#1
Old 06-01-2009, 06:12 PM
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Scrap wood at Home Depot--Free or not?

I went to Home Depot to buy some insulation and tape to install an air conditioner. While I was there, I stopped by the section where they cut wood to order. They had a couple of boxes full of scrap wood, i.e. the wood left over after people have cut theirs to order. I picked up four scraps of wood, some were pieces of molding, and none longer than five inches, to put under the air conditioner to position it correctly.

I went to the check out, expecting that there would just be a nominal charge (or no charge) for the scrap wood. The cashier (after consulting with the other cashier) said all the pieces would have to be measured and identified. I explained that I just grabbed them out of the scrap box, but she said that "someone might want to buy them." I said forget it.

Surely the Home Depot can't expect to sell four-inch segments of unsorted molding and wood, right? What's the point of having a scrap box if they are going to charge you full price?

Most importantly, does Lowe's charge for its scrap wood? I still need some!
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#2
Old 06-01-2009, 07:45 PM
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HD gathers up the leftover pieces of molding and gets a credit from the vendors at the end of the month. It might seem silly, but all of those little pieces usually add up to hundreds of feet after a few weeks.

In the lumber aisle, the 2 x 4s often come with 1/8" thick slats separating every few rows. (at least they did where I worked) I'd usually save those and stack 'em in a little spot for exactly the purpose you describe. Did you try the lumber aisle or the millworks aisle?

- Jimmy Flair, former orange aproned worker bee
#3
Old 06-01-2009, 10:24 PM
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When I worked there, the only thing I can think of that was given free as scrap was the little cutoffs from roller shades. Occasionally you'd get someone with a really stupidly small window and those would actually work. Oh, and if we had a carpet rollend which was way to small to make a rem (marked down and sold) then we'd throw them away unless someone asked for them. Usually we'd get teachers picking them up for projects.


Other than that, everything - including wood was either sold or sent back for credit.
#4
Old 06-02-2009, 01:49 AM
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You'd probably have better luck at a local independent hardware store or lumber yard (if you still have any in your town).
#5
Old 06-02-2009, 03:20 AM
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Or you could just get a little bundle of shims for a dollar. They'll be uniform and easier to use than random chunks of wood, unless you have a large gap to fill, in which case you should just get a piece of wood cut to fit it.
#6
Old 06-02-2009, 01:40 PM
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It could also be just that particular cashier that particular day. I picked up a couple of pieces of pegboard out of the scrap bin one day after asking an orange apron in the lumber area itself. No charge, no problem at all.

The thing with big companies is that left hand #4,520 doesn't often know what right hand #9,167 is doing. Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad.

Last edited by Kingspades; 06-02-2009 at 01:40 PM.
#7
Old 06-02-2009, 06:01 PM
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Thank you, to everyone who responded. I'm glad that there is an actual reason and not just because the cashier didn't like my face!

I am surprised that they get a refund for the unused scraps of wood. That is bizarre.
#8
Old 06-02-2009, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erdosain View Post
I am surprised that they get a refund for the unused scraps of wood. That is bizarre.
Ohh, they scrape out every cent they can, believe me. We were absolutely FORBIDDEN from giving customers any cardboard, since it was all baled and sold (presumably by the pound). Say a customer bought a $1000 BBQ and paid extra to have it assembled. This would mean that the box that the BBQ came in is now gone or too small for the assembled unit. Now, he'd probably want a sheet of cardboard to keep the BBQ (and transporting vehicle) unscratched on the way home, right?

Too bad, pal. Sure you just dropped over a thousand bucks in the store, but that piece of cardboard that covered a lift of melamine sheets might be worth a third of a cent at the recyclers!

Being the bad ass that I am, I'd meet 'em in the parking lot with SEVERAL big pieces of cardboard! Ooooooooh! Stickin' to the man, man!
#9
Old 06-02-2009, 07:28 PM
bup bup is offline
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At my local Home Depot, they have a bin where they sell bits and pieces of wood - like 25 cents or fifty cents apiece, depending on the spray paint mark on it. It's a good deal if I need a short piece of 2x4 or 1x8 or whatever.
#10
Old 06-02-2009, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingspades View Post
It could also be just that particular cashier that particular day. I picked up a couple of pieces of pegboard out of the scrap bin one day after asking an orange apron in the lumber area itself. No charge, no problem at all.

The thing with big companies is that left hand #4,520 doesn't often know what right hand #9,167 is doing. Sometimes that's good, sometimes that's bad.
I'd echo that. Just the other day, I tried to buy a cull (as mentioned by bup), but it didn't have the color coding on it, so the cashier wouldn't sell it to me. Other times I've picked ends of wood out of the trash bin, and the cashier didn't make any issue of my taking them. (My view is, if it's in the trash, you're doing them a tiny, tiny favor by not making them bear the cost of disposing of it.)
#11
Old 06-02-2009, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bup View Post
At my local Home Depot, they have a bin where they sell bits and pieces of wood - like 25 cents or fifty cents apiece, depending on the spray paint mark on it. It's a good deal if I need a short piece of 2x4 or 1x8 or whatever.
Oh yeah!! I had forgotten about that. The damn cart was always in the way when we were trying to bring a load of tile or wood flooring to the lumber door for loading.


In addition to them sucking every cent out of people for scrap, they even are supposed to charge a deposit on pallets.

So, you spend a few hundred dollars on tile, or wood flooring and pick it up all nicely palletized but the cashier is supposed to charge a deposit and you don't get it back unless you bring the pallet back.

I'm sorry but when I sell someone over $1000 worth of flooring, I think they should get the pallet for free.
#12
Old 06-02-2009, 09:06 PM
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I work at a Sutherlands, a smaller chain than Lowe's or Home Depot. Scrapwise, one of the lumber guys will write on a price and his initials. Then, as a cashier, I ring it up under the general "scrap" number.
#13
Old 06-02-2009, 10:06 PM
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That was how we handled carpet and shade scraps. Oh, and tiles. We got a lot of people making mosiac furniture and they'd take the scraps from tile we cut in-house.
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