After tobacco is harvested, the leaves are dried and cured, then pressed into bricks and cut into smokable strips. From the moment of cutting, the tobacco begins drying out, so for the freshest smoke possible, press and cut your own tobacco at home. You can also customise the blend of leaves and flavouring to your personal preferences rather than relying on the store to blend and flavour the tobacco for you.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 8-inch long piece of 4-by-4-inch square metal tube
- 2 flat metal brackets four inches long
- Metal epoxy
- 2 screw clamps
- Drill and drill bits
- Large paper cutter with a metal blade OR countertop meat grinder
Cut one side of the metal tube off at the corners so that you have a three sided tray and one piece of flat metal. File down any sharp edges. Make sure the flat piece will slide inside the tray piece easily.
Drill a hole through the centre of each bracket large enough for the screw clamp to thread through. Thread the screw clamps through the brackets and set the brackets on top of the tray with the clamp face down.
Attach the metal brackets to the tray across the open top. Mix the metal epoxy and use it to secure the bracket to the outside edge of the tray. Place the brackets 2 inches from either of the open ends of the tray. Wait for the epoxy to cure completely (usually 24 hours).
Roll tobacco leaves up to fit inside the tobacco press. Make sure they are moist enough to roll and press (if not, spray them with some water first). Put the roll inside the tray then place the metal sheet on top of the tobacco and under the screw clamps. Clamp down tightly and leave the tobacco to sit for three or four hours.
Remove the brick from the press. Cut it with a paper cutter by slowly feeding the brick under the blade of the cutter, about a quarter-inch at a time. Work slowly and smoothly for the best results. Cut the tobacco with a meat grinder (fully clean and sanitised from any previous use) clamped to your countertop. Adjust the speed of the hand crank and the pressure you place on the brick to change the fineness of the cut.
Begin assembling your tobacco cutting machine
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