Plastic in sawdust

As woodworkers, we use a lot of resins, plastics, and other synthetic materials which get filed, ground, shaved, or sanded, along with wood and disposed of along with sawdust.

This means that woodworkers in their modern art context often contribute to the production and proliferation of microplastics. It also means that the “sawdust” isn’t 100% biodegradable.

What methods are there at the individual workshop level to filter it these plastics from biodegradable materials?

CNC Laser

Continuing on my thoughts about woodworking, I was looking at laser engraved wood and CNC machines. Here are a couple of DIY videos from YouTube.

There is a company here in Eugene which specializes in this.

Here is a DIY project page:

It also seems that andrio or bananna pi are also used.

Homemade shop-vac dust collector

I started looking at some homemade shop-vac projects.First I did some googling, then I searched YouTube.
I found that there are different ideas and terms covering the shop-vac solution space.

The two most informative videos I found were:

Some of the basic questions I am asking are: which shop-vac should I get and how should I evaluate other options? There are people who do review shop-vacs. And I found that C.F.M. measures are really the most important. I also learned that if one adds a cyclone dust separator to the shop-vac that the filter stays much cleaner. The next question is how should I make a cyclone dust separator?

There are several interesting projects which I found. The guys in the video had some really good solutions too, including a $15 cyclone, and blast gates which can be purchase on I also found the following interesting homemade solutions:


Blast Gates:


Silence: around the shop-vac
A Noise block around the vacuum.

Building Wooden Trains

The potential to build my own wooden trains as recently been observed. That is, the idea does not seem soooo far fetched any more now that I own a router and a router table. Towards that end I have started to amass some ideas and some links. Some additional thoughts are that I could use a CNC machine. I would like to make my own CNC machine. To that end I have started another post about ideas for building my own CNC machine.

Some places to order router bits:

A second way to approach this would be to use a tool like a CNC Shark. This has a lot of appeal for replication of items. However, at nearly $4K (at Rockler) that is a lot to start out with. Better to get some experience first. Learn where I can source my supplies from etc.

Some plans for cutting track:

Tutorials on how to make curved track:

Some Places to get components for rolling stock or rolling stock:

Some places to learn about child safe paints:

Some places to order manufactured sets

Some places to get a custom branding tool or wood etcher to sign the pieces I make.


  • Wooden Train tables
  • Research Parts