The Most Exotic Bonfire Ever

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Blake posted 05-18-2010 09:07 PM 5556 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a semi-anual tradition (on an as-needed basis) I clean out my shop and load my truck with the un-lucky wood scraps that don’t make the “cut”, and either take them camping or to the beach for a very exotic, very expensive bonfire.

So last week my wife and I camped for two nights at Pfieffer Big Sur along the coast of California. This is about 6 months worth of scraps awaiting there fate:


A partial list of whats in that pile:

Now I know what you are thinking: OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!!! But I assure you that I individually analyzed each one of these scraps for project potential. Most of them were either so small I couldn’t even make a guitar pick out of them or checked/split beyond recognition, etc.

The truth is I just can’t keep everything or I won’t have space to work. I also rediscover the GOOD scraps whenever I clean out my shop like this. So its a win/win. And besides, Quilted Maple and Bee’s Wing mahogany makes a REALLY nice, warm campfire.

I have a rule that once I make the decision to get rid of a piece of wood, it can’t come back to my shop. Here is me breaking the rule in the background:


Practice dovetails about to meed destiny:



Hiking Big Sur

Big Sur is absolutely gorgeous, and its just a short drive down the coast from our home in Santa Cruz. I am basically just posting the following photos to show Todd Clippinger that he’s not the only one with a beautiful playground in his back yard.

This is me soaking the new wildland fire boots in order to break them in for fire season:


Rockin’ the Japan Woodworker t-shirt:


The coastline at Andrew Molera State Park after a short hike:


The views at Julia Pfieffer State Park:



It may not be Montana but its ok :)


-- Happy woodworking!

17 comments so far

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 2783 days

#1 posted 05-18-2010 09:20 PM

You cause me to have jealousy issues. I don’t like you for the next 5 minutes.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 2783 days

#2 posted 05-18-2010 09:25 PM

We have fires in my in-laws fire pit with my scraps.

The best part is setting these on fire
Click for details

then we make screaming noises. ” OH OH MY ANTLERS I’M ON FIRE!! THE PAIN!! HELP ME!!”

Ok your 5 minutes starts NOW!

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 2788 days

#3 posted 05-18-2010 09:25 PM

Hey, your scraps look better than my scraps! I wind up taking mine to the inlaws for fireplace kindling.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2205 days

#4 posted 05-18-2010 09:42 PM

it make me cry to see such wood be burned
even thow it´s for the good corse of being
together with the loved one

niiice wife and thank´s for sharing the landscape with us
it´s looks great


View degoose's profile


7143 posts in 2444 days

#5 posted 05-18-2010 10:01 PM

You do what you have to do… I just did and I feel great… more room for more offcuts…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ For lovers of all things timber...

View RBWoodworker's profile


428 posts in 2442 days

#6 posted 05-18-2010 10:17 PM

I know how you feel..I cringe inside everytime I have to throw out what I started to do is put a plug cutter in my drillpress and make as many plugs I can get out of the scraps..then I have a wide selection of different colored plugs I can use to accent my projects

-- Randall Child

View bfaubion's profile


21 posts in 2064 days

#7 posted 05-18-2010 10:49 PM

Way to give Todd Clippinger some competition on the “most beautiful place to have a shop” front. Although, in his photos you can see his shop and the cliffs over the Yellowstone river at the same time. Thanks for opening the door with the “just a short drive” qualifier. Now you can count on me working some pictures of the Cascade Mountains into future posts.


View Gary's profile


8386 posts in 2523 days

#8 posted 05-18-2010 11:46 PM

Blake, I don’t know if RJ is looking in but he could show some great pictures from where he is north of you…(Weed) Last time I was in Santa Cruz was 1967….guess it’s changes some

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Karson's profile


34994 posts in 3490 days

#9 posted 05-19-2010 12:24 AM

Good use of fireplace scraps.

I collect fireplace scraps. I just made 260 fender pieces 2” X 10” of Honduras mahogany that I picked up from a fire pit box at my wood supplier. And I got a lot leftover. I’m guessing that it’s about 100 BD Ft of mahogany that I scarfed.

Not big enough for a door or window, but big enough for kids toys.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View DocK16's profile


1167 posts in 3177 days

#10 posted 05-19-2010 12:37 AM

Didn’t anyone ever teach you the burning wood goes under the pot; the applebutter goes in the pot.

-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

View Hacksaw007's profile


602 posts in 2279 days

#11 posted 05-19-2010 12:45 AM

Don’t let Scrappy see this…..

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View a1Jim's profile


113832 posts in 2667 days

#12 posted 05-19-2010 02:46 AM

You and larry can start a fire starter company

-- Custom furniture

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13347 posts in 2763 days

#13 posted 05-19-2010 03:19 AM

Great use of scraps.

View poroskywood's profile


618 posts in 2454 days

#14 posted 05-19-2010 03:20 AM

Blake, We have so much Curly Maple fall offs we use it for camp fire and kindling all the time. Nice place to live.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2360 days

#15 posted 05-19-2010 03:21 AM

I get instant gratification on my scraps as I burn them in my shop for heat. It also erases a bonehead mistake quickly so no one sees them….I can say…with a straight face….that every project in my shop is perfect….lol.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

showing 1 through 15 of 17 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics