By Al Jones
This 686 shape popped on on Ebay, incorrectly listed as a 646. I worked a deal with the seller and it was on it’s way to my work bench. This was a shape I had never encountered previously. John Fetter, the admin of the growing GBD PIpes Facebook, page collects these shape and shared this “Special Shapes” catalog page, that include below. If you are a GBD fan, you may wish to check out this passionate fan group page. Of the other pipes shown, I’ve had two 755 shapes in the past. John is currently looking for a 755, is anyone has one available. These shapes come in two of three over-sized pipes designations (Collector, Conquest and Colossus). The 686 is a Collector size, and at 57 grams, only slightly larger than a typical 9438. I guess that it would be considered a Rhodesian shape. Curiously, this one is in the New Standard finish, which is not listed as an available finish for the shape. The mysteries of GBD!
Below is the pipe as it was received. It had some slight build-up on the bowl top and a few handling marks on the briar. The nomenclature was in excellent shape, as was stem fitment. The stem was heavily oxidized, with one tooth prick that was revealed when the oxidation was removed. It has the brass rondell and straight line COM stamp of the pre-Cadogan era.
I used a worn piece of scotch-brite to remove the bowl top build-up. The bowl was reamed and soaked with alcohol and sea salt. I steamed out the minor handling marks on the bottom of the bowl.
The stem was fitted and oxidation removed with 600, 800, 1,500 and 2,000 grade wet sandpaper. I used a popsicle stick to get up against the button crease. I used a tiny drop of black superglue to fill the tooth prick near the button, the sanded smooth. The stem was buffed with White Diamond and Meguiars Plastic polish.
The bowl was buffed lightly with White Diamond and multiple coats of Carnuba wax, which brought back the color finish nicely.
Below is the finished pipe.