005: scrap cutoff shelves #3: still filling them up

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 03-10-2010 12:53 PM 2065 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: and now there are two Part 3 of 005: scrap cutoff shelves series no next part

My new scrap cutoffs shelves are handy for odds and ends, too, like the little roll of brown paper that’s always in my way, rolled-up foam sheeting, some jointed and planed 2×2s I use as straight bars during panel glue-ups, and a few sets of rails for my router bridge setup. You know… all the narrower stuff under 2’ long.

I also finally emptied the two boxes of exotic turning blanks (on sale still!) that I got quite a long time ago. It’s very easy to forget about things when they’re in boxes and shoved in between machinery. Now they’re in my face, reminding me daily that I should be improving my turning abilities and getting around to using them one day.

The exotics are 1.5”×1.5”×12”. Each box came with 2 each of 10 woods, the same 10 in each box, so I stacked them in 4-high columns. Each column features 4 blanks of a single wood, and from left to right they are: cocobolo, European olive, East Indian rosewood, tamboti, pink ivory, aripin (chakte viga), Argentine lignum vitae, red heart, ebony, and African blackwood.

Of course, I have a bunch of the Euro olive from a local tree that trimmers took down and gave to me, but few pieces as long and check-free as the ones in this assortment. Aripin is the only wood (as of this writing) that isn’t available out of this assortment through Rockler. I’m not 100% sure if I’ve correctly labeled the African blackwood and ebony. They’re coated in wax entirely, and they’re both dark black with faint traces of brown. The one with more brown seems like blackwood. I know I’ve grouped each set of 4 correctly, but until I turn them and expose the wood, I can only presume I’ve guessed correctly.

Oh, and the idea here has been to cut each 12” blank into 2 × 3” and 3 × 2” lengths, drill and fit them on my mandrel, then turn each into a bottle stopper. That makes 5 pieces per blank × 40 blanks = 200 stoppers. At $130 per box (sale price) × 2 boxes = $260 for all the wood, that divides out to only $1.30 per blank, or more specifically, $1.63/3” length, and $1.08/2” length. Hand turned exotic hardwood bottle stoppers, even of simple, solid wood with no inlays, caps, or mixed/glue-up species sell for a lot more than that, so even with $5 or so more bucks put in for the chrome stopper portion, these seem primed for a decent ROI, provided I can find up to 200 people to buy them all from me after I make them :)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

6 comments so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4803 days

#1 posted 03-10-2010 01:07 PM

staggering ,
whether it’s your math ,
or that it’s 4 am ,
sounds like ,
rocket science to me !

good luck with this .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View lew's profile


13534 posts in 5217 days

#2 posted 03-10-2010 03:39 PM

Hope you sell lots of the stoppers, Gary. California is prime wine country so there should be plenty of customers.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4770 days

#3 posted 03-10-2010 07:01 PM

Nice storage bins Gary. Storage is similar to clamps…you can never get enough. I just started reorganizing my shop storage this past weekend and just cut out some plywood to build a mobile storage bin for my ever-increasing lumber scraps.
Good luck with the bottle stoppers!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4796 days

#4 posted 03-10-2010 07:51 PM

I wish my scraps were as good as yours Gary. You could probably do some segmented bowl work with some of those exotics or segmented wine stoppers. You might get more out of the wood that way.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4502 days

#5 posted 03-10-2010 07:57 PM

Nice set of blocks !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View degoose's profile


7287 posts in 4816 days

#6 posted 03-10-2010 09:28 PM

Glad to see you are getting homogenized.

-- Be safe.

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