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 Trouble with Blackwoods Flake

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RadioHead



Registration date : 2011-09-13

PostSubject: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 12:46 am

Ok folks, I am having a hard time keeping this flake lit. My current issue is rubbing it out, and packing. I think that is where I am going wrong. I am trying to pack lightly. The initial lighting is a bit hard to do as well.

I have had much more luck with my drama reserve.

Does anyone care to explain how to do this correctly?
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s.ireland



Age : 30
Location : South Carolina
Registration date : 2010-08-14

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:28 am

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to do it "right" either. I just wanted to say that I've had the same problem with all the McClelland flakes/broken flakes that I've tried. I have dried them out to various degrees of dry, rubbed out fully, folded and stuffed and nothing really gave me a good, easy burn. I'll probably try again. But when it comes down to it, I'm not really looking for a difficult smoke... I've even questioned my skill level as a piper and if it wasn't for all the other flakes I enjoy with little effort, I'd chalk it up to being inexperienced on my part
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RadioHead



Registration date : 2011-09-13

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:33 am

Glad to know I am not the only one. I tried drying it out as well. Maybe I will let it dry even more.
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Lesath

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Location : The Ozarks, well hidden and always at large
Registration date : 2011-07-22

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:08 am

Try leaving a bit of room on the top for a layer of tinder, say about a 1/2 inch or so of a tobacco that you can consistently light, maybe some ribbon. Do a false light on that, tamp it gently, relight, and see if that will start your bowl. Sometimes a stubborn flake needs a little persuasion.
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shootist51



Location : Indianapolis, Indiana
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:32 am

I often use scissors to cut broken flakes into cubes of about 1/8", let dry a bit and gravity feed into the bowl, using a light tap to the side of the bowl to settle. This provides a smooth, cool smoke that stays lit easier than the broken flake. When tamping, use onlt the weight of the tamper, no pressure. This doesn't always eliminate re-lights, but seems to minimize them.
Good luck
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deepbass9

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Age : 47
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-02-21

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:48 am

Definitely some moist tobacco there. I have good luck letting some sit out in a single layer to dry a bit before smoking. You'll have to see how long works for you. The center of the flake will always retain moisture, so even if the edges get pretty dry you'll still get a good non-harsh smoke.


I always stuff flakes...the cool thing about them is that the are flakes. I buy ribbon or other cuts, rather than rub them. YMMV.
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Muddler

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Age : 62
Location : Pretoria, South Africa
Registration date : 2008-05-22

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:51 am

I like to dry McC flakes really well. I mean almost crackle dry. I'm also not a fan of very light packing. Try packing the first third of the bowl fairly loosely, the second third more firmly & the final third more firmly still.
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mark
Admin
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Registration date : 2008-07-02

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:02 pm

I run a bit of flake through through the coffee grinder reducing it to tinder. Dried a bit, it gets things going.

_________________
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Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other times I let her sleep.
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MisterE
Moderator
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Location : Mexico City
Registration date : 2009-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:04 pm

mark wrote:
I run a bit of flake through through the coffee grinder reducing it to tinder. Dried a bit, it gets things going.

Neat idea. I've never done that, but might give it a go. Id have to clean the grinder well though. It has lots of coffee ghosting in it, LOL!

BTW your new avatar is....a little disturbing. affraid

lol! lol!
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Zeno Marx

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Registration date : 2010-06-26

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:31 pm

I smoke #2015 and #2035 regularly. #2035 is the more unruly of the two. I have good luck keeping them as whole flakes (as you purchased them) and letting them get on the dry side to the touch. There's plenty of moisture for "healthy" tobacco within the flake. When I go to smoke them, I give the flakes a quick, rough rub or two just enough to break the flake into smaller pieces of flake, but I do not get anywhere near fully rubbing them out. I drop about a 1/3 of a bowl into the chamber and tap the bottom of the pipe to settle them (I do that with all tobacco). Then I very lightly push that down with a finger. Again, VERY LIGHTLY. Fill, tap it again, and then hit the top with flame. Tamp. Re-light. Muddler's by thirds is also a great technique, particularly for flakes.

My guess is that many people get flakes too compact in the chamber and don't allow for enough oxygen to get around the tobacco. You can't do that with a flake. There's less surface area and more density than a ribbon tobacco. You need additional airflow to compensate. Not to imply that you need to leave a flake completely loose in the chamber, but comparatively, you do have to leave a lot more open space for it to ignite and continue to burn. Basic fire principles there.

Personally, I'd rather leave more space than going the dryer tobacco route. I've found you get a much more complex, nuanced flavor palette when you begin with a moister tobacco. For instance, and I said this the other day somewhere else on the board, when #2015 is too dry, you lose the chocolate and molasses hints. You get a blunt sweetness and not all those great little flavor spikes. The reason I choose one tobacco over another is usually because of its nuances. I'm forever searching for them, so I definitely don't want to do anything to streamline the flavor.
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flytyer

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Age : 51
Location : N E Pa.
Registration date : 2009-03-22

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:35 pm

Its hard to describe the method I use for this flake , but it works for me. I pinch a portion of the tobacco between my thumb and first three fingers...makeing sort of a little bundle then I stuff it into the pipe gently, and let it seat itself wile I tap the side of the bowl.Then i press it in anough so its not sticking out of the bowl or loose pieces on the rim. When I pick up the flake and bundle it in my fingers it breaks up a little and it seems burn without too much trouble..
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SPUD 15

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Age : 71
Location : Winter Springs Florida
Registration date : 2011-09-07

PostSubject: Re: Trouble with Blackwoods Flake   Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:18 pm

RadioHead wrote:
Ok folks, I am having a hard time keeping this flake lit. My current issue is rubbing it out, and packing. I think that is where I am going wrong. I am trying to pack lightly. The initial lighting is a bit hard to do as well.

I have had much more luck with my drama reserve.

Does anyone care to explain how to do this correctly?
Instead of me trying to explain how to RUB, or fold and load flake go to the Mc Barens website they have a great video of instructions. I love flake have no problem keeping it lit.. A typical flake will give you a 45 to 55 min smoke. I use one flake for a bowl that is 3/4 of an lnch wide by 1" deep. Hope this helps dont give up on flake. MIKE
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