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Basswood Ideas

by sikrap
posted 10-01-2009 07:15 PM

23 replies so far

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 4660 days

#1 posted 10-01-2009 07:36 PM

My first thought is carving, but if your thinking about more standard types of projects, I kind of see Basswood in the same category as pine (at least regarding softness), not so much the grain. So I would say use it pretty much the same way. The nice thing is you could really make a nice furniture piece and accent it with various carvings.

By the way, 50 bucks for a truckload of Basswood, WOW I don’t think you would find a better deal, unless your mill it yourself.


View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1526 posts in 5175 days

#2 posted 10-02-2009 02:36 AM

I think it’d be great for furniture! You might have to put a little more wood in some places for strength, but it should be awesome for milling into cool shapes (if the prospect of carving everything seems like its too much work).

Depending on how its milled, I can see chairs, side tables, pretty much everything. I’d think it’s a little harder than pine, but I’m also out here on the west coast where pine is softer than some of the east coast varieties, but there’s a lot of cool colonial furniture from pine, and basswood should allow for a lot more cross-grain milling and cutting (and, yes, carving).

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4409 days

#3 posted 10-02-2009 02:50 AM

Well, the seller and I couldn’t get together today, but I”m getting a bit concerned. He told me that he was cleaning out a house and the wood had belonged to a turner. I suspect its logs.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4763 days

#4 posted 10-02-2009 02:55 AM

time to buy a lathe or send it all out west to me. basswood is fun to turn nice and forgiving. have fun.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View SteveMI's profile


1167 posts in 4345 days

#5 posted 10-02-2009 05:14 AM

The great thing about basswood over pine is that it can be routed or carved and keep a detail. Very little fuzz and no splintering in my experience. It stains well also.

I started out with a lot of it due to being cheap bf and wanted to try scroll sawing. The scroll saw and I never bonded, but the experience with basswood was good.

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5451 days

#6 posted 10-02-2009 05:32 AM

I was thinking of carvings. That’s the wood of marry-go-round horses.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 4251 days

#7 posted 10-02-2009 02:14 PM

Besides turning, it is great wood for chip carving. There is a whole group of people out here by me that carve everything from wood decoys, decorative plaques and furniture. Resaw the logs and glue up the boards. Basswood is a blast to shape and work with. Buy it all.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4636 days

#8 posted 10-02-2009 03:40 PM

Wow basswod is, I believe what we call lime this tuff is ultra expensive the carvers go crazy for will sell on ebay for big money I see small pieces go for high prices. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4409 days

#9 posted 10-02-2009 09:43 PM

Just spoke to the seller and he assures me that this is “all boards”. He also offered to sell me all he has left, which he estimates to be 2 pickup trucks worth for $75. The wife is gonna kill me…

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4321 days

#10 posted 10-02-2009 09:47 PM

Grab it! Thats a great deal….and as Alistair could sell your excess for more than you pay….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Rogue's profile


260 posts in 4520 days

#11 posted 10-03-2009 04:24 AM

Buy it! Basswood is cool stuff. And if it from a turner its probably even better. You can pritty much do whatever you’d do with maple with it.

-- Rogue

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 4667 days

#12 posted 10-03-2009 12:06 PM

I am carving 2 blocks right now they are figured corbels to be used on a Morris Chair. It carves by hand and dremel.

It is actually listed as a hardwood.

It is a long list but a good idea about this versitle light wood

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View Julian's profile


884 posts in 4576 days

#13 posted 10-03-2009 03:12 PM

Buy it and then sell it on fleabay so you can get some proper wood for building furniture. Keep some of it to practice carving.

-- Julian, Homewood, IL

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4409 days

#14 posted 10-07-2009 04:53 AM

Well, I got the wood. The bad news is that there wasn’t as much as I had been led to believe. There was about a half a truckload. The good news is that it wasn’t all basswood. There are 3 or 4 cedar boards that are about 7” wide and 10 ’ long, a couple of pieces of TandG cedar for lining a closet, a nice piece of oak about 4’x6”x2 1/2”, and 1 or 2 maple boards. All in all, I’m happy with the deal. It as all rough sawn and will provide me with some nice pieces to practice with the new planer when I get it set up.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 4376 days

#15 posted 10-08-2009 02:55 AM

You can make tons and tons of spoons.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5039 days

#16 posted 10-08-2009 03:11 AM

Basswood is a very stable wood. Also called Lime in Europe and Linden or Basswood in N. America.
It’s so stable it’s been used for hundreds of years for making keyboards in musical instruments. I have used
it in two Harpsichords and a clavichord.

It’s also a great wood for carving. Too soft really for furniture.

It’s used a lot for the solid hulls on model ships.

Very reasonable price also.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Napaman's profile


5534 posts in 5128 days

#17 posted 10-08-2009 03:23 AM

fishing lures

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View jcecil's profile


40 posts in 4701 days

#18 posted 10-08-2009 06:19 AM

I believe it is used some as drawer bottoms due to its stability, not as much worry about the movement vs other woods if you make solid wood drawer bottoms.

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4628 days

#19 posted 10-08-2009 07:13 AM

View bandman's profile


79 posts in 4440 days

#20 posted 10-09-2009 04:01 AM

FWW had a feature on basswood about 1 year ago as a often overlooked wood.
I saw a bit of it from time to time. It is great as a secondary wood for drawer
bottoms, case sides, etc. Make sure it is good and dry and stable before using
it for furniture items. I’ve seen it used for carved mantels as well. For the price,
I don’t think you can go wrong.

-- Phil

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 4409 days

#21 posted 10-09-2009 04:53 AM

Thanks Phil!! I believe I have the FWW’s from the last couple years, so I will definitely check that out.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4385 days

#22 posted 10-09-2009 06:37 PM

Wood carvers prize basswood. It would be a shame to use it for furniture. Maybe you could trade it for some other kind of wood you really want. Or as suggested sell it and buy what you want.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 4531 days

#23 posted 10-09-2009 08:59 PM

I agree, it makes great drawer and cabinet bottoms. It also can be used like many have said for carving. It is often used to make guitars, drum shells, and other wind instruments. Another use for it is window blinds and shutters. I have used it for shop jigs too.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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