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Ask any woodworker if they have too much wood, and they will give a resounding NO! You can never have too much wood! But they would be lying…

Take a look around your workshop. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you’re gone. I need to go get another cup of coffee anyway…

Back already? I bet you didn’t even go check because you know I am telling the truth. Your shop is just like mine. It has more wood in it than a bonfire at Woodstock. The problem is, it’s mostly scrap! I know, “there’s no such thing as scrap wood”. But there comes a point when we have to call it what it is! Those half inch wide strips of pine, those three inch long pieces of oak, that splinter of cherry that you can’t bring yourself to throw away… you know what I’m talking about, and you’re just as ashamed as I am.

There is a fine line between cuttoff and clutter. A few short pieces of hardwood = cuttoffs. A pile of foot long 2X4’s with nails in them = clutter. Do you have plastic bins full of tiny pieces of wood? I have one for oak, one for maple, one for walnut, even one for pine. Actually, I have more than one for each. Do you really think I will ever turn those little pieces into a bunch of cutting boards someday? And what about that stack of broken particle board pieces? I have a bundle of 1/8” thick strips I ripped of the edges of 2X4 fir to remove make 2X3’s. Why am I saving those?

It gets worse. In the basement is a pile of OSB chunks in small sizes and odd shapes. There is a stack of that fake wood trim I ripped out of my house when I bought it because it was junk… so why can’t I throw it away?

Every woodworker is a wood hoarder. It’s just a matter of what level you find yourself at. And believe me, if you have a small problem now, you will have a big problem later because it is a viscous cycle that never ends. Get help while you still can! It’s time to either make something from those scraps or throw them out. The bottom line is, stop the madness before it takes over the entire shop!


(Stumpy Nubs is a contributing editor for “This Old Workshop” and the host of “Blue Collar Woodworking” – the best woodworking show since wood was invented. New Episodes on Wednesdays at Stumpynubs.com)

Tagged in: humor stumpy nubs


  • Lance Granum
    Lance Granum Monday, 17 December 2012

    This is very true. I need to make room for a bench - like, a lot of room. I ended up clearing a solid 6 foot by 2 foot section of my shop by going through my "wood reserve" and burning those 3 inch pieces of oak, the beautiful cherry with the knot that I will "cut around some day and save that 5" of wood" and my U shaped pieces of pine that will totally flatten out with some hand tools.

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