Beautiful Waste

I’ve been making a lot of shavings lately, and when working with hand tools, I find that sometimes the waste products are just as pretty as the finished products.

Beautiful Waste Fall 2015


A chaotic pile of pecan shavings becomes a collage of curly shapes surrounding the tools that made them.

Beautiful Waste Fall 2015

Wide ribbons of jointer plane shavings contrast with tiny shavings from the spokeshave.

Beautiful Waste Fall 2015

Plump curls of poplar shavings frame the stool seat from which they were cut.

Beautiful Waste Fall 2015

The waste from a drawknife is angular and sharp.  I wouldn’t exactly call it a chip, and I wouldn’t exactly call it a shaving.  To my eye, it looks a little like a reptile’s claw.

Beautiful Waste Fall 2015

The spokeshave, when making chamfers, makes what my young daughters call “doll’s hair.”

I’m always a little sad to discard my best shavings.  But at least I can save a few of them in photographs.  Even waste products can be beautiful.

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