Wednesday, May 12, 2010
building a birdhouse
Today, I helped the preschool kids at Clear Spring School build a birdhouse as you can see in the photo at left. Then, at home, in addition to sanding small boxes in my never ending friendly competition with the Chinese, I've also been conducting an experiment called, "do sawdust and oil mix?"
I am concerned as many are about the impact of the BP disaster, and based on my observations about sawdust being an excellent hand cleaner for oily hands, I began to wonder if sawdust might be utilized to remove oil from the surface of water. Not having a laboratory, my experiment is likely flawed. You can see the results in the series of photos below. Some of you may have seen my tip in Fine Woodworking about using sawdust to scrub oily hands. I saw an internet post on hair-brained clean up ideas and illustrated with a photo showing oily hands. Seeing that photo, I remarked to myself. If my hands were that oily, I would need sawdust to clean them up. That led to today's experiment. Starting out with a clean bucket of water, I added oil, then sawdust, then observed. After the floating layer of sawdust was removed, very little oily film remained. I expected the bucket to require detergent to clean. No oily film was left when the bucket was emptied. Amazing. More can be seen in later posts, Part 2, and Part 3