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Author Topic: Wood ashes for traction  (Read 858 times)

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Offline Bert

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Wood ashes for traction
« on: September 24, 2018, 01:17:54 PM »
My father always put wood ashes from his woodstove on the driveway for snow and ice traction. It  works surprisingly well. I recently purchased a side by side and was thinking of a spreader for ashes from my outdoor boiler to mount on the back to help out this winter. My driveway is 1/4 mile or so long and hand spreading is a pain. Would a salt spreader work? I have zero experience with them.  The driveway is gravel and this would be done once plowed just to give some bite in snow and ice. Ashes to be spread would be dry, yet given time to be completely cool before spreading. I dont want to burn up my plow vehicle :D
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 03:12:15 PM »
I suppose in the spring the ash would just sink into the gravel and you would be through with it.  I've accumulated a bit of sawdust ::) and was thinking that would be good to spread on snow/ice for walkways.  Out in the country, you could just blow it off in the spring.  The really nice thing is it is really light, unlike spreading sand.  Anyone use sawdust for traction?
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Offline gspren

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 06:03:30 PM »
My experience was that the ashes from coal (cinders) provided great traction while the wood ashes mainly helped melt the ice/snow because of the color. Maybe if your getting more chunky ashes than me it's different.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 11:31:50 PM »
I put sawdust, bark and woodchips on freshly dozed up clay.  Keeps it from sticking to your boots in the rain, and from drying to powder during drought.  Traction wise its so so.  Better than nothing but not gonna replace crusher run anytime soon.
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Offline Ivan49

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2018, 04:14:05 AM »
If you put sawdust on ice the ice will not melt but you will have good traction. Had a guy tell me once he put wood ashes on his drive and it worked real good until he got flat tires from the nails that were in the pallets he burned

Offline curved-wood

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2018, 04:43:57 AM »
I use both saw dust and ashes. I play with both depending on the temperature and the surface of the drive way. I keep both inside in a heated space. Ashes is dirty around the house. Green sawdust kept at room temperature will stick nicely to a icy surface in few minutes and will stay on the surface. I guess it is the water in  the green sawdust that make it stick to the ice. It does not fly in the wind like dry saw dust or ashes. I keep the sawdust in 5 gallons pails :easy to handle. Sometimes sawdust is better than crush stone which has a tendency to sink specially if it is stored at room temperature  

Offline bodagocreek2

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 06:05:14 AM »
Ashes work ok, just a little dirty. I find crusher dust works the best, especially on ice.

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 10:05:37 AM »
Ashes work ok, just a little dirty. I find crusher dust works the best, especially on ice.
On our white rock drive ways (Limestone) ashes and saw dust didn't ever seem to work good for winter traction and left a mess to be tracked in the house and shop. I have had better luck with the crusher dust or our rock quarry used to call it waste and gave it away and you just had the cost of hauling in it. I used to have a pile around all the time for filling pot holes in the drive and put some on the drive for winter traction. Then folks started using it for fill sand under concrete and putting it in cold storage farm equipment buildings to keep the dirt dust down and then the quarry started selling it for almost the same price as one inch crusher run. Now days I have a pile of one inch crusher run for pot holes and for winter traction .

Offline GRANITEstateMP

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 11:38:52 AM »
I use the ash on the end and middle part of the driveway.  It's free, and it works ok.  No nails in mine ;D.  I keep don't use it near the house, I don't want to track it back in!

We are part way down a pretty good hill, so we get a good bit of melt off at the end of the driveway.  I'll put down some ash after plowing, and it'll help.  Our town has a bin with sand at the highway shed that's for townspeople use.  Sometimes I'll put the ash down, drive down to the shed, fill the ash bucket with sand and really put it to that end of the driveway!
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Offline Logging logginglogging

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 02:26:41 PM »
I also have a 1/4 mile drive way, and use ashes on the steep part, the only thing about spreading them with the new side by side and a spreader is that wood ash is very corrosive..

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 02:35:40 PM »
In icy conditions I always put fireplace ash on the pad in front of my carport and on the ramp leading off of my porch to the pad. Works well, take your shoes off before you come into the house. ;D
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2018, 03:32:04 PM »
I have a 500 foot driveway that does not get the sun. I put mine in the bucket of my tractor and spread with a shovel.  I don't get many ashes. 
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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2018, 05:50:58 PM »
My wife carries a bucket of ashes in her Volvo year round.She was some proud of herself after getting a loaded log truck going  after a stop on an ice covered bridge.
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Offline chubby

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2018, 09:47:53 PM »
While I too find ashes great to use on my driveway when needed, I dont think youre going to be very impressed using a sand spreader for it. The ashes absorb humidity quite quickly and theyre pretty light and powdery. Sand and salt spreaders are meant for coarser material with pretty good weight.
Youll at the very least need to empty it and clean it when youre done as once any humidity in the ashes freezes, youll have a nice solid ash block in your spreader.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2018, 05:42:36 AM »
The big old farm house I grew up in at one time had a stoker fed coal furnace and used about 12 tons of coal a year .We would spread the "clinkers" in the driveway .They were just about as hard as gravel .As a boy I must have shoveled 100 tons of coal in that thing .
As far as wood ash ,my insert burns it all into powder .There isn't very much unburned .I suppose on glare ice it could provide some traction but I've never tried it .

Offline Bert

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2018, 05:53:36 AM »
Thanks for the advice. Im going to scrap that idea and just use a bucket as I have in the past. I hadnt considered them being corrosive or the humidity clumping factor.  Both are good points. They eat out a metal wheelbarrow in two years. Salt spreader idea is out!
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Wood ashes for traction
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2018, 02:29:26 PM »
As far as wood ash ,my insert burns it all into powder .There isn't very much unburned .I suppose on glare ice it could provide some traction but I've never tried it.
 

That powder works surprisingly well for traction.
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