If you’re interested in learning wood carving, the first question you should ask is, “What’s the best wood for carving?” Generally, the ideal wood for carving needs to be malleable but also durable. It should be able to withstand tools, such as a chisel or a chainsaw without breaking apart and also allow intricate detailing and smooth finishes.
Here’s everything that you need to know if you want to find the right wood for carving.
Types of Wood
All wood types are generally divided into softwood and hardwood. Read on to find out more about the significant differences between the two:
Softwood is the umbrella term for wood originating from trees that have cones or needles rather than leaves. Softwood tends to be less dense than hardwood because of its simpler structure. It’s also easier to cut, cheaper, and more resistant to insects.
Some examples of softwood are the following:
Hardwood comes from trees that have broad leaves. It is highly resistant to fire, rot, and decay. It’s more expensive compared to softwood because it takes longer to grow. Hardwood is also denser, stronger, and more durable, making it the perfect building and construction material.
Below are some examples of hardwood:
Choosing Wood for Carving
Check out the essential factors that you need to keep in mind when thinking about what’s the best wood for carving.
Level of Difficulty
If you’re just getting into the carving scene, it’s best to choose lightweight softwood, such as butternut or basswood. This type of wood is easier to carve and won’t quickly dull your carving tools. In fact, sticking to softwood will help prolong the life of your tools.
In contrast, as a beginner, you might find it more challenging to work with hardwood. They’re more resistant and require more effort on the part of the carver. If you’re not careful, you might even suffer from injuries due to blade slippage. Furthermore, certain types of wood require a more advanced carving skill set.
Type of Project
Always consider the end product before choosing the type of wood. What’s the best wood for carving depends on the kind of project you’re planning to undertake. Are you carving a piece of furniture, a kitchen utensil, or an intricate decorative piece?
Make sure that you keep the following essential tips in mind:
- For more intricate carving projects, basswood or limewood is a popular choice. It has high workability, which means that it works very well with hand tools. Its close grain structure also means that it won’t easily break at the edges.
- For larger projects, such as pieces of furniture, you can’t go wrong with oak. They’re sturdy and long-lasting, making them the perfect choice for larger projects.
- If you’re planning to create something to use in your kitchen, choose hardwood that is durable and water-resistant. However, certain types of hardwood, such as ash or oak, can get stained by oil very quickly.
What’s the best wood for carving? This depends on several factors, including the kind of carving you wish to make and the tools you’re planning to use. By carefully considering these factors, you’re more confident that your carving project will be successful. Find out more about wood carving here!