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AMC buffs, mechanics who are also woodworkers..

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Category: The Garage
Forum Name: Tool Tips and fabrication
Forum Description: For tips, hints or "how-to" related to fabricating your own tools. Perhaps a neat home-made or special purpose tool you have come up with (safety first, of course!).
Printed Date: Oct/20/2020 at 9:24pm

Topic: AMC buffs, mechanics who are also woodworkers..
Posted By: billd
Subject: AMC buffs, mechanics who are also woodworkers..
Date Posted: Dec/19/2012 at 12:48pm
I wonder how many of us there are? Seems quite a few from what I hear.
I'm passing along a tip I wondered why I wasn't clever enough to think of this years ago.

This comes from forum member/friend Mr. Ed ->

Save that sawdust from your saws, power tools, or shop vacs or dust collection systems and use it in your auto shop or garage as a sweeping compound/oil dry.
(If you are a gardener - you could also add it to the garden or your compost pile.)

I have all sorts of buckets around with nice lids I've started saving my sawdust into for later use.
There are times that the stuff I get in the shop vac is too find and dusty, or else has chunks, so probably wouldn't work perfectly, but for the most part, what comes off the table saw or radial arm saw, even the router table, is just about perfect for using on the concrete shop floor where I work cars.
I was using the cheap WalMart basic kitty litter (uh, BEFORE Yawnie, Koko, Tuvok and Pickle got to it)  on my shop floor to take care of minor spills or leaks but even at only 3 or 4 bucks a bag, this sawdust tip beats that.

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Posted By: 6768rogues
Date Posted: Dec/19/2012 at 6:33pm
When your hands are covered with grease or oil, "washing" them with sawdust is a good pretreatment for washing them at the sink.

Why Ramblers? Chicks dig 'em. Whatever it is, I can take it apart.
Located near Rochester, NY

Posted By: 73sprjeep
Date Posted: Dec/19/2012 at 7:28pm
Saw dust sounds like a good idea, I never had too good of luck with kitty litter. Seems like it just isn't absorbent enough to pick up the oil. Of course I NEVER spill oil on my garage floor!LOL

73 superjeep 71 hornet 70 javelin. All long gone and sadly missed.

Posted By: ryder6330
Date Posted: Dec/20/2012 at 4:26am
Hopefully it does not happen anymore, but used car dealerships used to tip sawdust into diffs, and gearboxes. Takes all the noise out. Short term gain I guess, but sawdust. 101 uses.
Oh and dont add sawdust to your compost. Put it straight on to keep snails at bay

Posted By: amcglass
Date Posted: Dec/20/2012 at 12:43pm
I use to have an outlet for a saw mill that would barrel up sawdust for me to do just that.   but I have not talked to them in years  as I ended up having 4 55 gal barrels. now that is all about gone so maybe it is time to go talk again to them


BBG Mark Donohue 401

74 Jav/AMX
71 Matador 2dr sedan delivery wagon
1902 Rambler Runabout     

Posted By: mstrcrftr
Date Posted: Dec/20/2012 at 6:34pm
i remodeled my upstairs bath, downstairs bath and kitchen in west red cedar.  saved all of the sawdust and used some of it to put down on the ground all around the house.  use some of it for
cleaning the carport and we found that not only does it work great for an absorbent but it also keeps the mosquitoes and roaches at bay.  we love it.  now when we run low we go buy a cedar board and turn it into sawdust just for those reasons.  not to mention it smells great.  

Posted By: bigbad69
Date Posted: Dec/20/2012 at 6:45pm
My grandfather would save the sawdust from his project and mix it with wood glue to make a colour matched filler. Works well unless you're staining the wood. The hardened filler doesn't absorb stain.

My garage:
2018 300 5.7 - daily driver
2006 Sierra 4.8 - backup vehicle and sometimes hauler
1969 BBO Javelin 390 T10 - my neverending project

Posted By: billd
Date Posted: Dec/21/2012 at 7:17am
Originally posted by 6768rogues 6768rogues wrote:

When your hands are covered with grease or oil, "washing" them with sawdust is a good pretreatment for washing them at the sink.

I'm loving all these tips - this and all the others that follow.
I'd not thought of that one before, but it makes sense, and better than some of the other stuff as far as safety for the skin.

I'd never heard of the sawdust for keeping snails at bay trick before.

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Posted By: amx39068
Date Posted: Dec/21/2012 at 8:31am
It also works wonders on a noisy rear end that you need to buy some time for before replacing the gears!   

Dan Curtis-Owner and CEO AZ AMC Restorations; Facebook: & Curtis Real Estate Development

Posted By: Mr. Ed
Date Posted: Dec/21/2012 at 9:24am
Originally posted by billd billd wrote:

Originally posted by 6768rogues 6768rogues wrote:

When your hands are covered with grease or oil, "washing" them with sawdust is a good pretreatment for washing them at the sink.

I'm loving all these tips - this and all the others that follow.
I'd not thought of that one before, but it makes sense, and better than some of the other stuff as far as safety for the skin.

I'd never heard of the sawdust for keeping snails at bay trick before.

Remember that the cedar chest works on the principle that the aroma of the cedar keeps the moths at bay. So that same aroma must keep snails away also.

Mr. Ed

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo "Gwendolyn."
1978 Concord Sport coupe "Mr. Black".
1982 Concord wagon. The Admiral. FOR SALE!
1976 Sportabout X, 304, auto, air. Sandy.

Posted By: purple72Gremlin
Date Posted: Dec/21/2012 at 12:43pm
Sawdust will also quiet down a noisy manual transmission..................................but dont blame me if it doesnt last very long.......banana peels also work for noisy rearends

Posted By: kwkslvr73
Date Posted: Dec/26/2012 at 9:23pm
been a carpenter for 32 years....have used most of the tricks already stated. Couple more, 5 gallon bucket mixed with the right amount of drain oil works great in the wood stove. or to keep the dust down when sweeping. 5 gallon bucket with that mixture works great to keep my shovels and other garden tools rust free plus they store standing up!

360 5-speed orig owner..." rel="nofollow">

Posted By: Red20
Date Posted: Oct/12/2013 at 12:13am
Ha ha, I love this thread, old as it is.  I smiled reading this as I have several cardboard boxes under the workbench filled with sawdust for this exact reason.  The jointer and bandsaw make the best sawdust for oil absorbent in my opinion.  And it's easy to collect from those.  I have a canvas sack that I put onto the bandsaw vacuum output tube with a heavy rubber band to collect the sawdust.  And opening the bottom cover after a day of re-sawing reveals a bunch more.  Of course I don't spill oil on my garage floor.  My vehicles do it all by themselves. Big smile

1969 Javelin SST "Screamin' Banana" - Totaled Feb 2018
1973 Hornet Sportabout X "yellajack" - 360/727/TracLoc DAILY DRIVER

Posted By: Wrambler
Date Posted: Oct/12/2013 at 9:21pm
I bought a used Cherokee from a chain smoker. Bag of cedar critter bedding from tractor supply, stuff it into my wifes old stockings. Put them under all the seats, in the back and generally anywhere they weren't in the way. In a few weeks the Jeep smelled of cedar and I had no more issues with cigarette smell. burn the chips, or use them for mulch.

I had some oriented strand board that got wet and swelled. Threw it under a Locust tree and parked the boat trailer on them. They are 3 years down and just turning into loose mulch. I do know I wouldn't put it anywhere I was growing vegetables etc.

69 AMC Rambler
4.0L, 5 speed
65 Ambassador Ragtop rustbucket
2015 Grand Cherokee Limited
2012 Mitsubishi Lancer S.E.

Posted By: just rambling by
Date Posted: Jan/27/2014 at 12:14pm
if I remember right be careful hoarding sawdust as it is a fire hazard, or maybe that is just what my old shop teacher in high school thought.. I just burn mine in the wood stove a little at a time.a few btu's and not a disposal problem. I do use it for oil clean up and it even burns better. is spontaneous combustion of saw dust a real concern any way ?

Posted By: billd
Date Posted: Jan/27/2014 at 12:44pm
Originally posted by just rambling by just rambling by wrote:

is spontaneous combustion of saw dust a real concern any way ?

There are a lot of "it depends" involved, but if you've ever composted before, you know that the middle of a compost pile, which is organic/biological material as well, gets REALLY warm. Almost scorching hot. Won't catch fire because it takes the moisture to compost which prevents combustion in that case but it can get hot under the right conditions.
To do so, it would require moisture and enough mass, etc.
The city of Des Moines composts lawn and yard debris and chops discarded tree parts into "chips and sawdust" for compost, etc. You'll see the piles steaming in cooler weather but they don't seem to be concerned about fires. Again, there's moisture there to get the composting process going.

I can't say for a fact but it just would seem logically that DRY sawdust if not packed into containers would not have the mass or moisture for the processes to take hold which could cause a fire.

Let's get into the fear of explosion or fire related to dust collection systems.
It ain't gonna happen. That much I can say. Experts in the field have come along and debunked all that Internet/urban legend stuff about using plastic/PVC pipe, static, dust explosions, fires, etc. and say "quit yur fretting, it ain't gonna blow up".
In fact if you buy some of the better systems you'll find they recommend using S&D PVC to plumb your shop dust collection system.
Rockler, for example, a major supplier of woodworking "stuff" including dust collection (DC) systems fittings and so on, tells how to set things up  - -  using PVC.
There's a lot of dust traveling those pipes. The bags or bins that collect the sawdust are pretty large and they don't speak of fire hazard beyond the obvious 'don't let large or metallic items into the system as if it strikes the metal impeller on cheaper systems it could cause a spark and ignite the dust in the dust collector' and 'don't keep sawdust next to equipment that could emit sparks' or around paint supplies and so on. HOWEVER, most decent systems outside of Harbor Freight are made with impellers that won't spark if a metal object such as a nail, etc. hits the impeller.
My system is a 1.5 hp 1200 CFM Steel City unit plumbed with 4" S&D PVC. I used Rockler 'PVC to dust system' adapters to connect to the various tools. I have 4" or 2.5" hose (depending on the tool size and built-in port size) to go from the adapter or blast gate at each tool to the tool itself.
I also made most of my own blast gates after deciding most of the commercial blast gates don't open enough for my likes.

My advice on any sawdust be it in bins, buckets, a DC system or whatever - keep it to a minimum as far as quantity in one pile, keep it closed in something like a metal garbage can if you keep the sawdust for using in transmissions or differentials just prior to selling the car or to soak up oil spills when you forget to use a funnel to add ATF, and if it is a collection system or a shop vac simply empty it now and then.
 Common sense will go a heck of a long ways.
Remember the old school science class bit - at least we did this - the teacher showed how he was not able to light flour no matter how hard he tried. He had a small pile of flour on the counter and it didn't burn when he tried to light it with a match.
But when he blew just a bit of flour dust into a chamber with a lit candle, the lid from the container shot up and embedded into the classroom ceiling (yeah, that left a mark and shook some of the kids pretty badly).
It's a lot like gasoline. You can't light the liquid but watch out for those fumes!

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Posted By: amxdreamer
Date Posted: Jan/27/2014 at 1:25pm
As a career firefighter, and previously a Fire Marshall (for 10 years) I can say without a doubt I would not use PVC pipe that wasn't UL listed for dust collection systems in my house/shop. NFPA codes and other Building/Fire Codes are there for a reason, because there has been fires and explosions! I have been to numerous hopper and dust collection fires through my 20 year career and the last thing I would want is combustible components. All it takes is a small pebble or the blade tip from a piece of equipment to get into the dust to start a fire. There has also been extensive testing done to prove that static electricity does in fact get generated in piping and if the concentration and size of dust particle are within the explosive range you will have an explosion. It's REALLY being watched closely here due to all the Pine Beetle lumber that has made it through the chain and now to the cabinet shops. As my City has a large cabinetry side I was involved with the Provincial Worksafe level of enforcement due to the higher hazard. The codes are also VERY specific regarding cleaning up dust. It must be swept up, take a look at the warning tag on your shop-vac, it will say do not use to vacuum combustible dust! If you use compressed air you must shut off all power to the building area, again suspended dust is very dangerous. There are usually 2 explosions in a dust explosion, the first is a small one that dislodges all the suspended dust on flat surfaces such as trusses, equipment etc which then gives you the big boom!

This is no different than people painting cars in non-approved booths or at home. It's not safe, it just hasn't been within the explosive range and had a spark...and luck.

Insurance companies are in the business of denying claims and if there was a fire or explosion that causes a large loss then if they can say it was due to a non-approved system they won't pay.

Vancouver, BC
1970 AMX
1972 Ambassador

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