What to do with leftover sawdust and chips?

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Forum topic by Hanman posted 02-12-2012 05:56 PM 9563 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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58 posts in 2569 days

02-12-2012 05:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sawdust clean shop ideas question tip

I’m just wondering what everyone else out there does with their loads of sawdust and wood chips leftover from their projects? I live in an extremely rural area so I have no problem with finding places to dump it, but it’s always bothered me because it seems like there should be some kind of use for this stuff. I have 2 wood stoves and I’ve burned some of it at times but surprisingly it really doesn’t burn as well as I thought it would. It just smolders and smokes a lot. Any good ideas out there??

-- It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. - Harry S. Truman

29 replies so far

View ChuckV's profile


3183 posts in 3764 days

#1 posted 02-12-2012 06:08 PM

We use everything except for black walnut. The chips are for animal bedding, We put the sawdust in the compost pile in the winter. During the warmer season, we put the sawdust on the garden beds with acid-loving plants such as blueberries.

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

View HamS's profile


1833 posts in 2626 days

#2 posted 02-12-2012 06:16 PM

compost, except for walnut

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 02-12-2012 06:30 PM

Oak, beech, apple and other fruit woods, from lathe, planer & saw all for fish smoker.

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View Hanman's profile


58 posts in 2569 days

#4 posted 02-12-2012 06:44 PM

didn’t realize you could compost it. why not walnut though?

BigYin- Even the finer sawdust from your table saw?

The majority of mine is dust from the table saw. I don’t use the lathe a lot, but I did finally buy a planer, which has been on my wish list for years so I could definitely save those chips.

-- It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. - Harry S. Truman

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2799 days

#5 posted 02-12-2012 06:51 PM

I burn it or throw it away…silly me

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3269 days

#6 posted 02-12-2012 06:55 PM

You do not put Black Walnut in a compost heap nor use it as mulch because it contains a toxin that prevents the growth of other plants.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View Towtruck's profile


70 posts in 2846 days

#7 posted 02-12-2012 06:56 PM

All but course chips from the planer go in my blackberry patch.

-- I cut it off 3 times and it's still too short!

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3765 days

#8 posted 02-12-2012 06:58 PM

I use it on my pathways and lay it thick around places I don’t want weeds to grow.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 2653 days

#9 posted 02-12-2012 07:01 PM



yes, shavings underneath and sawdust on top
Mix brown sugar, honey, salt and lemon zest into a paste make enough
to cover both sides of filet, place on rack, and smoke till done

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View bobsmyuncle's profile


110 posts in 2928 days

#10 posted 02-12-2012 07:02 PM

Black walnut is toxic to vegetables and also horses.

I have enough I just put it in the garbage tote. While I compost kitchen waste, too much wood will deplete nitrogen in your garden.

View oldretiredjim's profile


206 posts in 2623 days

#11 posted 02-12-2012 07:06 PM

Some gets composted but I have noticed that it decomposes at a slower rate than other organic material. If you compost it you need to turn the pile regularly and break up the mat of stuff. It tends to clump and prevent air from reaching other areas of the pile. Some woods have an acid PH so depending on what your soil is doing that is a consideration. Perfect for around acid loving plants like blueberries.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3312 days

#12 posted 02-12-2012 07:09 PM

I own almost 2 acres with a woodsy area at the back. My sawdust pile back there would easily fill the bed of a full-sized pickup.

Since I work with some exotics I don’t know how safe it is to use this sawdust for flower beds or anything else.

I am not about to separate my sawdust by type of wood. There is no practical way to do that.

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

View Hanman's profile


58 posts in 2569 days

#13 posted 02-12-2012 07:12 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. This is why I love this site.

-- It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit. - Harry S. Truman

View mondak's profile


71 posts in 2638 days

#14 posted 02-12-2012 07:20 PM

If your doing BBQ, low an slow, then there is a tool/toy out there that will use the saw dust and chips to smoke your ribs, brisket or whatever. Type in AMNS in your search bar. And as for cutoffs aka: scraps…....throw’m on your grill when doing a steak or anything else that is hot an fast.

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 2605 days

#15 posted 02-12-2012 09:12 PM

I put my sawdust an shaving in walmart bags, tie’m up an toss in the wood stove….free btu,s


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