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View CryptKeeper's profile

What is the shortest cutoff you save?

by CryptKeeper
posted 1373 days ago


26 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4520 posts in 1574 days


#1 posted 1373 days ago

My cutoffs tend to accumulate. Eventually I have a lot more cutoffs than I will ever need. At that point I start culling out the shorter cutoffs until the pile is down to a manageable size. That means that my criteria changes depending on how much I need to get rid of.

My criteria also varies by the type of wood. I only keep large pieces of pine and plywood. My criteria for domestic hardwoods is not as strict and I keep virtually every scrap of expensive exotics. They can always be used as a small accent piece.

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

View Kindlingmaker's profile

Kindlingmaker

2653 posts in 2026 days


#2 posted 1373 days ago

Everything can be used for something, sometime… just got to have the space and organization!
(I don’t have either but still save everything anyway.)

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1483 days


#3 posted 1373 days ago

I keep about all my cutoffs. The scrap barrels are free for the kids to use and you never know when you need a small piece for a glue block or something. But every once in a while you have to burn some of it cause it adds up fast.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View CryptKeeper's profile

CryptKeeper

132 posts in 1450 days


#4 posted 1373 days ago

To this point it seems like I keep everything and every time I think about getting rid of some I end-up apologizing to a piece. If it is for nothing other than raising something off of the work bench.

-- Ron - Any day that I don't learn something new is a wasted day.

View Tim_456's profile

Tim_456

158 posts in 2095 days


#5 posted 1373 days ago

I have two cut off piles. The first is the set of cut offs that are of significant size and/or wood quality to keep them around. The second pile is the cut offs that I know probably will never get used but I just don’t have the heart to toss ‘em. That’s the pile that the kids know they can steal from when making their own projects with their handsaws and glue.

View Sawdust2's profile

Sawdust2

1468 posts in 2587 days


#6 posted 1373 days ago

If it is as small as 2.5” I can make a pen out of it.
96 the small plywood.
Lee

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1295 posts in 1486 days


#7 posted 1373 days ago

If it’s less than 6×12” and plywood/osb/mdf, I toss it.

If it’s hardwood, I won’t chuck it till it’s less than 1 square inch. And then sometimes it’s up to whether or not it’s “usable”. I’m a horrible example because of what I make. Miniatures use so much less wood than big things.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View buckeyedudes's profile

buckeyedudes

143 posts in 1628 days


#8 posted 1373 days ago

I don’t have any problem with accumulating any cut-offs in my workshop…....

P.S. Any one want to buy some? ; )

-- Before you louse it up, THIMK!

View eccentrictinkerer's profile

eccentrictinkerer

28 posts in 1528 days


#9 posted 1373 days ago

Years ago, there was a tip in Popular Mechanics that suggested placing a good sized box next to your saw and throwing all your scrap into it.

When the box is full, burn it and start another box!

That being said, I keep everything! I’m overdue for a shop cleanup and hope to get rid of a bunch of stuff. The grandkids get first dibs and then it’s into the neighbor’s burn-pit. (I hope).

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1438 posts in 2065 days


#10 posted 1373 days ago

I save it all until we have a camp fire the back yard, the plywood and mdf get tossed in first. I try to save the hardwoods.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View TheWoodsmith's profile

TheWoodsmith

108 posts in 1420 days


#11 posted 1373 days ago

if the piece is shorter than it is wide it hits the scrap heap for me. anything else still resembles a mini board and i cant let it go!

-- I know its around here somewhere...

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2280 posts in 1426 days


#12 posted 1373 days ago

Recently gave away boxes to a neighbour woodworker, probably 3 of them 2’x2’x1.5’ with oak, walnut, cherry, maple, exotics, etc. and have some packaged up for another woodworker (just haven’t made it to the city to mail) who uses tiny pieces.

I used your ideas last time I asked, and laminated a top for one of my storage cabinets with strips of walnut, ash and oak.

Anything shorter than 10’ and less than 1” thick is generally not used in my shop, but with exotics, I also save short pieces for pens.

A millwork shop that has used some of my bigger equipment over the years throws out (burns) ash, oak and cherry often 24 or 30” long, 8” wide and 1-4” thick. That’s a waste!

I try to stop in and buy a pile for a few bucks, but usually am a day late…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View CryptKeeper's profile

CryptKeeper

132 posts in 1450 days


#13 posted 1373 days ago

Sawdust2,
I didn’t really think about turning I have never tried my hand at it but wife has been pestering me for lathe. I think I’ll scrap most of the plywood and get her a mini-lathe and let her have some fun.

Thanks to everyone,

-- Ron - Any day that I don't learn something new is a wasted day.

View spclPatrolGroup's profile

spclPatrolGroup

159 posts in 1394 days


#14 posted 1372 days ago

I save everything, assuming it’s not pine. Sometimes if I get bored I go out to the garage and experiment with finishes, then if it turns out well, I write on the back what I did, I have little blocks like this scattered everywhere. I refer to my scrap bin as the “box of shame” as I can dig through it and find pieces I complexly screwed up on.

-- Dave, Fargo ND "Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE!!"

View Tim_456's profile

Tim_456

158 posts in 2095 days


#15 posted 1372 days ago

It looks like several people burn their plywood scraps. Is that something that is environmentally sound given the glues and things that are included in the plywood?

View TJ65's profile

TJ65

1347 posts in 1549 days


#16 posted 1371 days ago

You know, I really dont know the minimum size I keep but they are really small – off cuts from scrollsawing. Only proper wood nothing of MDF etc. I am planning to use them one day… thinking of making earings or something. Haven’t really got around to it yet tho!!!!!!!! :-)

-- Theresa, https://sites.google.com/site/tmj65treasure/

View Sarit's profile

Sarit

453 posts in 1639 days


#17 posted 1371 days ago

1/16”—I use them as shims.

View Triumph1's profile

Triumph1

828 posts in 1579 days


#18 posted 1371 days ago

I keep them all until they are sawdust. You never know when you will need a 1/2” x 1/2” X 1” piece of rosewood:-)

-- Jeff , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1483 days


#19 posted 1371 days ago

Theresa, I’ll bet you have some interesting pieces for making necklaces as well.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3253 posts in 1694 days


#20 posted 1371 days ago

Greetings Cryptkeeper,

I don’t save any of my cut-offs…..... especially if the pockets are hanging out….that looks ugly…..

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View dmoore's profile

dmoore

177 posts in 1814 days


#21 posted 1369 days ago

I want to toss everything but tend to keep it all I just cant toss a good piece of wood.

-- Duane, Ohio

View CryptKeeper's profile

CryptKeeper

132 posts in 1450 days


#22 posted 1368 days ago

Rick:
I’m still laughing!

Have a great one,

-- Ron - Any day that I don't learn something new is a wasted day.

View Jim's profile

Jim

46 posts in 1753 days


#23 posted 1368 days ago

For solid wood, if it’s wood worthy of turning into a pen (figured or expensive), I’ll usually just slice up anything less that 12” into pen blanks, otherwise it’s kindling. 24” or longer I save, between 12 & 24 depends on if I can envision a future project (small box, bandsaw box, etc).

For plywood, I pitch any ply with end grain less that about 18”. I also pitch ply less than 5” in width (with grain).

Jim

-- Jim, Now in Nashville, TN

View NateX's profile

NateX

88 posts in 1496 days


#24 posted 1368 days ago

Don’t waste the hardwood, I save the cut outs from dovetails and tiny slivers of wood for the smoker!

View rance's profile

rance

4105 posts in 1660 days


#25 posted 1368 days ago

I have a buddy that gives me his offcuts from time to time. It is very much appreciated. I have come to the point(mentally) that I’m able to throw away pine scraps less than 6” long, plywood less than 4”, but exotics I keep down to 2” long. I don’t build many large cabinets, just mostly small boxes & such.

If you think you need to burn some, may I suggest you box them up and find someone who’ll put them to good use? Many kids and some adults could make something from them. There’s a ‘Lis’ in every town. You just have to find them. You might spend a bit of time with the kids identifying some of the species.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1797 posts in 2172 days


#26 posted 1368 days ago

Cut offs are great sources of scrap for test cuts. I save just about all of mine.

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX


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