Scrap Wood Treasure

Learn how to find and store free wood scraps to create your own custom homeware and gifts.

Photo by Getty Images/guruXOOX

Have you ever been in the middle of a woodworking project and fallen just one piece short? Or been making roof repairs during a break in a storm, but then discover there’s not a single piece to fit the space you’re covering? What do you do? Both of these things have happened to me. Luckily, I have a pile of scrap wood, and I was able to find what I needed when I needed it.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression. Long before recycling became a catchphrase, they learned to make do on less, wasting nothing, and reusing whatever they could. When I was growing up, my parents saved everything. While my dad was by no means a woodworker, we had coffee cans filled with nuts, bolts, screws, and nails lining the shelves in our garage, as well as lumber of all sizes on hand. This mindset is what I grew up with, and it’s one I still live by to this day.

Stuffed in and behind my shed are stacks of boards and plywood in all sizes, all salvaged lumber. I use that pile for any number of projects around the homestead. I even use it to make items I can then give as gifts or use in trade. Having a constant supply saves me the time and money required to track down materials for individual projects.

The World of Woodworking

In its simplest form, the term “woodworking” means any work using wood. That could include basic carpentry, making furniture, or carving. In this article, I’ll look specifically at making items you can use around the home, give as gifts, or use in a bartering situation.

These bear claws, perfect for salads and pasta, were made from scrap pieces of pine.Photo by Dana Benner 

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