How to Make Papercrete Blocks

Papercrete??

Never heard of it? Go here.

Up to speed?

Great, Let’s get going.

Tools

Papercrete mixer

Block molds (mine are made from 2x6s and scrap siding)

Shovel

Materials

Water

Paper (used of course)

Shredded plastic (if you want)

95 lb bag of cement (cement not concrete- no rocks or sand in the mix)

Process

Emtpty papercrete molds

1.  Set out your molds.  You will need enough flat space to drive over them and pull your truck and the mixer in all the way front of the molds.

Filling papercrete mixer with water

2.  Fill the mixer 3/4 full with water.   I just eyeball it.

papercrete mixer filled with paper

3. Put in the paper/plastic.  I use about 75 lbs.

adding cement to papercrete mixer

4.  Add the bag of cement.  You don’t need to open it,  just toss it in.

covered papercrete mixer

5.  Cover the mixer securely.  This is very important.  Just think of what happens when you have a blender top malfunction and multiply it by 100…  I use a canvas tarp with a cargo strap.

papercrete slurry

6.  Drive slowly- 5-10 mph for one mile.  The mixer will chop up the paper into a pulp and mix it with the water and cement.

emptying the papercrete mixer

7.  Empty the slurry into the molds.  If you got the mix right you should be able to open the drain, fill some blocks, close it, pull forwards a bit, repeat.  If the papercrete is too thick there’s some shoveling in your near future.  Sometimes I use a plunger to force it through too.  I get about 45 blocks per batch.

papercrete blocks in molds

8.  Remove the molds.  I do this right away.  I want as much air flow as possible.

papercrete blocks

9.  Wait a few days for the blocks to dry.

pile of papercrete blocks

10.  Stack the blocks under cover to dry further.  I like to wait a couple weeks before using them.

11.  Do it again and again until you have several pallets stacked with bricks and your year’s supply of paper trash is gone.  That’s 10-15 batches for me.  I usually have to go to the recycling center to pick up more paper to boot.

Now go make something cool and send us a picture.

Next time:  building with papercrete blocks.

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One Comment

  1. Najam Ashraf
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Very easy instructions.I’ll start with the blocks first.

One Trackback

  1. By No More Trash « Stuff I Made This Year on February 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    [...] slowly for a mile or so you end up with a bunch of pulped paper mixed with cement.  You can then cast this goop into blocks or any other form you like.  After the block has dried its light weight and very durable.  The [...]

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