Why is it that projects designed to use up scraps end up producing
more than they consume?
I've been on a three week long "use up the scraps" mission. With six
small projects now either complete or ready for finishing I've put a
nice dent in the yellowheart and canarywood scraps but barely
scratched the surface of the oak, maple and pine. And now there is a
new small mountain of baltic birch scraps at the foot of the
workbench, a landslide from which could possibly kill me. The bench
itself is completely covered in all the leftover pieces of scraps cut
to the right thickness for the various projects, and that's not
counting the box I put one set into which is now on the floor.
Another couple weeks of "using up the scraps" and I may not even be
able to get to the bench anymore.
But it's been fun.
Guilty. It's only trash if it's too small to hold while cutting/
sanding it, otherwise it must be good for something! Hence the trying
to make a effort to use them.
The trouble is it's so much easier to take repeated cuts off a long
board then try to sort through all the scraps to try to find enough
that are big enough and then make half a dozen cuts on each of them,
most of which you have to find some inventive way of doing safely just
to get one piece out of it.
=====. You might think of putting in a infra red CCTV camera in the shop
for nighttime coverage. Amazing what wood pieces can be up to in the
night!! E.g., have you ever seen Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker?" *G*
Yeah. I married her. (boom boom) But seriously, folks . . .
I find that when I get enough scraps I start thinking about ways to
use them inventively. Think of a project that has significant flat
planes (like a night stand, blanket chest or whatever) and mosaic the
scraps in a patchwork fashion. I found the best way to do this is
plane all the scraps to the desired thickness and then glue them on
8mm or 10mm ply panels then cut as desired to make sides, drawers,
tops, etc. It does give a real nice effect.
Pretty similar approach here, although my scraps weren't big enough to
get through the planer (if I had one) or even the drum sander by
themselves (I tried, very bad things happened). So I ran everything
through the bandsaw first, glued up into panels, then ran the panels
through the drum sander on both sides. Here's the result with just
one sealer coat of shellac:
The shellac was a near disaster as the bloodwood was wanting to bleed
(no pun intended) like crazy, and even some of the canarywood which
I've never seen it do. I'm still debating whether to sand it back
down and just go straight to the varnish like I normally do.
Other scrap projects that were not so technically challenging, except
for the bazillion angles on the stars:
Will be a clock. That's a few hundred walnut screw plugs. I made one
of these on a lark last year before the holidays, and while my holiday
sales were dismal that was the one thing people wanted more of. Go
This is where I started to get in trouble with the mountain of plywood
scraps. Not only are there the front and back pieces of plywood
actually used in the stars, but I had to make jigs to help line up all
the scraps. I could have glued up a big panel of scraps and cut the
star out of it, but then I'd have more scraps left and I think it
looks better this way.
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