People have been making paper for thousands of years, by hand or machine.

Turning growing plants into useful paper is somewhere between precise science and a black art, and frequently involves strange smells and odd stains, making it the original "mad science" (in fact, getting the secret of papermaking out of China was one of the earliest cases of industrial espionage...).

"Proper" papermaking equipment costs hundreds of pounds, but you can get perfectly acceptable results for under a fiver.

I have also posted an Instructable on actually making your own paper from scratch. Click here to read it.

Step 1: Materials and tools.

To make the deckle and mold, I used:
  • 15x15mm timber (a 2400mm length from B&Q cost £1.98)
  • Aluminium body-repair mesh (a sheet from my local independent car-spares shop cost £1.85)
  • Staples & staple gun
  • General wood-working tools - pencil, ruler, saw*, sander
  • Glue (I used Gorilla Glue)
  • Bungees and scrap timber for clamping.

*I have used a mitre kit to make more accurate corners.
thank you so much. btw, what range of mesh sizes work?
<p>Most will work to a degree - fine meshes will take longer to drain, but leave less of a mark on the paper, large meshes drain quickly, but add their pattern to the surface.</p><p>You could try a metal mesh like this with a fine mesh fabric (like stockings) stapled over it.</p>
thanks very much!
I am a paper maker. I think this papermaking process is good for packaging, art and some printing purpose.
I am a paper maker. I think this papermaking process is good for packaging, art and some printing purpose.
Nice way to clamp the pieces together :-)<br>
Thank you.
Pretty good job, I wish I had this to make my mold and deckle! All the instructions were in book format, no useful pictures, but mine came out very similar to yours! I made mine to produce 10 inch squares, but it has one element that you may want to add, foam strips to keep the pulp in the mold and deckle without leaks.
I dont know if making paper was known for thousands of years. But I recall that the technicque got out of China when the Arabs, in their storm expansion after the rise of Islam, got two Chinese as prisoners of war. This happened after a battle at North-East India, in a place where India comes close to China. It so happened that these two Chinese knew how to make paper.<br><br>So, paper started to be used for recording things. But many people weren't pleased with the new invention. The famous khalif Haroun Al-Rashid said &quot;I do not want someone to bring me a piece of paper and tell me, 'here's how things they are'. I want him to come to me, put his hand on his heart, and tell me, 'I swear to God, things are like that' &quot;.<br><br>The pious khalif's rejection of recording things on paper reminds me of Sokratis, the ancient Greek philosopher, who had a similar dislike for books. Sokratis was afraid that books will destroy real education, since people wont learn anything, but rather refreshing their memory from books.<br><br>Making paper, hmm!! After I put my garage into order, one of my next big plans is to expand into metalworking. But its nice to see what other possibilities there are in life.<br><br>Sympathise my long message!<br>-.
So Far, So Good. I'll be watching cause I want to make some paper Christmas packs for gifts.
I want a saw like that...
I can't remember what country you're in, but I got it from UK DIY chain <a>B&amp;Q</a>.<br> <br> This is the first project I've used it on, but I'm already glad I got the saw, it made it <em>so</em> much easier to make the corners accurately.
You would certainly need that t make a frame quickly...
It's not so much the speed as the accuracy - I made this right first time, but the previous deckle-and-mold I made took three attempts to get the corners tidy.<br>
Yes, the accuracy is what I am referring to. You need a lot of time to do this the &quot;old&quot; way (marking at an angle, sawing slowly and accurately). With this machine, you just put the wood strip where you need it, and go strait down to cut.<br><br>Oh, and I forgot: Nice i'ble. :)

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