Saw Dust...All this Saw dust...What can I do with all this saw dust?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by HuntleyBill posted 03-04-2011 06:07 PM 5858 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HuntleyBill's profile


114 posts in 3290 days

03-04-2011 06:07 PM

I have a dust collector bag full of sawdust. When looking at it, there are different colors of chips. Walnut, Spanish cedar, maple, pine, cherry, mahogany etc. Actually all mixed together it looks kinda neat. I got to thinking ( a very dangerous thing for a man to do) How can I reuse this? Is there a way to join these random particles together and say, make some very interesting turnings or, maybe flat pieces for a speckled jewelry box?

So, my question is, before I throw this dust into the garden for fertilizer, is there a way to bond this together to make useful pieces of stock. I know it can be done, I have particle board in the shop but the real question is:

How can we, mere hobbyists and weekend warriors do it?

Your thoughts?????

-- If you think you can, or think you can't...your right!

17 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3274 days

#1 posted 03-04-2011 06:47 PM

Particle board is made out of sawdust, but they have some super high pressure machines to make it. I can’t envision a hobbyist being able to do something like that.

In this area there is a store called “Restore”. It accepts donated construction items and resells them so they can be used again (doors, window, light fixtures, etc.) They are affiliated with Habitat for Humanity. They like to get sawdust. They mix it with old paint so they can properly dispose of the old paint. A good cause.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3343 days

#2 posted 03-04-2011 06:55 PM

Thanks Rich, that’s great to know. There’s a ReStore in my area too.

View sarahss's profile


258 posts in 2849 days

#3 posted 03-04-2011 09:17 PM

you could use polyester resin. pen makers use it all the time—one guy even makes blanks out of PR and the skeletons inside the leaves of prickly pear cactus.

View Lisa Chan's profile

Lisa Chan

147 posts in 3350 days

#4 posted 03-04-2011 09:21 PM

If you keep the wood species dust somewhat separated, you could find a natural dyer who might like to purchase the wood dust from you. The sawdust is valuable!

-- Lisa Chan, custom cafts and yarn accessories,

View Raymond's profile


676 posts in 3927 days

#5 posted 03-04-2011 11:22 PM

I tried burning it in my pellet stove. Made a awful mess. I now till it into the garden.

-- Ray

View IkeandBerry's profile


45 posts in 3464 days

#6 posted 03-04-2011 11:34 PM

If you know anyone who has chickens or small animals they might be interested in using it for bedding.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a hand plane passing across a board in an otherwise quiet shop.

View cabmaker's profile


1740 posts in 3009 days

#7 posted 03-04-2011 11:44 PM

I take alot of chips,( planer, shaper,etc.) to a local pet store. She has not had to buy any for several years. I still have to dump most of it though as it may contain too much fine stuff or unwanted species. Good luck with your plight.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3680 days

#8 posted 03-05-2011 12:46 AM

I use some of mine for fire starters for the fireplace…mix it with old melted candles and pour it into egg cartons. After it hardens you just break off one of the compartments and light it with a match….works great.
The rest of mine goes in the garden. I would think if pet stores take the sawdust, maybe the humane society or pet shelters might use it.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4287 days

#9 posted 03-05-2011 01:07 AM

US Composites makes Silmar41 which is one of the resins pen makers use to make blanks.
You can also use Alumilite.
Just google the terms to find out where to get the stuff.
I’ve used both for making pen blanks. Silmar41 is easier than Alumilite to use but has a pretty pervasive oder.
In either case it would probably make better material if you used pressure to set it.

It could be fun.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View saw4fun's profile


176 posts in 3539 days

#10 posted 03-05-2011 10:52 PM I’ve seen these in a much larger scale but couldn’t seem to find the website.

View quartrsawn's profile


146 posts in 3413 days

#11 posted 03-05-2011 11:34 PM

I read somewhere certain sawdusts are harmful to animals ,walnut I think is one of them.

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

View boardmaker's profile


35 posts in 2836 days

#12 posted 03-08-2011 09:43 PM

Another vote for the garden.

View ChuckV's profile


3178 posts in 3727 days

#13 posted 03-08-2011 10:15 PM

You might want to be careful of using black walnut dust/chips in the garden. There is much information available, and it is not all in agreement. Here is a place to start.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View ken_c's profile


325 posts in 3362 days

#14 posted 03-09-2011 04:45 PM

compost it in my woods – always hate doing that – would really like to sell it but I know of no buyers in my area. I just composted another 110 gallons of it :-(

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3160 days

#15 posted 03-09-2011 05:20 PM

a few people come to pick up some sawdust and chips for their chickens or rabbits, but i also keep a bag filled with only sawdust from the tablesaw. we use it to contain oil leaks and spills on the concrete from our farming equipment.
mechanic shops or garages may be interested in that aswell.

other than that we have been thinking about buying a “briket” press that makes logs from sawdust for burning in the stove, but the cost is between €14000 and 20000 for a small unit!

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics