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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Rolling too tight?

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#1
Good morning peeps, and I have a question please. I guess so far I have rolled over 100 cigars and have figured out a lot. My cigars are burning very good and average cigar last around 1 1/2 hours, and ash has to be broken off but my draw is still a lil hard. I know when I tried to moisten my crumbling leaf it made my cigars too tight to smoke. I've tried rolling with leaves in tubes but the leaf would crumble so I went back to the book method. So I'm not sure if i'm still rolling too tight or when I roll them in paper that is too tight. I have read when the leaf it very dry "the way mine is now" it very hard to roll too tight. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I forgot to add that I just use a binder and no wrapper, I don't care what it looks like, just a good smoke.

I just received new binder so I have two leaves in plastic bag for rolling tonight. I'm going to just roll two at a time until I figure this out.

Thank you
G
 
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#2
I know it's not a particularly nice answer, but it's all in the fingers. If it's too tight, you're pressing too hard. Also, don't rely on your mold or paper to make it tighter.

It's also good to roll one or two and smoke them soon after. That way you get better feedback.
 
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deluxestogie

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#3
Suggestions:
  1. Roll one; smoke one--until you consistently roll them with a satisfactory draw. The instant feedback allows you (your fingers) to learn more rapidly.
  2. Leaf that is out of case will literally crumble to tiny fragments when handled; sounds like dry, autumn leaves
    Leaf in low case may crack a bit when crushed; is still a bit noisy, but reasonably sturdy when handled. You can hold it by the tip, and extend it horizontally without its drooping.
    Leaf in medium case is fully flexible, but seems dry; sounds like handling vinyl.
    Leaf in high case is fully flexible, fully stretchable, and seems slightly damp to the touch; silent.
    Roll with filler in low case (can't do "entubado") by just crushing each leaf as you add it to the bunch of your proposed filler.
    Roll with binder in medium case. This prevents you from applying too much traction (compression).
    Roll with wrapper in high case, and apply it gently, attending to a nice, covering seal.
  3. Don't use a wood mold or a paper mold--until you consistently roll them with a satisfactory draw.
  4. If you don't use a wrapper, or even if you do, try using a double binder. That's two binders laid upon each other prior to rolling.
    If the filler is in low case, you can't bind it so tightly that it constricts the draw.
  5. Roll the cigar according to the desires of the filler bunch. By that, I mean that if the bunch in your hand seems to want to become a tapered cigar, then go with that, rather than coercing it into the entirely unnatural shape of a cylinder.
The paper mold is a cosmetic technique. You don't need it. Rolling fewer than a dozen cigars entirely free-hand will give your fingers the magic touch of determining the proper compression. Molds (which I use almost exclusively for gift cigars) always alter the compression--that's what they do. Molds are for three things only: a) creating many identical cigars so they will fit into a box of specified dimensions, for commercial purposes; b) impressing a friend or relative (especially a father-in-law or brother-in-law or a co-worker); c) creating a work of art. If you enjoy the artistry and challenge, then, by all means, use a mold. But molds make rolling a properly functioning cigar more difficult. Once you've mastered using a mold, then it's no longer an issue, but before you reach that point, it's probably worth asking yourself why you've chosen to make the task more complicated.

For me, the tensile strength of the binder in medium case limits the degree of compression, even when it's a double binder. Free-hand rolling is easy, and can soon result in beautiful cigars.

Good luck with your rolling.

Bob
 
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#5
Mr. Bob, can you explain this for me please.

For me, the tensile strength of the binder in medium case limits the degree of compression, even when it's a double binder. Free-hand rolling is easy, and can soon result in beautiful cigars?

Thank you
 

deluxestogie

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#6
First of all, try and roll one tonight, then smoke it immediately. If it isn't dry enough to smoke immediately, then the filler was in too high a case, and that's why they draw poorly. The "book" method of forming the filler bunch creates repeated tight folds in the leaf (giving the impression that your filler may be too dry). Try just scrunching each leaf, adding them one-by-one to your hand.

In medium case, a binder is not fully stretchable. If you try to overcompress filler that is in low case, then it will tear the binder. So that is self-limiting.

As you roll cigars entirely free-hand (no mold), you will become more skilled, and the cigars will become more lovely in appearance. The free-hand rolling is quite easy, but the beauty of them will improve only with practice. A double binder without a wrapper will usually look prettier than just a single binder without a wrapper. Using a double binder also allows you to use a leaf that as a single layer may not be sufficiently strong for binding a bunch.

Part of the challenge of learning to roll cigars is that so many of the "traditionally proper" things to do, and which are echoed by helpful mentors, were developed specifically for the mass production required in a third world factory, using the lowest cost tools available, and as rapidly as possible. There's no need to get sucked down that rabbit hole.

Scrunch the low case filler, bind it, clip the ends, light up.

Bob
 
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#7
Thank you sir, but may I ask one last question? I use two binders,I use one binder first and then I try and get the 2nd wrap a lil tighter. Do you use one or two binder leaves at once to roll the cigar?

Thank you again.
 

deluxestogie

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#8
If you apply them sequentially, then the inner one is a binder, and the outer one is a wrapper (regardless of the label on the bag of tobacco). Whenever I use the term, "double binder", I'm referring to laying two overlapping binder leaves on the board, then rolling the bunch in both simultaneously.

Have a look at the fabulous video posted by @rainmax of a skilled Cuban lady (in Havana) rolling cigars with a double binder. She puts that bound bunch in a mold afterwards, but just watch the details prior to that. Find the link in the Index of Key Forum Threads.

Bob
 
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