condition. The stem was truly a mess as can be seen from the photos below. It had bite through holes on both the top and the bottom of the stem. The button was destroyed by the bite marks. This one would prove to be a bit of a challenge. My usual method of repairing bite throughs with Super Glue would not work as the hole was on both sides of the stem. You can tell by the three pictures below the size of the hole. I included even the blurry ones to show the extent of the problem that needed to be addressed.


After carefully picking at the holes with my dental pick I could tell that the surrounding Perspex material around the holes was compromised and pieces continued to come off with very little pressure on the dental pick. It was clear then that I would have to shorten the stem back to the point on the stem where there was solid material to work with. To do this involved cutting off almost a ¼ inch of the stem. The two photos below show the stem after the material has been removed. I used my Dremel with a sanding drum on it to take back the stem to this point. Care must be exercised to keep the finished surface straight and level. But I have found that this is fairly easy to do with the Dremel set at the lowest speed.


Once the stem is cut back to the solid material a new button has to be carved. I use a series of needle files to do this. Note in the picture below the three files that I used the most. The top one is a flat rectangular one that does a great job on the top and bottom of the stem to cut a straight 90 degree edge into the Perspex. The oval and the round file I used to open the slot in the button to match the shape of the one I cut off. Once the stem has been cut the airway at the end is merely a round hole or as in this case was barely flared. I like an oval slot in the button and the files do a great job in that process. I have two sets of needle files that I use. I clean the teeth on the files with Isopropyl alcohol and a brass tire brush. It keeps them from getting clogged with the Perspex dust.


In the three pictures below you can see the button that has been cut in the stem. I also used sandpaper to thin the stem profile forward of the button to give it the proper slope and give the button some depth. Note the rough surface of the stem is caused by the use of 240 grit sandpaper to accomplish this task. The top photo is the top side of the stem at the button, the second is the underside of the stem and the bottom photo is a profile shot to show the look of the button. When the stem was at this point it still needed quite a bit of sanding to smooth out the new button and shape the stem. The edges in the profile are a bit sharp and needed to be rounded to match the part of the stem that remained untouched. I rounded the edges with the 240 grit sand paper to match the shape of the stem.


The next two photos below show the stem after that reshaping has been done. I then had to polish the stem to get it back to it clear sheen. I started that with some 400 and 600 grit wet dry sandpaper that was used with water to give it the bite to cut through the scratches of the files and the sandpaper. The first photo shows the pipe next to another GBD Rhodesian for comparison sake. You can see in that photo how much of the Perspex stem I removed to cut the new button. The second photo shows the shaping and flow of the stem once I have finished with the polishing with the wet dry sandpaper.


The last three photos show the finished pipe. The bowl was polished and the polishing on the stem was done with the micromesh pads through the 1500, 1800, 2400, 3200, 4000 and 6000 grits soaked in water to facilitate a good polish. Each grit level of micromesh took out more of the scratching that remained after the sanding. By the 3200 grit the surface was smooth and shiny. The last two grits gave it a thorough polishing and then I finished it on the buffer with White Diamond and carnauba wax.