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Firewood Inquisitor
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone know a recipe to form sawdust from the dust collector into bricks for burning in a woodburning stove? We bought about 2 cords of firewood about the same time I got my first lathe, and now my wife is making comments that I'm wasting the firewood (but I'm having lots of fun doing it).
 

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put the dust/shavings into empty cereal boxes ( or other empty boxes ) and add one of them to the fire each time you load up.
 
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where's my table saw?
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I do burn wood that's split from logs

But I would not attempt to burn dust for fear of an explosion.:eek: The dust is not compacted enough like the commercial fake logs are. It will also burn too fast to make it efficient, my theory. I would use a small amount of chips and shavings as a fire starter if at all and keep it far away from the open fire until use.
All my dust and chips go in the compost pile and get covered with dirt, leaves and grass clippings. The worms love it in there and like to jump on the fish hooks when they're bored. :boat:
 

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Firewood Inquisitor
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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinking about maybe mixing in melted paraffin wax as a binder and making bricks to burn as starters.
 

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where's my table saw?
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That would be great!

The wax alone will work. I use those tiny little votif candles when the the fire is down low,but..... when I really need a fire in a hurry I break out the propane torch or the brush burner and heat up the flue real well then the smoke goes up rather than out. It's an all new SS chimney, outside air for combustion with 2 two 90's, one inside the other a "tee" cleanout outside and with about 30 feet of height so it's hard to warm up for a draw. :yes:bill
 

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unisawyer
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I have a metal can that I mix the sawdust and used motor oil and use it for starter.It burns hot, clean and long enough to start a fire without kindling. It don't have a tenancy to flash when lit.
 

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When I build the fire, I pour a log-long strip of plain sawdust across the middle piled with small wood or pine cones, followed by bigger & bigger wood.

When ready for the fire, a squirt BBQ lighter fluid across middle getting the bottom section followed by a match does it fine for a good part of the evening.

The sawdust will develop in a NICE LONG lasting red strip of coal-like burning which keeps the other stuff going... I was surprised to see how well it burned.

CAUTION: Only apply the sawdust BEFORE the fire is lit, during the initial building process... otherwise, the sawdust DUST could cause an explosion! :eek: :thumbsup:
 

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..... when I really need a fire in a hurry I break out the propane torch or the brush burner and heat up the flue real well then the smoke goes up rather than out. It's an all new SS chimney, outside air for combustion with 2 two 90's, one inside the other a "tee" cleanout outside and with about 30 feet of height so it's hard to warm up for a draw. :yes:bill
Bill, I am going to guess your house is all insulated and stuff to keep you warm by limiting air flow ... except the chimney. Crack a window or door to the outside and break your house's 'seal'. Because your chimney is the highest egress from the house, the warmer air will preferentially flow that way. When you hear the draw, you can close the door/window. Growing up in a fire-warmed house, it was the only certain way to the fireplace to start drawing without secondary heat sources.

Regarding, sawdust in fires. I'm not worried so much about explosions as I am about getting it sucked up the chimney and starting a fire there.
 

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sawdust

Agree with sawdust in cereal box. Would not be concerned with explosion. I have an outdoor boiler that turns the wood to charcoal first and then burns the gases. I'm constantly throwing sawdust/chips in, twigs, pallets, xmas trees, green wood. If it burns, it gives me heat!.Sawdust in cereal box and a little used oil,,,great fire starter.
 

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OLD DUDE AT WORK
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I use all my sawdust in the furnace. Know for a fact that fine coal dust will flash explode, but never had a problem burning sawdust, even when I have a roaring fire.
 

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I was born unto a sawmill and grew up with the offal that never disappointed... I even bought my first car, using sawdust as a down payment, and then a load every week for the summer at the local race track (horses), and I'd be the new owner of a 1947 DeSoto!

As for using it as firewood, it burns too quickly to be practical, in my useless opinion. It isn't compacted, has air throughout, so with the two you get a good deal of heat for a limited time, and then it is converted to ash, which is an insulation, so when it dies, it dies quickly... depending on the type wood, also in my opinion.

I always keep a big can of clean sawdust for using on outside spills of all sorts (oil, anti-freeze/brake fluid/etc.) and even dog eggs benefit from a cup of sawdust and quickly become part of the lawn without blowing off your foot as you traverse your dogs favorite poop spot.

I also use it when turning wet/green raw branches/lumber. You rough down/clean off surface imperfections until you have a clean blank. Write what is is/date/type on the piece and bury it in the very dry (from years of protection) sawdust and it will draw out all the moisture w/i days, week at the most. You can then rough in whatever you choose to make, stick it back in the dust for another week for good measure, and then machine to your heart's content!

It works well on the new/spring plants to hold in the initial watering, and repeat as needed. Great for starting poultry, as well as keeping it in the bottom of the coop to absorb those droppings as well... simply add a cup of lime for smell, DE to kill bugs/mosquitoes, or Sevin dust for mites and such. The birds will dust bath in it, controlling their own parasites.

Personally, I use all my sawdust today on my small farm, and just can't imagine having enough to burn... as a child, we could go through a big mountain of sawdust every week, but selling it was just as good, since we always had plenty at the mill.

Good luck regardless!
 

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My grandpa was a builder of wooden boats on the west coast. He burned sawdust in the furnace in the boat shed.
Mostly in grocery store brown paper bags back in that day and time. For an explosion, you have get a ratio of dust to air of 1 to 7 up to 1 to 12 That's a lot of dust. Wet sawdust does not burn like that.

I keep a big garbage bag of chips and shavings in my hobby wood carving shop.
I dump all waste acrylic paints in there. Once polymerized and soaked into the wood,
that stuff can do no harm to the aquatic environment of our sewage systems.
 

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[...] It works well on the new/spring plants to hold in the initial watering, and repeat as needed. Great for starting poultry, as well as keeping it in the bottom of the coop to absorb those droppings as well... simply add a cup of lime for smell, DE to kill bugs/mosquitoes, or Sevin dust for mites and such. The birds will dust bath in it, controlling their own parasites. [...]
I am not an agriculture expert, so I had to look up terms:
Lime -> I assume that he/she is talking about the mineral, not the fruit.
DE = diatomacious earth
Sevin = A commercial insecticide. It comes in powder and spray forms. You can find it at the big box stores, among other places.
 

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Smart and Cool
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Compacted sawdust is used to make pellets and bricks, there was a guy locally selling the bricks recently, supposedly better heat production than logs. The issue I saw was storage, just like the small pellets for my grill, the bricks are moisture sensitive, so storing them is an issue.
 
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