What to do with scrap


I hate waste… what do you do with your scrap? I was thinking about making scrabble tiles or wooden nickels. Anyone else have ideas for what to do with the endless supplies of scrap?


Buffalo. No part goes to waste.

With any single sheet, I first make big things. (E.g., large boxes or other big items.) Then medium sized things. (Small boxes, good for gifts.) Then smaller things – coins, decorative squares. Then tiny things (buttons, etc.).

Out of my medium scraps, I recently made a bunch of coins (see: Worth more or less). Then I took the cut-out hands and wrote positive things on them (“Good job!” and “Wow!”). I’m going to be dropping them off randomly over the next week – leaving them on people’s desks, leaving with the tip at lunch, etc. Even the cut-out wrists (small rectangles) have been put to use – it just took a 1/16th drill bit to make them into beads.

The final scrap that goes in my trash is typically thinner than 3mm. (If I have 3mm or more surface area, then I can work with it!)


The Carpenters Clamps in the catalog are a great one for small scraps. Always nice to have a bunch of those laying around.


My rule is that if it is larger than 4 postage stamps keep it. At some point you can use it. Another rule is that when it is time to make something I start looking at my small scraps and work my way up.


I like to make @m_raynsford’s Escher fish that were in a similar thread a while back. I made a version of the SVG with just a single fish that can fit in some pretty small scraps.

I also have my own version of the infamous “round tuit” that I cut to use up scrap:

Round Tuit - single

If I have enough room to cut the full square, I engrave the “TUIT”, score the decoration, and cut the square, then flip it over to the other side and repeat the engrave and score on the other side (along with a final cut on the circle). That allows me to keep the front and back TUIT aligned. If I’m particularly tight on space, I just cut the circle and do my best to align it for the back side engrave.


I cut lots of gears and other useful shapes. (Circles, Squares, rounded Squares, Octagons, etc.)
(Bags full.)


Previously: Viking funeral


I will argue that printing trinkets or decorations just for the purpose of not wanting to waste material is the maker’s version of my mother telling me to finish my food because “children are starving in Africa”.
the kids were no better off, and I now have a pot belly.
or in this case, you just put more energy and machine wear to create something you didn’t need in the first place.

well, if you left those INSTEAD of the tip, now that is a good way to save some money!! :wink:


I put them in the bin. I am a terrible person.


If all you make from scrap is trinkets I’d have to agree but there are practical items to be made as well from smaller pieces.


And when @Jules says she makes gears and such…she ends up using them on other projects. The examples out there are a-plenty. :wink:


Right, gears and other embellishments for later projects. I make a lot of wall hanging tabs. Takes two postage stamp size pieces for one, you use them two at a time so I am always needing them. I try to keep a dozen or so made up but often run low.


Yeah, I went through quite a gear stage a while back. :smile:


Like keyhole hangers?


Exactly, sorry I could not think of the term. Yes, if you make anything decorative and potentaly wall hanging, go ahead and make a dozen or so sets and have them on hand.


That’s a great tip! I do plan to make things to be hung, so I will keep this in mind.


Gears are great for make work, if you put them into the design you can make it work :slight_smile:


And for Leather or anything flexible,there is this , it might work with 1 or 2 mm wood as well

though with the Glowforge and a high speed cut even very thin stuff left over can be used as pins to hold sliding parts from sliding

Carousel Spinner
Engineering and gagetry

OMG! I must have one! :grinning:


And now, there is only one left - whoever else wants it - better grab it. :smile: