Caution: When Using The Noodle Press to Make Plugs

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RSteve

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Periodically loosen the bottom noodle die or you may not be able to remove it to remove the tobacco plug. I put 4 oz. of HH Syrian in the press and cranked it tightly for several days. I over did it. Fortunately, I used the one die made of grey plastic. If you purchased a noodle press, you'll know which one I mean. I could not get the plastic bottom off. I used a strap wrench and was still unsuccessful. Ultimately, I decided to put the press, without the top portion and crank into the freezer. Once the plastic bottom was frozen, one tap with a hammer and it cracked and I was able to remove it and remove the plug of tobacco. No great loss, because there are four more screw on bottoms for use. But those are stainless steel and removal may not have been possible had I cranked one of those too tightly.
 

Timbo

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Hmmm, mine are all metal except for the guide screw which is plastic and I've never had this issue. I admit I did need to put one in the vice (with something soft between the vice and the press) to remove the bottom once but that was due to tobacco juice gluing up the works.
 

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i pressed so hard that I expanded the metal tube lining. When pushing the tobacco out I had backed off the screw and it ended up partially moving the inner tube and getting it stuck out an inch or so. enough that I couldn't get the cap threaded to try forcing it back.
 

RSteve

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i pressed so hard that I expanded the metal tube lining. When pushing the tobacco out I had backed off the screw and it ended up partially moving the inner tube and getting it stuck out an inch or so. enough that I couldn't get the cap threaded to try forcing it back.
I had another episode with the internal liner coming out with the tobacco stuck inside it. Fortunately, I had enough paper spacer to remove from the bottom, so after pounding the liner back into the press, so I could reverse the top crank portion and bottom retainer and crank out the compressed tobacco roll. Both top and bottom of the press have the same threading, so switching bottom to top is simple, but you have to have enough empty space to screw on the cranking cap, which makes the stuffed paper toweling necessary in case of a stuck tobacco roll.
If you experience the liner coming out, use a wood block and hammer to gently tap it back into the noodle press without damage.
As I'm using the noodle press, I'm thinking that it's probably a good idea to cut two pieces of 2" diameter dowel or round railing stock, 1" long, for top and bottom spacers.
I wanted to see if lining the walls of the press would aid in extricating the compressed roll and it did.
Another attempt.
I cut two parchment circles for the bottom and top, and a piece of parchment 5" by 7". I made an overlapped tube, 5" in height and placed it in the tube, with the bottom attached, and a parchment circle in the bottom, I dropped tobacco into the tube until there was about 2" and then pressed that down with my fingers, then progressively filled the tube, pressing down and attaching the crank top and compressing. I was very careful not to crumple the edge of the parchment and only created a compressed roll the 5" of the parchment height. Later in the week, I'll give removal a try.
 
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i like that plan with parchment paper. I was going to get a c-clamp and a couple boards to put it back into place. i already started denting it a little by pounding it. I want to try going a little slower. I did not leave room to get the screws back on. didn't realize what had happened until it was too late.
 

RSteve

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I got impatient and extricated the tobacco rolls with the presses lined with parchment. They slid right out; no sticking at all. Today, I refilled the presses, but increased the size of the parchment to 7" by 5". The rolls I removed today both weighed 4.7 ounces and are hard as a rock. Once out of the press, I rolled each tightly in plastic wrap and taped them tightly, then placed the plastic wrapped rolls in a ziplock bag for extended storage.
 
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RSteve

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The lowest price on these noodle presses is now on Ebay, $9.22.
You'll find that all the Ebay vendors selling these presses, for a variety of prices, ship from Dayton, Ohio and there were about a dozen vendors selling these presses, but much fewer now.
 

RSteve

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I'm getting impatient. I've been tightening the presses every day. It really surprises me that each day, I can turn the crank a bit more. Tomorrow, Saturday, I'll see how the rolls release.
 

RSteve

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Tomorrow, Saturday, I'll see how the rolls release.
It's Saturday! With the parchment lining the noodle press, the rolls came out easily. I was very surprised how easily. As I expected there was some crinkling of the parchment, so a few "strands" of tobacco were loose. Unwrapping of the parchment works best slow and easy. It can be a little difficult finding the edge where to begin removal. For this set of rolls, I had cut a circular piece of cardboard for top and bottom of the press. I am going to experiment next time, cutting those circles from a non-stick silicone baking sheet.
I now know that the optimum amount of tobacco for the noodle press to handle is exactly 4.75 oz and to be reasonably consistent. Four tightly compressed plastic wrapped rolls of 4.75 oz tobacco will fit nicely in a one quart zip lock bag. After I put the rolls in the zip lock, I slip a straw in the edge of the otherwise closed top and become a human vacuum sealer, drawing out excess air, then quickly removing the straw and sealing the bag. No...it...ain't...perfect!
 

Zeno Marx

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I'm surprised you're having luck keeping the tobacco fresh and hydrated in ziplocks. Smoking it quickly? I've only had luck with jars, even when only storing for a month or two. I even tried double and triple ziplocking, and that's just a hassle beyond jarring.
 

RSteve

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I'm surprised you're having luck keeping the tobacco fresh and hydrated in ziplocks.
Keep in mind, these are tightly compressed rolls, wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap and taped before they go in the ziplocks.
 

RSteve

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I continue to be amazed that I can crank the presses tightly and the next day, there is room for another twist. I'm in the fourth day of a process and still tightening. I wonder if there's a point that the compressed roll cake is too compressed.
 

RSteve

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Yikes. Day 5 and today there was still room for another crank on the press. In the John Seiler essay, which I excerpted in the original pressing thread, Seiler wrote of only three days of progressively tightening. I really hope I'm not making the rollcake too tightly compressed.
Seiler wrote:
"The questions arise, (1) how long to leave the tobacco in the press and (2) how to apply pressure. This you can only determine through experimentation. Generally, I found that you apply a lot of pressure initially and then keep checking to see that the pressure is maintained. I got good results if I pressed the tobacco over three days, keeping a constant pressure applied after the initial pressing. You also got a harder pressed cake."
 
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Zeno Marx

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Let us know what goes on with the smoking qualities after a 30-day press and then a 60-day press. Isn't perique under pressure for 6 months, for in-between seasons? I'm just now reading how some can't tell the difference between their homemade perique versions of 3 months vs 4 months. I also seem to remember reading that McClellands put blends, like Navy Flake/#2035 for 30-60 days. I could be imagining that, though. Failing memory and all. What's the longest you let a blend sit under pressure?

 

RSteve

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I am somewhat befuddled, to put it mildly. This is Day #6 of turning the crank on the noodle presses and I still have room to give them a bit of a turn, after the prior day, when I'd cranked to the max. One of the presses allowed for a full quarter turn. I am going to remove the roll cakes from the presses on Saturday; wrap each tightly in food grade plastic wrap; label and tape them, then put them in a ziplock for storage and aging.
I really don't think there's any benefit in keeping the tobacco roll cakes under pressure once they appear to have reached their maximum compaction. They just need to take a well deserved rest after being squeezed so tightly. As I noted earlier in one or another thread, I'm wondering if there's a point where the blend is compressed too tightly for a piece to be rubbed out and smoked.
 

RSteve

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I made a bit of a "boo-boo" late Thursday, early am Friday, I loosened the crank on the top of the press to take the pressure off the bottom, so I could check to see how the tight the bottom cap was screwed on. I've already dealt with a bottom cap twisted too tight. Well, I got sidetracked with a phone call from my brother and when I screwed the bottom cap back on the press, I neglected to tighten it properly. Then, when I turned the crank to tightly compress the roll cake, I turned it too tightly, too fast, and the insufficiently tightened cap shot off the bottom of the press.
 
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RSteve

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Today was removal, wrap and label day. The roll cakes came out of the noodle presses with almost no resistance. They basically slid out. I thought that I had carefully measured the identical amount of tobacco that had gone into each press, except for the last one, which I knew would be smaller. The four that I expected to be identical ranged from 4.3 oz to 4.6 oz. The variation was only .3 oz. I thought I had measured and inserted 4.7 oz of tobacco carefully. Apparently, the amount of pressure I applied combined with some variation in the humidification of the tobacco produced some weight variation in the roll cakes. The five roll cakes fit nicely into a one quart ziplock which I place in a cooler with a container of humidification beads.
 

RSteve

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I'm now into the 5th day of another press. I'm tightening more each day and am pretty certain that by extraction on Saturday, the roll cakes will be hard as a rock.
 

RSteve

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I'm now into the 5th day of another press. I'm tightening more each day and am pretty certain that by extraction on Saturday, the roll cakes will be hard as a rock.
As expected, the roll cakes are rock hard and extraction wrapped in parchment was easy. They're been individually wrapped in food grade plastic wrap, labeled, and then put in a zip lock bag.
 
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