The Briquette Maker compresses waste paper into rectangular paper ‘logs’ measuring about 21cm long x 9cm wide x 6cm deep which will burn as well as wood for up to an hour or more in a fire-grate or wood-burning stove. You can use a mix of junk mail, newspapers, magazines, envelopes and so on, although too much glossy paper makes the logs difficult to burn. The paper needs to be put through a shredder or torn up by hand, then soaked in water overnight or longer until it goes really mushy. The pulp is then packed into the briquette mould and pressed into blocks which are left for a few weeks at least to dry out ready for use.
I had one of these years ago and I wasn’t really sure how to use it. I tried it out once, decided it was all just too much hassle, and sold it at a car-boot sale. Then a few months later I found the dried out paper logs I had made at the back of the shed – when I put them in the wood stove and saw just how well they burn I realized I had made a mistake selling the thing!
The briquette maker is a very robust piece of kit which can can save you a lot of money by producing free logs that are solid and dense and burn surprisingly well. It does take a while to get the hang of using the press properly, and it’s quite a messy process, so it’s probably best to make the logs in large batches outdoors in summer. Then they can be left under cover to dry out ready for the winter – if they haven’t dried out completely they just won’t burn properly.
The Briquette Makers shown above are both available through Amazon, where you will also find user reviews of both models:
See also my posts Heating your home with horse manure for a different way to use the briquette maker, and the Logmaker and Very Simple Logmaker which make less dense ‘logs’ but without the need to wet the paper.