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Investment Considerations for Papermaking

I understand that the space, time and equipment investments required for papermaking are important to know on the front end! I made a handy spreadsheet to compare different scale options, so you can have an idea of what you will need to make paper at the scale that is best for you.

These numbers will vary based on your own paper-making speed, the thickness of your paper, etc, but will give you a rough ballpark. The estimates are based on 5 hours a week devoted to papermaking, of which about half is spent actually making paper, and the other half (or more) is spent in preparing pulp, setting up, cleaning up, pressing, hanging and processing dry sheets. (These numbers should multiply pretty well, so to consider 10 hours of papermaking per week, simply double the numbers below.)

 

5x7in sheets / 5 hours Fiber cost / sheet Equipment cost Space needed
Hobby 90 $0.36 Less than $200
Large table, small hanging space
Micro mill w/o beater 245 $0.33 Around $1,000
Approximately 100 sqft*
Micro mill w/ beater 216 $0.12 Around $4,000
Same as above plus 2x4ft space for small beater
Production studio 342 $0.10 Around $8-10,000+
At least 600 square feet, likely more

*Approx 6x8ft water-protected space (can be packed up after every session), plus a 3x4ft space (perhaps a garage) for a press, and a place to hand dry paper: 2ft wide and length depends on how much paper made at a time