Five Simple Woodworking Aids from Scrap

At one time I would throw all the scrap pieces of wood left over from projects. In winter these scrap pieces would go into the barbecue fire along with charcoal. Later I began to realise that there was no such thing as scrap – that most pieces could be put to good use.

I first began to sense the need for small scrap pieces when there was a need to wedge or balance a work piece. Most essential were small flat pieces of scrap to cushion the hold of C-Clamps which can leave a deep indentation in the wood.

Awkward or thin pieces of wood also need to be clamped with the help of scrap pieces at times. Nowadays instead of throwing away scrap pieces I put them in a large plastic drum.

In recent times, I have found myself searching the drum for pieces to make a large number of simple but essential shop aids.

These are some of the more useful ones I have made:

A Push stick for my router table. Makes working safer.
Router Base Extension. I cut out a handle from two 3/4 inch plywood pieces glued together.  I then screwed it onto a polycarbonate base which will attach to my DeWalt 625 router. This jig makes edge moulding and similar work easier.
A tote box for tools and jigs. It was made from plywood scrap and screws
Plywood wedges - invaluable for jamming a work piece in a frame or against any edge.
Hinge Mortise Jig. I made this to rout shallow mortises for small hinges. I need to tweak this a little to work with 2 inch hinges.

I like to paint these aids not because it is necessary but because they look better. Besides, brightly coloured pieces are easier to spot in a cluttered workshop among piles of wood and scrap. Also, painted pieces of MDF and plywood last longer if painted.

Indranil Banerjie
26 September 2012


  1. Nifty little aids. They are a much unappreciated bunch once you have them. I like the color on these it will be difficult to loose them over the shop clutter.

  2. I just really like working with wood made and am always looking for new techniques of doing it.I have obtained a lot of information from your blog.

    MDF | Veneered MDF


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