Paper log makers compress 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 newspapers, cardboard, envelopes, junk mail and magazines. Too much glossy paper makes the logs difficult to burn.
The paper needs to be put through a shredder or torn up by hand, soaked in water for several days then mashed into a soft pulp. This is packed into the log maker, using the handles now and then to compress the pulp and gently squeeze out the excess water. Repeat until the mould is full, tip out the paper log and leave 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!
Used properly, the briquette maker is a robust piece of kit which can can save you 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.
It’s probably best to make the logs in 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. Use the logs in the same way is if they were actual logs of wood, so you need kindling etc to get the fire going.
The Paper Log Maker shown above is available through Amazon – Heavy Duty Paper Log Briquette Maker – where you will also find other similar models and user reviews.
See also my post on Heating your home with horse manure for a different way to use the briquette maker! Also the post on the Logmaker which makes less dense ‘logs’ but without the need to wet the paper.
On a larger scale, anyone with a joinery workshop or similar producing large amounts of wood shavings and sawdust, or shredded straw, paper or cardboard, might consider using a PH briquette machine single phase log maker to save on disposal costs and create an extra income stream by turning that waste into fuel . The machine can process on average 10 kg of material per hour. Compression is achieved solely by the pressure inside the cylindrical chamber. No water is used and the briquettes are ready to use immediately.