Wood Scraps..... to save or toss?... that is the question. #2: Let me clarify......

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Blog entry by Sawdustonmyshoulder posted 06-11-2019 04:05 PM 1273 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: What I do with scraps. Part 2 of Wood Scraps..... to save or toss?... that is the question. series no next part

I guess I need to explain my situation a bit more with regard to these ‘scraps’....

- Mostly poplar and plywood from building custom cabinets for clients. Not a good source for bbq.

- Cutting boards? See aforementioned species and lumber type.

- I have a 950 sq. ft shop in which to build my projects. When you have a 110 liner feet of cabinets…. I have to go outside to turnaround. No room for a deluxe 4×8 ‘on wheels, mind you, scrape wood bin’.

- When you build these cabinets, there is a boat-load of scrapes. Mostly 1” strips 8 feet long, little poplar cutoffs, and 1/4” pieces that are not suitable for drawer bottoms or cabinet backs.

- All my lumber for these projects are paid for by the client. My wife won’t let me buy lumber unless it is destine for a home other than mine. I’m a wood-aholic and proud of it….. no!..... I’m a recovering wood-aholic…. right, honey?

- I have advertised on our wood club’s Facebook page and given truckloads away. Scroll sawyers like the 1/4” stuff and box makers like the poplar for secondary wood. I try to enforce the ‘you need one piece? Then you have to take the whole lot’ rule. You’ve got to Tuesday or Friday to pick up…. that’s when the trash truck comes by.

- I also have a three-car garage between my shop and the house…. 2 bays are taken up with wood that needs a home other than mine. I sure could use this space to put finished cabinets and a temporary spray booth for painting.

- IF YOU ARE INTERESTED….. message me and we’ll try to arrange an exchange for scraps, extra wood and stuff in that garage.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

3 comments so far

View grantd's profile


113 posts in 2638 days

#1 posted 06-11-2019 08:57 PM

I certainly don’t blame you for just tossing things out. sure to the pen turner there is always more value to be had from that wood but people don’t fully appreciate the cost of holding on to scrap lumber that you don’t have a use for. Sure there is nobility in finding another home for these scraps but your work/hobby is woodworking not trying to rehome scrap materials.

I personally try to burn rather throw away but even as a hobbyist without a lot of time I’m still finding that I generate scraps faster than I can burn them.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1343 posts in 1066 days

#2 posted 06-12-2019 12:08 AM

When you don’t have room, something has to be sacrificed. Your first blog on this topic didn’t mention the space issue that the second blog showed. I myself have limited room but put shelves under all the benches for scraps. 6’ scraps under one, 4’ scraps under two different benches, and 2’ scraps under the benches along the wall. scraps less than 14’ are in four 5 gallon buckets. the junk scraps goes to my neighbor for his campfires. Just don’t like throwing out good scraps if I can help it. I do know that one fourth of my scraps are setting there about 2 years.

View EarlS's profile


4612 posts in 3503 days

#3 posted 06-12-2019 11:24 AM

I have a feeling that I’m going to be experiencing this when we move. My new shop is 13×22 (down sized from a 26×26 space) so I’m already thinking about where to put things. I sold nearly all of my big equipment (drill press, router table, planer, jointer, miter saw, band saw). I also got rid of nearly all of the lumber and all of the scraps. The approach I’m taking is to wait until I need to the big equipment for a project before I get a new one. It will all come down to priority since the space is fixed. I also think the “throw it away or give it away” mantra will need to become standard. There is only so much storage space available under machines or overhead.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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