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Thread: Basswood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    96

    Basswood

    I have been reading quiet a bit and if I understand it right, not all basswood is created equal. Is this fact or just some folks threading a needle? I am sure the expert will be able to tell the difference will a noob?
    To add to the other thread I started now I need a good source for basswood. I have seen the prices vary so much I thought I should ask what you folks think. I don't mind buying larger quantities and I sure do not mind mill it down to the size I need. At first I thought I would just need some little pieces but Mr. Jordan posted some pictures of chip carvings and got my mind a spinning for some turning stuff so know I am looking for a little bit larger pieces.........................you know , just in case!
    Dean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    20
    Yes, that is correct.... not all basswood is created equal. Do some googleing, and you'll find basswood grows in most every state from the middle of the US to the East coast, with Wisconsin having the largest number of trees on forest land. (see map)

    I carve some local (Missouri/Arkansas) basswood but typically depends on the wood. It's been my experience that basswood can/will harden with age. I won't waste my time hand carving it if it's too hard. Some of the local stuff has streaks in the wood, which doesn't bother me if I'm going to paint it. If the streaks are extra dark and/or near rot, I often carve whimsical items, like old shoes. These actually add character to the piece and let these show through the finish (shoe polish, of course). Again, wood can not be too hard. This wood is typically light tan to darker tan to near brown (in spots or streaks) in color.

    When I carve pieces where I don't want any streaks or blemishes, I use the "good stuff". This typically comes from the North... Wisconsin, Minnesota, Canada, etc. The farther North it grows, the shorter/slower the growing season. This results in a tighter grain, and a near white (egg shell ?) color. Northern basswood is easier to carve (not as hard as Southern basswood) and the go-to wood for a lot of carvers. As mentioned in many threads on SMC, Heinecke Wood Products is a very good source and the only supplier I personally would order online from. http://www.heineckewood.com/

    Basswood map.JPG
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Forest Lake MN
    Posts
    281
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Keele View Post
    Yes, that is correct.... not all basswood is created equal. Do some googleing, and you'll find basswood grows in most every state from the middle of the US to the East coast, with Wisconsin having the largest number of trees on forest land. (see map)

    I carve some local (Missouri/Arkansas) basswood but typically depends on the wood. It's been my experience that basswood can/will harden with age. I won't waste my time hand carving it if it's too hard. Some of the local stuff has streaks in the wood, which doesn't bother me if I'm going to paint it. If the streaks are extra dark and/or near rot, I often carve whimsical items, like old shoes. These actually add character to the piece and let these show through the finish (shoe polish, of course). Again, wood can not be too hard. This wood is typically light tan to darker tan to near brown (in spots or streaks) in color.

    When I carve pieces where I don't want any streaks or blemishes, I use the "good stuff". This typically comes from the North... Wisconsin, Minnesota, Canada, etc. The farther North it grows, the shorter/slower the growing season. This results in a tighter grain, and a near white (egg shell ?) color. Northern basswood is easier to carve (not as hard as Southern basswood) and the go-to wood for a lot of carvers. As mentioned in many threads on SMC, Heinecke Wood Products is a very good source and the only supplier I personally would order online from. http://www.heineckewood.com/

    Basswood map.JPG

    100% agree with this answer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    96
    Thank you, I contacted Heineckewood. They did not answer the phone so I sent and email. I image I will hear from them today sometime
    Dean

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