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How small does a piece of wood need to be before it is too small to keep?

2089 Views 23 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  BeachedBones
I suspect that this is a problem that many of us suffer from…."How small does a piece of wood need to be before it is too small to keep?" My shop is awash in small cut off that I have saved for years….never know when you might need a small piece for a glue block or something. I am currently in the middle of a major clean up and was wondering, what criteria do you use to decide that a piece of wood is just too small. Jim Tolpin recommends a piece must be larger than 2" x 2 feet and sheet goods should be at least 2 square feel. What does everybody else use as a guideline.
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Hey Vince
I guess it depends on what you make. some guys make pens out of of dozens of pieces of wood half the size of a pencil erasers.
I don't turn so the smallest thing that I build would be a jewelry box. Mostly, I build furniture.
The smallest lumber I've seen was my dad's stock of balsa-1/8" x 1/8"
I usually have a couple of 5 gal buckets laying around with a bunch of falloff but then they get full, and I throw something in the burn can. THAT"S WHEN I NEED IT. Always works that way.

I am one of those people that try to keep everything, the hard part is keeping them organized so you can find them when you need them! The larger pcs I put on selves the small pcs I put in a 3×3 box.
It depends on what you make. If you only make furniture get rid of or give away your smaller pieces.
I make allmost EVERYTHING from SCRAP! What most of you throw away it what I go buy to start a project! So….it is ALL kept. It is almost dust before I get rid of it.
I saw a listiing for a plane on ebay that said it was from the estate of some pack rats. They even kept the wood shavings ;-)) I don't go that far, but I keep a lot of small blocks, I'm always looking for one for something and I never seem to have many. Not sure what I do with them ???
If it floats it the air….it's too small, LOL.
What I am thinking is that you can always cut a sliver or small piece off any larger piece. So if it is less than 2" get rid of it.
Everything burns, so I keep most of it until I need to make a fire then a lot of it gets used :)
Hey TopmaxSurvivor, What were those shavings? I made a couple of candle holders out of arromatic cedar and when I drilled the holes for the tea lights my wife was gathering up the shavings from the padle bit for potpuree!

Got them in containers setting around the house now. Can't even get rid of dust i guess. haha
Scrappy, It didn't say, but I thought about the Woodright making a plane to cut long curls to light pipes:))
Throw away? Why would you want to throw ANY of it away? I have buckets of cut offs and scraps. Guess I need to start composting them along with the sawdust. But then again, you could fill your matress with the curly soft shavings . . .
If you can't make a tooth pick, it should go! :))
How small is the smallest Knob you would want to make?
this subject is posted here every once in a while… I can't remember who said it in the last thread with this topic - but it was good:

if it doesn't fit in the 2 1/2" shopvac hose - it stays!
I have the same problem. I tend to save most everything that I can imagine ever being useful for something. I do frequently draw from these small cutoffs, but they still seem to accumulate faster than I use them.

As much as I hate to do it, when the supply gets out of hand I just throw a bunch away. As a matter a fact, I left a couple cardboard boxes full at the curb this morning.
I have developed a new system this year. I keep any hardwood I am inclinded I want. Then right before my camping trip I go through all of it and throw what I no longer want/need/had too long into a bin and it is then used to start my campfires and roast marshmallows….. :)
I soak all scrap pieces in water and use them in my barbecue pit. Ever had cocobolo or walnut smoked ribeye? Yummy!
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