Turn wood waste into beautiful products

Every woodworking unit desires to make better use of the wood waste generated during the manufacturing process and utilize the precious wood that takes decades to grow. This article discusses methods of converting wooden end-cuts and side-cuts into attractive gift articles and novelties.

The residues while making furniture/allied wooden products are termed as wood waste. There are mainly four types of wood wastes generated in factories, namely:

  • Wooden end-cuts / side-cuts
  • Wood chips
  • Veneer waste
  • Panel (MDF/Plywood/Chip-board) board waste

Many novel products can be manufactured profitably from the heaps of chips/cuts instead of discarding as scrap. The techniques used and investment required for the waste recovery project depends on its scale.

Panel board waste
Veneer waste
Wooden end-cuts/ side-cuts
Wood chips

To manufacture any uniform product, one has to first segregate the waste into various shapes/sizes. A uniform size can be easily cut from such segregated lots. A simple circular saw can be used to convert the wood into uniform sizes or sections. Wooden pushers should be used for operator’s safety. A small feeder can be used to automate the feeding.

The uniformly cut waste lots can then be turned into desired final products. If we have a large amount of precious timber waste we can very well make high value products from it. A few examples are listed here.

Boxes from precious hardwood waste

To produce wooden boxes as shown in the images, one needs the sized timber to be processed in various shapes and sizes. This can be done on small spindle molder/small pin router with proper jigs. No skilled worker is required, if we have these tools.

If we have the wood waste from soft wood or secondary species, one can produce articles in the economic range having huge potential. A few examples include products like a wooden USB Drive and a thin wooden box.

Uniformly sized timber waste
Turned Parts from waste
Wooden USB drive

These products require good quality machines to assure precision working. Small machines can be developed or deployed for higher productivity.

A small CNC turning lathe (Representative Picture)

Small CNC Turning Lathes and Milling Machines are available in the market that can produce these kinds of products.

Wooden handles and turned components are the next range of products that can be produced on large scale, if the wood waste is available in abundance.

Last but not the least, the products in great demand for mass consumption are wooden toys and building blocks. Wood waste is considered as the best raw material for making such products. One can use virgin timber if the demand is more in a particular geography.

Wooden building blocks

The building blocks, as depicted in picture, may appear an easy bet to manufacture. However, practically, it is very difficult to manufacture these blocks. The manufacturing of these blocks demands a lot of precision work. High quality machines are required to be used as the blocks need to be cut at absolutely 90 degrees – not a degree less not a degree more. The blocks must stand the test of stacking 10 to 12 layers without their tower toppling over.

All the blocks and components need fine sanding for smooth surface finish. This is the process that adds highest value to the product. The other value-adding factor is to avoid sharp corners to the product that may injure the child.

Use of non-toxic paints while finishing imparts the USP to the product and makes it safe for kids and export-compliant.

If properly implemented, several products worth millions can be produced from wood waste. For this reason, I say, wood could be new gold.

Shantikumar Mansabdar,
Chartered Engineer
Email: shanti@woodconconsultants.com
Tel: + 91- 93739 01117
Web: www.woodconconsultants.com