(With the holiday week here in the United States, you’ve got to find more time in the shop. We encourage you to take an hour or two to woodwork with a family member, and hope that this article provides a jump-start to that end.)
I’ve been married to a woodworker for more than 20 years. I’ve been, at different times, sweeping up a wood shop and watching as small cutoffs are tossed into the fireplace or trash all those years. It really bugs me. I’m not an everyday woodworker, but enough is enough.
This year, with the holidays approaching, I made the decision that I was going to design a project that would make use of some of the scraps, and present it as a gift. I grabbed a pencil and paper and went to work. What came to mind is a desk organizer because I could use a variety of different species, shapes and sizes. The design I settled on is by no means the only design available – it’s just what I had in mind as I sat down to draw.
Not being a woodworker, I had to work in the shop with my husband; that turned out to be quite an adventure. I’d suggest that every woodworker get their spouse, son, daughter or grand-kids into the shop. Small projects such as this are great introductions to woodworking.
Your selection is primarily dependent on the scrap you have at hand. I had a 3”-thick cutoff of tiger maple with more checks than a small town bank, so that became the pencil holder of the set. And there was plenty of 1-1/2” mahogany wide enough for my cell-phone-storage block. To include another species, I found a short piece of wenge that was perfect for the remaining blocks (one to store eyeglasses and another to hold paraphernalia such as paperclips or pushpins) – those were placed as end blocks in the overall design.