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Old 10-23-2017, 08:11 PM   #1
Texastaxi
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Default Sawdust fire pit

Building our barndo, I have a LOT of sawdust. I tried burning it in a pile, and that made a smoldering mess. It was too heavy for our geriatric trash man to pick up, so I had to find a way to get rid of it. After a little research on the ole interweb I tried this, and it works great.



This is close to 50 gallons of shavings from my planer and chips from my router table, compacted into about 25 gallons. It'll burn for 8 hours. If you have excess sawdust, this could be a great home or lease fire pit alternative.

If anyone is interest, I'll do a step by step on how to build it.

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Old 10-23-2017, 08:22 PM   #2
14JKURX
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Post it up I like the idea!
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:14 PM   #3
Wayno
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I've seen people soak sawdust in diesel to use as a fire starter. I'm surprised being packed in like that that it burns that easily without a fuel.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:11 PM   #4
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Post up details!

Unless it's treated, why not just spread it out on the ground?
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:24 AM   #5
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I always wondered if you could mold sawdust, or shredded paper into your own homemade fire starting blocks or logs.

I'm interested in seeing the how to.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:48 AM   #6
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I started with a 30 gallon metal trash can, like this.
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I cut a 1" long piece of 4" PVC, placing it in the middle of the bottom of the can, from the outside, and then traced the inside diameter onto the bottom of the can. (Ignore all the other holes drilled in the can, this is just a picture I found on the internet, and not my can)
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Then drill 8 holes, on the inside of that circle. The holes just need to be big enough to put a jig saw blade into.
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Then, cut from hole to hole, making 4 cuts across the circle. then push the 8 triangles into the can, from the outside.
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You'll now need a piece of 4" pvc that's a little longer than the can is tall. Mine's about a foot taller. Turn the can right side up, and sit the big pvc pipe over the 8 triangular pieces that are sticking up. This kinda keeps the pipe centered while you're filling it with sawdust, which is the next step.

Dump 10" to 12" of sawdust into the can, around the pipe. Now you need to pack it. I used another piece of 2" pvc with a cap on it. If you have a piece with two caps, filled with sand, I think it'd work even better. Pack the sawdust until it stops packing. The tighter the pack, the better it burns. The very top layer of mine never packs, but you can feel the sawdust under the surface getting firm, as you pack.

Once that level is done, add another 10 to 12" of sawdust and continue packing. Repeat until you've used all your sawdust or the can is full.

Now, transport the can to where you're going to light it. Use 3 bricks to elevate the can off the ground. A few inches is all you need ... just enough to get the air flowing through it.

Give the can one last packing, as the sawdust might loosen up a bit when you move it. I squirt a little lighter fluid around the pipe, to make starting it easier. Now, slowly twist the 4" pvc, pulling it straight up and completely out of the can.

Now just light the sawdust where you sprayed the lighter fluid. The sawdust will burn on top, and in the hole left by the pvc pipe. It'll burn for hours, but you can't bump the can or it will collapse and smother itself out. If you want to put it out, before it burns out, just put the garbage can lid on and it'll die out.

I read that this needed to be straight sawdust, for this to work, but I've found that's not the case. I've used regular sawdust from my table saw, plywood chips out of my router table, as well as shavings from my planer. After they're packed down, they all burn the same.

This doesn't have to be a big trash can, either. You could do the same thing with a big coffee can and a 1" pipe, or a wash tub, and a 4" pipe. Since it burns from the center out, the bigger the diameter of your tub, the longer it will burn.

Last edited by Texastaxi; 10-24-2017 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:05 AM   #7
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this is cool
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:13 AM   #8
Texastaxi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayno View Post
I've seen people soak sawdust in diesel to use as a fire starter. I'm surprised being packed in like that that it burns that easily without a fuel.
I was leary too, but it burns very well. I think the key is packing it into the can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by froghunter View Post
Unless it's treated, why not just spread it out on the ground?
I don't want sawdust all over my yard. It makes a mess, if it gets wet and walk on it; it sticks to your shoes then you track it everywhere. And if it rains, enough to have standing water, it floats all over the place. It's just a mess. Oh, and I've produces several hundred gallons of sawdust in the last 3 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc View Post
I always wondered if you could mold sawdust, or shredded paper into your own homemade fire starting blocks or logs.

I'm interested in seeing the how to.
I did find another video that did that. Basically you mixed the sawdust with water and paper pulp, then pressed it into bricks using a bottle jack, and a home made "mold". It had to dry for quite a while before you could burn it. It was also very messy, because the water all squeezed out when you pressed it. I opted for the way that seemed like less of a hassle and less mess.
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:11 PM   #9
txtradesman
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We put our sawdust in a metal coffee can, pack it down and light it up to Keep the mosquitos away
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Old 10-24-2017, 12:22 PM   #10
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Very cool! Great idea
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Old 10-24-2017, 01:00 PM   #11
Texastaxi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txtradesman View Post
We put our sawdust in a metal coffee can, pack it down and light it up to Keep the mosquitos away
So, it'll burn without the "air" hole, in the middle?

Does it actually help with the mosquitoes?
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