paper log maker

y'know those paper logmakers where you soak some newspaper and then put it in a metal box and pull the handles to compress it? I have tried to do this with PVC pipe and a wooden plunger made to fit, (with a wooden base as well). didn't work. anyone know if those logmakers work and how to do a cheap/simple version of one, perhaps building on my PVC pipe efforts? when I burned the resulting log from my PVC logmaker it was extremely sooty and burned in about 2 minutes, they are supposed to last an hour and burn clean enough to use in a woodburner.

Picture of paper log maker
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I just bought a 4 in 1 log maker at Walmart.com on sale for only $37, including shipping/tax. Not worth reinventing the wheel. This one works great!

caitlinsdad7 years ago

This one says after you make the logs, you need to let it dry for about 3 months like real firewood. Maybe drill a couple of holes in the pipe to let excess moisture escape as you press. Good luck.
sounds overkill. isnt a week enough ?
djsc (author)  110100101107 years ago
I don't think a week is enough, I suspect this is why mine gave off loads of black smoke when i burned them- not dry.
KentsOkay djsc7 years ago
Bake 'em perhaps?
nerys KentsOkay5 years ago
the problem with baking them is you will use more "energy dollars" baking them dry likely than you will "save" by burning them. a month or two and some sunshine are free.

Wood is pretty cheap. if it costs me more than the cost of wood to make them it defeats half the point to me.

ie greener is cheaper. if its not cheaper its not greener (really cheaper not artificially manipulated)

I just wish I had a way to automate the pressing. Working on that. I am thinking an array of "presses" using one large shop press to do 5 or 10 at a time. we shall see.
jelo nerys4 years ago
I saw a video on youtube. This guy made a press that can make 25 logs at a time. It would take some work to make but it would work better and get more made at one time. Just thought you shoulkd know
mandersen nerys5 years ago
try leverage, long handle and fulcrum close to what you are compressing
You could use a car jack to exert pressure on a few forms. Why not just take the car and park it over a few forms too.
Kiteman djsc7 years ago
It takes a long time for the water to escape from the middle of the log, since it has to slowly percolate it's way to the surface before it can evaporate.
then maybe drill a hole thru the center and direct some air thru it from whats coming out the back of the computer that should make it dry faster
djsc (author)  caitlinsdad7 years ago
mm, I'm thinking of many tiny holes made with a hot needle or piece of wire. good idea. thanks for the link, there is also an instructible "How to make newspaper logs for your fire".
Just take a small drill. PVC cuts like butter but be careful the point doesn't slip when you start your hole. They do sell perforated drainpipe for - drains. Add a small wood platform piece to the top of your "plunger". Just sit on it and use your bodyweight...not saying you're heavy or anything.
djsc (author) 7 years ago
I have drilled a load of 2mm holes in my pipe, thanks caitlinsdad. someone on instructibles has made paper logs with a hole down the centre to dry them quicker, which I might also try. 1st batch of paper is currently soaking. I have made a longer handle since I lost the old one, I might try the platform on top idea and put some cast iron weights on it for a day before removing from the press, I don't think it's stable enough to sit on, picture a bicycle saddle bolted on though!