Introduction: Scrap Birds

Whilst making wooden decor items which are cut from a rectangle of wood, I am inevitably left with SCRAP! Yes the surroundings to the cutout profile. It's the corners that offer the most "meat", and I needed to come up with a project to reuse the scrap? Something cute and easy to do were the priorities. And so the "Scrap Birds" idea was born? A small wooden bird shape that could be cutout of the waste corners with a timber tail. I use a CNC machine but by no means is that a prerequisite, as a jigsaw, band saw or fret saw will achieve the same thing.


Scrap wood of any thickness greater than 12mm (1/2") for the body.

3 ply or thin wood scrap for the tail

Oil or clear finish for the body. Paint for the chest highlight, preferably leftover materials?

Wood glue to adhere the tail piece

Saw, rasp and sandpaper if no power tools to hand

Step 1: Let's Get to It!

There are by no means any hard or fast rules for the dimensions here, it's a matter of you seeing a vacant piece of scrap and coming up with a shape? It could be geometric or an animal figure? In my case a bird, the dimensions I used are in the sketch. What's not shown in the sketch are the tail piece and rebate to house it? I used a table saw to cut a rebate about 6mm (1/4") deep. The width of the rebate will suit whatever thin scrap you've got?

I then wrote a CAM operation in Fusion 360 to cutout and machine the sloping side faces. I incorporated two wood tabs to hold the cutout in place whilst machining. If you have a jig saw, band saw or fret saw then no need for tabs just saw away. Then with a rasp, shape your bird's body to suit. Similarly, cut out your birds tail and glue in the rebate. Sand and finish with whatever you've got leftover?

It's all about reuse, not spending anymore money purchasing supplies! There you have it, I got four birds out of one piece of scrap. I used some spray can paint to adorn their chests and named them "Eldorado, Verde, Rosa and Lava"! Too cute, and a great gift idea that costs ZIP!

Scraps Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge