Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

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JudgeRusty
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Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by JudgeRusty » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:01 pm

When I learn something new, I never know if it is something everyone else already knows or not. So I hesitate to share. But here goes:

I enjoy flake tobaccos, I am not sure as to just why, but nevertheless, I do. Also, some of my favorite tasting tobaccos are sold in flake or broken flake form.

While I am aware from my readings that most folks rub out their flake tobaccos, my pipe mentor told me that not rubbing out the flake was his preference and might be a bit more traditional. I have tried both and prefer not to rub out the flakes.

A lot of my posts have dealt with my experience that I have certain pipes that I enjoy certain tobaccos in more than others. Often times, without a good reason for the difference. This experience also applied to flake tobaccos.

I have generally followed the techniques shown on online videos for packing a pipe with flake tobaccos or instructions from CPS. This is commonly referred to as the "fold and stuff" method. In some of my pipes, I have had good success with the "das twist" variation of fold and stuff as well.

A couple of my pipes in which enjoyed smoking flakes would still frustrate me in the last third of the bowl with a tight wad of un-smoked dottle in the bottom of the pipe which would resist a re-light. Teasing the wad would result in ash getting mixed in too much and ruin the remainder of the smoke. In my attempt to cure this malady, I happened upon something very positive.

What I learned is that if I practice what I now call "fold and place," not only do I not end up with the problem at the bottom of the bowl, but my enjoyment of the rest of the bowl is increased. Further, I found that "fold and place" was the ticket for making my non-flake pipes into pipes in which I could now enjoy flake tobaccos.

"Fold and place" is nothing more than reducing the amount of tobacco in the pipe. "Stuffing" sounds like a bit of effort is required to get the tobacco placed within the chamber. I now take a bundle of flake equal to the depth of the bowl, but in a quantity that fills the bowl to about 3/4 capacity. I suppose my version of "fold and stuff" was not giving the tobacco enough room to expand as it heated. A looser pack has now resulted in a much better burn, and a much greater release of flavor in a wider range of my pipes.

By the way, the "das twist" still can be applied but moreso to distribute the smaller quantity of tobacco.

If you already knew this, I apologize for the wasted post.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by Pepik » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:18 pm

Worthwhile observation IMO!
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by Rusty » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:47 pm

These are always interesting and never wasted.

I would like a little more detail please.
Let's say you have a 1" by 6" flake. I'd like to know:
how do you decide on the 'right' flake? Does thickness of flake have any bearing? What about moisture?
what do you do to the flake before trying to fold & load it in the bowl? eg do you cut the flake?
is it really folded? Which way? Folded long dimension 3" x 1", or folded short dimension 6" x 1/2"?
do you fold it only once or are there multiples folds?
when you load it are the fold(s) in the flake up, down, or sideways in the bowl?
Do you bend or shape the folded flake assemblage to the bowl?

I think loading the folded flake is not traditional. But it might be a peculiar American idea - "if it is packaged that way then I should be able to use it that way".
Manufacturers often produced different forms of the 'same' tobacco, eg twist, plug, flake, ready rub. The pressed forms were less expensive than the more processed forms in history. Pipe smokers modified the form to suit their preferences and packing habits. Often the twist & sometimes plug was chewed first and the remains saved, dried, and cut up for smoking in a pipe - when one could smoke. So the value in the pressed forms of tobacco was not necessarily in smoking it as packaged.

How does the flavour & progress of the smoke vary with the different packing techniques eg folding, rubbing out etc? eg why do it?
I used to turn flake into a bundle of sticks, with the length approx the depth of the bowl. The flavour was identical to rubbing it out and it had a very uniform density in the bowl but a bundle of sticks allowed me to mix different flake tobaccos and have a uniform flavour over the progress of the bowl... think vertical parfait. LOL! So it had an application.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by JudgeRusty » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:24 pm

Rusty wrote:These are always interesting and never wasted.

I would like a little more detail please.
Let's say you have a 1" by 6" flake. I'd like to know:
how do you decide on the 'right' flake? Does thickness of flake have any bearing? What about moisture?
what do you do to the flake before trying to fold & load it in the bowl? eg do you cut the flake?
is it really folded? Which way? Folded long dimension 3" x 1", or folded short dimension 6" x 1/2"?
do you fold it only once or are there multiples folds?
when you load it are the fold(s) in the flake up, down, or sideways in the bowl?
Do you bend or shape the folded flake assemblage to the bowl?

I think loading the folded flake is not traditional. But it might be a peculiar American idea - "if it is packaged that way then I should be able to use it that way".
Manufacturers often produced different forms of the 'same' tobacco, eg twist, plug, flake, ready rub. Pipe smokers modified the form to suit their preferences and packing habits. So the value in the pressed forms of tobacco was not necessarily in smoking it as packaged.

How does the flavour & progress of the smoke vary with the different packing techniques eg folding, rubbing out etc? eg why do it?
I used to turn flake into a bundle of sticks, with the length approx the depth of the bowl. The flavour was identical to rubbing it out and it had a very uniform density in the bowl but a bundle of sticks allowed me to mix different flake tobaccos and have a uniform flavour over the progress of the bowl... think vertical parfait. LOL! So it had an application.
The present example is illustrative.

I am smoking Marlin Flake. I purchased a pound last January. I carefully unrolled the long flakes and cut them into lengths equal to the height of 1/2 pint jars for storage. So now, I have flakes that are about 3 1/2 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide. If I break or cut across the "grain" a flake into thirds, that results in a flake about equal to the depth of my pipe bowl. These I have been rolling on a platform of the crack formed between my forefinger and middle finger; they usually break apart at this point forming your bundle of sticks. Depending upon the pipe chamber size, I then drop in the bundle of sticks vertically or break some more "sticks" off the next flake piece adding them until I get the "right" amount. So no, presently, I am not folding.

I have never been one for drying out tobacco prior to smoking it. Too much planning is required. When I decide I want to smoke the pipe, I select a pipe and tobacco and then load and light. I would need a Tardis to fly back in time 15 minutes to several hours to set the tobacco out for it to "properly" dry and be ready for me when I was ready for it (even that sounds like a lot of trouble).

Perhaps I need to try rubbing out again, but using a smaller amount of tobacco and a looser pack. When I rubbed out flakes before and used the traditional fill, tamp to 1/2, fill, tamp to 3/4 and then fill again, tamp and light method, the smoke was not as pleasant and flavorful as when I did not rub out the flake.

As to the flavor, Marlin Flake, for example, a lighter pack with less tobacco, now consistently gives me a richer flavor akin to those few smokes I remembered from before when the taste would be just right on infrequent occasions.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by hugodrax » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:35 pm

First thing, I'm not an expert. I usedto smoke a lot of flake, but when you are a heavy smoker you end up going cheaper.

That said, Giudice Rusty hit the nail on my head. The key to enjoyment with a flake or even a mixture, for the most part, entails a light hand with the packing. It took me years upon years to figure that out. A lighter pack equals more pleasant smoking and fewer relights.

For mixtures, I place a quantity in the palm of my left hand, invert the bowl, and make figure eights until it's filled. Amazing how well this works and it's brainless.

For flakes, I'm similar to the Judge. Really, really loose. That stuff is going to expand.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by jdavis2809 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:38 pm

I have always rubbed out flakes. I need to experiment with this though. Being a fairly new pipe smoker I've just been afraid of screwing it up and wasting good tobacco.

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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by hugodrax » Fri Dec 04, 2015 2:51 pm

jdavis2809 wrote:I have always rubbed out flakes. I need to experiment with this though. Being a fairly new pipe smoker I've just been afraid of screwing it up and wasting good tobacco.
Don't be. Even good pipe tobacco is cheaper than beer.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by DAN » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:05 pm

I've always rubbed out flakes but I've tried this the last two times I've smoked flakes and it certainly warrants further explanation.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by Irish-Dane » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:14 pm

Smoking some C&D flake right now, and I definitely prefer keeping the flake intact.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by JudgeRusty » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:17 pm

DAN wrote:I've always rubbed out flakes but I've tried this the last two times I've smoked flakes and it certainly warrants further explanation.
Is this directed towards me? or did you mean "exploration?"
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by DAN » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:11 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:
DAN wrote:I've always rubbed out flakes but I've tried this the last two times I've smoked flakes and it certainly warrants further explanation.
Is this directed towards me? or did you mean "exploration?"
I meant "exploration." Crap. Didn't realize I was that tired.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by A_Morley » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:54 am

This, squire, is an interesting observation and I cannot wait to try it out with the next flake that I smoke. I have a tin of 1792 Flake that I'll be popping soon. I'll issue a report as to mine own experiences with the fold and place method.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by Steverino » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:14 am

I reached this conclusion myself a couple or three years ago. I place flakes into the bowl until it looks like I don't have it quite full enough, then smoke it. Works fine. That said, I do tend to rub out more now. A pipe store proprietor gave me this advice some years ago - rub out for inside smoking, leave intact for outside smoking. To flesh that out a little further, he said "it is intended that all flakes be rubbed out, but it sometimes helps to not rub them out when you're smoking outside in the wind".
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by Jocose » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:29 am

JudgeRusty wrote:If you already knew this, I apologize for the wasted post.
Apology accepted.


























































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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by Gabriel » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:00 am

Steverino wrote: A pipe store proprietor gave me this advice some years ago - rub out for inside smoking, leave intact for outside smoking. To flesh that out a little further, he said "it is intended that all flakes be rubbed out, but it sometimes helps to not rub them out when you're smoking outside in the wind".
Generally speaking, this is my practice. If I'm outside in the wind or plan to be working and puffing away with less thought given to technique, I typically will do the 'ol bundle of vertical sticks method. Alternatively, if I have time beforehand I will cut up the flakes into a chunky cube cut. It packs nicely and and burns a bit slower than rubbed out.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by coco » Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:12 pm

JudgeRusty, Grand Master of the Fold and Place, tutored me today in the method. I had a great smoke with no need to relight. Oh, and Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky is pretty good stuff.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by Goose55 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:46 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:
Rusty wrote: I have never been one for drying out tobacco prior to smoking it. Too much planning is required. When I decide I want to smoke the pipe, I select a pipe and tobacco and then load and light. I would need a Tardis to fly back in time 15 minutes to several hours to set the tobacco out for it to "properly" dry and be ready for me when I was ready for it (even that sounds like a lot of trouble).
Goose, The Newb here again with a short report on what I have been doing with regards to tobacco moisture and drying before loading the pipe. I do not feel tinned Flake tobaccos such as Dunhill Flake or Orlik Golden Slice need any drying time at all. Tins I've had appear to be at perfect moisture

But the chunky bulk McClelland-like broken flake tobaccos (which Sam G. BBF is also like), I feel they are at an ideal moisture level for rubbing out, but not yet for smoking. What I do with these is, for example, at some point early in the day I carefully rub back to ribbon as much as will fill the evening pipe/s, and then put it in an empty tin, with the 4 ounce working jar on top, for reference. For reference because I often will do this with two different broken flakes if I want two bowls to smoke.

Then, when I am about ready for my evening smoke, I pour out the tin on a plate and disperse it, checking it for moisture by pinching some with my fingers (drying time depends on interior humidity). If it sticks to my fingers, it's still too moist. If it reaches the idea moisture level and no longer sticks to my fingers, and I am not yet ready smoke, I place another plate on top of it, upsidedown, to slow the drying. If I want to speed up the drying, I will run the ceiling fan for a short while. The last thing I do is sift that tobacco so only the long/ large ribbons get placed at the bottom of the bowl. If the ribbons are nice and long, I will try to twist those in in order to get a spiral smolder pattern. And the sifted, even drier bits go on top, like kindling.

Makes for a sometimes perfect smoke. I say "sometimes" because smoking outside, with monsoon humidity July-Sept, I am having to make some adjustments with lighter packing density, to compensate for the wetter air being drawn into the pipe.
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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by tim_witten » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:14 pm

I follow the “stuff and puff” method; not the to confused with H.R. Pufnstuf.




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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by DepartedLight » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:26 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:When I learn something new, I never know if it is something everyone else already knows or not. So I hesitate to share.
DL wrote:Shut up and get to it already..
But here goes:

I enjoy flake tobaccos, I am not sure as to just why, but nevertheless, I do. Also, some of my favorite tasting tobaccos are sold in flake or broken flake form.

While I am aware from my readings that most folks rub out their flake tobaccos, my pipe mentor told me that not rubbing out the flake was his preference and might be a bit more traditional. I have tried both and prefer not to rub out the flakes.

A lot of my posts have dealt with my experience that I have certain pipes that I enjoy certain tobaccos in more than others. Often times, without a good reason for the difference. This experience also applied to flake tobaccos.

I have generally followed the techniques shown on online videos for packing a pipe with flake tobaccos or instructions from CPS. This is commonly referred to as the "fold and stuff" method. In some of my pipes, I have had good success with the "das twist" variation of fold and stuff as well.

A couple of my pipes in which enjoyed smoking flakes would still frustrate me in the last third of the bowl with a tight wad of un-smoked dottle in the bottom of the pipe which would resist a re-light. Teasing the wad would result in ash getting mixed in too much and ruin the remainder of the smoke. In my attempt to cure this malady, I happened upon something very positive.

What I learned is that if I practice what I now call "fold and place," not only do I not end up with the problem at the bottom of the bowl, but my enjoyment of the rest of the bowl is increased. Further, I found that "fold and place" was the ticket for making my non-flake pipes into pipes in which I could now enjoy flake tobaccos.

"Fold and place" is nothing more than reducing the amount of tobacco in the pipe. "Stuffing" sounds like a bit of effort is required to get the tobacco placed within the chamber. I now take a bundle of flake equal to the depth of the bowl, but in a quantity that fills the bowl to about 3/4 capacity. I suppose my version of "fold and stuff" was not giving the tobacco enough room to expand as it heated. A looser pack has now resulted in a much better burn, and a much greater release of flavor in a wider range of my pipes.

By the way, the "das twist" still can be applied but moreso to distribute the smaller quantity of tobacco.

If you already knew this, I apologize for the wasted post.

xx
DL Jake

IRT 328; "kinda smells like... meat." - Mrs. Gabriel » 09 Sep 2017

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Re: Fold and "Place" - Pipe Packing

Post by DepartedLight » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:59 pm

JudgeRusty wrote:When I learn something new, I never know if it is something everyone else already knows or not. So I hesitate to share.
DL wrote:Shut up and get to it already.
But here goes:

I enjoy flake tobaccos, I am not sure as to just why, but nevertheless, I do. Also, some of my favorite tasting tobaccos are sold in flake or broken flake form.

While I am aware from my readings that most folks rub out their flake tobaccos, my pipe mentor told me that not rubbing out the flake was his preference and might be a bit more traditional. I have tried both and prefer not to rub out the flakes.

A lot of my posts have dealt with my experience that I have certain pipes that I enjoy certain tobaccos in more than others. Often times, without a good reason for the difference. This experience also applied to flake tobaccos.
DL wrote:Interesting.
I have generally followed the techniques shown on online videos for packing a pipe with flake tobaccos or instructions from CPS. This is commonly referred to as the "fold and stuff" method. In some of my pipes, I have had good success with the "das twist" variation of fold and stuff as well.

A couple of my pipes in which enjoyed smoking flakes would still frustrate me in the last third of the bowl with a tight wad of un-smoked dottle in the bottom of the pipe which would resist a re-light. Teasing the wad would result in ash getting mixed in too much and ruin the remainder of the smoke. In my attempt to cure this malady, I happened upon something very positive.
DL wrote:OK. I can't wait to click preview and read the next section while at the same time ensuring I have not ruined the formatting in my jubilation.
What I learned is that if I practice what I now call "fold and place," not only do I not end up with the problem at the bottom of the bowl, but my enjoyment of the rest of the bowl is increased. Further, I found that "fold and place" was the ticket for making my non-flake pipes into pipes in which I could now enjoy flake tobaccos.

"Fold and place" is nothing more than reducing the amount of tobacco in the pipe. "Stuffing" sounds like a bit of effort is required to get the tobacco placed within the chamber. I now take a bundle of flake equal to the depth of the bowl, but in a quantity that fills the bowl to about 3/4 capacity. I suppose my version of "fold and stuff" was not giving the tobacco enough room to expand as it heated. A looser pack has now resulted in a much better burn, and a much greater release of flavor in a wider range of my pipes.

By the way, the "das twist" still can be applied but moreso to distribute the smaller quantity of tobacco.

If you already knew this, I apologize for the wasted post.
DL wrote: This is CPS. There are simplistic posts on here such as papertowels, and hairdrier, that hold near Zen Koan levels of wasted posts; mm-k?

Now.

The fold. I presume the fold is at bottom of the bowl? A horseshoe sort of shape?

If that's fairly accurate or easy to follow; snip at the horseshoe. Now we have my misnomer of 'pencils in a coffee cup' method.

I was only able to get it to work a few rare times. But your VA-Fu is strong. Far stronger than mine.

There is a legend here. A now rarely seen poster had a bowl of VA that lasted, "for four hours, bitches."

It's true. All of it.

Use this knowledge only for good.
DL Jake

IRT 328; "kinda smells like... meat." - Mrs. Gabriel » 09 Sep 2017

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