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Inside the Tree - 'Grain'

Inside the tree we can see wood fibres: the 'grain'.

The grain and how it runs affects us woodcarvers from the design stage, through carving and right up to finishing.


| 17 July 2017 11:44

Daryush - Point well taken. We carvers should always use good quality woods; poor timber does our carving no favours at all. In fact it's frustrating and hinders us as we learn to carve.

I suggest you find a local carver, woodcarving club or woodworker and see what they use, and from where they get it...

However, do check you have a low enough cutting angle on your gouges and razor sharp edges before you write off the basswood you have. I don't know the source but I guess they weren't recommended for no reason.

| 17 July 2017 04:36

browsing as usual.....that's the only thing you can do to find resources for wood carving and wood until you "pahk your cah in hahvad yad", in Chris's back yard. I was told to get wood from heinecke woods as it was the best basswood. I did, and ended up getting wood that was worse than what I could find on ebay. I don't know if I am at fault here, but after carving just less that half an inch of depth I run into cross grains and whiskers from wahoo! only the initial quarter inch depth seems to be ok. I think good or GOOD wood, is of stellar importance to a carver. so I am diligently following what the Man has to say about it. after all, there has to be some good reputable source of good wood that one manages to connect with. I have only worked with briar burl and that's the only wood I know. if I am to carve, then other ads are very important.

| 05 January 2015 13:13

Dermot - Carrie's carving is called 'Woman in the Wind'. She carved it from a block of Yellow Cedar that she fished out of the Puget Sound; it had floated down from Alaska...

| 31 December 2014 21:31

Chris, I really like Carrie's carving and your explanation regarding figures ankle strength. Did she name the carving ?

| 27 October 2013 10:15

Richard - Possibly; it depends what your designs are. If the wood is well seasoned, it's likely to be a visual problem rather than, say, splitting. If you are gluing boards together for a relief, the pith could show at all sorts of places and you need to design it out - meaning either the pith line is cut away or hidden in a mass; not showing as a line along some plane. If it was a wider board, I'd re-saw to remove the pith and then glue back together; the grain and colour should match well.

| 24 October 2013 11:23

Chris, I just purchased some 12/4 basswood (4" wide). After cutting into it I see I have the pith of the tree in the center of the wood I purchased. Will this be an issue in using the wood for carving? I have an 8' long piece.

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