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Sawdust in ohio

 
pioneer
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my step father builds custom furniture and produces around two bags of sawdust that ends up being landfilled. He uses all kiln dried hardwood with the occasional ply wood or reclaimed barn wood that may have paint. wish I could save it all up and ship it to the desert lol. anyone have a use? located near dayton ohio.
 
ben heidorn
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I reckon I can sort out the ones that contain mostly ash oak and poplar and discard the ones that might contain walnut cedar or paint particles. Generally goes through in batches according to the project at hand.
 
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Rumor has it sawdust, or wood in general, ties up nitrogen while it breaks down. Sawdust may be the worst due to the lack of airflow. That said, before I knew any better I got a ton of sawdust from a local shop. It ended up having a lot of plastic bits and was overall a nightmare. After cleaning a bunch we did spread it on the grass as a killing barrier about four inches thick around 6feet by 10 feet. I then spread a couple bags of soil, some straw and let it sit for a few months, then tried to plant a cover crop of buckwheat. It failed. Planted another and another, adding some compost here and there. Then a layer of chicken coop shavings. That time the buckwheat took. Then I chopped and dropped. Ran our meat chicks over the area for a couple days. Let all the excess seeds sprout. Chopped and dropped again. This was over the past two years. At the next break in the weather strawberries are going there. I think its good now, though a layer of sawdust is still visible when I dig.

It wasn't worth it. Clean sawdust, maybe if I don't want to use spot for awhile.

Woodchips are what I love. I know, it's a thin line. So far I've had great success but this year I may have took it too far ;)

 
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When I lived in the city and had woodworking sawdust to get rid of, a quick Craigslist ad would get it gone in a day or two.  I think horse owners were taking it for bedding or something like that.
 
ben heidorn
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That reminds me...i came across an interesting fellow who raises rabbits to train birds of prey. He lives about 35 minutes from me. I can't recall but I think he said he could use it. Perhaps I can experiment with producing some biochar with it sometime.
 
ben heidorn
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I haven't come up with any barrels yet to experiment with making biochar, I did however decide to try composting some with coffee grounds and urine.  I added some soil and leaves  from fire wood handling ...inconsequential amounts but I'm hoping the soil has the biology needed. I recently read the article about storing tomatoes in sift hardwood ash so I have been doing that. Excited to see if that works! That has left me with chunks of charcoal and minerals  which are placed on top of the bucket. Need to invest in a long thermometer  so I can see if I'm getting a temperature rise, and to monitor when it needs air.
 
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Sawdust burners seem to be easy to build. Basically a TLUD with an air channel through the middle.
 
ben heidorn
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Awesome  Melanie thanks for the idea. You may have just solved an issue on controlling Bermuda grass in an unrelated thread!

Ellandra, Thank you... now that I know what a TLUD is I am on a video tangent learning how to make and inoculate biochar ...which I had no idea of beyond carbonized organic material. Interesting tidbit, if you quench your char with 5 gallons of water with a tablespoon of Sea90 in it it drives the minerals in  deeply.
 
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Ben,

I am a couple of states over from you, probably too far for me to go to get sawdust, but can you give us an idea of how big those two bags are?  If you were just a bit closer to me I would gladly take a bunch of hardwood sawdust off your hands!  To me, all that sawdust is mushroom fodder.  

But if mushrooms are not your thing, I think biochar is a great alternative.  I am almost drooling at the thought of a great big pile of biochar mixed 50:50 with some good compost that has sat and aged a bit.  That could make for some amazing, rich, fertile soil.

Again, I wish I could take it off your hands.  You have some garden gold there.

Eric
 
ben heidorn
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Hmmm mushrooms you say? You might be on to something. Two household  bags a week I meant to say, I currently have about 6 of those bags I stopped collecting them when I started struggling to figure how to use it. Another source would be a place that constructs pallets.  My neighbor works at one and they fill multiple dump trucks a day. You should see if you have one nearby Eric, the one here uses fresh sawn red oak. Plenty of 6 inch long end cuts to split for kindling as well. The company that sends the dump trucks is buying it, but there is still tons that are given away. I believe the main use is to press into heating pellets, which I have considered coming up with a way to do that as well.
 
ben heidorn
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Interesting thought to try out in dry climates,  if one were able to collect snow in piles, sawdust could be used to insulate the pile for extended snow melt period in the spring.
 
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