I am always getting flyers and papers in the mail. I also create a lot of sawdust. I have seen videos of people making fire logs and I thought I would try my hand at one. The "Paper Macerator of Doom" comes from a Mr. Eastcoastman video that I saw and I had to make one.
Step 1: I Used
My wife asked me why I keep my "pail of junk". I said it's not junk I might need something in there someday. Truth be told, I had to start using a second pail a few years ago to.. um.. organize my pail. Then she told me today was the day, either I use something out of my junk pail or it goes. So, for the Use It or Lose It Club, I am using as much junk as I can. I started out with an old 5 1/2" saw blade, assorted brackets, clips, screws, latches, catches, knobs, well, junk pail, right? I also have a small piece of plywood and a 3x3 piece of wood I rescued from the trash bin at work.
Step 2: Building the Press
I wanted a log about 12" long, 3" wide and 5" thick. I cut the 3x3 into 2 pieces about 18" long, One piece is cut in half the long way, 1 half for the bottom and 1 that I cut 2 5" pieces from for the sides. The 3x3 for the top I cut notches out on both ends so it will slide into the press about 1 1/2". The 1/2" plywood was cut into 2 strips 6x15. I drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom and a few in the sides and ends for water drainage. I used 1 L bracket screwed to each end to receive the bolt that clamps the lid down. For the lid, I lined up and drilled through the ends and slotted the holes a bit so the bolts would drop into the L brackets. The bolts I found in my junk pail are 3" long 1/4" bolts so I did have to washer them out a bit. I had found the ceiling fixture cross so I took it apart and used one side on each end of the top to support the bolt. I wound up cutting another block to slip inside the press to be able to squeeze the pulp. It's surprising how much it can be compacted.
Step 3: I Would Like to Introduce You to My Little Friend
"The Paper Macerator of Doom" works pretty good. I started out with a 1" dowel about 18 or 20" long. I sanded down 1 end so it would just fit in my drill and drilled a hole in the other than I can thread a bolt into. I used a nut to lock the blade onto the bolt and I had to use a spacer because my drill bit wasn't long enough. I put it all together and went on to the next step
Step 4: Trying It Out
I didn't have enough paper to fill the press so I started with about 1/3 of a pail of paper that I ripped into strips. I let it soak for 5 minutes or so and ran my shredder in the wet mess. About half of the paper shredded and another 5 minute soak and the paper ground up pretty good. I have some hand plane shavings and chips from forstner bits so I through a few handfuls in and mixed it some more. I don't have an extra pail to drill holes in so I tried pouring the pail; through the press. It worked but I will be buying a pail. I had to push some of the pulp in so it would all fit.
Step 5: The First Block
The press started out full - 5" thick. Once I pressed the pulp and left it for a couple of hours, I thought it would come out easy. I ran a putty knife down all the way around to break it loose, I flipped it over and hit it with my wood mallet. A lot. I finally had to tap a long punch in through a few holes to push it out. Final block about 2". I call that a pass but I have to do something about getting the block out a little easier so back to the thinkin' chair.