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Production Projects The Bottom of the Barrel becomes the Bottom of the Box

Bottom of the box

One of the byproducts of building custom furniture is scrap wood. With each project I build, I end up with many cut-offs and long skinny strips of wood that are typically not wide enough to do much with. I stand them up in a barrel in the corner of the shop, where they wait for me to figure out what to do with them.
Sometimes, I cut the strips up as kindling for the campfire; some of them are broken up and stuffed in the yard debris cart to be picked up by the city’s compost program on garbage day.

With the Christmas time and my involvement in the local crafters and makers’ fairs around Portland, I needed to come up with some small gift ideas to sell. Boxes seem to be a popular item this year. Therefore, with the latest stack of scrap wood strips, I have been gluing them together and thickness-plane them down to go into the boxes as the bottoms.

Woodworking courses taught by master craftsman Brain Benham
I started out grouping them by species, but as I went, I got a little more creative. I then started mixing two different wood types together by alternating them. Thus creating some decorative interest in the bottom of the boxes.
Now, I don’t know if the time I spent gluing these together saved me any money when comparing my labor cost to buying new material. However, I do like knowing that very little goes to waste in my shop, and the glued-up strips of different species of wood make for a much more interesting and decorative bottom for my boxes.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.