Getting Rid of Rip-Saw Cutoff Waste

Ideas for making a little spare change out of that pile of rip-saw off-cuts. May 26, 2008

What is the most cost effective way to use cutoff waste rips from a rip saw? Is there a product I can make out of the rips? Currently I cut them up and throw them in a dumpster. But we are becoming busier and busier and are starting to not be able to keep up. A wood hog would just add to our dust trailer and that is expensive too. I either need something to make or another way to effectively get rid of the material. My other thought was a wood burning furnace but that is only good for the winters.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor J:
We pile them on a cart. When full, we band it up and sell them for $10.00-$15.00 a bundle. It's hard to keep them around this time of year. We will eventually grind them up into our sawdust trailer so we don't have to deal with loading, unloading pickup trucks.

New England Wood Pellet pays for your saw dust/shavings. You call them when the trailer is full, they come and swap it for an empty one and send you a check. They pay by weight but a 40' trailer usually brings in about $100.00.

From contributor M:
We grind our rip waste and along with all of our sawdust and shavings sell it by the T/L through a broker. We receive $12/ton net of freight charges for our waste. One thing to note, if you use panel products and can't separate the panel dust from the solids, you will not be able to sell the waste, as no one wants to be burning the glues. However, grinding will still save a ton of space in the dumpster versus just tossing the rips.

From contributor B:
To me it depends on your size. We never got big enough to justify a grinder (purchase price, floor space, and running expense). We made shoe, bead, etc. from what ripping we had. Found that buying moulder blanks worked best for us. We stocked 8 sizes plus flooring blanks. Only thing we would rip was cherry or poplar blanks into smaller sizes when needed.

From contributor C:
Anything smaller than about 3/4 sq is a pain. The only thing I ever came up with was chopsticks. When they were hot, a good Christmas season sold a few thousand pairs, 3.75 per pair for basic hardwoods and 7.95 for exotic hardwood per pair. But the last few years, not enough to make it worthwhile. No real marketing effort, bigger fish to cook.

From contributor T:
We did what contributor J does. The bundle is always gone the next morning or shortly thereafter. Very little time is used disposing of the rips this way. Keep the bundles so two guys can pick it up and stuff it into a pickup or trailer.

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical advisor:
Chicken farmers like dry wood shavings and small particles (free of glue) for bedding. Perhaps you can donate the wood bundles to a charity that would help provide wood for lower income people - you would get a tax deduction and good publicity.

From contributor I:
Some trouble, but cutting to 14" to 16" length, stuffing into 5 gallon sheetrock buckets and placing outside for the locals to pick up as kindling. $1 or $2 per bucket, honor system payment. Empty buckets returned on next visit. Steady traffic flow during evening hours, keeping the evildoers at bay. Money donated to local charity. Church bulletins for exposure. Money to their charity of choice.