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There is a lot of concern these days regarding the amount of waste we are producing.

We are hearing more and more about recycling and reusing even though our current administration seems to be completely oblivious to the problem. It falls on us as individuals to be aware of these issues and to do whatever we can to alleviate them. Many shops have adopted systems that produce less waste or produce waste that is less toxic.

In my shop, there are always heaps of stuff that seems like it should be tossed in the dumpster. I had a pile of thin strips of rosewood and curly maple left over from ripping stock for chessboards. We must have moved that pile 17 times and I cannot tell you why I never hauled it away.

One day, my son and I, during a slow period, got the idea to mill down the pile of strips. We glued them into slabs, paying little attention to grain orientation or color, completely random. Then we made some tables out of the slabs. He made a butcher block work island for his own kitchen which is still in use.

I realize that wood is not the most dreadful thing that can end up in a landfill. We produce much more toxic waste. But that wood got repurposed into some useful and attractive items which was a much more fulfilling fate than rotting under 2,000 tons of other garbage.

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