Sizing Up Scraps

Sizing Up Scraps

Last week, Rob was pondering his scrap lumber and wondered how and if you cull the scrap pile. Several readers offer thoughts. – Editor< "I don't throw anything out when it comes to scraps. You never know when you might want to do an inlay or trim something out. My vote is, save it!" – Gordon McLelland

“My method of keeping lumber scraps centers around a 5-gallon bucket. If the piece is 1/8″ or more thick, is 3/4″ wide or wider and is as long as the top of the bucket or longer, I keep it in the bucket. The thin stuff is great for plywood edging, and the thicker material is always available for ‘glue up’ to make a project board a bit wider. Small parts for wood toys can always be made from these scraps. Like Rob, I too have exceptions. For example, I have some small pieces of Russian olive I cut back in 1988 that are just waiting for a music box or jewelry box project to come along.” – Jim Miller

“Keep it ALL!! It’s all good stuff!” – John Stroh

“Perhaps you could donate them to a woodworking class so that you would not feel like they were being wasted by being burned or thrown away. It’s easier to part with valuable or sentimental items if you feel like they are getting a new life rather than just being discarded.” – Aaron Aneloski

“It’s tough to part with anything that may be usable. I find myself going through and sorting to find when I’m done all I did is move it. I enjoy your Weekly mailing.” – Greg Miller

“I save the scraps and make blocks for friend’s children and grandchildren. Glue them together and fine-sand. Coat with mineral oil.” – Charles Silverstein

“As someone who does little art fairs and a little online selling, the projects just keep getting smaller! Scraps are perfect for pasta measurers, cigar holders, coaster holders, etc. Scrap too small for even that? Turn it into end grain glue-ups for a little dramatic flair in the smaller pieces. It may not end up being a huge profit center, but it keeps me woodworking and feeling good about using all the material I’ve been blessed to work with!” – Bryan Fatka

“I try to follow an organizational method my wife taught me. This came from one of the anticlutter gurus on TV. She said make four piles. In the case of my shop, those are: Throw away, Keep, Donate/give away, and Sell. After having only the Keep pile, then apply the same sorting method to it. Works wonders on my cutoffs. I have found that doing the whole shop at once is impossible and leads to deciding not to do it at all. I select a single cabinet or shelf to do. This often goes so quickly that I am inspired to do one more. I usually start when I am at a standstill waiting for glue or a finish to dry.” – Jay Simmons

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