First Official Pulp!

Today was the day!  The weatherman predicted a nice, warm, sunny day so I jumped out of bed early. I had paper pulp and Hollander beater on my mind!

A couple days ago I did some belated shredding of checks from 1994-99. They were all nicely cut into 1/4″ widths and I figured they would make decent paper. Since the morning started out chilly and I knew I would be using water from the outside faucet, I heated up a couple pots of water to help moderate the temperature. Soaked the paper strips in the hot water for a bit and then moved the Hollander beater – on its lovely table with wheels! – into p0sition at the front of the garage. There is a handy electric outlet on the side of the garage door frame and we have a grated drain running across the drive just in front of the garage.

Filled the beater tub with water and shredded paper, made sure the lid was on over the beater bedplate and filled the switch!

Everything worked smoothly for about 10 minutes and then the belt slipped. My love thinks it might have stretched during the winter while it sat out in the garage. After a couple of quick calls to determine the problem and the solution, I unscrewed a couple things and tried to move the moter back a bit to tighten up on the belt. Welllllll……….. a couple more calls were needed to my local brothers asking for their muscles!

Finally got it correctly in place and running again by early afternoon. After all that, it took maybe 15 minutes for the pulp to be ready!

My beater is an extended variety and holds 2lbs of material (dry wt.) and about 11 gallons of water to run fully and properly. That’s a lot of pulp!  I’m up to carrying about 2.5 gallons at the moment so I worked with that increment all day and used up about 10 gallons of pulp/water. All told I pulled about 65 sheets (mostly of 5.5″ x 8.5″) which doesn’t really sound like much, but I’m pooped!

I’m drying them by keeping them in a stack of six, all pressed by foot power between boards, and hanging them on a line. This should keep them flat as they dry. Since rain is predicted for tonight, I’ve hung them in the garage.

Paper drying in the garage.

As soon as some of the papers are dry, I’ll finish up the rest of the pulp. (I ran out of couching cloths!  You’d think I’d just get more…)

Paper drying in the garage.

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