Wood is a classic choice for furniture, hand-made souvenirs, statement signs, even sculptures. Wood carving is a form of woodwork using cutting tools, such as a knife or chisel.
Now, what is the best wood for carving?
Before choosing and purchasing the best wood for carving, you must take note of the following:
- Air dried wood is usually best for carving.
- If you have purchased fresh wood, air dry it in your shop for at least eight weeks for it to adapt to the area’s humidity.
- Do not buy wood with apparent problems, such as loose knots, large knots, shake, wane, cup, twist, or any kind of warping.
- Do not buy wood with fungi or stains.
- Pick a mildly-grained wood for small carving projects.
- For large woodworks, you may select wood with standout grains to enhance the look of your output.
Why Use Basswood?
Basswood is often considered the best wood for carving. It is ideal for both small carvings and large woodwork because it seldom warps after seasoning. Here are more reasons to use basswood for your wood carving projects, especially if you are a beginner.
Basswood is a softwood that will not quickly dull the blade of your knives. It means it has longer edge retention. For beginners, wood with longer edge retention allows more time to practice basic cutting techniques. Hardwood requires woodcarvers to sharpen their knives consistently.
Basswood has a fine and even grain that could not get in the way of your carving. As said, it is always ideal to cut with the grain. For basswood, you can cut across the grain. Its even texture and straight grain allow beginners to perform cuts effortlessly.
As it is a soft and light type of wood, basswood provides easy workability. You can practice your basic and advanced cuts without worrying too much about mistakes. You can correct imperfections quickly with this type of wood.
Basswood’s color is off-white and almost cream-colored. Its plain complexion makes it perfect for staining, which adds depth to your project and results in a more appealing look.
No Allergens, Zero Smell
A portion of the population develops dermatitis because of certain types of wood. Basswood rarely causes this skin condition. Also, basswood does not give off a strong smell that could ruin your output.
As mentioned above, basswood is of quality for your wood carving projects. However, it is not expensive. Basswood blocks are affordable and available online or in your local lumber craft stores. Need I say more?
The material you will work on is truly very critical to the success of your project. So it is always important to ask and seek guidance as to what is the best wood for carving projects. As a beginner, it is best to use wood that will provide easy workability, are affordable, and will not easily dull your tools. That’s basswood for you. Discover more wood carving tips here!