Burning exotic wood dust/shavings - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Burning exotic wood dust/shavings

Not really SHOP safety question here, but safety related.

Iíve seen a few videos online about making your own fire starters out of sawdust and wood chips and parafin wax. You basically pour your dust and shavings into muffin tins or egg cartons, add melted wax and let cool.

Iíd really like to do that as we go RVing a lot but all the videos Iíve seen, people are using basic lumber sawdust and shavings. As a woodturner, Iím turning things like bloodwood, bocote, cocobolo, rosewood, etc. Would it be safe to use the dust and shavings from woods like that to use as fire starters? Iím not really familiar with, nor can I find information on burning exotic woods. Any help would be great.
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 04:05 AM
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Just don't stand over the fire breathing in the smoke.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 05:53 AM
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I seriously doubt that anyone has done any serious studies on that question. Just not a large enough target audience to be worthwhile.

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post #4 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 06:38 AM
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If any of it is toxic the smoke goes up the chimney so I wouldn't worry about it.

Seems like a lot of trouble to start a fire. If you save your wood scraps too small to use that would be enough to start a fire.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 08:53 AM
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He said it was for RVing so I'm assuming it is for a camp fire. If they're just for starting an outdoor fire they won't last long.

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post #6 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 12:44 PM
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it's not all good news . . .

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...-and-toxicity/
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 01:59 PM
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I doubt it would be nearly as bad as the sanding dust when you are working with them or do you wear one of those super duty face shields?

I had a full beard I wear paper masks but I do know some get past those
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 03:21 PM
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Mix an unknown with the already nasty wax smoke and what have you got? I don't want to guess.
Garbage fire and I'll be standing upwind, thank you.

In wood carving, I make very little dust.
Chips and shavings are no big deal, cabinet scraper curls, that's about it.

I do keep the chips and shavings packed into a few big plastic bags.
Acrylic paints are somewhat toxic as liquids in aquatic ecosystems.
So, I pour all leftovers into the shavings to bind and dry (aka plastic).
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 09:21 PM
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I use plane shaving to start all my fires at home. Wood shavings in wax could work I guess but when I'm camping I mix fir pitch with some roughed up cedar bark. It works like a charm.

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post #10 of 16 Old 12-22-2017, 11:13 PM
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Okay, then what CAN you do with sawdust, wood shavings, thin sticks, and wood scraps? Over the last few months I have generated a few bins worth of the stuff. I suspect that it is a major issue for the people with large commercial woodworking operations.

All I can think to do is put it in the household trash, which goes to the landfill. I would prefer a better solution, if you can suggest it.
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-23-2017, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
Iíve looked at that database over and over to try and find anything helpful on the actual burning of any of the wood but havenít seen anything. So far all I can get is opinions and they vary from person to person. From ďyeah, itís perfectly fineĒ to ďdonít do it youíll die!Ē Seems like Iím getting much of the same here.
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-23-2017, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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I doubt it would be nearly as bad as the sanding dust when you are working with them or do you wear one of those super duty face shields?

I had a full beard I wear paper masks but I do know some get past those
When Iím turning and sanding I wear a 3M half face respirator with the pink cartridges. Mainly because I already work in a hazardous environment and donít need to add to my lung issues at home. I didnít always wear one but never had any reactions to before starting.
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-23-2017, 04:38 AM
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A high incidence of nasal and throat cancers used to occur in High Wycombe wood workers making furniture.
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post #14 of 16 Old 12-23-2017, 09:26 AM
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woods contain oils, esters and a whole host of other chemical compounds.

burning the wood puts the stuff airborne and 'at temperature' which - if there's un-nice stuff in the wood - will very likely make it more readily absorbed - especially if inhaled.

if a wood species is listed as un-nice for dust inhalation, one might assume the fumes are also un-nice.
of course, there will be people who insist the un-nice is made nice by the burning temperatures.

I'd say it's your call.
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-23-2017, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoRice View Post
When Iím turning and sanding I wear a 3M half face respirator with the pink cartridges. Mainly because I already work in a hazardous environment and donít need to add to my lung issues at home. I didnít always wear one but never had any reactions to before starting.

I used to never wear anything and it didn't bother me, unless I was sanding a bunch paduak or walnut, made the snot look bloody or chocolate LOL But as I have gotten older it seems to irritate me more so I wear a paper mask it seems to help but with a full beard it doesn't get it all

I wouldn't worry about the small amount you will be burning, just try to stay up wind, which is impossible for me, cause they say smoke follows good looks LOL
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post #16 of 16 Old 12-29-2017, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Okay, then what CAN you do with sawdust, wood shavings, thin sticks, and wood scraps? Over the last few months I have generated a few bins worth of the stuff. I suspect that it is a major issue for the people with large commercial woodworking operations.

All I can think to do is put it in the household trash, which goes to the landfill. I would prefer a better solution, if you can suggest it.
All my shavings and sawdust go to a buddy for bedding animals or I pitch them out back if he doesn't need any. Small scraps go to my neighbors for starting their wood stoves and anything larger than a piece of kindling goes right into my outdoor wood boiler. Completely use every piece of wood that comes into the shop......even down to the sawdust.
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