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storing basswood

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  • storing basswood

    : hey, just thought about this, were should i story basswood for carving.
    i have been putting it up between the joist in my basement floor, which is within in
    12 inches of a heat duct, so i would assume it gets very dry in a short time
    some time i thinks it gets hard to carve. should it be stored outdors in a covered area o just whee should be stored. thanks john s

  • #2
    Re: storing basswood

    I put mine on steel shelving in the basement shop; seems to work OK for me. Steel shelves, cuz that's what I've got; wood or plastic would work just as well.



    • #3
      Re: storing basswood

      I've got a 8 x 10 woodshed that I built in the back yard and store it in there. Haven't had any problems and it gets plenty hot in there in Texas in the summer especially along about the end of August when the ambient outside is in excess of 100. Hate to think how hot the inside of that shed is. Then again I don't know what the humidity is either. Maybe the humidity affects it more than temperature.


      • #4
        Re: storing basswood

        My experience is that all basswood becomes harder as it ages; although air dried basswood hardens the worst.
        I would avoid storing it in direct sunlight or in an area over 70 degrees.
        If you notice; when you bandsaw out a cutout, the cut surfaces will be harder than the inside wood. The heat created while cutting hardens the surface wood.
        The same situation occurs when a roughout is shaped on a duplicating machine.

        A bigger problem is moisture, once basswood takes on an old smell, it is there until it is sealed. (not much fun to carve)
        I store most of my basswood in stackable, see-through, plastic storage containers in a dry unheated garage.


        • #5
          Re: storing basswood

          i have stored my basswood in our garage to air dry. It worked good for me. a few years ago i cut down a poplar tree and stored it in our 3 sided pole barn, but that wood started to rot. i don't know if it was because of where i stored it or because poplar rots easily, but i think a garage or basement is the best spot.


          • #6
            Re: storing basswood

            The small cells and thin cell walls that make Basswood,or Lime such a delight to carve,also make it cotton candy for the various little beasties to scarf up.Keep the wood damp and you can kiss it goodby.Keep it off the ground,even the moisture coming thru a cement floor will allow spalting to take place.I have a 10x18by 6ft piece that has been on my garage floor and I just hope it isn't gone.The poplar rotting is strange,it had to have been damper than hades to rot,I had two 20 by 6ft logs I split,covered with a tarp and put off the ground under a pine tree,flat side up,didn't realize the tarp didn't work keeping water out,but sure held the moisture in.That bit of stupidity turned really choice wood into punk.So,wood and water don't mix.And,I'm off to the garage to see if that chunk of Bass is worth keeping,or what can be done with it,probably garbage............


            • #7
              Re: storing basswood

              I had a really nice piece of Jelutong (sp) that I stored in a dry, hot spot for several years. Then, it started splitting and may only be usable in smaller pieces. I was told (later) that I should have taken wax and sealed the end grain and that would have prevented the cracking. It made sense to me.

              That's the large chunk I bought when I learned the true definition of a 'board foot.' (i.e., I thought I was buying a board foot when I was actually buying many board feet.) :-/


              • #8
                Re: storing basswood

                Based on my experience with bow staves, sealing the ends will minimized the cracking/checking, but will not stop it. my experience is limited to osage orange, hickory and pecan. Other woods may be different. I usually at least quarter the log and seal the ends, actually, I seal the ends as soon as I cut the log (I carry a bottle of elmer's glue with me to the woods) and quarter it later.


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