Paper logs

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FluffyMuppet
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Paper logs

Post: #12299 FluffyMuppet
Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:56 am

Has anyone ever used one of those contraptions for making 'logs' out of old newspapers? I've always thought they looked interesting, but we don't have an open fire, so we wouldn't use the logs.

However, in the Observer on Sunday there was an advert for one which said it made 'briquettes' which could be used on the BBQ and would burn solidly for a couple of hours without making lots of ash.

We don't have many papers, or many barbecues, but if it works then it sounds quite funky.

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Post: #12304 Shirley
Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:40 am

I haven't used one... but I did suggest it to the local papershop.

They have to pay for their unsold newspapers to be recycled... costs quite a bit too.... I have taken some off their hands in the past - and read them first before using to light the fire/put down for the puppy/paper mache/newspaper pots etc....

I suggested that they could involve the kids and have a little scheme where the kids made the newspaper bricks and sold them cheaply to the old folk locally... kids get a bit of dosh to put towards youth club or whatever, the old folk get some cheaper fuel, the shop doesn't have to pay to get rid of the excess and the papers don't need to be transported for recycling etc.

The woman looked at me as if I was mad... well in truth I'm quite used to that sort of look because I'm entirely mad :mrgreen: - ah well.. I thought it was a good idea...

I wonder if you could just soak the paper and put it into a empty tin with holes in and squish it down to squeeze out the water and compress the paper... I don't want to pay £30 for a log maker if I can make something myself.
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Post: #12309 wulf
Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:55 am

One method that doesn't use water is to take an empty loo roll and stuff it full of tighly wadded newspaper. It's not particularly long lasting but it's good in that "just past kindling stage" when you're looking for things that will catch fairly easily, burn well and provide a basis for more substantial sticks and bits of old wood.

The main limitation of doing it as a recycling project is that it is only any good for people who've got an open fire - certainly relatively few round London!

Wulf

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Post: #12311 Shirley
Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:59 am

fair point wulf... but this is in a little village in north east scotland and the majority of houses have open fires/woodburners.

Anyway - shopkeeper now thinks I'm completely bonkers lol
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Post: #12341 wulf
Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:24 pm

Yes, I imagine it could be more useful where you are. Perhaps you could try some experiments. For example, leave some torn newspaper in a bucket of newspaper overnight. The next morning, take an empty tin can with both ends removed (so you can easily get the 'log' out) and set it on a free draining surface. Scoop some of the tangled wet paper into the mould and press down with a suitabley shaped object (a lump of wood comes to mind, if you can find a rounded one of the right diameter). Press out enough water to add some more mixture and repeat until the tin is pretty much full. Finish with a good press and then lift off the can and store the log somewhere warm and dry.

Of couse, that's pure speculation and you may find it falls apart. However, it's worth a try. Don't forget... we want pictures :wink:

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Post: #12353 Muddypause
Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:50 pm

As it happens, I did something similar to this, once. At the time I was working in a factory that made short steel tube things (buggered if I can remember what they were for) about 4" diameter and 6" high. I used one to pack with soggy newspaper, and squashed it down (actually I rigged up a lever that pushed down on a round bit of steel plate.

I seem to remember that it was a messy business, and when you figure out how much time is involved in ripping up the newpapers, quite time consuming, too (you'll be doing this when you have a pile of 50 newspapers). You also need to leave the 'bricks' for a long time to dry out.

In the end they burned with about as much vigour as you would expect a compressed newspaper to burn with - a lot of slow smoldering, much smoke, little actual flame, and practically no discernable heat.

I was so disappointed with the results, that I didn't try again; maybe a bit of perseverance was needed to improve things. But I think what you have to bear in mind with the 'briquette' makers is 1) they come round about every 10 years, but are not heard of in between; 2) they reckon to take around a newspaper ber brick. Now, how long would you expect a single newspaper to burn for - two hours?? I think not, if you want to feel any heat - two minutes more likely.

Some sort of proper pulping rig that reduced the paper to fibre, which could then be efficiently compressed into something of a woody constituency may work, but I couldn't figure out how to do that on a 'kitchen table' basis.

Why not just roll the newspapers up tightly and bind with string, or maybe masking tape, to make 'logs'? That would be much quicker and less messy, and may even give more satisfactory results.
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Post: #12379 Goodlife1970
Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:29 pm

Im with you Stew on this one.My brother in law made me a contraption for making paper bricks,they took ages to dry,and then most of them fell apart,then only gave about two minutes heat! I would have been better employed cutting up some logs!
Now, what did I come in here for??????

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Post: #12386 ina
Tue Feb 21, 2006 8:56 pm

Yep, my brother was onto this about two of those 10-year cycles back, and gave up pretty quickly... Lots of work, no decent results. They took to chopping up old pallets for the woodburner - much better, and they got the pallets free, too (from one of the friends' workplaces).
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Post: #12406 FluffyMuppet
Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:52 am

Thanks for your replies. I will stick to recycling the newspapers and buying charcoal for our infrequent bbqs.

:wink:

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Post: #12534 Wombat
Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:01 am

Yep, I got a brick maker and the thing that put me off was the time involved! They didn't burn too badly in the slow combustion heater but took ages to make.

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Post: #12606 Leanne
Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:26 pm

i have a log maker and have been pleased with it. (from the Green Shop) last year we made approx 150 logs which we burn in the winter and noticeably reduces the need to buy coal or wood. we've had no problem with them falling apart-we really compress them well to remove as much water as possible,and each one burns for about an hour (less if you poke them, so leave them alone!) i learnt early on to wear wellies when making them to keep my feet dry, but i dont find them difficult to make-its nice sitting outside on a warm day, hens scratching around, sun on your back , playing with paper-mache type soggy paper!!!

incidentally, as we have a ready supply of newspaper, i also shred it to use as cat litter. it only took the 5 cats a week or so to make the adjustment (started by mixing cat litter with the paper and gradually altered the ratio)and not buying cat litter saves us £20- £25 a month. :lol:
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Post: #12609 Muddypause
Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:51 pm

I'm glad to hear that someone has had some success with them, Leanne.

I was wondering if a paper shreader would make things a bit easier. You can get quite cheap ones (even hand cranked ones) from office supply places. Don't know if they'd be up to a big pile of newspapers, though. But they may help to improve the 'energy density'.

Do you make logs out of the cat litter after the cats have... No, let's not go there.
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Post: #12631 Leanne
Sat Feb 25, 2006 7:04 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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