Wood briquettes are an economical alternative to charcoal or firewood logs. They are made of highly compressed wood trimmings, sawdust and other woodworking waste. They can burn for hours, making them a good choice for materials that would otherwise be thrown away. With the right equipment and a little know-how, you can make your own wood briquettes at home.
Things You'll Need
- Briquette press
- Material such as sawdust, wood shavings or trimmings
- Kiln or oven (optional)
First, you'll need a briquette press. There are many different makers and models from which to choose. For most homes, a small briquette press is adequate. Though initially expensive, a briquette press is an investment that could eventually save you quite a bit of money in firewood expenses.
Briquette presses can also be made using a kit, briquette mold, and wood shop equipment. Manuals for building briquette presses can be purchased online.
Next, you'll need to collect the briquette materials. Sawdust, wood shavings and small, dry wood trimmings can all be used. Make sure that the materials have not been chemically treated or varnished. Nearby wood and carpentry shops likely will be happy to donate or sell you their sawdust for a nominal price.
You can press the material as-is, or char it beforehand, particularly if the material is comprised of larger scraps or wood trimmings. Charring the material will give it a more charcoal-like aroma when lit and will also make it easier to ignite. You can char material in a Dutch oven, kiln, or other stoneware receptacle. According to BlogJamDC.com, the material is charred at 850 to 950 degrees Fahrenheit.
Commercially made briquette presses are usually operated with a switch, and some require pre-heating. Turn the machine on, and load the material into the feeder. If your press has a cooling or smoke removal system, activate it as instructed. Home-built presses may be operated with a vise or a crank. Always follow your equipment's instructions, and never feed more material into the press than the manual states.
Wood briquettes can be stored easily due to their uniform shape, size and weight. To keep them ready for use, store the briquettes in a dry place, away from open flames.
Tips & Warnings
- Always follow the instructions when operating dangerous equipment, like a briquette press.
- Check your local sustainability groups for workshops or seminars on creating and using your own wood briquettes.
- Some wood briquettes, depending on their material and compression, burn much hotter than coal or firewood.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Make a Machine to Compress Sawdust
Rather than wasting the sawdust produced by woodworking you can convert it into briquettes for use as fuel. The sawdust simply needs...
How to Make Wood Shavings
Wood shavings have many uses, but by making your own out of excess firewood or lumber that you may have laying around...
DIY Paper Shredder
A paper trail can prove dangerous; just ask James Bond. Of course, you could buy a paper shredder at your local office...
How to Make Coconut Charcoal Briquettes
In developing nations with limited access to fossil fuels such as oil and gas, people bake wood or other fibrous material such...
How to Make Charcoal From Saw Dust
Charcoal briquettes can be made of sawdust or coal in processed forms. These materials can be combined with additives such as starch,...
How to Make a Homemade Briquette Press
From dirty coal to inefficient wood, fueling fires throughout the world is often a costly and non-environmentally friendly process. To alleviate cost...