This blog might not be strictly in keeping with what you expect from a bird food site, but we do take our environmental position very seriously and anything we can do to reduce our carbon footprint we do try and do. So for several years now, we have been making our own fuel for our log burner. It is free and all you have to do is save your newspapers and some cardboard and with a little hard work you can convert that into fuel that burns for a long time and is high in heat production.
There are several ways to make briquettes for your log burner.
> They are made from news paper and what you do is to soak the paper
> until it is like papier mache then you have to strain the water out
> and compress the mushed paper, leave it to dry for a week or two and
> there you have your briquette!
> Sounds easy - but there is quite a lot of work involved and several
> different methods to achieve the same result.
> You can buy a single mould that you fill with the wet paper and then
> apply pressure to drain it, but these take ages and do not get all the
> water out very well, you have to be pretty strong / heavy to apply the
> The system I use is a five briquette mould, it is made from strong
> galvanize steel so does not rust and it makes five briquettes at a
> time. I make the papier mache in a tin bath, stir it well and then
> fill plastic bins with the mush, I then take it out of the bin with my
> hands, squeezing the water out, and place it in the moulds. Then I put
> a steel plate on the top of the five moulds, and a lever (four foot
> long) on top of the plate, then I pull the lever down and it applies a
> lot of pressure on the moulds, water gushes out and after a couple of
> minutes the blocks are solid enough to be pulled out of the moulds
> stacked on some shelves in a dry area, then wait a couple of weeks
> and they are good to go.
> I reckon each block burns for over half an hour and I put four on at a
> time, but I can't keep up with that so I need to produce lots during
> the summer months when the fire is not in operation. We mainly burn
> logs now.
> I want to sell my briquette making press, so if you would like to know
> more about it let me know, but I would say it does take a lot of physical
> When dry they are extremely well compressed and very light weight, so
> can be stacked and stored very easily.
> Let me know if you want further information.