Would factory rejected lumber count as recycled ?

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Blog entry by Dan'um Style posted 07-14-2008 06:44 AM 1454 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch


A few years ago … maybe 6 or 7, I bought a box full of curly maple rejected guitar blank backs from Gibson in Nashville. Pieces are miss matched bookmatches, less then 3/8 thick, imperfect offcuts, 6 to 9 inches wide and about 18 inches long. Nice looking wood. Does this count as recyled ? I made sometihing I’d like to enter in the contest and wanted to ask first.



-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

24 comments so far

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3932 days

#1 posted 07-14-2008 12:18 PM

It seems to me that if they discarded it, it is, by definition, “one man’s junk”. Let’s see what you’ve got.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3815 days

#2 posted 07-14-2008 12:21 PM

I agree with Russel. If it has been rejected then it was basically trash. Sounds like a trash to treasure project to me.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#3 posted 07-14-2008 03:13 PM

First let me say that I have no plans to submit an entry in this category, so the following is just my unbiased opinion.

I hate to play devil’s advocate, but….Dan said he bought these “rejects”. I think the fact that this lumber was good enough to sell, even if it was not quite up to standards for Gibson guitars, disqualifies it from being “trash” or “recycled”. Just my $.02.

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

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 3999 days

#4 posted 07-14-2008 03:16 PM

What you gotta do is take the wood and fashion it together in the form of a footstool or box for a day. Then it qualifies?

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3879 days

#5 posted 07-14-2008 03:39 PM

Sounds like it qualifies to me.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3706 days

#6 posted 07-14-2008 03:43 PM

Dan, while I understand Charlie’s view, I think that the fact that you bought it is a moot point. many of the big box stores have boxes of remnits, short ends, etc of various bits of many wood products. hardly any thing other than remnits. You might find something that is a jewel but still, scraps ( unles you have a specific need for 5 & 3/7 of dentil) not the place you go to look for your next project. But like Charlie..just my $.02. I would suggest that you make the project, submit it and explain the source and wait for the offical decession.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4394 days

#7 posted 07-14-2008 04:13 PM

Normally (in the past) Martin has not made any deternimation as to what is legal or not. It’s up to the people voting as to “Does it fit the rules” or not. It’s not being used for it’s original purchaser purpose. So under their determination it is being recycled into their sell pile. You just happened to salvage it into your pile.

Let the voters decide.

-- 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 CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#8 posted 07-14-2008 06:07 PM

Just to be clear, if Dan does choose to use the wood for his entry, I will not hold it against him in my voting. Especially since we are all working on the honor system anyway. My response was purely hypothetical.

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

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4154 days

#9 posted 07-14-2008 06:51 PM

a good discussion and something that I hadn’t thought about. If you buy a broken doorknob for $.10 at a garage sale (paid for junk) and then use it as the focal point of a fantastic birdhouse does it qualify? I’d think “yes” ... so adding to the hypothetical question I’d say that it is very important to describe your “junk” and it’s inspiration in your description.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#10 posted 07-14-2008 08:33 PM

Just to be a smart aleck….

All wood is recycled, because it used to be a tree.

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

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3932 days

#11 posted 07-15-2008 12:44 AM

Charlie, I think you’re jealous because you don’t have any junk. I feel bad for you. ;-)

-- Working at Woodworking

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3834 days

#12 posted 07-15-2008 12:53 AM

The wood they use is wood us normal guys only dream about so it could be pretty nice stuff, and it’s not like it was thrown in the scrap pile. I’m sure that they eject stuff for minor differences in grain pattern or color. So I might have a hard time buying that it’s “recycled” or “junk”.
I guess it all in the way you look at it?

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4212 days

#13 posted 07-15-2008 01:45 AM

Thanks for the support, Ed. I was beginning to think it was just me, lol!

Seriously, it is a very good question, Just what makes wood qualify as “trash”, “junk”, or “recycled”?

I think we can all agree that wood taken from an old pallet qualifies. I also think we would all agree that select-grade lumber, purchased at full price from the local lumberyard, does not qualify. So where in between those two extremes do we draw the line? If I purchase 20 bf of walnut to make a table, but then I have rnough cutoffs left over for a small box, can that box be considered built with recycled wood?

Just for the sake of simpliciity and having somewhere to draw the arbitrary line, I would say it is not “one man’s trash” unless someone was throwing it, or something made from it, away.

Folks have weighed in on whether Dan’s wood qualifies or not, but I’d like to hear some other ideas on how, in general, we should define what qualifies.

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

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3834 days

#14 posted 07-15-2008 05:20 AM

I think the key here is if wood is being sold it is still in the “Marketable” books. But if it is on craigs list under the “free” list to come p/u my deck I just tore out, or end cuts off a job site that are going to the dumpster or burn pile this constitutes junk, recycle etc.
If I go to Home depot the end cuts are still in the market place. And Gibson only uses no. 1 insturment grade wood, # 2 or 3 is still on the market, these may become lets say, Acme Guitars entry level stuff, unless of course Dan buys them first!!????
Does this make since? Charlie

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4320 days

#15 posted 07-15-2008 05:38 AM

To fuel the fire… I have an attic full of “trash”... stuff to nice to throw away, but not stuff I really need, and wouldn’t replace if we had a flood or fire (would have to be some flood to clear out the attic up on this hill, eh?)

While the stuff is lifetime of misc clutter, as well as stuff my little one has outgrown it could all be sold in a yard sale, or be a worthwhile donation to charity. About 1/2 of it is old (but still new) art and craft supplies that I bought or was given for one purpose or another, yet despite paying for, it I still think it’s (now) junk. – at least to me – as I no longer have the need for it, or an idea for what to do with it. (but it’s still too nice to throw away!)

Is Dan’s lumber trash? – it was to Gibson, but it certainly isn’t to most of us. And while they realized it wasn’t useful to them, they did have the good sense to keep it out of the waste stream, and whether it sold for a song, or given away it is still “another persons trash” – with the emphasis on “another person”...

It’s all semantic anyhow.

Despite so much fodder for my entry, as well as a penchant for recycling, I’m at a loss for where to begin mine – better check out my sketchbooks!

Oh, and if anyone needs “another persons trash” to help inspire their project, drop me a line and I’ll mail you a boxful. My wife and I will thank you.

after this contest, I may borrow a pick-up truck and drag the whole of the attic of to charity!... then I could fill up the attic with something useful, like several hundred BF of lumber and turning blanks!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

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