After last night's (often interrupted, rats!) Half Ashed show last night, I rec'd an email asking what one should get for a minimum start to rolling your own smokes. Here are some suggestions and options.
Some items that can be found anywhere locally, and you can probably expect to pay about $125 or so for the materials listed, more if you get a mold.
Cutting board - a very hard wood or laminate, about 12" x 24" x 1" or similar, specific size not important, unless too small
Gelatin powder - grocery store, for making the binding "glue"
These items can be found at one or both of the following sites:
Chaveta - your primary cutting and shaping tool (small, sharp scissors will also suffice for your early efforts)
Mold - Not mandatory, but will greatly help you roll smoother, more consistently sized cigars. There are many sizes available, but I suggest getting one that makes an "average" cigar ring gauge, maybe 46 - 52. Very fat or thin, or long cigars are more difficult. Also check eBay, but make sure you can verify the ring gauge. Most of the older molds there have very thin ring sizes. Keep in mind that a 7 x 48 mold can also make 4, 5, or 6 inch length cigars, too.
Leaf - You need, at minimum, two kinds of leaf, but three or four will give you a better cigar. You'll need:
Binder - a thin, fairly smooth leaf (I use an Ecuador Sumatran from otoao.com) which can also suffice as a wrapper for your early smokes.
Filler - I suggest a combination of seco and lijero leaf, perhaps Nicaraguan, Dominican, or Honduran
Wrapper - The Ecuador shade wrapper available on both sites is of medium thickness and smoothness, and is less expensive than Connecticut. These thicker leaves are also easier to work with and do not tend to "stain" as readily from excess moisture. Stay clear of any leaf described as a "moderately veined" or that can be "rolled out." These look terrible on your cigar.
Hope this helps! If you have other questions, please post here or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org