Using Recycled Materials

Reusing items in creative ways has always intrigued me.  My father used to save items that had outlived their intended purpose if he thought it could possibly be used in the future. Things like pieces of wood, metal objects, hardware from dismantled furniture, pieces of string and the list goes on.  I saw pieces of wood used and re-used several times, metal drilled and bent into brackets or used to repair appliances, garage doors and garden tractors.  I think I inherited the trait and I certainly inherited his stash when he passed. Lets consider a few items that fit the topic on this website – carving.

One of the trails I walk on goes by a golf course and this is a good supply of golf balls.  I use these for handles on my palm chisels and files.

If you bring home a plastic takeout container or meat tray they can be cleaned and used for storage of supplies or small in-progress or finished projects.

Good quality broken jig saw blades can be used to make fine detail carving knives and short sections of copper pipe can be used for the ferrule.

Broken hardwood broom handles can be a source carving material and with a little shaping, chisel, knife and file handles.

Discarded furniture can be a source of carving wood and hardware.

Old wood palettes can be a source of wood.

Because I carve miniatures, I get ‘scrap’ pieces from wood workers (thank you Woodworker Willie), and from my own projects.

A local lumber store has a scrap bin that I visit and at times it occasionally produces useful items.

Don’t forget yard sales.  I picked up an old chisel once that needed a good cleaning, sharpening and a handle. It turned out to be a very good quality name brand item.  I paid 25 cents for a chisel that priced out over $50 at a tool supply dealer.

Thrift stores can also yield finds.

These are just a few ideas. Once you start thinking this way, you can come up with very creative ways of recycling items.