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What is the shortest cutoff you save?

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Forum topic by CryptKeeper posted 1458 days ago 1317 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CryptKeeper

132 posts in 1535 days


1458 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: cutoffs scraps

Over the past 6 to 8 weeks I have been cleaning up my shop and pulling things out of storage. Last night I was surprised when I realized that I filled a 31 gal Rubbermaid tote with pieces of wood 8 inches or less in length (the widths also varied) and there are scraps of plywood in there as well – there is no telling how old some of this is but in years gone past a lot of this would have found it’s way to my fireplace.

Anyway, now I am curious, what everyone else’s criteria is for saving cutoffs?

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


26 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1659 days


#1 posted 1458 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 2111 days


#2 posted 1458 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 1568 days


#3 posted 1458 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

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CryptKeeper

132 posts in 1535 days


#4 posted 1458 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 2180 days


#5 posted 1458 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

1467 posts in 2672 days


#6 posted 1458 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

1307 posts in 1570 days


#7 posted 1458 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 1712 days


#8 posted 1458 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

29 posts in 1613 days


#9 posted 1457 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

1460 posts in 2150 days


#10 posted 1457 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 1505 days


#11 posted 1457 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 1510 days


#12 posted 1457 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 1535 days


#13 posted 1457 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

166 posts in 1479 days


#14 posted 1457 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 2180 days


#15 posted 1457 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?

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