Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 139, March 2017 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
The Down to Earth Woodworker
By Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

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Scrap Wood Follow-Up

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Figure 4 - This scrap wood accent wall is
striking and functional.
In the January 2017 edition of Wood News Online I discussed my annual ritual of utilizing scraps from the busy winter woodworking season, and a number of readers sent notes with additional ideas for using up those precious bits of wood. One of the more interesting came from Ron in North Carolina who sent a few pictures of a wall behind the reception desk at a company headquarters.

Figure 5 - The varying thicknesses of wood
offer visual interest and likely help keep
noise levels down
Ron suggests that scraps could be cut, finished, and applied to a substrate such as that used for tile. A woodworker could make these wood "tiles" (for lack of better terminology) up over time until enough were assembled to put together a big project. Imagine a scrap-wood accent wall or room divider. The different thicknesses of wood on this wall give it three-dimensional interest and make it a striking accent. Used in a home theater or music room, the irregular surface would (as any audiophile will tell you) break up standing waves and improve the sound quality.

It seems to me that Ron's suggestion could be a very creative answer to large volumes of quality wood scraps. Imagine this concept used as a backsplash between kitchen upper and lower cabinets. It would certainly say "woodworker lives here" more than the currently trendy subway tile backsplash.

Of course, a wall like this could be built "in situ" without taking the step of building "sub-assemblies" or "wood tiles" but be sure to check local codes. In most places, wood used on walls must be backed up by a fire-stop such as cement board or drywall.

Figure 6 - Unlike a tabletop where we woodworkers would strive for invisible seams, this
close-up shows how the small spaces and gaps in this wall actually add to the
visual impact.

If the pre-assembled tiles were planed to consistent thickness, this idea could even be used to make a one-of-a-kind, beautiful floor. Wall or floor, if a lot of the wood making up the "collage" is reclaimed, recycled, or upcycled, it could also be a real conversation piece. Thanks, Ron, for sending the photos and giving all of the Highland Wood News Online readers this great idea.

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Steven Johnson is retired from an almost 30-year career selling medical equipment and supplies, and now enjoys improving his shop, his skills, and his designs on a full time basis (although he says home improvement projects and furniture building have been hobbies for most of his adult life). Steven can be reached directly via email at sjohnson@downtoearthwoodworking.com

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