Blog by Al Jones
These old GBD’s just seem to follow me home. This one, a Model 357 in Prehistoric finish, wasn’t getting much action on Ebay and I bit. The Ebay pictures showed the briar was in pretty good shape and Perspex stems are generally pretty easy to restore. I didn’t have a Prince style pipe in my collection and this one looked like a suitable candidate. I weighed the pipe at 35 grams. That was also appealing and it should be comfortable in the mouth.
The pipe as I received it from the seller:
Using my Castleford tool, I reamed the light cake in the bowl and let it soak with some Sea Salt and Everclear. The Everclear took some of the finish off the bowl top and revealed some scrapes as well. I decided the blast was too nice to leave it in that condition and I knew the nicks on the bowl top would polish smooth. A smooth, beveled GBD bowl top looks great in my opinion and that feature is an attractive aspect of these pipes.
While the bowl was soaking, I worked on the Perspex stem. It had a few tooth marks that I was able to sand out starting with some 1500 than 2000 grit wet paper. I than buffed it with the 8,000 and 12,000 grade micromesh pads. I ran some bristle pipe cleaners with Everclear thru the stem. I’d been advised previously to run a dry cleaner thru following the Everclear as to not cloud the stem draft hold of Perspex material.
Then, as with the stem, I used some 1500 than 2000 grit wet paper on the polished bowl top, than the last two grades of micromesh. Next up, re-staining, which is still a little nerve-wracking to me.
I reviewed Steve’s past blog entries on re-staining a bowl. I had previously completed that step only two other times. I soaked the bowl in a small container of isopropyl alcohol for several hours. I used an old brass bristle brush to help remove the stain and any wax. Than, I let it soak for another few hours. Once the finish was removed, I prepared to re-stain it. I really liked the light brown factory finish and used some Fieberlings Medium Brown stain, but thinned it considerably. On my first two re-stain jobs, my finish came out too dark. This time, I nailed it and the color is just what I desired. I used the dauber supplied by Fieberlings to apply the stain, held by a bent pipe cleaner. After the first coat dried, I applied a second coat. This time I set the stain with a flamer from a lighter. Be sure to not have the pipe sopping with stain, as that burns too long and could leave a burn mark on the briar.
Applying the stain:
The next step was on the buffing wheel with some White Diamond rouge. A light touch is used as to not damage the bowl or add any unnecessary wear. Carnuba wax was then applied using a dedicated loose cotton buff. The bowl following the White Diamond and Carnuba wax applications:
The final step was a hand polish with Halycon wax and she was ready to smoke. I’m dedicating this one to Orlik’s “Golden Sliced” blend, which is a good smoke in the hot summer months of Maryland.
The finished pipe: