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Forum topic by pariswoodworking posted 08-07-2011 06:45 PM 6448 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 2936 days

08-07-2011 06:45 PM

Hi everybody, I’m new here and have been woodworking for about 5 years now. During this time, I have saved a lot of scrap wood. Mostly 1/4” and 1/2” thick red oak and maple and also some 3/4” thick eastern red cedar. I hate to throw it out and was wondering if there are any really good projects I could use this for?


Aaron Mustin

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

10 replies so far

View S2artDesigns's profile


112 posts in 2939 days

#1 posted 08-09-2011 01:41 AM

I personally think there is no limit to what you can make. I started out making custom knife handles and then one day It just hit me to use the cutoffs to make necklace pendants. And now I do that almost exclusively. Now I like to take other workers small burled and interesting scraps to make my pendants. You can really make a good bit on those. People like jewelry and it doesnt take much to make a small square pendant or other shapes.

So that is my 2 cents. Small pieces are good for jewelry. And then you could make a tree for hanging your new necklaces on with that scrap too. haha. The possibilities are endless

-- Visit my Etsy site to see my burl wood jewelry at

View pariswoodworking's profile


389 posts in 2936 days

#2 posted 08-09-2011 09:36 AM

Thanks for the advice. I’ll definetly try making some. I make a lot of pens so I’ll have plenty of burled or highly figured wood scraps to use.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3437 days

#3 posted 08-09-2011 03:41 PM

There are other fun, small things to make depending on how much time and effort you want to put into them. Christmas ornaments could fun. I’ve also seen some tiny “cutting board” style glue-ups turned into coasters… I love those!

The necklace pendants are a sturdy stand-by option.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View kellywang's profile


2 posts in 2933 days

#4 posted 08-10-2011 07:38 AM

Thanks for the suggestion.

-- happy battery,

View pariswoodworking's profile


389 posts in 2936 days

#5 posted 08-10-2011 10:34 AM

Thanks, those are good ideas too. I’ll have to try those too. I just finished my last project (a case for my pocket watches that was made out of some of the larger red oak scraps I had lying around) so I’ll give them a try pretty soon.

Thanks again

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2953 days

#6 posted 08-10-2011 02:10 PM

Aaron, you only mention the thickness of the wood you have, not any typical legths or widths, so this might not work. However, 1/4” and 1/2” wood is great for small boxes. My most recent project, a box, was entirely 1/2 ” wood. I have also previously made a backgammon box from 1/4” wood so it would be fine for anything smaller than that.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3526 days

#7 posted 08-10-2011 02:35 PM

I use exotic wood quite a bit and, as everyone knows, some of them are very beautiful and very expensive. I hate to throw even a small piece of expense exotic wood away.

I discovered that even small pieces of exotic wood can be used to make attractive refrigerator magnets. Everyone likes them and they make great gifts.

Advice -I usually make them square about 1” by 1” and 5/16” deep. I round over the edges with a round over bit in the router table and use a special small piece holder to keep my fingers away from danger.

It’s easy to drill a hole in the back and embed a small rare earth magnet.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View pariswoodworking's profile


389 posts in 2936 days

#8 posted 08-10-2011 04:35 PM

Thanks for the ideas everybody.

Most of the scraps that I have left are around 3”-6” long and about 2”-4” wide. I pretty much used all of my large scraps on my pocket watch case.

I just finished glueing up some scraps for a few coasters and they should be dry enought to work with in a few hours. Would polyurethane be a good finish for these?

I’ll have to try making some magnets too. I have a bag with hundreds of pen blank cut offs in just about every kind of wood you can imagine that I could use.

Thanks again for the advice everyone.

-- Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein

View mexwood's profile


4 posts in 2049 days

#9 posted 01-10-2014 06:14 PM

I learned of LumberJocks website just now, so hope Mr. Mustin and those who replied have a chance to review this. My remarks here are addressed to last-resort, fall-back uses in case you don’t have time to specialize enough for any of the more complex ideas expressed above.

1. Scrap Wood Project #1 if you have long enough boards is utility room shelving on which to store (among other stuff) appropriate-sized boxes of organized pieces of wood, such as Paris/Aaron had. A good size unit has standard 11-1/2” boards (board length = shelf depth), to accommodate boxes up to 15” long safely; a yard or more wide, 2 spaces with three boards, or 3 deeper spaces freestanding (three boards) as a floor unit.

2. Out of small wood pieces, such as Aaron’s, down to half-inch cubes, consider making (sanded, painted, or varnished as needed) toyblocks. John Ruskin praised his toy blocks set as “constant companions” from which he learned everything about balance, proportion needed for his career in art and architecture. Blocks for the infant and toddler are one of the most neglected education device markers—but if you are looking for money, consider that I saw a set of 500 blocks for $700 in a Beckley-Cardy catalogue. Don’t worry about size or shape—“Irregular Blocks Teach Adaptive Engineering.” Information about blocks and numerous other special toys, all generic and available to make, donate or sell, are at the article, “Essential PreschoolPart I: Eco-EducationToys”

I would briefly mention wood-sanding techniques, involving putting a 7-inch, 16- or 24-grit flapsanding disc to be mounted on the spindle of a bench motor, stick out over the edge of a table so you can sand a block held in two hands against the (downward) left side of the disc, with a systematic sequences of oscillations and turns until all splinters, corners and edges are rounded away.

Hardwoods can be sanded further at finer grits and slower wheel speeds until the natural wood grain is clearly readable through a glasslike surface(highest of all educations on planet earth).

Beautiful pines and softwoods receive basic sanding, then two coats of varnish.

Crappy softwood can be painted once, hand-sanded, then varnished.

Some pieces can be painted with a light-colored primer, hand-sanded, given to children to add colors or pictures with markers or pens, then varnished for final seal.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2726 posts in 3373 days

#10 posted 01-10-2014 08:27 PM

I use small pieces of wood in my Intarsia projects.

-- No PHD just a DD214

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