How to Make a Homemade Briquette Press

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Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic bucket, such as a small oil bucket
  • Drill with 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 2-inch thick plywood
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • 20-lb. dumbell weights
  • Large knife or machette

From dirty coal to inefficient wood, fueling fires throughout the world is often a costly and non-environmentally friendly process. To alleviate cost and recycle common household waste such as old paper, briquettes can be easily created at home. This process is becoming common not only in North America, but around the world as a means of fueling long-lasting fires, ones that can last more than three hours. A small press that can be fashioned at home is all that is needed to create the environmentally-friendly fuel.

Place the large bucket upside down on your work surface. Drill about 20 holes around the sides, in the first 5-inches up from the bottom. These will allow water to drain out of the bucket while material is being pressed.

Place the bucket, right side up, on the plywood. Draw a line around the bottom to copy the circumference. Draw another circle inside the drawn one, with 1/4-inch less of the circumference. This will allow the plywood to fit inside the bottom of the bucket.

Saw out the smaller circle from the plywood. Set it aside.

Use the machine by pouring in a water and paper piece mixture, one that has sat for several days, and packing it down. Place the plywood piece on top.

Set as many dumbell weights as you can on top of the plywood. Allow the water to drain for 20 to 30 minutes and then remove the weights, plywood and material. Cut it in to smaller pieces if desired or leave it whole. Dry in the hot sun for four hours, flip it over, and dry for another four.


  • Use old newspapers, cardboard or any other easily burning thing that is non-toxic to create the briquette.


  • Always lift the weights correctly to ensure you don't harm your back.