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Has anyone here built their own Hollander Beater? Answered

Hi all of you builders and shakers,

I love papermaking and using arts therapy in education. Hollander Beaters are huge, efficient pulp-making machines, but their awesomeness is crippled by their price tag. Plus you can't have them in a townhouse or transport them for educational workshops.

I've heard of artists building their own Hollander beaters in miniature, transportable form (ex the Little Critter, Cherub, Oracle) and if they can do it, well, maybe someone on here can do it too!

Does anyone know how to get plans for assembling a DIY Hollander beater, or of anyone who has built one for their own studio, or where I might go to get parts for this project?

Thanks in advance!



3 years ago

Unless you are planning on processing raw fibre, a Hollander beater is not necessary (and it is very slow as well - a few hundred grams of raw cotton will take up to four hours to process properly).

There are many other options for fibre treatment - what do you normally use as your raw materials?


Reply 3 years ago

**Whoops, let me put this where it belongs

Kiteman, I do want to process raw fiber. I normally use a mallet for fibers like kudzu, gampi, etc, but want to recycle clothing and also introduce my class to different kinds of fiber preparation. I've used a Hollander before and I loved it. The roller stretches fibers out and creates really strong paper. In terms of time, that's not a big deal to someone who's used to smashing vines with a mallet for hours and hours. :D


Reply 3 years ago


Papermaking was once my trade, but I've been out of the industry for over 20 years, but let's see...

Building a Hollander, even a small one, is a Big Job, and will probably cost several thousand dollars/pounds/euros. You need a powerful, high-torque motor to drive the roller, and the roller & bed-plate (the hard/expensive part of the build) would probably have to be built in a machine-shop.

You can google for plans as well as I can, but the best recent source I can find is the Alberta College of Art & Design - they invested 200 man-hours in building their own nice-looking machine, and you might be able to get the plans from them:


(Although it seems they referenced this site:


Otherwise, the industry technical associations might be able to help (their helpfulness to non-members is historically patchy, but worth a try.

In the US, it's TAPPI:


In the UK, it's PITA:


Also, since you're working by hand, you might want to get in touch with The International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists:


Hope that all helps.


Reply 3 years ago

I forgot to say - if you do manage to build one, make sure you take lots of photos and write an instructable!

Also, I'd be really interested to see your results if you're planning on using the Hollander for super-long bast fibres like kudzu & gampi - received wisdom when I was at university was that they would clog beater.

Oh! University!

My old department no longer exists, but the School of Materials at Manchester still offers a PhD in papermaking, so they may be able to help:



Reply 3 years ago

Thanks Kiteman! I saw your instructable on deckel/mould making and you know what you're about. I agree that kudzu, gampi, etc. would be bad for a Hollander -- and if you cut the fibers down that would take away the point. Mainly I want the Hollander to recycle cotton fabric into paper pulp, because I'm tired of paying out the nose for good artist paper (especially if it's dented by the time it gets here!) or paying less for "meh" paper. Plus it's a fun way to open doors for experimenting.

For my part, here's a Little Critter link: http://marklander.org/hollander-beaters/
Supposedly Mark's smaller model, the Cherub, is about the cost of a good-quality blender (though come w/out motor because he ships internationally and voltages vary). The Oracle, by another guy, can actually be powered by bike if you choose (good for fitness enthusiasts!). All of these models are transportable because they are lightweight and the tubs are made of flexible material. My engineer friend and I are hoping to get this project turned into something we CAN take step-by-step photos of!

Here's some links for used papermaking machinery:




Reply 3 years ago

Unfortunately that's a terrible way to prepare fiber, Downunder35; but I'm sure you could google why all by yourself!

Kiteman, I do want to process raw fiber. I normally use a mallet for fibers like kudzu, gampi, etc, but want to recycle clothing and also introduce my class to different kinds of fiber preparation.