Scrap Wood Projects: 3 Simple Ideas





Introduction: Scrap Wood Projects: 3 Simple Ideas

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics graduate studying Mechanical Engineering. I like to make things and spend time outdoors (especially SCUBA diving). I am a Community Manager for Instructables.

If you are a woodworker or not, chances are that you have some scrap wood taking up space in your shop or garage. Make use of that would-be trash, and transform it into something useful! This instructable will cover the process of turning scrap 2x4s into: a simple bird house, a useful tool box, and a set of wooden blocks.

Step 1: Bird House

Split a short piece of 2x4 lengthwise and plane till they are 1/2 inch thick.

Step 2: Cut Front and Back

Tape the two boards together and design the front and back of the bird house. This bird house was cut with a band saw and sanded flat with sanding blocks.

Step 3: Cut Sides

Cut a short length off of the remaining boards. Align the sides with the front. Mark the angles to cut the sides to. Cut the middle sections square so that both sides fit together. Assembling the bird house with tape, drill pilot holes for the nails. Glue and nail together.

Step 4: Drill Holes

Using 1/2 inch drill bit, drill the entrance to the bird house. Using a 1/4 inch drill bit, drill a hole for the perch below the entrance. Glue a short length of dowel into the lower hole.

Step 5: Build Roof

Cut a 1/8 inch veneer off a scrap piece of 2x4. Cut to size, nail and glue in place.

Step 6: Create Shingles

Using the remaining veneer, rip 1/2 inch strips. Cut to varying lengths between 5/8 and 1 inch.

Step 7: Attach Shingles

Gluing row by row starting from the bottom of the roof, add shingles moving up the roof. Make sure that the bottom of the next row covers up the top edge of the previous row of shingles. Once one side of the roof is finished, let it dry before staring on the other. Once both sides are finished, glue a 3/4 inch wide veneer on each side using tape to hold it in place.

Step 8: Tool Box

Create 3 - 7 x 21 x 1/2 inch boards by ripping a length of 2x4 in half, joining, planing, and gluing together.

Step 9: Cut Boards

Cut the boards to 13 inches in length. Using the ends that were cut off, create the ends of the tool box. Cut to size and sand smooth by clamping the ends together and sanding till the ends match.

Step 10: Cut Sides

Lineup the ends and sides and mark how high the sides should be. Rip sides to correct width.

Step 11: Router Rabbets

Using a straight router bit, cut a 1/4 inch rabbet a 1/4 inch deep around the bottom piece as well as on the ends of the sides. Mark the height of the sides on the ends, cut the same rabbet to the line.

Cut a 1/4 inch dado across the bottom of the ends and sides.

Step 12: Square Rabbet

Using a chisel, cut the rabbet up to the line that was drawn in a previous step.

Step 13: Drill Handle Hole

Drill a 1 inch hole in the top of the ends of the tool box.

Step 14: Assemble Tool Box

Using clamps and glue, assemble the tool box.

Step 15: Glue Handle in Place

Cut a 1 inch dowel to the overall length of the tool box. Glue in place.

Step 16: Blocks

Cut and plane a 2x4 till it's 1 x 2 1/4 inches.

Step 17: Cut Out Block Shapes

Cut out the basic shapes of blocks. Make longer pieces twice as long as the width.

Step 18: Wedges

To make wedges, cut diagonally across the rectangles. Make sure to remove saw marks by sanding them away.

Step 19: Arches and Semi-Circles

Mark semi-circles using a compass with a diameter equal to the width of all the blocks.

Step 20: Sand All Blocks

Sand blocks smooth breaking and rounding edges and corners.

Step 21: Apply Butcher Block Conditioner

Using a clean rag, apply multiple coats of butcher block conditioner to the blocks. This will protect the blocks from their inevitable wear and tear as well as ensure that they can be cleaned.



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    14 Discussions

    My small birdhouses like this are often occupied by paper wasps in the spring, summer, and fall. Like most wasps, they are nectar feeding pollinators, so usually I like having them around as long as they aren't too aggressive. If you do not want wasps or other stinging insects to occupy them or nest under the roof, keep the eaves narrow and simply paint a black circle instead drilling a hole.

    Nice design, good reuse of wood.

    Just FYI, in case anyone wanted to build a birdhouse that a bird would use, leave off the perch. The bird that can enter the hole doesn't need it (no perches outside of holes in trees, remember!), but a predatory bird can use that perch to hang on while raiding the nest.

    Bird houses need to be cleaned out occasionally. Is there a way of doing that?

    3 replies

    Because this birdhouse is only about 4 inches tall, there will never be a need to clean anything out as no bird that I'm aware of can fit through the 1/2 inch entrance. But If this was made on a larger scale, you would need to take the bird house apart in order to clean it out. I would suggest a different means of attaching the roof to facilitate it's easy removal.

    A chickadee can and dose fit through a 1/2 hole myself and my father have been using these designs for many yrs

    yeah chickadees, titmice, juncos, even house sparrows would use that.

    I have made my kids blocks out of scrap for years by just chopping up scraps. They have always been a big success. I am going to make yours. I think they will be an even greater hit...thanks for the plan.

    I want to make that Tool-Box!

    I've been needing a small and simple Tool-Box like that. I do most of my DIY'ing in my room, But many times I carry out tools to our balcony, Which is kind of annoying because I can't bring all of them in one time...

    I think a Tool-Box like that would be really useful! Thanks for the idea!

    2 replies

    It's very simple to make and completely customizeable to whatever size or shape you need!


    I'll show you the end result when I'm done :)

    I made one of these in middle school. I hope to see more of these project's they are great starter projects for kids. I'm sure my grandkids will enjoy helping me with them. Thank you

    These are great little projects Troy. Nice work!

    I especially like the birdhouse :)

    1 reply

    Thanks! A version of this bird house was actually my first assignment in my freshmen wood shop class in high school. That version was made completely using hand tools.

    I like some project using wood.