Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Carving / Finding Cottonwood

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Carving / Finding Cottonwood

    Hi,
    What is CottonWood mainly used for in carving? Is it any good? Also is there another name for it?
    I want to carve wood spirits in just the plain bark of it, but don't know where to find a cottonwood tree or what they look like. I live in an area with LOTS of trees so if there are cottonwood trees in PA I'll find it. Where is cottonwood bark? Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

    There are several species of cottonwood. At least one of which grows in PA. That being said, whether the bark is suitable for carving or not, I can't say. Carving bark need to be fairly dense and very thick. Once again, northern grown is best. The cottonwoods here in Texas have very thin bark, relatively speaking. It's best to buy a chunk of bark from a reliable dealer to get an idea of what you are looking for. Art Oliver (the bark guy) comes to mind.

    One bit that I seem to derive from your posts is that you don't seem to be focused on what you want to do. Birds, folk figures, power carving, hand tools, etc. If I was to make a guess, I would guess that it is all related to your sharpening problems. Spend some time focusing on that and I think the rest will resolve itself in time. If nobody in your carving club can help, get a book on sharpening carving tools and very carefully follow the directions. You can do it!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

      I live up here in Ontario that is not a long distance from you. I have never found cottonwood in this part of the country. I believe that most of your cottonwood is found in the mid west. Some of it can be 8 to 10 inches thick. I was able to find some Balsum Poplar here that is about 2 inches thick and carves beautifully. Also there is a fair amount of Black Locus here that I believe is a cousin of Cottonwood that also carves really good. I have also carved Willow bark that grows quite thick but tends to flake somewhat. Hope that this has helped I agree with Ed that you are probably better to buy it from Art Oliver ( The bark guy) I have heard that his bark is some of the best around and really reasonable. I would order from him but the shipping and customs would be impossible.
      Colin

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

        Cootonwood bark is very nice to carve in once you get past the outside layers. There are several different species of cootonwood grown in the North America. There aare eastern,Plains,Black,swamp,Freemont, Palmer and narrow leaf cottonwood. Black cottonwood is grow in the northern states but does grow south into Texas. Eastern and Plains grow in the Midwest, Kansas, Ok and Texas. may be grown elsewhere, I just tore the bark off of several dead Cottonwoods A pickup load of it) here in Kansas. I have carved in Black, plains and eastern cottonwood and find them all great to carve in. Depends on where they are grawn, Swap, river(water) ways etc, the color of the inside of the bark. Some are golden or redish in color. I use a draw knife to remove the outer bark which is had on knives and gouges, being the dirt particle embeded inside. Stop cuts aren't as easily to do as regular wood as if you are not careful, you will tear and not cut. I finish with several technics, one is deft semi gloss, several coats,drying between coats and I use brown paper sacks as a sanding agent between each coat.
        What can be carved in cottonwood bark? Let your imagination go and you will come up with something. Mostly are Indian heads, Fairy houses. Right now, I have a couple Jayhawks for some KU fans and one Wildcat for a K-iState fan.Hope this has help and is just a generic reply.
        Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

          Hi,
          I like to carve folk figures, and woodspirits are similair don't you think? And the reason I was considering carving with powertools and making birds was because of my local carving club carvers do that.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

            Go for it!
            Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

              Hi,
              I noticed some carving were carved just using the bark. And others carve the cottonwood wood. Can you do both? Which is easier?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

                The bark is much easier to carve than the wood because of its consistancy. Although it is very fragile and can break off easy. Cottonwood is a soft wood so it is fairly easy to carve although if you are carving it in log form it does tend to check quite a bit.
                Colin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

                  Cottonwood Bark.....I have found some here in NY, but not as thick and mature as other bark I've ben using.

                  I have had very good responce from ebay on buying my bark, have made three buys from the seller 'Stix74' and have had no regrets with the bark Ive received. I usually end up getting in his box 9-12 pieces all about 3-5' thick and 8-14' long.

                  I first clean my bark with stiff bristle brush for about 5 min. to remove the dirt, etc. When done, I sand lightly, then spray with satin finish.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

                    I had 5 acres of cottonwoods in Colorado...trees weren't much good! The wood chips bad and cracks...the Native Americans make their Kachina dolls out of cottonwood but they use the roots.....as for bark...get hold of Art Olver...the Bark Guy....excellent bark!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

                      bcarving,
                      What part of PA do you live in? Our office is down near Lancaster PA...if you are not too far away, stop in sometime!!! I think you'll find it worth your while!!

                      Bob
                      Fox Chapel Publishing
                      www.GrobetUSA.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

                        I collect all of my cottonwood bark locally. It is not as thick as some of the Montana/Colorado bark I have seen but it carves and finishes nicely and I just love free materials. I haven't tried any of the wood yet because I have plenty of basswood cut-offs from the pallet factory left and enough sticks to last me a long time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

                          free bark AND free basswood .... :P :

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [/quote]

                            I have to agree with Ed on this one ^ .... in more than one way.

                            First, cottonwood bark does carve well. Your tools must be
                            sharp. Second, it is obvious that your are relatively new to carving and have the enthusiasm of a puppy in a new home. It is refreshing to have you ask questions that some here (including me) have taken for granted.....but a little frustrating trying to keep up with you! I do mean that in a good way. Don't try to do too much at once..... pace yourself and find someone at the club to help.

                            Lastly, there's a lot of information on the web. Do a search. You'll most likely get a little more information to ask more specific questions and be better satisfied with the feedback.

                            Art may check in to give you some good advice. Good luck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Carving / Finding Cottonwood

                              I have found both the northern Cottonwood bark and the locally(kansas) to carve nicely. Both were thick and nither one thicker than the other. Ranges in thickness on both has been up to 7 to 8 inches thick and wide equally as much. Both are hard to carve the outside layers but soft on the inside. What I have gathered is a redish inside. I have peeled aa seven foot by 3 foot slap of bark off at one time and have just recently started breaking it up. Some really nice longer pieces up to several feet long. The little bride has carved several pieces now. She wants to go back out to harvest some more as several of the local carvers have indicated that they are interested in the Kansas cottonwood bark.
                              Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              • will8989
                                Reply to Big week here
                                by will8989
                                Bruce said he felt like he needed to look for a job when he first retired. That lasted for about a month and he hasn’t looked back since. I had a friend whose company gave him a 50th party. At the party he told them he was retiring in 2 weeks! Trust us, you will love being retired.
                                Today, 09:09 PM
                              • jim_mex
                                Reply to New PC keyboard has an error
                                by jim_mex
                                Hi ibber - LOL!

                                I took the keyboard back to the store a while back and they hadn't got a replacement in stock. Since I like the look o it I think I am going to play attack it later this evening and try to sort out the problem.
                                ingers crossed
                                Today, 07:35 PM
                              • cwmagee
                                Reply to New PC keyboard has an error
                                by cwmagee
                                I think it might be a letter that one would need to use the left index finger. Perhaps you need a heavier hammer.
                                Today, 05:39 PM
                              • jim_mex
                                Reply to New tools
                                by jim_mex
                                Hi Rolf - the unit I bought will also do Tig welding once you buy the optional accessories - torch, nozzles etc: - plus it will do conventional stick welding too. I doubt I'll be heading down the TIG route anytime soon, at least not for the projects I have in mind at the moment.

                                I did a...
                                Today, 05:26 PM
                              • Rolf
                                Reply to New tools
                                by Rolf
                                Jim I bought a mig welder the last time I did a frame off restoration on my TVR. I had a few frame cracks. I bought one that used shielding gas. I never really mastered the power vs feed vs moving the torch. Using it only a couple of times a year did not help.
                                My dream was to buy a TIG so that...
                                Today, 04:32 PM
                              Working...
                              X