Scrap lumber: how do you store your wood?

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Forum topic by Stevinmarin posted 05-15-2010 02:21 AM 42804 views 3 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3953 days

05-15-2010 02:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood storage

I’m not sure if this has been a thread on here before, but I thought I would pose the question after consistently being unable to find scraps of wood I would like to use and forever hesitant to throw away tiny cut-offs. And it makes for a fun discussion.

So my questions to you are this:

Do you have a “structured” plan for saving smaill pieces?
Do you have a size limit before you will save a piece?
And of course, how do you save and sort all these chunks of wood?

If you can post pictures of your system, that would be great! Otherwise, let me know your personal guidelines. I’ll get this started by showing my system, which started out with good intentions, but has degenerated into a mess.

I have four storage areas. (Bear in mind…this was my original plan years ago)

The first is for long boards and sheet goods:


The second is for anything over 18”, but under 36:


Then, I have a small area under a wodkbench for anything under 18”, but longer than 6”. (I decided anything under 6” wan’t worth keeping.) On the right, I separate any exotics:


Lastly, I always have a bucket for little cut-offs. These are the ones I most fret about when it comes to trash day:


So again, I’d like to revamp my system and would love to hear your ways of dealing with extra wood. Especially the little stuff. How do you part with it before it overtakes your shop?

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

41 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19688 posts in 4554 days

#1 posted 05-15-2010 02:40 AM

You have covered my methods Steve. Stack it, pile it and box it ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rustic's profile


3256 posts in 4474 days

#2 posted 05-15-2010 03:06 AM

yup same here

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4631 days

#3 posted 05-15-2010 03:12 AM

Yup, same here until it’s under 6” or spendy stuff or knoty, then it goes in the wood stove.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View ajosephg's profile


1889 posts in 4439 days

#4 posted 05-15-2010 03:23 AM

Looks like some of your stock is laying on a concrete floor. If so the bottom of the pile will take on moisture. I always sticker any wood that is laying flat on concrete.

-- Joe

View Handi75's profile


377 posts in 4352 days

#5 posted 05-15-2010 03:38 AM


Since I primarly do scrollsaw work. Small is what I do. If it’s thick enought you can use the bandsaw and rip them in half then glue them up and make them a little wider then it got some stock for say. Ear rings. Key chains or other small cut outs of your liking.


-- Jimmy "Handi" Warner,,, Twitter: @Handisworkshop, @HandisCreations

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 3953 days

#6 posted 05-15-2010 03:40 AM

Good point. I always get lazy after the January floods and end up plopping wood anywhere. Ug…

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View flyfisherbob2000's profile


81 posts in 3865 days

#7 posted 05-15-2010 03:53 AM

Steve… my system is remarkably like yours (great minds, eh…..)
I have a system mounted to the wall for long pieces

a rolling cart that is divided for pieces in 3 lengths (short ones 6” to 18”. medium lengths 18” to 3’, longer 3’ to 6 or 7’long).

Then I have the bucket/box system for cut-offs.

After that… its to the fire ring for a nice relaxing fire to sit around & enjoy a cold adult beverage

I even have a rolling dolly with a dimiishing load of maple shorts that I got for a steal a while back, and have been using the maple like pine or fir for about anything

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7007 posts in 4072 days

#8 posted 05-15-2010 04:34 AM

Greetings Steve:..... Here’s my answer to your question…. works for me, and has for many years…..
Sorry about the pixs… don’t know what happened, but you get the idea…..

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 5096 days

#9 posted 05-15-2010 04:35 AM

Here is mine… empty and full.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4207 posts in 3987 days

#10 posted 05-15-2010 04:55 AM

Mine’s a whole lot worse than that. I’m trying to get organized, but I’m sharing the workspace with a massive Elliptical exercise machine (combination life extension and medieval torture machine, depending on the day of the week), and the laundry room, etc. I’ll post the pix I took when I can. BUT, Steve, seriously, if you have good wood below 6 inches long, I’m interested, as may be some others. A lot of what I make is that small. I’ve been threatening to post some projects, and I guess I’ll have to do so to convince you not to burn what might be good for another. Seriously, a US Mail shipper or FEDEX box might provide you some chump change above the firewood value.

Oh, yeah- if you lay wood on the garage floor long enough termites WILL eat it. I’ve even seen termite trails eaten through supposedly acidic PAPER that was left on a concrete garage floor in “dry” southern California.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View degoose's profile


7279 posts in 4232 days

#11 posted 05-15-2010 11:52 AM

I blogged about my clean up recently and most of my scrap..
ended up here..
do not fret ….I will have more scrap soon.
I spent nearly one hour looking for a piece of timber to match a job when I was short..It costs me money to do this.. Way cheaper to cut new piece than waste time looking for something that I did not find in the end anyway…
Check out this blog for how I stack my off cuts…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 4828 days

#12 posted 05-15-2010 12:41 PM

Hi! My name is Dustin and I am a Wood Hoarder!

I must say, so far everyone responding to this thread is way more organized then me! That being said, I will answer the original questions:

Do you have a “structured” plan for saving smaill pieces? -Thought I had a plan in the beginning…. maybe

Do you have a size limit before you will save a piece? – No size limit. I guess it just comes down to giving in and finally letting go!

And of course, how do you save and sort all these chunks of wood?

- I have 7 industrial shelves for stock 1’ thru 3’ sorted mainly by species.

- I have 2 lumber racks just below the ceiling that holds figured boards 3’ – 8’ long.

- I have 2 corners of the garage that hold any “average” boards 4’ – 10’ long and sheet stock.

- The garage rafters hold hundreds of 6’ – 8’ long exotic Veneer sheets

- I have 2 shelves in the basement that hold veneer cutoffs or my best veneer sheets

- And I have one 10×10 shed that holds shorts up to 2’ long, sorted by species, and stored in large industrial shipping plastic bins.

- I think that is everything…..

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3993 days

#13 posted 05-15-2010 12:45 PM

Charlie yours is great you are realy organised

View Chase's profile


448 posts in 3904 days

#14 posted 05-15-2010 01:16 PM

The scrap-mo-tron 9000 handles all my scrap for me.

a few bigger pieces of ply get leaned up against a wall, but for now, this guy has really helped me out. Having everything on wheels makes the space issue work out better too.

-- Every neighborhood has an eccentric neighbor. I wondered for years "who was ours?" Then I realized it was me.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3937 days

#15 posted 05-15-2010 02:26 PM

Unfortunately, most of mine ends up piled in the worst place it can be. It ends up in places such as:
On top of my table saw (largest flat surface other than the floor)
Workbench (second largest flat surface)

I have a wall mounted rack that I built for storing this stuff. Unfortunately it is so hopefully overfull, that it isn’t usable any longer.

As for what determines a scrap that I keep or one that I throw away, it depends on the wood. A piece of rosewood or mahogany or any other nice piece of wood, I would keep almost anything 6” or longer. For a piece of pine or poplar, it will go in the trash bin if it is under 12”-18”. I used to save virtually everything, but finally decided it just wasn’t worth it, but I still can’t bring myself to throw away small pieces of a really nice piece of wood. The unfortunate part is that I don’t have a means of organizing these little pieces so that I can find them when I need them.

To make it even worse, I have a tendency to pick up “throw away” wood. Just yesterday, I saw some shelving someone was throwing away. I scored 6 1×10 pieces of very nice straight douglas fir about 3 ft long out of it. I intend to use it for the outside of a case for a wall mounted tool cabinet. It will look nice and the wood was at the best price possible. However, I tend to accumulate a lot of pieces of wood that way.

The only thing that is organizes is the garbage can that I use for the throw away stuff. I actually don’t throw it away. I save it and my 2 sons use it to have an occasional bonfire. I think I have created a couple of pyromaniacs.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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