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Burning saw dust?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Nokoni, Mar 12, 2006.

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  1. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    I've accumulated a giant pile of sawdust from cutting firewood in my garage. Does anyone burn this? If not, does anyone know of other good uses for saw-dust?

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Does a good job on ice rather than salt. Leaves a mess to clean up when the snow melts though. I usually just dispose of it though.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I use it for mulch in the garden.
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Doesn't it suck nutrients out of your soil when added before it's decomposed?
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    To a small extent, but I'm not mixing it into with the well fertillized soil below it. I'm using it as a surface mulch. In our dry summers and with in-the-soil drip irrigation, the sawdust mostly just sits on top. It works pretty well at blocking weeds and the crops seem to like it, especially those that like cooler feet like lettuce, brocolli, cabages. We also use it on some flower beds. I don't use it on heat lovers like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cukes. For those plants I often use composted steer manure as a mulch or sometimes grass clippings. (We don't treat our lawn with anything.)
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I have a raised bed garden and I put the sawdust in the pathways between the beds. Makes it nicer for walking on, especially with bare feet, and it helps the beds retain moisture and keeps the weeds from getting a foothold. It also seems to attract earthworms, and looks really nice, too. Good stuff--put a new layer down every spring after you've turned compost into the soil. Over time, the whole garden gains elevation, and it's all rich, organic soil.
  7. crow

    crow New Member

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    I burn my saw dust. I put a thick layer of it under my kindling , etc. when starting a fire from scratch. It seems to help get things going. With an inch thick layer, it glows when lit and really helps everything else to catch.
  8. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    Sawdust + melted paraffin = great fire starter briquettes

    Aye,
    Marty
  9. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Ya, my folks used to make thier own firestarters like that. They'd fill cupcake holders about 2/3's full of sawdust and pour in some melted wax/parafin. You can lay them right on top of the kindling and light. kinda works like fire starting gel.
  10. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Way back in the day, my old landlord put sawdust in a coffie can and mixed it with a little lamp oil. He just spooned it on the kindling and it worked very well.
  11. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    where do you buy this paraffin wax
  12. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    your local hardware store should carry it.
  13. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    I get paraffin by watching for candle (the big ones) sales which sometimes beats buying it in bulk (1 - 5 lb blocks) at "Michael's" - a chain arts 'n crafts store.

    Aye,
    Marty

    Grandma used to say, "A penny saved is a penny earned. Just save 1 more than you did yesterday to soon be financially set."
  14. Hokerer

    Hokerer Member

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    Yep, also check out your local "dollar" type stores and look for the biggest, fattest, cheapest candles they have. Always seems cheaper than buying the real paraffin blocks.

    And the way we teach our Scouts is to use the paper type (not the foam type) egg cartons. Fill each egg compartment with sawdust, dryer lint, etc. and fill with melted wax. Voila!! 12 instant fire starters.
  15. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

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    'Ben there. Done that.

    Aye,
    Marty
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I thought it was because of paraffin that everyone warned against using DuraFlame logs. My stove manual says to not use wax logs. Is there something else in DuraFlame logs that is harmful to the stove? Or is the quantity of wax the issue? I'm assuming this is a complete no-no with catalytics, correct?
  17. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I think there are different metals in the ones that claim to produce multi-colored flames and such. I think copper burns blue or green, who knows what else is in there?
    The Duraflame log I have here doesn't include an ingredients copy.
    The Duraflame website mentions the following ingredients in a terse prose description:

    Duraflame® firelogs and wood fire lighting products are made with biomass materials such as sawdust produced by milling operations that was previously burned or hauled to land fills, ground nut shells and petroleum wax as a combustible binder.

    Wax (oil) Logs have a whole lot more heat energy than a similar sized wood log.
    Wax logs must be burned one at a time (or there's too much heat).
    Can't poke 'em (way too much heat with more surface exposed to burn. I've seen this first hand!).
    Non-cat EPA stoves probably get way too hot burning them.
    Cat owners should probably fear these wax (oil) logs. The multi-color flame ones will likely poison the catalyst metals. Who knows about the other variants?

    One thing though. I suspect you could use a small wafer or puck cut from a durflame log to start a fire in a pinch, even in a cat stove, as long as you allowed it to burn completely up, and then allowed another 30 minutes to an hour just to be sure. I've seen a chimney cleaning log at Home Despot that I believe contained various chemicals, but it said it was safe for cat stoves as long as you 'follow the directions'. It basically said to burn a fire afterwards for at least a half hour before engaging the cat.

    I wouldn't want to try either of those myself, but I do use a small homemade oil lamp to get my cat stove going. I figure what little residue from the oil remains on the wood easily burns off in the 1/2 hour to 1 and a half hours before I engage the cat. It's been working for two years now. No problems yet.
  18. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    As I remember correctly there are metals in the cat composition You remember that flash of light
  19. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    The duraflame logs i sell claim that they dont put out much heat, and are for decrotive purposes only...??
  20. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    They don't put out much at one time (if you don't break them up), but they burn for 3 hrs (5 lb'er) to 4 hours (6 lb'er). That's a considerable amount of BTU's. I'm not arguing that they won't heat the room, just that the oil in them is BTU rich. More rich than 5 or 6 lbs of wood. I could probably look it up, but I'm feeling lazy, the fire needs tending, and it's time to eat.
  21. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i seen a customer burn a couple of duraflame logs (one at a time) in a small vermont castings stove. a fairly new stove. it was heating the stove up to about 500 to 600 degrees for 3 hours by itself. in my fireplace they don't throw much heat but in that stove they did well. i wouldn't burn a fireplace log in my stove it would probably grease up the whole setup like a bad oil burner.
  22. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i don't know the after affects of burning multiple logs one after the other. the only after affect that i know of is that my pocket would be alot lighter.

    like i said earlier, i think they would grease up the whole setup, stove to chimney.
  23. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Always trying to make a new friend, eh? :)

    Move along... nothing to see here...
  24. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Oops. Guess I'm a little behind on my reading. Sorry for stirring the pot.
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