RECLAIMED or REPURPOSED, How do you know if the pile of "scrap" is worth the effort?

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Forum topic by TexPanda posted 07-16-2014 01:39 PM 1312 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1440 days

07-16-2014 01:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: newbie

Newbie here so this may be obvious to some, but recently after a moderate demo to moms porch, the gentleman leading the show insisted all the scrap be thrown away in small portions using the city curbside can, which is once a week pick up. My thrifty (aka cheap) nature had me wondering if saving the portions that were not rotten or broken, other than removing some hardware, it would have been a nice booty of wood.

Since I have no workshop or project in mind, mom decided I would not be stocking any of the material and it was hauled off, and a magnet roller used to collect nails etc.

Question-Is all good wood worth saving?

Instinct says yes, at least for tinder, but being called a hoarder or junk collector in training is not helping my motivation. If I were to save wood, is there a place on here or another web site where I might be able to list it for someone who needs it? and not Craigslist please.

and BTW, does anyone on here know Philip Taylor in San Antonio, Texas?

Hi Philip!

aka TexPanda

-- aka Big Rich

8 replies so far

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1578 days

#1 posted 07-16-2014 01:44 PM

Booty is good. Wood is good. You never know when you’ll need it.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2074 days

#2 posted 07-16-2014 01:59 PM

Depends on the type of wood. In your situation, if the deck was made with pressure treated wood I’d probably see limited reuse potential (not to say I wouldn’t try to keep it). If it’s a weather resistant wood (e.g. cedar, cypress, etc), then it’s definitely a keeper.

-- paxorion

View Yonak's profile


986 posts in 1550 days

#3 posted 07-16-2014 06:04 PM

The effort vs. thrift debate, in the end, often comes down to the age and bank account balance of the individual.

There are neighbors in our community who live in the less-than-well-off (kindly put) part of town who love to get wood scraps, no matter the condition (although I don’t take them rotten wood), nails or not, who save it for winter when they burn it for heat.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2647 days

#4 posted 07-16-2014 10:08 PM

Wife has a test for me when something wants to find it’s way home: Where you gonna put it, and/or what you gonna do with it?

If I can’t answer at least one of those questions, the answer is no.


no purpose and no place, don’t keep. Unless it’s redwood. That stuff is very expensive new, can be stored outdoors and is desirable for others’ outside projects.

My .02

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3337 days

#5 posted 07-17-2014 12:51 AM

Most of us call it the scrap bin…the wood types and quality have a lot to do with what is worth salvaging. I have salvaged and re-used a good bit of oak and cypress and even a bunch of teak years ago when I was renovating boats. On the other hand I have torn apart an old deck that had a lot of treated pine and it all ended up in my burn pile.

Salvaged wood is a good way to do a lot of experimenting and trial and error for anyone from the beginner to the highly experienced woodworker. I always try out new ideas and techniques on scraps and learn a lot from doing so. You just have to have a place to store the salvaged wood.

View TheFridge's profile


9608 posts in 1515 days

#6 posted 07-17-2014 01:03 AM

Just posted shop cabinets I built out of scrap plywood and some cypress. I’m all about reusing because I’m cheap.
Edit: and poor

Personally, I’ll save anything until I need it or someone else needs it. Until I get tired of looking at it. Then I burn it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1709 days

#7 posted 07-17-2014 01:17 AM

Plywood and construction grade 2 by material I tend to just let go as it’s really not worth the effort to reclaim although i have seen some pretty good projects with them. Hardwoods and relatively knot free softwoods unless I feel they are going to end up being really small usable pieces I am more inclined to save. So I guess it would depend on what exactly was being tossed, what condition it was in and how large the usable pieces I felt I was going to end up with after cleaning up. For instance if that porch had a solid wood shiplap siding or ceiling in decent shape I would probably save as much of that as I could.

View TexPanda's profile


3 posts in 1440 days

#8 posted 07-17-2014 03:34 AM

Wow, that’s a lot of replies in a short time. Thanks to all who have chimed in with suggestions.
My feelings lean towards, all wood is good wood, but you need a good place to store it, and preferably a plan on how to use it for something.
The wife and I will be moving our traveling circus of a family in the next couple of weeks, I will begin claiming a “workshop” space in the 2 car garage as soon as we move in.
I am getting some great ideas for projects and this web site is a gem.
Thanks again,
aka Rich

BTW-I found my friend Phil.

-- aka Big Rich

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