Wong’s Building Supply and Their Pile of Granite Scrap




The other day I heard a vicious rumor. My friend Cris told me there was a place on McLoughlin with a pile of granite scrap for people to dig through if they so desired. The name of his magical place? Wong’s Building Supply. I cannot stand an unsubstantiated rumor so I went on a field trip.

In grade school in Wisconsin every year we went on the same field trip: the Milwaukee Zoo. This annual event accomplished two things: I grew to hate zoos and any event that involved a school bus. Field trips to Wong’s Building Supply, or to any other place to find scrap or salvage, are a far different type of adventure. No school bus, no annoying passel of kids, no teacher / chaperone, and no stinky animals. No lunch at the zoo. Salvage field trips unfold something like this: 

I walked into Wong’s and said to one of the gentlemen patrolling the floor: Hey. I heard a rumor that you have a scrap pile around here somewhere. What’s the word? At which point I heard good and bad news. The good news: Wong’s does indeed put its various pieces of scrap granite in a pile in the parking lot. The pile can get quite large, and people are welcome to dig through it for what they want. The bad news: Wong’s just had a dump truck over to clean up their lot, and they hauled the scrap pile to the dump. 


Oh, The HORROR! The rep sensed my anguish, and quickly noted that the dump truck is a rare occurrence — most of the time the scrap goes to whomever finds what they need. In addition, he said, there is a separate pile of pallets and crates for people to take if they so desire. The granite inventory is shipped to Wong’s in the crates and pallets for which they have no use after shipment. 

Are you wondering what to do with scrap granite? I was hoping you would ask! Personally, my scrap granite went to build an outside counter top and tables. But there are so many ideas! Pathways, lamp bases, stairway risers, fire pits, cutting boards…those are just a few ideas found on Pinterest so far. As for the pallets, those are basically the miracle material of the DIY furniture world. You can make anything from them — and I mean anything. Wine racks, beds, headboards, storage, you name it. Probably somebody in Texas has made a rocket ship out of them. I have always lusted after a huge outdoor settee made of pallets and covered with pillows made from exotic salvaged foreign silks. Feel free to check out this Pinterest board for projects. And check out my friend Beth’s succulent (fantastic word) garden in the pic below. Nice use of a pallet, right? And she hasn’t even added the dirt yet!

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Thank God for salvage field trips! And scrap piles and DIY projects and keeping scrap out of the landfill. Isn’t life great? Unless, of course, you’re one of those poor animals at the zoo.