As I walked the aisles of the IWF 2014 exhibit halls last month I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of good hardwood was being cut up in demo after demo, and then dumped into trashcans. I assumed that hardwood was then hauled away to the dumpsters. I thought there must be something useful that could be done with all that scrap lumber. I wasn’t alone. Several companies also saw the potential in that hardwood and put it to good use.
I saw one great example when I stopped by the TigerStop booth. On top of one of their new machines (the TigerSaw 1000) being demonstrated was a sign saying they were making cabinet doors for Habitat for Humanity. They told me that at every show they try to come up with some way to use the cut hardwood for something. For instance they did one show where kids could use the pre-cut hardwood to make bat houses to combat West Nile Virus. At IWF 2014 they decided on the cabinet doors. TigerStop could cut the stiles and rails but needed help with the rest so they enlisted three other companies to complete the job.
James L. Taylor Manufacturing, Unique Machine and Tool Company, and Stiles Machinery, Inc. all came on board to help with machining and to complete the process by doing things like making the center panels, shaping the frame profiles, and assembly. All have participated on other projects in the past, but not all on this scale.
In a show like IWF these companies can go through thousands of feet of top quality lumber demonstrating their equipment. In some cases it can run up to $30 a sheet. We’re talking thousands of dollars in stock that hits the dumpster after the big pieces are made into small ones. It is heartening to see companies like TigerStop, JLT, Stiles, and Unique take the initiative to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. They are to be applauded for both their social and ecological responsibility. I hope to see more companies do the same in the future.