Thread: What to do with sawdust
14th Feb 2004, 10:24 AM #1
What to do with sawdust
Does someone out there have a list of possible uses for sawdust? I understand it is pretty nasty stuff coming out of the dust collector.
What is it good for, if anything?
Thanks - Pat
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14th Feb 2004, 11:10 AM #2
I'm no gardener, but I used the shavings of the table saw to put in the garden apparantly to keep snails/slugs out, as the shavings draw moisture from the snails/slugs and they don't like it.
I have also heard that sawdust drains nitrogen from the soil, but I cannot confirm this;
or you could make a hydrolic (spelt incorrectly) press, and compress the sawdust for either logfire burners or maybe bricks for a new shed(only jokes)...
14th Feb 2004, 11:15 AM #3
I use mine to protect the concrete floor of my shop. I have found that a 50mm thick layer prevents scratching of the delicate concrete surface and deadens the noise of falling tools.
14th Feb 2004, 02:43 PM #4
a most commendable use Robert
as an expert in the field could you tell me if a 100mm laer would stop the chips & dings appearing in my newly sharpened chisels?
Inquiring minds would like to know
Demand Real Poo!
14th Feb 2004, 04:07 PM #5
I did a search and found this old post by me. There's lots more where this came from!!!
Wood dust and shavings of any type can safely be used on garden beds as a mulch. You have to remember that as wood products break down they deplete the nitrogen in the soil. So it is important that this is replaced. Aged chook poo (the Poo not the chook!) or simply Dynamic Lifter will do this when applied regularly.
Jack the Lad.
14th Feb 2004, 05:37 PM #6
sawdust on the garden is good for replenishing the soil as it breaks down . When you place it on the soil ,broadcast urea on top of the sawdust .This will be replaced into the soil as the sawdust decomposes.
14th Feb 2004, 08:18 PM #7
Never try to prevent chisels etc falling blade first to the floor. They are devious and will, if denied the excitement of chipping off a newly sharpened corner, aim for your foot.
I have to commend those of you who put sawdust on the garden. I have found that 50 mm is deep enough to kill annuals, 75 mm will kill small perrenials, 100 mm caused larger shrubs to turn up their toes but you need at least 300 mm to eliminate everything that grows and needs cutting or pruning. Those depths are a guide only and may be reduced by 50% if the sawdust is from treated pine.
14th Feb 2004, 10:25 PM #8
<Never try to prevent chisels etc falling blade first to the floor. They are devious and will, if denied the excitement of chipping off a newly sharpened corner, aim for your foot. >
thanks for the tip at least it explains why my feet hurt
gardening tips too.......You need to talk to the ABC..... maybe you are the replacement gardener for the mad pom.....he keeps trying to make things grow the silly bugger
Demand Real Poo!
14th Feb 2004, 11:39 PM #9
What to do with sawdust? Throw it in the huge "landfill" hole in your backyard, the one you are throwing all the garden waste and demolition rubble into. What, you don't have a landfill in your backyard? Simple, just come and use mine it needs another 50 M3 of fill so just "drop in".
15th Feb 2004, 10:01 AM #10
instead of putting sawdust directly on the garden you can add it to you compost. sawdust is dry, high in carbon and low in nitrogen so makes a good balance with grass cuttings and vegetable scraps that tend to be wetter
15th Feb 2004, 11:21 AM #11
My SWMBO has got me putting sawdust between her garden beds to make paths. It's softer than concrete but the bugger is digging out the paths to >6" when the soil is hardbaked clay. Doesn't matter about nitrogen or other nutrients cause the idea is that nothing grows in it - weed free paths!
15th Feb 2004, 03:08 PM #12
A Google search for alternative uses of sawdust came up with nothing too alternative.
According to all the self-appointed experts out there, all you can do with it, is make compost or use it for bedding for animals.
Certainly, there was no need to pay the expert high salaries to return us what any farmer with half a brain knew already 1000 years ago.
What does that tell the backyard saw dust maker?
Well not much. Clearly to be used in the garden, sawdust must first be decomposed and this is best done in a composter, (I prefer the fancy one that turn with a handle horizontally). They produce compost much quicker than the ordinary static bins.
I will assume here that you know how to make compost, if you do not, ask your wife to put all your food scraps in the bin, you put the lawn clippings and the saw dust, turn the handle every week and Bob is your uncle. Some say that to kick start it you must put some cauliflower leafs in ... (?) well if you like cauliflower good luck, I tried broccoli and also my son in law's discarded tennis shoe and both had the same effect, putrefaction started stright away, I wonder why.
If you are a massive sawdust producer, you can find some local duck farm that wants your sawdust, or even buy it from you, providing it is free from nails and old chisels, (the one that fell edge first in the 100mm sawdust in your shed).
If you are a small sawdust maker, have a concreted back yard and prefer the red and blue colours to green, do not feel too bad about trowing it into the bin, it will go into a land fill and decompose anyway, and feed some bacteria or worm in the process.
15th Feb 2004, 09:22 PM #13
I did a bit of a search a few years ago for a means of turning it into "logs" suitable for a combustion stove, but had no luck.
I seem to remember in the 70's some alternative lifestylers using sawdust as a cheap (free) fuel supply.
I got as far as scratching a design for a hollow mold but couldn't get enough information to do anything useful without years of experimentation.
In the days before we could afford charcoal beads, "Hibachi" japanese barbecues were all the go, and were powered by sawdust quietly smouldering away after being doused in metho.
Any other experiences in this regard?
16th Feb 2004, 11:35 PM #14
Well, in another life when I used to own a joinery shop were we made english style reproduction furniture, the guys liked to heat the shop with sawdust heaters.
Plese do not try this at home.
a 50 to 100 litre drum is needed or cut a 200 litre in half.
Bang a few half inch holes in the bottom in an aleatory fashion.
Alternatively stand the bin on the side and shoot a 12 gage loaded with buckshots from 50 feet through the bottom.
Stand a 4 inch log in the centre and fill the container with sawdust. Press well to compact it. Take the log from the centre carefully.
Lit the sawdust in the centre with some kero.
Enjoy the heat, inhale the smoke and void your insurance policy.
You must be terminally obtuse to do this, seriously it is not worth the try.
16th Feb 2004, 11:56 PM #15
I worked on an island resort building project once and I was set up in a half finished unit doing joinery work. I was in there for a few months, pretty much left alone because I was keeping ahead of schedule. Got myself pretty well set up in there, workbenches, smoko table and chair, the only problem was the mozzies, they were driving me nuts. I found a 3 litre juice tin and punched a heap of holes in it, filled it with sawdust, shavings and some leaves from the rainforest just for good measure. I had that tin smoking away in that unit every day for weeks on end and it kept the mozzies at bay. Then one day the site safety officer dropped in to say g'day and he went thru the roof. Looking back on it I can see it probably wasn't the wisest thing to do, half finished building, lots of exposed timber framing, no fire alarm or sprinkler systems in place, packs of timber everywhere, a good coating of sawdust on everything and the nearest extinguisher a good 10 minute round trip away. Luckily no fires ensued, I didn't get booted off the job and I'm making up for my past sins by being an officer in my local rural fire brigade.