WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Used Lumber Project Book

The Used Lumber Project Book
by Kerry Pierce

Popular Woodworking Books: 2003
Paperback, 128 pp., $24.99
ISBN 1-55870-638-0

     Many woodworkers know the use and limitations of scrounging old pallet wood, but had you ever considered using crusted concrete forms as a wood source? Kerry Pierce will show you how, and to do it, he'll require only the regrinding of an old hand chisel and storage of the lumber until it is time for a blade change in your planer. For thirteen scrap wood projects, Pierce explains where to look for salvagable lumber, how to deal with dismantling stubborn pallets, and how to judiciously cut around defects to get the most use out of what you've dragged home.
     According to some estimates," the author notes, "20% of the solid material going into the nation's landfills is building salvage, and a significant percentage of that material is recyclable wood." Salvagable wood is often every bit as good as woods newly purchased, for things like interior furniture frames, corner blocks and cleats. "If, collectively," Pierce says, "the woodworkers in this country could convince themselves to build with 25% recycled material, the effect on the world's timber supply would be significant.
     In presenting these thirteen projects, Pierce goes into detail about squaring up stock, aligning joinery, the sequence of different constructions and how to use different materials for their best appeal in a project. Several boxes are presented, but projects range from small coasters and tea caddys to a tabletop easel, a mud room bench and a country style sofa table with turned legs. He also provides guidance on constructing a set of collapsible saw horses, assembled with a cam-locking crossbar. Step by step color photos clearly lead the reader through each project.
     At the end of the book is a short gallery section of photos submitted to the author for inclusion. Some very creative and professional furniture pieces are shown, originating as barn siding, flooring, skid rails and crates. It is plainly amazing how much use Pierce gets out of recycled material. If you are buying new wood for each project at your local lumber store, this book will help you rethink your acquisition of materials.

. . . Barb Siddiqui