5 Things to Do with… Sawdust

Don't toss your woodworking scraps yet! Give your sawdust and shavings purpose with one of these five tasks.

As an avid DIYer, chances are you have remnants from many projects lingering around the house—tools waiting to be stashed away, leftover materials, and probably a bit of mess, much to your dismay. While you might think your project scraps aren’t good for more than the trash, there is one byproduct that’s quite a valuable material in its own right: sawdust. These wood shavings have plenty of potential for household use! Read on for five reasons to save the extras from your next woodworking session.



Uses for Sawdust - Wood Filler

Photo: fotosearch.com

When you’re in need of good wood filler, don’t look any further than some glue and sawdust. Mix the two together, and you can patch any hole or gash in your wood furniture. The sawdust helps to keep the glue from running and, if you’re lucky, will help closely match the color of the wood. Once it has dried, lightly sand the surface smooth. It will really help you out in a pinch!



Uses for Sawdust - Fire Starter

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Getting a campfire going in less-than-perfect conditions can be challenging. When you’ve got no time to wait, enlist the help of a handy homemade fire starter. Make your own by mixing melted candle wax with a handful sawdust in an old or disposable muffin tin, then let the composition cool. You’ll end up with convenient little rounds that are ready to toss into the makings of your next summer campfire!



Uses for Saw Dust - Litterbox Liner

Photo: instructables.com

Have you ever noticed how much money Miss Kitty’s litter is costing every month? It adds up. Fresh wood chips and sawdust can stand in as a smart alternative—cheaper and more environmentally friendly, too. The only downside is that it won’t clump like many store-bought varieties do, meaning you’ll have to change the litter more often. No cat at home? This same method will work for hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, and bunnies—pretty much any critter with a cage that needs to be lined.



Uses for Sawdust - Paint Spill

Photo: flickr.com

Accident-prone crafters, rejoice—you can use the mess from a woodworking project to clean up the mess of future DIYs! When you spill an excess oil or paint, just sprinkle some sawdust onto the sticky spot. The highly absorbent wood shavings will soak up most of it, making for an easier cleanup. (Better start keeping a bucket of sawdust on a shelf in the garage, just in case.)



Uses for Sawdust - Kill Weeds

Photo: flickr.com

While most wood chips make an effective mulch for landscaping, walnut sawdust can work wonders outside the garden bed as a weed killer. It contains juglone, a chemical toxic to most plants, so sprinkling this wood’s shavings judiciously along the perimeter of the yard and over pathways will keep unwanted greenery from growing. Just make sure you don’t get too close to the flowers or plants you do want to stick around all season.