Whole Leaf Tobacco

Polish G120, other shredders and gadgets

larryccf

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#41
i'm not going to spend $2K on a meat cutter - for the hey of it, i checked pricing on Hobart meat cutters - the ones with automatic feed are $8,000 to $9500. Not sure how they can deliver one worth having for $1,999.
 

deluxestogie

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#42
As with computer hard drives, the improved quality-for-expense is in the motor size, the total rotating mass, armature wraps and bearing quality. Unless you try to beat the hell out of it, you won't notice the difference. If they publish MTBF (mean time between failure) for the different models, that would show there.

Bob
 

larryccf

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#43
i'm aware of all of that - i just retired last year after nearly 40 years in manufacturing. The problem or question i see is, the Hobart at price points not far south of $10,000 are nearly 5 times the retail of the KWS. Granted the Hobart's price, i'm guessing between 25 & 30% is because of their name recognition and market dominance, and their service network (warranty & parts availability), with the balance of their price (70-75%) being due to cost of production & their profit margin. If their profit margin were too great, you'd see a number of US mfgrs offering similiar meat slicers, but you don't. Which gives me a clue that their profit margin isn't exorbitant - but i assume they're obviously producing a quality product.

The KWS brand, i can't even find a website for them in english - found something in chinese, but not even sure what dialect, and something of a "fred flintstone" website, similiar to Alibaba's, not a lot of detail or info. Couple that with when potential customers on amazon ask about service or if they need parts, they're told to "just all them" with no number provided...??? Other customers asked if it was possible to view the owner's manual for various models, and were told to, again, call in and a CSR would email it. Other reviewers complained or remarked about the poor quality of the instructions in the manual with the unit they'd purchased.

KWS does claim, in one of their responses to posted questions, to be the prime manufacturer of meat slicing machines, supplying most of the other vendors (private labeling). I find that claim questionable as there'd be more similiarity to the other machines being offered.

Then one reviewer posted a couple of pictures, on his $384 model, of the plastic worm drive gears between the motor and blade, with all the teeth sheered off. But his major complaint was when he called in, he was asked to email in pictures to the CSR and "she'd get right back to him" - 2 weeks later, not having heard back, every time he called in again, his calls went straight to voice mail. Call me paranoid, but it sure sounds to me like that CSR rep learned how to use the "block call" feature on her smart phone.

All of the above screams to me to not spend my money with them. I saw it with the Dahua security cameras 2 years back - the two most respected commercial market security cameras are Dahua and Hikvision, and one forum was hyping or shilling for dahua - you'd have thought they walked on water, with review after review on how well their camera (whatever model was being reviewed) performed - i tested Dahua by calling into customer svc - never got a call back. I downloaded their software for the hey of it to see how difficult it'd be to set up - my virus software went crazy, i'd never seen the red flags & alarms on my screen before and haven't since. And they had no US service center - Hikvision did. I bought one of their cameras - had some issues with setting the camera up, called in, got a svc rep right off the bat, totally professional & knowledgeable and spoke US english perfectly. The Hikvision camera wasn't but $20 more than the Dahua camera with the same capability. Oh, and the camera's been doing great (4k resolution) for 2 years, outside installation. I can read a license plate almost 100 yards away. I've not got 5 of their cameras outside.
 

deluxestogie

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#45
Welcome to the forum, dante11. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum.

Pasta slicers work wonderfully--for the few pounds of tobacco they can manage before failing. Same with paper shredders.

Bob
 

larryccf

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#46
a lot of folks try them, and some seem to think they work. One thing i've noticed, doubt you're going to find one that will give a shag cut (1mm or less), and a lot of folks seem to complain the rollers don't have teeth to grab and pull the leaves in

do a search on youtube for tobacco shredders - used to be you'd find a ton of the videos showing folks with different brand spaghetti / pasta makers. My last search, about 2 weeks ago, i don't recall seeing one
 
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#47
Pasta slicer sucks. It needs teeth in order to pull in the leaf and you'll end up frustrated trying to feed leaves into it because you need an extra arm.
 

dante11

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#50
i lucked out-just last night i found a mach 1 tobacco shredder for $60! used once, with the box, and it includes shipping!
i can't believe it!
 

dante11

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#52
60 bucks.. can't grow wrong with that. Please post your reviews after you use it. I've heard good things and bad things about it.
i am happy to get it-i havve tried 2 of the hand shredders, the little manual ones...one from leaf only, handle broke off, and one of the ones from poland-had alot of problems with it too....then i tried the pasta maker (gummed up and teeth broke off it, sitting in the box waiting to go out to the dumpster!)
i only shred enough for me and hubby, a few pounds each month, so i hope this will be ok!
 

larryccf

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#53
well, hit the 42 lb mark shredding today (42 lbs unstripped or de-stemmed weight) on the G120 with the new 1.0mm rollers and starting getting more jams when it didn't feel like it should. Keep in mind, i had set my pulley belt on the loose side so it would still turn the rollers under normal load, but if a piece of stem made it's way in, it wouldn't go thru the rollers (they'd jam while the belt slipped on the pulley).

Pulled it apart to clean the combs and see what was causing the stoppages, cleaned it thoroughly and with the combs off, used the crank handle to turn the rollers - and they were stiff turning. These 1.0mm rollers are doing the same thing the .8mm rollers did, the edges of the cutting lands have dulled (rounded some) and those same lands are compacting & getting thicker so it's a tighter fit into the opposing groove, which is what is making the rollers stiff to turn by hand. That also explains why it was jamming so much - with the additional load of turning the rollers, it didn't take much in the way of leaf folds to take the load above the "slip point" of the pulley belt. The reason for the increased dust level, i suspect, is that with the cutting edges dulled / rounded, it's forcing the leaf to split and crushing it against the sides of the grooves.
I put the unit back together, and thought i'd finish shredding the 1/2 lb of Basma - the leaves are not much thicker than the leaves on the VA 1st priming, so they should have been easier to shred without making dust - had most of the 1/2 pound to shred, and when i was done, i had about 2 heavy tablespoons of really fine snuff - i had sprayed the basma with vodka/water to re-hydrate them as some were real dry when they arrived, and i left them in a plastic bag to let the moisture migrate thru out the bag, so the leaves were not toast dry when they were shredded.

These rollers will probably make it to 50 lbs, but i don't want to count on them for more than that. At 50 lbs, and $140 for the 1.0mm rollers w/combs shipped from Poland, that's close to $3.00 / lb shredding cost. Way too high. I'm starting to agree more and more with Don's assessment of a knife edge cutter/shredder being the way to go, but i haven't seen any available. THe one Orson Carte made and that one from Ogden engineering that he posted the video link to would be pretty simple to fabricate. I liked leverhead's first gen shredder, but not going to wait any longer to see his gen 2 - ordering the components for the "Teck 1 on steroids" tomorrow
 

Alpine

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#55
I was about to ask the same question... I can only smoke 4 kilograms PER YEAR.... for my U.S. friends, less than 10 lbs. I can go on 5 or six years with what you shredded larryccf. Unless he is shredding for more than one person... in that case 50 pounds can easily be not enough.

Pier
 

deluxestogie

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#56
Too much. Not enough. I do find the metric that @larryccf provides us to be interesting. Using a specific model of a specific, well-regarded shredder, the life expectancy that he determined was 50 pounds of tobacco. Although this is not statistically meaningful, it's the only number we have from anyone.

I seem to recall @burge reporting problems with a different shredder, though I don't believe he provided us with a measure of how much tobacco had gone through the machine prior to failure.

I'll have to agree with @larryccf in his conclusion, that industrial, single-blade, guillotine-style shredders have been the correct approach to high-volume shredding for over a century. But the force generation required to shred a block of tobacco by forcing a blade through it also explains why such industrial machines are such beasts--massive moving parts, with huge flywheels.

Bob
 

larryccf

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#57
I stuff smokes for myself, the wife unit + her sister. When i first got into leaf tobacco i monitored the resulting shredded tobacco i got from a lb of leaf and found i was seeing 11 to 12 ounces of shred per lb of leaf.
I see about 2.25 to 2.4 cartons of smokes per 16 ozs of shredded tobacco. Between the three of us, I go thru 1.5 to 2 tubs of shredded tobacco per month, each tub holds 24-26 ozs of shred. So 50 lbs of leaf = 37 - 38 lbs of shred. 2 tubs = approx 48 oz or 3 lbs of shred per month (1.5 kilos for our friends on the other side of the pond), Basically 50 lbs of leaf gives me a little over 1 year's supply of shredded tobacco.
But the main reason for shredding that much, i found the Va Lemon really develops a nice mildly sweet taste with aging, and a smoothness that isn't there when it's first shred. I've shred tobacco that vendors described as aged 2 or 3 years, and i've never noticed that much difference in taste from un-aged leaf when initially shred. But aged leaf does seem to age faster after shredding than un-aged leaf. And it's at about the 3 month mark that the Va Lemon starts to show that sweetness in it's taste, and it seems to hit full maturity (aging wise) at about the 12 month mark. And yes, each tub gets labeled with the date it was shred.
Back to the original point of this post, basically a set of unhardened rollers from tobaccoandmachines.com (and in this case Gajek) has a life expectancy of 37-38 lbs of stripped leaf - and that's assuming i make it thru another 8 lbs. Not good
 
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skychaser

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#58
I see about 2.25 to 2.4 cartons of smokes per 16 ozs of shredded tobacco. Between the three of us, I go thru 1.5 to 2 tubs of shredded tobacco per month, each tub holds 24-26 ozs of shred. So 50 lbs of leaf = 37 - 38 lbs of shred. 2 tubs = approx 48 oz or 3 lbs of shred per month (1.5 kilos for our friends on the other side of the pond), Basically 50 lbs of leaf gives me a little over 1 year's supply of shredded tobacco.
Sounds about right to me. Between me and the Mrs, we go though about 35 lbs per year after desteming and processing it. We flake all ours, which is much easier and quicker than shredding. And no machine needed. Just a big 1/4" mesh screen. If you don't mind having flaked tobacco for stuffing tubes, it's the way to go.

Last year was our biggest grow ever. I'm nearly done with processing the last of it. We easily have a 3 year supply from 2018 and are still working on what we grew in 2017. This year I plan to focus on my seed crops and skip growing leaf to smoke and spend more time going fishing. :)
 

larryccf

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#60
skychaser "...And no machine needed. Just a big 1/4" mesh screen. If you don't mind having flaked tobacco for stuffing tubes, it's the way to go."

Actually hadn't thought about that - interesting approach. Any chance you've got a shot of the flake? Wish you'd have mentioned that a couple hours ago, as i ordered the material for my next machine.

Deluxestogie - actually, on that vein, up until a few years ago, hunted grouse up in Nova Scotia. It finally occurred to me, the cost of 2 dogs, driving 900+ miles, taking a ferry ride over to Yarmouth, and the cost of my camp, $2,000 side-by-side shotguns, per bird cost was north of $2,000 - made for an expensive meal if you only looked at it that way. But whether bird hunting or trout fishing, those are once in awhile events, smoking is an every day event - harder to ignore not critiquing cost of enjoying.

and you opened the door but, on the subject of bird hunting and bird dogs, i read a book one time about rough grouse hunting, writtin in the late 1800s by a supreme court justice. He made a comment that came true - he said something along the lines that every hunter will have one dog in his lifetime that he'll compare all others to. Well, it came true with me, and in fact this dog almost cost me my marriage.

a friend came hunting one year with me, and he was also a wood carver, ducks mainly, but he was so impressed by the fact that "Kit" would even retrieve woodcocks, he carved this likeness (most dogs will not retrieve woodcock, as when they expire they usually piss themselves as well as pass their lower intestine out their poop hole).

kit carving.jpg
 
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