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  • Basswood trees


    Hello all, new carver here
    Last week storm in Rockford IL. took down 2 75' basswood trees. I have cut some of it up so my brother could get into his house. What should I do now.
    I have been told by some carvers to seal the ends with paint.
    How should I cut the 2' pieces into four pieces?
    I am going to take some of it to a sawmill and sticker it for latter use. Anything else I should do. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Basswood trees

    Generally speaking ( seem to have an exception in my barn) trying to cure a whole round log section will result in it splitting. I've gotten some good size carving pieces by ripping the log across the center, about 4' thick, then cutting out the center heart section. that left me with two pieces about 6x6x48long. I heavilly waxed the ends with parrafin and let dry for a year or so. Most of the whole logs I tried to dry have split but for some reason I have one 5 foot sectionm that has not. Been there for about three years now, but I'm afraid to cut into it for fear it will immediately fly into splinters as soon as a blade hits the grain! hehehe!

    Al

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    • #3
      Re: Basswood trees

      I have some basswood sticks, I stood them up in a barrel and they are in the shop, out of the sun and air can circulate around them.....no cracks..two trees..oh boy! save the limbs, the ones I have for walking sticks are the best carving material I have used! If I had the trees I am afraid I would save everything down to an inch in diameter, it is that good to carve LOL..guess that would mean, wood in the Kitch, bedrooms, bathroom (nope to humid!), maybe I would just have to move out of the house LOL!

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      • #4
        Re: Basswood trees

        Michael, consider the possibilities, first, I would slab cut the wood into 4 1/2> 5 1/2 inch planks. Several reasons, cheaper to have cut, the thick wood worth more than small stuff(board foot basis), You can always cut smaller,if needed later.You have wood that allows you to do large items,like three/four foot Santa figures,or a Parker carousel horse, and have more in the plans than wood. To dry,first cut out crotches, they will cause major splits. Perimeter seal the ends, leave the center of each end open. You want the moisture to come out of the center,get a foot off the ground and use two by fours to allow air to circulate.Shorter pieces can be bag dried in the attic,or microwaved. Don't worry about cracks or splits,in large carvings they are minor factors. A lot of work, but worth it, just don't do what we are trained to , and that is to think small, cordially Nad

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        • #5
          Re: Basswood trees


          Nad, that was an excellent 'now why didn't I think of that?' about leaving the center uncoated! I'll have to give that a try next time. thanks for that tip.......guess you're never to old to learn, except I forget things a LOT faster, now!

          Al

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          • #6
            Re: Basswood trees

            al archie,did an article ln Chip Chats on it some time back, .I found that by putting a bit of duct tape in the center,using latex primer,then pulling off the tape gave better results than sealing the entire end,.. For a 4 inch plank figure 1 1/2 inches all around with primer,1 to 2 inches open in center.If you really want to go off the deep end ,weight down your wood and soak in a stream for one to two years.The water will wash out all the sugars in the wood,making some of the best carving wood you ever sunk a chisel in.(Be sure and dry it before carving.)Old method from 1700's I picked up as a kid back then.Last time I tried was with a 12' ,5 x18' piece,green,dug it into a stream,cement blocks on it, hot Summer day,had to haul it a good city block. That weekend 10 inches of rain hit the area,I didn't even find the cement blocks.So anyone wishing to try,send me a good sized chunk in 6 to 7 years.When I carve it down,will tell you if you did it right. Does anyone in carving land have a good picture of a Turkey buzzard sitting on a fence/limb etc that I could trade them out of ? Thank you ,cordially Nad

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            • #7
              Re: Basswood trees

              Wow, what a great problem to have Michael, we have a bunch of trees on our property and not one a basswood tree! :'( Callynne
              http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=4055528

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              • #8
                Re: Basswood trees

                Thanks for the replies.
                The city of Rockford lost over 1000 trees in the storm.
                The guy that lives next to my brother lost 7 trees, my brother lost 5 2 maple 2 basswood and an oak tree.
                The neighbors trees all basswood, cut up and stacked to be hauled away and along came the city cleanup truck and ground them up . So i am cutting as fast as possible,
                and as safe. the maple and oak tree is for new kitchen cabinets (more work for me). I am running out of room.
                Can and how should I store some outside.
                Thanks Mick

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                • #9
                  Re: Basswood trees

                  Store out side.Off ground if possible,covered .In shade,plenty of air.If in sun ,use a white plastic covering. And,don't worry about splits,checks right now.You can also take primer and paint an open center bulls eye on the exposed cuts,If you need any help in removal,,, in addition to carving tools,have cross cut saw,,, will travel. cordially Nad

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