How to Make a Machine to Compress Sawdust

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Use sawdust as a fuel by compressing it.
Use sawdust as a fuel by compressing it. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Rather than wasting the sawdust produced by woodworking you can convert it into briquettes for use as fuel. The sawdust simply needs to be mixed with a binding agent and compressed. Even if you are not going to burn the sawdust, this provides an efficient way of storing it, which is a good idea as loose sawdust can pose a fire risk and cause irritate your eyes and throat if it becomes airborne.

Things You'll Need

  • Hacksaw
  • Heavy-duty plastic pipe, 6-inch diameter
  • Marker Pen
  • Drill
  • Ruler
  • Plywood, 3/4-inch
  • Large compass
  • Jigsaw
  • High-pressure press with bottom plate (manual cranking)

Cut a length of the 6-inch pipe 8 inches long. Mark parallel lines upright down the side of the pipe at intervals of 1-inch. Drill 1/4-inch holes in the side along these lines, 1 inch apart, so you have a grid of holes.

Measure the inside diameter of the pipe. Set the compass to this length. Mark out two circles of this size on the plywood and cut out as neatly as possible with the jigsaw.

Place the length of pipe on the bottom plate of the press, slide the first plywood disk into it. Soak the sawdust overnight in just enough water to cover it. Pour the mixture into the pipe until almost full and lay the second disk on top of it.

Turn the pressing arm to depress the press onto the top disk. Press until water stops running out. Turn the pressing arm the other way. Shake the sawdust gently out of the pipe, pressing on the disks to help you.

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