Offcut storage

Questions about tools and jigs you want to buy/build/modify.
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Steve Sawyer
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

Offcut storage

Post by Steve Sawyer »

I noted Peter Wilcox's lament about offcuts in this post:

http://www.mimf.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php ... eee#p62434

Peter - everyone suffers from that "offcut" problem. And yes, you don't want to just throw them all away, it's a great resource! I learned from a fellow woodworker in my area to have purpose-built offcut storage, then be rigorous about never keeping more than you can fit into that storage! If it starts to overflow, it's time to spend a few minutes "culling the herd". I built what I call a "tool station" that incorporates offcut storage. It's 24" deep, so nothing much longer than that is kept here. I have a small rack you can see high on the wall to the right that handles a few longer pieces. I've found this works really, really well, and I almost never find myself short of a piece, even a specific species. I have also escaped the syndrome of having offcuts piled everywhere and leaning against the wall, under workbenches, etc.

For those curious, there is a PVC "duct" that runs behind this which feeds into a shop-vac that permanently lives at the right end of this bench, hence the blast-gates. The vac is one that automatically goes on when the power supply is engaged, so everything here is routed to the outlet on that vac. All I have to do is remember to open the blast-gate for each tool, and make sure the other blast-gates are closed. :roll:

Toolstation.JPG
==Steve==

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Peter Wilcox
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Location: Northeastern California

Re: Offcut storage

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Thanks for the encouragement, Steve. I know I have to get rid of a lot of it. I have a barn about 300 feet away - I already have a lot of larger pieces of wood there - I guess I'll take the larger offcuts up there and try to remember where they are, and force myself to go look for them when needed. I'm so lazy that if I can't reach down and get something, I just cut a new piece even though I have an offcut that is perfectly adequate, but would take a small effort to find.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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Steve Sawyer
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Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Offcut storage

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Peter Wilcox wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:01 pm
I'm so lazy that if I can't reach down and get something, I just cut a new piece even though I have an offcut that is perfectly adequate, but would take a small effort to find.
:lol:
==Steve==

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Offcut storage

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Steve that looks like a well organized solution to the off cut problem.
I think many of us suffer from "off cut disease" - we find it difficult to cut off our off cuts. Unfortunately I've taken it to the next level - I actually bought a few bins of some offcuts. They were bits and bobs of mostly ukulele sized stuff, Dalbergias (coco, tulipwood, EIR, Honduran) and several other exotic species, but aside from bindings or trim (and possibly a few bridges) nothing big enough for guitar work. Some of the species I had never encountered before (Tambootie for one - smells wonderful, but apparently toxic to work).
I have used a few pieces of it - the handle of the home made flush cut saw is a scrap of padauk.
If we ever do another "challenge" perhaps we could make it an "off cut build". It might make for some interesting entries, and help us divest ourselves of our "wood man's burden".

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Offcut storage

Post by Steve Sawyer »

An offcut challenge would be fun -might be a lot of "pickin' sticks" though...

I worked with someone whose husband had a high-end cabinet shop that made extensive use of exotic species. I tried to make arrangements to dig through their scrap bin, but without success!
==Steve==

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Offcut storage

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

Pickin' sticks can be a lot of fun. I did a little "Production Run" thing with them some years back and made about 40 of them using scrap formica for the back and sides and spruce soundboards that were not of a quality I would want to use for more serious instruments. For such a small body they were surprisingly loud. At the price I sold them for they were not a real money maker but people liked them and I enjoyed building them. I am building cigar box ukes along a similar vein - something fun to make that doesn't take a lot of time or money to complete and that people will have fun playing.
Too bad about the cabinet shop thing - probably some good "scroungings" hit the skip. A lot of the materials for my molds and jigs came from cabinet shop castoffs - small pieces not worth a cabinet shops time to hang onto and figure out a use for, but plenty big enough for what we need. Cabinet shops have the same problem addressed in this thread - what to do with "off fall". Being a commercial enterprise they have even more pressure to "clear the decks" to make room for new materials and projects.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Offcut storage

Post by Peter Wilcox »

When I first moved to northern CA about 16 years ago, before I started making guitars, I had a 100 mile round trip commute to work, that unfortunately went by a cabinet shop that threw their offcuts into a pile and burned them every so often. People were welcome to stop by and scrounge, and I bought a roof rack for my car did so. Over a year or so I accumulated several tons of mostly alder in the 1x2 to 2x6 size range, from 10 to 16 feet long, Luckily I moved to a new location, and then they went out of business during the 2008 debacle, but I still have much of it left up in the barn.

I used it for projects around the house, and for glued up guitar bodies and necks for my first builds. I think I will start doing that again.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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