Mechanising Cigarette Making

I had a think.

It seems to me that there are only two alternatives – either be prepared the load tubing machines with tobacco by hand, or pay large sums of money (in the thousands of pounds area) to buy a really big machine that does everything.

I have been looking around on the net to find a machine which is in-between the two alternatives. I do not think that it can be done.

For this reason, I have bitten the bullet and ordered an electrically operated tubing machine which seems to be as good as I can expect. This is it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1euUaToRx8

What decided me to go for it was this:

1. There is a reasonably sized hopper into which you can put the tobacco which you intend to use. That frees up both your hands to load the tobacco into the tray.

2. The video shows that the person in the video is using tobacco flakes and not strands. That suggests to me that the tobacco is not expanded tobacco. Look at the very first bit of the video where the person is putting tobacco into the hopper.

3. it can be adjusted to use either king-size or super-king tubes.

4. I like the little shield which covers the tube when you fill the tube. I am very much aware that it would be easy to accidentally skewer your hand by accidentally operating the machine inadvertently.

5. Also, in respect of 4. above, I like the idea that you have to use a lever to operate the machine rather than a button. The video is not as clear as I would like it to be, but it seems that, once you have loaded the tray with tobacco, the lever closes the tray and also switches on the electricity which powers the motor to infuse the tobacco into the tube. Thus, accidental operation of the infuser (presumably, an auger) is avoided.

‘Jacta est alea’ – the die is cast. I have ordered the machine through Amazon, but it is coming from America. The cost of shipping is almost half of the total cost! Altogether, it has cost me £88 and will take about two weeks to get here. But… what the hell.

The only thing that bothers me is the type of tube required. There may be a difference in the US diameter of tubes when compared with European tubes. Looking at the video, however, I cannot see that the US tubes are wider than ours. That would be a serious problem since there would be no way to get a narrower European tube over the spout. If US tubes are slightly narrower, then it would be a simple matter to wrap a bit of tape around the spout to increase the diameter of the spout. In any case, I don’t suppose that it would be impossible to source US diameter tubes.

I still have a small amount of my own stuff and so I’ll save it until the machine arrives. I would imagine that a certain amount of experimentation will be needed to work out precisely how much  tobacco to load up the tray with.

If I have wasted £88, then so be it. £88 is as nothing compared with the money that I am saving by NOT paying for ASH ET AL to persecute me. At worst, I revert to my little hand-operated tubing machine.

6 Responses to “Mechanising Cigarette Making”

  1. legiron Says:

    £88 is the tax on what, ten two-ounce packs of rolling tobacco? Probably fewer than that. I haven’t looked at the shop price for some time.

    Put in context I’d say your experiments are self-financing if not well into profit!

    • Junican Says:

      I suppose that it is around the tax on 2 sleeves of 200 fags. As you say, money well spent, provided that it simplifies operations. I seem to spend a lot of time simply gathering loose bit of tobacco back into a pile, every time I make a fag. The hopper should stop that. Also, having both hands available for tray filling should speed things up. I don’t see any reason that I shouldn’t use it while sitting on the couch watching TV as I usually do.
      I’ve had a message today from Amazon saying that the machine has shipped, so I should have it in about a fortnight.

  2. Clowse73 Says:

    That looks like a good machine.But if you want something even quicker and better,then get a fresh choice cigarette machine sent over from the USA.I purchased one,got it delivered to my house about 3 months ago.Best thing I ever did.they are expensive but with the money you save,you make your money back pretty quick.The fresh choice cigarette machine will make a pack of cigarettes in 2 minutes.

    • Junican Says:

      Now he tells me!
      Too late – see above.
      But I looked at the machine you recommend on the net. You still need to feed it tubes, but you do not need to fill a tray, which would be a good time-saving feature. But the cost is about $250. I’ll try this one first. If all goes well, I might get one like yours and sell mine on ebay or something. We’ll see.

  3. J Brown Says:

    Interesting! I will be interested to hear how you get on with this. From what I have read, the auger used cuts and slices the tobacco as it is rolling the cigarette, which might affect the way the cigarette smokes. Some of the other electric machines have a setting for the density of the tobacco to be rolled, but I see in your Zen machine that you must manually place whatever you want rolled into the hopper. How do the cigarettes come out, if you have put in too little, or too much??

    • Junican Says:

      I suppose that your question has yet to be investigated! I should imagine that it is a case of trial and error as was the case with the little tubing machine.
      Precisely how the auger works, I do not know as yet. As we know, ‘the auger’ is that part of a drill bit which extracts bits of wood from a hole which is being drilled in the wood. The helical shape of the auger uses the angle of the spinning blade to push the wood shavings backwards towards the entrance to the hole being drilled. As I understand it, a cigarette filling auger works in reverse. First, it is simple pushed into the tube. It has lots of tobacco in the gaps in the helix. It then spins. As it spins, it pushes tobacco into the tube, At the same time, it is being withdrawn. I should imagine that the amount of tobacco which the auger can deposit in the tube depends upon how much finds its way into the helix when you pack the tray.
      The only tricky bit that I envisage (judging from using the manual machine) will depend upon the dryness of the tobacco. I will not know until I use it.
      A little at a time, eh?

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