Resaw, recycle and re-use

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s no such thing as scrap. This time, the original scrap saw not one, but two useful lives.

Back in September I bought an end-grain cutting board for photography purposes. I hated buying something I could easily make myself, but deadline issues left no time to do so. The board I bought was junk – open joints, router burns, bad knots and other wood flaws, etc. This ugly thing was a piece of scrap brand new, but it worked fine for my photos and I simply considered it a tax-deductible expense for a photo prop. Afterward, it went straight to my no-such-thing-as-scrap bin.

Flash forward to this past weekend when Sally’s sister came for a visit. While here, she mentioned that she’d like a small cutting board, and was this something I could do without too much trouble. Naturally, I opined that she came to the right guy.

I went straight to my no-such-thing-as-scrap bin and pulled out that piece-o’-junk cutting board. The original board was 13″x19″, and she wanted one of around 10″x12″ to fit a particular spot. It was a snap to layout the desired board to avoid most of the flaws in the original, and just cut it out. That open joint was still there, so simply ripping the board along that joint and then re-gluing eliminated that, too. A good sanding and thorough oiling, and it was ready for my sister-in-law’s kitchen.

A lot of pluses here: The original board was tax deductible; in spite of its flaws it worked perfectly for my photo shoot; I had the pleasure of turning a piece of junk into a useful item; most of the work was already done and all I had to do was resize and refine it; and my sister-in-law was pleased and impressed (always a good thing).

The biggest plus of all is proving, once again, that there’s no such thing as scrap.

A.J.

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