Where do you get carving wood?

I was asked recently from a non-woodcarver, “Where do you get your wood?”

Basswood Angel

My answer anywhere I can!

I have found blocks of wood on vacation, business travel, asking friends to bring back chunks of wood from mission trips, and even from my own backyard when a small Maple tree was damaged. 

The majority of my stock came to me about about 15 years ago. A retired gentleman owning a hobby saw mill made me a great deal on a pickup truck load of Southern Indiana Basswood. You can carve alot of chips from a pickup load and I am still working on it.  Pictured to the left is a “Herby’s Angel” that I carved from the some of this Basswood stock.

Unfortunately, Indiana basswood is not high quality wood as it often has defects and hard to carve grain patterns. If you look close at the picture, you can see some of the defects. The best carving stock seems to come from Minnesota and Wisconsin areas. This wood is typically straight grained and clean of defect.

I have at times purchase blocks of Butternut, which is my favorite wood to carve as I love the smell and the beautiful grain. I have not located a local source for butternut, which drives the expense up when paying for custom sawing and shipping charges.

Keeping with my underlining topic of this blog, “carving on a budget”  I am asking my other fellow wood carvers the following questions;

  1. Where you find your carving wood?
  2. What is the best deal you have run across in finding carving stock?
  3. What is your favorite wood to carve?

Thank you for visiting and I look forward to your comments.

2 Comments »

  1. Clift W Roome Said,

    June 6, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

    My favorite is walnut. Been carving about50 or 60 years now.
    Probably have over 70 pieces now.

  2. Jerry Hartzell Said,

    June 8, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    Clift,
    Thank you for sharing. I also have used walnut and enjoy the why new grain pops with that rich dark color. I have found the same results with cherry also, but just not a rich as walnut. But I have to say that Butternut is my favorite wood to carve, even it the project is a painted one.

    Again, thank you for sharing.

    Jerry

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