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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Bunching

johnlee1933

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#3
Are the veins of the filler supposed to run the length of the cigar the same as the wrapper?
Yes. It promotes a smoother looking cigar. I noticed in all these bunching videos that all the cigars are molded. Thus the finished cigar really looks more uniform. My guess is they mold them and then add the wrapper in a separate operation. That would yield a really nice "hand rolled" product. -·-
 

Knucklehead

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#4
That would explain my start and stop burning characteristics. I've been tearing the leaf in half and bunching sideways.
 

johnlee1933

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#5
That would explain my start and stop burning characteristics. I've been tearing the leaf in half and bunching sideways.
I don't know. I still have a problem with that. I think it may be time for me to re examine my whole bunching technique. Bob's tips have helped me a lot but I am still missing something. -·-
 

deluxestogie

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#7
The videos in Istanbulin's link all show useful ideas for bunching, and confirm that you have a lot of latitude in how you go about it.

I started out accordiopleating my flattened filler leaf in making a bunch, since I had been routinely pressing my leaf flat to go into my little kiln. I probably rolled between 500 and 1000 cigars that way. The pleats do allow for better air flow than simply rolling up the flattened leaves within a binder. What I found was that the filler leaf needed to be in a slightly higher case, but it generally worked well. I think the pleating method is particularly well suited for bunches that will subsequently go into a cigar mold, since the final gauge of the bunch is more predictable.

Once I had access to more filler leaf that was kilned as whole, hanging leaf (usually quite curled up), I found that scrunching each leaf strip individually, then combining them and cutting to length prior to hand bunching yielded even better air flow, and can be used with somewhat drier filler leaf. Since I seldom use my cigar mold (occasionally for "gift" cigars), hand bunching is the only method that I use now.

Bob
 

webmost

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#9
I tried the accordion fold yesterday. Rolled a dozen. Several related things happened:

I think it all started with having to damp the filler to get it to accordion. I was getting real good at rolling round, straight, consistent and true. I took a couple steps backwards using a new method. I'm sure that can be turned around with practice. But after damping the accordion leaves, even when rolled straight, they tended to dry bent. Look at this pic. If you could roll that one on the left without a mold, second batch you ever rolled, you'd be doing okay. But that's not typical. The typical stick is on the right. See how the top end kinked? And I don't think thee wrapper came out anywhere near as nice.



They do feel tighter. I'll see how they burn.

All done rolling for awhile. Got some smoking to do before I can try again.
 

deluxestogie

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#10
I think both look fine, unless they're destined for a beauty contest. If your goal is to make smokable cigars for personal use, then it's all about the draw.

Bob
 

webmost

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#11
We'll find out about the draw in a week or so.

I do like a smooth and consistent appearance. Not machine perfect pressed in a mold. That would not look hand made. But I do want them to look skillfully hand made. When I enjoy a cigar, I like to smell the foot, admire the construction, taste the wrapper, cut the cap, draw unlit, and all of that. I have been known to stroll round the garage five or ten minutes just admiring the thing before lighting.

Time and practice. That's what I need.
 

Michibacy

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#13
I'm working on a design (not sure if it's for commercial or personal yet) for a machine that will bunch the filler to proper tightness with a simple press of a lever. You still need to wrap with a binder and wrapper. But I think (if my idea works correctly), it will make the initial tightness of the cigar correct, but as normal, you would have to make sure your wrapper/binder is tight (enough) around the filler to insure proper tightness through and through.

I have to make a prototype first, but I think you will fill the trough with the filler, actuate the lever, wrap in binder, actuate the lever then continue to roll with wrapper.

The guide plates will be removable/replaceable/interchangeable to which ever size cigar you would like to make.

I'll keep you guys updated in a new thread with what I come up with.
 

istanbulin

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#14
As I recall from a video there's a tool for gauging the tightness of cigars but I couldn't remember where that video was.
 

Michibacy

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#15
That would be helpful, I'll try and track it down. (I googled it and only got 3 results...I'm kind of amazed)
 

ras_oscar

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#17
I'd add that in order to get a cigar to burn properly the tobacco leaves "needs to be properly acquainted with one another" The first batch I rolled were too loose and I had to draw on them constantly to keep, them lit. You get a feel for what feels right in your hand and going into the mold. With drying time the binder and wrapper shrinks and tighten the bunch. The filler dries out and the whole thing burns better.
 
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