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Renewing Old Basswood

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  • Renewing Old Basswood

    Newbie here. I was given some old 1" x 1" basswood which is extremely hard. Any suggestions on how to renew it to make it carvable again? Thanks.

  • #2
    I would suggest typing “Hard Basswood” in the search box lots of old threads on the subject.
    Personally I’d ether make sure my tools a real sharp or start a small fire.
    Ed
    Living in a pile of chips.
    https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

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    • #3
      Some carvers have suggested spraying the overly dry basswood with a 50/50 mix of alcohol & water.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pallin View Post
        Some carvers have suggested spraying the overly dry basswood with a 50/50 mix of alcohol & water.
        Pallin,

        Does it matter which form of alcohol? Because often I’ve seen denatured alcohol suggested.
        But wonder why use alcohol that’s had poison added to it? I generally try to avoid poisons.

        Then I’m thinking 90 proof vodka is already about 50/50 and smells better and when your through carving for the day you just whip up an evening beverage.

        Sorry I got silly really did wonder if there was a reason for the denatured recommendations?
        Last edited by Nebraska; 02-08-2020, 04:47 PM.
        Ed
        Living in a pile of chips.
        https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

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        • #5
          That is what I do is spray with 50/50 and not let it soak in too long, also like Mr. Ed says stay shape with the knives. And I use denatured , ED.
          Chuck
          Chuck
          Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

          https://mewe.com/profile/5d6f213642db757a5dfb3223

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          • #6
            MSDS Denatured Alcohol


            https://images.homedepot-static.com/...83d9dc1843.pdf
            Ed
            Living in a pile of chips.
            https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

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            • #7
              Gene Messer has a video about the subject and solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ujJ_9pyo0g
              Bill
              Living among knives and fire.

              http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by woodburner807 View Post
                Gene Messer has a video about the subject and solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ujJ_9pyo0g
                Well, I've used the 50/50 spray for years, but have wondered for a while about soaking the wood...now I know that it works like a charm! I can't wait to see how it works on other wood that would be a lot cheaper to use than northern basswood, what with the awful shipping costs.
                Arthur

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                • #9
                  Thanks, guys. Sincerely appreciate the replies.

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                  • #10
                    [SIZE=22px][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Just don't use Jack Daniels on it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nebraska View Post

                      Pallin,

                      Does it matter which form of alcohol? Because often I’ve seen denatured alcohol suggested.
                      But wonder why use alcohol that’s had poison added to it? I generally try to avoid poisons.

                      Then I’m thinking 90 proof vodka is already about 50/50 and smells better and when your through carving for the day you just whip up an evening beverage.

                      Sorry I got silly really did wonder if there was a reason for the denatured recommendations?
                      Not really a silly questions at all. I'm no chemist, but I suspect either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol will soak into the wood equally well. Isopropyl is likely quite a bit cheaper, as ethyl (drinking) alcohol has quite a lot to tax on it.

                      Claude
                      My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                      My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                      My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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                      • #12
                        I have only used isopropyl alcohol and it works like a charm. I've never used denatured.

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                        • #13
                          Yes Sammy66, I too have used Isopropanol, but I usually by Denatured in gallon cans and use it for other cleaning uses. But Iso is good for the wood softener.
                          Chuck
                          Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

                          https://mewe.com/profile/5d6f213642db757a5dfb3223

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                          • #14
                            Hi! Is the frustration worth the cost of acquiring a good piece of basswood stock?

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                            • #15
                              I expect that there's some confidence in buying bass wood with predictable carving qualities.
                              Suppliers such as Heineke never, ever, seem to draw any complaints.

                              All I need is a look at the ring count per inch and I can tell you pretty much
                              how a block of western red cedar will/won't carve well.

                              Don't complain too much about "hard" basswood. Sharper tool edges at the right bevel angles.
                              Lots of people carve mahogany and walnut with great success. Rosewood is really brittle.
                              Brian T

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