Balsa wood chips

I got a couple of really nice Christmas presents this year: a Craftsman 6" jointer, and a DeWalt 12.5" thickness planer. I also have 54 board feet of balsa wood in my Garage waiting to be shaped into a surfboard. I’m new to using a jointer and it took me quite a few passes to finally get the technique down. After jointing and planing all of my boards I ended up with a huge pile of saw dust.

I feel guilty just throwing it all in the trash can. Can anyone think of any good secondary uses for all this balsa saw dust?

Do you have a garden, if so mix it in with the compost with a little water, or put it directly in to the ground as mulch.

You’d be surprised how quickly it breaks down. I even leave small planks out till they soften up, then break them up and put then in my rotavator and there go in a week or two.

Keep a small tub of the stuff though, you can mix it with epoxy or white glue to make a nice filler.

Whatever you do, don’t throw it in the trash can. For us here in the UK, 72% of municipal waste used to end up in landfill sites. The organic materials within a landfill are the main source of methane in England (a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming, 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide) and, they produce a liquid called leachate, which may enter and contaminate the water table, rivers, streams and water supplies.

Luckily these days only about 40% of our waste is going to landfill, as the governemt is having a massive push for greener waste disposal. The alternative to landfill is compsting all of your organic material. From food waste, carboard (egg boxes), egg shells…and balsa shavings!!! So drop by Home Depot or similar and grab a big ol compsting bin. Then along with all your shavings and house waste, you can save a little bit of the planet too!!!