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  • Lumber yard basswood

    I usually order my basswood online and I found out the shipping and handling can be pretty pricey.
    So I was wondering if anyone has ever bought basswood from a lumber yard?
    I just recently found out a local lumber yard carries kilned dried basswood. I don't know if it's any good or not and not sure what a good price is.
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I guess you should compare what you paid in the past with shipping to a similar quantity of wood from your lumber yard. If the price is good try a piece.

    I guess it also depends on where you have been getting your wood from. Prices vary greatly between suppliers. I recommend Loess Hills.

    http://www.loesshillssawmill.com/the-wood-shed.html
    Ed
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenInWood
    Local club
    https://www.facebook.com/CentralNebraskaWoodCarvers

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    • #3
      The pricing of just about any material is driven by the costs to the supplier & the profit necessary to carry the material. These are continually changing. Construction lumber can be big business or a struggling effort. Think about it - where are the basswood forests?

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      • #4
        Yup but it's been awhile. The thing you need to know is where the basswood is coming from. If you live in the south and your basswood is coming from there, it will be horrible in comparison to basswood coming from Wisconsin. The warmer temperatures equals smaller growth rings and more unstable wood to carve.

        You might save tremendously in shipping but at the cost of quality.

        I bought basswood that was cut down, milled, and kilned down in Southern New Jersey. It was fine to carve but it was a different color and carving experience than basswood I bought from Heinecke. So location makes a difference--not only where being sold but where it's been cut down.

        BobL

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        • #5
          Muddy Dog, I wood try some from them and if ya like it use it. My view is just that, if I can avoid most of the$$$ in shipping and the extra high "handling" cost. Then that is what I do. Most of the yards have this in blocks sorted already to go and when an order comes in, go get it with several other orders, shove it in a box, stamp it with a label and out the door. BUT I do agree with where it is cut from and pre-handled.
          That's my 3.00 worth, used to be 2 cents but inflation ya know.
          Chuck
          Chuck
          Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

          https://woodensmallthings.blogspot.com/2021/01/

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          • #6
            I have to agree with the comments about where the tree grew. Northern basswood is almost white and has almost no discernible growth rings. Southern basswood is more of a light tan color, and is harder. Where you live, the wood should be Northern basswood, but look carefully at it before buying.

            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by Claude View Post
              I have to agree with the comments about where the tree grew. Northern basswood is almost white and has almost no discernible growth rings. Southern basswood is more of a light tan color, and is harder. Where you live, the wood should be Northern basswood, but look carefully at it before buying.

              Claude
              I live in central Ohio, about 30 miles SE of Columbus. So we're not really that far north.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Just Carving View Post
                Yup but it's been awhile. The thing you need to know is where the basswood is coming from. If you live in the south and your basswood is coming from there, it will be horrible in comparison to basswood coming from Wisconsin. The warmer temperatures equals smaller growth rings and more unstable wood to carve.

                You might save tremendously in shipping but at the cost of quality.

                I bought basswood that was cut down, milled, and kilned down in Southern New Jersey. It was fine to carve but it was a different color and carving experience than basswood I bought from Heinecke. So location makes a difference--not only where being sold but where it's been cut down.

                BobL
                I live in central Ohio, about 30 miles SE of Columbus. So we're not really that far north.

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                • #9
                  Here's a map from the Dendrology Department at Virginia Tech. The green (T. Americana) is, I believe Northern Basswood. http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology...heet.cfm?ID=88

                  Claude map.jpg
                  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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                  • #10
                    Here's a larger image. I never realized New Jersey only has American basswood trees growing in the northern part of the state.

                    BobL
                    Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 7.05.48 PM.png

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                    • #11
                      Muddy Dog,

                      Here's a photo of the basswood from Wisconsin (on the left) and the basswood from the lumberyard in New Jersey. And I wish I could send the fragrances of the two to you. The NJ wood is a more fragrant wood smell. I showed the two to my wife and she said the NJ wood reminded her the sawdust in a Boston butcher shop almost 50 years ago. The smell reminded me of my grandfather's work shop and house. It was built of basswood. And he carved it too--the basswood--not the house.

                      I happen to like the NJ basswood because it carves easier than the Wisconsin basswood.
                      i wouldn't characterize the wood as "punky" but it isn't as "crisp" as the Wisconsin basswood. But I don't get that creamy white color. So that is a tradeoff.

                      The second pic is the difference in the grain. The glue-up of NJ basswood on the right has more erratic grain which is consistent with the varied Winters we have here as opposed to the Wisconsin basswood on the left.

                      210413_0000.jpg 210413_0002.jpg

                      As suggested, buy a board from the lumberyard, and try it. You might be sitting on a great source.

                      BobL

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Just Carving View Post
                        Muddy Dog,

                        Here's a photo of the basswood from Wisconsin (on the left) and the basswood from the lumberyard in New Jersey. And I wish I could send the fragrances of the two to you. The NJ wood is a more fragrant wood smell. I showed the two to my wife and she said the NJ wood reminded her the sawdust in a Boston butcher shop almost 50 years ago. The smell reminded me of my grandfather's work shop and house. It was built of basswood. And he carved it too--the basswood--not the house.

                        I happen to like the NJ basswood because it carves easier than the Wisconsin basswood.
                        i wouldn't characterize the wood as "punky" but it isn't as "crisp" as the Wisconsin basswood. But I don't get that creamy white color. So that is a tradeoff.

                        The second pic is the difference in the grain. The glue-up of NJ basswood on the right has more erratic grain which is consistent with the varied Winters we have here as opposed to the Wisconsin basswood on the left.

                        210413_0000.jpg 210413_0002.jpg

                        As suggested, buy a board from the lumberyard, and try it. You might be sitting on a great source.

                        BobL
                        Thanks for the info.

                        I haven't got a quote yet from them but I did find that it's Appalachian grown and size varies from 5" & wider and 8'0" and longer.

                        Even if it is a bit harder that other basswood, I'm sure it would be softer that the pine that I used to carve. LOL

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                        • #13
                          I use lumberyard (not a big box chain store) basswood exclusively. 2" thick, rough cut, random width, 8' to 12' long boards. There is some waste, you are paying the premier online sellers to process the boards down to carving size, smooth the faces and sort out the less desirable pieces.

                          Around here bass at the lumber yard sells for $3 per board foot- enough for three blanks 2"x2"x12". That's a buck apiece including delivery.
                          Buffalo Bif
                          www.bflobif.com

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                          • #14
                            You really ought to try it before you buy a truck load! I bought some from a local hardwood store and it was to hard for me to carve! I still have it in the garage, so maybe I should try it again, but it was definitely harder than pine, so I am glad I only bought one chunk.
                            'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

                            http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
                            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
                            http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

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                            • #15
                              I've purchased large pieces (5/4, 6/4, 8/4 and even some 16/4 boards) of basswood (and butternut) from Keim Lumber in the Holmes County Ohio. I believe it is from the general area and it is just fine for carving. I have also purchased from Heinecke hoping it may be significantly easier to carve because of their reputation. I cannot tell the difference as far carving. Both sources are good, but I will stick with the less expensive wood from Keim given that we visit that area several times a year and it is a pleasant two hour drive into the heart of Ohio Amish country. Cutting down large boards is no problem as I have a large band saw and table saw in my woodworking shop. If you are near Columbus, it is definitely worth the trip as they carry more tools and domestic and exotic hardwood lumber than you can imagine.

                              Tim

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