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Choosing the Best Wood for Carving

Aug 17, 2007
Wood like any others materials has come up in so many types. But we need to know their characteristic so we know how to use them for the wood carving. As each of the woods has different texture and color, we will need some guidance on which woods that we have to use for our purpose. In this article we will learn some tips of woods which we can use.

Wild Cherry (40 lb.) Like other American fruit woods, wild cherry is a very good carving wood. It needs slow seasoning and tends to split if dried quickly. The sapwood is light and the heart-wood a reddish brown. The texture is fine and even and it takes a smooth polish. It is used also in cabinet work, frames and other decorative work.

Sweet Chestnut (42 lb.)
This wood can be mistaken for oak but it is about twenty-five per cent lighter when seasoned. The silver grain present in oak is absent, however. It is easy to work and has been widely used for timber work in churches.

Ebony (63 lb.)
Ebony, not easily obtained, is black with a fine grain. The tools tend to blunt because of the rather gritty nature of the wood. It will take fine detail and a high polish.

Elm (36-37 lb.)
Elm, like ash, is a wood familiar in everyday life. We see it in wheelbarrows, furniture and garden seats, and like ash it is tough and strong and suitable for large wood carvings.

Douglas Fir (31 lb.)
This is a very strong wood and quite hard. It does, however, have a great tendency to check, split, shrink, and swell.

Holly (36 lb.)
This wood fine grained and heavy, is pure white in color. As the holly is of shrub-like proportions, its wood can be used, like boxwood, only for small objects and carvings, musical instruments, and inlay. Holly is fairly easy to work and will take detail without breaking or splitting.

Curly Jarrah (55 lb.)
This wood is rich red in color and is probably the most important tree found in Western Australia. It can grow to as much as six feet in diameter. Jarrah carves well and takes a very high natural polish. It is extremely durable. The grain is straight but with a wavy or rippling character.

This is the West African carver's favorite wood Exposure to air turns the wood from straw color to red and the surface hardens. Finally, however, it becomes hard all through and it is resistant to termites.

Kingwood (70 lb.)
This timber, not easily obtained, is found in Brazil and is similar to Indian Rosewood. Sizes are small, the maximum being 18 inch in diameter. The color of the wood is remarkable, almost violet with narrow, regular black stripes interspersed with wide, lighter bands. The grain is uniform and the wood will burnish to a fine natural polish.

Lignum Vitae (80-90 lb.)
This is one of the heaviest of all woods and is therefore widely used for mallets and tools where weight and toughness is required. The heartwood is dark greenish brown and the sapwood a contrasting yellow. The fibres of the wood are interlocked and it is impossible to split, though it can be carved with sharp tools.

lime (33 lb.)
This is a favorite wood for sculpture. It is firm and pleasant to carve. The color is whitish to yellowish pink. Lime takes stain or bleach readily, the latter turning the timber pure white. It is moderately hard and takes a very good polish. Lime is also used for drawing boards, hat blocks and cabinetwork.

Choose the wood according to their type. From this article we have learned that each of the wood have their own characteristics and typical. Before you start the wood carving, recognize the wood which you have so you will know how to carve it in the proper way for a better result.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kitchen-plans-n-designs.com/ , http://www.interactivecollectables.info/ , http://www.goodbudgetholiday.info/
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