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  • Collecting wood??

    Hello its me again and i was wondering where does everyone get there wood at and the reall question when you go out in the woods to collect....wood How do you know its ready to carve or how long it needs to dry and could you explain a good wild native wood for carving?

  • #2
    Re: Collecting wood??

    Wow, Dragon, that's a lot to answer, but........

    If you are planning on carving walking sticks and/or canes, most any sapling will work fine. Find ones with interesting shapes, or ones that are very straight, depending on your taste. I let mine dry with the bark on for a couple months to 6 months, depending on the diameter. Aspen carves easily and makes nice lightweight sticks, but I've done a few in oak (hard carving) and maple (not quite so hard). Diamond willow, if you have it in your area is great. Box elder works well, too, as will just about any sapling size tree.

    If you know a logger in your area, ask about recovering stumps, or maybe even scrounging some aspen or basswod culls, if you plan on carving it . rip it into usable size, wax the ends and let dry for about a year per inch of thickness. I know that sounds like a long time, and it is, but unless you can get it kiln dried somewhere, that's about what your options are.

    If you are cutting wood off land that you don't own, make sure you have permission. Some county road commissions and highway depts will give you permits to cut off right-of-way, especially if they are getting ready to remove growth from row's.

    Check around for blowdowns. Even the USFS may issue permits for cleaning up those, and you can pick up permits in some areas for cutting firewood (aka carving wood). Logging operations allow you to cut tops from what they leave after removing saw or pulp logs. These may include, aspen, maple, oak, basswood, beech, pine and spruce up to 8 or 10 inches in dia..

    Burned over areas may be salvaged for burned stumps.......hey, there are all kinds of possibilities. Just make sure you don't trespass or cut without permission. There are plenty of legal oportuniies, so don't abuse the priveledges.

    Happy hunting, and good carving to ya!

    Al

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    • #3
      Re: Collecting wood??

      Dragon,
      It depends on what you want to carve and how big or how small your carvings. I have never paid for any of my wood. There are so many people cutting down trees that would be so happy to have you take it away. I find that I mention that I am looking for wood to just about eveyone I talk to. I get at least one phone call a week with someone wanting to give me wood. I always go and look at what they have to offer and most times I bring it home(much to the discust of my wife > ) I have a whole back yard full. Sometimes I watch and see where the hydro are trimming another great source of wood. From time to time I pull into the drive way and my wife will say: The tree fairy has been again. There in the driveway is a huge pile of wood and most times I dont know who gives it to me. Some times especially cedar I carve it the same day while it is still green and some of the hard woods the same. When it is green it carves like butter but it will crack a lot that way. If you have permission to cut some trees and you want a good way to remove the bark. This was told to me by an old farmer, cut the tree in a month that does not have an R in it and the bark will peel off like the skin off of an orange. It really works. Hope that this has been of some help and have fun carving remember for every hour that you spend carving the good Lord gives it back to you two fold
      Colin

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      • #4
        Re: Collecting wood??

        Dont really go to other farms we have alot of woods on ares so there good i dont think theres basswood around here to bad tho :'( What about like naturally fallen wood or wood thats been down 2-3 years?

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        • #5
          Re: Collecting wood??

          Downed trees start to deteriorate quite rapidly, unless they are in a dry area. Cedar, hemlock, and some of the pines may hold up a little longer. Aspen is probably as good a carving wood as basswood is, so if you have aspen in your area (where are you) try that. both basswood and aspen deteriorate rapidly if not harvested quickly.

          Some hardwoods that lie for a while become spalted, before going bad, and can provide some beautiful wood for carving. Birch, maple and choke cherry will spalt, but you have to be quick, as this is the beginning stage of fungal deterioration, and they won't last long in a spalted stage unless cut and stickered in a dry environment.

          Al

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          • #6
            Re: Collecting wood??

            I live in west Virginia.Hum i Guess i should Start cutting some select lumber now let it dry and Start using 2-4 or something to practice on??

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            • #7
              Re: Collecting wood??

              Hi Dragon,

              Try looking in your phone book for sawmills or pallet manufacturing companies. Call or stop in and ask them about getting cut offs and scraps. I get all my 'big' basswood chunks as 4'x6'x24' cut offs free from a local pallet maker.

              Good whittlin, Cliff
              Charles City, Iowa
              http://cliffordparker.tripod.com

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              • #8
                Re: Collecting wood??

                I got wind of one of the local farm implement dealers needing to get rid of their packing crates. When I checked them out I found out some were beech and oak. I scavanged enough to do me for quite a while, plus put together a 3'x6'x5'thick oak carving table on 4'x4' legs mortise and tennon.

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