Better than sanding
Scraping Wood Dust
© Frank Ford, 11/15/99; Photos by FF, 11/10/99

Often I need a bit of special "sawdust." You know, a particular kind of wood dust to use with some cyanoacrylate or other glue for filling inlay gaps or a damage spot.

I could take the desired kind of wood over to meet Mr. Beltsander:

And take my chances picking up the dust from underneath:

Naturally, I'd have to clean up the area first, and most of the dust would become airborne. If I have a coarse belt, then the dust will be coarse - sometimes more coarse than I'd like. I could sand the wood by hand, but that can be a bit messy. Either way, I'll have a bit of abrasive mixed in with the dust.

Here's a little trick I use to get very regular, fine, uncontaminated dust when I need it.

I simply take a sharp chisel and scrape the end grain of the desired piece of wood:

I work on a sheet of paper to catch the dust.

It's not obvious in this photo, but I'm actually pulling upward with the chisel to get a stronger stroke. Because I'm scraping end grain, my dust is very fine and regular, and there's no contamination.

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