Heat the Shop-Sawdust Stove

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Forum topic by pjones46 posted 04-11-2011 08:05 AM 18135 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1001 posts in 2637 days

04-11-2011 08:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question resource tip

How do you heat your shop? Has anyone ever built one of the sawdust stoves? Watch the video.


I don’t know about you but I create at times 55 gal bags of sawdust and in the past thrown it out on a compost pile. But now with the energy prices have been considering making one of the sawdust stoves.

Right now in my shop I have a wood stove which takes care of all the cutoff’s for kindling and I use cord wood, but I use the sawdust to help start the stove. I also use a small shop vac to clean up dust and throw the full paper bag liner in the stove after the fire burns down to coals to save on cord wood.

There was a study done by the FOREST SERVICE, U.S. DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE in 1974 which describes the stove and how to make one. They were also used during the depression, not that I am that old, in the CC camps.

My question is, has anyone ever built a sawdust stove, or have better suggested heat source alternative for a limited budget?

-- Respectfully, Paul

6 replies so far

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2673 days

#1 posted 04-11-2011 02:51 PM

wow…I’ll have to build one of those for next winter!

Wonder how that would work, just hooking your dust collector up to it…lol

-- New Auburn,WI

View Pick's profile


30 posts in 3027 days

#2 posted 04-11-2011 03:35 PM

My Dad was really, really interested in building one of those sawdust stoves. The thing that really took him off of the idea was the thought that -God forbid- anything like a fire should ever happen, our homeowner’s insurance would probably not take kindly to a home-made stove. He probably would have made one if our shop was in some sort of an outbuilding, like a barn, but it’s attached to the house so- not going to happen.

But they’re a great idea otherwise!

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

85 posts in 2619 days

#3 posted 04-14-2011 07:24 AM

In the winter e save or wood chops and shavings from the molder and shapers. This stuff gets burn in the wood stove. You wod not beleive the amount odf heat you can get out of this stuff.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2637 days

#4 posted 04-14-2011 05:34 PM

You are correct that sawdust is explosive if added to enough moving air in its fine particle state with a source of ignition. Also, if in a pile where heat and moister would cause spontaneous combustion to occur.

However, you are limiting the air supply so as to control the explosive nature and it is compressed in very much the same way the commercially available blocks or log products are produced less the tons of pressure which would only reduces the efficiency BTU/lb recovery.

This type of stove was used during the depression at CC camps for heat and is used worldwide in some of the underdeveloped countries in a very much smaller size as a cooking stove.

I was thinking of scaling down the size because my shop does not generate that much sawdust and chips to use it as a primary source of heat, and recouping some benefit vs. just tossing it into the environment.

At present I am packing small paper bags and adding it to my wood stove, but feel that the efficiency would be increased greatly, more BTU/lb, if this type of stove was used.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3168 days

#5 posted 04-14-2011 06:49 PM

I’ve seen where some LJs use egg crates, and then fill the egg holes with a mixture of sawdust and paraffin, using these as fire starters.

I would imagine that bigger versions of the same thing would make pretty good fuel for a wood-burning stove.

-- -- Neil

View rblank's profile


10 posts in 2574 days

#6 posted 05-05-2011 02:42 AM

My dad works in a millwork shop and they generate a TON of sawdust every day. He brings a truckload to my cousin to use for bedding for the cows at his farm.

A couple of months ago I was looking into getting a pellet mill and making my own for a pellet boiler. A small mill will cost you a couple of grand and generate about 100lbs of pellets an hour.

-- Commercial Construction Manager - Attleboro, MA

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