What do woodworkers make more of than any other thing – Cabinets? Furniture? Built-ins? Lots of dust?
If you guessed that last one, you were close. The true answer is probably as disappointing as it is true. Woodworkers make scrap more than anything else. I use the word “scrap” only so you’ll know what I’m talking about, because as I’ve opined many times there’s no such thing as scrap. To my mind, scrap is just small pieces of available stock I haven’t found a use for yet, and I keep it all.
When we moved to Pennsylvania I had to leave a lot of things behind and I had to be particularly harsh with my scrap. Except for some special stuff, I forced myself to leave almost all of it behind. I was heartbroken. But as I look around my shop now I realize I needed have worried. I have tons of it – good scrap, plywood scrap, utility scrap, grab-a-piece-to-stir-a-paint-can scrap, you name it.
I’m reminded of an old series of commercials for Doritos tortilla chips from the ’90s that featured a then up-and-coming Jay Leno. The theme of each ad was that for whatever reason you’d eat a whole bag of Doritos, but Leno would encourage you not to worry and deliver the catchphrase of all these commercials: “Crunch all you want, we’ll make more.” With just a couple changes in that theme, the sentiment applies perfectly to woodshop scraps.