Start reducing your impact by minimizing material waste at the start of every project. You can do this by accommodating your design for sizing. If the dimensions allow for a panel to be split into even halves, thirds, or quarters, there will be little to no waste. A simple way to do this? Use a cut optimization program – like optiCutter or CutList – to create ideal cutting layouts at the press of a button.
Be open to the perfectly imperfect.
When choosing your materials, don’t let features like burl, knots, cracks, or other imperfections turn you off from a piece of wood. “Flawlessly flawed” is a look that’s trending this year (just check out our last blog to see why), so embrace the natural beauty of your materials – while minimizing unnecessary waste and costs at the same time.
Opt for recycled materials and secondary woods.
Whether it be pallet wood, re-purposed materials, or inexpensive woods like poplar – choosing these alternate materials will help you lower impact and increase savings. Using discarded or secondhand materials to create a project means no added waste (and often times cost) from the start. For design components that may not be as visible, a secondary wood is a great less costly option with all the same functionality as more expensive materials.
Enhance your shop with scrap wood creations.
Give scrap wood a second life by utilizing it in your shop day-to-day. Use scraps as makeshift clamp pads for your Pony Jorgensen clamps, for shop jigs, or to create something new. Shop mallets, sanding blocks, and bit boxes for storage are a few creative ways you can reuse your scrap wood.
Give your home some love too.
From home décor like picture frames and seasonal decorations (did someone say wooden ornaments or candleholders?) to kitchen accessories like cutting boards and knife blocks to handcrafted wooden toys – there are plenty of home projects to put that scrap wood to good use. And when you run out of projects? Continue the sustainability by turning your scrap wood into shims or use leftover saw dust to clean up spills.
Scrap it forward.
No matter how many ways you can reduce and re-use to lower your impact, there is a good chance that some scraps may still be leftover. That’s when recycling comes into play. Recycle your scraps by researching curbside pickup in your community or find a facility that can use scraps for wood chips or mulch. Another idea is to donate them to schools or community centers that will use them for crafts.
No matter how you choose to reduce your impact, every little bit counts. Go you!
Are there other ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle that you practice in your shop? Share them on social media and tag @ponyjorgensen on Facebook or Instagram! And be sure to browse our collection of high-quality woodworking clamps to see why woodworkers choose Pony Jorgensen.