Scrap the Scrap?

wood scrap boardThe plight of woodworking: what do you do with that leftover wood? It is hard for a woodworker to let go. “There has to be something I can use this for.” One often says. Unfortunately, space (and spouse) may suggest (or declare) that it is time to let go. But, how do you know the right time to give in? Here are a few questions to ask when looking for a reason to hold on to your scraps.

How much room do I have, or how can I organize it in a manner the is not bothersome to others?

Some are fortunate enough to have a woodworking shed all to themselves. They are free to pile their scraps however they please. Most have to share that space with a car, wife, and/or kids. Others, have to haul their wood to and from a rented space. If you are like many, and want to keep all the scraps, you will have to find creative ways to store you leftover wood (or say farewell). Here are a few convenient storage tips for those who desperately wish to keep their scraps:

  • If you have an unfinished garage, you can nail boards between rafters and studs for space-saving storage
  • Place smaller pieces in boxes sorted by type for easy storage and organization
  • You can store scraps outside in order to create a weathered look

What projects are upcoming, and how can you use your scraps for those projects?

The truth is, even if you have all the room in the world for scraps, you may not have enough room in your house to fill it with all the creations of your fancies. Are you in need of a corner shelf? Then, by all means, use your wood to build a corner shelf. But, others who live in your house may not appreciate those projects cluttering up your space solely because you had the wood for it.

What gifts or for-sale pieces can I make from my scrap wood?

While you may not have room in your house for everything you want to create, you can certainly make gifts for others. Yet, you should make sure your project is something someone wants, and not simply a means to give a cheap gift. Moreover, you can find ways to make money from your scraps. A good way to find out what people are willing to buy, is by going on eBay, and searching recent sales in the browser.

Whatever you decide to do with your scraps, woodworkers understand that each piece of wood has potential and it is hard to let go, so if you can find a use for it, by all means. However, if you are unable to satisfactorily answers any of these three questions, think about ditching the scraps.