Canning jars. We all use them. Heck, I buy them by the box. The next time you buy a box of Jars DON’T RIP IT OPEN. Take a moment to read this and follow the steps. You’ll have a handy tobacco mat that you can use when filling your jars to handle the spills that happen during the canning process.
What You Will Need:
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We start with a fresh, unopened box of ball jars. It consists of a cardboard base covered in plastic. Don’t rip off that covering; you’re going to need it!
Take your scissors and cut the plastic around the top rim of the cardboard base so that the whole bottom is covered in plastic but the top is open revealing the jars.
Take the jars out and store them for later use. Now remove the spacer that kept the jars from breaking. You can now put that spacer in your cupboard and put the jars back in it if you like. Or just throw it away. Up to you. You will now have an empty cardboard base covered in plastic. This will become your tobacco mat.
Look down into the box. See how there are corner points where the carton doesn’t meet up? We are going to make one of those into a spout for pouring the spilled tobacco into a jar after you fill.
Mark one of the corners with the Pen or Pencil with an arrow, so you know which angle you’ve designated for Pouring. Marking this hole will come into play later on so don’t skip this step.
Ok, now grab the tape. You want to tape the plastic to the cardboard, so it doesn’t fall off. I started by taping down the center of each of the four sides. I pulled the plastic taught and taped it down so that there weren’t any wrinkles in the plastic.
Now tape all around the top rim of the cardboard base. Finally, tape down any bare spots where the cardboard shows through, just to make sure it’s secure.
OK, now we are going to create the pour spout in your box so that after you fill your jar, you can just pick the whole base up and pour the leavings into the can. This way you can load quickly and not worry about dropping some. Also, no tobacco will be wasted.
Before we start cutting, you’ll want to tape over or around the corner you marked earlier as your pouring spout. This will strengthen the plastic and prepare it for cutting.
Once you’ve taped it off, get your scissors and cut a few small slits on the sides of the existing hole in the cardboard and fold it up. You can widen it on the upper and lower sides of the hole and fold both.
Next, you’ll want to tape the folded areas down to make a clean spout so no tobacco will get stuck.
Check out the finished product. It should look like the image below. Tape any holes or bare areas. Clean up your work and blow out any dust that might be in the box. If it looks dirty, wipe it out with a dry rag. Your tobacco will be going in there so make sure it is clean!
Now you just open a tin of fresh tobacco. Grab a jar and sit it in your new tobacco mat and start filling!
Once you finish filling, use your spout and put the extra tobacco that fell out while filling in the jar.
And there you have it! You just created a very useful tobacco mat that you can use to fill your jars for storing and aging tobacco in your cellar! If your mat gets used up or breaks, you are going to buy jars anyway, so make a new one! See you next week with another pipe tip!