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carving green wood

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  • carving green wood

    I for one do a lot of carving in green wood some of the commissions I do are in live trees. I prefer to carve some woods when they are green because when they are dry they are much harder to carve. I also like to carve green wood because the bark comes off it easier when it is green. Having said that I should clarify that it comes off easier in certain months. I had this problem when I started carving until I met an old timer (not that I'm not that young) who told me this. He said that if you want the bark to come off a piece of green wood then cut it in a month that does not have an R in it. You know something it really works. I just thought that I would share that piece of info with you. The only problem with this is that the wood will check as soon as you start to carve it so when you are finished for the day it is better to put the carving in a plastic bag wrapped in a wet cloth. I not sure if this is true in the hotter states where there is no snow but it really hold true up here in the great white north.

  • #2
    Re: carving green wood

    Colin,
    How do you get the wood to finally dry out without bad checking?
    Take care,&&Butch &&&&I know there's a carving somewhere in all that extra wood!

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    • #3
      Re: carving green wood

      Butch,
      I have done so much research on this cracking thing. It is almost impossible to stop wood from cracking but some woods dont crack(check) as bad as others by using linseed oil on the carving will reduce the checking but if you are carving a log in the round it will still check somewhat. I have found that with my woodspirits if I can find a log large enough so that I can quarter it that is cut it in half down the length and then in half again that all the cracks will go to the outside of the carving and will all be very small cracks.

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      • #4
        Re: carving green wood

        Thanks Colin. I asked because I want to try carving some river willow. Met a gentleman at a carving convention that used it to carve Santa faces. Said it carved nice and took detail pretty good. I'm going to cut some to dry but, I thought I might try some green. I recently carved a woodspirit in sassafras that has been in my basement since last spring. The stuff was really hard to carve with palm tools. Figured I'd give the green wood a try. Thanks for the info.
        Take care,&&Butch &&&&I know there's a carving somewhere in all that extra wood!

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        • #5
          Re: carving green wood

          Butch,
          I just finished a river willow last fall I carved it fairly green and it took excellent detail. I need to take a picture of it, even I liked this carving and believe me I am my worst critic.It looked like one of the tree's from Lord of the Rings with a dark walnut stain it really looked cool much different from any other carving I have done. I like carving willow it is a fairly soft wood but I find that it doesnt crack very much. The woodspirit I did was about three feet high and about a foot in diameter. The only thing you have to worry about willow is how to stop it growing leaves weeks after you have cut it down

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          • #6
            Re: carving green wood

            I just love carving willow....it carves beautifully while it's still green, and I've never had a problem with it cracking or checking while it dries.

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

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            • #7
              Re: carving green wood

              Colin & Teri,
              Thanks to both for the good reports. River willow grows just about every where you look here in Mo. Found wood is fun to carve but, I've got to find something to carve besides woodspirit. They're fun but, I could see it getting old .

              Colin,
              I would really like to see that woodspirit that looks like an Ent.
              Take care,&&Butch &&&&I know there's a carving somewhere in all that extra wood!

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