Paper log makers use waste paper in the form of newspapers, magazines, junk mail, thin card or shredded paper to make burnable 'logs' suitable to use in a wood stove, a traditional open fire or in a chiminea or fire-pit.
Paper logs are carbon neutral, and can provide a better burn time than a natural log, giving free heat. Save up to a third of fuel costs by mixing one paper log with every two normal logs.
A great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save on logs.
There are three main types available, the Logsaver, the Paper Log Briquette Maker, and the Logmaker.
The LogSaver is a very simple device, quick and simple to use to provide instant free heat from waste paper - junk mail, newspapers, thin card, cartons etc, even old directories or paperback books. There's no special preparations or messy, time consuming soaking paper in water.
To use, simply roll and wedge unwanted paper into the Logsaver, tearing to size if needed, using a varied mix of paper and card type - too much shiny stuff and glossy magazines at once is difficult to burn. Then just place in the fire along with normal logs or coal (1 paper log to every 2 normal logs) for up to an hour of burn time.
You can add a few pieces of lavender, pine needles, sage leaves, thyme or lemon skin when rolling the paper to add an aroma as the logs burn.
The Logsaver can be used over and over again - just retrieve it from the cold ashes and refill. Soooo simple!
More info - Logsaver Video.
Paper log briquette makers
Paper log briquette makers compress waste paper into rectangular paper ‘logs’ measuring about 21cm long x 9cm wide x 6cm deep which will burn as well as wood for up to an hour or more in a fire-grate or wood-burning stove.
You can use a mix of newspapers, cardboard, envelopes, junk mail and magazines.
The paper needs to be put through a shredder or torn up by hand, soaked in water for a few hours to soften the fibres, then mashed into a soft pulp. This is packed into the log maker, using the handles to compress the pulp and gently squeeze out excess water. Repeat until the mould is full, tip out the paper log and leave for at least few weeks, preferably several months, to dry out ready for use.
It’s probably best to make the logs in batches outdoors in summer, then leave them under cover to dry out ready for the winter. If they haven’t dried out completely they just won’t burn properly. Use the logs in the same way is if they were actual logs of wood, so you do need kindling etc to get the fire going.
We had one of these years ago and weren't really sure how to use it. We tried it out once, decided it was all just too much hassle, and sold it at a car-boot sale. Then a few months later we found the dried out paper logs at the back of the shed – when we put them in the wood stove and saw just how well they burn we realised we had made a mistake selling the thing!
Used properly, the briquette maker is a robust piece of kit which can can save you money by producing free logs that are solid and dense and burn surprisingly well.
For a good demonstration see DIY Paper Fire Logs on YouTube by CrazyRussianHacker. Or watch this guy taking it to a whole new level, adding flour and sawdust to make thicker denser bricks! See also our post on Heating your home with horse manure for a different way to use the briquette maker!
A wide variety of Paper Log Briquette Makers are available through Amazon* - browse them here.
The Dry Logmaker produces compact, newspaper-wrapped 'logs' which are ready for immediate use. They burn for between 10 minutes and 1 hour, using waste such as shredded junk mail and newspapers, tea bags, twigs, dry leaves or sawdust.
To use the Dry Logmaker, simply wrap newspaper around the outside of the tube, tucking the ends inside at the bottom. Place on a firm surface and push the plunger down inside the tube to make the tucked-in ends form a seal. Remove the plunger and fill the tube with burnable waste items, compressing as you go. When filled, eject the newspaper log by using the plunger to push it down and away from the tube. Now twist the ends together or tuck them in to finish. Your log is ready to burn straight away with no wetting or waiting.
The Dry Logmaker is simple and clean to use as you don't have to wet the paper. There's no mess and no waiting while the 'logs' dry out, and it's easy to produce a few at a time as they are needed.
However, the 'logs' are much less dense and burn faster than those from the Paper Log Briquette Maker or the Logsaver, so they don't make such good fuel, but they are useful for getting the fire going or for mixing in with larger logs when the fire needs a bit of a boost.
Logmaker do make another version, the Wet Logmaker, which makes logs from soaked waste, creating denser, longer burning fuel logs from any burnable waste.
You can find more information and buy all versions of the Logmaker from their website www.logmaker.org.uk
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