When we built our house in New Mexico, we asked the builder to leave the scrap lumber behind and he was happy to do that. Some of the wood was useful as firewood at best, but a lot of it was worth saving and preserving for future projects. For example, the cage that protects our cats from coyotes, while still letting them enjoy the night air, was made from scrap lumber.
Deep inside the scrap pile, Ted found a perfectly finished tongue-and-groove oak plank almost three feet long, left over from the kitchen cabinetry. He drilled it to accommodate pegs and made a coat rack for the wall behind the kitchen door. He cut the pegs from a length of 1" dowel. "There's no point in finishing these pegs bright," he mused, "because the wood is crap. Might as well just paint it."
Ted knows wood. His favorite is walnut, but he's also partial to cherry and rosewood.
He has a collection of wood samples, made to fulfill a class requirement at Ohio University where he earned his industrial arts education degree.
Ted's a particular sorta guy, as anybody who knows him can attest, so if he says a piece of wood is crap, there's no arguing with him about it.
Ted hates to paint. He told me once when he was building a cabinet for our house in Virginia that after he puts it together, he might as well just pitch it out of the garage and into the wetlands below because the finish would be terrible no matter how hard he tried to get it right and in spite of the fact that he knows where all the pitfalls of finishing lie. He's not kidding. I've seen his finish work. It's not so hot.