I can get all the sawdust I want from a local high school wood shop. They have a big vaccume device that sucks up all the sawdust and puts it in barrels. They primarily use hardwoods. Would this sawdust be O.K. for tumbling capes? I thought it may have too fine of particles in it, and it may cause the wet hides to become dirty.
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There are LOTS of hardwoods and some of them can cause you all amount of turmoil. Walnut quickly comes to mind, and if you want a snow goose to look like prune, that's the way to do it. Also, most shop vacuums also pick up planer and sander shavings. My advice is to either collect only when they're cutting maple or white oak. Most commercial products are "square cut" sawdust with some of the wood "flours" being a finer mix. What it saves you in money doing it yourself will be made up in the time it takes you to cull out the bad dust from the good.