Monday, August 18, 2014

Papermaking Round 10

Round 10 was an attempt to make a massive amount of paper at one time.  I used 3x the normal amount of pulp and probably could have made roughly 25 pages with a gallon bucket full of pulp.  Unfortunately I've found a fault in my mesh that is causing a weak spot in each sheet.  I'm guessing the mesh has gotten clogged with ink and other such byproducts and this is preventing the water from draining through the mesh in that spot.  I'm going to try using some scraps of cloth to replace the mesh and see if that works any better.  It might get clogged as well but cloth is easier to replace than a plastic mesh I bought as part of a kit.

It took a couple hours to mold about 20 pages and only about half of them were decent enough to dry out (the others have been returned to the pulp bucket).  Of the ~10 "survivors" three are still pretty soggy that don't show any sign of drying over the past 2 days.  I'm still experimenting with different approaches towards the drying situation.  It seems like the paper needs to be left unrestrained to dry but it needs pressure to prevent warping and the two are not compatible.

In the meantime, I have a paper that feels nice, folds cleanly, and even looks pretty nice.  All the bits of ink and additives in the source paper seem to clump together (magnetism maybe?) and you get these wee specks of color that stick out against the nice, neutral gray of the paper.  Mixing newsprint and printer paper pulp works so well I'm having second thoughts about trying to use hydrogen peroxide to adjust the color.



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