638. Designated Dirt and Wood

88:10 Dirt and sand that were heaped in the corner of a courtyard or in a house may be handled on Shabbos because the presumption is that they are intended for use. If the dirt or sand is scattered, it’s considered subordinate to the ground and it may not be handled. Similarly, if one cut a branch from a tree before Shabbos in order to use it as a fan or to chase flies away, etc., he may do so on Shabbos because it was designated for this purpose and thereby turned into a utensil. (The branch need not have been cut for this purpose; it could have been cut for firewood and later designated as a fan or other utensil – Mishnah Brurah 308:100. Of course, flies may not be killed on Shabbos – MB 308:99.) One may not, however, take the cloth from a mop on Shabbos because it is muktzeh. Even if the cloth was detached by a non-Jew, one may not handle it.

88:11 Wooden boards belonging to home owners that are not put aside to be sold may be handled on Shabbos. Boards belonging to a carpenter may not be handled unless he resolved on Friday to use them on Shabbos.