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IMG_0037With turkey day behind us, we’re heading full-force into Christmas. Many evergreens have been cut – most of them many months ago – to become holiday trees that we decorate. For me, this is a yearly reminder about an episode of the television show “Friends.” In an episode around Christmas, Phoebe explains that all trees, no matter how scrawny or decrepit, need to fulfill their destiny to become an actual Christmas tree.

This idea causes me to think about the many, many scraps found around the Popular Woodworking Magazine shop and my home shop (more so in my home shop). By leaving these scraps piled in corners or sitting atop benches, or even if you neatly sort and stack your leftovers, are we allowing them to fulfill their destiny?

It’s my opinion that we should release these scraps. Let them achieve their destiny. While that could be a small holiday project (gifts) such as those found in the book “Wood Stash Project Book,” by Kerry Pierce, I’m willing to bet that destiny for most of these scraps is going to be as fuel. That’s right, burn them for heat. (That’s way better than ending up in landfills.)

Of course, burning scrap isn’t always just for heat. Sometimes it’s just for fun, or to destroy evidence, as shown below.

SAMSUNGIt you have questions about the object in the bonfire, post your comment. Mr. Bender will be watching closely.

— Glen D. Huey

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Showing 17 comments
  • farms100

    sometimes it’s better to start over than try to fix something
    Who knocked it off the bench?


    Sometimes the mistake does dictate the size of the fire! Glad you guys had a field large enough to cover this one. Green Eggs or outside Firepits do come in nice for Arizona!

  • Bear

    A couple of years ago my kids bought me a “Big Green Egg” for my birthday. A Big Green Egg is an outdoor grill that burns wood (or charcoal) instead of gas. That thing has been the best device I’ve ever had for keeping my shop neat and clean. You can even use the saw dust for smoking,….. meat, of course. At the end of a day in the shop you can go out in the back yard and destroy all your mis-cut pieces and enjoy a steak at the same time. Get one there great!

  • 1projectboy

    I have a one man woodworking business where I make scroll saw puzzles that I sell at local craft shows. This generates large amounts of “scrap”. I have a box next to my scroll saw that I put the larger pieces in and on a slow day I go through them and trace out patterns of several smaller projects that I have. I have paid my entrance to more than one craft show with “free” wood that would otherwise end up in my friends stoves and fireplaces. My waste scraps are truly that when they go out the door.
    Charlie @ Knotthead Woodworking

  • Jim McCoy

    Every fall my wife starts bugging me about how cluttered and messy my shop is with all the piles of wood everywhere and the barrells full of small pieces. And every spring she congratulates me on finally getting around to cleaning up my shop. I just smile and say, “Yes dear, thank you dear.”

  • sirnero

    As an owner of your general small home work shop I use to hang on to all scrap because one day it will become something. And now I can say that they became heat which allow me to make other projects in the cold days, also it allow me to make some more scraps thus the never ending loop.

  • pmac

    That is a very liberating picture. I’ve got this project in the basement that I mucked up by being stupid and I have been trying to figure out a way to un-muck-it or turn it into something else more useful. Firewood is very useful.

  • jhopps

    It’s either the shortest bed or the least comfortable bench in history.

  • DonPeregoy

    Unless it involves a full moon and nudity I would love to hear the story.

    Thanks ( I think)

  • MgRasmussen

    Too much shellac

  • zdillinger

    As the owner of a brand new external wood stove, I can already tell you that my view towards wood scraps has been permanently altered.


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