Paper Making Tips

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Brewtrog
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Paper Making Tips

Post: #289208 Brewtrog
Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:18 am

I recently had a go at making my own notebook, using printer paper for the leaves and making the covers from some old cardboard an an old shirt. I was quite pleased with what I ended up with (room for a lot of improvement, but not bad for a first go). But the printer paper definitely let the whole thing down. So I've decided to have a go at making my own paper (cheaper and greener hopefully).
So I was wondering if anyone has had a crack at making paper before and if there were any tips for a total newbie?

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Green Aura
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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289209 Green Aura
Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:36 am

I'm afraid I've never been very successful. Mine always comes out too lumpy and uneven to use, too thick for decent writing paper and the ink bleeds into it on the odd scraps I've tried.

The trick is to make sure your fibres are pretty much all, evenly broken down but I've never managed it. I've burnt out the motor on a cheap blender, tried that long plaster-mixing thing on a drill and left the slurry soaking until it stank to high heaven - to no avail, there are always little hard pea-size lumps that don; budge. I have wondered if these larger handmade paper producers use chemicals to break the fibres more consistently and/or industrial rollers to flatten them sufficiently.

Don't get me wrong - I've not been looking for perfection, just usable. Maybe I'm just too impatient or something so I'll watch with interest to see how anyone else does it.
Maggie

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289216 Weedo
Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:00 pm

Hi
I used to make my own paper from used paper years ago, more as a craft and novelty than for everyday use. I tried a variety of materials and got some really interesting results. Generally the papers we use are based on two timber types, softwoods and hardwoods. Softwoods, strangely, are used for the softer papers such as newspaper, paper towels, some writing and craft papers etc. Hardwoods are used for the finer, higher quality and stronger papers like photocopy and printer papers. Mixes of the two are also common.

I would suggest you start with recycling the hardwood papers like photocopy paper - it is more difficult to emulsify but gives a better result (success) if you are starting out -if you can get it shredded this is a bonus. It needs to be cut up fairly finely and soaked for a few days, stirring daily. Water quality is important so try to use potable water if possible.

After a soaking it needs to be turned into an emulsion - I found the blender to be the best, either the jug or stick type. Once you have your solution ready you need a wide, flattish container that you can scoop the deckle and frame through. The fun bit is the trial and error process of getting the amount of fibre in the solution and the scooping action right to produce the paper thickness you want. You need to top up with more fibre frequently as you make more sheets. Turn out each sheet onto a damp cloth and layer these on top of each other - cloth, paper, cloth, paper etc. and allow them to dry. I used old woollen blankets cut up and then very carefully felted by throwing them in a hot machine wash a few times.

Once you get the process right you can play around with different materials, colours, throw some flower petals in etc.
There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever be seen - (Sun Tzu 600BC)

ina
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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289220 ina
Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:46 pm

But the one thing that was hoped to be achieved and that I can't see happening - it'll be neither cheaper nor greener than using "ready made" paper...
Ina
I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289224 Weedo
Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:42 pm

Ina

If you are talking about making paper from scratch it is a whole different ball game. I have never tried "pure" homemade paper (there seems to be a readily available supply of used paper of all sorts for free) but I have attempted to use a mix of natural fibre and recycled paper. I couldn't get the rhetting and cleaning process good enough for a sound, usable paper.
There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever be seen - (Sun Tzu 600BC)

ina
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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289227 ina
Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:32 am

The home made paper I've seen tended to look very attractive, but be too rough for proper writing on... Let alone printing! I think it's probably viable for certain uses.
Ina

I'm a size 10, really; I wear a 20 for comfort. (Gina Yashere)

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Brewtrog
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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289233 Brewtrog
Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:43 pm

First go looks pretty promising. I made a trial run yesterday, mainly to see whether I would need to add sizing to the paper (the plan was to use cornstarch for the sizing if needed). Playing around with the dried paper today and I am happy with it. Using a dip pens and India ink the bleeding is comparable to the notepad I have.
It is a bit rougher than bought paper, so the nib can complain a bit, especially on the side that was on the mould, and the colour isn't the most appealing, but it is actually far better than I was expecting - certainly serviceable for biro of pencil.

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Green Aura
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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289234 Green Aura
Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:22 am

An old-fashioned mangle might help with the texture - if you can get your hands on one.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Odsox
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Re: Paper Making Tips

Post: #289236 Odsox
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:18 am

Green Aura wrote:An old-fashioned mangle might help with the texture - if you can get your hands on one.

... or a pasta roller if the sheets are smaller.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.


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