a can of sawdust

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Forum topic by will delaney posted 07-20-2011 01:14 AM 1259 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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will delaney

321 posts in 1723 days

07-20-2011 01:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question sawdust

Just wondering if anyone has a creative use for all the sawdust we make. I just been hauling it to the dump and think that is a waste.

16 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3246 posts in 1763 days

#1 posted 07-20-2011 01:45 AM

It all depends on where you live. Around my area people want it to compost. In other areas people treat it like toxic waste so they have to bag it and bury it in plastic (landfills). Check to see what people in your area want is all I could say. That seems to be the best advice. I have read this same thing over and over on this site.

View Eric_S's profile


1538 posts in 2283 days

#2 posted 07-20-2011 01:49 AM

Since I’ve only been dealing with maple and cherry, I’ve been composting it as of late. I hear some woods though are toxic in the garden. Depending on the wood species, I believe animal shelters will take it for bedding but you’ll have to check with local ones to see their policy.

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

View rance's profile


4197 posts in 2248 days

#3 posted 07-20-2011 02:07 AM

You could make a ring. :) Seriously, there are folks that use it. Try advertising on CL to give it away. Or take it up in an airplane and dump it out. Its called “Giving back to the forrest”.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2396 days

#4 posted 07-20-2011 02:21 AM

I have a 55 gallon bag lining the bottom of my dust collector and when it gets full I throw it in the trash to be hauled off with the rest of the garbage.

In the past I had people saying they wanted it on several occasion…one person wanted it for his hog pens and another wanted it for the garden… but when i put the bags aside and called them they tended to not get picked up and just sat there for the longest time.

View lou's profile


340 posts in 2530 days

#5 posted 07-20-2011 02:31 AM

What if you are cutting plywood,mdf,laminates,etc.All thoses have glues of some sort in them so you would be having to deal with that issue as well.if it is just solid wood and no other material,it should biodegrade with no problems.

View rimfire7891's profile


123 posts in 1990 days

#6 posted 07-20-2011 02:52 AM


For some of it I make a sweeping compound. 3/4 fill a 20 Litre pail them pour in 2 or 3 litres of the cheapest cooking oil you can find. Mix it up a little. Then throw it on you concrete floor when you sweep-up. Does an excellent job of keeping the dust under control. Also use to mop-up the inevitable oil spills you get if you work on anything mechanical. I keep a small pile on the metal work shop floor all time and constant sweep it around the floor after any work that creates dust. Once it get to spoiled throw it out in the trash and use some more. Plenty more where that came from if you are a woodworker as well.

Thanks jb

-- Playing with wood and metal for the last 50 years, driving and building Land Cruisers for the last 40. Experience is what you get when you don't know what you are doing.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


663 posts in 2360 days

#7 posted 07-20-2011 02:52 AM

Check with anyone who raises horses (and perhaps other animals.) With the exception of walnut, most commonly used woods can be used as bedding material in stalls.

The shop I once worked in had all the dust collector shavings cleaned out by a horse rancher. Whenever we ran walnut, we just disconnected the system and used a portable vacuum as the walnut was dangerous for the horses.

That rancher was very happy to come by for the free shavings and saw dust and we didn’t have to worry about disposal.

Good luck. Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View pvwoodcrafts's profile


233 posts in 3009 days

#8 posted 07-20-2011 02:55 AM

I make huge amounts of shavings and sawdust. My neighbor is glad to come get it and use it for bedding for his dairy farm. I have a 2 stage box that it 4×4 x 6 and have it on a trailer. When its full I call him..

-- mike & judy western md. www.

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 1639 days

#9 posted 07-20-2011 03:27 AM

Age it, add some nitric acid and make some nitrocellulose! Nothing like explosives in the workplace!


In all seriousness though, I’d Just mix it with some basic hard glue (not the PVA stuff), and make some “boards” and blanks for carving.

Hell, save yourself the trouble of getting molds for the stuff by investing in some silicone coated bakeware. The glue will probably not adhere to the silicone, and will be easy to remove.

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 1742 days

#10 posted 07-20-2011 04:50 PM

Contact people who do gardening (post on Craigs List maybe?) and let them know you have this stuff, it’s free if they come and get it. I have people who get pickup truck loads from me for their gardens. They especially pester me in the fall (Sep, Oct) when there is a high probability for below freezing nights around here.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View William's profile


9516 posts in 1930 days

#11 posted 07-20-2011 04:59 PM

Better floor dry than anything you can buy commercially for mechanics.


View will delaney's profile

will delaney

321 posts in 1723 days

#12 posted 07-20-2011 05:16 PM

Thanks for all the ideas. I will check the local farms to see if they are interested. Making a ring looked pretty cool. Waste not want not. Thanks

View woodcrafter47's profile


351 posts in 2193 days

#13 posted 07-20-2011 05:38 PM

Bring it on ,Can use it for my blueberry bushes.

-- In His service ,Richard

View Eric_S's profile


1538 posts in 2283 days

#14 posted 07-20-2011 05:49 PM

I’ve also seen sawdust fire logs, although I’ve never personally tried it…here is a tutorial on how to make them

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

View Dan's profile


3629 posts in 1968 days

#15 posted 07-20-2011 06:47 PM

I live outside the city so I dump all my dust and shavings out back on my property. I am not really composting it to use as fertilizer but rather to just get rid of it. I use my hand plane shavings in the winter in my wood stove to help start the fires.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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