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Unintentional inventory

Woodworkers tend to buy things they don’t need. I do it all the time and – admit it – so do you.

One of the possible benefits of rebuilding a shop space is that you tend to find things you didn’t know you had. I say “possible” benefits, because sometimes you find stuff you not only don’t remember buying, but you have no idea why you bought it in the first place.

This stuff runs the gamut from materials to tools, and while it’s all certainly useful in its own right, most of the time when I find this stuff I’d much rather have the money instead. Here are two examples that illustrate extremes.

In my small scrap bucket, I have six 3-foot-long 1” oak dowels. I use dowels a lot and buy them frequently, but why I bought half a dozen of these and never used them is beyond me. I won’t throw them out because I’ll surely use them eventually, but those probably cost about $5 each. Not a huge expense, but that’s still 30 bucks I could have in my pocket right now.

At the other end of the spectrum is a really nice three-piece set of 1/2"-shank panel-raising bits. Don’t remember buying them, but the set had to have cost at least $175, probably more. I’ve had this set for at least a decade and a half but have never used them. Add their cost to those dowels and the cash would almost make a car payment.

Like I said, those are just two examples. I have lots more just like these squirreled away here and there in the shop. If I dug it all out and put it all in one spot, and then tallied up the value chances are good I could buy myself something extremely nice for the shop.

Hopefully, it would be something I really need.

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