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  • wood???

    OK class a quick question. Is white pine, spruce, and southern white pine the same wood?? I just returned from a well known lumber yard, I put this question to a young worker, he assured me that all three were the same. But he also assured me that Iraq was near Columbia in South America. Instant loss of credibility. I live in Florida where we have mostly pine trees and oak trees from what I understand not the choice of beginning carvers. Please help what native wood would be a good choice.

    Thanks

    steve

    I

  • #2
    Re: wood???

    white pine and spruce are definatly not the same, spruce is a very tight grain wood and very hard to carve. White pine is a soft wood and carves very nice. I did a carving once in spruce and found it extreamly hard to carve it, in fact that was the last time I carved spruce but I carve white pine a lot and it is a dream to carve.
    Colin

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    • #3
      Re: wood???

      Colin_Partridge: Thanks, do you know if white pine is a northern wood?? I'm having trouble finding anyone here in Florida who knows the difference. I have looked around my area (Brevard County) and I cannot find any local carving clubs. So I guess I will keep trying to gather info.

      Thanks

      steve

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      • #4
        Re: wood???

        Eastern White Pine, also called Northern White Pine,
        Pinus strobus L, generally does not grow south past central Tennesee or the extreme north of Alabama.

        Spruce Pine, Pinus glabra, is a southern variety that grows along the gulf coast and up the southern east coast.

        Seems like the rest of the spruce, although planted ornamentally in the southern states, are pretty much indiginous to the north central and great lakes states, with red spruce, picea rubens, being native to the northeast.

        ref National Audubon society Field Guide to North American Trees (Eastern Region)

        Hope this helps.

        Al

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        • #5
          Re: wood???

          Steve,
          There is lots of white pine here in Canada and I have travelled through the south and have never seen it there. There is a lot of it in Ontario and Quebec although it is now protected here in Ontario. From what I can gather there has been too much over harvesting of white pine so they had to do something to protect it.
          Colin

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          • #6
            Re: wood???

            Steve,
            I don't know if you have it down there but, sassafras , red cedar or river willow carve pretty nice. If you live near the ocean, big lake or river , you might look for some drift wood. Pretty interesting stuff.
            Take care,&&Butch &&&&I know there's a carving somewhere in all that extra wood!

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            • #7
              Re: wood???

              Butch: Driftwood sounds like a novel idea. I live twenty minutes from the ocean. I think I will give it a try. Thanks everyone for the help. Today I am going to find a pallet shop and see what type of wood they use.

              Thanks again;
              steve

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              • #8
                Re: wood???

                Steve,
                Be careful when carving driftwood it is amazing stuff to carve but it will dull or wreck your chisels pretty fast. I would suggest you wash it with a pressure hose before you carve let it dry and then take one of those spray cans of air and thoroughly get all the sand out of it after you have done that it will produce some amazing carving good luck and be sure to let us know how you make out.
                Colin
                http://www.geocities.com/partridge_ch

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                • #9
                  Re: wood???

                  Steve,

                  White pine is grown commercially as far south as Georgia but the southern wood has a coarser grain due to rapid growth and is not as good for carving as northern grown wood. Basswood is the same, with most carvers preferring northern basswood over the southern.

                  I have used eastern red cedar for walking sticks with good results.

                  While spruce and pine are both conifers they are not the same. Spruce wood is harder and more dense than pine.

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

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                  • #10
                    Re: wood???

                    Many years ago I decided to take up water color painting. I bought beginners paint, brushes, and paper. The lady at the art store kept trying to get me to use professional grade materials but I thought it was a sales pitch. Nothing I painted looked like I wanted it to. I broke down and bought the good stuff. It made a HUGE difference! The same holds for woodcarving. Buy the best tools and wood you can afford and your work will be better for it. By the way, pallet wood is one step up from firewood and often ends up there anyway.

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                    • #11
                      Re: wood???

                      I've thought of bulding things before out of pallet wood. Let me tell you, SOME of that stuff is oak and when you try to take the pallet apart, it is very tough to do. Now that I have done it once, I know that I will not do another without my trusty Sawzall.

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                      • #12
                        Re: wood???

                        I started carving with pine 2x4s from the local lumberyard - what I later discovered to be what is called 'yellow' or 'southern' pine. It carved well enough...and some of the grain patterns are beautiful. I got hold of some northern white pine, though, and it is MUCH nicer to carve. I still use those old 2x4s sometimes, but not as often as I now use basswood or white pine.

                        Teri
                        "Santas for the Soul" &&Original Carvings by Teri Embrey&&http://www.teriembrey.com&&[email protected]

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                        • #13
                          Re: wood???

                          ??? I just bought some 'white wood' from Home Depot,
                          yesterday. The said they thought it was southern white pine, I ripped it down to make siding for a dollhouse. The piece I had left over it carved very well, nothing fancy just hacking thru it, it seemed to carve smoothly it didn't break or tear, and it was fairly uniform.(If you cut around the knots). LOL

                          steve

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                          • #14
                            Re: wood???

                            About all I have used in basswood. Has anyone used
                            tupelo (sp) or butternut? How do they carve compared to our old favorite basswood?

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                            • #15
                              Re: wood???

                              Steve,
                              I've used butternut several times. It has beautiful color and grain for natural finished projects. However, it is a bit harder to carve than bass--but not bad--certainly not as hard as walnut. It's a lot like catalpa for hardness and grain.

                              I've found that in all species of wood that I've carved --some are easier (harder/softer) than others depending largely on how far north they are grown and slow they grew.

                              Tupelo I've only used power on and very little knife/gouge detail--and nothing recently enough to remember specifics.

                              Donna T

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