10 Ideas of what to do with Sawdust

This video is quite funny. I have no idea why it became so popular on YouTube! I just wanted to give you a few ideas of what you can use sawdust for… so here are 10 ideas of what to do with sawdust.

You’re probably best watching the video:

10 TIPS of what you can do with sawdust!

What To Do With Sawdust

Do I need to point out that this obviously isn’t aimed at kids? Parents – take some responsibility FFS. This is the internet – children should NOT be left to their own devices on the internet. For grown ups and responsible people, here’s my little list of a few things I sometimes do with sawdust:

1. Paint brush clean-up
If you’ve cleaned a paintbrush in white spirits and need to dry it quickly you really need to shake the excess solvent out of the brush prior to drying it with some blue roll. I chuck some sawdust on the floor of my workshop, give the paintbrush a good shake out and then sweep it up. Done.

2. Mopping up spills
Sawdust is great for mopping up spills in a workshop. I keep some on my bench at all times. If I spill something I just chuck some sawdust on it and sweep it up. Done.

3. Drying your hands
Got wet hands? Can’t find any to dry them on? Got a sawdust bin? Instant towel – done.

4. Wax firelighters
I’ve had quite good success mixing sawdust with wax to make little fire lighters. Bit of a chew on but good fun and a good way of using up old candles. Obviously hot wax is flammable so be careful.

5. Cleaning wax off pans
Once you’ve done the above you’ll have old pans full of wax. Sawdust is great for cleaning the soft, warm wax off pans.

6. Compost
I regularly compost sawdust without any issues. Worried about formaldehyde in wood dust? Read up on naturally occurring formaldehyde and then comment. Don’t over do it. I normally add no more than around 20% sawdust to my compost heap and the resulting compost is lovely.

7. Filling holes & gaps in wood (mixed with wood glue / PVA)
I’ve had mixed results with this. It can work well for very small cracks but you’ll be waiting forever for the PVA to dry if it’s a bigger hole.

8. Mixed with 2-part filler (bad idea)
A few people suggested this to me so I tried it and it didn’t work at all. It made the 2-part filler far too thick and the end result looked no different to normal filler. In my experience you shouldn’t mix sawdust with 2-part filler – myth busted.

9. Glup-up anti-slip
Sometimes when you’re gluing up a joint the two pieces of wood can slide around a bit during clamping. This becomes annoying and results in an inaccurate joint. Sprinkling a tiny bit of very fine sawdust on the joint prior to gluing can help prevent this slip.

10. Wood glue clean-up
Got glue oozing out of all your freshly clamped joints? Chuck on some sawdust and brush it out of the cracks to leave a relatively clean joint. Don’t rely on this if you plan on staining the wood.

Extra Ideas Of What You Can Use Sawdust For!

There have been some awesome extra ideas in the YouTube comments of what sawdust can be used for. Please note these are NOT my ideas and I take no responsibility for what people have suggested here. In most cases I would suggest you DON’T do what is suggested in this list!

  • Flocking for train & miniature models (fake grass etc.)
  • Cat litter
  • Dry composting loos
  • On interlocking driveway blocks to create moss
  • For mopping up vomit
  • Steam engine spark show
  • Fake bacon (?)
  • Putting in car differentials prior to auction
  • Low abrasive grit for sandblasting
  • McDonalds buns
  • IKEA furniture
  • Horse bedding
  • Sausages
  • Smoke it

Obviously most of the above are jokes. If you can’t take a bit of a laugh please visit a different web site.

Entertaining YouTube Comments

While I’m at it, here’s some of the more entertaining comments I’ve received on this video:

Useless tips, I generate 200 tonnes of sawdust per second
My list wasn’t really intended as a comprehensive guide for what to do with all the spare sawdust in the world. It’s just a few ideas of how you can use some of it… not necessarily ALL of it… ever.

Sawdust is dangerous
Life is dangerous.

If you use it to dry your hands you’ll end up with dusty hands
Correct. At least they’ll not be wet though. Nothing worse than wet dusty hands.

Don’t sweep up sawdust as you might breathe it in
I would also take special care that you don’t accidentally inhale your sweeping brush.

If your trying to clean your paint brush then maybe have clean water
If you’re trying to write a sentence… oh it doesn’t matter. It was white spirits by the way.

Sawdust is a terrible idea for making compost due to cellulose breakdown blah blah boring blah…
Noted. No natural products on compost heaps. Only plastic from now on.

Sawdust from treated wood on your BBQ will kill you
Any actual evidence of this or did you read about it in the Guardian?

I was going to say hairdryer
Don’t put sawdust in a hairdryer.

Last updated: 17 Dec 2019
Originally published: 22 Sept 2016


Andy Mac
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