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Hand Carving Woods

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  • Hand Carving Woods

    Greetings,
    I hand-carve saints and religious figures. I use basswood but I find it too soft. I was looking into Mohogany and Butternut which are the only other two I can fing where I live. Which one is better? and which one compares to Spanish Cedar?
    I had used Cedar in the past sucessfuly.
    Peace
    El Santero!!

  • #2
    Re: Hand Carving Woods

    I like the looks of mahogany, but a lot of it has really tricky grain. It switches direction real sudden like. So unless your willing to deal with it betternet is a better choice. Have you considered walnut? A bit pricey, but finishes up very nice.

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    • #3
      Re: Hand Carving Woods

      If you are finding Bass wood to soft than you may have been getting some poor quality wood. Make sure the Bass wood is from north, like Canada. The farther north the better the quality. I saved a bunch from a friends yard here in Maryland, and it was so soft that I burned it all in my fireplace. If you are a beginner I would stay away from the hardwoods, They will only discourage you and ruin your tools as well.
      Visit Easton, Md's Waterfowl Festival November 8th 9th and 10th.

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      • #4
        Re: Hand Carving Woods

        How is the quality of woodcraft grab boxes? I ordered there Mahogany (Honduras). I carve cedar, it is that like Buttenut?
        I only do hand-carving......

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        • #5
          Re: Hand Carving Woods

          Try to find pattern grade mahogany. It has a straight grain and carves well. Ditto on the northern grown basswood and butternut. You need slow-growing trees to get tight growth rings. With butternut, you can tell southern wood by the light weight and the coarse growth rings. It just won't hold detail and you don't get that nice shine when you make a clean cut. There's a guy in Minnesota named Dale Mieneke (Sp?) who sells carving wood. Super guy. You tell him what you want, he ships it and sends you a bill. All northern grown wood. There's a similar business in up-state NY. It's amazing how many really nice folks you run into in the carving world!

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