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Trouble with Flake Tobaccos

(30 posts)
  1. cwarmouth

    cwarmouth

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    Guys, what the heck do you have to do to keep flake tobaccos lit? I am just getting into flakes. I have three (one that I bought and two were gifts from a member on the forum) and I love the flavors, But I have to rub them out or shred them to get them to stay lit for more than 10 seconds. I have tried folding the flake lengthwise and then the other way and stuffing it into the bowl like I am led to believe other flake smokers do, but I have no luck. What's the secret?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. prairiedruid

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    Maybe try cube cutting them.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. mayfair70

    mayfair70

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    First, what flakes are you smoking. Err, attempting to smoke??

    I cube cut, rub them out, then let them dry for half an hour or so. Char light. Tamp. True light then puff like crazy for a couple seconds and I am good as gold usually. The air in my house is sufficiently dry most of the year to allow tobacco to actually lose moisture, some places in the world are not so fortunate. You may want to check your ambient humidity.

    The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. -Groucho Marx
    Mouse-catcher on The Black Frigate
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. jorchamp

    jorchamp

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    Do not complicate flakes. Rub them out with TLC. Put them in your pipe. Light up and enjoy. You can put them in your pipe without rubbing them out, but more of a challenge to keep lit. Yet a deeper and more complex taste.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    I am a devotee of folding and stuffing flakes! The secret? Dry it out properly first, get a good char on top ( I sometimes light it 3 or 4 times until the whole top is charred ash), twist your tamper to spread the ash evenly, then light it for real... drawing the flame "through" the tobacco. I rarely need a re-light until the bottom 1/8 of the bowl, and then I usually don't bother. Just dump and re-load. This method works well for me. Might work for you as well. Give it a try.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. cwarmouth

    cwarmouth

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    Wow. Fast replies. What is cube cutting? The flakes I am trying are Newminster Superior Navy Flake, Newminster Superior Round Slices, and Erinmore flake. I live in low humidity too. 20% is high.

    tsschiaraldi: what you described is just what I am doing. Although I am obviously doing something wrong. Maybe packing it too tight? Is there a bowl shape that is better for flakes?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. tschiraldi

    tschiraldi

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    Is there a bowl shape that is better for flakes?

    In my opinion, yes. I find they work best in tall, narrow bowls, but opinions vary.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. johnbarleycorn

    johnbarleycorn

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    Rub em out, let em dry, don’t pack me too tight and enjoy. Oh and don’t worry about number of relights.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. perdurabo

    perdurabo

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    Break them up. I find I get the same flavor whether they are broken up, cubed or folded. Fold and stuff just smokes slow. But that's my opinion.

    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 1 year ago #
  10. nevadablue

    nevadablue

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    I am just learning this too, but so far my best results are dry/rub/dry. Did I say I like dry tobacco?

    ---
    Ken
    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. deathmetal

    deathmetal

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    I have tried folding the flake lengthwise and then the other way and stuffing it into the bowl like I am led to believe other flake smokers do, but I have no luck.

    Fold and twist so that one end splinters a bit. Fish around in the bottom of the tin/jar/pouch and pull out any leaf bits you can find to use as tinder (or Grindr if you're on an Apple machine). Let's see if there are other threads:

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/how-to-smoke-flake-tobacco
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/flake-fold-rolltwist-amp-stuff-method
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/the-stuff-amp-twist-method
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/counter-intuitive-flake-technique
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/flakes
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/flakes-1
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/heres-the-rub-a-foolproof-flake-preparation
    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/flake-tobacco-preparing-and-drying

    "My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey." -- William Faulkner

    The Metal Mixtures
    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. fatbob

    fatbob

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    In my experience folding and stuffing is really an exploration of sipping vs puffing. If I just want to puff away I scoop and go with Carter Hall. If I'm in the mood for a long contemplative smoke, I'm folding and stuffing some FVF. Whenever I hear "sipping" I'm thinking of how conscious of the smoke I am when I fold and stuff. It's a great way to focus on the smoke and I find myself sipping more than puffing. Really one of the great escapes of enjoying pipe smoking, at least for me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    what is the old school british method of smoking flakes?

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    khouji

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    Virginia Tobacco pressed as a broken flake following the tradition of Charles

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    pipeman7

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    I mean fold n stuff or rubbed out. how are gawith flakes actually made to be smoked?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. python

    Bob

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    Here is an old article that I wrote about this:

    Flake Pipe Tobacco Preparation

    "When the Government Fears the People, There is Liberty;
    When the People Fear the Government, There is Tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. chasingembers

    Embers

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    What's the secret?

    For fold and stuff, they need room to expand. I let flakes dry overnight before doing this, and don't over fill the bowl as the flake needs lots of room to breath. Only tamp when absolutely necessary, and do so with a light touch.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. python

    Bob

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    The videos in the old articles no longer work, but you can see them here:

    PipesMagazine Videos

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. nevadablue

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    Thanks for the links Bob.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. chasingembers

    Embers

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    And SPC's video. Flake Tobacco

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. python

    Bob

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    You're welcome nevadablue.

    Those are good videos as well Chasingembers!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. jvnshr

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    Lots of great responses for sure. It takes lots of time to learn how to smoke flakes. If you are going to fold and stuff, please keep in mind that once you light it, the tobacco will start expanding and stick to the walls of your pipe, thus the only part of the tobacco burning will be the part in the center of the bowl. So the flake you've folded shouldn't be pushed into the chamber with effort, it should enter freely, the friction between the tobacco and pipe walls should be kept at minimum as:

    Video Link

    I experiment with all of the methods stated above all the time except cube cutting, it didn't work out for me. Here is a picture of Newminster Superior Navy Flake that I rubbed it out and dried (1 oz of it) before smoking. Be careful though, it may lose some flavors if you dry it too much:

    And here is a picture of Peter Stokkebye Luxury Bullseye Flake. I just dried them a little bit then used fold and stuff method, smoked a little bit wet though, I have to dry them more I guess:

    Javan
    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. newbroom

    newbroom

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    Too tight, the tobacco expands with heat and chokes.
    Too loose? The draw is too opened and the ember doesn't develop.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. mackeson

    mackeson

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    Personally, I rub them out - but not all the way. It depends on the tobacco, but I find that rubbed out a bit leaving some nice chunks works well. This seems to be a good balance between keeping lit and still retaining some of the flake characteristic.

    "Once you go down the Lakeland path, forever will it dominate your destiny."
    -Apologies to Master Yoda
    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. mawnansmiff

    mawnansmiff

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    The most common reason folks have difficulty in keeping flake tobacco lit is they are not drying it enough.

    I, like a lot of guys here prefer my rubbed out flakes to be dry, much more so than you might think, to the point of being almost but not crispy.

    It needs to be slightly pliable but not squidgy soft. It is better to rub out/cube cut prior to air drying.

    As with Mackeson, I like my flakes to be roughly rubbed, leaving some larger chunks...makes for a longer and tastier smoke.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    Is there a bowl shape that is better for flakes?

    Shapes, Flakes, and more

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. paulie66scandinavian

    Paul

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    Useful Y T video

    Paul The Scandinavian'
    Posted 1 year ago #
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    Anonymous

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    I myself have a hard time with them, and have to relight. I have some GL Pease Gaslight, and I usually can get it going but have to relight after the process. Also I get tongue bite from . Orlick's Dark Kentucky. I am careful because my gums and teeth get irritated for some reason, and it does not allow me to smoke to my hearts content. I usually break it up and let it sit out for a bit if I can. It has been humid here for a while now in NC, so I ry to absorb as much moisture as I can with my fingers. Otherwise, I put that stuff in a jar to age, and take it out once and a while.

    Crooner is a good example of what cubes are. The deer tongue is cubed, and it is an easy one to smoke that is slightly aromatic in a pleasantly herbal way. Other than that I let the flaked stuff age as long as I can, but I am no pro.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. tokerpipes

    tokerpipes

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    Room for expansion is needed and drying is a must for me. I found a quick trick for me. Take the flake and roll it up like a fruit roll up and let dry for about 45 minutes (if you are daring enough heat it on a cookie tray on the stove). I will use either a rubber band or a twisty tie to gold it from opening. Once it's dryer to my liking stuff and puff.

    If you can't pack it, light it, and smoke it then why do it. It's a dieing art that must be rekindled in all of us as fortold by our forefathers.

    Words to live by for all pipe smokers.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. fitzy

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    When doing a fold and stuff after folding it in half wide then fold in half length ways I roll it between my fingers which looses up all the strands. Then I put it rounded side up with the cut ends down. Makes it easier to get lit that way.

    Also if you do cube cut I usually just gravity load it with some rubbed out material on top for kindling.

    "These are ghosts that are more at home in a girdle-filled drawer than one of my pipes." Quote by Neil Archer Roan on lakeland ghosts
    Posted 1 year ago #

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