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Board hoarders unite!

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Know when to let go
Boards in a cart
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Download plans for this "shorts"
sorter, along with a sheet-goods
rack and wall shelving, at

Know when to let go

Just because you find an offcut too small to use doesn't mean another woodworker wouldn't love it. For example, woodworkers who turn projects like pens or bottle stoppers will snap up those discards eagerly. Or check with a school or scout troop to see if they can salvage your scraps.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

What about those pieces too small to use in projects? Try your hand at smoking meat and fish. Cherry, pecan, and maple impart a light, sweet taste to poultry and fish; oak, mesquite, and hickory work great for ribs and other red meat. Maybe your woodworking will improve your culinary skills!

It may seem overwhelming to keep track of your lovingly selected hardwoods, but you'll always be pleased when you find the perfect piece for that special project.

-- The Shop Monkey (aka Tom Iovino of Tampa, Fla.) blogs prolifically at


Comments (6)
datomasso wrote:

Don't forget wood carvers! They are always in need of small pieces to carve.

1/4/2016 10:26:01 AM Report Abuse
reffi wrote:

Don't forget adding hard wood pieces to your charcoal grill to enhance the flavor (especially pizza) of grilled food.

9/20/2015 02:39:58 AM Report Abuse
a2zric wrote:

No such thing! The earth is running out of special lumber. Just because you haven't used it in ONE year you will chuck it? Gads! How many projects do you make in ONE year? Think about that project you had in mind when you saved this piece, maybe that is the one you should do next ..or.. decide you will really doll-up that next project with a little artistic trim and make it really special.

9/3/2015 02:44:46 PM Report Abuse
slmetcalf01yah wrote:

I generally go through my stash of short hardwood boards once a year, just before winter sets in. I take those boards I put away but in reality don't need and turn them into firewood. Yeah, I know, good hardwood wasted, but if I haven't touched or needed them within the last year I really don't need them at all.

9/3/2015 01:14:06 PM Report Abuse wrote:

Great article Tom. I was looking for a special board the other day in my stash, and realized (after not finding it after a long search) that I hadn't reorganized my lumber in almost a year. I spent most of that rest of the day doing just that. (and eventually found the piece I was looking for...ha ha) Thanks

3/12/2015 09:50:58 PM Report Abuse
mappcs2570232 wrote:

As I save more and more cutoffs I start running out of workshop space. I found that I use less than 10% of the scraps I save. I am much happier since I gave all my scraps to my wife to burn in the fireplace and SHE is too. Make sure it is really a keeper before you give up your space.

5/29/2014 09:15:19 PM Report Abuse

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