View Full Version : Shaving Dilemma: Where do yours go?

28th Jan 2006, 02:28 PM
Okay, I've been turning pretty hardcore for the last 9 months or so
and I find it extremely rewarding. I do small bowls and semi closed vessels.
More often than not I spin a blank into something I'm proud
enough of to give to someone as a gift. I was invited to turn a big piece of purpleheart for a silent auction a local charity group is holding.
I'm gaining better control of my tools. My finishes are getting
more uniform and glossier. I spent $$$ on a tool sharpening jig and
books to guide me along the way to a keener edge.
One of these days I'll get my hands on a digital camera and post a
photo or two here. After I gave her a Claro Walnut salad bowl and a closed vessel of Cocobolo, my wife even forgave the smoldering wood smell in the microwave &
kitchen and the little pile of dust and woodchips I sometimes deposit between the sheets.
She even let me sleep in the bed again.
I figure I'm right where I should be given the amount of time, money and
effort I've invested.
Whats bugging me tonight is shavings...
At first I just hit em with the shop vac. Wasn't long before the cannister filled.
Then that went to the landfill. I started thinking there must a better way.
I mulched all the low spots in the yard only to find out after doing it
that some woods contain biochemical compounds that can kill or inhibit
other plants from growing. Then my wife said she wanted to try using some "clean"
shavings to stuff a doll she was making. I voiced my concern
and she decided against it. These days I fill a 15 gallon laundry tub and
dump them into a 30x30x18 inch deep iron box laid on the ground.
I kindle a fire on top of the pile with junk mail and small tree branch
trimmings. It smells great and theres enough bare ground around it
so its firesafe. I always stay nearby while its burning.
Probably not the best solution to the problem.
Thats why I'm putting it to you guys.
Where do yours go?
I hope nobody minds if I paste this on at another forum, I'm looking for ideas.
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28th Jan 2006, 02:50 PM
I pile mine into the back of the pickup and go about my business. By the end of the day they've usually disappeared!

28th Jan 2006, 03:30 PM
Curt, ive posted this at a couple of other websites and this is the best idea so far!
nice pieces shown at your website.

Gil Jones
28th Jan 2006, 04:52 PM
Not a terrible idea, but I would not want your shavings clogging up my air filter, and starving my turbo.
You sure do not look like yourself.:)

28th Jan 2006, 05:09 PM
Gardeners love shavings
are there any gardening or senior citizen clubs close to you

Cliff Rogers
28th Jan 2006, 05:47 PM
Compost them, or use them as garden mulch.

28th Jan 2006, 05:55 PM
Being in California, do you have need for shed heaters in winter?

Al :)

28th Jan 2006, 06:51 PM
Al, its 12 c. or 53 f here in s. cal tonight, not freezing but cold enough. I wanted to go make some dust but my legs are cold to the touch.
A shop heater would be the ticket for me.
I worked outside all day ... tonight i'm gonna plug in a Del Stubbs
bowl turning dvd and meditate on the Raffin upside down endgrain cut
he demonstrates...

28th Jan 2006, 07:12 PM
So why not burn your shavings to keep warm in the shed??
Or arent you allowed too.:eek:

Al :)

28th Jan 2006, 09:32 PM
Somewhere, on some gardening or woodworking discussion, someone said that the shavings/sawdust use all the nitrogen in the soil if you just mulch the garden with the stuff - which is why the plants go brown;)

Basically you have to mix it in with grass clippings, veg & food scraps etc & let it compost away until it looks like dirt, then put that on the garden.

Some potters use sawdust & shavings to fire their wares in bins, so you might ask around the local crafty people & see if anyone is doing bin firing - I think it is one of the techniques used for Raku pottery as a first firing as well.

28th Jan 2006, 10:30 PM
So why not burn your shavings to keep warm in the shed??
Or arent you allowed too.:eek:

Al :)

Al, you're not just a pretty face after all, are you?:D Come to think of it, there's not much to write home about your avartar... Good to have a chat on skype though...

Seriously though, I compost most of my shavings. Some I use on the little "road" at the bottom of my shed - just to make it a bit less bumpy on the rider mower (yea Greenfield - 13hp Kawasaki twin cylinder). If you were going to use them as a fuel, perhaps a warm/hot water circulation system would be the go? Wouldn't be too hard to plumb thru your shed. Use the new poly stuff that's resistant to hot water?


29th Jan 2006, 07:57 AM
you could try and find a butcher who cures bacon, he would need shavings to smoke the bacon over, mostly they would use oak, but it's just an idear, or maybe a pet shop, for use as litter for the pets in there hutches?????????????????

I pile mine into the back of the pickup and go about my business. By the end of the day they've usually disappeared!

best idear so far:D

29th Jan 2006, 08:40 AM
This has all been done before. Bsrlee is quite right about nitrogen leaching. Simple solution - Scatter Dynamic Lifter, about a handful per square metre, every 3 or 4 weeks and watch your plants thrive. Natives don't like it much though! (Thats native plants Gumby, not Aborigines.)
If all else fails, do a search!

4th Mar 2006, 03:37 PM
There are a thousand different uses for the shavings, but if you want to get rid of them fast you should try getting some sort of clay oven. Stick it outside of your shed/workshop and just shovel the shavings in.

It always seems more fun to just let it pile up though, gives the room its character. :D

4th Mar 2006, 05:38 PM
The nitrogen leaching is a temporary thing. Once the shaving are fully composted the nitrogen is released again.

If you have a garden path that gets a bit muddy, chuck your shavings and wood dust on it and no more mud. Once it has fully broken down chuck it on your garden. The plants will love it.

4th Mar 2006, 10:37 PM
Let see:
Coarse shaving from rough hollowing .. Pet bedding material then to compost.
Fine shavings and dust.... Collect and give away to friends for their gardens.

Never a problem - I can not fill all the requests.

Don't have a ute either.;)

4th Mar 2006, 11:07 PM
Was getting rid of clean shavings from the thicknesser and jointer to a local butcher for his smokehouse ( Loved the red cedar) but the Health Authorities now only allow food grade shavings / wood chips that costs him plenty ,espically as mine were free.
So its back to neighbours gardens, but must admit like the ute idea :cool:


Max Ripper
4th Mar 2006, 11:48 PM
I'm lucky my property ajoins a crematorium, they always seem to have room for all my sawdust disposal needs. Does get A bit creepy sqeezing it in the furnace at times.

Max Ripper

Skew ChiDAMN!!
5th Mar 2006, 12:14 AM
Most of mine ends up in the garden, except during winter when it gets burnt in my double-drum sawdust stove to keep the workshop toasty. :)


5th Mar 2006, 03:16 PM
Excellent in the garden as mulch, at least 100mm/4 inches thick. Keeps the weeds down and we don't seem to have a problem with nitrogen loss and we even have a vege garden. We do leave the lawn clippings where they lay though, so there's your nitrogen fixer, as mentioned before I think the shaving suck nitrogen and then return it.
Any shavings we don't use are snapped up by neighbours/friends.

Auld Bassoon
5th Mar 2006, 06:44 PM
I'm lucky my property ajoins a crematorium, they always seem to have room for all my sawdust disposal needs. Does get A bit creepy sqeezing it in the furnace at times.
Max Ripper
:eek: :eek: :eek:

7th Mar 2006, 01:01 AM
Mine go to a neighbour for the garden, whats left if any, go in the garbage bin. I have heard that filling up the ute and going for long drive can do the same :D :D :D :D But I dont own a ute as yet.

7th Mar 2006, 03:26 AM
What to do with wood shavings has been a delima of WWers sense beginning of the trade. Some say gardens, Well no0t if you plan to grow anything for a while. Wood shaving take a while to decompose and leech Nitrogen from the soil while it rots. After it is rotten then , (Yes) it enriches the soil but during the long process it hinders the soil. Green wood shavings will rot easily but dried wood shavings will last a long time.

I take mine to the farm and scatter in the woods to rejoin its relatives. Often as not I see the fellow next door who wants it for his barn lot to soak up the mud from his cattle.

Here in Kentucky, Horse industry wants wood shavings for barn stalls but if there is a hint of Walnut in the batch they cringe as the tannin in the wood will give horses Colic. A few years ago there was a fear that Cherry was causing horses to abort. (They are a finicky critter)

7th Mar 2006, 11:22 AM
Just had a good look at your double drum saw dust eliminator. Very impressed The design suggests it will do just fine in my new shed, Heat 'n clean one hit, I like it and simple.

Skew ChiDAMN!!
7th Mar 2006, 07:41 PM
Hughie, I remember my grand-dad had something similar when I was knee-high to a woodrat but couldn't remember enough details to build one. I spent a lot of time trying to chase up the plans for it or any safe sawdust burner that didn't involve auto-feed, moving parts and lots of dollars... and copped a surprising amount of ridicule, safety warnings and "can't be done's."

Then one day some bloke took pity on me and pointed me to the VITA link... and I was in tinkerer's nirvana!

It just goes to show that modern "high" technology doesn't have all the answers. :D

7th Mar 2006, 07:43 PM
Whats bugging me tonight is shavings...

Where do yours go?
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on the floor untill i get in trouble or i decide theres to much then in a bag then off to where ever

journeyman Mick
7th Mar 2006, 11:06 PM
.........Wood shaving take a while to decompose and leech Nitrogen from the soil while it rots..........

Unless you live in the wet tropics,;) I used to dump all my shavings around the passionfruit vines at my last place, but it would never bear fruit. Got a horticulturist mate round to check it out and there was an excess of nitrogen which causes heaps of foliage growth but no fruit. Lots of sun + lots of rain = very fast breakdown of anything left outside.


8th Mar 2006, 05:44 PM
Been avoiding green slimeballs and got swept away by the coriolis effect so naturally, I've been away for a while ... lots of great ideas here.
Thanks for your input.
It is a damned shame there isn't a crematorium in the neighborhood. :D
I'm leaning toward Al and the skew man's shop heater idea... its 8.3333333333333334 C. or 47 F. ( I just love those online conversion tables!) here in S. Calif. tonight. I'm gonna print the plans and maybe by next winter I'll be set up.
Shiverin me timbers.