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Which Woods for Power Carving

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  • Which Woods for Power Carving

    I am a beginner and only able to do power carving. I have done some carvings of dinosaurs from Poplar and that works OK. I am using a Dremel Flex shaft with Several different burrs including Kutzall, Saburr, and smaller carbide burrs. I am wondering what woods wood be good to carve. I read that Tupelo is good but looking for something a bit cheaper as I am learning.

  • #2
    Power carvers are often drawn to woods that produce a minimum of fuzzies. That's why wild bird carvers like Tupelo. Woods with an even texture (as opposed to woods with strong contrast between growth rings) seem to work best. Cherry? Butternut?
    Last edited by pallin; 09-30-2021, 09:34 PM.


    • #3
      You need hard woods with very short fiber to avoid the "fuzzies." You need woods with very small and diffuse vessel elements (not ring porous like the oaks, ashes and hickory). Woods such as walnut and apple (fruit woods of any sort) come to mind. All those often have nice contrasts between pale blonde sap woods and dark heart woods.

      Since you never said how large your carvings are, I'll suggest you talk to people with orchards.
      Major prunings, whole trees replaced and so on.
      Brian T


      • #4
        I am starting with smaller carvings such as 4x4x6. I will look for some apple.or similar. Thanks


        • #5
          fruit woods.
          My ETSY shop:


          • #6
            Holly. The wood is almost white in some pieces. It's pretty hard. I can get good detail. I love carving it with power and hand tools. Watch for tree trimmers, neighbors or landscapers, trimmings of it. it's my favorite wood to carve.
            My ETSY shop:


            • #7
              I did a trial of Poplar, Butternut, Cherry, Aspen, Basswood and Walnut. I tried these with a Kutzall Extreme, small round carbide and pointed carbide burrs. I was looking to see how easy or hard to cut and if it had fuzzies. The Butternut, Basswood and to some extent the poplar had fuzzies. The Walnut and Cherry cut pretty clean and sharper detail.

              I did not try Holly as it is expensive and difficult to find in larger pieces. I will be on the lookout for some Apple. Thanks for the suggestions.