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Tips on How to Identify the Best Wood for Carving

Aug 17, 2007
There are many objects which we can use for carving, and one of them is wood. But we need to know a correct type of wood or what kind of wood which we can use for the wood carving. In this article we will get some tips on how to choose a good wood for the wood carving.

A tree can be said to have three component parts: the root, the trunk, and the crown. The roots absorb water and chemical substances from the soil which are carried by the sapwood to the leaves and branches of the tree.

The bark of the tree is for protection and insulation. The growth and thickness of the trunk is brought about by cambiumnial cells situated just under the bark of the tree.

These cells eventually become sapwood which in turn becomes the heartwood as the tree grows in size and strength. In the so-called 'heartwood' trees, the difference in color of heartwood and sapwood can be clearly seen. A saw cut across a log of elm or yew will reveal the light, outer ring of sapwood and the dark, rich center of heartwood.

The latter has now ceased to function as a carrier of sap and the cells are filled by resins and pigment. The function of this heartwood can be likened to a strong scaffold holding the tree erect. The sapwood is more vulnerable to attacks by fungi and insects whereas the heartwood is harder and more durable. The color difference between the two types of wood is not always apparent; beech, lime, silver fir are cases in point.

In temperate countries annual rings of native woods, marking each year's growth, can be clearly seen, and usually by the naked eye. In early spring the growth starts rapidly and large spongy cells are formed. These constitute the soft spring-wood. As the summer progresses, the cells formed are smaller and harder, also they are slower in growth. It follows then that each annual ring has two parts, the broader spring-wood and narrower band of summer growth. When these annual rings can be clearly seen, as described, we speak of 'ring porous' woods. Examples of these are ash, elm, and oak. During the autumn and winter the tree rests and growth ceases. The rate of growth varies a great deal according to species, climate and altitude. In tropical countries trees such as ebony, continue to grow all the year round and there are no marked rings, only areas of growth.

Broadly, we can divide trees into two groups 'softwoods', or those belonging to the conifae, like firs and pines, and 'hardwoods', belonging to the dicotyledonae, or broad leaved varieties. As in the case of all generalizations, careful study discovers subdivisions of this rule. The softwoods belong to a more primitive and simple type of tree structure, while the hardwoods are far more complex in form. These are botanical terms and do not refer to actual hardness or softness.

Choose the wood according to your need. We have to check the types of the wood and how to treat the woods until they are ready to be used.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kitchen-plans-n-designs.com/ , http://www.collectablesguide.info/ , http://www.goodbudgetholiday.info/
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