Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Saving Too Dry Carving Wood

Sometimes the Basswood that I purchase sits around too long before I whittle or carve it.  Or maybe I purchase too much of it at one time.  The later does save on shipping costs.  Or maybe I store the Basswood in a place that causes it to dry out too fast.  When Basswood dries out it get flaky and crumbly when carved.  It splits out, and does not hold the detail very well.

After experimenting with several methods of putting the correct amount of moisture back into the wood I have achieved success.  If you have some Basswood that seems to be too dry, give this a try.  Select several pieces that you wish to carve.  Place them in a Zip Lock bag with a damp paper towel and seal it up.  Let this sit for about 12 hours.

I found that the Basswood from the sealed bag was rehydrated to a point where it was easier to carve and held detail very well.  You may have to adjust the amount of time and wetness of the paper towel to the amount and size of wood you place in the bag.

3 comments:

Aloha from Arkansas said...

I thought crumbly wood meant I had a bad piece. This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Tom H said...

I suspect really crumbly wood may be beyond saving. But if the wood has just dried out I'll work.

Bruutmans said...

Alchol (high percentage) and water mixed in a plantspray-bottle or how do we call such a thing?
Spray it on and whittle on ;)