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Cutting Thin Flake Slices From Plugs - Impossible?!

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    Anonymous

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    Hey people!

    Today I bought another plug and even tho I have a knife especially ment for cutting plugs from DTM/DanPipe, I never get to cut off flake slices, that could be folded and stuffed.

    The blade is sharp as hell, but still. Every time I try to cut a straight slice, the beginning becomes way to thick, even tho I aim close to the edge and somewhere around the half way-point through cutting it breaks off as a half flake slice - or better CHUNK.

    Any tipps, on how to shave thin, foldable flake slices from a plug, without having one of those nice plug-cutters? I'm going crazy with this. Everytime I end up with chunk of which I have to make a cube cut, which I hate, because it burns rather bad and congests my pipe somewhere along the filling.

    I'm thankful for any help, as usual!
    Regards,

    Deniz

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. georged

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    No can do without the right tool:

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. markthelad

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    You are not alone, I don't seem to have much luck with this either.
    I have found that the sharper my knife is, the better, but still not quite good enough.

    "I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself."
    Johnny Carson
    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. bluegrassbrian

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    I'll gladly offer my knife sharpening skills to anyone willing to send me their knife and cover return postage.

    Tobacco's a help because it clears the mind
    But like all your friends it is vilified
    They always say, the right amount's fine
    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. jpmcwjr

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    Make sure you are drawing the knife, not pushing it through.

    Any tips, on how to shave thin, foldable flake slices from a plug, without having one of those nice plug-cutters? I'm going crazy with this. Everytime I end up with chunk of which I have to make a cube cut, which I hate, because it burns rather bad and congests my pipe somewhere along the filling.

    Sounds like a bit more drying time on the cubes would make them smoke all right. Put the smaller bits in last.

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. fluffie666

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    A cutting board, a very sharp butcher knife and patience has been working for me. You can get slices as thin as you want them as long as you plan it out properly. It takes some practice, especially with the denser plugs. Some people on here are using an Ulu Knife. I've never tried an Ulu.
    The end of the plug is another story. I've never been successful in getting thin slices off the very end. I just bought an old plug cutter, kind of like George's but the blade on mine is a little chipped. I'm waiting for a buddy of mine to match the old blade with a new one made from sheet metal. Hopefully then I can get thinner slices out of the plug ends.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    thank you for the offer brian, but as I live in Germany it's not economically sending a knife to the US - sadly! But thanks from my heart.

    Thanks to everyone who answered, I managed to cut a slice just 1-2mm thicker than a normal flake cut. Drawing and taking care not to push too much helps a bit, just as cutting very slow and carefully. But half way through the slice broke off, but I'm getting closer. I now get slice-alikes, that can be "rubbed out" like flake, so I don't have cubes or very fine shag (which I find horrible to smoke in a pipe too)

    A plug cutter would be cool...yet I wouldn't know where to get them? What do i need to search on eBay for getting results? Plug Cutter? IDK if german eBay will have it, but I'll give it a chance, as it seems like the easiest, classiest and best way to cut a plug.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. mawnansmiff

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    Deniz, if you are talking about the very solid and hard plugs made in the UK, Ireland etc then you will have great difficulty in cutting flakes suitable for folding & stuffing unless you use a proprietary plug cutter.

    Yes it is possible to do using a sharp knife but it is a very hit and miss affair.

    One thing to remember...always keep your fingers well away from the blade. Blood flavoured tobacco is not recommended.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    Slice the plug into smaller rectangles and then cut those rectangles into thin flakes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. condorlover1

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    I just shave the plug length wise using the smaller blade on a cast iron pen knife. You hold the plug and use your thumb to manipulate the knife blade. With practice you will produce tobacco that is so fine that you could if you were so inclined roll a cigarette out of the stuff. Condor, Warrior and Yachtsman all work well for producing thin slivers for the pipe. Towards the end when you are down to the last 2/3rd inch of plug its best to just chop that up and rub out before adding it to your pouch. American plugs tend to be a little more softer and seem to need to be sat on a hard surface and sliced up. I know we have had this discussion on another thread.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. chasingembers

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    Try an Ulu knife.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. grouchydog

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    Good thread. Question - and maybe this is a dumb idea - has anyone ever tried a kitchen mandolin slicer for slicing plugs? The end of the plug might be problematic, but it already is as noted. I only thought of this just now - you can get some pretty thin slices of onions, etc. with the right blade and maybe it'd work for tobacco plugs....

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. perdurabo

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    Okay, this might be an asshole response "but patience my child, patience."

    I'm not going to lie to you some plugs cut better than others. IMHO

    Also the fold and stuff method is cool, especially when you first start smoking a pipe and you get that first flake, but I've found it way over rated. I never fold and stuff anymore, I find I get a better burn and flavor when the flake is rubbed out. Now a thin flake cut from a plug gives you a shag, and some tobaccos really change flavors in this style cut. GL Pease plugs give me the most consistent cut, and I love Temple Bar in a shag cut. Georged probably has the best advice.

    It's not my position nor want to help another man. It's his responsibility to help himself, as where he can learn to dig down deep enough to save himself. -I. Kidd
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    Slice the plug into smaller rectangles and then cut those rectangles into thin flakes.

    kanse I really can't visualize how you mean the last step. So I cut smaller pieces from the plug, lets say part it in 4 parts. then try shaving flakes from those`? Where's the difference to cutting the whole plug? This may be an understanding problem, so I thought I beter ask, as I think you mean sth. different.

    condorlover I tried it lengthwise (so cutting along the long side of the plug, but still against the grain so I have all layers) and that's where the better results came I mentioned above. I'll give the thumb cutting a try, maybe this will finally do the real trick, thank you very much!

    perdurabo I don't take that as a dumb response, I was eager to get it working, but I have some 90gs of plug left +3 more plugs of +/-50gs to become full-jedi with the plug-knife!! may the force be with me!

    Thank you guys for the responses, I'm having fun being here in your company.
    Cheers

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. mawnansmiff

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    "Question - and maybe this is a dumb idea - has anyone ever tried a kitchen mandolin"

    Using a mandolin would end in tears...and bloody knuckles.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. papipeguy

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    I also use an Ulu knife. After a bit of practice I can now get paper thin flakes. Rolling the blade helps achieve that result.

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 2 years ago #
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    kanse

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    deniz
    Narrower your plug is, the more precision you can afford while cutting.

    I don't have good words for explaining this.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. uperepik

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    I've thought about a Ulu, think I'm going to grab one

    -
    "A pipe gives a wise man time to think and a fool something to stick in his mouth."
    C.S Lewis
    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. georged

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    I've thought about a Ulu, think I'm going to grab one

    Unless they are modified (re-ground) to have a "sushi knife" type of edge, they don't work well at all. The shoulder of the bevel will always result in a push to the side of least resistance, and the knife will "steer" itself into the air (so to speak) before completing the cut.

    Somewhat better is what leather workers use---called a head knife---because their blade is thinner, but having a one-sided grind is still essential to achieving thin(ish) slices from a tobacco plug by hand.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. tbradsim1

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    . Most Plugs are layers of Compressed Tobbaco, I use this method, peel a layer off, cut with sicisors or a knife into thin strips, then recut crosswise. An apparatus like the Eskimo Knife is the best, but if you don't have one this works very well.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. mcitinner1

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    I don't need nice pretty thin slices because I rub out all plugs anyway, so this maybe 100 year old rust pitted blade works fine.

    Stan
    Godfrey Daniels!!
    The Plenipotent Key to Cope's Correct Card of the Peerless Pilgrimage to Saint Nicotine of the Holy Herb:
    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. mawnansmiff

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    Stan, I think the best thing to do is for you to sell me that cutter and we'll say no more about it

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. jpmcwjr

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    Nice looking cutter, but it seems like getting real thin slices would be very difficult. No?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. mcitinner1

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    ^^^ Yes...

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    yup, got it now kanse thank you!

    still a sweet little machine Stan! I need to find one of those, really. I attend flea markets quite often, any chance to hit such a thing is pretty small here, but let's cross fingers.
    I don't think plugs were so wide spread in Germany back in the days tho, maybe in the North Hamburg, Bremen, Kiel and such, plugs were sailors smoke, wasn't it?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. shawn622

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    For less than 20 buck you can get a paper cutter. Like this.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/12-Sheet-Professional-Guillotine-Paper-Cutter-A4-Paper-Trimmer/142875460410?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3Dbe52e2c865a54464b0061bebee6d7e35%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D142875460410%26itm%3D142875460410&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci%3Aacc153c5-0bc3-11e9-a526-74dbd1807dc0%7Cparentrq%3Afc5ac2061670a9e85a8869f7fff0722a%7Ciid%3A1

    If you are an avid knife sharpener then remove the blade snd sharpen to razor sharp. If not it will stiĺl cut you just have to take some time be careful. I get 1/8" slices.

    Been out of circulation for 5 years. Lost a great job and could no longer afford my obsession with pipe tobacco. If anyone remembers me that I was in co hoots with back then, they are familiar with my blending and pressing whole leaf. I jarred up all of my left over creations. Today, I opened them again to see what had happened... they were properly canned in Mason jars. Sealed like old times, not just lid put on. There were 3 diff plugs. A VaPer plug, a Full virgina plug, and something like frog morton only I made whole leaf plugs.

    So I opened all my jars and none had lost their seals. No mold. I lined up the jars and what I had was a wonderful fig smell. Wonderful with notes of not vinegar but a slightly fermented smell. Kind of perique smelling. I've yet to try. The frog morton style plug is freaking the most amazing smelling tobacco I've ever tried hands down. That hint of smokey latakia and a pinch of Dark fired Kentucky, made this smell beyond exotic. I find myself opening the jar just to smell it a few times a day. It all turned near black.

    K have a proposition. The first 2 people to message my inbox chill receive a sample of all 3 flakes but have to comment. I have reviews on my products on youtube.... all happy smokers. Hope to ease back into the community. I've already started producing plug. Thanks.

    Regards

    There's nothing quite like tobacco: it's the passion of decent folk, and whoever lives without tobacco doesn't deserve to live.
    -Moliere
    Posted 6 months ago #
  27. bluegrassbrian

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    pm sent..

    Posted 6 months ago #
  28. unkleyoda

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    What is still available in plug? And I don't mean those crumble cakes C&D tries to pass off as plugs.

    I know Gawith still makes Kendal Plug. What else is still made out there?


    So you say you can drink? Well, I'm from Wisconsin. Try to keep up.
    Posted 6 months ago #
  29. cranseiron

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    Dan out of Germany has the Salty Dog plug and SG has several proper plugs, but you have to order from Synjeco in Switzerland to access the full array.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  30. unkleyoda

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    Dan out of Germany has the Salty Dog plug and SG has several proper plugs, but you have to order from Synjeco in Switzerland to access the full array.

    Thanks.

    Will Synjeco ship to the US? (I am aware that there are ramifications)

    Posted 6 months ago #
  31. cranseiron

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    Yes, their website has all the details. They only accept American Express, though. The other two cards won't allow transactions for tobacco.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  32. cranseiron

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    Yoda, Smoking Pipes carries both Salty Dog and Kendal Plug, but it's rarely in stock and when it is, you better be quick on the draw.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  33. charf

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    I have had good results from using an antique bone handled Sheffield bread and butter knife. The blade is thin and relatively soft stainless steel. I sharpen the blade with a light file and then whip it with a steel. So it is then a thin yet very sharp knife. You can usually buy these knives from antique shops for about 5 bucks each. As some one else noted above you still need to draw the knife over the plug to get slices off it.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  34. aquadoc

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    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 6 months ago #
  35. upnorth1

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    What is still available in plug? And I don't mean those crumble cakes C&D tries to pass off as plugs.

    Peterson's Perfect Plug is still available I believe. It is a true plug. I smoked some last night.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  36. wolflarsen

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    What is still available in plug? And I don't mean those crumble cakes C&D tries to pass off as plugs.

    3 P's, Plum Pudding Special Reserve, and War Horse Bar are a few that I like to keep around (excluding C&D/GLP).

    Posted 6 months ago #
  37. jpmcwjr

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    Doc has the right tool. I would not acquire a paper cutter for plugs, but if you have one, try it. For me, it pushes too much rather than a cut via drawing the blade. Sharp knife, solid platform, steady hands.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  38. davet

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    This works great for me, just watch your fingers.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  39. seldom

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    What do i need to search on eBay for getting results? Plug Cutter? IDK if german eBay will have it, but I'll give it a chance, as it seems like the easiest, classiest and best way to cut a plug.

    Good morning. I am also in Germany (American who married a German lady). On German ebay try a search for "Tabakschneider". There will be a lot of results for cutting cigarette leaf but you may find something that will work nicely for plugs.

    Seldom Seen
    Posted 6 months ago #
  40. unkleyoda

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    Peterson's Perfect Plug is still available I believe. It is a true plug. I smoked some last night.

    3P's is sadly gone.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  41. davet

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    3P's is sadly gone.

    From another forum, the poster contacted STG.


    I talked to STG, who confirmed 3P is still being produced and that a batch is going out now, so 3P should soon be availabe in UK and sometime later in US. STG confirmed that also Yachtsman is still being produced.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  42. condorlover1

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    Thats good news. I used to hate Yachtsman Plug due to its extreme density but given the scarcity of offerings in 'Plug World' I suppose I shall have to revisit the stuff again.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  43. unkleyoda

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    I talked to STG, who confirmed 3P is still being produced and that a batch is going out now, so 3P should soon be availabe in UK and sometime later in US. STG confirmed that also Yachtsman is still being produced.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  44. npod

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    YIPPEE!!! I am down to only two tins of 3Ps in the cellar and I was convinced it was a goner.

    Neal
    Posted 6 months ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    I have used an Ulu knife for several months now with good results, paper thin slices every time. Took a little getting used to the motion, but not much.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  46. folanator

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    Like Paulie in Goodfellas...

    Posted 6 months ago #
  47. npod

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    This!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  48. leafsmoker

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    Yep. I had a sharp blade for my Jack knife plug tobacco and it was a workout.Next time I am buying Jackknife ready rubbed.

    The walls have ears, the windows have eyes, and the wise man tells no lies.
    You can offer someone a cigar, but you can never offer someone your pipe.
    Posted 6 months ago #

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