Make Newspaper Or Coffee Fire Logs!

  
  
How to make newspaper logs
for your fire.   
 
You can make fuel for your fire by using newspapers. This instructable shows you how to make a newspaper log in less than two minutes.  It’s kind of like hardcore paper mache. 
To get a solid log, you must change the structure of the newspaper.  That is from sheets to pulp. Usually there’s no shortcuts in paper mache, but you’ll learn how to make these logs very quickly using a rubber mallet.

The paper logs burn best when combined with wood. They will create more ash than wood. The hole through the middle will help it to burn and make the drying out process quicker.

 
Step 1 Prepare the newspapers:
  
 
 
You will need newspapers, a strong bucket, a rubber mallet and a dowel about an inch thick. You will also need a concreted/cemented area to work on. Fold the newspapers and put 3 or 4 into the bucket and cover with water.
The newspapers will probably float to the top so put a piece of wood on the papers.

If you have a leaky gutter with a bucket under the drip or collect rainwater in a tank it would be a great idea to use rain water for the logs.

The newspapers in this instructable were soaked for two days. One day is enough. If you want to speed up the softening process put a squirt of cheap detergent in the water.

wingbatwu suggested adding flour to the water which sounds like a really good way of helping everything bind together.

Step 2 It’s HAMMER time:

If you ever feel the need to hit something instead of somebody, now is the time. Get a wet newspaper out of the bucket, letting some water drain off it first. Lay it out on a hard surface like cement.

Starting at the top of the newspaper, hit it with the mallet and work your way down until you’ve done it all. Not too hard or the newspaper will fall apart. Now carefully lift the mashed newspaper from one side and flip it over. Now hit the other side with the rubber mallet.

If you hit the first side too hard you will find it hard to flip the newspaper over. Just turn what you can and piece it back together.

Step 3 Rolling and squeezing:
  
 
 
Your dowel should be longer than the width of the newpaper. Place it at the end of the newspaper nearest to you. Curl the paper around it and start to roll it on. As you roll you need to squeeze at the same time. This compresses everything into a log.

When you finish, you’ll need to make sure that you press the end of the newspaper into the log so that it doesn’t unravel.

 
Step 4 Tidy up the ends:
  
 
When the log is complete, spend a few seconds squeezing and shaping it with your hands to get it as solid as possible. When you have finished rolling and squeezing the log turn it up on its end. Slide the log down to the end of the dowel so that it is resting on the ground. Use your thumbs to press in on the ends of the log to make it neat. Repeat at other end.

Remove the dowel

 
Step 5 Finished/dirty hands:
  
 
 
There’s your finished newspaper log. Now look at your hands. The photo shows what my hand looked like after making three logs. If you make about eight in one session your hands will be really black.

Put the logs in the sun to dry. It depends on the weather how long they’ll take to dry. The logs I made for this instructable dried in one day. But it was a hot day (30c/86f). If you’re making them in cool weather it could take two weeks if there’s no sun.

If the weather is lousy, I put an old screen door on some boxes and use that as a drying rack. Air can get to the logs from underneath. Any area that gets the wind but is protected from the rain will do fine if you can afford to wait a couple of weeks for them to dry.

It’s surprising how hard they are when they’re dry. If you tap yourself on the head with one, you’ll see what I mean.

You really need to make a whole lot of them before winter. Otherwise it will be too cloudy and cold. At the beginning you will probably love making them, so take advantage of this and make as many as you can. After a while your enthusiasm will wear off and it will turn into a chore especially if you’re out in the cold and your hands are freezing while you play around with cold wet newspaper.

handyman05 suggested:   adding coffee grounds to the logs. This could make them give off more heat and give a brown tinge to the logs to make them look nicer.
 The grounds could be sprinkled on top of the paper after it’s been mashed on both sides. Then roll the logs up with the coffee grounds inside.)

(joeny1980 suggested:  adding pine needles to the logs to add some crackling. The pine needles could make them burn hotter too.  Improve the appearance of the logs by wrapping in soaked brown paper like from a paper bag. give a brown tinge to the logs to make them look nicer.)

GOOD LUCK if you decide to make them.    Please let us know if you give the newspaper logs a try and the results you get!!!!!    ~Mighty Mushrooms

                     

                                                                     AND~How to make a Coffee Fire Log
  
(Mighty Mushrooms say-A great way to use your old java grounds and candle stubs! I also saw these made in reused paper cups.)
 
In this instructable, I’ll show you the basic recipe for making a Coffee Fire Log. The recipe could still use some tweaking, but it’s a good start and a fun and easy project.
 
 
Step 1 Gather ingredients:
            
  
From my searches on the web, there are three ingredients in a FireLog; coffee grounds, wax, and molasses.

I used a bread pan to combine all the ingredients and press the loaf.

I used candles, but you could use the blocks of wax they sell at craft stores (will try during next attempt).

Also, make sure the coffee grounds are completely dry. You can get the grounds free from any Starbucks. If they don’t have any sitting out (for compost), then just ask. They are more than happy to get rid of them.

 
Step 2 Combine the ingedients: 
   
  
I put two and a half candles and the molasses into the bread pan. I usually fill the bottom of the pan with a generous amount of molasses, but I ran low for this last batch.

Now we need to melt the wax. I put the pan in the oven (as pictured) at 260 degrees. I also put the coffee grounds, in a metal bowl, in with the pan to dry them more. It takes about 25 – 30 minutes for the wax to fully melt

 
 
Step 3 Add the coffee grounds:    
 

 

 
At this point the wax should be completely liquid and the molasses will have probably settled to the bottom. Stir it up a bit. I used a chopstick, but if you have cheap whisk you don’t care about, it would probably work better. 

I start adding the grounds one scoop at a time. The wax may fizzle and bubble when you add the first scoop. If it fizzles too much it probably means you coffee grounds are still moist.

For this amount of wax and molasses, I used 5 heaping serving spoonfuls of grounds. The entire recipe can be doubled to produce a larger log (which I plan to try next).

You’ll know your done stirring when all the grounds are dark and slightly glossy. Make sure you stir in all the corners (this is when the chopstick is handy).

 
Step 4 Form your log:
  
    
 
The next step is to press to grounds in to a solid form. I used aluminum foil, but you could probably use wax paper or plastic wrap. I think for the next time I’ll cut a block of wood to size and use that to get an even and firm push.

By this time the wax should have cooled down a lot, but make sure you test it first. If it’s too hot to the touch, let it cool some more, you will still be able to mold it. Cover the pan with the aluminum foil and start to press down . Make sure to get the corners as well. Once you feel you got it good enough (doesn’t have to be perfect, after all you’re just gonna burn it), you can let it dry overnight or you can throw it in the freezer for about an hour.

 
Step 5 Release your log: 
  
   
  
You final product should look nice and glossy like mine in picture one.

Use a knife and cut around the side of the pan to loosen up the log. You can either try to pry it out or turn the pan upside down and bang again the counter.

 
Step 6 Burn your log: 
 
   
  
This is the fun part.

5 or 6 sheet of newspaper under the log should be enough to get that puppy fired up.

Now sit back and relax.

These logs don’t last as long as the store bought ones, but I figure with enough people tinkering with the recipe we can get in mastered!

GOOD LUCK if you decide to make them.    Please let us know if you give the coffee logs a try and the results you get!!!!!    ~Mighty Mushrooms