Posted by: corozmum | June 9, 2010

Paper Bricks

Last year with not working, I was looking for something to do and decided to have a go at making paper bricks. I thought it would be a good way to use up old newspaper and give us something else to burn.

I got my brick maker from Magnamail. The instructions that come with it say leave the newspaper for 24 hours, make the bricks and they burn for up to 2 hours. No such luck for me.

I found the paper wasn’t pulpy enough and the bricks fell to bits. It takes between 3 days in the summer and up to a week in the winter even when I mush it regularly with my hands to get the paper pulpy enough to make good bricks. I haven’t tried a drill attachment as suggested in Permaculture in NZ by Lori in Feb 2008.

I get between 6-10 bricks per batch and they take ages to dry. Our bricks burn for about 20 mins. I was disheartened that the bricks only burnt that long but we’ve discovered they make excellent fire starters even when you don’t have kindling. You just need a layer of screwed up paper and then 2 bricks and dry wood. 20 mins has the wood well alight and the brick breaks down to give a really good ash bed and we’re finding we have a hotter fire.

Having reread Loris post I’m going to try adding some dishwashing liquid and see if that helps make the paper go to pulp quicker.

Don’t mention to friends you’re making paper bricks. They keep wanting to offload their newspapers onto you. I struggle to keep on top of our newpapers, I don’t need anyones elses!


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