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Shavings and what to do with them.

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Richard_C

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Newish to all of this, been practicing my tool skills one tool at a time, wouldn't say I've mastered the skew but its stopped scaring me so progress. Make a nice smooth cylinder, congratulate self, then make various shapes in it, then make it smaller, repeat, repeat, dispose. Because I'm not spending time finishing I'm generating lots of mixed hardwood shavings. Nowhere near as much as many of you I'm sure.

I've seen bonkers ideas - melt £10 worth of wax, mix, cool and end up with £5 worth of firelighters. Soak in warm water, compress laboriously, dry for a millennium, end up with briquettes with dubious heat output. Hmmm. Compost bin is too slow at this time of year and probably too slow all year, log burning stove in living room maybe, but I've seen 2 dust explosions in factories and worry about too much fine stuff at once. Green garden recycle bin looks like best option but are there any better ideas?
 

Trevanion

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You could always try to take it to the local refuse site and see if they'll take it.

It takes a long time to compost.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I save all the small cardboard boxes from groceries, fill them with the shavings and dust and hot melt glue them shut. They then go in the stove.
 

leisurefix

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I put shavings in the green recycling, and sometimes take a load to the local tip in those giant dumpy bags. If shavings are really coarse/thick then use them for starting fires. Put the fine dust & shavings from extractor in the landfill bin.
 

Robbo3

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Thanks to Phil.p's tip, I also fill small cardboard boxes to use in the woodburner. I sellotape mine shut. 5 rolls for £1 at the pound shop or 4 rolls for £1 at Pound Stretcher.
 

Tris

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Used to roll shavings up in newspaper and twist the ends like a Christmas cracker for the wood burner but it was quite a faff.
Now we have a big veg plot I use them for the paths, just don't dig them in otherwise they'll lock up all the nitrogen. Could be worth asking at your local allotments if anyone can use them.
Tris
 

Chris152

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Mrs C":z0izcey7 said:
Find your local riding stables and donate them for bedding?
Do you know which woods are good for this? I assume you avoid the ones that are toxic to us in case they try eating them? Asking because I've been tasked with buying bedding today.
 

Dokkodo

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ive put sacks of planer shavings (maybe slightly different consistency but same same really) on freecycle and facebook marketplace before for free and people have taken them for mulch, compost, compost toilets, chickens and maybe other animal bedding... if you just want rid, might be worth it? people even come and get them, saving you a trip
 

Sheffield Tony

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I guess a lot depends on how much you have, and what sort of grade they are. I don't have huge quantities and they are almost all hand tool made, so little fine dust. Mixed in to a (cold) compost heap it is not identifiable within the year - the "mixed in" is key though, you need enough "greens" to mix with these "browns". Curly plane shavings are quite good for allowing air into the heap.

Waste from axe and drawknife work is bulkier, so would take ages to compost, but is the best fire lighting material.

I tried using them instead of straw under strawberries at the allotment, and what a disaster. The slugs liked them when they were wet, and when dry they blew all over the place !
 

Rich C

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I use them to light the woodburner mostly. Or if I have too many I just burn them off in the garden. The council won't take them as green waste.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Sheffield Tony":z1m86b9x said:
I guess a lot depends on how much you have, and what sort of grade they are. I don't have huge quantities and they are almost all hand tool made, so little fine dust. Mixed in to a (cold) compost heap it is not identifiable within the year - the "mixed in" is key though, you need enough "greens" to mix with these "browns". Curly plane shavings are quite good for allowing air into the heap.

Waste from axe and drawknife work is bulkier, so would take ages to compost, but is the best fire lighting material.

I tried using them instead of straw under strawberries at the allotment, and what a disaster. The slugs liked them when they were wet, and when dry they blew all over the place !
We did a lot of chipping at one point, and wood chips take up to 5 years to decompose. If you add nitrogen it can go faster. Used as a mulch, they attract all sorts of animals (woodlice, millipedes etc), and they also suck all the nitrogen out of the soil as they decompose. 5 years on, they will give it back, but you can really upset your plants by adding chips as mulch. I know, because I did it.

I would think shavings would be popular with rodent owners - ours get put at the bottom of the budgie cage, but it's not ideal for them.
 

Sheffield Tony

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Having re-read what the OP was saying properly this time, he is talking about shavings from spindle turning. These are thin and cross-grain so break up easily, I would guess that mixed with grass cuttings, kitchen waste or similar they will be composted well enough within the year. If you have enough green waste !

Woodchip, especially from a big commercial chipper may well take 5 years. I use it on the lotty paths, where it can compost in-situ for a few years before being incorporated.
 

Roland

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During the summer, when there’s plenty of green waste around, I add lathe shavings to the compost heap. They have to be mixed in, other wise they form a clogging layer.
 

Richard_C

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Thanks for all the interesting suggestions. I hadn't thought about nitrogen depletion so will take great care if I use them in the garden. I could just blend them away in the fortnightly green wheelie bin, it does say you can put untreated timber in, but it seemed a waste if there was something better I could have been doing with them.

I will try out the burn and the wrap-and burn-variations first. Maybe it's a bit of burning in winter, bit of mulch around shrubs in summer and green bin when I have to - see how it goes.
 
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