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Garbage Made Beautiful

Garbage Made Beautiful.

A few years back I moved into a new subdivision, When my wife and I were discussing where to move, I quite literally begged to be the first build in the newest subdivision in the little town we wanted to move to. To be able to hear the saws and hammers, the ground rumbling from cement trucks, and to wake up to smell the fresh cut SPF in the air and see the sawdust fly is bordering on living in heaven.

She agreed as we both share a passion for all things wood, so we put down our deposit and anticipated being the first house (outside of the demo units) on the block. I was in heaven, for the next 5 years every day there was a new house going up, and fresh sawdust in the air. The clanging of hammer on nails, and the sound of power drills, mixers, shingles, trucks, pavers, all of it is just the most wonderful blessing.

After my third year I finally noticed something that floored me. At first I was just floored, but then it soon really started to bother me. I stayed up night after night thinking about this to a point where at time I was drawn stomach upset and had to rely heavily on Tums for support.

Here’s what I noticed. At the end of every week I’d see the massive green industrial garbage bins being loaded with wood. Cut, or wood with nails or what have you, but every day there would be a pile of wood at the front of the lot and at the end of the week they would load it up and take it to the wastelands.

This was torture… how horrific. Good, fresh, clean lumber being tossed away in the masses. So after a while I’d had enough. I went to the developer and asked if I could collect the wood that was minimum 2 feet or longer. 2×4’s right up to 2×10’s. From premium pallets, to 14 ft long piles of fresh lumber. Some of the longer ones I’d have to cut some edges off, just to make sure there were no nails. Some I would cut the warps out, and some I’d cut out the dry rot… but all in all I started to amass stacks and stacks of good lumber.

At the beginning I sold it. People wanted framing wood and I had loads, so I sold it online, but it felt like I was giving away more money that I was getting back. So then… I had an idea. I think it’s time to turn this ‘garbage’ (I still feel bad calling it that) into something beautiful.

SO that’s what I did. I collected. I stored. And I built.   Attached are some pictures of just exactly that. I still do it today (I sell and post under @CozyCottageDesigns on Facebook if you want to see more “Garbage Made Beautiful”)

Below is an example of one table. i’ll share many with you as we go. But here is a custom order from a customer that wanted a solid coffee table that will last generations, all built from a developers garbage!


Below is my most recent piece.  It’s a custom order Queen size headboard.   it includes a pallet from the paving company and some 2×4’s along with some wider 2×6’s I had to rip in half.  After collecting the free wood its’ all just design and build. Glue and screw. sand and stain, and deliver!



This piece is an XL long Hall table. Built it for the store to sell and my wife demanded we keep It for the hall as it’s a perfect fit (but of course… if the right price comes offering… it’ll be gone so fast it’ll make your teeth bleed.)



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3 thoughts on “Garbage Made Beautiful

  1. Truly an inspiration.

    It is harsh calling any wood “Garbage” but I get where you’re coming from.

    This is what giving back is all about.

    Proud of you Larry.


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