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  • Basswood

    I have been carving some larger than typical blocks of basswood lately. I find it interesting the variety of wood quality. I had some basswood that was probably 40 years old that was very fine grained and would have been a delight to carve about 38 years ago. After soaking overnight it was still easy enough to carve, but the chips would run like cedar.

    My latest carving is from a box of good basswood 12' x 5' x 5's. This piece is tough, every chip is a challange to remove, I don't think soaking will do any good. It looks like heart wood with wide grain spacing and one dark inclusion that wasn't visible before bandsawing.

    I have only given up on one carving due to bad wood, I sent that one down the river. It carved like a burl, the grain would change direction every 1/2 inch.

    Well, back to the carving, I just had to complain to someone. :-/

  • #2
    Re: Basswood

    So that explains how that piece of carved wood got on my trout line !!! I know where your comming from , I have many unfinished carvings due to bad basswoods. Have you ever tried steaming your wood ? That can really help sometimes.
    1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10....YEP , all my fingers are still there !!!

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    • #3
      Re: Basswood

      How about spraying alcohol as you go, I have had some really poor wood, (some I bought off the ebay!) Not fun to carve but the alcohol made it tolerable.

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      • #4
        Re: Basswood

        'but the chips would run like cedar.'
        What does this quote means'
        I mostly carve Cedar wood and get some major 'chipping'.
        I thought it was me.
        MrD!

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        • #5
          Re: Basswood

          Coarse grain in Basswood might suggest it was Southern grown. The warmer climate and longer growing season seems to make the grain wider. I have some locally grown basswood and butternut that is just no fun to carve.

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          • #6
            Re: Basswood

            Same holds true with 'old growth' northern basswood. Because it was growing in heavily forested areas, they didn't grow as fast due to the dense canopy. Slower growth, smaller rings, and harder wood.

            Foresters around here, thin pretty regularly to encourage more rapid growth, but due to the short season, it is still more dense than southern grown wood.

            Seems like there's a trade-off on everything!

            Al

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            • #7
              Re: Basswood

              I've had some pretty bad pieces of basswood....but I finally found a place that seems to provide consistently good wood. (Itasca Wood Products) I don't give up too easily on a bad piece of wood, but there comes a point that it's just not worth the time to go on.

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

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              • #8
                Re: Basswood

                [quote author=santosdepalo link=board=GeneralC;num=1056605489;start=0#3 date=06/26/03 at 10:21:37]'but the chips would run like cedar.'
                What does this quote means'
                I mostly carve Cedar wood and get some major 'chipping'.
                I thought it was me.
                MrD!
                [/quote]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Basswood

                  The eastern white cedar also tends to split.......makes great kindling! Haven't tried carving this stuff, but maybe it would be good for doing Native American masks???? Have to give it a try! Anyone done any carving in eastern white cedar?

                  Al

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                  • #10
                    Re: Basswood

                    I carved a santa one Christmas out of a piece of 'basswood' that I ended up swearing was cherry! I almost gave up carving before it was over, but I did finish. I sure was glad to give that piece away. By the way, it was a dream to paint...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Basswood

                      Finally wrestled a carving out of that tough piece of wood.
                      It actually turned out better than I expected, that is the only advantage of hard wood, it does hold detail well.

                      Turns out it was a 10-1/2 inch tall hobo with a crushed tophat and a pipe in his mouth.

                      Just started the next one, it will be a hobo (of course) with a trenchcoat and hat.

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