Minimizing, De-Cluttering, and Simplifying The Workshop #6: How Much Wood Can A Wood-Chucker Chuck.....

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Blog entry by handsawgeek posted 02-20-2018 03:21 PM 990 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: The ‘Fixer-Upper’ Box Part 6 of Minimizing, De-Cluttering, and Simplifying The Workshop series Part 7: Out With The Old - In With The New... »

About half.

This week in the handsawgeek shop, it was time for thinning out the ol’ wood pile.
And what a mess ‘twas.
Donning my old leather work gloves, and cranking up some Joe Satriani on the stereo, I pulled out every single piece of stock I own, examined it, and placed it in either a ‘save’ or ‘pitch’ pile.
It’s amazing how many old, twisted, nasty boards have found their way into the shop over the years. Most of it was dumpster-dove dimensional boards, and various pieces of pallet wood. These all got carried outside to be cut up and disposed of later. Sadly, I don’t have a woodburning fireplace, and neither do any of my neighbors.
The ‘save’ pile included a number of large planks that have now been earmarked for some good shop furniture projects on the drawing board. I also kept all of the left-over pieces of plywood that are useful for turning into drawer bottoms, etc.

A whole lot of the smaller off-cuts didn’t get tossed out, because, with a new grand-kiddo on the way, I have plans for building a number of toy projects. These small chunks of stock are ideal for that.

Now that the hoard is culled out, all of the remaining planks and off-cuts can be neatly stored in their designated areas.

But, neat and tidy organization is only half the battle.

How do I keep from re-creating the mess that just got cleaned up, and keeping things under control in the future?

Four things, really:

1. USE UP WHAT I HAVE. I mean, really use it. Don’t let this pile of wood just sit languishing in the corner forever and ever, Amen. Turn this pile of wood into something useful for the house, shop, or gifting to Mrs. handsawgeek, the kids, and the grand-kids. I have the tools. I have the technology. I can make the time.

2. STOP DUMPSTER DIVING. This is the biggie for me. This propensity for stopping to pick up about any scrap of wood I see curbside and saving it has got to stop! All it does is fill up the shop space with wood that will probably never get used.

3. BUY ONLY PROJECT-SPECIFIC WOOD. It’s that simple. Trips to the lumber suppliers or the BORG should be to obtain only the stock necessary for the project at hand. Again, one of my biggest banes is the 70% off cart at the BORG. Seems there’s always a board or piece of plywood that ‘I’ve just got to have’, even though there is no immediate use for it. It gets hauled home, integrated into the pile along with all the found and scrounged wood that already clutters the shop, and never again sees the light of day.

4. THROW USELESS CUTOFFS IN THE RUBBISH BIN. This is where good old handsawgeek self-control must come into play. If it ain’t worth saving, don’t. If it is worth saving, swap it with a less useful piece in the stock box that can be thrown out in its place.

Now that the workbench, tool collection, and wood mess is taken care of, it’s time to turn attention to the next phase of this Great De-cluttering Adventure….the hardware collection.

-- Ed

3 comments so far

View CO_Goose's profile


206 posts in 2562 days

#1 posted 02-22-2018 04:53 AM

Great Ideas Ed. But how is a die-hard dumpster diver going to give up diving? Is there a 12 step process for curing the addiction… Hi, I’m Mike, and I’m a Dumpster Diver.

-- Just making sawdust

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2166 days

#2 posted 02-22-2018 02:16 PM

Group in unison: “Hi, Mike”

It’s gonna be difficult, but I’ll just have to tough it out!

Of course, a few pieces of good quality hardwood would still turn my head, but those don’t show up very often.

-- Ed

View CoolDavion's profile


474 posts in 4595 days

#3 posted 03-10-2018 09:51 PM

I did some cleaning last year and filled up 4 boxes with scraps I gave to a couple friends that go camping.
I have another box that I am slowly filling up to give away again.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

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