Any Use for Sawdust?
Issue: Issue 3.16
Posted Date: 8/27/2002
Now that he's producing vast quantities of the stuff with table saw and jointer, this woodworker wondered if anyone had ideas for what to do with all that sawdust ... other than throw it in the trash.
The response he got was diverse and creative:
- Compost it ... add it to grass clippings, add some nitrogen fertilizer, keep it moist, and turn it over every week
- Several suggestions were made to use it as mulch, but another warned that a local professional horticulturist warned that sawdust/shavings will rob the soil of the nitrogen plants require.
- However, for plants where you want acid soil and low nitrogen, like potatoes, it can't be beat as a mulch.
- A landscape gardener told a poster that black walnut sawdust is toxic to plants ... but another respondent said he'd had good luck with black walnut on his tomato plants.
- Use sawdust around tomato plants to protect from slugs. (Slugs shrivel up and die trying to crawl across the dry sawdust.)
- Use it for containing spills or for extra traction on icy walkways.
- Sell it to local butcher shops ... if you have still have one in your neighborhood!
- Mix with glue or epoxy for an excellent wood filler.
- Jointer shavings make excellent tinder. Sawdust doesn't ... but you can make fire starters by mixing a little paraffin wax with the sawdust, using egg cartons for the molds, and adding a candle wick. (Variation: use small pinecones as wicks, Dixie cups as molds, and add pine needles for color.)
- Mix it with wood glue, make it the consistency of bread dough, form it into toy shapes, bears, or whatever, let it dry, then sand and clear coat.
- Sell as chicken coop and horse stall bedding (however, someone had heard that black walnut, butternut, and several other trees of the species Juglans are dangerous to horses).
- Use it as a glop remover from furniture that's been stripped.
- Better to till it directly into the soil sometime in the fall.
- Bags of clean sawdust are burned in kilns by potters.
- And finally ... a sawdust toilet...??!!
Also suggested were several links that provide ideas: