How to Grow Tobacco

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 Post subject: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:22 pm 
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Location: Louisville Ky
This is how I roll a Cigar:

Hello, my name is Nate and I am addicted to all sorts of hobbies, I do want to mention that this is a new hobby for me and the items listed in this build thread are of my own opinion and the way I do it. That being said I am not a Torcedore in any way nor do I claim to be. Torcedores, or professional cigar rollers have been doing this there entire life and this in no way represents how they do it and they will probably get a laugh out of this if they were to ever read it. That said this method has worked for me and the only reason I put it together is there is really zilch on the web about it with detail. This is simply to help the inquisitive beginner whom is thinking about getting into the hobby. That said it is a hobby and with any hobby, practice makes perfect. My first couple came out pretty ugly but guess what, they were smokable and I enjoyed every minute of it. Also keep in mind all the smoke effects to the body and warnings that most of you that would want to do this have already heard before.

There are a few things you will need to roll cigars and most of them can be acquired at your local big box stores. You will need a wood cutting board of some sort, preferably a large wood cutting board but if you have one around the house the wife will let you use than use it. You will need a sharp pizza cutter, sharp scissors and a cigar cutter. You will need a spray bottle filled with water, cigar glue, and plastic bags. You might also use a cigar mold and if you use a mold you will need some sort of vice/clamp to close the mold.

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Talk about molds a minute. Molds are a traditional way of forming a cigar, not only form it but get the bunch compressed so that the cigar burns even and at a certain rate. To loose and the cigar burns fast and hot, to tight and it won’t draw. Cigar molds are a hard thing to come by now days and as of now I cannot find a manufacturer that sells them. There are a couple options, you can find them on EBay sold as collectors items, which is what I did or there are retailers that sell new items, but at a price. The two I acquired were from the Pennsylvania area, which at one time was a huge cigar manufacturer. They date back to the early 1900’s and are two sizes, one is ~ 4 X 50 ring and the other appears to be a ~5 X 46 ring. Both are in well used shape but they both function and have thus far produced good looking cigars. There are guys out there that roll there cigars free hand and this requires a whole lot more expertise and practice but I have smoked one and you couldn’t tell it was hand rolled. This particular part is up to you.

Cigar glue is hard to come by and if you do it is relatively expensive. I have looked on-line and there seams to be a simple solution that I find to work well and is easy to make. Take a 1/8tsp of flour and put it into a bowl and add 1tbs of water. Heat in a microwave for 10 sec and then stir for 10 sec. Repeat this 3-4 times till the mixture gets to the consistence of syrup.

Now the biggest part to the whole process is the tobacco. Seams there are about seven gazillion varieties of it out there and it can be a daunting task to find it for sale. I have included links at the end of this to give you some trail of where I have been to find some of these items I talk about here. I have found some tobacco grown in Pennsylvania by the Amish, unfortunanly I bought the last bit of it for the year, but it is a good looking leaf and thus far makes for a smooth, strong cigar that taste really good. That said I have started some seed for 4 different varieties of Tobacco and plan on growing it this season in a 16’ X 24’ garden. I will not go into the details of growing simply do to the fact I have not done it yet and there is a lot of info on the web for both growing and buying seeds.

Tobacco creates a very long and broad leaf that has a center vein that runs down the middle and once cured has a very nice smell and leathery texture. For rolling cigars you will want to do a little leg work first. Find the leaves that you want for a wrapper, now these particular leaves are the ones that have few if any holes and blemishes on there surface. The ones that don’t quite make the cut will be used as a binder (the first wrapper) and everything else is filler. In most cases you would use multiple varieties of filler but since I only have the one tobacco I will be using it for all three.

Let’s get started

Prep-work:

I take the leaves that I have separated into the three different groups and if there dry (brittle) I will put them into 3 individual bags and use my spray bottle and spray a good amount of moisture into the bags. I have done this a couple of times and find it to work best if you do this the day before and then about 2 hours before you start take them out of the bags to flash off any residual moisture. What you’re shooting for is a leaf that is simply damp enough to be pliable. This takes some practice and if they are to wet, it’s not a huge deal it just takes longer for your cigar to dry.

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Once the leaves are pliable I will remove the center ribs from both the filler and binder, I leave the final wrapper in the bag as it won’t get used for a while. With the filler you can simply rip the leaf or cut the leaf from the center rib, but with the binder it takes a bit more work. I like to do all the binders and filler for the cigars I am about to make as it keeps things moving when you actually start rolling. For the Binder I lay the entire leaf out flat on my board and use my pizza cutter to cut both halves away from the center stem. Once this is done I also remove the outside ½” of the leaf that can be wadded up and rough. You should end up with a binder that looks like this.

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Gathering the Bunch

Now once I have everything de-stemmed, cut and together I’m ready to start rolling my cigar into the binder. I lay the binder on the board (vein side up, smooth side down) so I don’t have to try and do it later with full hands. Now I have to get together the bunch which is essentially a grouping of leaves all laid strait in my hand to roughly the thickness of the cigar I’m trying to make. There is no science to this although it takes a lot of practice in getting the bunch to be consistent, even, and the correct thickness and most of this is done by feel. This is also where I would mix together different types of tobacco in ratio if it is the case, once again consistency is key. I grasp individual leaves with my right hand and place them in my left. I am looking to gather a bunch that is 3-4” longer than the actual cigar. I simply tear the leaf if it is to long and add it to the bunch, in this case roughly 7-8” in length. Once I think I’m getting close I squeeze the bunch a bit to see if I’m in the correct thickness to the mold and add or deduct as needed. Once again Practice makes perfect and I have yet to get this to the consistency that I would like.

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Rolling into the binder

Once the bunch is to the consistency I like, I lay one end of the bunch at the end of the binder that is closest to me with the binder going up at a ~45 degree angle. It is a good practice to start rolling you cigars so that the small veins of the leaf run parallel with the cigar being rolled. If you get into the habit of rolling with the veins perpendicular to the cigar you will get what looks like ribs in the cigar, won’t hurt anything but looks ugly. This isn’t so much a concern in the binder stage but makes all the world of difference in the wrapper stage. More on that later. With the bunch end on the binder end I start to roll away from me. Because the binder is at a ~45 angle from the bunch it begins to consume it. This takes some practice but as you roll you want to get it tight, not super tight but tight enough. The entire goal here is to be able to put it into the mold with just a little pressure with the fingers. As I roll away from me and keep it tight and I can feel if the consistence is right by either feeling soft spots or hard spots. If I encounter these I unroll it, remove the cause and re-roll it. Once I come to the end of the roll I take a bit of the paste I made with my finger and wipe it onto the last 1-2” of the binder outer edge and then finish the roll. This simply keeps it together till it’s in the mold. Once I’m done it should looks like below. Once again looks aren’t crucial here as it is going into a mold but consistency in density is.

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Once I have that done I take a minute to roll it on the board with your hand flat on top to get it even and smooth. Now because of the natural effect of my bunching, both ends will have less tobacco in them than the middle hence the reason I made the bunch 3-4” longer than the actual cigar. I feel it with my hand from one end until I can tell where the density starts and stays consistent. At that point I take my scissors and cut the binded bunch off leaving me with what would appear to be cigar innards.

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Place them in the mold:

Now I have a rolled up the bunch of tobacco in a binder leaf roughly the size of one of your mold slots, hopefully a bit bigger, otherwise I unroll it and add a wee bit to it to get it up to task. I then take the bunch and with the side I had cut off, place it toward the head end of the mold and gently press the Bunch into the mold so that it is all below the rim of the mold. The head can be a little tight and if need be you can cut the cut that end (the cut end) at angles to help get it in there but I have not had to do this yet. I don’t worry if I have an abundant amount of the cigar coming out of the other end of the mold as I will take care of it in a bit. I end up with something that looks like this and then I repeat the process 9 more times and I’m ready to press.

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Press and cut:

At this point I am feeling pretty proud. What now, I take my newly filled mold and set it flat onto my board and lay the top onto it so the pins line up and gently press it together. I am not able to get it close to fully shut by hand at this point, but ready is all I’m trying to do. I take my vice/clamp and open it up and gently lay the mold into its jaws right in the center. Now I slowly tighten it down to the point that the mold is fully closed. This takes a bit of pressure and a vice is excellent for this. At this point there is nothing left to do but cut the long end off with a pair of scissors and let it sit for roughly 30-60 minutes.

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After 30-60 minutes I open the mold back up and rotate the cigars ¼ turn to remove any inconsistencies from the mold. After that I re-clamp them in the mold for another 30-60 minutes to allow them to dry and hold there form. Depending on the ambient temperature and humidity level this will vary and as my garage is non-heated I left these in the mold after rotation all night.

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The Wrapper:

The cigars are now fairly dry, which is what were shooting for. If they are too moist they will not hold there form when you put the final wrapper on them. Once again I have left my wrappers in the bag overnight with some moisture in there and pulled them a few hours before I start to work with them. Like the Binders I cut them all at once to make a nice convenient pile of wrappers. I cut them is just like the binder as far as shape goes as well. I do remove a little bit more of the outer edge as well so that I have a nice smooth flat edge. Now I lay a wrapper piece on the board vein up and kind of work it a bit with both hands stretching it and getting the entire piece as flat as possible.

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Now I’m ready, I take a bit of the paste on my finger and wipe it on the edge furthest away from me which is the end that will be exposed to view on the cigar. I place the newly dried cigar diagonal to the piece with the foot end right on the bottom corner. I also make sure the veins in my leaf are running the right way (see pic below).

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I start to roll the cigar away from me rolling with my right hand whilst stretching the wrapper on the board with my left hand. I want to keep everything as tight as possible but to much pressure and I will rip the wrapper. Once again like the binder as I continue to roll upward the wrapper consumes the cigar. The following series of pictures is me actually wrapping in sequence.

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Bout there on the wrap, but now the finish. The finish is one of two reasons I wrap from foot to head. When you wrap in this direction it gives you a bit more control on how the head turns out and the second is when smoking the cigar if the wrapper decides to try and unravel on it the preceding wrap seam will hold it down, not true if wrapped form head to toe (meaning it will unravel). The next are a series of pictures of how I terminate the head of one of my cigars. Don’t know if its right but it works for me. I would consider it a pig tail except I think the pros actually tie it into a knot and I am not that good yet. As I get close to the head of the cigar with the outside seam of the wrapper I stop, and wet the left over, unrolled wrapper still on the table with a little more glue, really just to soften the wrapper up a bit more. Then I continue and as the finished seam of the wrapper comes around the head you’ll notice the tube of wrapper start to get small and a bit loose. This is when I pick the cigar up hold the left over wrapper and begin to spin. As I spin the left over wrapper it becomes rope like with tension building it starts to twist on itself. I let it twist onto itself for one good revolution and then wrap the remainder under the revolution kind of pinning it in place. Then I cut off any excess. This sounds complex but it isn’t and with a little practice is actually fairly easy. Here are some pics in sequence of me doing this hopefully further explaining.

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I am happy with this look but if I feel the need to have a traditional cap than I do the same pigtail as above and let it sit for a half hour or more. Then I will cut the pigtail off right at the surface of the head. Meanwhile I will have cut a small circle about ~½” in diameter of a like color wrapper and with my finger apply some glue to the back of my circle. I then center it on the head of the cigar and work the edges down with my fingers. This takes a little more practice than the pig tail I showed above and I still have yet to get it consistent.

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At the point after my end has been pigtailed I will take the cigar and lay it back on the board and gently roll it back and forth with the flat side of the top of the mold. This will even out the wrapper and also kind of press in some of those veins, giving the cigar a more finished look. Then I take the cigar and cut the foot end off (excess wrapper) with a typical cigar cutter at my determined length. That pretty much finishes it up and then I do it 9 more times, or until you get a pile of stogies that look something like this.

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Drying:

I let my newly rolled cigars dry out naturally to the point there crisp, the reason for this is the concern of mold growth, not so much on the wrapper or binder but in the filler. Once they are good and dried out I then I put them in to the humidor for aging.


Well there you have it that’s the way I roll. Like I said this is a new hobby for me and I am still learning but when I started looking into this there wasn’t a whole lot on the Net as far as detailed procedure. There are a couple of “How to make a cigar” sites out there but none of them had the pictures that I was looking for. That is the reason for this and I hope that at the very least you found it entertaining and the most found it to be informative and inspiring. I have only rolled about 30 cigars at this point and every one I make gets better and better and as you can see, if I can get to this point in 30 than anyone can. Below is a couple links that I found to be informative and also places to acquire stuff. Not trying to send business to these sites, but just trying to guide people into a helpful direction. Thanks again for your time and interest in my new hobby…………..


Forums on cigar rolling and tobacco growing:
http://tobaccotalk.itgo.com/main.html
http://www.howtogrowtobacco.com/
http://www.coffinails.com/index.html

Places to buy tools, tobacco and seed:
http://www.coffinails.com/index.html
http://tobaccotalk.itgo.com/main.html
http://www.victoryseeds.com/tobacco/Nic ... _TN86.html
http://www.otoaocigars.com/main.htm
http://www.newhopeseed.com/tobacco/toba ... ieties.htm
http://www.thetobaccoseed.com/
http://www.cabroncigars.com/rolleris1.htm
EBay for molds type in “Cigar molds” in the search engine there


Last edited by Nate1778 on Fri May 08, 2009 7:16 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: AWESOME!!! GREAT JOB!!!
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:34 am
Posts: 151
Location: east kansas
I just wanna be the first to say great job! Nice work! You made me anxious to harvest and roll my own cigars. THANK YOU!

Your right, there isnt a whole lot of imfo out there!

BRAVO!!! :D :lol: :P


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 Post subject: Making cigars
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:18 pm 
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This is great. I am really looking forward to rolling my first cigars next year.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:00 am
Posts: 88
Location: Louisville Ky
Glad you guys like it. These particular cigars in this thread taste so good right now. The age in a humidor helps them greatly and the cedar smell makes them smell like a million bucks. I figure this thread is going to be booming come summer next year with some great pics. We'll have to have a home-rolled cigar exchange. Sadly I am down to my last two cigars............Come on tobacco cure...... :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:26 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Ohio
Best guide to date I have found for rolling a cigar. Can't wait to try it. Searching for a cheap mold has become a nightmare though. lol.

Thank you for this guide!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:46 pm 
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Posts: 10
Location: Willamette valley, OR
MarkM wrote:
Best guide to date I have found for rolling a cigar. Can't wait to try it. Searching for a cheap mold has become a nightmare though. lol.

Thank you for this guide!


Cheap molds are to be had at cigarsinternational.com, as I just posted over in the make-your-own-mold thread -- $20 each or $30 for two. The two that I got were great, and I think they will be perfectly functional.

Nate, gotta echo everyone when I say this really is the best cigar rolling guide available today. Thanks a ton.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:46 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Leicester UK
I found this a really good guide.I will definately try my hand at a few of these.Don`t know if I`d dare smoke one :shock:
I very rarely smoke cigars,but have the occaisional Cafe Creme mini cigar.
If I tried to make my own mini`s,could I use a roller with shortfiller.Also,do the smaller cigars have a binder?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:52 pm
Posts: 190
Location: Portland, Oregon
Thanks for the excellent series of photos. With the dozen last night, I have probably rolled about 30 or 40 cigars now. Yours look much better!

Leigh M
Portland
www.leighmaynard.com


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 Post subject: Re: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:26 pm
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Location: Ohio
I remember this guide being longer? What's happened to the rest? :)


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 Post subject: Re: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:20 pm 
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Most excellent!


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 Post subject: Re: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:46 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Leicester UK
MarkM wrote:
I remember this guide being longer? What's happened to the rest? :)


You`re right,at least half is missing,but the pictures are still in the gallery.


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 Post subject: Re: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:00 am
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Location: Louisville Ky
Don't know what happened there guys, part of it was Photobucket, but the text missing is beyond me. Anywho there it is all fixed up...........


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 Post subject: Re: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 8:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:26 pm
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Location: Ohio
Feel warm inside again, Thanks Nate!!!


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 Post subject: Re: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:46 am 
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Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 11:53 am
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Location: Missouri
Amazingly well written How to do, and top it off Love the Pics. 2 thumbs up bro, well done! Love it! I can't wait to try this. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: How I roll cigars 101...........
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 23
I'm wanting to make smaller cigar.I take it that the prosess is the same


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