George Vondriska

How to Save Your Wood Shavings

George Vondriska
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Duration:   3  mins

Most of the time, woodworkers are looking for ways to get rid of the shavings and sawdust from their projects. But every once in a while, when there’s something special about the shavings, you may want to collect and save the sawdust. Here’s a great trick that makes it super simple to grab that cool sawdust.

Why bother saving sawdust?

Admittedly, if the sawdust you just got done making is a commodity item (standard stuff from oak, pine, maple) there’s probably no compelling reason to hold onto it. But here’s an example of when you might want to. On a recent project George put a piece of brass round stock on his lathe and turned it into a wine bottle stopper. It was a cool project, and resulted in brass shavings and curls laying all over his lathe. It would have been a shame to just sweep all those cool looking shavings into a trash barrel, and not find some other use for them. Instead, George used a cool trick to vacuum the shavings up, but keep them isolated from other junk that was already in his shop vacuum.

Then what?

The brass ended up in a silicone mold with casting resin poured over it. Once the resin was cured George had a new turning blank. This is a cool way to give shavings a second life. Casting resin is only one solution for this. There are lots of easy ways to upcycle sawdust.

But wait, there’s more!

This is one solution to the problem of isolating cool sawdust and shavings in your shop. There are bound to be lots more ways to do this. A cool thing about woodworking is the variety of ways to get things done. This is why we keep producing more shop tips.

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4 Responses to “How to Save Your Wood Shavings”

  1. Jürgen Stoll

    Sawdust from beech is perfect for smoking salmon...

  2. Ken

    Thanks George, Now, just how cool is that???

  3. jarethhsms

    Quick question: did you turn the brass on your wood lathe? If so what kind of tools did you use?

  4. Gerard

    Great idea. As for wood shavings, I use them as traction aide on my driveway when there is ice. Come spring, I sweep them up and add them to the compost pile.

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