View Full Version : Sawdust
03-05-2001, 06:00 PM
What do you all do with the sawdust,can it be tilled into the flower beds or is that asking for a termite picnic to occur ?
I had the garbage pick up guys get a face full from a gust of wind as they dumped the can. I started putting it in plastic bags instead of loose in can...kinda funny at first but could have been serious I guess.
The way the stock market is going down I need to recycle it or quit buying..........Dick
03-05-2001, 08:29 PM
I put mine in a compost pile. It takes from 3 to 12 weeks to turn to soil - depending upon the time of year. Add manure and it will compost even faster.
I would think that you could till in in the soil without any problem.
03-05-2001, 08:54 PM
I compost mine, you must have a pile at least 4 ft.by 4 ft.by 4 ft. to produce enough heat to break it down. Fine dust will break down fast if you add any green vegation to it and some fertilizer and keep it moist but not wet. Larger pieces take usally a year. I start a pile in the fall then plow it under in the spring.
03-05-2001, 10:26 PM
Sawdust doesn't compost well. Too dry. Many woods are too acidic as well. Walnut has an ingredient that kills many plants and is toxic to horses. Fine sawdust will float to the surface after rains. Don't have a good solution for you.
03-06-2001, 12:45 PM
I have a gate to a slope on the back of my property. This slope gets clippings, pruneings, and even the saw dust.
Well, you ask what we do with the saw dust, I dump it on my hill.
I spread it some as I dump it. In a gadzillion years I might gain and acre.
Anyway that's what I'm doing with my saw dust.
Big help, huh?
03-06-2001, 12:49 PM
It will not cause major issues in the soil that you worry about. It will add some benefits by breaking up a clay soil much like a compost. But, it will pull nutrients out of the soil as well. If you add it to your compost pile you must add lots of green material and Nitrogen rich material as well. But lots of us have had good results. In California we have a lot of heavy clay soil. Anything added helps to lighten it. In Florida and the sandy soil there It would not help much at all.
I beg to differ my friend. With pine you may be concentrating acid and oak i believe will concentrate tanic acids. Used with care and moderation or added lime its okay.
I have a pair of great danes and keep their business area freshened with it.
03-06-2001, 02:21 PM
I don't disagree with you at all. I don't work with pine, and Don't use much of it in any one place. Tannic acid from my oak is a very low concentration of an acid. My soil is very alkaline and could use the acid anyway.
03-06-2001, 02:22 PM
Yeah, you mix sawdust with our sandy soil and the first rain that comes the sawdust floats to the top.
I try to compost as much of my sawdust as possible, but sometimes I forget to remove the solid wood dust from my dust collector before I run some kind of a man made material through it and I get it mixed with the solid wood dust. Then I will throw it out to the trash. I don't think that I want to mix all of the chemicals with my compost bin. Some of this stuff contains high amounts of formaldehyde and other nasty stuff. Sorry thing about it, probably as much as a Twinkie.
It works pretty good for soaking up the big oil puddle that's always under my old truck. When I was a kid, My cousin had one of those giant punching bags, his mom sewed the bag out of denim and it was filled with sawdust. I think it was a little lighter than than a regulation one, but it was fun anyway.
Bet the wrapper is safer to eat than the twinkie! And your sawdust floats to the top? thats a riot!
Most of my saw dust goes to the landfill. I do keep a few coffee cans of dust from various species on hand, though.
Odd you don't work much with pine Lou. I have a need too, but it is probably the most cantancorous (sp) species I know. It throws knots at you, nothing will bind up a saw tighter and its actualy very unforgiving in that it dings easy, very suseptable to moisture making it take every conceivable shape within a board foot and needs care in staining. And we reccommend this to amatures? go figure.
03-13-2001, 05:06 PM
Heck, once you crack the tough nutz, the rest are easy.
03-13-2001, 07:02 PM
You just made a perfect outline on why I don't use pine. I started off using it because It was cheap? I almost gave up woodworking because my tools were so poor and the cheap wood was so twisted warped and hard to work with.
When I got a bit more money I started to by hardwoods and have never used pine again. Some Douglas fir, but never pine.
03-13-2001, 07:11 PM
I'll agree with that. Once I started cutting oak I never looked back.
Lou, do you find fir "stringy"? I have a helluva time with it on the router table. I've also had pieces that have left puddles of pitch on the shop floor. Yecch!
03-13-2001, 07:25 PM
Most of the fir I cut is 1x4 that I use to make theater sets. You make a simple frame and streach muslin accross it. When painted it could be any set you have ever seen on stage.
Just one of the many things I do with my tools. I have 6 battery driver/drills A Bosch, 3 makita's and 2 DeWalts. I spent 5 years being the Tech director at the local high school Drama department. I built lots of stuff with an old sears RAS and those drivers. A two story house with 8 doors on a complete turn table so that between acts the set could be rotated. If you have ever seen Noise Off you will know what I did. Lots of fun and Lots of work.
For things like that its fir and drywall screws.
Guys; and others alike
If I could stay away from pine I would. But every once in awhile someone wants a pine kitchen, I hate doing them. and no matter how careful u are and do everything right, a problem surfaces because of some unforseen instability in the wood. I tell people upfront and an extra service charge is incorporated. This is where I can usualy talk them out of pine and into birch or maple.
My favorite pine is sugar pine cuz it carves nicely, but very soft. As for fir I think it lacks 'character', but is okay for some stuff.
03-14-2001, 04:32 PM
I don't build anything with fir that will be seen as wood. It has no character. It is ugly. But when it is covered with cheap fabric and painted to look like brick it does not matter. I once built a whole set to look like a West Side Story block. Lots of brick walls and windows. All out of fir and muslin. red and gray paint and a straight edge can fool anyone from 30 feet.
I use lots of Oak and birch, I have started to do a lot with cherry. I have build a few thing out of mahogany and teak. Alder is one that I have build a few things with of late. It is strong but feathers a bit. Maple is expensive here in California so I have not used much of it.
03-18-2001, 06:45 PM
As a keen gardner as well as a woodworker in the winter month, all of the sawdust and shavings that come from my woodworking hobby goes into my copot bin along with the grass cuttings and uncooked vegetable waste its all organic, what comes from the soil ends up back in the soil, in my part of England it does.