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What do you do with your sawdust and shavings?

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Cutting Crew

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Hi All,

It may appear a stupid question and I know it's been kicked around the woodturning forums on a regular basis but what do you do with your sawdust and shavings?

As a full time woodturner and making mainly largers items I produce a lot of waste, I used to use shavings as a mulch for my large garden and that worked just fine but I eventually came to overload. I prefer not to give turned waste away to people with animals, horses etc because there is occasionally some exotic timbers in there and I know what these can do to the respiratory system. Currently I get my waste bagged and removed to the tip.

It seems odd that as an intelligent bunch of people we resort to throwing away woodturning and woodworking waste, is it not possible on a small scale to convert waste into blocks for the fire or wood burner, has anyone gone down this route?

Regards....Mike
 

blurk99

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Mike,
I add all my waste to the compost heap - it may not break down very well but it gives it a nice friable texture that's apprently good for drainage

jim
 

Dewy

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I have always dug a hole in a wild part of the garden and buries it.
It gradually breaks down and improves the clay soil.
The first year it takes nitrogen out of the soil so not to be buried where any nitrogen loving plants are to grow.
I only use softwood though so it rots a lot quicker than hardwoods.
 

Losos

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Virtually all woodworkers in Czech Republic buy a sawdust burning stove, they are about 30cms. diam. and 90 tall, sawdust goes in the top and ashes come out the bottom (and on to garden) They are very cheap and help with the heating as well if a chimney is fitted. Mine doesn't have one yet so I use it outside.
 

Bean

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Losos Whilst I do not have a stove in the workshop I do have a log burning fire in the house, so shavings are used to light that, a few small bags make it down to the Scouts who also light fires with it.

Bean
 
A

Anonymous

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We get a lovely big brown wheely bin for household recylables. Collected every 2 weeks...........even i cant make that much mess :lol:

Aidan
 

Signal

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Mine all go in the garden chimnea, what a fantastic thing
I can have a bommy and SWMBO doesnt mind as she sits
near it to keep warm :lol:

Signal
 

Martin

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I tend to chuck mine in the recylcing bin. Actually, there's an interesting article on Dust Extraction in the Woodworker this month (sorry Pete, Andy :oops: ), which states that some wood shavings will give off arsnic when burnt (mostly hardwoods I think). Worth checking what you're burning IMO...

I've often wondered whether I can dispose of it in a more friendly way (give it people with pets etc.), but then I keep thinking that we spent all this time and money ensuring that we don't breath in the dust in the workshop - doesn't seem quite right to then give bags of the stuff to kids with pets etc. for them to breath in!
 

Keith Smith

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I generate bags of dust and chips and it is a real problem to get rid of it. The local garage will take it to soak up all the oil spills but like Martin says it does not seem right for me to avoid the dust then let the mechanics breathe it in.

As for arsenic, it is in tanalised timber not hardwoods; and I would avoid machining tanalised timber anyway.

The type of stove Losos is talking about is available from The Hot Spot in Utoxeter, they will burn anything from sawdust upward and I am told they are safe in a workshop, start at about £100. www.thehotspot.co.uk
 

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