Basswood Ideas

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Forum topic by sikrap posted 10-01-2009 07:15 PM 2966 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1121 posts in 2782 days

10-01-2009 07:15 PM

I have a chance to buy a truckload (literally) of basswood for $50. I’m just about done getting the garage finished and then I’ll be able to start making stuff. I figure that for $50 for as much as I can load onto a pickup truck, this wood be good material to start playing with but I have no idea what types of things basswood would be good for. Any ideas out there? Thanks!!

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

23 replies so far

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3033 days

#1 posted 10-01-2009 07:36 PM

My first thought is carving, but if your thinking about more standard types of projects, I kind of see Basswood in the same category as pine (at least regarding softness), not so much the grain. So I would say use it pretty much the same way. The nice thing is you could really make a nice furniture piece and accent it with various carvings.

By the way, 50 bucks for a truckload of Basswood, WOW I don’t think you would find a better deal, unless your mill it yourself.


View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1509 posts in 3548 days

#2 posted 10-02-2009 02:36 AM

I think it’d be great for furniture! You might have to put a little more wood in some places for strength, but it should be awesome for milling into cool shapes (if the prospect of carving everything seems like its too much work).

Depending on how its milled, I can see chairs, side tables, pretty much everything. I’d think it’s a little harder than pine, but I’m also out here on the west coast where pine is softer than some of the east coast varieties, but there’s a lot of cool colonial furniture from pine, and basswood should allow for a lot more cross-grain milling and cutting (and, yes, carving).

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 2782 days

#3 posted 10-02-2009 02:50 AM

Well, the seller and I couldn’t get together today, but I”m getting a bit concerned. He told me that he was cleaning out a house and the wood had belonged to a turner. I suspect its logs.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Roper's profile


1370 posts in 3136 days

#4 posted 10-02-2009 02:55 AM

time to buy a lathe or send it all out west to me. basswood is fun to turn nice and forgiving. have fun.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View SteveMI's profile


946 posts in 2717 days

#5 posted 10-02-2009 05:14 AM

The great thing about basswood over pine is that it can be routed or carved and keep a detail. Very little fuzz and no splintering in my experience. It stains well also.

I started out with a lot of it due to being cheap bf and wanted to try scroll sawing. The scroll saw and I never bonded, but the experience with basswood was good.

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3824 days

#6 posted 10-02-2009 05:32 AM

I was thinking of carvings. That’s the wood of marry-go-round horses.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2623 days

#7 posted 10-02-2009 02:14 PM

Besides turning, it is great wood for chip carving. There is a whole group of people out here by me that carve everything from wood decoys, decorative plaques and furniture. Resaw the logs and glue up the boards. Basswood is a blast to shape and work with. Buy it all.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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5839 posts in 3008 days

#8 posted 10-02-2009 03:40 PM

Wow basswod is, I believe what we call lime this tuff is ultra expensive the carvers go crazy for will sell on ebay for big money I see small pieces go for high prices. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 2782 days

#9 posted 10-02-2009 09:43 PM

Just spoke to the seller and he assures me that this is “all boards”. He also offered to sell me all he has left, which he estimates to be 2 pickup trucks worth for $75. The wife is gonna kill me…

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2693 days

#10 posted 10-02-2009 09:47 PM

Grab it! Thats a great deal….and as Alistair could sell your excess for more than you pay….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Rogue's profile


260 posts in 2893 days

#11 posted 10-03-2009 04:24 AM

Buy it! Basswood is cool stuff. And if it from a turner its probably even better. You can pritty much do whatever you’d do with maple with it.

-- Rogue

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 3040 days

#12 posted 10-03-2009 12:06 PM

I am carving 2 blocks right now they are figured corbels to be used on a Morris Chair. It carves by hand and dremel.

It is actually listed as a hardwood.

It is a long list but a good idea about this versitle light wood

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2948 days

#13 posted 10-03-2009 03:12 PM

Buy it and then sell it on fleabay so you can get some proper wood for building furniture. Keep some of it to practice carving.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 2782 days

#14 posted 10-07-2009 04:53 AM

Well, I got the wood. The bad news is that there wasn’t as much as I had been led to believe. There was about a half a truckload. The good news is that it wasn’t all basswood. There are 3 or 4 cedar boards that are about 7” wide and 10 ’ long, a couple of pieces of TandG cedar for lining a closet, a nice piece of oak about 4’x6”x2 1/2”, and 1 or 2 maple boards. All in all, I’m happy with the deal. It as all rough sawn and will provide me with some nice pieces to practice with the new planer when I get it set up.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2748 days

#15 posted 10-08-2009 02:55 AM

You can make tons and tons of spoons.

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