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Different Woods

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  • Different Woods

    I'm a completely new person to the world of carving and woodwork, but I've got a goal, and that's good

    My Story:
    I'm a saxophonist. As a reed player, I constantly shell out money for reeds. These reeds are stored in reed cases. You can buy different types of cases, from 2-4 plastic in many different styles, 10 in a vinyl covered wooden case, or a 6 in a completely wooden case made from cherrywood with a fiberglass plate in it to keep the reeds flat. My goal is to eventually make a 10 reed case from wood myself. (Much more satisfying than buying one for $40+)

    My problem stems from the fact that I'm a college student, and as a general rule, I don't have money to burn on really nice reed cases... but I do have the time to make them.

    I'm wondering how easy cherrywood is to work with, and what other types of wood do I have to choose from? I assume I can use darn near everything, but I'm looking for woods that are easy-medium difficulty to carve.

    Also, a list of tools I may/may not need would be helpful. I assume I'll need chisels and sandpaper, but other than that, I know nothing Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    Re: Different Woods

    Btw, what about Curly Redwood? I'm looking at a nice piece my friend has, but I don't want to mess up pretty badly by getting into something ugly Thanks again!


    • #3
      Re: Different Woods


      I mainly carve hardwoods such as Cherry, Walnut and Maple.
      Of the three Walnut is the easiest and Cherry and Maple are about the same. Any thing with a curly fiqure will be difficult to carve because of changes in grain direction. I have not carved Redwood but since it is softer you may have better luck but make sure you have sharp tools. Before you start getting into these woods I think it would be a good idea to start with simple Basswood and practice practice practice.

      Since what you are carving sounds to be on a smaller scale I recomend you get a basic palm set by Flexcut. These are razor sharp well made and will cost under $50.00 (the last time I checked). Also pick up a strop, compound and a hard Arkansas stone that is radiused on one end and beveld on the other I can't recall the cost. Hopefully you have a Woodcraft in the area for you to go to.

      After working with Basswood awhile introduce some of the hardwr woods to your carving. I know your anxious to start the project you have in mind but take it one step at a time and it will be more enjoyable.



      • #4
        Re: Different Woods

        Here's my two cents worth ... Cherry is too hard for a first project, Redwood is soft and woderful to carve, but tends to split, no problem if your used to dealing with it. Another considereation, being as how the reeds are going to be in close proximity to your mouth would be any toxicity that might leach over from the box. As a result of all that I would agree with basswood as a good start. Two other possibilities would be poplar and/or aspen. Both of the latter are usually available at a home center. As for tools that you NEED, you can make a very nice box with nothing more than a good knife, a small saw, rubber bands for clamps, carpenters glue, several grades of sandpaper, sharpening stone and strop. The best advice I can give you is before you even start, get somebody to show you how to properly sharpen whatever tool/tools you get. As for additional tools; figure out what job you need to accomplish, clean out the bottom of a groove, chip carve some decoration, incise a design on the cover, etc. then get the tool or tools you need. A good source for tools and advice is:
        [email protected]
        there are others, but that's my favorite place. Woodcraft is nice, but it's a big chain and you don't always get the advice you need. However, they are a good fall back.


        • #5
          Re: Different Woods

          p.s. - Don't forget a large dose of patience.


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