Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Papercrete Process.......

To begin making our signature papercrete containers we begin by running newsprint through a strip cut paper shredder. We stuff the cut strips into five gallon buckets until the buckets are well filled.
We then fill the buckets of strips with water and allow the strips to soak for at least a day. Many times these buckets will sit a few days before we get around to turning the soaked paper back into pulp. We have found that thoroughly soggy strips are easier to pulp.
We try to keep several buckets of strips soaking at all times. These have been soaking for over two weeks but they cannot be over soaked.
Well soaked strips are then turned to pulp with an electric drill and a small paint mixer. Five gallon of well soaked strips only take three or four minutes of mixing to get the results one needs for good pulp.
The resulting pulp will be to soggy to use as is. We have a few buckets that over time have developed leaks so I drill lots of quarter inch holes along the sides and bottom of those old buckets. These buckets when filled with the soggy pulp will in twenty four hours time allow the pulp to drain to almost the exact consistency of moisture for proper mixing of the final recipe.
 Five Gallon of finished pulp
We then have three gallon buckets we use to make individual recipes of papercrete mix. This bucket is ready for the addition of portland cement and perlite. We then use the same drill and mixer to mix this thoroughly. Once mixed it is ready to mold into whatever shape you have a mold for or can dream up!
Mold filled and drying.
Finished containers sitting in the greenhouse drying. Having just experienced record cold these containers might take as much as two weeks to completely dry. Once dry we will knock off the rough edges with sandpaper and place on pallets outside to weather until sales season begin early next year. We are expecting bumper sales in 2015!