Try It Review: Newspaper Press Brick Maker

11:28 AM, Jan 6, 2011   |    comments
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Newspaper Press Brick Maker

CHAMBLEE -- Relaxing in front of a warm fire on a cold day is a simple pleasure that many of us enjoy.  Lee Ann Zavosky loves the chimania on her deck that she and her friends gather around on chilly evenings.

"Absolutely the back yard is the best place of the house," she said.

But firewood can be expensive. For $30 the Newspaper Press claims it can easily turn old newspaper into cheap fuel for your fireplace.

Lee Ann thought that could be great thing.

"We do recycle," she said, "but if I can burn it in here that would be better yet."

The process sounds simple enough - soak the newspaper in water then roll it up into a ball and put into the Newspaper Press. Then place the metal press on top and force down with the two handles to squeeze the moisture out.

Lee Ann said the device seems sturdy but is not very user friendly.

"It takes a lot of pressure," she explained. "It doesn't have padded bars."

Lee Ann warns it takes some strength to press the water out of the newspaper and it's pretty messy. Getting your finished brick out of the mold isn't easy either.

"I think I'd rather chop wood personally," she said. "It's a mess and on a cold day like today it's really difficult."

You'll also need a good place to let your bricks dry which might take a long time.

We gave it a couple of weeks and checked back with Lee Ann.

The final bricks look a little like paper mache. But Lee Ann was most interested in how they burn. So she put her paper bricks on some kindling and fired them up.

"This is not what I would call a pretty fireplace burn," she said. "It's not much heat and there's a lot of smoke."

Even more concerning to Lee Ann was all the paper ash that was blowing up the chimney.

"I think it's too much of a fire hazard," she said.

Lee Ann says the Newspaper Press leaves her cold.

"For the Newspaper Press," she said, "my rating is unfortunately two thumbs down."

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