Basswood...worth messing with???

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Forum topic by Shopsmithtom posted 06-04-2009 07:42 PM 2153 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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787 posts in 3614 days

06-04-2009 07:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I just bought a bunch of lumber at an estate auction. There was lots of oak, cherry & pine, and some short (about 4-5’) basswood pieces. They are thick enough that I need to re-saw them into usable boards.

My question, since the only thing I know about basswood is that it’s very light, is whether it’s worth the effort.
From what I see, it’s a pretty bland looking wood. Is it structurally strong? I’m planning to make a tool cabinet for my hand tools that hangs on the wall via french cleats. I’ll have a number of wood planes in there along with hand drills, chisels, etc, so I expect it will be heavy.

Will basswood stand up to the weight considering that I may be taking off the wall & transporting around a bit?
I’m just looking for some opinions as to whether to try it. Lord knows I’ve now got enough oak & cherry & pine to do the job. I just have other ideas for that wood & none for the basswood & I hate to see it just sit there.

I suppose it’s of use for drawer sides & backs & maybe some other secondary wood uses, but how many of them can I make? -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

14 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2946 days

#1 posted 06-04-2009 07:46 PM

Basswood is wonderful for sculpting!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 3042 days

#2 posted 06-04-2009 07:57 PM

Basswood is generally used for carving (it’s what I use), making milk crates, blinds and musical instruments (found this on the internet. It is a hardwood in the linden family (worked at hardwood sales years ago). Go here

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3152 days

#3 posted 06-04-2009 08:34 PM

Yes, it’s a great wood for carving.

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3010 days

#4 posted 06-04-2009 10:03 PM

If you’re concerned with using it you can probably sell it very easily to a carver. Or since you have it, you can take up a new hobby, Carving. :-)

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View WhittleMeThis's profile


125 posts in 2792 days

#5 posted 06-04-2009 10:58 PM

Yup great carving wood

View Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)'s profile

Dustin Ward (aka Tearen)

176 posts in 3370 days

#6 posted 06-04-2009 11:10 PM

I know that some companies use it for light shelving. They bond the basswood boards together and then put a harder wood such as maple on the leading edge. Just don’t have the wood around high moisture areas. This stuff will start growing again if you do!

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3005 days

#7 posted 06-04-2009 11:41 PM

Basswood as you guys call it I believe is called lime here in the uk it sells for big money as said carvers go nut’s for it.I would love to try a piece myself as it is said to be perfect for carving.Alistair

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

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2997 days

#8 posted 06-05-2009 12:04 AM

Yep what they said

-- Custom furniture

View Shopsmithtom's profile


787 posts in 3614 days

#9 posted 06-05-2009 02:37 AM

Wow, I wish I could send a bunch to the UK to sell. Maybe I can float it over…make a raft, sell it there & make enough to pay my way home. I guess since I don’t carve, It’ll go to Craig’s list. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2745 days

#10 posted 06-05-2009 02:40 AM

I have used it to carve spoons. Guess I should post those some day!

View Napaman's profile


5508 posts in 3496 days

#11 posted 06-05-2009 03:27 AM

fishing lures…i just turned my first fishing lure out of it a week ago and it turned very easily…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Chris Dehmer's profile

Chris Dehmer

25 posts in 2757 days

#12 posted 06-05-2009 03:56 PM

Basswood is really stable, albeit a bit soft, but it’s stableness makes it a nice secondary wood for projects. I have used it for drawer sides in the past with great success.

-- Chris,Atlanta Georgia,

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 2974 days

#13 posted 06-06-2009 07:32 AM

It is the best carving wood. I use it for inlays too.

View Shopsmithtom's profile


787 posts in 3614 days

#14 posted 06-06-2009 04:48 PM

Thanks for the input. Not being a carver, I’m glad to hear about it being ok for secondary wood use, drawers etc. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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