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Best carving wood?

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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 1645 days ago 1745 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TopamaxSurvivor

14575 posts in 2271 days


1645 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: carving wood material

Could you accomplished carvers tell us what are the best carving woods besides basswood and catalpa?

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence


8 replies so far

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Timberwerks

301 posts in 1756 days


#1 posted 1645 days ago

Butternut, Mahogany and Walnut carve very well. Maple isn’t to bad either.

-- http://djofurnituremaker.wordpress.com/ & https://www.facebook.com/pages/Timberwerks-Studio/126415221682

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TopamaxSurvivor

14575 posts in 2271 days


#2 posted 1645 days ago

The only maple I have tried was hard curly maple for a Kentucky rifle stock. Dealing with the grain was interesting :-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View stefang's profile

stefang

12519 posts in 1929 days


#3 posted 1645 days ago

I’m not much of a carver Bob, but I do know that Birch carves well, though not as easily as some others as it is a little resistant to the knife and I really enjoy carving black Alder, it cuts easily and precisely. Grey Alder is probably the same, but I haven’t tried it. Some Juniper carves well too and smells very good. One of the favorite carving woods in Norway was Pine, but it has to be old growth pine with very tight rings and from the harder wood towards the center of the tree. There isn’t much left of that here anymore. I always think that woods without a strong grain contrast look best because the grain doesn’t interfere with the carving details. I hate to carve Basswood because it smells so bad to me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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TopamaxSurvivor

14575 posts in 2271 days


#4 posted 1644 days ago

Thanks Mike, I was just wondering if there were some treasures out there very few know about except the great carvers like Wood Chic and her catalpa picture frame. We don’t have black alder here. I have some red alder I’m drying to try. The native carvers use red cedar, but it is so splintery, I don’t like it. You have to be very careful or a whole section will pop off :-( I have whittled a lot of pine, mostly when I was a kid making toys, and carved some incised figures on walnut gunstocks. I guess I’d to say I do my best carving on softer materials; ie, leather :-)) I have searched catalpa a little in the last few days. I think the flat sawn piece that Wood Chic used might be an exceptionally good one.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View wchips's profile

wchips

314 posts in 1683 days


#5 posted 1644 days ago

What do you like to carve? If you like wood spirets and wimisical houses try cottonwood bark.

-- wchips

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miles125

2179 posts in 2600 days


#6 posted 1644 days ago

Mahogany as the most perfect carving wood gets my vote.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

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TopamaxSurvivor

14575 posts in 2271 days


#7 posted 1644 days ago

First, I thought I’d try some NW native Am masks, I have some alder in firewood lengths for that. Mostly, I’m curious about what the best carving woods are? I had never heard of catalpa until the frame was posted. What else haven’t I heard of?????? :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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TopamaxSurvivor

14575 posts in 2271 days


#8 posted 1644 days ago

Miles125, I have some Mahogany, but haven’t tried carving it yet. I should do that instead of typing here :-)) but I have a nasty cold starting :-((

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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