What do you do with the wood chips and sawdust?

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Forum topic by Jamie posted 12-28-2007 08:54 AM 41875 views 0 times favorited 73 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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161 posts in 5276 days

12-28-2007 08:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question resource

I couldn’t find this topic posted anywhere, so I thought I would start it. I wanted to find out if anyone had found a clever way to use the wood chips and/or sawdust that we all accumulate in our shops.

I’ll start…

I use the wood shavings that I create with my planer as bedding for my blue-tick beagle ‘BeeBee’. She loves them to death. If she’s in the shop with me, you can always find her on a pile of shavings. I use some of the sawdust to make filler (but only when a project requires it, so it’s kinda made when necessary).

The sawdust and shavings mostly end up in the trash.. It would be great if there was a way to use it…

I once thought that I could use the shavings and sawdust as a sort of mulch around the outside of the house, but everyone I spoke to advised me not to use it near homes, since it could attract termites. I knew that…. I was just testing them… :)

Anyone else?

-- Jamie, Kentucky

73 replies so far

View rikkor's profile


11294 posts in 5337 days

#1 posted 12-28-2007 12:25 PM

So far I’ve just tossed it. There are so many clever people here, though, that I’ll bet some great ideas surface.

View relic's profile


344 posts in 5399 days

#2 posted 12-28-2007 03:18 PM

We recycle ours. Saw dust will rob the nitrogen from the surrounding soil, so we use urea pellets. A layer of saw dust, a layer of pellets. If you have a large compost pile mix the the dust/chips in with it. This will help break it down quicker. Just a little at a time. Hope this helps.

-- Andy

View jpw1995's profile


377 posts in 5760 days

#3 posted 12-28-2007 03:37 PM

A true Lumberjock uses sawdust to season his food. Who needs salt and pepper? Just use maple and walnut!

-- JP, Louisville, KY

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 5555 days

#4 posted 12-28-2007 04:12 PM

Relic -

Urea pellets? Where do you get those?

I throw them in a “compost” pile but I know it’s not a very good one since the only green matter that goes in the pile is when I wait too long to mow the grass and I have to rake.

If I’ve been working with plywood though, I just pitch the dust (glue contamination).

We talked about it some here:

-- Paul, Kentucky

View EGA's profile


223 posts in 5275 days

#5 posted 12-28-2007 04:19 PM

If you have any red cedar chips to mix with it, dosen’t take much and it will keep the critters like, flea’s, ticks and any other cooties out. I’ve seen red cedar shaving’s sold at a different variety of stores. One more thing, it will make ole rover smell more on the agreeable side. Semper Fi !


View relic's profile


344 posts in 5399 days

#6 posted 12-28-2007 04:21 PM

We use a product from the local feed store called “urea ice melter”. You could use a high nitrogen based fertilizer as well. Remember the more you turn your compost the faster in breaks down.

-- Andy

View relic's profile


344 posts in 5399 days

#7 posted 12-28-2007 04:27 PM

I just thought, if composting is a solution for you or your thinking about it, our sister site might be helpful.

-- Andy

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 5356 days

#8 posted 12-28-2007 04:29 PM

I put just a tad in the garden every year with a load of manure

I put some on top of landscaping fabric under some of the large trees

but the bulk of it I lay down on a trail I am constantly expanding that goes through 14 acresof wetland forest.


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 5454 days

#9 posted 12-28-2007 05:05 PM

i burn most of mine in my wood furnace.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 5328 days

#10 posted 12-28-2007 05:42 PM

I’ve heard of pressing the dust into wood pellets for a wood stove. I wish I had a stove and then a press for this… Currently, what I don’t breath or spread out to the rest of the house I collect on the floor and shop vac or sweep into a bin that goes straight out to the compost pile. Then my dog sleeps in it and brings it back into the house for us. One of those circle of life kind of things.

-- He said wood...

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5863 days

#11 posted 12-28-2007 07:06 PM

I have a garden area that I put about 2-3” of shaving and sawdust on and then rototill in. When I get around to actually planting a garden there I’ll take into account the nitrogen problem.

My pile after planing some Goncalo-Alves, Holly and Mineral Popular

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5526 days

#12 posted 12-28-2007 07:14 PM

I mix mine with the lawn clippings and compost it behind the shop. I till it in occasionally and add composted cow manure to aid the nitrogen deficit. After it breaks down we use it as a top dressing around plants in the garden and add it to potting soil for Pam’s floral display pots.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Jamie's profile


161 posts in 5276 days

#13 posted 12-28-2007 07:17 PM

I currently have a forced air propane heater in my shop, and I thought about getting rid of that for a wood (or pellet) stove. You can see the heater I have in my workshop pics. That would be an excellent idea for recycling (or at least getting rid of it)...

Anyone interested in buying a fairly new forced air propane heater? :)

-- Jamie, Kentucky

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5624 days

#14 posted 12-28-2007 07:19 PM

Mine goes in my dad’s garden, along with the grass clippings and such. So far it has not hurt any of the plants, and he loves it so it works out great.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 5278 days

#15 posted 12-29-2007 12:43 AM

Garden and compost piles are great, just remember or be aware that walnut can be very toxic to other plants. Not sure what is in it or why but it will kill some plants especially tomatoes.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

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