Woodshop Scrap Business: Make Hardwood Combs

Make hardwood combs from woodscraps to sell for profit. Hardwood combs can be classically long and slender, or artfully rounded; choose whichever shape suits your taste.

| May/June 1978

  • Make hardwood combs from woodscraps to sell for profit using these helpful tips.
    Make hardwood combs from woodscraps to sell for profit using these helpful tips.

  • Make hardwood combs from woodscraps to sell for profit using these helpful tips.

Make hardwood combs, reuse hardwood scraps and make money with these simple, attractive combs.

"Toy animals aren't the only potentially salable items you can make from woodshop scraps," Jim Ballard wrote us after reading Homer and Gerry Debo's Making Wooden Animal Toys for Profit, November/December 1977. "You can also recycle hardwood bits and pieces into handsome, durable combs and sell those finished combs for up to — 7 dollars — apiece!"

Sometime back, while visiting a friend's shop, I noticed that my friend (like most folks who dabble in woodworking) had accumulated a boxful of hardwood scraps scraps that were destined to be tossed out. At the time, I was a little low on cash, so I decided to try my hand at working these beautiful bits of wood and make usable — perhaps even salable — objects, namely — hardwood combs.

Eventually, after much trial and error (with hundreds of comb teeth popping off and flying all over the shop), I succeeded in developing a system that I could count on to produce quality combs time after time — combs, moreover, that I could sell whenever I wanted for as much as — 7 dollars apiece!

I'll bet that you can do the same thing. Using the following procedure, you should have no trouble producing (and selling) your own good-looking hardwood combs just as I have done. (I do urge you to improvise as you see fit, however, since the suggestions that follow are only that — suggestions.)

Comb Equipment and Raw Materials

Your main piece of combmaking equipment, naturally enough,will be a saw. A table saw does a great job of cutting each comb's teeth, but — if you have a steady hand and a careful nature — a miter box and handsaw will do the job, too. I've found, though, that a band saw tends to make wavy, uneven cuts — and I don't recommend that you use one.

In addition to a saw, you'll need several grades of sandpaper, ranging from coarse to very fine. Then too, a belt sander will speed up the shaping process and is — I've found — ideal for tapering and sharpening a comb's teeth. A disc sander or sanding block will work, however, if you don't have (or have access to) a power sander — it'll just take a little longer.

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