There are numerous methods for making pulp online. Some people reccomend boiling your paper. some add bleach, some add salt for mold retardation, some use only glossy paper, some mix glossy, news print & even some card stock to the pulp mix. Other people leave they're paper steeping over night or a few days in hot water. Some people mix in wall paper paste, while others mix in wall paper paste & white glue etc. In all cases they are ALL right & they are ALL wrong.
Why say that?
Well different papers have different grades through out the world along with different grades of & levels of ink content. Some people have hard water while others have soft. Then of course throw into the mix we all make different things with pulp. So the final batch of pulp starts off with as many varying properties as there are people using it. Like everything else in life it's HOW you are going to use it & what strengths you demand from your pulp that count in the end.
How 'I' make pulp is extrememly simple & it works for me. MY method may not be what YOU are looking for because of ALL or NONE of the reasons i have stated in the opening paragraph. Like everything else it's ALL down to WHAT you require it to do. Here is how i do it anyway.
This batch of pulp is a simple glossy magazine pulp with NOTHING else added. No news print, salt nothing. To begin with the following batch is made from around 6 glossy computer magazines. I started by removing the glued edges. I find the easiest way to remove these & get as much of the page paper as possible is to remove about half of the pages as i go then the edges can be simply peeled off & discarded.
Next taking only as much as my blender could easily handle i tore the pages into strips & ran them through a large blender with a small amount of water so the blender was not struggling. When the paper becomes a gloopy grey wet matter, then you know this stage is done. 6 medium computer magazines will give you a LARGE batch of pulp so don't go mad when making pulp or you may find you have more than you can ever use & be on for weeks drying it off.
6 magazines made this whole plastic carrier bag full.
I carried on until all the paper i was going to use was shredded & pulped. Then i placed it all into a large sieve to drain for a few hours. By digging out a small hole in the middle of the draining pulp i found it drained off much easier.
Once the draining pulp no longer appeared to be leaking water underneath i then transferred it to a large wooden board by a radiator to dry. Without squeazing the pulp i carefully spread it out so it ressembled small lumpy nuggets.
I left this until it was 100% fully dried
before returning it to the blender once again. This time how ever i did NOT add any water & blended the pulp nuggets dry until they ressembled a fluffy grey cotten mass.
Once at this stage you can bag it up in an air tight bag etc & store it virtually indefinately as long as it remains dry. To make this useable i simply add water & PVA glue mixed to a 50%x50% mix. No matter how much pulp i want the glue mix remains the same everytime. I never mix more than i want & always mix it to small batches at the glue adding stage. I can always mix up more when needed.
You do not want the final mixed pulp to be too wet or too dry. Scoop some up in your hands & feel the texture. If too wet add more pulp mix. If too dry add more glue/water mix. This is leaning towards just a fraction too wet.
I find the best way to judge the final mix is to take a fist full then make a firmly formed ball. If the ball is not too sticky & holds it's shape when dropped onto a work surface from around 6/8 inches then thats just right for me to work with.
In a final note before you go off pulping crazy. I have a theory that the best pulp works by taking a leaf from those plasterers of old who would put horse hair into they're plaster before plastering a stone wall. They added horse hair to make the plaster bind much better. When it dired it created a super hard plaster that lasted for decades. With this in mind i ONLY blend my paper once wet, dry it then blend it again dry once more. This gives my shredded paper a long strand finish. I like to think this gives it a similar effect to those wise old plasterers who added horse hair lol.
But as i said at the begining of this feature. We ALL have different papers & diferent ways & uses for our pulps. Experiment with known recipes & mthods to find what is best for YOU. Remember no one is right & no one is wrong. It all comes down to what YOU want the pulp to do & what YOU can do with it.