Folding And Stuffing Flakes

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Might Stick Around
I just had a bloody awful smoke of 1792 Flake. Usually I rub it out and let it dry for about 15-30 minutes but yesterday I read something about folding and stuffing for a different flake experience. I didn’t dry the flake and just folded and packed the pipe. I just could not keep it alight. Every other puff was a relight and to put it bluntly, it was miserable! But I’m a bit tight so didn’t want to waste the baccy so I persisted. Question: should I have dried the flake before folding and packing the pipe or should I just go back to my tried and tested rubbing it out?IMG_1053.jpeg


Might Stick Around
I prefer to dry out the flakes but sometimes I don't. Sometimes you have to relight it a few times but nothing like what you described. Maybe ten relights are needed when you take it out of the can and try to light it.
Even though the draw was easy the baccy dried like a brick. I literally had to break it up to get it out. I didn’t think I’d overpacked it but obviously I must’ve done.


Oct 13, 2015
yesterday I read something about folding and stuffing for a different flake experience.
Sounds to me like this was your first time 'folding & stuffing?'

Don’t be too disheartened at your first attempt as you picked one of the trickier flakes to start with, couple that with somebody who doesn't know what they're doing in the first place and you had a bad smoke. Quelle surprise!
Walk before you can run young man!

I would suggest you try the 'fold and stuff' method with an easy-peasy flake like St. Bruno or any other Danish flake, to start off with. They are in fact, idiot proof.

I'm sure there's a plethora of plebs on YouTube pontificating the preferred practice of loading flake into a pipe. If you like pipe tutorials then they will be of service to you. If you don't appreciate the YouTube videos then you can always find the best way for you, by you, through trial and error and by smoking countless bowls for yourself.

I predominantly smoke flake, the 'old fashioned way' ie fold & stuffed. Here's how it's most commonly done :

Depending on size of bowl, take one or two flakes, fold in half, break up both ends whilst holding flake or flakes like you were rolling a fag, stuff into bowl & break off any excess.

Light slowly and with a match, using all of the match. Repeat if & when necessary. If that doesn't work, you either need more practice or you're an idiot.


The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
Southern Oregon
For me, pipe smoking is all about flakes. If you have to rub it out and dry it like many on this forum suggest, I really wouldn't bother. You'd be better off buying ready rubbed.
I don't agree. Some flakes develop differently than ribbon or shag while aging and you can experience that difference, which I experience a more of a merging of the components, even if you rub it out and/or dry it.

When I do smoke flakes, which is the preponderance of what I smoke these days, I pretty much do what you describe in terms of folding the flake in half, roughing it up a bit before stuffing into the bowl, ridding the excess, and firing it up. I've already dried down the tin, so it's a fast method.

But it's not the "classic" fold and stuff, In which the flake is "z" or "s" folded and dropped into the chamber otherwise whole and intacto, with a dusting of rubbed out flake on top to act as tinder. Face it, you and I are cheats and couldn't give two farts about proper form, methods, etc. We do what works for us.


Nov 26, 2018
We need to think about this. Typical flake out of a tin are not dry enough. So, you can dry it for better result. However, even dried flake are sometimes hard to smoke. The main reason is the lack of air movement between the tobacco strands in flake.

To remedy this, after folding, and before stuffing, work on the folded flake. Twist a little, bend a little. Not enough to make it fall apart in between your fingers, but just enough to create spaces for air circulation. Now, gently place the folded and worked flake in the chamber and push down ever so lightly to pack it in there. Whatever was left on the table or tray you worked the flake can go on the top as tinder.


Dec 22, 2013
New York
@sablebrush52 @simong : And in next weeks riveting episode of 'Sh*t that I stick in my pipe' we will explore the extreme nuances of slicing up plugs and twists. Should it be slithers, should it be coins, should I dry with the wife's hair dryer. In the final analysis as @simong says it's all about what works for you. There is no right or wrong method, it's all a matter of personal taste and preference. I do second the advice to test your technique on St Bruno Flakes, it will save you a lot of misery with a steamed tongue!


Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 19, 2023
Middle Tennessee
I have really tried to employ the "fold and stuff" method but the gaps and pockets do not make for a pleasant smoke either. Even if dry....
Furthermore, the tamping process is less than efficient with the stuffed flakes, at least I have found it so. Seems some portions are needing to be tamped but the other side is very firm and hard and prevents the tamp.