Paper-Making Doohickey




My new iPhone 11 has strange ideas about focusing in portrait mode and I haven’t figured out what to do about it, just yet!

Backstory: Our 10yo Gkid came for a short visit over spring break and got “stuck” with us when we went into lockdown mode because of COVID-19. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about the whole TP shortage thing, and I mused that we could probably recycle our paper towels, which mostly we just use for napkins or wiping up spills, and make our own TP out of them.

Well, we haven’t run out of TP yet, mostly because we’re taking care of my parents’ house right now and Mom always shops in bulk, and every time I think we’re getting low I run across another stash somewhere. Also there are only the 3 of us and 5 bathrooms, so when we do start getting low, I figure just consolidating the supply into the 2 or 3 bathrooms we actually USE will get us a few more days.

But a couple of days ago, Gkid hung a grocery bag next to the trash and decreed that we are to start putting our paper towels in it. So I thought I’d better get serious about figuring out how to make paper. I went and read a few websites and saw strange words like “deckle” and “mould” that probably apply to parts of this design, but I’ve slept since then and can’t remember which was what, so I’m just calling the whole thing a “doohicky.”

It hasn’t actually been tested yet, but it seems like it should work. If not, I’ll post updates until it does!

Paper Making Doohicky

Right-click on the design above and save as SVG, or just click this link to download.

The red parts get cut from thick (1/4") acrylic, and the blue parts from medium (1/8"). You’ll end up with two thin rectangular frames, one in each thickness – those get stacked and glued onto the part with the 9 rectangular holes in it.

The screen (with all the little slots in it) fits into this frame for when you scoop up your pulp.

The handle gets press-fit into the part with the matching holes, and that part is what you press the pulp into the frame with, to squish the water out of the bottom. I goofed and forgot to flip the press part over to take advantage of the angle in the kerf before adding the handle to it, and ended up having to do a little sanding to make it easier to fit down into the frame.

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I’ve made paper before, use an extra blender that you don’t plan to make margaritas with down the road for the slurry. :smile:

(You CAN sprinkle some seeds on it as it dries and make great seed starter rolls…much easier to plant when they are already spaced. I’ll bet she’d like that.)

(BTW, for anyone concerned that the world will run out of TP: Perfectly okay to cut a roll of paper towels into thirds, use a single sheet from one of the mini-rolls, wet it at the tap and use that for wiping. Should flush and degrade just fine, and actually cleans better than TP.)

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Everyone has that drawer. The one with the mismatched socks in it.

You did not know it, but you were subconsciously awaiting the day that TP disappeared from the world.

I helped raise a lot of kin back before diapers were throw away. I still have all the techniques down pat, (but I also have a wife who buys in bulk).

Still, it would be interesting to see how a home made TP effort comes out.

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Thanks for the design! I can’t wait to see how well your new TP works.

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I would say Doohickey is the perfect name! You’re having so much fun having her there!!!

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Updated OP to include photos of the finished doohicky. :slight_smile:

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That’s pretty fancy…I just used plain old window screen. It’s gonna make pretty paper.

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