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Questions from a noob whole leaf piper!

Armstrong-Joshua

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I have never heard of anyone using the mega t press. It sounds like a expensive toy. It would be cool to be able to heat it up

The idea behind making press cake is that it's convenient and ready to go, compared with plug which has to be cut still. Also, with plug, you kinda go for larger surface area in order to make it evenly thick. Then, going with the extra pressing, (already cut), lets you make a smaller block, with a much higher psi, using the same jack.

My press seen in the press cake thread is cheap lumber, and a cheap jack, and is wrapped with fiberglass tape so it doesn't explode under tension. The part the tobacco goes in is oak. I broke it once and have since made it double walled.
I really like your press set up. I’m thinking of copying. What is holding the press though? And tell me more about the fibreglass! I have zero experience with hydraulic jacks.
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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Brick-Press.jpgWhat are your thoughts on this? It's a 4 ton brick press made of aluminum steel so you can actually heat the steel up first by placing in boiling water for 5 minutes and then complete your press. Price is $408USD so about $522CAD. Big investment. Would it be worth it? Wish someone else tried this for pipe tobacco so I could hear reviews.
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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Yeah I saw this simple press. Just a basic square with oak with 2 c-clamps on it. Gunna try that first.

I used ozonated spring water to rehydrate my tobacco as it was a bit dry. I’ve read that it’s suppose to be distilled water is best. Is distilled necessary? Did I mess up my tobacco? Just shredded it and smoked it it’s very nice :)
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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Do you really need to produce a whole years supply at one time? Build or buy a small press to develop your recipes with. Once your happy with your results scale up. I use a modified cheese press $75 and it does fine for my needs.
Lol i usually smoke 200g a month or around 4 tins. I agree I’m going to try a c-clamps first see what results I end up with
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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I wouldn’t mind knowing what shredders are good for shredding pipe tobacco. I got my budget 1mm that does the job but it takes a while. What’s the next step up? What’s the norm for pipe shredding?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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What’s wrapped in fibreglass? The lumber?
4f695e1b-a1e5-492f-b623-8b76d93dc639.72d8b7ea167a04d058e218bbcbdd38a7.jpeg
The cheapest fiberglass tape has a rated tensile strength of about 40lbs per inch of width, so 3/4" wide tape is about 60lbs per wrap, or 120lbs for two legs of your press. Enough layers will hold it together much better than screws. Now all you gotta worry about is the wood itself breaking.
 

deluxestogie

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I have well water, which has assorted minerals. So I use distilled water on my tobacco so that the minerals won't clog my sprayer. If your water is chlorinated, then you do need to use some form of non-chlorinated water on the tobacco.

My preferred pipe shred is wider than the shredders available. So I bunch or roll-up the stemmed, leaf tobacco, and shred it by hand. That method is surprisingly fast.


Bob
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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View attachment 42590
The cheapest fiberglass tape has a rated tensile strength of about 40lbs per inch of width, so 3/4" wide tape is about 60lbs per wrap, or 120lbs for two legs of your press. Enough layers will hold it together much better than screws. Now all you gotta worry about is the wood itself breaking.
Better than screws thanks! I was going to use screws. I'll be making a simple version first with 2 c-clamps. Does it matter what wood you use? I was thinking oak.
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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I have well water, which has assorted minerals. So I use distilled water on my tobacco so that the minerals won't clog my sprayer. If your water is chlorinated, then you do need to use some form of non-chlorinated water on the tobacco.

My preferred pipe shred is wider than the shredders available. So I bunch or roll-up the stemmed, leaf tobacco, and shred it by hand. That method is surprisingly fast.


Bob
What do you do roll it like a cigar and knife slice it? I do that with sage.
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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unnamed.jpg Spent a couple hours shredding 2020 Virginia Lemon w/ 1mm budget hand shredder. Having the correct moisture content really makes a difference. If it's too dry it tastes harsh and acidic. Just tried after rehydrating and it's much nicer :) Next on the mail is Red Leaf V, Bright Leaf V, and Burley.
 

ChinaVoodoo

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Better than screws thanks! I was going to use screws. I'll be making a simple version first with 2 c-clamps. Does it matter what wood you use? I was thinking oak.
Oh! Use screws. Just add tape strategically to strengthen the joints.

I used oak for the box. Softwood lumber would break. At least at the pressures I use.
 

Knucklehead

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If you like flake, this manual flake maker works well. Lately, I use it for cigarettes rather than shredding. My favorite cigarette blend is also my most often used pipe blend. The flake works well for either.

 

deluxestogie

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What do you do roll it like a cigar and knife slice it? I do that with sage.
You can just gather a handful of leaf, squeeze it into a firm bunch, and slice it by rocking the mezzaluna knife (way easier than a standard kitchen knife). Sometimes I create my pipe blend as whole leaf, and actually roll it into a cigar. I slice this in the same manner, and end up with coins. The row of coins can then be sliced down the middle one or more times, to regulate shred length.

One additional benefit of the mezzaluna knife vs. a purpose-built shredder is that I can just rinse the blade under the sink, and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Cleaning the blades of a shredder can be tedious.

Read through the entire thread (a long one) on Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make. It contains many approaches to preparing pipe flake and shred.

Bob
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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You can just gather a handful of leaf, squeeze it into a firm bunch, and slice it by rocking the mezzaluna knife (way easier than a standard kitchen knife). Sometimes I create my pipe blend as whole leaf, and actually roll it into a cigar. I slice this in the same manner, and end up with coins. The row of coins can then be sliced down the middle one or more times, to regulate shred length.

One additional benefit of the mezzaluna knife vs. a purpose-built shredder is that I can just rinse the blade under the sink, and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Cleaning the blades of a shredder can be tedious.

Read through the entire thread (a long one) on Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make. It contains many approaches to preparing pipe flake and shred.

Bob
Yeah was thinking about a condensed air spray can to clean the shredder blades. Thanks for advise!
 

Armstrong-Joshua

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You can just gather a handful of leaf, squeeze it into a firm bunch, and slice it by rocking the mezzaluna knife (way easier than a standard kitchen knife). Sometimes I create my pipe blend as whole leaf, and actually roll it into a cigar. I slice this in the same manner, and end up with coins. The row of coins can then be sliced down the middle one or more times, to regulate shred length.

One additional benefit of the mezzaluna knife vs. a purpose-built shredder is that I can just rinse the blade under the sink, and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Cleaning the blades of a shredder can be tedious.

Read through the entire thread (a long one) on Pure Tobacco Pipe Blends You Can Make. It contains many approaches to preparing pipe flake and shred.

Bob
Where’s this thread? You have a link?
 

ChinaVoodoo

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I think if everyone chimed in, you'd get another dozen or so ways to process pipe tobacco. There's no right way, and all your ideas and future ideas, (aside from the crazy expensive aluminum press), are just as valid as any.

I've never gone with the Rikon knife that so many go for because it's ergonomics would make me feel like I'm old and arthritic, and it's bright colour like I should be outfitting a time share rental.

I like the carotte/perique method that @furryfreek shared. I never thought of doing it vertical like that. Good idea. I do small carottes by hand, maybe 50-100g each. My method is to roll cigar shape, put in plastic bag, wrap with fiberglass tape super tight by hand, let age.

Vacuum sealer works like a press. Make nicely piled stacks, seal. You need to let it sit in bag a week or whatever, but you can easily slice it like plug after. Only difference is it won't be a rectangle.

But you know what my main method is? Scissors. Stainless steel scissors with no silly plastic or bright handles. Take one leaf, leave the stem in, cut it into more manageable length, like you would with green onion, then snip snip snip, viola, enough tobacco for a day.
 
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