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Homemade Briquetting Presses – Simple Briquette Press – and Briquetting Machines

Updated on July 2, 2012

Simple Briquette Press Should Be Cheap and Easy To Make

A simple briquette press is a briquette compacting press that can be made from minimal materials that are within reach of the low income groups in virtually every country. A Simple Briquette Press should be cheap and easy to be made by everyone who is interested in making briquettes. Homemade briquetting presses are of many designs and made of many different building materials. Some homemade briquetting presses are made of materials that are expensive whilst other presses are made of materials that would require only a few dollars to acquire. And then there are the big commercial briquetting machines that will make thousands of briquettes per hour. These are expensive and you will need to buy/import them from reputable manufacturers. You can buy/import good briquetting machines that can make 2000 briquettes per hour from China for $6000. $6000 is a lot of money beyond the reach of millions of low-income individuals who might be interested in making their own briquettes from waste materials in their localities.

Simple Briquette Press under $15

In this illustration, we shall look at how to make a simple briquette press that should cost you less than under $15 to buy the materials and make the press. In many countries, $15 can not buy more than two 45 kg bags of lump charcoal.

Step By Step Guide On How to Make Homemade Simple Brequetting Press

Step by step guide on how to make homemade simple brequetting press. You will proceed as the following steps:

1. Get a 1.5” diameter steel pipe

Get a 1.5” diameter steel pipe preferably those used for water. Cut a uniform length of 6” using a hacksaw. You can buy a ready cut piece from used pipes/scrap metal dealers.

Get a 1.5” diameter steel pipe
Get a 1.5” diameter steel pipe

2. Cut a Circular Piece of Metal Sheet

Cut a circular piece of metal sheet 1.6” in diameter such that it can carefully be welded on to one end of the steel pipe in (1) above. The sheet metal should be thick and strong like the gauge used in making metal drums - gauge 20 or so. Fix and weld the metal sheet on the pipe to make something that look like a can. Let call it a Cup.

Cut a Circular Piece of Metal Sheet
Cut a Circular Piece of Metal Sheet

3. Buy Two Nuts and Bolts 6” Long

Buy two nuts and bolt 6” long - like those long screws used to fasten a bedpost to one of the adjacent side pieces.

Buy Two Nuts and Bolts 6” Long
Buy Two Nuts and Bolts 6” Long

4. Cut Two Other Circular Pieces of Metal Sheets

Cut two other circular pieces of metal sheets each 1.4” in diameter, just like in 2 above, such that each circular metal sheet can easily be moved through the inside of the pipe above (1) without sticking on the sides. The sheet metal should be thick and strong like the gauge used in making metal drums - gauge 20 or so.

5. Weld the Nut and Bolt to the Circular Metal Sheets

Attach each of the loose nuts to the end of the respective bolts. Weld the first ‘nut and bolt’ at the centre of one of the circular sheet of metal such that it is perpendicular. The loose nut is to help the bolt attach itself firmly on the circular sheet of metal. Let call this a Plunger. Repeat the same by welding the second ‘nut and bolt’ at the centre of the other circular sheet of metal such that it is perpendicular. The loose nut is to help the bolt attach itself firmly on the circular sheet of metal. Let call this an Ejector.

Weld the Nut and Bolt to the Circular Metal Sheets
Weld the Nut and Bolt to the Circular Metal Sheets

6. Make a Hole for the Nut and Bolt

From 2 above, you did make a metal can/cup by sealing one side of the open steel pipe with a sheet of metal. Get that can/cup and at the centre of the end closed by the metal sheet, make a hole just wide enough for the nut of the bolt used to pass through. You make the hole using welding flame.

Make a Hole for the Nut and Bolt
Make a Hole for the Nut and Bolt

7. Make a Stand Using Timber

Make a stand. Cut, using a hack saw, a piece of timber 3” X 3” by 9” long. Cut another two pieces of timber each 3” X 3” by 3” long. Fix the two smaller pieces of wood to the ends of the longer piece of wood such that they will act like legs. You need to use 5” nails to join the timbers. At the centre of the longer piece of timber, drill a hole wide enough for the bolt to pass through.

Make a Stand Using Timber
Make a Stand Using Timber

8. Get or Buy a Carpenter’s Hammer

Get or buy yourself a carpenter’s hammer. This should cost you about $2. A hammer is meant to hit the bolt that deliver an impact on the briquette paste in the cup made of pipe to form a briquette.

Get or Buy a Carpenter’s Hammer. Image Credit:Malene Thyssen Via Wikimedia Commons.
Get or Buy a Carpenter’s Hammer. Image Credit:Malene Thyssen Via Wikimedia Commons. | Source

9. You Have Now Completed Building a Simple Briquette Making Press

You have now completed building a simple briquette making press. I do not expect you to do the welding by yourself. Instead hire the services of a welder like those who weld widow and door grills to do the job for you. He or she may charge you $1 or $2 for the job. What remains is to know how to join these parts to press the briquette. You should proceed as follows:

10. Mechanism of Using the Simple Briquette Making Press

i) Put the ejector into the can/cup such that the bolt protrudes out through the hole at the bottom of the can.

ii) Put the protruding bolt through the hole on the stand such that the cup together with the ejector sits on the timber stand.

iii) Put the briquette paste into the cup that you have just sat on the stand. You can use a separator made of disposable plastic if you want to make two/three shorter briquettes at once. Disposable plastic glasses can be cut with a razor to make nice separators. Short briquettes have a higher surface area that provides more oxygen for a faster burn of the briquette.

iv) Place the plunger on top of the paste that you have just put in the cup such that the attached bolt is facing upward.

v) Hit the bolt of the plunger with a hammer several times (3/4 times) until it can’t move any further down the cup - the compression of the briquette(s) is now complete.

vi) Remove the plunger. Remove the cup with the content of the pressed briquette from the hole of the wooden stand. Press the bolt of the ejector on the surface of the wooden stand or on the floor surface such that the ejector inside the cup will push the briquette formed upward.

vii) Remove the briquette(s) and put them on the sun to dry for three to four days. Drying time will depend on atmospheric temperatures, wind strength and relative humidity (amount of moisture in the atmosphere).

viii) You can build a small greenhouse to control temperature and relative humidity for faster drying if you live in a place with less solar energy and you are endowed with sufficient resources.

ix) Repeat this process until you have made enough briquettes as you would require. A single person can make an average of 6 briquettes per minute using this simple briquette making press. That will add up to 360 briquettes per hour and about 2000 briquettes for 6 hours. 2000 such briquettes is the equivalent of about four 45kg bags of charcoal. That’s enough briquettes for a small family of 4 to use for four months in cooking, warming the house, or whatever.

Flow Diagram of the Mechanism in Using the Simple Briquette Making Press
Flow Diagram of the Mechanism in Using the Simple Briquette Making Press

Density of Briquettes

The density of briquettes made using this simple briquette press (popularly called the hammer press) is low compared to that made by large briquetting machines. However, the density of briquettes made this way is still far much greater than the density of lump charcoal. The density can be about 0.7g/cc depending on the materials used. Briquettes made large commercial Briquetting Machines can have a density of about 1.1g/cc depending on the materials used. Less density of briquettes means that the briquettes can easily break during transportation. But this should not matter much as you will be using the briquettes at home.

Make Your Own Briquettes for Home Use

This is the simplest it can get. You should spend about $15 to set up this simple briquette press. Make use of it to make your own briquettes for home use, and pass this knowledge to the next person, especially those in the developing countries where there is uncontrolled cutting of trees to make lump charcoal. If you can use it, and use the raw materials of charcoal fines thrown away as waste, or waste paper, or any other waste to make your free briquettes, then, we shall have succeeded in what we aim to do – to have a clean environment for everyone.

If you have liked this article, and you would want this page to keep up and improved, you can help in any way you can. A free way to help would be to link back to this webpage from your web page, blog, or discussion forums.

The Author’s page is designed to help beginners and average readers make some money as an extra income to supplement what they may be earning elsewhere - details of which you can find in My Page, if you will.


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    • profile image


      13 months ago

      I'm planning to set up a small charcoal briquettes unit where I'm accessible to huge quantity of waste from veneer mills and would like to convert these waste into char for for the briquettes.

      It's quite inspiring to learn your technique to make a simple manual press.

      Innitially I am in the process of experimenting several methods for carbonization of the waste materials and manual press.

      Break a leg for me..

      Arun Lyngdoh

      Meghalaya, India

    • profile image

      panji nyirenda 

      2 years ago


    • profile image

      Kutegeka Arnold 

      2 years ago

      Soo great,i will also do it in Uganda,thanks alot fo that information

    • profile image

      Pastor Adebayo Babasola 

      2 years ago

      I need the picture of the briquette press machine

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thanks would like to develop this as project to sensitize other people on recycling waste sawdust

    • profile image

      james aduko 

      4 years ago

      I will describe you as a God sent, to make life better for the down trodden. For releasing this step by step production process of briquette free, God will also freely release to you His blessings.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a wonderful idea. Thank You.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for shearing. It will help me.

    • profile image

      Yash Patel 

      7 years ago

      The clear cut understanding with the help of the steps and which makes easy to understand the the overall process and working of the Briquette which is a renewable source of energy.

    • profile image

      Yash Patel 

      7 years ago

      The truth here is to save money by producing the energy source than Briquetting Plant would be the right choice.As Briquette can be considered as renewable source of energy.

    • profile image

      madu peters JP 

      7 years ago

      Please how do a get a good high quality but cheap briquetting Machine in Nigeria

    • profile image

      prakash Adhikari 

      7 years ago

      Thank you very much for providing me this article, i will make it and then again write in detail about my experience. thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This process of making a simple briquette machine will help me

      to produce mine which i will use in the business of producing briquettes. God bless you. Regards, Patrick Harry.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This information has inspired me. thanks so very much for sharing.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      That is a fantastic idea, ngureco, and it saves so much money. Thank you.


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