[Lab] Sources of scrap wood

Jason Cobill jason.cobill at gmail.com
Mon May 4 11:12:28 EDT 2015

   Anyone have any ideas where people might find cheap/free scrap wood over
the spring? I'll jot a few of my thrifty spots down, feel free to add on.

   1) *Housing developments:* Housing developers are more concerned with
hitting contract deadlines than waste - so they'll often cut a 9-inch
corner off a 4x8 sheet and toss the rest in the bin. Dumpster diving can be
incredibly productive on these sites (think Aylmer, Barrhaven, the north
end of Kanata) but it's also technically illegal - and be careful in the
bins because obviously there's lots of sharp stuff (nails, glass, etc).

   2) *Renovations:* During the spring there's lots of reno projects going
on - most homeowners just want to be rid of the old material and won't mind
if you dig around a bit in their junk pile. Spring garbage day in my
neighbourhood is especially full of demolished treasures. Be sure to ask -
again, it's illegal to poke around through people's trash without
    Be aware that materials you scavenge may contain hidden nails and other
hazards - you can do some damage to yourself if you unexpectedly hit one
with a tablesaw.

   3) *Apartment Furniture:* People moving between apartments leave behind
heaps of furniture at apartment building dumpsters at the ends of the
month. Most of it's garbage MDF/LDF, but sometimes people are throwing out
dining chairs or small tables that are full-on real wood. You can break it
down and give it a new life as a picture frame or a birdhouse.
   Be sure to show up early on moving days - there's lots of antiquing
competition who drive around making a business out of spotting the good

   -Jason Cobill
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