Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paper Making Tutorial Part 3

In this post I will
-teach you how to make paper pulp out of your raw materials

Here we go!

Making paper pulp
Now that you have your raw materials gathered you will need to transform them into pulp. For this tutorial I will be speaking specifically about toilet paper rolls, egg cartons and Laughing Cow cheese boxes. The method for all of these is about the same, with a small exception for the cheese boxes.

First, partially fill two buckets with water. Use one of the buckets for soaking the raw materials. After the materials are throughly saturated with water you will then tear them into smaller pieces. Put the torn pieces (torn into about 1 inch squares) into the other bucket. Keep doing this until all your materials have been torn. For the Laughing cow boxes, make sure that you remove the glossy coating with the words. This will be very easy to do once it has soaked for a couple of minutes.

Now the fun part! Take a handful of the torn pieces and place them in your blender. Not too much! Fill the blender with water. You should have about 1 part paper and 2 parts water. Blend for a few seconds. Pour the pulp into a separate bucket. Repeat a few more times. If you have a lot of pulp to make, try to just blend 3 or 4 blenders full at a time, letting your blender motor rest inbetween to extend its' life.

CAUTION: if at any time you start to smell burning rubber or see smoke coming out of the blender, stop blending immediately and unplug from the wall! This should not happen if you are using a quality blender.

Now you have your pulp! Store in buckets until you are ready to make your paper. try to make your pulp no more than a week before you use it, as it will develop a sour smell if you leave it sitting for long periods of time. This does not mean that your pulp has gone bad, though it can be unpleasant to work with.

Come back soon and I'll show you how to turn this slurry of mush into beautiful handmade paper!

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