Log/Briquette Maker - which one's work?

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Andy's Shed

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My collection of turned shavings and sawdust is building up and I'm wondering if it's worth buying one of those log/briquette press machines?

There are some cheaper types on Ebay, are they any good?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/26320071...7V6oYAYBcjueiW5yEybMZiA3lvkC|tkp:BFBMmJjqnPBi
I'd rather not spend too much if possible and I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's had experience of making their own firewood logs from shavings. :)
 
I did look into this, lots of YouTube videos and tutorials available, it looks like a very very messy job, you need to soak the shavings/paper/cardboard until it turns to mush then put it in the compressor and press the water out, then leave it to dry again. At least that's my understanding of it 🤷
 
Yes, I've watched some videos too Stig and it does look messy. I was giving my sawdust to my son for his Chicken coop, but he thinks it may not be good for them. I'd rather try and make some use of it, rather than taking it to the tip. :)
 
I looked into this, those things appear to be largely worthless for shavings, more for papier mache.
My current plan is to build a hydraulic one from a log splitter or similar.
The cheapest proper briquette machine I found was £4.5k plus import from Lithuania. The small uk based ones are £10.5k.

My plan is something like this

Ollie
 
Blimey, how much! :0

I've seen another one on Ebay for around £130, it looks more robust than the one that I linked to earlier, still not inexpensive though. I don't have any metalworking gear, or the skills needed to make my own. :)
 
I have a wood burner and have found that wood shavings burn on it okay as long as I have some pieces of wood among them.

I did start off by putting the wood shavings in brown paper bags and squashing them a bit but soon got tired of that and now just put a small shovelful straight on the fire every now and again.
 
I burn wood shavings and sawdust direct. You need the right shape of stove - large and approaching a pyramid shape so that the heap burns from the top without falling in and choking itself. It takes 3 or 4 coke hods full at a time and is very controllable from slow to very hot and fast burning. Dowling Sumo or similar Dowling Sumo stove reviews uk
 
Works well for shavings but watch out if you've got fine dust, it'll take your eyebrows off. Ended up using mine for paths between the veg beds
 
Works well for shavings but watch out if you've got fine dust, it'll take your eyebrows off. Ended up using mine for paths between the veg beds
You can't put it on an already burning hot fire, you have to let it burn right down before refilling or you get flash back!
Bigger the stove the better so you don't have to refill so often.
 
I have a wood burner and have found that wood shavings burn on it okay as long as I have some pieces of wood among them.

I did start off by putting the wood shavings in brown paper bags and squashing them a bit but soon got tired of that and now just put a small shovelful straight on the fire every now and again.

This is what I do. Amazon packaging is pretty good to stuff full of shavings.

I had one of the cheao briquette makers when we moved house as we had so much packing paper and cardboard left over. I let it soak in a water butt for a few days until it was really pulpy then pressed it into briquettes which I stacked and dried in a greenhouse.


Actually the reaultant briquettes were pretty good, they didn't burn as well as say beech or ash but more like birch, gave of plenty of heat and when mixed in with firewood they lasted two winters.

The only downside was the mess and the time involved the time it took to make a greenhouse full of paper briquettes I could have logged several tonnes of firewood.
 
We had one of those briquet makers many years ago when we used to have free newspapers regularly posted. It was a very messy process and for us wasn't worth the effort and the cleaning up.
Instead, I burn the wood shavings and dust directly in our stove and put packaging cardboard in the recycling bin. Paper used by Amazon for packaging gets added to a roll in the workshop to spread out when painting or for messy glue-ups. But, as Jacob said, you should only add dust when you're making up a fresh fire or topping up dying embers to avoid the flashback.
 
We had one of those briquet makers many years ago when we used to have free newspapers regularly posted. It was a very messy process and for us wasn't worth the effort and the cleaning up.
Instead, I burn the wood shavings and dust directly in our stove and put packaging cardboard in the recycling bin. Paper used by Amazon for packaging gets added to a roll in the workshop to spread out when painting or for messy glue-ups. But, as Jacob said, you should only add dust when you're making up a fresh fire or topping up dying embers to avoid the flashback.
We burn the cardboard too, and all non plastic or non glossy/coated paper (clay/chalk content makes too much ash).
It's brilliant for a burst of quick heat or just to get a wood fire going quickly.
Briquette making sounds a good idea but a PITA and not worth the effort, like a lot of "good ideas".
 
Yes, I've watched some videos too Stig and it does look messy. I was giving my sawdust to my son for his Chicken coop, but he thinks it may not be good for them. I'd rather try and make some use of it, rather than taking it to the tip. :)
The fine dust and potential traces of the finishes we use could be harmful, the finer dust especially would be kicked up and breathed in and their lungs are a lot smaller than ours 😉
 
We burn the cardboard too, and all non plastic or non glossy/coated paper (clay/chalk content makes too much ash).
It's brilliant for a burst of quick heat or just to get a wood fire going quickly.
Briquette making sounds a good idea but a PITA and not worth the effort, like a lot of "good ideas".
Yes, I should have put a comma between packaging and cardboard. That curly cardboard stuff we sometimes get as packaging/filler is great for quickly starting a fire as are the small boxes and personal papers/NHS documents, etc. The big boxes, especially with the glossy finish would normally go in the recycling bin.
 
Hi Andy, about 10 years ago I made this briquette maker, from pieces of steel I had hanging around. I made 25 briquettes each time using a 10 ton car jack press. The briquettes were made from soaked cardboard/paper , which were stored in a couple of large wheelie-bins. The paper/cardboard was shredded, then added to the mixing bins then soaked in water and then stirred with one of those plasterers paddles to create a fine mush. The mix was then added to 25 chambers and pressure applied. The whole process was very messy and even though i dried the briquettes well, they did not burn particularly well, primarily down to the fact that paper does not contain a great deal of wood and is mostly Kaolin! After making/burning about 5000 briquettes, I gave up on paper briquettes.

I then tried wood shavings using the same process. Even soaking the wood for days, still did not enable the briquette to become well-formed it just broke apart. At the time I did not have a 20 ton jack, but I suspect that would not prevent the briquette from becoming friable and breaking up. It probably needed some form of binding agent.

Anyway, this contraption has been corroding away for the last 9 years in my back garden.
 

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Hi Andy, about 10 years ago I made this briquette maker, from pieces of steel I had hanging around. I made 25 briquettes each time using a 10 ton car jack press. The briquettes were made from soaked cardboard/paper , which were stored in a couple of large wheelie-bins. The paper/cardboard was shredded, the added to the bins then soaked in water and then stirred with one of those plasterers paddles to create a fine mush. The mix was then added to 25 chambers and pressure applied. The whole process was very messy and even though i dried the briquettes well, they did not burn particularly well, primarily down to the fact that paper does not contain a great deal of wood and mostly Kaolin! After making/burning about 5000 briquettes, I gave up on paper briquettes.

I then tried wood shavings using the same process. Even soaking the wood for days, still did not enable the briquette to become well-formed it just broke apart. At the time I did not have a 20 ton jack, but I suspect that may not prevent the briquette from becoming friable and breaking up. It probably needed some form of binding agent.

Anyway, this contraption has been corroding away for the last 9 years in my back garden.
I'm glad I'm not the only one with such unusable gadgets!!
 
My collection of turned shavings and sawdust is building up and I'm wondering if it's worth buying one of those log/briquette press machines?

There are some cheaper types on Ebay, are they any good?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/26320071...7V6oYAYBcjueiW5yEybMZiA3lvkC|tkp:BFBMmJjqnPBi
I'd rather not spend too much if possible and I'd be interested to hear from anyone who's had experience of making their own firewood logs from shavings. :)
A lot of time and messy work for tiny bit of heat! Really not worth it. As mentioned by others pressure compressed via jacks etc. Better off flogging the waste as pet bedding litter trays and put towards a bottle of decent Brandy, that will warm you up!
 
I remember making those paper briquettes as a child, when the whole family were pressed into service, tearing up the bundles of newspapers and adding to large barrels of water, what a mess! They took an age to dry and produced so much ash that the press contraption was soon relegated to a far corner of a shed to rust! Any sawdust or shavings I produce now I simply put in a paper bag to add to the stove. Fine sawdust is n suitable for pet bedding I was told, although planer shvings shouldn't pose a problem. I ocassionally thrown some dust and shavings into the composter too.
 
References to flashback are relevent but you can achieve a similar alarming event - "flash-up" - if you load up a hot bed with sawdust and shavings and the volatile gases do not immediately ignite or go out after shutting the fire doors.
The build up of gas in the fire and chimney eventually do ignite and the explosion travelling up the chimney can, at the very least, make your hairs stand on end.
I try to avoid it by making sure either the sawdust is put under the starting pile of kindling or to one side of an established flame and that the top of the fresh pile immediately starts to burn.
 

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