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Hello from Red Deer, Alberta

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  • Hello from Red Deer, Alberta

    Hello everyone, newbie here unless you count some rough carvings I did when I was a young buck.
    I’m 58, retired but keep busy playing pickleball and fly fishing plus some contractor work (part time on call repairing mailboxes).
    this whole idea of woodcarving came to me recently as last Christmas I said to my wife that I thought it would be a good idea to make a Christmas gift for each other, you know, something less materialistic and more meaningful.
    so here I am, I just ordered a 7 piece set of Mikisyo carving tools which should be here in a week or so. In hindsight, I wish I had joined this forum first and asked for advice. Regardless, I hope what I ordered will do the trick.
    My first attempt will be a Christmas ornament (snowman), which I hope turns out ok so I can make a habit of carving one (or more than one) ornament to be added to our tree every year. We’ll see how my first project turns out.
    I look forward to reading all the posts and hopefully learning from each one of you.
    By the way, I will be the one asking all the stupid “newbie” questions.
    Here’s the first one:
    what’s a good source to purchase bass wood? Preferably in Canada.
    I just ordered via Amazon a few small blocks (5) for $20 or so. Likely I paid through the nose, but I really did not where to get bass wood from. Local lumber yards do not carry bass wood.

  • #2
    Welcome Saltamontes and this is a great forum and many Canadian carvers here also. They might give you a good idea for basswood sources.

    For learning, Doug Linker and Gene Messer are great (Youtube). In addition, a new Ukraine carver, Vladimir, has a Youtube channel. Of course, there are many great examples from carvers here. Many resources online and here that you get to a point of "wondering" what to carve. Not to mention many styles.

    So ask away here, and enjoy the hobby which is addicting.
    Living among knives and fire.


    • #3
      Welcome to the chip pile, Saltamontes. I'm just 2 hrs west of Jasper.
      Can you find a Windsor Plywood store? They usually carry bass wood and 80+ other species.
      I can't comment on the WP basswood quality as I'm using red and yellow cedar, mostly.

      With steady work, most edges stay "carving sharp" for 20-30 minutes.
      You will need some very fine sharpejning and honing supplies.
      Brian T


      • #4
        Welcome to this woodcarving site. The Mikesyo carving tools will give you a starting point for carving. The results you get will depend more on what you put behind the tools (your talent and motivation). Carve what you are interested in trying. There are many forms of the hobby.


        • #5
          Hey WELCOME! I would think that there is lots of basswood up north, but maybe not being to the West a bit. To get you started you might try some Cottonwood Bark, supper easy to carve & it is thick up North. Something you'll want to get is a strop to get and keep your new knives sharp..
          . . .JoeB


          • #6
            Welcome to the forums! In addition to the strop that JPB mentioned, I'd suggest a carving glove and a thumb guard. Ideally, the glove should be Kevlar. For the thumb guard, cut the thumb or one of the fingers off an old all-leather glove and use that. If it gets cut through (mine do, about every 3 weeks!), just wrap in a few layers of duct tape, and you're good to go for another three weeks...

            As to patterns, WCI Magazine has lots of them here:
            My FaceBook Page:

            My Pinterest Page:

            My ETSY Shop:


            • #7
              Hello and welcome.


              • #8
                welcome aboard


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone for the warm welcome.
                  Brian T. Yes, we do have a Windsor plywood locally and they do carry bass wood, thanks for the tip