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Whole Leaf Tobacco

A Pipe Blend Storage Jar for a Large Batch

deluxestogie

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#1
Storage Jar for a Large Batch of Pipe Blend



For years, I've kept my pipe blends in 1 quart Ziplock freezer bags. These work fairly well to maintain humidity over the short term. My desk in my study supports a small avalanche of impromptu pouches and cascading Ziplocks. They're cheap.

Part of the beauty of just using Ziplock bags is that it accommodates my ceaseless tinkering with new blends. But when I make up a huge (1/2 pound to 1 pound) batch of a favorite, such as Pearl of Shibam, it sits in an oafish 1 gallon freezer bag, and it lasts a fair bit longer than the moisture that the polyethylene bag (even at "freezer" thickness) can maintain. I've looked for practical solutions for storage of larger quantities without much success.

I recently stumbled into a "Straight-sided, thick-walled, colorless and transparent polystyrene jar from US Plastics.

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23556&catid=604

It's a challenge to determine the dimensions of these jars. The separately-sold lid that is specified for each jar will indicate the outside diameter in millimeters, followed by thread pitch(?). So with a bit of math, you can determine the outside diameter of the jar, and just guess the height from the image. Most of the jars are way to tiny to be practical. I selected the 16 oz. Polystyrene Straight Sided Thick Walled Clear Jar with 120/400 Neck (Cap Sold Separately) Item #: 71073. Its interior dimensions are about 4-5/8" wide x 2-1/8" deep.

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=128656&catid=604 ($2.23 each)

The matching 120/400 cap that I selected comes with a liner. 120/400 White Polypropylene Ribbed Cap with F217 Liner Item #: 66215.

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=123219 ($0.77 each)

The specified "16 ounces" is fluid ounces. But it surely will hold more than a half-pound of leaf. Perhaps a whole pound, if manually compacted in there. [A small coffee can fits nicely inside, for compacting the blend.] These jars are FDA approved, so they are safe for contact with your tobacco.



Keep in mind that the weight specified on the commercial tins includes all the water that you pay for. Your home blend will not be as wet.

The bad news is that shipping significantly increases the cost. For shipping to me, one jar and one lid would cost $11.00 in shipping cost. I fiddled with quantities and projecting the shipping. My conclusion was that the smallest quantity that makes shipping costs tolerable was 6 jars and 6 lids. Purchase plus shipping came to about $30, which is $5 per jar/lid combo. That's not too bad for a permanent jar, but 6 jars are more than I really wanted. So I now have 6 jars.

One particularly nice aspect of such a wide jar is the ease with which you can fill a pipe bowl, without spilling tobacco on the counter or desk.

Bob
 
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#3
Bob, this is an awesome jar. Big wide opening. No more pouring tobacco onto the table to fill my pipe.

I suspect that being plastic, the plastic will brown if exposed to sunlight and tobacco. I know tea totally does that (I worked in a cafe). But it's not like I care what the jar looks like. Someone else might, so I thought I would mention it.
 

deluxestogie

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#4
"Crystal-clear" polystyrene is not particularly UV-stable, so outdoor applications are a problem. Many kitchen gadgets with a clear container, such as a food processor or cheap coffee mill, use the material. They do eventually (after 5 to 10 or more years) yellow a bit and become somewhat more brittle, even indoors. But compared to the plated steel cans in which pipe tobacco is sold, the polystyrene lasts longer.

So don't leave these jars on a sunny window sill, or your dashboard.

I'll post more about these when I've played with them for a few more days or years. The cap with a liner seals well enough to hold water, with the jar inverted.

I'm also considering the 12 ounce jars, which are about 3-1/2" diameter and ~3-1/2" tall, sized for an 89/400 lid.



https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=33765&catid=604

Because of their smaller size, you have to purchase about 10 of them (with lids), for the shipping cost to make sense. Their cost is not much less than that of the 16 ounce jars. The only 89/400 cap with a liner (at US Plastics) seems to be a black one:

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=76175

It would have been smarter of me to purchase a mix of the 16 ounce and 12 ounce jars initially. But that's pipe tobacco under the bridge, at this point.

Bob
 
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