I have been collecting old newspapers for while now but never got round to doing anything with them. This year I thought it was time to put them to good use and turn them into fuel for heating the house.
Now that I have built my new multi-fuel rocket stove I’m going to have a go at turning the old newspapers (and any other waste cardboard) into valuable heating fuel. To start with I filled a plastic dustbin with water and torn up newspaper. Left it to soak for a couple of days then produce a mash with a paint mixer in an electric drill.
I also had a bucket of sawdust, so I threw that in as well
Now I just need a press to compress and remove as much water as possible
What’s needed for the press
I used these sizes because that’s what I had to hand
- 125mm diameter PVC pipe
- 100mm diameter PVC pipe
- 50mm diameter PVC pipe
- 13mm marine plywood
Making the press
Starting with the outer tube, I cut it to 600mm long. I wanted to end up with a compressed log about 20cm long.
Then using a small offcut of the pipe, mark and cut out the location disk. Screw the disk to the base plate with four screws and use a 50mm hole saw to pierce the center of the location disk. Also drill a 20 to 30mm drainage hole in the center of the base plate.
The 50mm diameter hole is used to locate the central 650mm long drainage pipe. This is the 50mm PVC pipe perforated with 8mm holes (lots of them!)
Next, make up the plunger from the 100mm pipe. I started by making it the same length as the outer tube, but then realized that it could be 20cm shorter. As the compressed log was going to be 20cm long.
This is the finished press ready to go
Making the compressed logs
To compress the logs I am using a 3 ton bottle jack and a few wooden packers.Instead of building a frame for the press, I found that the opening in the pig house was just the right height to accommodate the press.
It took 2 goes to compress the paper mash to the 20cm required log. Removing the finished compressed log from the pipe was a bit of a challenge to start with but I soon got the hang of it.
The finished logs
Some of the finished and dried compressed paper and sawdust logs ready to burn. They took about 2 months to dry out completely
Just need to wait until the winter to see how they burn in the rocket stove!