Thursday, 21 February 2013

Log maker

My Dad has got us a new toy.  He saw it advertised in his newspaper and as it wasn't very expensive he thought it would be worth giving it a go.  According to the hype the "logs" burn for up to 2 hours which would be fantastic if they do as real logs are expensive, as is coal.

It is a simple idea.  You shred up your waste paper and cardboard, soak it in water for a few hours, pack it down inside the brick mould which is in the press, apply a plate thingy to the top, put one handle through the other and press down to squeeze out the excess water and compact it.  Then you lift it all out and turn out your brick shaped "log".  Of course they then have to dry out thoroughly before they can be used.

Ideally it would be best to make them through the summer when they can dry outside in the sun.  Mind you, if our last few summers are anything to go by that will not be an option and leaving them outside will result in a soggy mess.

So, I have given it a test run this morning. I was initially tearing the paper up.  Then I hit on the idea of running it through the shredder.  Only problem there is that I gradually feed through more and more and then the stupid thing jams up.  Not really sure that it likes newspaper either as it seems to be clogging the bit in the middle which tells it to run and so it keeps running even when I am not feeding it.

Once the paper is shredded it goes into a bucket of water to soak for a few hours.  That is the easy bit!

Then comes the mucky bit, getting out handfuls of the stuff and squeezing out as much water as possible before packing into the mould.

OJ, apply plate, cross the handles and PRESSSSSSSSSSS .................  It is flipping hard work!  I don't actually think that I have enough strength in my wrists to do this stage justice.  I think it will have to be Simon's job.

Once that is done it is a simple job to lift out the mould and turn them out.

They are very wet so are going to take forever to dry. Here are two that I made this morning

And here is one that I made earlier, all nice and dry and ready to go.  Well to be fair, my Dad actually made it earlier!  He didn't fill the mould so this is a thinner log than mine.

I hope they do work.  It would help save some money if they do. We need to try out a few once they are dry to see how long they last.  Obviously if they burn up in minutes then it is a total waste of time.  However if they really do burn for a few hours then I can see "log" making being a big part of my future this coming summer.  As they are brick shaped they will be easy to store.

Now the burning question  (pun intended!) .......  has anyone tried one of these themselves or know any one that has?  Do they work or are they a useless waste of time?  Let me know before I waste too much of my time.  

OK, it must be coffee time after all that hard work!

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