Whole Leaf Tobacco

The economics of buying whole leaf and how I shred it

pottsS

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Whole leaf tobacco costs me about $40/lb delivered to my door. I checked the price of rolling tobacco today...$68/100g. The pound of whole leaf I shredded today yielded 360g...so about $11/100g. I timed myself processing it, it took about 1/2 hour...(mind you I do still need to clean up!). Anyways...that half hour saved me $200 over buying rolling tobacco. That is $400/hr saved with really very little investment into my shredder...and saving money has another benefit...I've spent about $50 to make cigarettes that at retail would cost me $225...that is $175 dollars I don't need to make... in order to take home $175 from my job I need to make nearly $275...so saving money by DIY has some serious benefits. I cheated today by only de stemming the bottom third or so of the pound. I did that last month too with 2 pounds of tobacco. I had a handful of cigarettes where a stem piece puffed and ruined the moment...but of the 700 cigs from the 2pounds there wasn't a single one that wasn't good enough to smoke. I'll post some pictures...I haven't seen another shredder like my own...for the most part I've watched videos that make processing cigarette tobacco look too tedious and too time consuming for all but the most committed RYO enthusiasts...but I don't think it has to be. The best way to save money of course is always to just not smoke. (The pics are huge...I don't know what to do about that, so I apologize if that is a problem)DSCF9036.JPGDSCF9036.JPGDSCF9041.JPGDSCF9041.JPGDSCF9046.JPGDSCF9046.JPGDSCF9047.JPGDSCF9047.JPGDSCF9038.JPGDSCF9038.JPG
 

Knucklehead

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That’s a really cool looking shredder. It appears to use replaceable utility knives. Awesome!

What feeds the leaves?
 

pottsS

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That’s a really cool looking shredder. It appears to use replaceable utility knives. Awesome!

What feeds the leaves?
It is very basic...utility knife blades...$20/100 at the hardware store. I struggle getting the moisture right...the blades do gum up if it is very wet, and if it is too dry I get too many fines, but everything I've seen would have those issues.

DSCF9044.JPGDSCF9045.JPGDSCF9045.JPG
 

vilbertob

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Hello everybody. I'm a pipe smoker from Italy and I have decided to try ordering some virginia, dark air tobacco and Perique from the shop. I would Like to know if the tobacco is already aged or of It would be better to kiln the leaf for some weeks before smoking. Thank you!
 

Davo

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Hello everybody. I'm a pipe smoker from Italy and I have decided to try ordering some virginia, dark air tobacco and Perique from the shop. I would Like to know if the tobacco is already aged or of It would be better to kiln the leaf for some weeks before smoking. Thank you!
My understanding is that the air cured leaf is already kilned prior to sale. I’m not sure how much ageing happens after this. As a fellow pipe smoker, I’ve found the most significant changes happen after you have blended and/or processed WLT by stoving and/or pressing and then letting to meld as a blend. I just tried something I made in august and it is on par, actually better than what you would expect from a commercial Scottish style blend. I would also say some experimenting what packing techniques, cuts and smoking cadence can all make whole leaf more enjoyable.
 

vilbertob

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Thank you!
Last question: I do not know Maryland. What Is It? A particolar Burley type?
 

Davo

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Thank you!
Last question: I do not know Maryland. What Is It? A particolar Burley type?
From a pipe blending perspective it is pretty similar to burley. For me it has more of a cigar vibe (in a good way) about it. I actually use both Maryland and burley together to make up the burley component in a blend.
 

deluxestogie

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I do not know Maryland. What Is It? A particolar Burley type?
Maryland is a separate USDA class of tobacco. Although it can be used in place of burley, Maryland lacks the distinctive aroma of burley, and tends to have somewhat lower nicotine than burley.

Bob
 

vilbertob

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GoodMorning all. Can I know which Is the difference in the shop between HandTied Flue Cured Bright Virginia and the simple Bright Virginia leaf? Is It the same tobacco? One hand tied and the other not tied?
 

pottsS

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That shredder is super cool. I kind of want to make one
It is very simple, the difficult part of making one would be the wheel the blades go on. They've milled it from 5/16 aluminum, obviously made in a well tooled shop. I have thought about making one, using a little longer blades so I can have a bigger feeder tube, but I'm at a loss how I would make the wheel. There are a few rotary vegetable slicers on the market...some would be worth looking at for ideals, and some might even work well to cut tobacco even with no modification...but I do like the fact that I can use inexpensive readily available blades!
 

Yultanman

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It is very simple, the difficult part of making one would be the wheel the blades go on. They've milled it from 5/16 aluminum, obviously made in a well tooled shop. I have thought about making one, using a little longer blades so I can have a bigger feeder tube, but I'm at a loss how I would make the wheel. There are a few rotary vegetable slicers on the market...some would be worth looking at for ideals, and some might even work well to cut tobacco even with no modification...but I do like the fact that I can use inexpensive readily available blades!
Well there is always finding a cool wheel from something else and adapting. Otherwise id think lathe. Or plasma cut from sheet metal and clean up with grinder.

i was already thinking that a thrift store food processor disc could be adapted. Great minds think alike!!
 

pottsS

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Interesting reading the instructions regarding "Cleaning" Never heard (or tried) about using vinegar. Worth a shot.
I've just been setting aside the blades to clean up, maybe hone "some other time", so I just tried it on 15 blades I had set aside. I soaked them for 5 minutes or so and they rinsed off clean...blackened them a bit because they are carbon steel tho!
 
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