Nice looking wood. Sweet gum isn't native to my area, but its been planted as an ornamental for a few decades. I hope to find some if a storm takes one down, and the property owners need to dispose of it.
Whats the wood like. Tight grained? Long fibers? etc.
Sweet gum is sort of a tight grain wood depending on how fast it grew but a lot of sweet gum the grain is twisted I burned sweet gum in my fire pit at my shed and when you split it the blocks split in a slight twist.
Here is a close up of one of my sticks after a few costs of polyurethane the dark places on the stick is what I call blueing it where mildew formed on the stick after I pelled the bark off. It wasn't that dark aftre sanding but when I applied the polyurethane it pulled it out.
When most of us start carving we are not much of a artist. I just started carving designs in sticks then wanted to learn more. Give it a try. All's you need is a sharp knife and a box of band aids. I bet you will be surprised how fast you can pick it up. There are some good books and YouTubes on getting started.
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