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  • Source of Carving Wood

    A good source of carving wood is your local home center xxx fence posts and dimension lumber xxx 2 x 4's, 2 x 6's and 4 x4's. If you search through the piles you can find pretty clear pieces. What the center calls white wood carves nicely as do the cedar fnece posts. It's not basswood, but the price is right. Just picked up a red cedar 4x4 8' long with only one knot in for $11. A lot of carving in that puppy (or a lot of puppies in that 4/4). I'm just a whittler so I don't have too much worry about toxic dust and all so power carvers had best wear a dust mask when carving the cedar. They line chests and closets with it for a reason, and it ain't cause it smells good.

  • #2
    Re: Source of Carving Wood

    FatEddy, I tried to carve a cedar fence post once and found the grain to be so weird, I gave up. Alternating layers of very hard and very soft wood is really annoying. While it is, indeed cheap, you might find prime northern basswood to be a dream to carve by comparison.

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    • #3
      Re: Source of Carving Wood

      I guess I should have warned about that ... the white wood grain tends to be a little tricky also ... not as bad as the cedar though. I enjoy messing with different woods and sometimes get myself in a pickle. LIke the stylized blue heron out of a 3 x 3 x 12' piece of cherry. Me and my jack knife spent a lot of tough hours on that piece but was worth it when done (I think). Right now have a northern pike about 2/3's done, out of good old basswood. Just finished a cedar duck. I'm not totally nuts though - if you want a chunk of osage orange I'll send you some. It's well cured, been in the shed for about 4 years now.

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      • #4
        Re: Source of Carving Wood

        if the offer of the osage orange is for anyone, I would sure like to have some.....

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        • #5
          Re: Source of Carving Wood

          Depends on how much you want and what you are expecting ... This is not lumber. What I have is a portion of a tree that I harvested and cured ... most of which went to making bows ... I have one stave left. When cutting it down for a bow there will be some decent pieces left ... be prepared though, it is heavy, HARD HARD HARD, and doesn't take glue well. I don't know about stains or paint, have never tried it but suspect they wouldn't work well either.

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          • #6
            Re: Source of Carving Wood

            In addiition to the above ... there are no smooth sides on this stuff, it has been split from the log using wedges and a sledge hammer and when I rough out a bow, I use a hatchet, so nothing smooth. Don't want to discourage you, but want you to know what your getting into. Primary uses for Bois De Arc (wood of the bow) is fence posts and weapons of war. If you made a list of everything you wouldn't want in a carving wood this stuff would be at the top (except maybe for the color). Most saw mills won't touch it because it dulls the saw blades rather quickly. I suspect a carbide bit in a power tool would be o.k. if you took you time. When making a bow I use a hatchet, ferriers rasp and then finer rasps and finally get to the sanding part. Because of the oiliness I don't know if stones would work too well, probably plug up. You can pretty much forget hand tools unless you into self abuse and sharpening a lot. Anyhow, that's osage orange in a nutshell.

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            • #7
              Re: Source of Carving Wood

              I am in the process of carving a rose out of Osage Orange. It carves good with carbide kutzalls and sanding drums. I don't think you would do too well with a knife on this stuff. I am doing all end grain carving and there are some tough spots in it, but it should have a nice grain pattern when I am done. It does tend to chip rather easily when it gets thin.

              I also used some to make two mallets for carving. It turned well on the lathe, but you could tell it was tougher than some woods.

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              • #8
                Re: Source of Carving Wood

                I'd be curious to know how those mallets held up ... at one time there was an attempt to make drivers and fairway woods for golf out of osage orange but it didn't hold up well under the impact. It tended to split. By the way another name for it is 'Horse Apple.' I guess it's because of the large fruits that it has. Not good to eat though.

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                • #9
                  Re: Source of Carving Wood

                  Where does this osage orange come from? Where does it grow?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Source of Carving Wood

                    It grows wild all over Indiana...I have heard of it as far N as Minn. I'm pretty sure it covers a good part of the US. Mostly it is called Hedge or hedgeapple here in Indiana.
                    Here is a site that tells about it:
                    http://www.gpnc.org/osage.htm:)Donna
                    Indiana USA&&http://pyrogite.tripod.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Source of Carving Wood

                      I have several Osage Orange trees behind my fence. I took a 4' long x 6' diameter limb to my garage with the wind blew one over. Beautiful canary yellow wood when it is fresh split but turns a rich brown as it ages. And it does tend to split very easily, even dry. Hard is not enough of a word to describe this stuff. As for where it grows, my book on trees of North America shows it only in East Texas and extreme southern Oklahoma and Arkansas. Don't know how it got so far north as Indiana! Anyone who carves this stuff should be qualified as a stonemason by default!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Source of Carving Wood

                        I believe that in Indiana it was deliberately planted as fence rows. We still have fencelines that are just a tangle of osage trees, and some older long driveways have them down both sides here. You couldn't climb through that mess to save your life! lol It has many many thorns.
                        I haven't tried stone carving, but I have carved osage and it is very hard, but beautiful wood. I hope to carve more of it sometime.
                        Speaking of hard wood, I started a new carving from black walnut burl.....I dunno which is harder, this burl or the osage.
                        Indiana USA&&http://pyrogite.tripod.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Source of Carving Wood

                          I know we have Osage Orange here in southern WI. I am waiting for the owner to cut down several trees next to the road near here. I have also seen it in northern IL and lots of it along a fenceline near Liberty, TN.
                          Haven't used the mallets yet, hope to use them tomorrow. One I had made of Oak splintered away pretty quick.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Source of Carving Wood

                            Yes Pyrogite, osage orange or hedge as we call it was planted for fence rows all over Indiana, Illinois and other prarie states after the great Dust Bowl to help prevent the same thing happening to us.
                            Unfortunately, everyone seems to forget why they were planted and are taking these fence rows out so that they can grow six more rows of corn. Guess they forgot that you need TOPSOIL to grow a crop!!!
                            grumpy560

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                            • #15
                              Re: Source of Carving Wood

                              I am going to cut down my Grapefruit tree. Is the wood any good for carving or should I use it in the fireplace?

                              Comment

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