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Carving woods

3273 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  cobalt
Shawn and CV3 has got me thing more about the carving woods and types, some are very attractive to look at .My standard wood to carve is english lime slightly harder than bass wood but still subject to fuzzying as you call it .

I also limit myself to using woods for shanks ie.hazel chestnut holly, ash and chestnut .hazel and chestnut being my favourite.

I dont normally carve the shank and never remove the bark of the shanks .the wood types would make it difficult.But carving into a shank leaving the bark on gives a good contrast on these woods without the danger of the bark coming away The richness of chestnut is so good always reluctant to do anything with it apart from carving a topper for it.but seeing some low relief work of CV3 tempting me to decorate the shank without removing the bark.I have had some trial cuts done about a year now and it still looks the same as when i cut into it .

have taken a few photos of the trial piece althought the photos arnt brilliant just to show what can be done with a rotary cutter

When i go for my walk into the wood checking out the hazel stock there i hope to find a deadwood hazel as it seems to me this would make a good carving wood and hopefully cut it down when i coppice the hazel as hazel dosnt grow that big but enougth to get a topper out of it?

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A vist to the wood supplier next week is in order to replenish my wood stock about out of lime wood .

I have to buy it in 8ft x 2ft planks but can get it in most depths from 1" upwards its a wholesale place and i usuall wander around picking my own planks out.Its a cheao way to buy it .also hoping to pick up some sycamore ,this is popular here for making market crooks etc and think it might be better to carve .. they have about 30 types of wood here but there all sold in 8ft lenghs and priced by sqaure metere so its a case of a lunp sum and storage problems although a great deal cheaper than buying small pieces Its a huge place and i mark up the pieces with chalk i want so the fork lift driver knows

So tempted to get some exotic wood and apple or pear at least i wont be paying delivery charges which are pretty high .If there any off cuts around i can usually pick them up as well there of cuts are at least 4ft long

A 8ft x 2ft x2.25 inches cost me about 32 engish pounds i think its pretty cheap i dont know how that compares to you prices
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I dont normally carve the shank and never remove the bark of the shanks .the wood types would make it difficult.
What do you do to secure the bark to the wood, Cobalt? I've had some sticks where the bark would just fall off, however I usually remove the bark and sand the stick.

LAter, Bill
Thers no need to remove the bark of hazel, ash, chestnut its wafer thin it wont come of naturally.no matter how badly its treated and wouldnt be very esay to remove Its not treated with anything other than danish oil.to preserve the wood and as long as you oil it regularly it will always look good

The hazel has a wide range of colours from a light to a darl brown ,some have a snake skin type pattern on them with hints of pink in the shank, it all depends on the growing conditions

Hazel in wales on the west coast of the UK and very different in colour to the ones i harvest on the east coast

The bark will fall of lots of woods you use in the States ,some i wish i had acesse to.

Its very rare i remove bark have done on hawthorn but thats all, i do prefer the colours the bark gives.
Thanks Cobalt and being species dependant makes sense. There is a "lodgepole pine" wood in the western US that the bark adheres to, and I've made sticks from it. However I would "fleck" the bark with a box cutter for an effect. They sometimes do the same thing with lodgepole furniture.
I suppose that the only way to get a piece of hazel big enough for carving would require maybe a decade of pollarding and cutting away sucker sprouts. The plant seems to have a natural habit of growing many thin shafts instead on a main trunk.

"A 8ft x 2ft x2.25 inches cost me about 32 engish pounds i think its pretty cheap..." If that is for lime, it compares favorably with American linden, aka basswood, that I've seen. Tho' I don't know I've ever seen a piece longer than 3 feet in length.

Most of the "exotic" woods available near me are tropical species, and are very hard and dense. Years ago I made some jewelry boxes w. purpleheart (peltogyne), and some yo-yos from zircote. Both were really hard. Burnt away some steel router bits on the purpleheart before switching to carbide. Suppose it might be carved, but I would expect a good deal of sweat.

American sycamore is rather fibrous. It has a peculiar grain structure, sort of a fine woven criss-cross mesh of harder and softer wood that can be very twisty. Not hard to cut, but a little prone to tear out. The bits I've worked on have been somewhat unpredictable. Perhaps pieces from a vendor who has been careful w. selection would provide something more uniform.
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yes think your right about the hazel ,will struggl; to find some .Your also correct in the way they grow .its that that makes them ideal for stickmaking.Even thos sticks that grow from the main stem grow resonabley straight

Interesting about your sycamore will have to check out english variety ,but there are lot of market crooks made from it and seems a popular wood?

Also looking into exotic woods for croquet mallets i was hoping to make some myself as there about 150 english pounds each pretty pricey ,have to make sur i get the right type of wood for it.Also hoping a woodturner friend of mine will make the shafts ,this will probaly made from ash, do wish i had a lathe

But it sounds as though you had some tough woods hope the boxes turned out well after all that effort
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