Holy bubbling Grabows Batman!

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houtenziel
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:30 pm

Both of the new Grand Dukes that I just bought have succumb to a finish issue that looks like a photo they show you in high school sex ed to scare you into abstinence...
What is up with the latest pipes? Even the Freehand (which I assumed to be a higher quality line) that I bought and gave to steamboat suffered the same fate. This is really starting to burn my biscuits! I am exceptionally careful during break-in, even with the Grabows which are supposed to be pretty easy going.

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houtenziel
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:33 pm

Here's the carved bowl example. The fact that they both bubbled near the heel makes me think that maybe these were drilled a bit too deep, and the bowl walls are really thin on it down there.
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Fr_Tom
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:19 pm

My theory is that it is a function of a problematic finish and not an indication of thin walls or improper drilling. I have had pipes that just did this. One of them was a Custombilt that has been smoked a lot and has very thick walls. It does not smoke hot.
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Kevin Keith
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:45 pm

I'm sorry y'all are having these problems. I've been smoking Grabows almost exclusively since 1979 and never had a finish bubble. I think it's more likely a problem with the lacquer mix on a certain day than the smoker's "fault".
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Mr Beardsley
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:06 pm

I would also lean towards the actual finish being the problem. Newer lacquer finishes (I'm assuming they used lacquer) aren't as tough as they used to be because manufacturers (understandably) have had to change formulas for health & environmental reasons. They don't take much abuse anymore
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houtenziel
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:35 pm

I just find it odd that both of the same shape bubbled in pretty much the exact same spot. Really bums me out, as I really liked both pipes as they were. I am not really interested in sanding them both and refinishing when they are brand new.. if they were estates, that would be a totally different situation.

On the bright side, I spent the day refinishing the CDL I scored on the bay and I think it turned out pretty dang nice. :thumbs:

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Legion
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:42 pm

That sucks.

My new 'baby' Duke was smoked most of y'day & although the bowl does heat up (When I smoke 2 bowls one after the other ..... well, it is a tiny bowl) there's no hint of bubbling.
Which would suggest that Rev. Tom & the others are correct.

It would be worth informing the manufacturers, 1. so they can rectify the issue & 2. you might well receive a free gift : )
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Ruffinogold
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:01 pm

Ive never understood the use of lacquer on a pipe . Ive owned some grabows in my day and have not had that issue .I'm assuming the the lacquer is done automated [ ? ] , in which case there was a malfunction or to thick a mix .. or some such thing . I'm only guessing at the automation because i figure it would have to be in order to make it cost effective compared to a guy sitting at a buffer and waxing it , which only takes a minute or two . I dont know , its never made sense to me . I guess it keeps the pipe from looking dull for a good period of time
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Kevin Keith
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:04 pm

houtenziel wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:35 pm

On the bright side, I spent the day refinishing the CDL I scored on the bay and I think it turned out pretty dang nice. :thumbs:

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That did turn out nice, for sure Image
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houtenziel
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Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:08 pm

As I am sitting here puffin on my MM Diplomat, I just had a thought - They undoubtedly use lacquer on cobs and I have never ever seen a cob bubble. I was a finish carpenter and cabinet builder in another life, and that sweet smell of lacquer is unmistakable(I kinda weirdly like it, even the taste..).
This leads me to believe that it must be some kind of issue with the finish itself, perhaps the lacquer doesn't adhere well to the briar after they use polishing compounds on it? I also found a large amount of what smelled like an alcohol based stain in the shank.. perhaps the alcohol hadn't fully flashed off completely before they lacquered them which prevented the coat from fully adhering? I am just spitballin here.
Ruffinogold wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:01 pm
Ive never understood the use of lacquer on a pipe . Ive owned some grabows in my day and have not had that issue .I'm assuming the the lacquer is done automated [ ? ] , in which case there was a malfunction or to thick a mix .. or some such thing . I'm only guessing at the automation because i figure it would have to be in order to make it cost effective compared to a guy sitting at a buffer and waxing it , which only takes a minute or two . I dont know , its never made sense to me . I guess it keeps the pipe from looking dull for a good period of time
+1 to that. It seems like a carnauba wax finish would be way faster and require less equipment, and obviously would be way less susceptible to heat.
Legion wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:42 pm
That sucks.

My new 'baby' Duke was smoked most of y'day & although the bowl does heat up (When I smoke 2 bowls one after the other ..... well, it is a tiny bowl) there's no hint of bubbling.
Which would suggest that Rev. Tom & the others are correct.

It would be worth informing the manufacturers, 1. so they can rectify the issue & 2. you might well receive a free gift : )
I actually did end up sending Dr. Grabow an email about it. I am keeping my expectations low on the response though, and hopefully they will surprise me.
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