Watch out, hands off!
In my penultimate blog I wrote about manually removing the main vein of the tobacco leaf - and that this was a challenge for me that I didn't really pass. Hand removal is only used for filler tobaccos, for binder and wrapper tobaccos a machine is used here at the Davidoff factory.
When I watched how quickly and cleanly the leaves were separated from each other and how the skin vein was laying on the bottom, I was thrilled to be allowed to operate this machine myself.
It is a multitasking instrument: the feet control the speed or the break via a "gas" step. Right is full throttle, left brakes. The hands are "only" there to spread out the whole leaf and insert it straight into the cutting machine. Until the coordination has worked, some leaves have rushed through the machine and I tried desperately to stop them with the my hands, which is of course impossible - the machine runs....
After passing through a bundle, you unfold a part of the machine and take out the two stacks; this is the moment when you can cut yourself as an untrained person. But my teachers Elvin and Juan took good care of my fingers.
And: after some time the mechanical "Despallilar" went quite well and I was satisfied with my daily work.