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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.