I have lots of rough scraps that would make good small project parts, but they’re too short to safely joint and plane to thickness. So I came up with a way to make small pieces large enough to mill.

First, sort scraps by width and similar thickness. If you have a lot of pieces of the same species, keep those together, too. Rip the scraps to common widths that minimize waste; then glue those of the same width and similar thickness end-to-end with scrapwood runners along each edge, forming planks.

When you need small parts, find a plank of the right approximate thickness, width, and species; joint and plane the plank to thickness; and rip away the runners. Because the plank is connected by a weak end-grain joint, simply snap off short pieces and rip and crosscut them to final size.
Alan Schaffter, Washington, N.C.