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Paper making couch, top and side views Paper making couch, Tom Riley 2007

Paper Making Couch

This handmade paper making couch is a speciality piece of equipment for transferring the brand new paper sheets off the mold. This specific design will easily accommodate a paper mold up to 22" by 20". More details of the handmade paper making process can be found in my description of a paper plant.

This couch can be adjusted for individual workers and is very strong. Considerable force can be placed on the couch in the transfer of the new paper

This is simple woodworking project, but is only one small part of a larger handmade paper plant. The materials cost around $100.00.

  1. Rockler order link to first page
  2. Ordering the Sketches

    This design includes four detailed sketches that are critical to your successfully building this device. To get these drawings use this ordering form. Or you can e-mail me at:

    Woodware Designs, Woodware@woodwaredesigns.com

    The plans for our major projects are brought to you on the Honor Plan. You may look at as many plans as you like, but when you start to build please pay for the plans you use. These small payments are critical to keeping this Web Site open.

  3. Construction Steps

    You can make a paper making couch set by:

    1. Printing out this text
    2. Ordering the sketches
    3. Purchasing the materials locally
    4. Building the frame
    5. Attaching the top
    6. Sanding and finishing all pieces
    7. Making a sand bag
  4. Discussion of Sketches

    After you request and receive the four sketches, these notes will help you understand them.

    1. Handmade Paper Couch

      This sketch shows the side and top views. Not the curved top. The paper couch is basically a small heavily build table with a curved top that is adjustable in height.

    2. Handmade Paper Couch, Front View, Sketch #2

      This front view shows the adjustable leg column and the placement of the sandbag.

    3. Handmade Paper Couch, Pieces Sketch #3

      This sketch shows the wooden parts of the couch. Most are made from 1"x4" pine. The rest were made from scrap wood.

    4. Handmade Paper Couch, Plywood, Sketch #4

      This sketch shows the four pieces that are made from scrap plywood and the top which is made from smooth tempered masonite.

    Rockler order link to first page
  5. Materials

    The paper making couch is made from pine and scrap plywood. The parts are assembled with glue, screws, and nails.

    1. Wood:
      • Pine, 1"x4", 30 lft @ 1.70 lft -------- $50.00
      • Plywood, 3/4", 2'x4' ------------------ $ 8.00

      ---------- Subtotal: $58.00

    2. Hardware:
      • Screws, 8 - flathead 1.25" #8 ----------------- $ 4.00
      • Bolt, carriage, 4 - 3/8" 2" ------------------- $ 2.00
      • Wing nut, 4 - 3/8" ---------------------------- $ 2.00
      • Finishing nail - 3/4" ------------------------- $ 1.00
      • Wood glue, water resistant, 1 pint ----------- $ 4.00
      • Gravel, river washed, 1 sack ------------------ $ 3.50

      ------- Subtotal: $14.50

    3. Finish:
      • Polyurethane ------------- 1 quart -------- $12.00
      • Paint -------------------- 1 quart -------- $ 8.00

      Finish Subtotal: $20.00

    4. Omissions and Contingencies (~8%)( Tax, sandpaper, etc.) $7.50
    5. Estimate Total Cost $100.00

    This is only an estimate (made in Winter 2007). The price may vary in your area. Using as much scrap wood as possible will help keep the price down.

  6. Tools

    This device was designed so that it could be built by one person with a modest home shop. Access to a table or radial arm saw is helpful. Little skill in woodworking is required.

    You will need the following tools:

    Rockler order link to first page
  7. Fabrication Notes

    This is not intended to be a detailed step-by-step construction guide, but rather a number of points to consider. It is your project and you can build it to suit your likes.

    1. Options

      There are only a few choices to be made before you start construction. Look over the drawing and decide exactly what you are going to do:

      1. Size -- The top of the couch needs to easily handle the largest felts you plan to use. The felts are generally 2 inches each way larger than your largest mold. Making the couch grossly oversized so that it would handle large projects in the distant furtures makes it hard to work with and store now.
      2. Height -- The couch needs to be at a convenient height for the specific worker. This one can be adjusted over a reasonable range. If your worker is very tall or very short you may need to adjust this design.
      3. weight -- In normal use the workers may push on the couch fairly hard. It needs to be sturdy and the extra weight of the sandbag in the base helps a lot.
    2. Making the Paper Making Couch

      This is very basic woodworking.

      1. Making the top assembly

        The curve for the top pieces can be made by bending a thin strip of wood around a few nails. The two wooden sides and the three internal plywood pieces need to have the same curve.

        The curved pieces fit into dados in the front and back pieces. The assembly is reinforced with a plywood plate on the bottom.

        The rest strips on the front and back give the worker a place to rest the end of the mold while setting the deckle aside. They can be made from scrap wood.

      2. Making the Base

        The base is made from 1"x4" pine stock and is glued and screwed together. The bold holes need in the uprights need to match so the two sections of the uprights can be bolted together at a number of heights

      3. Installing the top cover

        The top is made from tempered masonite 1/8" thick. The tempered version is more water resistant. Cut it a little large and attach it with finishing nails and glue. Start at the middle and work both ways out to the front and back. Trim off the excess masonite after the glue sets.

      4. Making the sandbag

        It is a lot easier to use the couch if it does not tip away from you when you roll on a piece of new paper. You can simply place a sack of river gravel on the lower cross-pieces, but a proper sandbag works better. Sandbags are in fact very good tools to have around a woodshop as long as they are not actually filled with sand as the loose grit will dull your tools.

        One pair of old blue jeans will make four nice gravel bags. Simply cut the legs off and then cut our the knee area which is usually worn out anyway. Turn the 1/2 pant leg inside out and sew up one end and about 2/3 of the other. This can be done by hand. Turn the leg back right-side out.

        Buy a sack of round river gravel about 1/2" in diameter. Put it in a bucket and wash off all the sand. Dump the gravel out on a clean surface and let it dry. Fill the 1/2 pant legs 3/4 full of clean gravel, do not over file, and sew up the top.

      Rockler order link to first page
    3. Finish

      Paint your couch any way you want. The top needs several coats of polyurethane varnish.

      1. Paint the Base

        You can paint the base of the couch any color you like. Oil based paint helps resist water better.

      2. Varnish

        The masonite top need to have multiple coats of varnish until it stops soaking up the varnish. Use at least three. It also helps to varnish the front and back of the top too so that paint does not transfer to your molds.

  8. Conclusion

    Thanks again for using Woodware Designs Plans. We very much want to know how you are getting along with your project and will be happy to answer any questions by email.

    If you send us a picture of your finished project, we can put it on our Web page. We need pictures of projects with real people using them.

    Don't forget to order the sketches.

    Rockler order link to first page
    Woodware Designs, Woodware@woodwaredesigns.com

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