Got lots of sawdust sitting around your shop? Of course you do, you’re a woodworker! Whether you burn it, compost it, or trash it, we’ve got some simple woodworking ideas on how to upcycle some of those shavings.
Some sawdust can be used as a supplement for your garden. However, you should use it in moderation and mix it with manure or nitrogen so it doesn’t suffocate the plants. Do your research to see if what you are growing can benefit from sawdust. For example, it is especially helpful in growing mushrooms! But do be careful with your sawdust selection; sawdust from some woods (like black walnut) will kill plants.
As mentioned above, it is important to do your research before utilizing sawdust in your garden. Some wood may work, some wood may kill. Walnut is toxic to most plants, so use it to get rid of pesky plants. Sprinkle it wherever you want to stomp out some weeds.
If you enjoy a good campfire in the great outdoors or a blazing fire in your hearth, then you might want to consider making your own fire starters. All you need is some sawdust (soft woods like pine or cedar work best), some old cardboard egg cartons, and melted wax which you can find at most craft stores in the candle making department. Check out this video to see how to put them together.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of winter weather, you might want to consider sprinkling sawdust on all that inevitable ice. Sawdust will help your tires and boots grip the ice to provide traction and prevent slipping.
Repairing a small crack or hole? Combine some sawdust with your favorite wood glue (here are some suggestions) and use it like wood filler. This is best for small touch ups, and not big projects where commercial fillers may be more effective.
Small rodents (guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, mice, etc.) and birds all typically use mulch to line their cages. If you’ve got one of these animals at home, don’t spend your money on pet store mulch – use your own sawdust! It’s easy to clean, and the animals enjoy rooting around in it. However, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Some sawdust can be toxic to animals, so make sure your pets and wood shavings are compatible.
Sawdust is helpful in cleaning up large spills of any kind. It’ll soak up your spill, making it easier to clean up and dispose of. This is a great tip for anyone who also works on cars and may get automotive liquid spills in their garage. Or, you can just use it when you’re clumsy with your stains and spirits in the shop! But always make sure you check locally on how to deal with sawdust that has been used to soak up potentially toxic substances (oil/radiator fluid etc.).
Let us know if you already use some of these suggestions to upcycle your sawdust, or are trying them for the first time.