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  • Butternut

    Okay, you guys....tell me everything you know and love (or hate) about butternut. I just got hold of a piece today for the first time and so far, I'm loving it. It's a very beautiful wood, a lovely grain...and nice to carve. So, I'm thinking there MUST be a catch. What is it?

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

  • #2
    Re: Butternut

    The catch (as I hear it) is the trees are under attack by insects. So the mills are not supposed to cut healthy trees. That limits the supply, but the wood that has insect damage is called wormy butternut. If you want to make a carving look real old, that is the wood to use. The holes make a carving look like it has been around forever.

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    • #3
      Re: Butternut

      Terri
      If you enjoy working with Butternut but have a hard time finding what you need I can send you some. I am in Wisconsin and there always seems to be a great supply of it. Ric is correct about the wormy Butternut it looks fantastic. The wormy seems to sell alot faster than clear stock at my supplier. Keep my Email on file if you need material in the future. [email protected]

      Dale

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      • #4
        Re: Butternut

        Way to go Teri, you've found my wood. I know we often get 'it depends' for an answer to some questions, but it's true for butternut. The best butternut is a dream to carve and finish, and the worst is a waste of time. Good, slowly-grown, northern butternut is what you need to hold detail and minimize the fuzzies. I heard about the difficulty in finding good wood, so I loaded up on carving stock. The folks in Wisconsin, Minnesota and up-state NY can supply custom sizes, including large, wide planks and thick carving or turning blanks. I've used some local, Ohio butternut, and it's not horrible, but just not the same as the best stuff. If you need some serious quantities, let me know.

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        • #5
          Re: Butternut

          Terri.
          I really like butternut wormy ot clear. And you are right the grain is beautiful and I do not put and stains or paint on my finished carving. I have carved Quail, roses out of it and have an angel in the works for the little bride. However, If she keeps me in seeing stars, I'll give it to my daughter. :

          The supplier I deal with is a hit and miss on the butternut so I try to load up with as much as the little bride lets me.
          You think if I shellac her I could sell her???? Nah, I would have more than a nickel's worth of shellac involved.

          Safe first and then let the chips fall where they may.
          Ken
          Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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          • #6
            Re: Butternut

            The piece I picked up is obviously the 'wormy' variety...but I like all those wormholes - makes the piece more interesting.

            How do you all finish it?

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

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            • #7
              Re: Butternut

              Butternut quality runs all over the place,but when you get a nice piece it is a pleasure to carve. I finish mine with a product called Waterlox sold in boating stores. The more coats, the prettier the wood. Big Al

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              • #8
                Re: Butternut

                Try this on a small piece to see if you like it xxx
                Seal it with a sanding sealer
                Apply a couple coats of clear shoe polish
                Your done ....

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                • #9
                  Re: Butternut

                  I like to use an oil and wax finish. This would be either boiled linseed oil or tung oil followed by Butchers bowling alley wax. This will give a nice satin sheen with a silky feel.

                  Dale

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                  • #10
                    Re: Butternut

                    Terri, I just posted a couple of pictures of butternut carvings on picture trail, album #2. I've also been using Tung Oil finishes, satin or low gloss, and I usually don't stain them first. I used polyurethane on my earlier love spoons, but have also used Tung Oil on my current batches.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Butternut

                      Mike, those are very beautiful pieces!! I hope I can do the wood half as much justice.

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

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                      • #12
                        http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=4055528

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