Author Topic: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces  (Read 7050 times)

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Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2017, 06:08:23 PM »
The Humanure Handbook indicated that "dried" grass clippings work.  Apparently wet grass in a sawdust toilet will stink more that raw contained sewage!  We found the coir and peat moss to be very dusty and the head was always covered with dust.  Probably a separation style toilet will not have that issue.

The reason my son and I selected a commercial medium; pellets, peat moss or coir, is because he is unable to generate/collect suitable medium.  He also has perhaps the smallest head compartment in a 30 foot boat.  I usually generate sufficient planer shavings to supply our use, I do not usually use the pine pellets.

Certainly, the separation (composting) toilets will use considerably less medium than a collection (sawdust) toilet.  If the boat has sufficient space to install one, then there will be a lot less medium to store.  The sawdust collection toilet design was done with boats with tiny head compartments in mind.   I currently use a standard marine toilet with a holding tank, but I have that option because the Pearson 365  has a lot of room to place those components.  We have a sawdust toilet available for longer cruises where we get out of range of a pumpout station as well as a backup to our standard toilet.

This design is simply another viable toilet that is available.  It is another option that works and is very adaptable to head spaces.

Then, there is the issue of what to do with the separated urine.......
Phantom Jim

ralay

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2017, 06:21:03 PM »
I figure there are pretty low tech ways to separate urine without a commercial head, especially for menfolk.  If it gets to the point where .60 cents for pine vs $2.55 for coir is a concern, why not get oneself some pee jugs and have the poop medium go a lot farther?  The 2 gallon pee jug on our Airhead doesn't do anything a couple of bottles out of the recycling bin wouldn't do.  Granted, ladies might need to add a p-style/she-wee/etc.


Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2017, 07:07:58 PM »
Different ways to row your boat make the world a more interesting place.  We have decided not to dump the urine overboard.  Our marina prohibits dumping "porta potty" materials into the toilets...I know, urine is not nearly as bad as the contents of a porta potty but I do not want to have that discussion with the management.  I keep dumping the sawdust toilet bags into the dumpster low key as well...why call attention to it.  I do not see the sawdust toilet ever becoming a widely used toilet system, it just seems so perfect for those small boats.
Phantom Jim

ralay

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2017, 07:34:52 PM »
For sure.  If it works for you, it's all good.  I'm writing for other folks who might be weighing the pros and cons of different systems more than I'm trying to talk anyone in particular out of the system they already know works for them.

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2017, 08:08:40 PM »
Good approach, it is not my job to tell some one what to do, just give information as well.  Sometimes in the marine sanitation world you have to chose from the best device from some pretty unpleasant choices..... The more information one has, the better the result should be.
Phantom Jim

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2017, 12:47:05 PM »
A couple more pictures:
Baba 2 is how John actually has and uses the toilet, bags and a Luggable Loo lid
Baba 3 is how the base is bolted to the shelf using the same bolts that held the old marine head
Phantom Jim

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2018, 09:07:01 AM »
Update on sawdust toilet medium:  I recently purchased a microcut paper shredder which generates the microcut shreds shown in the photo.  These paper shreds work similar to pine pellets and are satisfactory for use in our sawdust toilets.  The onboard stowage is bulkier than pine pellets but a 5 gallon contractors bucket of hand compressed shreds appears to have enough for three or four cycles.  These shreds are much neater to use than crosscut shreds which got everywhere.  There is no dust either.

The use paper which is ground up for privacy/security measures is very planet friendly and does not cost anything, assuming you have a need to shred your records. I would not recommend buying a microcut shredder solely to make sawdust toilet medium.
Phantom Jim

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2018, 07:23:50 PM »
A good read from a good boat building supplier

http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/05/articles/toilet/index.htm
Phantom Jim

Offline misfits

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2018, 03:34:43 PM »
Good article.
Thanks!
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I'm having a very good day!

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2018, 09:32:21 PM »
Another testimonial about the sawdust toilet.  This fellow does sell plans for the toilet design on this site.  Please forgive me if the sailfar.net site prohibits commercial advertising and I will not post any other sites that advertise for profit.

http://www.roydesignedthat.com/composting-toilet.html
Phantom Jim

Offline Bubba the Pirate

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2018, 10:10:00 AM »


C-Head composting toilet, made by a small family business here in Florida. I spend less than $10 a month on coconut coir. Great option. It is only temporarily mounted in Emma, hence the kit-bashed shelf it is sitting on.
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Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2018, 12:04:07 PM »
Very attractive design and reportedly works very well.  IMO better than wet systems by far.
Phantom Jim

Offline misfits

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2018, 04:44:09 PM »


C-Head composting toilet, made by a small family business here in Florida. I spend less than $10 a month on coconut coir. Great option. It is only temporarily mounted in Emma, hence the kit-bashed shelf it is sitting on.

Got one in my boat
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Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2018, 03:28:15 PM »
Update on the simple sawdust toilet:  We have been using the basic sawdust toilet on Phantom for over a year now and can report that it has not presented any problems for us.  I currently use wood shop sweepings for the medium.  Our use is on weekends which is approximately 80 nights or 160 days a year.  We have had no odor and no flies.  The cycle may take four different stays over a month long period and the bucket sits in the non air conditioned boat when we are away.  When we return, the head area has no odor at all.  The bagged contents are discretely disposed in our home trash by carrying it home in the bucket with a lid snapped on it.

If we were cruising, we would certainly stockpile pine pellets from tractor supply places.  a 40 pound bag would last us at least a month at a cost of about $6-7.  So far I create enough planer shavings and sawdust and not have had to resort to pine pellets an a regular basis.  This certainly beats moving the boat to a pumpout every month or paying the pump out boat to come by.
Phantom Jim

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2018, 08:08:23 AM »
Would someone try pine pellets in an Airhead, Nature's Head or C-Head and report back.  The pine pellets are not using non-replaceable peat moss and and are easier to re-hydrate and less dusty than coconut coir.  I am curious whether it will work in these long cycle toilets. 

I would suspect that one could dump the dry pellets (1 cup of pellets makes about one gallon of medium) into the base of the toilets and add a cup or so of water and give a stir.  That seems pretty easy to do.  Pine pellets are the cleanest medium I have worked with with almost no dust at all.

The C-Head site mentions using wood sawdust and planer shavings and an actual user report would certainly be informative.   (No, I do not have stock in a pine pellet company ;))
Phantom Jim

Offline CapnK

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #55 on: May 23, 2018, 11:19:57 AM »
PJim - Have you tried coconut coir? Very renewable, affordable, no dust. It comes very dry, you need to add a small bit of water to it.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=coir
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Living aboard A-30 #429, currently named "Sundance".

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #56 on: May 23, 2018, 12:06:07 PM »
Actually I have used coconut coir.  I found it very effective but, unlike you, found it very dusty, perhaps the dustiest medium I experimented with.  Since I am experimenting and using a sawdust toilet, I may use my mediums drier than with the C-Head, Nature's Head and Airhead.  I like the coir, but find the pine pellets much easier to work with for my situation. 

Any input is appreciated and will give information for readers to make their decisions.  Please explain your toilet, experience and how you use your toilet.  If you have a better way, then I am interested in it.

I have found that a kitty litter bucket shown in the attached photo will hold about two cycles of medium for my sawdust toilet.  The medium is very dry and when I use this container to directly place medium over the toilet contents, I mist some water on the top to keep the dust down.
Phantom Jim

Offline CapnK

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #57 on: May 23, 2018, 12:47:53 PM »
For clarity - The coir, 'as is' out of the package, yes, it is dusty at that point. :) Somewhere I'd read to add just a small amount of water to it, just enough to make it 'undusty' basically, and that was the proper moisture range for it to work best in a composter. That was how I used it.

My home-made composter was similar to yours, though I did use a stir stick and a sort of 'folding' of the "materials" ;D to cover them up and get more uses per fill than it seems simple 'layering' would make for. My order was like this:

1 - Do Your Duty. ;)
2 - Depending on the level of "easily accessible" coir in the bucket, then:
  (a) flip some coir up on top to cover, or
  (b) add some coir onto top of mixture, just enough to cover (like you do every time, if I understand properly).
3 - Prior to next Duty, "fold" in the now somewhat dried upper layer of material into the lower and/or outer material, prepping it for a new addition.

By "folding", I am referring to a technique similar to what you do with ingredients when cooking some foods. Like in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L44FtTXTxWk

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Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2018, 02:13:55 PM »
CapnK, thanks for the description of you toilet.  There is no single toilet or material that will solve all onboard waste situations.  You have a simple workable system and coir works well for you, and will for me as well if I need to go with that medium.  I think that you may separate
(or have separated) the liquid from the solid and that really is ideal.  However, since my use is cruising and it is unlawful and inappropriate to dump any human waste overboard, I do not separate, we simply do all our business into the base and empty more frequently.  Elimination of the urine will really add to the number of uses before emptying is necessary.

I like the folding technique you use and will evaluate whether we will do that.  If folding adds length to the cycle, it will be advantageous.  It is not necessary for odor control.  I would prefer not to have the folding stick present in the head, but it may be something too useful to ignore.

We do "gently" kick the side of the bucket occasionally to settle the materials and rotating the bucket also helps level the materials.

Yes, we do cover the feces after every use for odor control.
Phantom Jim

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Sawdust toilet for small head spaces
« Reply #59 on: June 28, 2018, 12:07:57 PM »
A humorous update on the sawdust toilet medium:  I started letting our coffee grounds dry out and then added them to the sawdust.  The very dark color of the grounds camouflage the solids better than the lighter color sawdust ;).  There does not seem to be much of a coffee odor.  At our usage, it will take a month of coffee grounds to make enough medium for a cycle.....talk about anal retentive!
Phantom Jim