Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cigar repair glue alternatives

So what's more sad than reaching into your humidor for that special cigar you've been saving all that time and to find that the wrapper has a tear or is loose. Fear not, cigar glue to the rescue.

A glue that's well known is the El Torcedore or El Jimador from Credo. It's a small 5 ml bottle that's looks a lot like a bottle of fingernail varnish, mini brush in handle and all. It's around 10$.

 You can also buy some wrap glue that's used to make your own tobaco or other plant material cigarettes.
Here are some brand names : Juicy rolling glue, Tasty Puff wrap glue(1/4 oz bottle), Kingpin cigar glue...

They are all made with combinaisons of the same base ingredients(water, propylene glycol, gum acacia and flavoring if any). You can even make your own by mixing these ingredients, after buying some gum arabic on the web or eBay :

Description of the eBay item : Gum Arabic 2 oz NEW
When Gum Arabic is mixed with varying amounts of water, it can be used as a glaze for marzipan, or an edible glue for gum paste. Used as a glaze it gives the decoration a glossy sheen. Gum Arabic is an ingredient used in all kinds of confectionery recipes such as gummy type candies and chocolate candies. Certified Kosher

Or can do what I did with a little research. I went to an arts and cratfs store (DeSerres) and bought a big bottle of gum arabic. It was 11.99$ for 75 ml, instead of the 10$ or so for the 5 ml of the El Torcedore, quite a good deal in my book.

Now, you might ask yourself, what is gum arabic or gum acacia ?
Here's some info :

Though many believe that gum is primarily used for chewing, it has many other viable uses. Gum arabic is a type of gum that is used in everything from a food stabilizer to inks and textiles. It comes from the hardened sap of the Acacia Senegal and the Acacia Seyal trees.
Also called chaar gund, gum acacia, meska, or char goond, this natural gum is usually free of color, odor, and taste. When the sap seeps from the tree and hits the air, it often hardens to form an oval the size of a pigeon's egg. It can almost be fully dissolved in its own volume of water. When sold alone, it can be in the form of syrup, powder, oil, chunks, or pellets.
Sap is grown for commercial use in Sudan, Somalia, Senegal, Arabia, Egypt, West Asia, and other countries. The sub-Saharan region has been given the moniker "the gum belt" for its high volume of gum arabic harvested. Sap trappers stimulate its flow by carefully stripping pieces of the bark once a year without injuring the tree. They are then able to extract the sap for approximately five weeks per year, ten years per tree.
The gum's chemical components of glycoproteins and polysaccarides, which give it the consistency of glue, are what make it a good stabilizer for food. Like gelatin and carrageenan, gum arabic can be used to bind food substances as well as to smoothen textures, or to hold flavoring. The gum is used in soft drink syrups, chocolate candies, gummy candies, and marshmallows.
Gum arabic has many non-food uses as well. It is considered a vital component in traditional lithography, particularly when used in paints, inks, glues, and printing. Within the textile and pharmaceutical industries, gum arabic is sometimes used to control viscosity. It can also be used in cosmetics, photography, incense cones, shoe polish, postage stamps, cigarette paper adhesive, and pyrotechnic operations. The sap is also being researched for a potential role in intestinal dialysis.
Herodotus mentions the use of the sap during embalming procedures in the fifth century in Egypt. In the ninth century, it was described as useful for poultices or compresses for the eye. During the 12th century, gum arabic was used as an item of commerce. African farmers sell the gum in local markets as a health remedy. People use it to help with stomach and intestinal problems, sore throats, eye issues, bleeding, and the common cold.

So when you see torcedores use glue on the wrappers and caps, it's just gum arabic that's mixed with not much water so it has a very thick consistancy.

End of mystery !

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