Home tobacco press

My press has not arrived yet but it should be coming in the next few days. I think I am going to try pressing some Planta Black Vanilla mixture. I used to love the flake version, but as is so often the case I can no longer find a vendor that carries it. The loose cut mixture version is just not the same. Maybe a puck will have the old magic!
 

tfdickson

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Sales
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I've been slacking in the press production recently but tomorrow I plan to get back on track- 4 presses loaded up with what will become Dark Bogie Plug. 50% Dark Flake and 50% Brown Bogie. As dense as most of the plugs are, these really are something else- it ends up an almost entirely fused 3/4" x 2" puck of solid tobacco. They don't even crumble when sliced. Prepping the Brown Bogie for mixing is a bit of a pain but the end result is worth it.
 

Kiowapipe

Needs to think of a clever custom title
Patron
Curious how folks do whole leaf plugs? What kind of press did you rig up?
A noodle press can do the job, just be reasonable with how much tobacco you try to jam in there. I think you'll get better results with a more modest sized plug, probably <50g.
I've done a few with whole leaf and I've gotten a range of results. Unless you grow your own or have a local connection, you'll probably want to order the leaf online. There are several vendors. I've only used wholeleaftobacco.com. I've got no complaints with them.
Remember that you'll probably be getting relatively unaged tobacco, and you'll probably want to case it (there's great stuff about casing in this thread posted by @Ernie Q ). I've posted a little bit about my experiments on here.
It's been a lot of fun, but also be aware that there's a risk of making a dud. If you're just pressing up manufactured tobacco that you know you like, there's really no chance of ending up with something bad. When you're starting with raw leaf and experimenting with casing and adding components, there are no guarantees ☺
 

tfdickson

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Sales
Patron
I read almost all 58 pages and wonder if we could write up a complete procedure of tobacco pressing with noodle press?
I'm also thinking about baking tobacco for a few hours instead of nuking it.
I’ve written it up before, here it is:

- I take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it over twice, then use the noodle press cap as a pattern to cut out a circle to put in the bottom cap of the press to cover up the holes. I just run a pencil around the outside and then cut a little smaller than the circle I've drawn. With the foil folded over twice you get a circle four layers thick. That goes in the cap to cover up the holes.

- I measure out 2oz or 58g using my digital scale (it came from amazon, maybe $15) into a microwave safe bowl.

- I microwave the tobac for 20 seconds, pull it out and mix it with my hands and immediately put it back in for 15 more seconds. When it comes out it is steaming a little bit.

- I immediately load up the noodle press with my hands, with the plunger side already in place and the plunger fully retracted. Since the tobac is hot and steaming you have to work very quickly, I find I can only handle it long enough to stuff it with one motion before it gets uncomfortably hot on my hands. Also be careful of the rim of the press- it can be sharp.

- Then just as quickly I clear the threads of any loose tobac and tighten the cap on. Don't put too much muscle in to tightening the cap, it can be really tough to unscrew once it's time to remove the plug.

- Once the cap is on I tighten the press as much as I can by hand. Once the plunger is down as far as I can make it go I let it sit for half an hour or so, then tighten some more. After it has "set" for that thirty minutes you'll find you can get another 1/4 crank. Then I just set it aside, tightening as much as I can once (maybe twice) a day or so. After day 4 or so I usually can't get it down any further at all.

- I've found a week in the press has great results with little or no expansion at all once it is out and even once I start slicing it up. When it's time to remove it just bring the plunger up a few cranks to remove the pressure and then unscrew the lower cap. Then start cranking the plunger down again to push the plug out of the bottom. I've had some problems with the liner coming out with the plug on removal, I just watch it closely and if I see the liner starting to come out I just wrap my thumb and forefinger around the rim to keep the liner in place while I crank the plunger down to push out the plug.
 
I’ve written it up before, here it is:

- I take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it over twice, then use the noodle press cap as a pattern to cut out a circle to put in the bottom cap of the press to cover up the holes. I just run a pencil around the outside and then cut a little smaller than the circle I've drawn. With the foil folded over twice you get a circle four layers thick. That goes in the cap to cover up the holes.

- I measure out 2oz or 58g using my digital scale (it came from amazon, maybe $15) into a microwave safe bowl.

- I microwave the tobac for 20 seconds, pull it out and mix it with my hands and immediately put it back in for 15 more seconds. When it comes out it is steaming a little bit.

- I immediately load up the noodle press with my hands, with the plunger side already in place and the plunger fully retracted. Since the tobac is hot and steaming you have to work very quickly, I find I can only handle it long enough to stuff it with one motion before it gets uncomfortably hot on my hands. Also be careful of the rim of the press- it can be sharp.

- Then just as quickly I clear the threads of any loose tobac and tighten the cap on. Don't put too much muscle in to tightening the cap, it can be really tough to unscrew once it's time to remove the plug.

- Once the cap is on I tighten the press as much as I can by hand. Once the plunger is down as far as I can make it go I let it sit for half an hour or so, then tighten some more. After it has "set" for that thirty minutes you'll find you can get another 1/4 crank. Then I just set it aside, tightening as much as I can once (maybe twice) a day or so. After day 4 or so I usually can't get it down any further at all.

- I've found a week in the press has great results with little or no expansion at all once it is out and even once I start slicing it up. When it's time to remove it just bring the plunger up a few cranks to remove the pressure and then unscrew the lower cap. Then start cranking the plunger down again to push the plug out of the bottom. I've had some problems with the liner coming out with the plug on removal, I just watch it closely and if I see the liner starting to come out I just wrap my thumb and forefinger around the rim to keep the liner in place while I crank the plunger down to push out the plug.
This is very helpful. Thank you for posting.
 
My method is very similar. Instead of foil I cut a circle out of the round cardboard that comes in coin tins. I cut a 1” strip of grocery store parchment paper and put it in at the bottom before I screw the base on. I find that allows the puck to slide out easier. I’m a bigger sissy then @tfdickson so I only microwave once for about 15 seconds. I load 100 grams of ribbon Vaper blend now that o have a recipe I like.
 
Got my first puck out of the press yesterday. It was in there for four days. I am super impressed with the results of this! The tobacco was an entire tin of Planta Danish Black Vanilla mixture. The puck is about an inch thick and is super dense. As you can see, I hacked off a chunk and rubbed it out. It smoked great and is very close to what I remember the flake version tasting like. puck.jpg puck.jpg puck2.jpg It smokes awesome!
 

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