Do woodworkers hold the key to a quick clean-up of the gulf oil spill?
Doug Stowe is perhaps best known as a box-maker and frequent contributor to Fine Woodworking. He recently submitted a tip to the Methods of Work department explaining that sawdust does a great job of removing oil finishes from your hands. That got him to thinking that maybe, just maybe, sawdust would remove oil spilt in water, like the spill currently reeking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico. Well, he has done some experimentation to test his theory and it seems promising to me. Of course, he is conducting very small tests and he hasn’t used crude oil in his tests yet, but I sure hope he gets a chance. I’d be more than happy to donate all of my sawdust (and all the dust we make here at FWW) to help clean up that mess in the gulf. Here are some links to Doug’s posts about his tests: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
On a personal note, I’ll say that I am greatly saddened every time I see footage of what is taking place. I was born and raised in Florida, and the Gulf is a majestic place, and the coast along it is wonderful (I tend to block out the fact that certain cities in the Fla. panhandle seem to be the main source of some of the worst touristy crap I’ve ever seen, all of it air-brushed.) And I love heading out with my brother to do some offshore fishing. I wonder how soon I’ll get to do it again.
It seems as though there have been a heck of a lot of folks out there offering a wide variety of suggestions concerning this tragedy. So what are your thoughts on the spill? Any hair-brained or homegrown ideas out there? Be sure to post your thoughts in the comments section below.
Oil and sea water don't mix. But it's still hard to get the oil out. Here Doug Stowe is adding some sawdust to a mixture of sea water and chainsaw oil.
The sawdust absorbed the oil. Stowe is able to get the gooey clump out with a spoon, and little or no oil is left behind. Could this be the solution we need for the Gulf oil spill?