Easy Way to Make Free Fuel From Sawdust and Paper (Short Video)




About: Lateral thinker, Originator of Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT) Originator of Pocket Full Of Acorns Project. Originator of Operation OASIS.

A simpler way to compress paper and sawdust briquettes using your body weight instead of your hands.

This method applies far more compression pressure, producing much more solid briquettes.

We are now able to use the waste from the chainsaw together with the junk mail and cardboard packaging that arrives daily, to heat our home log burner.

Before this, we would get in a mess, trying to feed chainsaw wood shavings into the fire, adding kindling to burn it.

This produced far too much smoke and stifled the flames. And annoy the wife :)

Now we are stock piling paper and sawdust briquettes for the winter.

This method is very quick and easy


Step 1: You Will Need a Large Tub to Soak Newspapers and Mix in Saw Dust and a Plasterers Mixing Paddle

We used a large planter that we use to hold logs next to our log burner.

This was the ideal size.

Junk mail, cardboard packaging, newspapers, magazines are torn into smaller pieces to make it easier to blend. Paper shredder waste is ideal.

Avoid dust from MDF and Chipboard as this will release toxic acrid smoke.

Add to a 2/3 water filled container and soak for 3-4 days or longer until it comes apart easily.

Attach plasterers paddle or paint mixing paddle to your drill and mix thoroughly

Add as much sawdust as you can get in, while mixing with the paddle

Add more water if required.

Step 2: You Will Need to Buy a Paper Briquette Maker (Ours Cost £3.50 From a Second Hand Store)

Fill the briquette maker with the mixed paper mulch and sawdust / shavings from the chainsaw, or obtain from other sources, using the brush and pan to keep things tidy:)

Adding sawdust will make the paper logs burn longer with more heat.

The briquette maker is designed for use with your hands.

The problem with this is that it requires a lot of effort and those handles dig in after long use.

We added a plank of wood, which is placed across both handles.

Now you can step on the plank, taking care to steady yourself (Don't want any accidents)

More water is expelled using this method and the blocks / briquettes are more efficiently compacted, making easier handling and burning.

Step 3: Store Your Paper Logs in a Dry Place

Store paper blocks where they can dry out. Ideally in a place where air is circulating, such as outdoors under a roof of some description.

Storing in a shed can result in mould forming due to excess moisture evaporating.

Now you can smile when junk mail drops through your letterbox.

You can also make paper and cardboard briquettes

Paper briquettes are a great way to use up old newspaper and magazines. Simply soak the paper in water, place the pulp into the maker, place wood plank on the handles and step on it. After drying, your briquettes will be ready to use as fuel!

Briquette Makers measures around 34 x 16 x 12cm.

*Recycle old paper and magazines *Suitable for barbecues and chiminea

And most of all, do your bit for the environment by diverting useful waste from landfill

My website: http://inclinedbedtherapy.com

Step 4: Burning the Dried Out Briquettes

Here is the long awaited burning test.

The dried briquettes are now ready for their final destination.

The video shows how well they performed in a cast iron multi-fuel stove.

Hope you enjoy it

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    12 Discussions


    1 year ago

    I love this DIY project/life-style use of existing, yet end-of-the-line house/shop disposable! How long does a brick burn? Are they stable as to brick status, i.e. do they hold together well? I'm just so impressed by this! What's the fire like as it burns? How many do you use at a time? This is something every homeowner with a fireplace should practice. Can it be used in a grill? Are there unsafe fumes that would affect the food being grilled? I'm just so fascinated by this. Thank you for bringing it here! : )

    4 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    I have also read that these blocks can burn
    for up to an hour and produce a lot of heat. Here's a video of a large
    one burning



    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you, Andrew, for the extensive, and informative, reply to my questions, and for the video you referred. I did watch it, and left him a question. It seemed that his disk (he used the term: pancake), needed the assistance of log wood to keep it 'alive,' and I was wondering if 'his' product could be used alone. You mentioned your confidence in yours.
    This stuff fascinates me. I have scouting experience since 10, up to leader status in my 20's, and fires were always an important part of camping. (Of course, now, any camping I do is accomplished via Comfort Inn or similar 'campgrounds.' lol).


    Reply 1 year ago

    Treat these briquettes as if you were lighting a log fire and you won't go wrong. If we were to try to light a log with a match it would probably take the whole box to get it going. Using kindling and paper it takes one :)


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for your comment YourMagesty, I'm guessing those enormous open fires in your palace will demand a huge amount of these paper logs to keep your royal toes toasty :)
    These are the first briquettes / blocks I have made and are still drying out. Those that I made without using the plank for added compression are opening up slightly. However those compacted under my weight are still firm and drying nicely.
    Nevertheless, they will all burn fine I am sure and I will make another video showing them burning in the log burner and record the time and heat produced.
    I would still use loose paper twisted in the middle and kindling to get the fire going as I would with starting a fire with logs. Though I have seen people lighting the briquettes on their own.
    Because we are using wood chainsaw shavings, cardboard and paper, the combustion should be clean enough to use an a grill. I have read that people are using this for the barbecue instead of charcoal, but it would produce more smoke.
    One of the chemicals used in paper making is bleach, which is washed out, leaving clean paper and a miniscule amount of residue, which once burned poses no problems.
    The shiny paper (Junk Mail and magazines) are shiny because they have a china clay coating. This poses no problems as it is inert, but it is a good binding agent for making briquettes.


    1 year ago

    I might start doing this, I love working with wood and always think it's a pitty to throw all that saw dust in the bin.
    I suppose you better not use dust from treated wood (for outside use, those greenish things) or MDF or thing with lots of glue/finish? At least I wouldn't.
    I voted for you, pall! Good luck with the contests.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks Rob, your right to avoid mdf dust and chipboard is another, these give off acrid smoke and toxic fumes. Good point, will add to the instructable. Treated wood for outdoor use is fine for the log burner and indeed a chiminea or garden brazier. Creosoted wood is also fine as creosote comes from heating up pine.
    Chainsaw dust has a tiny amount of chain oil on it but should not present any problems when burned.


    1 year ago

    Interesting! Is it reasonable to use paper only?

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes paper and cardboard can be used to make fuel. I added saw shavings because we have lots from chainsawing logs


    2 years ago

    Interesting idea. Where did you get the briquette maker and how much do they typically cost?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Around £10 on Ebay inc postage Paste this into Ebay search