Sawdust Explosions

Back many years when I was probably in my early teens, we used to burn off our rubbish in a backyard fire (in a 40 gal drum repurposed as an incinerator).  Those were the days, taken that which could be burned and reducing it to ash, rather than having to carefully sort it into different bins to be put out on the naturestrip for the rubbish ‘police’ from the council paw through your bins in the dead of the night to ensure compliance with their inane rules.

One day, while we were burning off, I tool the full bag of fine sawdust from the beltsander and went to empty it into the fire. That resulted in an impressive fireball as I discovered how maximising the surface area , with a reasonable supply of air can result in quite a spectacular result.

The lesson has never been lost on me – sawdust can be a rather volatile substance.

So while watching part of my Father’s Day present I was amused to see the return of the sawdust cannon.

I am quite a Mythbusters fan, so have been working through the 5th season when I came across the viral video episode and was reminded of my early experiences with creating fireballs with nothing more than sawdust and an ignition source.

I’m not much of a believer of static sparks in dust extraction systems causing sparks/explosions, but still firmly understand the issues around disposal of a substance with such a significant surface area as fine sawdust.

The Book

For the first time, WordPress (where this blog is hosted) have linked in with a company that turns the blog into a book.  Well that is what they claim, but when I pointed it at this website the formatting (among a few other issues) made it unusable.  However, it did give me the first opportunity I’ve had to download the entire collection of  1780 posts as PDFs. (One of the other problems was the software could only handle 800 pages maximum, where this site is closer to 3500 pages!)

I was also able to get a more accurate word count, which came in at 530,000, and that I have hit the keys on my keyboard 3,000,000 times in creating this blog.  This doesn’t include the static pages, the videos, properly sized photos or comments.

But I am still interested in seeing what sort of content I now have, and whether there is a more physical format some of the historical information on this site can be presented.  Which translates as taking the best posts from Stu’s Shed, and producing a book.  Not something that is likely become a best seller – probably one that has a massive first run of a single copy, and IF ever done, would be targeted to conclude 20 June 12, representing the first 5 years of Stu’s Shed.

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