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Forum topic by ShadowAmy posted 12-30-2017 03:42 PM 871 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 661 days

12-30-2017 03:42 PM

hi all i just started whittling yesterday and was bought balsa wood for christmas balsa wood its definitely not good for carving i cant round my edges etc without it chipping away ive found it hard to buy wood here in australia so i do have to make do for now anyone have any ideas what i can use my crappy balsa wood to make until my basswood arrives

11 replies so far

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John Smith

2017 posts in 675 days

#1 posted 12-30-2017 03:58 PM

welcome aboard !! the basswood is a good choice for whittling and carving.
I have no idea if it is available in AU or not. E-Bay sells it in different sizes.
have you looked at the whittling website ?
lots of good carving folks there from all over the world.
maybe someone on that site can offer an alternative wood that is available in your area.
I think that balsa wood is only good for making model airplanes – not carving.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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3072 posts in 2538 days

#2 posted 12-31-2017 09:26 PM

Extremely soft woods are difficult to carve because unless your tools are super sharp, they tend to crush the wood instead of slicing it.

Here in NW USA, I like alder for carving—not too hard or soft, resistant to accidental splitting, and takes finishes well, though it is a rather bland tan or brown color, with not much figure.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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117722 posts in 4090 days

#3 posted 12-31-2017 09:37 PM

Welcome to Ljs glad you could join the fun
Here’s a great source for carving information

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3587 posts in 3622 days

#4 posted 01-01-2018 09:19 PM

Welcome! I’ve carved balsa but it wasn’t much fun. Someone from Oz in here will see your post and give pointers on decent wood to carve that is native.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

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4 posts in 661 days

#5 posted 01-01-2018 10:57 PM

Thanks for all the replies guys, I’ve been looking on eBay and even the UK version and it’s still pretty hard to come by Basswood (which has been my choice since before I started). Am working on “ball in a cage” at the moment, still difficult using the balsa but at least it’s something to practise on

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328 posts in 2360 days

#6 posted 01-01-2018 11:20 PM

Never used it myself, but have seen other Aussies mention Jelutong as a good carving wood from your part of the world. Don’t know if this helps or not?

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4090 days

#7 posted 01-01-2018 11:20 PM

Check out the link I posted There’s lots of information that will make you carving much easier .even though she has a class you can sign up for that cost there’s lots of free information when you sign up for the free classes.I believe she even sells some Basswood, the other wood she recommends is butternut.

When I just looked on Ebay there’s lots of Basswood for sale.

View ClaudeF's profile


995 posts in 2220 days

#8 posted 01-02-2018 02:23 AM

There are several good carving woods in AU. Jelutong if probably the one that is easiest to carve, though. Huon pine is used also. Here in the US, I buy Northern Basswood (Southern Basswood is harder, darker color, more grain structure), but I suspect the shipping charges/quarantine regs/VAT/customs may make the cost prohibitive.

Check your local telephone book for hardwood suppliers/lumber/timber merchants, etc., and see what they have available. Then look for it here: and compare it some others.



View ShadowAmy's profile


4 posts in 661 days

#9 posted 01-02-2018 03:25 AM

Wow thanks for the eBay link, I have literally been looking for about 2mnths along with a friend of mine

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3587 posts in 3622 days

#10 posted 01-02-2018 05:08 AM

Bass wood is called lime wood in England. Maybe that will help. There really should be something similar in OZ. Keep asking. There is a large contingent of Australian people on this forum.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Karda's profile


1713 posts in 1066 days

#11 posted 01-05-2018 06:24 AM

Hi, here is another place to try, never delt with them but despite the name they also carry basswood. I’d check around there is bound to be some easy carving native wood good luck you have a lot of good advice

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