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Author Topic: Sawdust - What to do with it?  (Read 4052 times)

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Offline 50 Acre Jim

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Sawdust - What to do with it?
« on: June 02, 2017, 08:18:59 AM »
Trying to find the best place to set up my mill and after looking at some of the members setups I realize there is going to be a LOT of sawdust to deal with.  It looks like some have a hose that sucks it out (at saw time) and sends it to a trailer to be disposed of.  Others seem to just pick it up with their front loader. 

But regardless of what system you use, the questions is what do you do with it?  Seems a shame to just throw it away.  Can it be used in the flower bed or maybe around landscaping?  Or better yet, can it be compressed into sawdust logs and used for heat in a wood stove?

Interested to hear what others are doing with all this byproduct.

TIA,

Jim
Go to work?  Probably Knott.  Because I cant.

Offline Dewey

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 08:22:09 AM »
I sell it to farmers.... for bedding

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2017, 08:52:22 AM »
Remember you cannot use certain woods for animal bedding.   Plus very fine sawdust is more likely to be inhaled, which is not good.   For me, I mill about 6 hours a day.  I have a manual mill which is not as fast as say a LT40 super hydraulic.  I burn all of my saw dust in 2 well ventilated burn barrels.  Once you get some coals going, you can pour the dust in so it's at a slant in the barrel, leaving one side with some exposed coals.  The heat will dry and then burn the dust.  Start the barrels as soon about an hour into milling.  If you have a bunch of bark, it's usually drier and will burn well to make coals.  As you get dust put your first batch in and a few hours later check it and if it's nearly burned down, then add another batch, then a few hours later repeat.  I usually have the last batch in by evening and by morning, there's nothing but ash.  Don't do it in high wind conditions or at high fire hazard times.  Keep an eye on it and have a plan in case of fire spread.  My tail-er wasn't watching well enough one time and the surrounding grass caught on fire.  Luckily it was mowed short grass so he did get it out, but i gave him a hard time about "burning my farm down" for awhile-teasing.
We are able to keep up with the bark and dust we produce using two vortex burn barrels.  When
 burning bark or wood, these barrels burn pretty clean(no smoke), but dumping dust in will initially create smoke. 
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
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Offline red

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2017, 09:35:31 AM »
Sawdust get blown not picked up .  Any leaf blower is a good start .
We have a lot of good boys and girls in harms way
lets all support them and their familys.

Offline dboyt

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 10:21:50 AM »
I pile it up & mix with horse manure.  Best compost you can get.  Hope to be selling it one of these days when I have all I need.  Also thinking about charcoal production for barbecue & terra preta.
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Online nativewolf

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2017, 11:01:07 AM »
The burn barrel would be innovative but not possible in Virginia, outdoor burn ban in many areas until 4pm due to fire hazards and air pollution. 

As dboyt says, it is a valuable amendment to animal manure as the excess carbon in sawdust and excess N in animal waste help to balance one another and really enable microbes to go to town on the animal waste and cellulose without allowing dangerous amounts of leaching.  Then you have a salable product, little pollution, little waste. 

If you have a circle mill you have more granular product instead of dust from a bandsaw, then it is possible to sell straight as animal bedding.  Walnut is really the wood you don't want in bedding.


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Offline Deese

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2017, 11:09:05 AM »
I pile it up & mix with horse manure.  Best compost you can get.  Hope to be selling it one of these days when I have all I need.  Also thinking about charcoal production for barbecue & terra preta.

I've thought about composting the sawdust. If I try it, it will be far away from my log yard and lumber storage area. I'm afraid that it will simply attract more unwanted insects, and I have enough trouble managing them now.
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Offline Deese

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 11:10:29 AM »
So my current solution is "burn baby burn"
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Offline Ox

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 11:48:53 AM »
A wood pellet press would be useful.  For me I just spread it around in low spots or dump in a pile in the corner of the woods or something.  Maybe burn in my next slab fire next time...
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 12:49:36 PM »
Jim,

   I do like Ox and fill in low spots and sometimes burn it. When sawing for a customer i often suggest they grab a box or bag full for oil sweeping in the shop.

   I looked at a pellet mill but the folks I contacted never answered my questions such as chip size, moisture content, power requirements, etc.

   Don't put it around your trees for mulch till it has been completely composted. green sawdust will kill your plants/trees.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Deese

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2017, 12:50:55 PM »
I've got truckloads of the stuff piled in the edge of the woods about 100 yards from my sawmill. A few months ago, I had let it get out of hand and spent an entire day burning slabs, raking up pieces of pine bark that was scattered everywhere, and scooping up sawdust with the front end loader and dumping it. Now, I try to mix it in with the slabs as they burn. The only problem with doing this is the dang smoke. Then, if the wind turns on me I'll be sawing in smoke. I don't like sawing in smoke.
2004 LT40 Super 51hp diesel
Cat Claw sharpener/Single Tooth Setter
Stihl chainsaws MS880, 661, 440, 250
Kubota svl75-2 skidsteer w/grapple, forks, brushcutter
1977 Log Hog Knuckleboom loader/truck
Last Summer Was HOT.

Online nativewolf

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 12:57:45 PM »
The cyclone burn barrel sure was interesting.  Just can't use that in my county until after 4pm.  It would be nice on a cold winter day to have such a nice heater. 
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Offline Deese

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 01:16:24 PM »
It's so easy to let things get out of hand. I've committed to never let things get that messy again for a couple of reasons. One reason is that large piles of slabs invite all sorts of critters and some of them may be harmful to the surrounding trees, your nearby logs, or lumber that may be stored nearby. Another reason is that, in my opinion, it makes you look less credible when a customer drives up on a chaotic scene of unorganized clutter. And third, the dust gradually settles and compacts and eventually the sawmill will be sitting in a hole  :D It makes the cleanup really fun when the garden rake just scratches the surface and you've got to literally use a shovel to slice through it  :D
 

 
2004 LT40 Super 51hp diesel
Cat Claw sharpener/Single Tooth Setter
Stihl chainsaws MS880, 661, 440, 250
Kubota svl75-2 skidsteer w/grapple, forks, brushcutter
1977 Log Hog Knuckleboom loader/truck
Last Summer Was HOT.

Offline drobertson

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2017, 01:20:26 PM »
DBoyt has the plan, depending on just how much you will be producing will determine how you might handle it.
I piled mine back off the edge of the field, separating hard wood from pine, as well as cedar.  Hog farmers and horse folks use it at times, I had one pile of pine that I saved back for compost, it will need nitrogen to be sure, my last check of 5 year old dust  indicated a surplus of potassium and potash, very low on nitrogen.  The horse manure or any other herb eating animal will produce a higher nitrogen element.  If worked properly the volume will reduce in size making the foot print manageable.
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Deese

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2017, 01:29:25 PM »
URGENT! Big Closeout Sale! ALL MUST GO! Buy any amount of lumber, and get a 50lb bag of sawdust for just $9.99! Perfect for starting that composting project you keep putting off!  :D :D :D :D ;D
2004 LT40 Super 51hp diesel
Cat Claw sharpener/Single Tooth Setter
Stihl chainsaws MS880, 661, 440, 250
Kubota svl75-2 skidsteer w/grapple, forks, brushcutter
1977 Log Hog Knuckleboom loader/truck
Last Summer Was HOT.

Online longtime lurker

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2017, 04:53:46 PM »
We mostly sell ours: some to the horse people,  some to the mines for use as filler in blast holes. Any excess we burn.
The quickest way to make a million dollars with a sawmill is to start with two million.

Online nativewolf

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2017, 05:23:21 PM »
URGENT! Big Closeout Sale! ALL MUST GO! Buy any amount of lumber, and get a 50lb bag of sawdust for just $9.99! Perfect for starting that composting project you keep putting off!  :D :D :D :D ;D

Ok sounds hokey and funny but put that in craigslist and see how many folks show up...it would be interesting to see.
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Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2017, 05:28:01 PM »
It would be nice if you could make a secondary product. I've looked at pellet mills and they are too costly to be worth while for most smaller sawmill guys like us(bandmill).  There is also the issue of drying too! 
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2017, 05:52:46 PM »
Pellt mill. next build thread?

Offline DbltreeBelgians

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Re: Sawdust - What to do with it?
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2017, 06:02:26 PM »
Pellt mill. next build thread?

Oh just wait till member KBeitz see this. He'll have one built by Monday morning. Not sure there's not much he can't build when he puts his mind to it.

Brent


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