LumberJocks

Carving a model with lots of compound curves

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodcarving forum

Forum topic by MrRon posted 05-06-2019 03:38 PM 318 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5571 posts in 3663 days


05-06-2019 03:38 PM

Now that I know what glue to use, I now ask which is the best wood to use for my sculpture. I first thought about using balsa due to it’s ease of contouring, but it might be too soft to use. I have never used bass wood. How easy is bass wood to carve? Think of a large block of wood that was made up by gluing 1” thick planks together and carving ridges and valleys into it. At first, I thought I might glue common pine boards together, but didn’t feel I could carve into it, especially the end grain. This is what I’m trying to carve.
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/a8/42/cf/a842cf3a1ee13610043da520c244f746--pennsylvania-railroad-the-railroad.jpg


8 replies so far

View Berto's profile

Berto

12 posts in 1911 days


#1 posted 05-06-2019 06:04 PM

Basswood makes a nice medium to work with. Easy to carve, firm enough to hold lots of detail and easy to finish.

You mentioned “glue” and gluing up 1” think planks – You can purchase Basswood in different width/thickness/lengths. I’ve been able to pick up 4” x 6” x 36” Basswood from WOODCRAFT. Easier to glue up a couple larger pieces than numerous smaller ones (imho).

Google can help you with finding something local.

-- - Berto in VA -

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

579 posts in 323 days


#2 posted 05-06-2019 07:27 PM

Many woodcarvers prefer basswood because of its qualities (described above). You could even have the glue-up done to your specs by Heinecke Wood Products. Remember that sanding to final form may damage the fine details.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 583 days


#3 posted 05-06-2019 11:18 PM

Ron – what size will your train be ?
I second the suggestion of bass wood.
for glued up blanks, I would look for consistent grain features
and assemble them accordingly.
since this is going to an all painted project, I think that the type
of glue does not matter. if you use epoxy, it will create a hard line
and could leave a very noticeable seam after sanding as it is much
harder than the wood.
that’s gonna be one fun project !!

.

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

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5571 posts in 3663 days


#4 posted 05-07-2019 04:46 PM



Ron – what size will your train be ?
I second the suggestion of bass wood.
for glued up blanks, I would look for consistent grain features
and assemble them accordingly.
since this is going to an all painted project, I think that the type
of glue does not matter. if you use epoxy, it will create a hard line
and could leave a very noticeable seam after sanding as it is much
harder than the wood.
that s gonna be one fun project !!

- John Smith


Thanks John. The model will be 48” long x 7” wide x 9” tall. The middle portion, being more or less flat, is already done. The two contoured ends are my next task and I have just ordered basswood in 1” x 4” x 18” long planks. I will glue them up into the rough shape needed and use a combination of carving tools, scrapers, grinders and sanders to contour the pieces. The two ends will be identical. In order to get a smooth gloss finish, especially on the end grain, I’m thinking of using a CA glue to fill the grain, similar to what wood turners do to get a smooth finish. What do you think about that idea?

I will end up with seams that I’m thinking to fill with Bondo, before sanding smooth.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5571 posts in 3663 days


#5 posted 05-07-2019 04:56 PM



Basswood makes a nice medium to work with. Easy to carve, firm enough to hold lots of detail and easy to finish.

You mentioned “glue” and gluing up 1” think planks – You can purchase Basswood in different width/thickness/lengths. I ve been able to pick up 4” x 6” x 36” Basswood from WOODCRAFT. Easier to glue up a couple larger pieces than numerous smaller ones (imho).

Google can help you with finding something local.

- Berto


Originally I was looking for a solid block of basswood, 6” x 8” x 18”, but couldn’t find in that size, not even in balsa, so I just ordered some 1” x4” x 18” basswood planks and will glue them up to the required size. At $81.00, I am now committed to basswood. I wanted to use a material called “high density urethane” precision board. It comes in different densities and the density I was interested in would cost about $340. Although it is the perfect choice for carving contours, it is way too expensive for me to use.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 583 days


#6 posted 05-07-2019 05:05 PM

Ron – if you wanted to try some HDU, I can send you some.
I have quite a bit left from my sign making career.
I can glue up a solid blank in whatever size you need.
PM me your address and I’ll send it to you.
if you don’t think it will fit your needs, you can always use it
for something else.

.

.

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

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1420 posts in 3181 days


#7 posted 05-07-2019 09:43 PM

Basswood is a good choice. White pine is also good, but not quite as good as basswood. And I used Aspen for a train model (https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/369457), (https://www.lumberjocks.com/projects/369465). Aspen is interesting as it has almost no grain, is a light colored wood, and works well. It holds detail very well. Its negatives are it doesn’t take stain very well and is a bit harder than basswood. The grain is so tight that Aspen is almost like working with a plastic.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View ClaudeF's profile

ClaudeF

934 posts in 2127 days


#8 posted 05-08-2019 11:09 PM

I agree with Phil. http://www.heineckewood.com/ will do custom size blocks at no additional cost (pay per board foot, basically). It’s good Northern Basswood.

Claude

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com