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The Wonders of Sawdust...

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Project by WoodenWonders posted 1199 days ago 4488 views 7 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
The Wonders of Sawdust...
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Yes.. Sawdust! I got tired of dumping my extremely fine sawdust out in the flower beds only to discover stinkhorn mushrooms growing there by mid-summer… (they seem to do well in sawdust but you can smell the stinkhorns 50 yards away!) One spring I noticed that the sawdust I had thrown on top of snow had the consistency of clay, so I started experimenting. Here are just a few of my sawdust clay sculptures.

The shiny ones have been sanded up to 4000 grit.

-- Anne Curtis, Wooden Wonders, Grand Rapids MI, WoodenWonders.ifp3.com





23 comments so far

View Tim29's profile

Tim29

307 posts in 1655 days


#1 posted 1199 days ago

Interesting. Never seen anything like it. They look nice.

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14416 posts in 2181 days


#2 posted 1199 days ago

What bonds them together? Snow? ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View WoodenWonders's profile

WoodenWonders

23 posts in 1871 days


#3 posted 1199 days ago

I have been experimenting with a variety of bonding materials and recipes. Everything from wood glue to mock duck.

-- Anne Curtis, Wooden Wonders, Grand Rapids MI, WoodenWonders.ifp3.com

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14416 posts in 2181 days


#4 posted 1199 days ago

Looks likek you are getting good results. they look like carved wood.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View WoodenWonders's profile

WoodenWonders

23 posts in 1871 days


#5 posted 1199 days ago

Well really when it comes right down to it…. part of the process does involve carving the hardened sawdust after it’s bone dry. And since sawdust is wood… then I guess it does make it a wood carving! :)

-- Anne Curtis, Wooden Wonders, Grand Rapids MI, WoodenWonders.ifp3.com

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

1968 posts in 1338 days


#6 posted 1199 days ago

At last someone doing what several of us have been talking about: recycling our sawdust by making our own MDF/HDF stock! These look very nice.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2598 days


#7 posted 1199 days ago

Very creative solution and uniquely beautiful results Anne. Great thinking.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View paplou's profile

paplou

323 posts in 1849 days


#8 posted 1199 days ago

Great idea. I like it. Just thinking of all the great carvings lay on my shop floor. LOL

-- PAPLOU

View WoodenWonders's profile

WoodenWonders

23 posts in 1871 days


#9 posted 1199 days ago

I have a lot of carvings laying not just on the shop floor.. try the whole house! That fine sawdust manages to make it’s way into everything especially when you do woodwork 24×7.

-- Anne Curtis, Wooden Wonders, Grand Rapids MI, WoodenWonders.ifp3.com

View CaptainAhab's profile

CaptainAhab

214 posts in 1302 days


#10 posted 1199 days ago

It wouldn’t work for every application, but epoxy and sawdust work very well together. Pack as much dust in as possible, then compress it. Could be used as casting material.

-- Dave www.bluesagehues.com

View WoodenWonders's profile

WoodenWonders

23 posts in 1871 days


#11 posted 1199 days ago

I have a done a tiny bit of of two part epoxy experimentation with sawdust clay. It’s messy that’s for sure. It made what I attemped to press into a mold very granular. When you say “pack in as much dust as possible,” CaptainAhab, do you mean pack in the dust and compress it alone then pour in the epoxy? Or do you try mixing the epoxy in with the sawdust and then attempting to compact it? I tried mixing sawdust with the epoxy, it made whatever I tried to cast very dark, like dark chocolate and it’s plastic properties made it difficult to sand and carve without producing a lot of presumably toxic fumes. I have had some good results with pouring two part epoxy over the finished product.

-- Anne Curtis, Wooden Wonders, Grand Rapids MI, WoodenWonders.ifp3.com

View drbyte's profile

drbyte

518 posts in 2567 days


#12 posted 1199 days ago

Great use of your ‘waste material’. Back when I was in high school, (back in the ‘70s) we filled 1 quart paper milk cartons with sawdust-chips-wood glue mixtures. We cut bottoms and tops off the cartons first and cut 2 square plugs to fit inside the carton snugly. after fitting in the bottom plug we packed the sawdust-chip-glue concoction into the carton. We put the top plug on and applied a very large bar clamp to compress it. We often had to add more mixture as it was compressed and glue squeezed out. We kept adding for several days till we had a glued up slug the size of the carton. We had to let them dry for a couple of weeks. We ended up with a ‘turning blank’. Some of them turned out quite beautiful depending on the sawdust-chips used. Cedar was colorful. They were pretty hard on the turning tools but made some quite unique and beautiful turnings. Don’t have any pics, but wish I had taken some. Might have to try this concept again. Molding the mixture in a bowl shape to start with would really take off a lot of the time and tool wear and tear.

-- Dennis, WV

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

451 posts in 1822 days


#13 posted 1199 days ago

And, relating to drbyte’s comment re: the milk cartons, using alternating light/dark woods (for the sawdust) as you build your milk carton block could be interesting.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1343 days


#14 posted 1198 days ago

I wonder if you could use rubber candy molds to mold the sawdust mixture? Would the rubber mold release or stick I wonder?

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View WoodenWonders's profile

WoodenWonders

23 posts in 1871 days


#15 posted 1198 days ago

Yes. Rubber candy molds do work quite well actually. I have experimented with allowing things to dry inside the mold and also with removing the items prior to drying. The problem I have found with leaving items in the molds (plastic, rubber, metal, etc) is they tend to dry out unevenly and stick to the mold during the drying process which leads to cracking which can be quite frustrating.

I find it’s better to temporarily freeze your art piece (yes in the freezer), release the frozen item from the mold, and then find ways for an item to dry out evenly and VERY VERY SLOWLY. Silica gel will work, but you really need to coat your object in sawdust so that the silica gel does not create circular impressions on your art piece.

-- Anne Curtis, Wooden Wonders, Grand Rapids MI, WoodenWonders.ifp3.com

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