GBD 548 Virgin Restoration


By Al Jones

The 548 is a tall bulldog shape in the GBD catalog. This one is odd in that it has the brass rondell used prior to 1981 (pre-Cadogan merger) and the round “Made in London, England” COM used in the Cadogan era. I’ve occasionally come across this combination, but never with a “Virgin” grade pipe. I suspect it was made early in the merger era, where they were still using up the inventory of brass rondells.

The pipe had some build-up on the bowl top, an oxidized stem and various dints and dings.

The pipe was reamed and soaked with sea salt and alcohol. The build-up on the bowl top was removed with a worn piece of scotch-brite, followed by polishing with an 8000 grade micromesh sheet. I steamed out a few dings around the bowl and top with an electric iron and a wet cloth. There is a nick on the bottom of the stem, but the steam didn’t bring that back. The bowl was buffed with white diamond rouge, followed by several coats of carnuba wax.

The stem was mounted and oxidation removed using 800,1500 and 2000 grade wet paper. Next up was 8000 and 12000 grade micromesh sheets. The stem was then buffed with white diamond rouge and Meguiars Plastic polish. The bowl was finished by buffing with White Diamond and several coats of carnuba wax.

Below is the finished pipe. Despite the deep bend, the pipe passes a cleaner. Suprisingly, even with the tall bowl, the pipe only weighs 38 grams.

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