There are two byproducts of portable sawmilling: firewood (offcuts) and sawdust.
Firewood is highly sought after so finding someone to sell or gift it to is relatively easy. But we often get asked, “what do we do with the sawdust?” With our Cheif Designer also running a custom sawing operation, he’s given us a few of his top picks when it comes time to tidy up his yard.
Here’s our pick of the Top 10 uses for sawdust produced when portable sawmilling!
1 SELL IT
Horse stables, stock and breeding farms, pet boarding kennels and nurseries all need sawdust. Or get your kids to bag some up and sell it at the end of your driveway for a great little pocket money earner! (Chris’ top pick!)
2 CRAFT IT
Make fake snow or grass with sawdust. Just mix it with paint, let it try and glue it on your crafts to give them a textured finish. You can also pack pincushions with sawdust as the pins and needles won’t rust!
3 GET SOME TRACTION
For areas that get snow or ice in winter, use untreated wood shavings to get traction on pavements, driveways or garden paths. Because it’s untreated, it won’t harm any plant life. It can be tramped into dirt for a compacted natural pathway.
4 GIVE IT AWAY
Facebook Marketplace, community pages, newspapers and Craigslist are great ways to advertise that you have FREE sawdust to give away. Get groups to your milling site to collect it, and you won’t even have to bag it up yourself!
5 LIGHT FIRES
There are many ways to use sawdust to light your fire, one of the most creative is to fill the wells of an egg carton with sawdust. Then cover it with wax. Once the wax is set, you then cut the egg wells out and use them as fire starters.
6 TASTE IT
No, we don’t mean use it as a bread spread! Use hardwood sawdust to smoke fish, sausage and various meats. Ideal smoking sawdust will come from wood such as oak, hickory, birch and beech. It can be used in portable smokers, electric and gas smokers and smoke boxes.
7 LIVE IN IT
The use of a mixture of 3 parts sawdust, 2 parts sand and 1 part cement for making wall panels has been fairly common in Australia since at least the 1930s. Wouldn’t it be amazing to cut the timber framing for your home with your Peterson, then use the sawdust cement mixture to form the panels?!
8 CLEAN WITH IT
Use sawdust moistened with water to capture fine dust and grime on your workshop floor! Just pile the wet sawdust on the floor and use a broom to sweep it over a concrete floor. Keep any extra sawdust on hand for oil/fuel or other spills.
9 REPAIR IMPERFECTIONS
When making furniture or building, use sawdust from the same wood you’re building with, to fill holes, cracks or gouges. Just mix the sawdust with wood glue until it turns in to putty then fill the damaged areas. Sawdust must be very fine when using it for repairs.
10 USE IT AS HAND CLEANER
If using a Clip-on or Dedicated Wide Slabber, you will produce much finer sawdust than with a sawmill. Similar to the dust from a bandsaw – mix with dish detergent, or natural hand cleaning liquid to produce a gritty exfoliating hand wash. Use hardwoods like oak or maple and you can mix it with pine for consistency. Form a paste and scrub. Make some in advance, or make tubs and sell them!
Have your own tips for reusing sawdust?
Share them with us!
“We are developing poor soil into a pollinator garden and a permaculture food forest in the better soil as we clear the land. We use wood chips for the gardening area but the sawdust from the Junior Peterson goes into the pathways because it provides great weed suppression.” – Luke Jackson