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  • #16
    Originally posted by PittsburghTim View Post
    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
    We've been to the Amish country several times, but that was before taking up carving. We would go back again but my wife is in not condition for a two hour drive. So, I guess I will try Basil Lumber in Baltimore, Ohio, it's about 20 minute drive.
    Keim is located in Charm and I remember a little restaurant in the center of town that had great food. We never left hungry.

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    • #17
      Sort of related ! I have a friend that I met through Church, he was a carver and had had a fire in his garage. asked me if I was interested in basswood. I said sure. I now have a lifetime supply, some of it is slightly singed. All I need to do now is more carving.

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      • #18
        We have lots of specialty lumber places around me. Several have cut-off piles, or "scrap" piles that they let me take free samples out of often... great way to try new woods without spending any money... Just got a beautiful piece of spalted Poplar, but I may give to another carving buddy since his skills would do it more justice than mine.

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        • #19
          I think this is a great idea if you have a limited budget. A very large amount of wood is left in the sawmills, which can even be given to you for free. So be sure to contact them there if you have the opportunity. It is extremely difficult to do this in my city, so I prefer to order pallets from the company https://www.bearboardlumber.com/product-overview/ since I like the quality of the products and I have been cooperating with these guys for a very long time. Their services are certainly not gratuitous, but I think that for such a good service, it is not a pity to pay the portion they ask for and even more.
          Last edited by draverin; 09-08-2022, 08:02 AM.

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          • #20
            Most of us living in the Deep South have little choice but to order basswood that is carvable. Our basswood is not much fun to carve.

            We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
            https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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            • #21
              What's "carvable?" Birch, Beech, Butternut, right up to Ebony is carvable. I've seen broken glass used as scrapers.
              Does the wood density have something to do with the nature of the carved surfaces of characters and ornaments?
              Brian T

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Brian T View Post
                What's "carvable?" Birch, Beech, Butternut, right up to Ebony is carvable. I've seen broken glass used as scrapers.
                Does the wood density have something to do with the nature of the carved surfaces of characters and ornaments?
                Many carvers are looking for uniform density. Basswood is pleasant carving because the grain is straight and the resistance of growth rings is minimal. The wood of conifers like Douglas Fir often have hard growth rings with soft bands between them. In temperate zones, the temperature and rain produce rapid growth with dormant periods between. The tropics promote rapid, almost constant growth. Trees that want to grow above the canopy produce dense woods, while opportunistic trees like mangos produce stringy, soft trunks.

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                • #23
                  Thanks, Pallin. If I could think of a project, I'd go out of my way to find a piece of Jelutong.
                  It looks like cheese.
                  I would take pity on the carver who might get stuck, trying to work in Douglasfir. From roughout to finishing would be a battle (says the voice of experience). The abrupt shift from Early Wood to Late Wood in each growth ring is the best possible example.
                  Brian T

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                  • #24
                    I bought many board feet of what appears to be northern basswood, based on the descriptions. It was a few years ago at a quality hardwood and stone place in Westlake, CA. They don't carry it anymore, but I guess they could order some in for me if I asked. I must still have 20 bd ft of 8/4 by 6", 8" and 12".

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