What to do in the shop cleanup #1: Left over wood

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Blog entry by marksalot2005 posted 05-09-2015 12:51 PM 969 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This morning in a great whirlpool in my brain. With my left over wood from projects. As a person that has always had a problem throwing away. Things that still have use. I just do not used them now, but may in the future. It has always been my luck as soon as I got rid of something. Within two or three weeks I wish I had that item.

Todays problem is left over wood. I could use a few pointers from others that have gone thru this. At what point do you just toss out pieces when you have so many. I am trying to reset up my woodshop in our two car garage.
space is a premium. So what do you do when so many usable but small leftovers. I have a shelving unit with two of the shelves full. A ceiling rack half full but wood has to be 4 ft long or more for up there. Though of adding plywood base to one section. Just for the short stuff, but then will be hard to see the selection up there. Oh well I could use some tips on this.

Thanks Guys and Gals for all the kind words and support. This is one great woodworking site.

-- Mark, Katy, Texas, Did they give Noah a hardtime about the wood boat in his driveway

5 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2287 days

#1 posted 05-09-2015 01:06 PM

It’s a common problem with a lot of us woodworkers, especially considering the rising cost of wood. However, time is valuable and drop will eventually choke a shop, make it more disorganized, and create a fire and safety hazard. You just have to find the happy medium that suits your needs and I will admit that is not necessarily an easy thing to do.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BigDaddyOf5's profile


27 posts in 958 days

#2 posted 05-10-2015 01:20 PM

I keep a small crate in the shop. My rule of thumb is that if it fits in the crate, it’s kindling. Unless, however, it’s a piece of expensive hardwood that could be used for a small box. But even keeping those hardwood scraps can get out of hand. For long strips, if I can wrap my hand around them, it’s probably too thin to repurpose safely. At some point you need to consider the hazards of trying to repurpose small scraps of wood for a project. I have caught myself on a few occasions trying to cut or route a piece that was way too small to safely grip without putting myself in danger. I am now trying the more preventative route. I model most of my projects through SketchUp first and then develop a cut list based on the parts. If you plan ahead, you can typically eliminate a lot of waste that would eventually clutter up the shop. Just my two cents.

View canadianchips's profile


2310 posts in 2417 days

#3 posted 05-11-2015 01:29 PM

Make piles and advertise it. Sell it real cheap. People might be looking for pieces you no longer use.
I tend to hoard my scraps, when I move I end up tossing them to the curb anyway. My wife is helping me to learn to let got sooner ! (Sad to say…SHE RIGHT)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View chrisstef's profile (online now)


15460 posts in 2426 days

#4 posted 05-11-2015 01:46 PM

Offer them up to another woodworker who may just be starting out. Scraps to you can be gold to them.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View thechipcarver's profile


178 posts in 998 days

#5 posted 05-11-2015 02:33 PM

I would go with selling/trading it or go with chrisstef’s idea and give it to a beginner.

-- While teaching a class, a gentlemen once asked me: "When chip carving an intricate design, what do you do when you are almost finished and the wood breaks off?" I replied "Cover the kids ears."

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