Instructables
Picture of Basic Papermaking Equipment.

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.
 
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Step 1: Materials and tools.

Picture of Materials and tools.
DSCF6564.JPG

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.

Step 2: Measure twice...


I made this equipment to match the size of the mesh I had available.

Notice that the wooden frame is larger than the mesh, so that the edge of the mesh lies along the middle of the timber section.

Using the mitre kit, I lopped of the end of the timber at 45°, and then measured and marked along the centre of the timber.

Don't forget to turn the timber over for every other cut, so that the angles match the corners.

You don't have to make your corners like this, just go with whatever joint matches your skill and equipment. If you can do dove-tail joints, go for it.

I cut two identically-sized frames. One will take the mesh, and become the mold, the other will rest on top of the mesh, and become the deckle.
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 :-)
Kiteman (author)  Rich_Limburger2 years ago
Thank you.
gateon2 years ago
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.
Mastros3 years ago
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.

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 "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' ".

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.

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.

Sympathise my long message!
-.
Dr.Bill3 years ago
So Far, So Good. I'll be watching cause I want to make some paper Christmas packs for gifts.
colorex3 years ago
I want a saw like that...
Kiteman (author)  colorex3 years ago
I can't remember what country you're in, but I got it from UK DIY chain B&Q.

This is the first project I've used it on, but I'm already glad I got the saw, it made it so much easier to make the corners accurately.
colorex Kiteman3 years ago
You would certainly need that t make a frame quickly...
Kiteman (author)  colorex3 years ago
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.
colorex Kiteman3 years ago
Yes, the accuracy is what I am referring to. You need a lot of time to do this the "old" 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.

Oh, and I forgot: Nice i'ble. :)