1 year on and 800 bricks made - photos available on request
Our bricks are a composite of wood shavings and newspaper, well soaked and mashed before being pressed. This year we are using more newspaper and less shavings to make the pulp more compressible, and also these bricks seem to have a more dense and solid feel to them.
We have performed only two modifications to the brickmaker:
1) Adding padding to the handles to make the palm of the hands more comfortable during pressing.
2) The addition of a metal strap to the underneath of the brickmaker, attached using rivets (see photos). This was necessary because after about 750 bricks, the sides of the brickmaker tended to 'part' during pressing, and the 'u' shaped cradle would fall through the bottom by approximately 5mm. The strap now stops the sides from parting.
Quite a bit of corrosion has occured as you can see from the photos, but this has not been a problem, and we expect to be able to make many more bricks with the device this year. The corrosion may have been partly due to the fact that we originally added bleach to the pulp mix, however we realised after the first hundred or so bricks that this was no longer necessary.
All in all, a great product - easy to use although some experimentation is necessary to obtain the optimum preperation of the paper pulp and shavings mix. We now add dry newsapaper and shavings, layer upon layer until a plastic dustbin is filled. We then add water using a hosepipe, and let the mix settle for a few hours. Afterwards, we reduce the contents of the dustbin to a pulp using a hollow metal pole.
This seems to be the optimum process for us. Once again, well done for designing a super product, and I hope you find these photos and notes useful.