Sawdust Uses: 10 Ways to Put Your Waste to Work

Did you know that ancient Egyptians used to stuff mummified bodies with sawdust and leaves to maintain their shape? See, there are plenty of uses for sawdust! You may not have to go to that extreme, but if you’re a woodworker,  you likely have a few piles waiting for you somewhere. Here are 10 ways to recycle your sawdust and put it to good use.

1. Make fake snow. Mix sawdust with white paint and glue to cover holiday crafts with simulated snow.

2. Get a grip. Winter loggers spread sawdust on their truck paths. It provides traction and strengthens compacted snow while protecting the ground underneath.

3. Soak up spills. Keep a bucket handy for accidents. Sawdust is highly absorbent and can quickly contain spills of oil or paint.

4. Feed your plants. Sawdust mixed with manure or a nitrogen supplement keeps your plants healthy and moist, too.

5. Make a fire starter. Melt candle wax in a nonstick pot, add sawdust until the liquid thickens, pour into an empty egg carton, and let cool. Use the briquettes to help get a fire going.

6. Fill wood holes and defects. Used by professional floor refinishers, very fine sawdust or “wood flour” makes an excellent, stainable filler when mixed into a putty with wood glue.

7. Pack a path. Tamp sawdust into a dirt walkway to curtail erosion and create a soft, fragrant pathway through your garden or wooded lot.

8. Chase away weeds. Sawdust from walnut wood is a natural weed killer. Sweep this variety between the cracks of your walkway.

9. Lighten up cement. Sawdust mixed into mortar has long been used when erecting cordwood walls to aid in bonding the logs together. Do the same when casting lightweight vessels and moisture-loving planters.

10. Clean a floor. Moisten a pile of sawdust with water and use a push broom to sweep it around the concrete floor of your garage, basement, or shop. The wet sawdust will capture and absorb fine dust and grime.

(original article appeared in This Old House Magazine)

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