Remove Sawdust





Introduction: Remove Sawdust

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

Removing sawdust is an important step before staining, painting, or otherwise finishing a wood project.

Step 1: Wipe With a Damp Microfiber Cloth

Sawdust just loves to stick to a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Use just enough water so that any left on the wood will quickly evaporate.

Microfiber cloth is better than tack cloth becauuse it's reusable, and it doesn't have a nasty smelling, sticky chemical agent all over it.

When you wash the microfiber cloth, keep it away from cotton.

Step 2: Wipe With a Dry Microfiber Cloth

Right before applying the stain, polyurethane, or paint wipe the project with a dry microfiber cloth.



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    14 Discussions

    Great idea, A vacuum cleaner doesn't always remove everything

    (Yes I know that this is one of the first 'Ibles ever published)

    You can also buy microfiber cloths at your grocery store or Target (or Target-type) store. Look in where you can find kitchen cloths or cleaning supplies.

    I got mine from Home Depot. I was actually looking for tack cloth, but someone working there told me all the tradesmen use microfiber.

    Be careful about using too damp of a cloth with wood - the soft parts of the wood grain (the part the treed added in the summer) will soak up water more effectively than the harder parts (the winter growth) and will swell. When the water evaporates the grain remains raised. For some projects you can use that as a design element. For others it looks like like you did a sloppy job with your finish. I was hoping you were going to tell us how to get all the sawdust out of our workshops!

    4 replies

    Good tip. I wish I had an Instructable on getting all the sawdust out of my workshop!

    My dad uses his air compressor and blows everything out into the back yard. He does this wearing a mask and eye protection, of course.

    I have a large commercial shop, we take each Friday, turn on all the dust collectors, open all the doors, take fans blowing into the front of the building ( you always get more airflow pushing air into the building than trying to blow it out ) Then we pull out the leaf blowers, they work great, we have 16' ceilings and can even blow the cobwebs and dust off of the lights. Breathing and eye protection is a must, I generally come out looking like a ghost...

    That will work depending on what you're doing and what kind of wood it is. I planed a bunch of walnut a while back and ended up with a pile about a foot deep in the middle and six foot across. I did that work in the driveway since I knew it would overload my dust collector. Also, walnut kills other plants with gusto (hurray for chemical warfare) so you don't want to spread it in the lawn unless you compost it for a while.

    You can use a damp cloth to wipe up sawdust and then resand the raised grain but then you have saw dust again. An easier and w/o going to added expense is to dampen the cloth with whatever you are going to use in the next step. If your going to use sanding sealer then dampen the cloth with sanding sealer and wipe the piece clean. If your next step is lacquer or poly, etc. then use that to dampen the cloth. If you want a quick cleaner or if there is a lot of nooks and crannies then use a Swiffer duster. The duster will get into the corners and attract the dust to the duster. As for getting the sawdust out of the workshop - a leaf blower works great!


    12 years ago

    Tack cloths are nothing more than cheesecloth and a bit of linseed oil, a "chemical agent" pressed from flax seed. They're reusable if kept sealed from oxygen, at least until they fill up with dust.