Sawdust as a fuel?


G'day,
A year ago I added a couple of lathes to my workshop with one unexpected side-effect; a thousand-fold increase in sawdust production. Well, thats how it seems, anyway.
To add insult to injury, all the larger offcuts previously destined for the pot-belly are now being turned into small items... which makes the workshop a bloody cold place in winter. To me the logical solution is to burn the sawdust but I can't find any decent plans for a burner. Most of the references I've traced down so far are in reference to commercial mills where they tend to use it to fire boilers for curing sheds, etc. and for my little home-based workshop I rather think that's over-kill. <G>
So, does anyone know of any plans I can use to build my own?
- Andy
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Don't know what you're turning, Andy, but I burn my lathe shavings in a standard stove. If you're talking sawdust-size pieces you're certainly not turning the way I do. http://groups.msn.com/NovaOwners/georgesalbum.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID "8
It's the storage space for drying the stuff that bothers me. If sawdust, especially conifer, you're wide-open for fire in the stack, because it'll pack and produce various low flashpoint volatiles. Solve that problem first, I would think. Here they pelletize and auger it into the boiler. With shavings, there's enough air access to burn as is.
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Some potters need it for pit-firing and I also using mine as mulch in the flower beds
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Andy McArdle wrote:

My Father mentioned sawdust stoves, during the war and early 50's. I'm not sure how they were built but he swore by the amount of heat produced. From what I can gather they were made from a drum, with a steel pipe in the centre. The pipe was full of holes. Apparently the sawdust was packed in the larger drum around the smaller pipe and lite from inside the pipe. He said that a 12 gal. drum used to burn all night and keep a Nissan hut with 12 beds in very cosy. You may be able to find some info in the library or on the net. All the best John
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...you mean over-kiln?
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On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 22:08:35 +1000, "Andy McArdle"

http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/1974_November_December/How_To_Build_And_Use_A_Sawdust_Stove
If near or in the countryside, see if a farmer wants it for mulch or bedding for a calf; I know they do around here. You might get a few fresh eggs in return.
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Andy McArdle wrote:

Beehive burners were used a lot in Western Canada. Still see them today -- very few though.
http://www.google.ca/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial_s&hl=en&q ehive+burner&btnG=Google+Search
http://www.bc.lung.ca/news/news.changes_in_princeton.htm
http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/W/WasteMgmt/142_2001.htm
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On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 22:08:35 +1000, "Andy McArdle"

North Side. The wood frame operaion generated tons of pine and hardwoodsawdust. One of the owners got tired of paying to have it removed. He bought a commercial sausage-stuffing machine and stuffed the casings with the sawdust. The resulting pellets were fed into a furnace and used to make steam for heating the factory.
Ted
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On Tue, 14 Jun 2005 15:54:03 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@uclink.berkeley.edu wrote:

So _that's_ why Northern Tools list sausage machines in their catalogue, along with chainsaws and workshop kit !
Do you know if this works for plain sawdust ? I'd heard that some of these pelletisers added wax too, as a binder.
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Be carefull with FINE sawdust. It can explose when it is in high concentration in the air or when you pour it in the fire !
It is not a joke.
S.B.

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huge fire hazard.
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So roll it up in a large newspaper 'doobie', and put that in the stove.
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The way I do it. Though when disposing of sawdust, it helps to have a good bed of coals to keep unburned portions from becoming one with the ashes.
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A very good point. I'm aware of it, it's one of the reasons I was after plans rather than simply trying to prototype my own, but it certainly doesn't hurt to have it clearly stated for anyone else who might be following this thread.
FWIW, a very nice bloke e-mailed me a URL (http://sleekfreak.ath.cx:81/3wdev/VITAHTML/SUBLEV/EN1/SAWDSTOV.HTM ) which covers exactly what I wanted.
He has my heartfelt thanks, although I won't mention his name as he didn't post in this thread and I'll assume that's for a reason.
This burner is similar to bee-hive kilns in that it's loaded once, lit and then left alone until it burns out. As you can't just top it up like a pot-belly the dust problem's avoided. It looks to be a lovely bit of kit and I can't wait to get started on buil;ding it as winter's just starting here!
- Andy.
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