Paper Fire Brick Maker

Another highlight from John Zapf’s compound, an African-made paper fire brick mold. You soak the newspaper, press it into the mold, let the brick dry out and you’ve got fuel for a fireplace. More info on the process here.

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  1. I think this would be good as long as the work is worth the effort. I can see these taking a while to dry (especially here in humid GA) and these may take longer to burn but paper will burn just fine by itself and will burn longer if you just twist it together.

  2. Paper bricks are a sound alternative for urban homesteaders (yeah that’s right I wrote that “phrase”) – easily found material that requires nothing but the press & elbow greese to make.
    Paper bricks would be good for early fall & late Spring when a bit of a fire to take the chill off is needed. Or when added to a higher BTU valued wood.
    Thanks for the link.

  3. Are these like the paper logs made with the contraption to roll newspaper? If not, are these better? For $5 I could have bought a paper log roller at a thrift store. But, I don’t have a fireplace!

  4. I better go out and buy life insurance since I’m pretty sure two blog postings related to my existence on this rock have appeared on this great site all within one week. I’ve used up my limelight quota.

    These bricks do take awhile to dry. I went out back of a Vons and got me some bread racks. Like milk crates but specifically for those perfectly rectangular loaves some people call bread. I lay them on those and stack them and try to keep them in the sun. The best would be to build a solar oven which is on the ever expanding agenda of things to do and learn to do.

    As to how they burn…ehhhh. Depends what you put in them and how dry they are. I’ve tried a number of things. I take paper from the junk mail ( you keep getting it no matter how many times you ask them not to…although I did put $20 in an envelope as an Xmas present for the Mail Lady and at the bottom of the thank you note requesting no more and did not receive junk mail for a year ), shredding the paper, soaking it and adding detritus from around the yard. leaves, twigs, sawdust, wood chips.

    Paper and woodchips work pretty well and after using a friend of mine’s concrete mixer once, came out with a real nice sludge. Dump it in, press and set to dry. For months.

    They burn best when there is a hot fire already going otherwise you run the risk of smoldering and teary eyes at your campsite, chimenea, apocalypse ranch.

    Remember these logs and the way to make them were developed out of giving people in Africa locally sourced fuel. There’s not a lot of trees around in the more desert areas but plenty of trash and chips. They’re used for cooking and best used in a rocket stove. The bricks are cut up into thirds while drying and used as little briquettes that burn quite well in the super hot mini rocket stoves which is just like a natural venturi tunnel I think. Eric posted about them awhile back.

    The place I got the maker was from an African – Canadian Engineering company which specialized in producing human powered industrial machinery to provide rural villages an income. I want to get the Human Rock Crusher. Pretty neat stuff they do over there. Here’s the link.

    The paper log roller is more for making twisties to start wood fires if I remember correctly. It’d be cool to try one of those out too and see how they work.



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