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Just started ryo again! Help me out, here.


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Old 02-12-2020, 05:39 PM
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Default Just started ryo again! Help me out, here.

Background: Smoked for 34 years. Always buy the cheap cigarettes. They opened an RYO store in Pennsylvania, the ones with the big machines. That was the best, but Obama took care of that. So i bought a Top-o-Matic. Used it for a couple of years, then started vaping and gave it away. Now I live in Tampa. Bought another OG Top-O-Matic. Used it for a couple of years, got lazy and it sat on the shelf. A few weeks ago, decided to start up again. Washed, oiled and it works like a champ. Kings don't stuff right, so I switched back to 100s and they work great. Takes me less than an hour to make a carton. So, now i will present what i got and the pros here can tell me what I'm missing or should be doing.

Top-O-Matic ( not T2)
Various tupperware, a baking sheet, a cig case and tooth picks to repair bent tubes.
WD-40
I know I need a brush to clean up and a can of air. That stuff is on my list.

I've been buying locally, so help me out on tobacco and tubes.

Smoker Friendly Blue. Its good stuff, but at $21 per pound, seems kinda high from what im seeing online.

The store sells Golden Harvest tubes. They stuff fairly well and have a nice burn time. They are selling for $4 a box. Seems kinda high too.

So opinions on smooth/blue pipe tobacco and the tubes I'm using would be appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:38 PM
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Tobacco blends are very much a personal choice so I wonít have much insight except to say that there are many choices available of varying quality and price points. I buy a destemmed Turkish-American blend of whole leaf and am very satisfied with it. The price I pay is about $14/lb with almost no waste after shredding. A few months ago I parked my Fresh Choice machine on the top shelf and now use a Powermatic Mini exclusively. Why? Because the Mini makes a better cigarette exactly to my liking. Itís almost as fast, it takes me 23 minutes to make a carton versus 20 with the FC.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Tcbj99 View Post
I know I need a brush to clean up and a can of air. That stuff is on my list.

I've been buying locally, so help me out on tobacco and tubes.

Smoker Friendly Blue. Its good stuff, but at $21 per pound, seems kinda high from what im seeing online.

The store sells Golden Harvest tubes. They stuff fairly well and have a nice burn time. They are selling for $4 a box. Seems kinda high too.

So opinions on smooth/blue pipe tobacco and the tubes I'm using would be appreciated.

Thank you
A cosmetics brush, the type women use to apply blush, will work fine. Rather than a can of air, try an air bulb. I use the Giotto Rocket Blaster (see picture below).

A brick-and-mortar shop is going to charge more because of greater overhead. But, still, IMO if you like the tobacco you're using, $21/lb. isn't outrageously high. $4 per box for GH tubes is a bit high compared to online shops, but is a fair price for a brick-and-mortar. I estimate your costs as being around $1.40 per pack -- still not outrageously high. Sure you can do better online, but that will mean trial and error to find a tobacco brand that best suits your taste. Is it worth it, given that you like what you already have?

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Old 02-14-2020, 09:46 PM
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All you need to repair a crushed tube is your fingers. Just run your fingers over the messed up part and it straightens out. $21 a pound is a deal for me. About a year ago PA added a new tax of $10 a pound. I was paying $16 and now it's $26. Sill less than $30 for over 2 cartons so I can't complain. I would recommend dropping the Top lever machine and getting a Powermatic 3 or even 2. At $300 a powermatic 3 pays for its self in a month. Not to mention the time and effort it saves.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:01 AM
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Call me a masochist but I started out (two months ago) with a $8 manual TOP stuffer/injector and for the amount I smoke I see no reason to upgrade to something more expensive and more complicated. I have a few old Mb crush-proof boxes that I reuse over and over, sometimes scotch-taping the flaps that come unglued (I am after all, trying to save money.....). I make as many as I can fit in a box as the TOP tubes that I use are a tad fatter than Mb's. I found some "1839 Red" at a local shop and it tastes ok to me although it's a kinda loose cut and a little bit of a hassle stuffing the injector slot. Another thing I've noticed is the "king size" TOP tubes are a "silly little millimeter" longer than the box is tall - however, that allows me to fold the tip over after tamping and they then fit in the box perfectly. I went online to buy a 6 oz bag of Golden Harvest Red (I've been wanting to try it) and I freaked out at the $8 plus shipping and so emptied my cart. I haven't seen GH locally but then again I haven't looked that hard. I'll have to call around. I must admit, when I see you guys buying pounds of whole leaf/shredding etc. I'm impressed. It wouldn't be worth it to me as I smoke about 10 cigs a day. Anyone here ever try 1839 Red? S'not bad.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:09 AM
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Oh - and I not to brag but I can still blow my manual injector clean after 4 or 5 stuffings (I am aware that this may not always be the case - we're all playing with fire as we all well know).
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Superlungs View Post
Oh - and I not to brag but I can still blow my manual injector clean after 4 or 5 stuffings (I am aware that this may not always be the case - we're all playing with fire as we all well know).
Same here. A quick puff and a couple of taps on the table and my Mini is ready for the next run. Just think of all the money Iíve saved by not buying makeup brushes.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Superlungs View Post
I found some "1839 Red" at a local shop and it tastes ok to me although it's a kinda loose cut and a little bit of a hassle stuffing the injector slot. ... I went online to buy a 6 oz bag of Golden Harvest Red (I've been wanting to try it) and I freaked out at the $8 plus shipping and so emptied my cart. I haven't seen GH locally but then again I haven't looked that hard. I'll have to call around. I must admit, when I see you guys buying pounds of whole leaf/shredding etc. I'm impressed. It wouldn't be worth it to me as I smoke about 10 cigs a day. Anyone here ever try 1839 Red? S'not bad.
I tried 1839 Red several years ago. The former moderator of the RYO forum used to recommend it, and Hot Rod tubes, to everyone new that came along (he's long since left), so I tried it ... and I found it incredibly bland. I suppose you could say it's "not bad," but it's "not good" either. Btw, I never did try Hot Rod tubes.

You should be able to find Golden Harvest in a local tobacco shop. Try contacting Rouseco to see if the company can tell you if there are any retail shops in your area that have it in stock.

Last edited by masklofumanto; 02-15-2020 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:03 PM
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Thank you for the suggestion. I will do that. This forum doesn't contact me when my posts get a response, so I apologize for the delay in my gratitude.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveM View Post
Same here. A quick puff and a couple of taps on the table and my Mini is ready for the next run. Just think of all the money Iíve saved by not buying makeup brushes.
I do occasionally use an artists 3/4 inch white flat stiff-bristle brush. You can find them quite inexpensively in some big-box art/craft/hobby stores. The handles on "artists" paint brushes are long and unwieldly so I lopped it off about half way and sanded the stump smooth. I use the same brush on my coffee-bean grinder.
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