An Experiment

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bigboi

Lifer
Nov 12, 2012
1,192
2
I have wanted to try my hand at some amateur blending. Especially after receiving the box pass with all of the terrific blending tobacco that people put in there. I am going to ordering up some Kentucky Dark Fired(thanks Woodsroad for letting us try that), some Virginia No. 1 from McClelland, and some basma. I plan on working with different percentages in of those tobaccos. My idea is to take a log splitter remove the splitting wedge and make a press box and have the log splitter be a hydraulic press. My questions would be is how long should I leave the tobacco pressed and how much pressure should I apply? I have researched this a bit and nothing really jumps out to me as time and pounds of pressure to use. I guess I would like to see if anyone has some ideas.
BB

 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
38,093
47,503
A log splitter, wow! Tell us how it works out. I'm content to mixing tobaccos but not really blending them with

aging and pressure. You're taking it to a serious level.

 

bigboi

Lifer
Nov 12, 2012
1,192
2
I'm not sure, I have seen and read about the Sam Gawith factory uses mechanized presses to press their flakes. Seemed like something to try out. Of course I would need to find a place that was dry and well ventilated since the log splitter has a small gas engine.

 
Apr 26, 2012
2,577
9
Washington State
Here is a video by Glynn Quelch who is the ex-manager of Gauntlys Tobacco in the UK and now owns his own tobacco shop called GQ Tobacco's. This video shows how he blends his own tobacco blend and turns it into a cake. You can use the same process for other tobacco's as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1H_9nk4glQ&list=UU4fBZbE0if-20UWgR0cJ_Ow

 

newbroom

Lifer
Jul 11, 2014
5,918
4,012
There is probably a ratio of size to pressure, but I read something recently about a variety of lbs pressure and different duration....seemed like it was between 300 and 500 lbs...and 3 days or more....

 

woodsroad

Lifer
Oct 10, 2013
9,326
5,123
SE PA USA
Pressure needed to produce flake or plug varies with the tobacco and casings. We were talking about this at the Lehigh Valley Pipe Club last night with Russ. Russ says that sweet Virginia's pack tight and stay that way because of the (sticky) sugar content. Burley bounces back quickly. Most flake producers put some kind of glue in the casing, like Gum Arabic, to make sure that the plug stays tight. As for pressure: Take a look at the video of Per Jensen explaining the presses at Mac Baren. If you do the math, you will find that their press runs at 325psi. So, for a 4"x4" mold (16 sq.”) you would need 5,200 PSI or (5,200 ÷ 2000) 2.6 tons. Now, this in no way is gospel, it's just the pressure that works in their process, but a log splitter is WAY overkill. You will end up with a puck that is akin to a concrete paving block.
It is also highly preferred to have a pressure gauge readout on the cylinder, so that you can calculate the pressure, and tweak/repeat it later.

 

wilson

Part of the Furniture Now
Apr 17, 2013
719
0
I'm not an expert at pressing tobacco, but Woodsroad's arithmetic seems approximately correct. I think a log-splitter is way over the top, unless you are going to have press platens that are several square feet in area. A vise, c-clamp, or something like this
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CARVER-MODEL-C-LAB-PRESS-/271610580628?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f3d408e94
would, I expect, be more than sufficient and less trouble than a log splitter?

 

saltedplug

Lifer
Aug 20, 2013
5,207
5,078
I watched the video above some time ago and was impressed at the solutions he employed to press. Were I going to try pressing, I would copy him. Best of luck!

 

bigboi

Lifer
Nov 12, 2012
1,192
2
It may be overkill, but it was an idea. Thanks for the info I may try a hand crank. Just thought about something that was available to me. Still learning about all this.

 
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