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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4 thoughts on “A GBD “Dublinish” Poker Brought Back to Life

  1. Dave

    Great project Steve. The proportions for the shortened stem look perfect to me. The bowl clean up and stain came out great also. I collected GBD’s for a while…especially with the clear stems. I thought the shape looked familiar, so I went to my GBD rack and sure enough I have a 9558 in the Prehistoric finish, clear stem, brass rondel. I got this one from Briar Blues about five or six years ago. I think GDB is a great pipe, that so far has remained a bargain. Let’s keep it a secret. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Cynyr

    Nice work on this unique pipe. I recently re-shaped a button using your techniques, and it turned out great. Thanks for the continuing education!

    Reply
  3. upshallfan

    It’s been a while since you’ve had to do a new button, nice work! I haven’t seen that shape number either and added it to my GBD list.

    Reply

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