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First Purchased Carving Stock

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  • First Purchased Carving Stock

    I began carving, mostly relief, last winter and as I often do when I find a new interest have spent plenty on tools but have not spent a dime on material yet.  I carved in 5/4 red oak and red cedar scraps from the local lumber yard and some apple I cut last winter.  Apparently I got reasonable results according to my wife and friends from these challenging materials (when you don't know how difficult something is you don't complain).  Now I have been encouraged to carve a large relief of a youth church group emblem, so tommorrow I will pick up a 30' square by 2' thick piece of mohagany.  When I lay this piece of material on my bench in my unheated garage and start to work on it do I need to worry about it staying flat? the glue lines failing in the cold Illinois temps?  What is my first surprize? (besides the price tag)  Thanks for the help.
    Ah Chip

  • #2
    Re: First Purchased Carving Stock

    Uhh, Chip,
    I don't think you have anything to worry about as far as warpage while carving as long as the glue-up was done correctly.
    Your biggest concern as far as warping will be when you finish the peice.  If you seal one side, you also need to seal the rest of the carving. Of course if it is exposed to weather, there will be some movement with the seasonal changes. 8)

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    • #3
      Re: First Purchased Carving Stock

      I kept a 2' thick x 24' square piece of Mahogany in my garage in Northeast Texas for the last 6 months and it shows no sign of movement. Regretably, neither do I.

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      • #4
        Re: First Purchased Carving Stock

        Wow! I'm impressed, I been carving four years (mostly winter time, summers off) and I'm still not prepared to 'purchase' wood like mahogany.
        For those who don't know, many of the pallets and shipping crates that come from Asia are made of mahogany.
        They use it over there just like we use white oak. It won't be top quality but you can still salvage a lot of wood if your willing to put in the effort.
        A friend of mine works for Caterpiller and often gets mahogany boards up to six feet long and about 1/2 to 3/4' thick and 4 to 6' wide.
        If you know of a company that imports from regions that grow mahogany, you might be able to pick some up for FREE!!!

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        • #5
          Re: First Purchased Carving Stock

          :-/ well, there is Mahogany and then there is mahogany. The pallet stuff is really coarse grained and probably not kiln dried. I got a load of the packing crate variety and ended up building a dog house out of it. Also, I bought my Mahogany from an older carver who had to liqidate his wood and tools because his vision got so poor. He gave me a great bargain on the stuff. I paid about $12 for that slab of Mahogany. I'm still afraid to touch it!

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          • #6
            Re: First Purchased Carving Stock

            Of course the pallet wood is coarse, (thats why they used it for pallets) but sometimes someone messes up and uses a board that could be used.
            Bet it made a nice doghouse. Exotic wood- low price. Still had a use though, right?

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