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How'd you get started? Why do (or don't) you do it?...

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Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Jderringer on Friday, 12-May-2006

I started making my own again about two months ago due to having a little more time on my hands and the cost factors, BUT ANYWAY...
I went out with one of my buddies last night and we stayed out alot longer than we thought we would (you know how it goes!) and I ran out of homemades, So I stopped at a gas station and grabbed a pack of my old pre-made brand (Newport 100's). I smoked about half the pack last night and noticed that they didn't taste very good, even in my state of relative intoxication. I also got a free pack from a promotion at the bar (Camel Menthol).
When I woke up this morning, I grabbed my Newports and Camels, and sat at the dinner table and fired up a Newport. IT TASTED LIKE POOL CHLORINE! YUCK! I tossed the rest of the pack in the garbage, and opened my Camels... Now, I've always liked Camels, as a treat, lighter and tastier than my normal Newports when I was smoking pre-mades... but these tasted like chemicals too! nasty! I guess the one good about the Camels (besides being free!) is they came in a nice tin thats holds 18 of my home-mades nicely.
I guess I won't leave my house again without grabbing an extra pack of home-mades again, and don't ever see myself going back to premades.

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Jazzbo on Friday, 12-May-2006

Amen to that! I simply cannot stand the taste of premades any longer. I'm not sure of the psychology behind it, but I know for a fact I've gone from smoking a pack and a half a day of premades to about 12-15 MYOs a day.

I try to keep about a carton's worth on hand at any one time (keep 'em in a cigar humidor I bought second-hand) and when I know I'm going out for what may turn into an extended period, I fill up a couple or three of Smokey cases for insurance. ;-) Invariably my friends will start wanting my MYOs and I tend to run out that much quicker....

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Julie on Friday, 09-Mar-2007

Hey there, I'm a Newport 100 smoker and trying to find a brand of tobacco and tubes that kinda taste like Newports. Can you help???

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Smokin n Jokin on Friday, 09-Mar-2007

Hi Julie, sorry to have to be the one to tell you this but you won't find anything in bulk tobacco that's as nasty as a premade Newport but with a little effort you should be able to come pretty close. It's almost impossible to match a premade exactly because of all the additives they put in them to keep you hooked and keep you brand loyal. You might try some blends from a company called custom blends. They have two blends that are supposed to be like a Newport. Blend #6 and blend #15. I've tried them and liked them both. They also have a Turkish menthol you might try a sample of. They are a little pricey at $28.00 a pound. After you get a little further into this you can probably find something you can live with a lot cheaper. As a former menthol smoker I can personally recommend Wingate light from D&R and Rave Menthol light from Lil Browns Smoke Shack. Click on roll your own and at the bottom there is a list describing all of their blends, or you can click on the link that says match brands here. Good luck.

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Julie on Tuesday, 13-Mar-2007

Do you know if I should use regular tubes versus menthol tubes? I try Rave full flavor menthol and menthol tubes and they were WAY too strong. I'm thinking maybe the Rave light menthol and regular tubes might work....Any thoughts?

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Smokin n Jokin on Tuesday, 13-Mar-2007

I think that would be a good combination and pretty close to a Newport in strength. Gambler just came out with a menthol light also. When you say it was too strong do you mean the tobacco was too strong or too much menthol? You might try a Gizeh Charbon (charcoal) tube. I don't know if it will tone down the menthol but will remove a lot of harshness. If it's still to strong you might try a light tube, they have perforations around the filter that lets air in. I don't care for them because I don't like any fresh air with my smoke.

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by scott johnson on Wednesday, 14-Mar-2007

Note: not all light tubes have the air holes. There are a bunch that use a denser filter instead.

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Julie on Friday, 06-Apr-2007

I think I found the perfect combination!!! I've been using Rave Menthol light and Premium Regular 100's filters and they taste JUST like Newports! I just have to figure out how to roll them looser now, cuz they're kinda hard to hit...but otherwise perfect! Thanks for the great advice!

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Re: Factory smokes vs. SYO smokes
Posted by Smokin n Jokin on Saturday, 07-Apr-2007

I'm glad you found something that works Julie.

"and they taste JUST like Newports!"

Buy a package of Newports in a couple of months and see if you think they taste just as good as the Rave in the Premier tube.

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Why I started myo/ my mistakes / loveitnow
Posted by Robert on Monday, 17-Apr-2006

In an attempt to achieve our goals my wife and I started tracking our costs. Cigarettes turned out to be using up more of our funds than we realized. So I went out and bought a package of bugler on the advice of a friend and bought one of those cheap little rollers with the vinyl to make unfiltereds. YUCK ... way to strong, way to harsh and tasted like fermented plant food. So I finally found a store that carries tubes and different myo tobaccos. First I tried the natural american spirit us grown in the 5.29oz can and found I liked it but it still seemed harsh so when I finished that can I tried the n.a.s. original and it was even worse. I was ready to give up until I found this site and the ryomagazine site. On the near limitless positive comments about McClintock Virginia I went shopping around and found some at a head shop in a 6oz can. Bought it and love the stuff!! Also tried a pouch of the Bali Shag turkish blend which I also like. I got into this trying to save money. Now I smoke a lot less because I don't seem to crave cigarettes the way I used to and I actually enjoy smoking again!! I also don't have the near chronic cough I had for years (not that smoking is good for you - DUH!!) but I do feel better. Now I MYO because now I can't stand to smoke a Marlboro medium which was my previous brand. They are so harsh to me and taste bad but that's just what I've found in the past few months. Thanks a lot to everyone here. The posts were very helpful as I was about to give up on MYO after the experiences with Bugler, NAS, and oh-yeah ... Zig-Zag (didn't like it either)... thanks for giving me the enjoyment in smoking back.

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Re: Why I started myo/ my mistakes / loveitnow
Posted by Slap Maxwell on Monday, 17-Apr-2006

Welcome to the horde. Everyone goes through the obligator "buy a bag of shite" phase because we don't know any better...I'm always thrilled when those who take the plunge make it through their mistakes and see MYO for what it really is...an opportunity to enjoy real tobacco, the way you want it and how you want it.

I've probably turned three or four other folks onto MYO who are still at it after a year or more. Personally, I can't imagine every going back to the pre-made world. Oh, don't get me wrong...if I'm stuck somewhere without my supplies, like in an airport or while traveling, I'll buy a pack of chokes, take three or four short puffs and give the rest of the damn pack away. Believe me, I'm becoming less and less forgetful about bringing plenty of ciggies when I know I might run out. ;-)

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Re: Why I started myo/ my mistakes / loveitnow
Posted by Robert on Tuesday, 18-Apr-2006

o.k. this is getting really interesting. Long story made very short here .. Two local retailers who only sell the most popular pre-mades have asked me to set up a myo section in their stores for them!! All of this over discussions about what I smoke. (I previously bought premades at these places and still stop by for a soda or to say hello and drop off a good myo smoke for them to try). I have absolutely no idea how to go about this but it sounds like a lot of fun. I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to it but I'll let yall know what happens as a result. Maybe I can get them to start carrying some really good selections here locally.

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Re: Why I started myo/ my mistakes / loveitnow
Posted by JD on Tuesday, 18-Apr-2006

Great opportunity to turn some more folks onto MYO. I'd suggest a trip around RYO magazine--just a cursory glance should give you plenty of help.

I wish other retailers were as receptive to the MYO/RYO market...and that those who do take the plunge wouldn't do it in a half-assed way the way so many seem to do. I'd love to be able to quit having to order my stuff and just drive to a local for everything.

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Re: Why I started myo/ my mistakes / loveitnow
Posted by platoslostdialogue on Wednesday, 19-Apr-2006

I feel ya on that. D&R is great but if I could buy their tobacco locally it would make my life much easier. All the places around Fremont are glorified head shops that actually carry a couple types of tobacco. The best head shop (which I no longer patronize) in this area doesn't even carry tobacco, only premades. Every place I go to, I see the same stuff. Three tins of Bali Shag, American Spirit, Top/Bugler and maybe McClintock (no Virginia) if I'm lucky. If I ask them about any other types of tobacco they look at me like I'm crazy. Thank goodness the internet lets us access that which is available to the rest of the world. Not even the world though, since I guess Bali makes a turkish that isn't sold in the US anymore? I don't know, all the tobacco shops around here suck.

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Re: Why I started myo/ my mistakes / loveitnow
Posted by Julia Wallace on Sunday, 20-Aug-2006

Hi,If you are talking about Fremont, MI. I know a great place to buy SYO supplies in Big Rapids, MI.
(Great Prices and Natural no additives tobacco)
Tobacco Outfitters,LLC
Golfview Plaza
13458 Northland Dr.,Unit 3
Big Rapids, MI 49307

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Re: Why I started myo/ my mistakes / loveitnow
Posted by Jay on Sunday, 23-Jul-2006

Yeah, I meant to say in my own thread I might end up smoking LESS myself. Smoking less might help cut own on my cravings during work. Since the packs that hold MYO's are bigger than a factory pack, I might have to find another way to carry them on a work day. These cases are too big for my pants pocket.

I tried one of those Zig-Zags from another friend who's trying MYOs herself, and I saw her blue Zig-Zag pack. I think this regular tobacco I'm using to make Premier 100mm regular tubes taste better than the Zig-Zag. I'm reluctant to smoke a Newport ever again. I think it's those chemicals in factory cigs that contribute to the cravings (and thus contribute to me lighting up more often).

But since MYOs have no chemicals, the actual reason why most smoke less after switching is the MYOs have more of the nicotine in them....and they don't have the crappy chemicals that help "take away" a lot of the nicotine.

That's just my opinion, but I think the factory cigs WOULD have more "natural" nicotine in them without the chemicals....and with using real tobacco instead of "garbage" tobacco bits for that matter. Smoking pure cigs with nothing but natural nicotine in them is more enjoyable than smoking a brand that is crappy and costs 3-6 times as much as a MYO pack.

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Why I started making my OWN!
Posted by Jeff March on Friday, 31-Mar-2006

First time on this site, and I like it. Anyway to make a short story long, I live just outside of Chicago(Cook County) which raised cig taxes on March 1 by ANOTHER buck a pack. Right now, were higher than New York at an average of $6.50 per pack. I said Id quit when smokes hit a buck a pack! Anyway, I started 3 weeks ago with a can of zigzag menthol and light 100s tubes, and simple maker. I smoked Doral Menthol Light 100s, so I thought this was ok. Wrong! The tubes for the 100s had a longer filter, but no perfs to let air in. After some quick experimenting, I hit on a good combo for me. Zigzag menthol and king size light tubes, with my new supermatic machine! The 100 light tubes didnt have the perfs in the filter! Why? Anyway, I found a decent combo for me at the cost of around $15 a carton. When will THE MAN catch up on taxing the hell out of this too? I tried Kite, which was ok, but I only found 1 brand that was packed as menthol light tobacco, but from Thailand. Im only a 3 week novice, but I do notice dry VS moist tobacco. I use up a can in a week, so it seems to be no problem. Not too many people in Chicago make their own. Big change now with the taxes. Make up your mind, quit, or MYO. Ive seen the cost of the Supermatics go from $49 to $58 in one week! See where is this going? Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.
Jeff just outside if Chi-town
PS, A carton of Doral Menthol Light 100s at a cheap price was around $50. Also Cook County which is Chicago and its collar suburbs is going smoke free in about a year. Have fun at the bar and bowling alley when you can!

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Re: Why I started making my OWN!
Posted by Jay on Monday, 24-Jul-2006

I live near Chicago. I'm from the south suburbs. I actually used to buy my cartons in Indiana before I learned about MYO. I never did wanna pay the city/Crook County's prices for port cartons. Looks like I won't be going to Indiana anymore for my smokes either. A MYO carton is even cheaper than Indiana's $30 price for a Newport carton.

You probably know of the IL smokers group on Yahoo from another sub-forum topic on here (someone left a link to the IL Smokers group in another thread). I'm a co-mod in the group.   

But I own a Meetup group for IL smokers. I have links to IL-based smokers rights sites/groups in there (that anyone can view in the group's "About" section).

This link is one for the Meetup group I refer to.


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My first SYO experiences
Posted by Dan R on Wednesday, 22-Mar-2006

Hi, I am new here... nice to see there is a site devoted for SYO-ing. I started to do it because New York State laws have made it nearly impossible for anyone to order cigs from the Seneca Indians (who's prices were very cheap, brand name cartons had good prices, store brand prices were great but the cigs were kinda crappy). Now that a few of those Seneca stores have been forced out of buisness.. I am making my own. I started with Golden Harvest tobacco, and also Kentucky Light, and did the rolling paper and the apron roller routine for a while, untill I couldn't stand the harshness of the raw tobacco. The I discovered the tubes and injectors and that's where I am now. I am currently using a Twister injector (which works realy nice for me), and using the same tobacco I started with. Nice, smooth taste. I do have a question tho.... Has anyone had any experiences with Detroit Tobacco Company? Their prices seem about average and their tobaccos taste good (at least the stuff I have bought). Can anyone tell me if there is a better company to deal with? My only concern is that they recently posted that they no longer sell to the state of Maryland. What's up with this? Is it going to become a Federal offense to ship tobacco across state lines?

Ok, so this sounds dumb... but I'm new to all these insane laws and stuffing my own (which I do enjoy).

Any advice or info would be appreciated. Thank you.

Dan R.

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Re: My first SYO experiences
Posted by Dano on Wednesday, 22-Mar-2006

I could be totally wrong about this but as far as the shipping to Maryland thing goes, I believe it may be because the shipping company (who ever is selling the smokes) didn't sign onto the Tobacco agreement (MSA) where they pay the tax into some sort of government fund and Maryland is going to be looking to them to pay the tax and they don't want to.

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Your SYO experience
Posted by Dan on Saturday, 22-Oct-2005

I got started on RYO in the late 60's. Rolling with a hand roller. Even then I went for European brands like Old Holborn and Pearle Shag over Top and Bugler. More Nicotine and a more exotic flavor. Then tried the SYO machines and then quit all cigs for 6 years. I also like pipes,nasal snuff and an occasional cigar or chew. Went to store bought cigs for 10 years mostly because of the anti-drug crusade which made roll your own tobacco and papers hard to buy locally. Then the anti-tobacco crusade,which was primarily anti-cigarette in the beginning,pushed cigs over 2$ a pack. So about 15 years ago I went back to rolling when tobacco and papers started becoming available locally once more,tried a Supermatic and didn't really like it and started again rolling. I always enjoyed the tobacco-especially Old Holborn and Gauloises far more than the nasty premades which I bought due to availability and the supposed sense of ease of not having to RYO. Now we have the internet and a whole new ballgame of actually good RYO tobacco. And I find rolling to be an enjoyable hobby as well. Never again will I go back to the "Nasties" of the premade world. Life is too short to smoke cheap tobacco. Even the most expensive RYO tobacco and good papers are less than the cost of the cheapest 4th tier reconstituted chemical laden crap sold over the counter. I have always wanted to have a storefront tobacco shop but with all the existing regulations I doubt that it will ever happen. Long live the tobaccophiles!.

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stuffing for a couple of months
Posted by Bill on Thursday, 20-Oct-2005

I've been making my own cigs for about 2 months. Thought I would share what I've learned so far.

Before I found this site and RYO magazine I ordered my Supermatic, tubes, and 2 pounds of tobacco from Tobacco Station. That stuff is bad...it made it's way to the trash real quick. After I found this site and RYO mag I ordered samples of Windsail, Vengure, Ramback and Rowland from D&R. DW liked the ramback and I liked the windsail. We ran out and went to the local cig store and bought mcclintock, bali shag, bugler, and zig zag light. I smoked winston lights for at least 20 years and both DW and I have found that we like the zig zag best. It tastes most like a regular american cig to us...so we've been buying zig zag. I know this goes against what many think...but...it's what we like. We've ordered 1oz samples of about everything on the American Thrust site and still like zig zag best.

We now buy everything from American Thrust. Best prices we've found for zig zag when bought 5 cans at a time. Their prices on tubes are a little higher, but they offer free shipping on orders over $75. We also bought an Excel stuffer and defineately like the Premier Supermatic better. I can roll a carton in a little over an hour.

We also bought the Smokey cig cases...nice...but I'll really be suprised if the little plastic hinges last very long...we'll see.

Anyway, thanks to all the posters here for helping to cut down the learning time.

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Re: stuffing for a couple of months
Posted by Kev on Thursday, 20-Oct-2005

I bought a ten-pack of the Smokey cases 9 months ago and haven't broken one yet. The plastic resin is more pliable than it looks and they're much better than two piece cases.

Now only if they'd make them for 100's too...

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How I got started
Posted by Dave on Friday, 07-Oct-2005

It just got be too much damn money for pre-packaged butts. My wife and I were spending $10 a day on butts. We did the math, ran the numbers, consulted the star charts (OK, we didnt do the star chart thing), and found out that we would save almost $200 a month doing SYO. We have been doing it now for about 3 weeks, and it's nuts how much money we have saved already.

So that's how we got started. And I'm kicking my self that we didn't do this about 10 years ago. $2,400 a year (roughly) we could have saved. Times 10 years. Man, that's a new freaking car right there. Oh well, maybe 10 years from now, I can finally get my Vette ^^. Or something.

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Re: How I got started
Posted by Warren on Thursday, 20-Oct-2005

>... we would save almost $200 a month doing SYO.
> $2,400 a year (roughly) we could have saved.
> Times 10 years. ...

Even better part is that these $2400 a year won't go into the pockets of the anti-smoking thieves, who won't just steal it and go away, but use the loot to malign us to our kids at schools, and hound us into the rain and snow, from restaurants, workplaces, airports,... They even took a nice lighter out my pocket last time I travelled by plane. Taking back the $2400 a year from these scumbags is worth it all by itself (even if it weren't a better smoke or more money into my pocket). Add to this the pleasure of payback to the back-stabbing big tobacco who made deals with states against us... and who could ask for more.

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Re: How I got started
Posted by zuppy on Thursday, 20-Oct-2005

Could not have stated it better then Warren just did!

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Posted by Zippy on Wednesday, 28-Sep-2005

I started roughly 2 years ago after reading comments on this and another board.

Like most I started with a hand stuffer and found it unacceptable, then bought a Supermatic off of eBay. Worked well and cut the time down considerably.

The reason I started was the increasing cost of smoking as well as my want to quit funding (Through the MSA) all the groups that suddenly seemed to openly hate my use of tobacco. The last straw was when my Son came home and told me that his teacher told him I was a drug addict because I smoke.

I think what boosted my resolve was when my oldest Son returned from an 18 month tour of duty in Iraq. It was the same day that the local City Council banned smoking in my town. That night my Son said "I went to Iraq to fight radical fundamentalists only to return to a Country that appears to have given up to the same element".

I think I would actually consider quiting if it wasn't for the fact that I can upset nannies every time they see me light one up. It does my heart good to see the sneers and frowns on there faces when they see me pass by with a good smoke between my "addicted" lips.

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Re: Why I SYO
Posted by V.B. on Wednesday, 28-Sep-2005

Alas, most smokers seem to feel guilty about smoking. Otherwise, the would surely show their outrage at the ever escalating level of harassment of smokers by governments and various anti-tobacco cults. Say, by withholding any and all charitable contributions (since they already are being robbed blind by brutal tobacco taxes in many locales).
While smoking is surely not a health booster, neither is constant exposure to car exhaust fumes, which residents of so many cities must endure because their govts sees restricting car traffic as "bad for buisness" and "against individual liberty in chosing one's mode of transportation".

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Re: Why I SYO
Posted by Ralph on Thursday, 29-Sep-2005

I thank you and your son for his service. My nephew came back from Iraq last year and was laid off from his job a month later. It's the new "Bush economy". Bush is busily offshoring and Americans are suffering. Add to this the diminishing personal liberties and all is not well.

The new Bush economy includes shutting down manufacturing, outsourcing tech and selling off American assets. Foriegn ownership of US assets has reached over 13 TRILLION dollars. Yes, you read that right. Our massive trade deficits and decline of quality manufacturing and technology jobs poses a far bigger threat than any terrorist. I watch any number of gas guzzling SUV's racing down the freeway replete with patriotic ribbon sticker attached and I wonder if these people realize they are funding terrorists on a mass scale. Every gallon we buy puts cold cash in the hands of terrorists. If you doubt me, research Saudi funding of madrasses and the evil that is rampant. Meanwhile, the US profiteers rake in the billions hand over fist here whilst Bush proposes no energy policy of any meaning. His connections with the Bin Ladens and Carlyle Group are well documented. Ask your son about private contractors in Iraq.   Bush's vision of America is a massive mercenary force filling the pockets of his cronies. Servicemen get paid peanuts whilst the likes of Halliburton and Cheney are laughing all the way to the bank.

Bush has anounced his next "compassionate conservative" initiative. That would be his "war on pornography". It is not difficult to realize that this will take on all sorts of bizarre and twisted turns in eliminating both free speech and freedom of expression. We already have our "war on poverty" and "war on drugs", we need more failed "war on" policies. Policies that makes the US the most imprisoned society per capita on the planet.

Judge Roberts is about to become chief justice of the SCOTUS. This is a racist criminal who claims that Americans have no right to privacy. Expect abortion to be available only to the elite Bushites.

The Bush admin continues to support amenesty for illegals. Why not? It creates an underclass society which corporate America can draw cheap labor from. It is both immoral and wrong. It further drives down wages for all Americans and illegal immigration is a big win for Bush and his corporate cronies.

We've fallen on hard times and times are about to get worse. The criminalization of tobacco is but one agenda for these corporate funded criminals that run our government. Bad times these are. I hope all Americans wake up soon and take notice of what is happening.

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Re: Why I SYO
Posted by Tim Aydt on Thursday, 29-Sep-2005

Hear, hear.

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I got my Excel about a week ago.
Posted by dan Slater on Saturday, 06-Aug-2005

I got my Excel about a week ago.
I started out using some Top tobbaco and I thought it was pretty good
But I just got four different types from D&R , I tried the Rowland and the Vanguer, so far very good stuff. The Top is now officially the back up tin.
I am still having problems with getting the tube filled all the way up to the filter.
The only way I get a full smoke is to make a box full and pack the hell out of them. Which leaves me with smokes that are a bit to tight.
I noticed the tubes come off the nozzle when the lever is pulled all the way.
Should the tube remain on the nozzle till you bring the lever back and the tube gripper moves away from the nozzle?

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Re: I got my Excel about a week ago.
Posted by Mike on Monday, 15-Aug-2005

Ive been using the Excel for a year and a half now, and I'll never use anything else.... I think the key to getting tobacco all the way to the filter is to NOT get it too tight. When filling the chamber, make sure to move the tobacco back and forth inside the chamber with your fingers towards the middle, as to make sure you get tobacco all the way back to the left side where the tube gets put over the plastic thing. If you just stuff the tobacco straight down, there will be a "Void" on the left making a void of material above the filter. Once again, if you make it too tight, it will cause the tobacco to not move towards the filter like it should, causing it to get stuck as you crank it. Also make sure there is an even amount of tobacco all the way across, cuz if theres too much in the middle or towards the right, it wont crank right causing the tobacco to get stuck... one more tip.... try to use the drier tobacco that isnt too stringy. That will also help.

Good luck,

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Re: I got my Excel about a week ago.
Posted by Tim Aydt on Thursday, 01-Sep-2005

It should release on the end of the stroke.

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New Poster
Posted by Harry on Wednesday, 27-Jul-2005

I've been reading this site for over a year now and thought I should add to the collective wisdom when I can. I'm in my late 60's and first made cigarettes in the early 1950's on the old Bugler roller with Bugler tobacco. Rolled for two or three years off and on out of financial necessity. (and this was when you could buy a pack of pre-mades for about 20 cents!). Smoked pre-mades for close to fifty years and have gone to SYO smokes for the past year and a half. Again out of financial necessity. (The more things change, the more they stay the same).
I've used 4 different hand-held injectors, my favorite being the 100mm from Zig-Zag. Now on my second Premier Supermatic (I rebuilt the first one and use it for backup) I've tried about 25 or so different tobaccos and right now smoke mostly Golden Harvest all-natural. Also trying London Export from Stokkebye if I can ever get the damn stuff to dry.......even leaving it out and pulled apart for two and a half hours it's still too moist. Seems like a good smoke, though. Well, thanks Dave for the site and thanks to all the contributors.

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My experience so far.
Posted by MAJ on Saturday, 16-Jul-2005

I didn’t have a clue about MYO besides hand rolling until I received an Excel Platinum in a starter kit last Christmas. I became an instant MYO convert. I have being making my own for little over a half a year now.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dave Lers for this site, as well as the other participants for sharing their knowledge and experience. The information available on this site has been very helpful to me. I waited until now to post until I gathered at least a little experience with MYO.

Although the cost savings by making your own is significant, my attraction has been the quality of tobacco that is available. They ability to choose the type of cigarette tubes and tobacco you use allows for a much more satisfying experience. I smoked Marlboro 100s for over 30 years. I just noticed I still have the unfinished carton of Marlboros I was smoking when I received the Excel. I haven’t touched them since I started MYO. Kind of shows the difference between pre-packaged versus MYO.

I made the mistake I think a lot of people make when they are just getting started with MYO, which is to try to find a tobacco that matched the pre-packaged brands that you are used to smoking. My first selection of tobacco was Golden Harvest Full Flavor because I read it was similar to Marlboros. It was pretty close to the taste of the Marlboros, but I liked it better. When I discovered this site and Doug Kennedy’s site at RYO Magazine, I realized that there is a large number of tobacco blends available that are probably a lot better than what I was used to. I found American Thrust Tobacco and ordered a bunch of their 1 ounce samples, (I wished more retailers would provide 1 oz. samples, it is such a great idea.) Boy – what a difference good tobacco makes. (BTW – I am not knocking Golden Harvest, I just found that I personally like other types of tobacco a lot better.) I am now a big fan of D&R Tobacco and have several of their blends on hand. I also like Peter Stokkebye’s Amsterdam Shag, Turkish Export, and Bali Blue.

Since I have jumped in to MYO with both feet, I realized that if something happened to the Excel, I would be up the creek until I got it repaired. I was thinking of getting an additional Excel for a backup, but after reading the reviews here and at RYO Magazine, I decided to get a Premier Supermatic as the additional machine. Currently, I am undecided about which machine I like the best. They both have their pros and cons and I will post my opinions in the appropriate sections later. I tend to use the Premier Supermatic on the weekends when I make my regular cigarettes for the week, and use the Excel to make the cigarettes I smoke at home for variety.

Thanks again Dave for this informative blog.

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Transition Guide - or "What I have learned so far"
Posted by syot on Sunday, 24-Apr-2005

Transition Guide, or how to MYO after smoking Marlboro Lights for years.

I have only been stuffing my own a few weeks but have learned a great deal. Keep in mind that this is being written by a newbie. The more experienced, of course, can offer much more valuable insight on the finer points of MYO, but hopefully this will provide some useful information for those who are transitioning from plain old american style smokes like Marlboro Lights to the wonderful world of making you own. Many of the points below are obvious to the experience MYO'er, but sometimes the wonks forget what it was like to be clueless and I figured I would write down what I have learned so far before I got so knowledgeable that I would not think that mentioning this stuff was necessary since it was so obvious .

When I first started investigating MYO, I read almost all of the information on this excellent website as well as many editions of RYO magazine. I was really hyped up thinking I would be making my own super blends in a week or two . I ordered a Supermatic Premier, Dave's hopper tray, a few different types of tubes, and some of the tobaccos with good reviews including Bali shags, McClintock, Rimboche, some Stokkebye exports, and others (many were samples). I am sure these are some excellent tobaccos for the connoisseurs, but after years of smoking Marlboro and a few other types of american style light cigarettes, I was coughing my head off with every smoke after a few days even when they were stuffed into light El Rey wrappers. Perhaps part of the problem was that some were so smooth and went down so easy that I inhaled too much, but the volume of smoke did not really indicate this. I tried taking smaller puffs, but was still coughing. I needed to find different, standard, more "American" styles of tobacco for the transition. Anything by Stokkebye makes me cough at present if I smoke it too often, although I have not tried Master Roll, which I think is an american style blend. Note that the guy who writes RYO magazine typically uses light wrappers.

I found a few tobaccos at a local tobacco shop and gave them a try - Zigzag light, Stokers #2 light, and Sampson Mild Shag. The Sampson, a premium tobacco, tasted good but induced coughing. I was very pleased with the Zigzag and Stokers. The Zigzag is excellent and seems to be a three dimensional tobacco, as Dave describes about some tobaccos in one of his posts. Both it and the Stokers had the "feel" that I expected out of a Marlboro - the strong hit on the throat and lungs, but without coughing. Perhaps there is some additive or casing in American style tobaccos (probably making it unhealthier!) that allows this - a strong throat and lung sensation without inducing cough. The best thing about the Stokers is the price - it was on sale for $12 for a pound. It tastes fine to me, especially after hydrating the finished cigarettes, and has a wonderful somewhat fruity aroma on opening my "humidor" - a plastic Glad bin with a hydration "cigar" filled with water crystals. I have on order a pound of H&R light, and I expect that it will be similar to Stokers light from the reviews I have read, and for even less cost - less than 10 bucks for a pound from Lil Brown.

I then got the D&R sample kit with the Vengeur Light, Windsail Light, Topsail, and PenHooker Light, plus a canister of Ramback. I was very pleased with all of these, especially the Windsail Light, as well as the Windsail tubes it included (plus they are all white like Marlboro lights). I really like the taste of the Penhooker and Vengeur lights, although they are slightly cough inducing. I like the Topsail the least, although it is fine in a light wrapper. The Ramback is a delight - it does have the odor of unwashed socks as is often mentioned but has an excellent and smooth taste. Again, slightly cough inducing for me, but mixed with the Windsail Light makes an excellent blend for occasional use plus it burns very slowly and goes out if you neglect it more than thirty seconds.

Another thing about these I like is that they are all coarse style tobaccos. With shag tobaccos you need to separate out the strands to fluff it up before stuffing. Shags don't seem as hard on the machine and require less pressure to stuff or at least for the cutter to get by. But overall, coarse styles are easier to deal with since they require less work to get the proper amount loaded in the chamber without the long thin strands.

The most important thing for the newbie is to find a good base tobacco for them (in my case, preferably cheap!) and use it for a while so they are totally familiar with its characteristics before exploring the finer tobaccos or experimenting with blending.

Since I never had to deal with it before, reading about moisture content was confusing. I would recommend getting a cheap digital hygrometer. Put it in the canister with the tobacco for a half hour or so. If it reads much more than 50%, in my experience and with my particular hygrometer, it is too wet for easy stuffing since it will gum up or jam the machine. It has worked out better for me to use around 50% RH, stuff them, then put a humidifier in with the finished cigarettes to bring them to a good moisture content, around 55-60%. If I try to stuff tobacco with an RH of 60%, I need to clean the cutter blade of the machine after every three or four cigarettes, plus I often get a bad stuff. I suspect that these values are low since the hygrometer is reading the moisture produced by the tobacco which makes its way to the surrounding air and the actual humidity of the tobacco itself may be 5-10% more than the hygro reads. Or, maybe my hygro reads too low. Either way, it has provided a useful measure for me.

Being new at this, I have a hard time gauging the moisture content of tobacco by feel. Shags feel more moist than coarse cuts at the same RH, I guess since they feel softer. Zigzag feels dry enough to stuff out of the can, but quickly gums up the machine and stuffs poorly. With my hygrometer, I find that the RH of the cans of Zigzag I have purchased have all been around 60% (again, what my hygro reads) and require drying first.

If the tobacco is too moist, the main problem I have is gumming up the cutter blade of the supermatic and then it sticks and prevents the mechanism from returning after injection without frequent cleaning of the cutter blade. Cleaning is most easily accomplished by running a fingernail over the blade. Otherwise the supermatic works great. I got some Moly Lube, a dry lubricant, at a sporting goods store and sprayed it on the mechanism on the bottom, being careful not to let it get on any part that touches the tobacco. Another note - I don't use the rubber mat under the premier, so the mechanism is exposed underneath. Don't make the mistake I did once and hold it up with your fingers on the mechanism and turn the crank to clean it out - ouch!

Dave's hopper tray has proved excellent. I could not imagine using a Supermatic without it since it so greatly speeds and simplifies the process. Due to the unnatural pressure I put on it at the right side (see below), holding the crank at the top of the curve and pressing down and across on the tray on the overhang on the right side, though, after a couple weeks it started to slide a bit. The two-sided tape which holds it to the top of the machine is super strength - I imagine that I could not remove the tray without bending the tray. And it only slid a tiny amount, less than 1/16", but if I kept this up for years I could imagine that it would be a problem. I did not want to bother with putting the construction glue on it when I originally mounted it as he recommends, and this may have prevented this from occuring, but probably not since the pressure I put on the tray tends to slide it across the surface. So, I put a couple of small sheet metal screws in it to ensure it would not move, of course, being sure they would not interfere with the mechanism below. This is surely not necessary unless you also put a horizontal pressure on the tray when manufacturing like I do.

After trying the american style tobaccos and realizing how wonderful and inexpensive these were, I was really comitted to RYO. I got an Excel on sale at a local shop just in case I ever have a problem with the Premier or for travel, but it is still in the box. I have not yet seen a need to use it, although I really ought to give it a try to see how it works since from the reviews most everyone is pleased with their performance.

I usually have a quarter inch of tobacco sticking out the end of the cigarette after stuffing. I typically just leave it and pack it down with repeated upside down strikes on the finished cigarette. This allows me to stuff a bit looser and still come out with a firm product. Another thing I do is at the top of the stroke with the spoon sticking all the way out and the cigarette pushed off the end, I press it back onto the spoon a bit which seems to stuff it a bit better with less tobacco sticking out. I press down on the right side of the tray (see above) and hold the crank at the top of the swing (not with any downward pressure on the crank, of course). It makes the process more labor intensive, but since I can now make a pack in less than 5 minutes, this does not seem too onerous.

I figured maybe I needed to adjust the release. After reading Dave's description of the Supermatic adjustments, I made some measurements. One thing I noticed, though, is the picture on the website shows the spoon sticking out 2 5/8", not 2 3/4". I made some measurements of the tubes I have and noticed that the filters vary in size between brands. I measured with an engineering scale which measures 1/10's of an inch.

Total Length of king tubes: 3.3" = 84mm

Premier, Windsail, and Vera Cruz have a 0.7" filter and 2.6" paper beyond the filter. El Rey, Zigzag, Silvertip, and Bugler have a 0.6" filter and 2.7" beyond the filter.

I guess this explains why with some tubes I get a bit of a gap at the filter and have to pack it more. One thing that speeds the process is to put the cigarettes in a two piece vertical case and when done, pack them all at once.

My Supermatic Premier out of the box has the spoon length before contacting tube release at 2.6" so it does not appear that I should adjust it. I have considered getting a Supermatic II just to see if it would require less packing. However, I could not bear to use a Supermatic without Dave's hopper tray, and it is mounted permanently on my Premier! As soon as I have an extra $50 or 60 to spend on the II with another tray and I will give this a try. One thing I read on the website was about someone who said he could not easily adjust the 100/king/regular switch on the Premier. I could not either until I realized you had to lift on the switch to move it. I guess this is obvious once you know, but I did not notice this in the instructions included with the Premier.

Hopefully, this provided some useful information to those who are thinking about getting into MYO or just starting out. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a higher quality cigarette than the mass produced types and especially those who want to save a fortune on the cost of smoking.

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Re: Transition Guide and storing tobacco
Posted by Tim Aydt on Sunday, 24-Apr-2005

Excellent information.

I put my hygrometer in with my tobacco and found it to be between 63% and 66% RH even thought the exterior RH was 48%.

I will post more info under storage when I have time.

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Re: Transition Guide - or
Posted by Kerry on Tuesday, 26-Apr-2005

Very good observations! I haven't tried any of the Stokkebye's because of availability and price, but I have tried most of what you mentioned as far as tobaccos go.

I was a little surprised that D&R tobaccos made you cough, but not surprised at all that Bali Shag and some others did. Actually, I think the casing is what causes the cough for me. The D&R tobaccos, casing free blends, seem to be less harsh than anything else I have tried, yet with a full, rich flavor. Although I still use Stokers #2 in some of my blends, I am not going to buy another pound after this one.

One thing I have noticed, which will seem counter-intuitive, is that some tobaccos actually seem much harsher (tend to produce more coughing/congestion) when injected into "light" tubes. Although I started out with light tubes and Zig-Zag light tobacco, I found it to be much less than satisfying and flavorful over time. After several months away from pre-packaged cigs, I found that I smoked less and appreciated the subtle differences in high quality tobacco much more, which I dare say I would not have noticed at all when I was smoking pre-mades.

In any case, you seem to have found what you like and you might stick with it. But, part of the appeal of MYO for me is having an assortment of tobaccos to suit my taste on any given day. Not only that, I enjoy blending my own "special" blends! Once again, depending on my taste at the time. I currently have 6 blends which I smoke regularly and make from 2 to 3 personal blends myself to add to that.

Thanks for a great post!

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Back to MYO
Posted by Bill on Monday, 09-Aug-2004

I started making my own years ago after seeing an intriguing little machine in a mall. It was a premier "Pressta" and I'd never heard of anything like that. Once I got the hang of it I than discovered a really good tobacco shop and was smoking all sorts of different blends and types and finally enjoying cigarettes instead of just feeding a habit. This was in a big city, but after meeting my wife and moving to be with her to a small town in another state I discovered that "Tobacco shop" here meant "Cigarette store" and the reaction to asking for rolling tobacco was apt to be "We have both kinds, Top and Bugler" so it was back to pre-mades. Recently I got the urge to look for tobacco and discovered a shop that had good tobacco. Why, in three years, it never occurred to me to check the Internet is beyond me. But I'm finally back to making my own and I've converted my wife who until recently never got why I would go on about how good cigarettes ought to taste. We also picked up an Excel, and what a great machine it is. We're smoking less and enjoying much better taste, and we've discovered websites like this one, which by the way thanks for a great site. Sorry for rambling on but there's my SYO experience. (So far)

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Still Stuffing
Posted by Jennifer on Friday, 30-Jul-2004

I finaly got a supermatic 2. That is such a joy to use. I had already settled on MYO, but this makes it FAR easier. Now I try to get other smokers to switch to MYO.

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Posted by D. on Sunday, 11-Jul-2004

I remember it as back in the late 'sixties, near-broke and traveling while going through the semi-hippie phase, I came across the Laredo SYO starter kit. RYO Magazine puts the first Laredo kits as coming to market in the early 'seventies: http://www.ryomagazine.com/january/ and http://www.ryomagazine.com/october/review.htm, so maybe my memory is a bit fuzzy. Anyway, I did the Laredo thing for a while until I figured out that I could hand roll Bugler for even less money. I've hand rolled ever since, as I find stuffing with a machine too fussy and inconvenient. I stuck with the Bugler for a year or two until I got back home to the small college town I started from. Our town had a small tobacconist shop, so I stopped in and found it had two no-name MYO cigarette blends in cans and a couple of commercial Dutch blends in small pouches. What a revelation after those awful drug store brands! After some experimentation, my regular became one of the no-name blends that came in an 8 ounce metal can identified with a small typewritten label reading "Turkish and Domestic Cigarette Tobacco", but which was in fact almost completely yellow flue-cured Virginia shag with just the faintest trace of Turkish. I smoked that for almost twenty years, ordering by mail as I moved around the country. Then, around the late 'eighties or early 'nineties, a lot of good tobaccos disappeared due to legal issues, and my tobacco was one of them. Since then, thanks to the internet, I've tried a lot of different tobaccos, but still favor the bright Virginia shags. Now, with 38 years of tar in my lungs, I know I have to give it up, hoping that I haven't waited too long in doing so. To quote Keith Richards, "Getting old is a fascinating thing. The older you get, the older you want to get."

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Off and on and on for good
Posted by Jennifer on Saturday, 10-Jul-2004

I used to roll and stuff off and on when I couldn't afford a pack. Generaly I used top. I had started rolling and stuffing again after I had quit an over $100 a month pack a day habbit. I had only quit do to cost. I found a smoke shop that had the zen cheaper than the top, so I tried that. I liked it better than the zen, so I thought it was pretty good. I didn't know at the time that there are better low price tobaccos. After doing RYO because I was to poor to buy a pack, using some decent tobacco, I decided I liked it better than smoking manufactured cigarettes. Now I have been stuffing with my plastic zig zag injector. I have also beein trying other low price tobaccos. After trying other stuff I found the zen wasn't realy that good in compairison. Right now I am looking at supermatics and excels on ebay. I have noticed a differance between the "I am too poor to buy a pack" RYO smoker and the "this is way better" RYO smoker. Befor I would smoke whatever was the cheapest. As long as it was smokeable I didn't care. Now I have been trying out some better tobaccos and taking the time to realy evaluate them. Making sure to pay attention to the flavor ETC of the tobacco. I would say I am a more enlightened smoker who puts a little love in every cigarette. Now I tell people about SYO/RYO all the time. I almost feel like I am SYO crusaider.

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A differant kind of smoker
Posted by Jennifer on Wednesday, 07-Jul-2004

In the past I had done RYO/MYO because I couldn't afford to buy a pack. Not to long ago I got back in it for the same reason. Now that I have been doing MYO for a few months and smoking some decent tobacco, I wont go back to buying packs. I have been noticing a differance in my smoking since I made the shift form "I am too poor" to "this is way better". Where as befor I would buy whatever is cheap, now I am willing to spend a little more (still within my budget) to try some differant tobaccos out. So far whenever I try something new its been better than what I was smoking befor. When zen was my reg I thought it was pretty good. But then when I tried the Stokers #2 and compaired that with the zen I liked the stokers better. I will still smoke zen, but its not my prefered smoke now. Seems that half the fun of MYO is trying out the differant tobaccos.

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Re: A differant kind of smoker
Posted by Jennifer on Wednesday, 07-Jul-2004

Some additional observations I just thought of. Now when I smoke a tobacco I haven't tried I pay attention to the flavor and such more than befor. Sometimes I feel like a wine taster or something like that.

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Re: A differant kind of smoker
Posted by Roger on Thursday, 08-Jul-2004

Sounds like your catching on!!! how have the big pre packaged cigarette companies been screwing us over with the low qaulity 'stuff' they 'stuff'into those expensive packages & lets not forget taxation & the MSA monies that are collected even with we MYO/RYO's are $3.75 PER POUND OF RYO TOBACCO!!!(according to the D&R website)
So your not a 'different' kind of smoker your one like the rest of we here who are for one reason or another have found a better & more satisfying way of smoking. Enjoy!   

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Still Rolling.......
Posted by Debbie on Monday, 31-May-2004

last week my aunt was dying with cancer and while i was with my family i knew i would be a few days at least so i packed what i needed and of course my machine and tobacco was included as i was down to my last few smokes, i have been rolling my daughters for her because she works and does not have the time but she was with me so i used my supermatic and she used my excel and we rolled while other family members watched and they started asking questions like how much does a pack cost etc and they was amazed at how much money you save with rolling your own, i got my excel new at my local tobacco shop but my supermatic i got used from ebay( the red one) and i'm very happy with it and i spray it with pam cooking spray to keep it moving hehehehe it works great, now i'm shopping on ebay for more machines for other family members but i still need a hopper because i find it hard holding on to the supermatic and also do anyone know where to get 4.00 a pound tobacco, thanks ya'll and have a great night.

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Posted by Steve Bolender on Thursday, 27-May-2004

It all started when I was in line at a reservation tobacco shop and there was a person in line that had a couple bags of tobacco and a couple carton of tubes. It was a long line so we had time to chat. I asked how long it took to make a pack of smokes, what machine he used and the cost of making your own.

Well, I bought the carton of smokes I had in my hands but that was the last carton I purchased. I like the American Spirit cigarettes, but not the price. Easy fix - I buy the American Spirit tobacco (no chemical additives of any kind) and make my own. It must be about 5 years I've been making them on my own.

I have been using a six dollar zig-zag machine all this time. Just ran into this site and got so pumped about getting a Supermatic I went to Ebay and have a bid in on one now.

I am excited to try out some of the blends that I have read about on this site. Great site by the way! It's nice to hear from other RYO folks. I have often wondered why other people don't roll their own American Spirit smokes instead of handing over the 5 dollars + a pack.

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Posted by Tim_Mc on Tuesday, 01-Jun-2004

Welcome, to both you and Debbie! That is dedication for you. Using a Zig Zag machine for all that time. I had one for about 2 years but the plastic eventually wore down and it became hard to use. The original (square one as opposed to the new rounded job) was a great tool.

Supermatics are awesome. I typically try to make my smokes for the whole week on Sunday mornings or afternoons. 1.5 hours, a plate of eggs and coffee and the History Channel and I can pump out well over 3/4 to 1 whole carton of smokes. I keep the extras in a little plastic tub that some of my D&R tobacco was shipped in.

I like American Spirit too! If I had one choice of commercial tobacco that would be it. There are so many good choices in the RYO world that its hard to narrow it down to just one for me, though.

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Posted by Dan on Wednesday, 27-Apr-2005

I was also an American-Spirit pack smoker then A-S can SYO stuffer. After experimenting I found that AS was overpriced and not nearly as good as many other Stuff Your Own brands. I still keep some around as a base but I find it is just so bland compared to the Dutch brands. I still store my SYO smokes in an old A-S tin that they would give away with packs. :)

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hooked on rolling
Posted by Jennifer on Saturday, 22-May-2004

Most of the time I roll with a filter rather than stuff. I like to make each cig befor I smoke it. I realy got back into RYO due to cost. I think now even if I could afford a pack I would still roll or stuff. I like not having any chemicals and other crap in my smokes. I know what goes in my smoke. Its also nice to be able to mix in differant herbs into my smokes. Somtimes I put a little mint into the ciggy. I am totaly hooked on RYO/SYO. Its to bad more people don't do it this way. And on that note its time to smoke.

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Fast Start for Me
Posted by Kurt Wall on Thursday, 18-Mar-2004

I got a pretty fast start - it took right away. A fellow I work with gave me a few of his MYOs (Ramback, I believe). Beside the considerable cost savings, the flavor and freshness were incredible. So, I bought a Zig Zag starter kit, which came with a little handheld injector and was hooked immediately, but decided I didn't care for Zig Zag's tobacco so much. Jester was pretty good, but too moist and not really suited for stuffing. So, I graduated to Ramback, which is just a wonderful tobacco.

Now that I have a Premier Supermatic machine, I don't see myself going back to mass-produced smokes. I just ordered a variety of tobaccos from D&R, along with some different tubes (including the Vera Cruz Nocturne - looked too cool to pass up).

All in all, it's been a great experience. This is a great Web site, too, which has answered some questions and provided lots of good information.

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Time to start stuffing!!!
Posted by zebra3 on Monday, 15-Mar-2004

Great website, full of really useful information and great to hear from other like minded people, so please keep up the good work.
I smoked normal cigarettes for a few years, then unfortunally I lost my job and money became really tight. I could either give up smoking or roll my own. I chose the second option.
Rolling your own is great. You can try different papers, filters and of course tobacco, although I only ever smoke Drum, Golden Virginia or Amber Leaf.
Anyway I alway's check out ryo magazine's site and from there found this site.
I spent a good hour or so looking at all the information and was really impressed with the knowledge on products and the different tobacco blends people used.
So much so I went to my local tobacconists and bought a hundred Gizeh Menthol tubes and a tubing machine.
However I'm unsure on what tobacco I should use, can I use normal RYO like Golden Virginia or halfware shag like Drum.
I live in the UK so my choice of tobacco's may be rather limited.
Any help, advise etc would be really helpful.
Especially any blends I can prepare myself.

Thanks very much

zebra3 :)

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Posted by Kevin on Saturday, 10-Jan-2004

I got started a few months ago due to the lower cost and just being curious about trying different tobaccos. Started with a cheap injector and tobacco/tubes from local stores. Researched websites and newsgroups about pros/cons so I finally decided SYO was the way to go. I've now got a Supermatic and I stuff my own 100mm tubes. I've decided Peoples Pride and H&R are to my liking but I usually pick up a small bag of "something else" just to try. While paying $30 a carton for smokes has never been a problem, stuffing for $9-$12 a carton and enjoying different tastes you just don't get from pre-made smokes is a benefit. I just wish I could find some decent flip top boxes for the 100mm tubes.

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Posted by Jennifer on Saturday, 22-May-2004

Beleve it or not. An altoids tin makes a good ciggy box. I used to carry SYO's in one.

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Great site!
Posted by BOB on Tuesday, 30-Sep-2003

Hi-I've been SYO/MYO for a little over 2-1/2 years now & would not go back to pre mades if their price were cut in half! I agree with Doug at http://www.ryomagazine.com/ in his evaluation of the big picture in how can the big companies SCREW up what was at one time good tobacco! When I bought my supermatic 'big blue' & started trying the tobaccos available I was amazed at how good REAL tobacco tastes! I've tried a lot of brands & mixes to my likes but out of the 'can' my favorites are McClintock Virginia & D&R's Vengeur http://www.cigarettetobacco.com/index.htm both a blend of virginia's with some Oriental (Turkish) added. If your new to this & are having trouble with your injector it is usually just like it says in the directions-the tobacco is to moist & has to dry out a bit & OR your just putting TOO MUCH tobacco in the machine-check out Doug's site at ryomagazine.com & read about proper use of the injectors & his reviews of old standbys & new brands of tobacco on the market-the selection just keeps growing as does the online retail companies that in this age of WWW makes our lives so much easier, Its not just about saving money!once you find what YOU like you'll sit back & light up & wonder how you put up with premades so long. Enjoy!

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SYO for me now.
Posted by Tim Aydt on Sunday, 28-Sep-2003

In my previous post I related my past SYO experience, here's how I got back into SYO. A month or so ago, a friend of mine's daughter and son-in-law moved to town and he told me about making his own cigarettes. I told him the story of my past attempt at SYO and he showed me their Premier Supermatic. I was immediately interested. As with everything, I decided to do some research on the Internet. I soon found RYO Magazine and, over several days, I read all the articles in their current and past issues.

I was almost convinced, I asked Shane if I could use his machine to test it out. He gave me the O.K., so I made a quick trip to the tobacco store and, using the info I learned from RYO Magazine, I purchased the supplies I needed. I made a couple of packs worth cigarettes that night, and before I had finished smoking them, I was finally convinced. I had to have my own Supermatic.

Using the same logic as Dave did, I rationalized that, by the time I had made two cartons worth of cigarettes, an injector machine will pay for it's self, and I wouldn't be out anything if it wasn't worth effort.

Because I like to smoke 100's, the choice was simple. With my new Premier Supermatic, barring a few problems I mention in a post in the injector machine section, I had everything I needed, I thought. I quickly found that if you are going to make a lot of smokes at one time you need a couple more things.

Since I blend several tobaccos together, and I measure out my tobacco, I needed a scales. Fortunately, I have a postal scales. Unfortunately, the smallest it can accurately measure is half ounces. Due to my current favorite blend being a 1/1/6 ratio, I usually mix up 4 oz at a time, making about 100 cigarettes. In the process of blending this mixture, I have to handle the tobacco quite a bit, pulling the shag apart, tossing the tobacco by hand, loading the machine.

The first night I sat down to make up cigarettes, I really didn't give it much though. By the time I was done, my hands were kind of brown, and I was feeling a pretty good rush. By bed time, I had a bad case of the shakes, and, I won't go into details, but if this happens to you, don't be too shocked when you go to the bathroom the next morning.

We already know, from the patch, that nicotine can be absorbed through the skin. I had proved that you can O.D. on nicotine just by handling tobacco. Any more, and a trip to the hospital might have been necessary. Now I wash my hands frequently, and wear rubber gloves if I'm going to make up very many.

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My First Time
Posted by Tim Aydt on Sunday, 28-Sep-2003

About five years ago, a friend and co-worker was dating the owner of the local tobacco/cigarette shop. So, we ended up stopping there, frequently, during lunch, so she could talk to him. I killed the time by browsing the store and found the SYO stuff. I'd had another friend years before that rolled his own cigarettes with Drum tobacco and remembered how much I had enjoyed them. I asked the owner about the process of SYO and he wasn't very helpful. I think he carried Supermatics, but he never pointed them out. His main business was pre-made cigarettes and I don't think he wanted to promote anything that would cut into it.

My curiosity was piqued, so I bought a hand-injector, a tin of Drum, and some tubes, I'd say they were probably El-Rey's, because the selection then was pretty slim. I had problems with the injector, found the tobacco to strong, and gave up after a week or so. If he would have had a Premier Supermatic out and shown me how easy it was to made cigarettes using it, I probably would have bought one instead of the hand-injector. If he had known his business, he would have known that the Drum was too strong to smoke alone in an injected cigarette, and could have pointed out a better choice. Instead, he lost out on five years of business from me, because I no longer had any reason to go in there after my friend quit dating him.

I currently purchase my supplies in his shop, because his is the only tobacco store within sixty miles from where I live in Southern Illinois. He has a much better selection of SYO supplies, now, than he had five years ago, but he still uses the hand-injectors to show people about SYO.

As a post-script to this, I recently drove to Carbondale, IL to check out the tobacco shop there. They might as well bill themselves as a pipe shop, because they only had four types of cigarette tobacco in bulk and that was out glass jars. They had a decent selection of tobacco in pouches and several in tins. A couple of Supermatics were prominently displayed on the counter, but they only carried five types of tubes. I was disappointed, Carbondale is a university town and I expected to find an impressive SYO selection, but instead I found a pipe shop.

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No more same old, same old
Posted by Dave L on Friday, 26-Sep-2003

I was curious when I noticed that Noble cigarettes (Cigarettes Are Cheaper) were made in Spain. A Google search lead me to RYO Magazine which is where I got introduced to SYO.

The starter kit I bought included an Excel machine and was cheaper than it would cost to buy the 2 cartons of cigarettes that the kit could make, i.e. all I needed to do was to make 2 cartons and I'd break even, nothing lost if I decided stuffing my own was a PITA and not worth the effort.

It wasn't a PITA and I like to make things. At 1/3 the cost of commercial smokes I was quickly sold.

I used to buy whatever cigarettes were cheapest. With SYO I have found a whole world of different and interesting tobaccos, most of which I like better than commercial smokes. Instead of smoking the same old same old I now keep up to 8 different smokes on hand (8 Smoky cases).

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Re: No more same old, same old
Posted by Debbie on Tuesday, 18-May-2004

I started rolling my own last year with a zigzag roller(5.99) and tobacco which was a slow process but a great price and then a few weeks ago i got the excel at my local tobacco store and wow i then had speed hehehe i can roll a carton in an hour and being so excited with that i went to ebay and found a old Premier Supermatic (red) for 15.00 buy it now and when i received it the screw was missing so i called clinton and they sent me the screws plus a spring for my excel free of charge and with the kind of tobacco i use and tubes i can roll a carton for about 6.00, thank you.

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Re: No more same old, same old
Posted by Jennifer on Saturday, 10-Jul-2004

when I was smoking manufactured cigarettes I would smoke whatever was cheapest too. Even though I was buying "Cheap" cigarettes, I was spending over $100 a month. With the H&R I got (a bit more expencive than online) and the zen tubes, now it will cost $30 a month or so. That could get even cheaper if I picked up my tobacco online. Its nice to be able to smoke a cheap cigarette that dosen't taste like one.

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