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Where To Buy Basswood For Carving [Your Buying Guide!]

Basswood is a low-density, lightweight wood that is frequently used for carving. Due to the different suggestions of the woodworkers, you can easily get confused.

I will give you an idea of where to buy basswood for carving.

It’s freely accessible in both local and online stores. For the majority of carvings, large chunks of wood aren’t necessary. You may therefore be able to find it at the craft store. For large wood pieces, you might need to visit a wood shop. Buying it from a home improvement store is also a good option.

Only having local knowledge won’t guarantee you decent basswood. There are some more factors you ought to be aware of before buying it.

To learn that, you must read the article through to the end.

Read away!

Where To Buy Basswood For Carving

Having softwood, the hardwood tree known as basswood is ideal for making woodwork. Some might argue between pine and basswood based on their woodwork. But regardless of their argument, basswood is better due to being soft and less dense. 

Basswood is widespread in North America but is especially prevalent in the region of New England. You can find a tree and chop the wood to your preferences.

Unfortunately, the process is drawn out and time-consuming. This is why it is better to buy it readymade from a local or online craft shop. You’ll be able to find small chunks of wood for hand cravings.

If you’re interested in making big wooden sculptures, then you would need large pieces of wood. You must visit wood stops or lumberyards to do it.

If you’ve never bought wood before, then you should purchase it from the home improvement shop. It would be more convenient than the rest of the two options. 

All of them also sell it in blocks, answering where one can buy basswood blocks from.

Why Is The Home Improvement Store A Better Place To Buy Basswood?

It is more practical and preferable for novices for a number of reasons. 

Price

Their price is the cheapest compared to the other stores.

Cutting

Regardless of that you may have the required tools at home. They nonetheless cut the wood to your preferences.

Selection

It has a smaller selection of wood, which makes the decision easy for first-timers.

Simplicity

Home improvement shops are much more prevalent than other shops in your area. The wood has stamps indicating its grade and moisture level. This lessens your concern about it for your first project.

You can visit thrift stores if you’re seeking reasonably priced, high-quality basswood. They break down the old furniture and restore the wood from it. Later they sell those at a cheap price. 

Nevertheless, whether they are true woods or not, you must take precautions. For this reason, you ought to be able to spot fake wood.

Type Of Wood To Buy

It is very easy to get confused after measuring the wood’s thickness and length. Because they aren’t the exact measurements but rather the approximate ones. I have attached a table to help you distinguish the actual size from the nominal one.

Nominal SizeActual Size
1×20.75×1.5
1×30.75×2.5
1×40.75×3.5
1×60.75×5.5
1×80.75×7.25
1×100.75×9.25
2×21.5×1.5
2×41.5×3.5
2×61.5×5.5
2×81.5×7.25
2×101.5×9.25

No matter where or what kind of board you are buying, this is applicable to all.

It is preferable to have a general understanding of the prices before getting into more depth. Different companies have different kinds of basswood that would impact the end result. 

For this reason, I’ve recommended some of the best basswoods to you:

Product NamePrice
BeaverCraft$$$
Premium Wisconsin$$
Arteza$$
FSWCCK$$
Walnut Hollow$

Even though all of them are basswood, the hardness may slightly vary. Having a higher hardness would help one to crave it more smoothly and precisely. 

Choosing The Ideal Lumber While Buying

The most important step when purchasing wood is deciding on the ideal lumber for you. Avoid using lumber that is twisted or warped as it is challenging to work with.

You can work around minor flaws but having major flaws can’t be overlooked. It would ruin the whole structure. 

There are a few tests I can suggest you do to get the ideal lumber. 

Test 1: Straightness

For this test, you just have to hold the board and look down. If it looks curvy then take a new board from the shelf. Then keep doing it while rotating the board to see it from different angles. 

If the board looks straight from all the angles only then you should choose it. Because having a curvy board would very easily crack. Additionally, it would be challenging to create a significant curve out of it.

Test 2: Twist

Mostly it is seen during the project as it’s not that easy to see the twist. The twisted boards can’t be in the project as they would collapse in an instance. 

The board must first be set down on the ground for testing. After pressing it to the ground, if one side pops up this means that it’s twisted. This must be done for each of the four sides. It would determine whether or not they are twisted.

A little bit of twist can be considered while checking. But, it is preferable to take a new one when the twist is much too great.

Test 3: Visual Inspection

After doing the previous tests, then you have to start looking for knots and cracks. There would be a few knots here and there. But as long as that is at a minimum level, the board would still be good. 

Therefore, it is preferable to select wood that you can operate with. Additionally, try to avoid choosing the first board from the stack. 

Things to Consider When Purchasing Basswood

The majority of them have some flaws, so simply purchasing the wood is insufficient. Because imperfect woods would break very easily and also are challenging to carve into something. 

Thus, one should follow a few tips if they want to carve a wood precisely.

Tip 1: Determining The Best Basswood

Basswood’s hardness, weather resistance, figure, and price are the most important factors to take into account. Choose the basswood based on these factors. It is the first stage in making sure the wood would be perfect for craving.

Additionally, choosing perfectly straight and non-twisted lumber is necessary. The maximum moisture should be around 8%. 

Tip 2: Buying 10% More Than You Need

You have to plan and sketch the whole thing before you start doing the wood carving. Then you have to break it all down into individual pieces for making an ideal design. Afterward, measure and record the width, length, and thickness. 

After that, grouping them would decrease the amount of board needed. The thickness of the saw blade cut must also be taken into consideration. In order to prevent a shortage, you must therefore add an extra 10%.

Additionally, you can use the extra wood to fix any cutting errors.

Tip 3: Bringing A Tape Measure

I have already mentioned that they are labeled at an approximate size rather than the actual. This slightly different length, width, and thickness can affect the main design. 

The temperature and moisture can also affect the size of the wood significantly. For this reason, it’s crucial to let the wood dry completely before measuring.

One must therefore carry a tape measure with them in order to be prepared. It would aid them in cutting and obtaining the perfect size for the task.

Before making anything, it is necessary for one to know how to stain basswood. It would help bring out the texture and give the wood a light character.

FAQs

How do you get basswood?

Basswood can be found all over North America, particularly in the New England region. Find a tree nearby, and chop the wood to your specifications. Additionally, it is available at nearby craft stores and online.

What is a good substitute for basswood?

If you want to carve wood, you can use a variety of materials instead of basswood. Basswood shares characteristics with soft maple, birch, and pine. The difficulty of the carving task is primarily determined by the grain density.

What is the best wood for carving?

Generally speaking, the best woods for carving include basswood, butternut, and yellow pine. Although, for particular wood carving projects, walnut, ash, oak, and maple can prove to be good alternatives.

Is basswood the same as limewood?

Both basswood and limewood are similar. The sole distinction between them is their origins. Basswood’s European equivalent is referred to as limewood. 

Conclusion

That is all there is to know about where to buy basswood for carving.

I would suggest that novices make purchases from home improvement stores. But, lumber yards and wood shops are where the professionals must go.

Regardless of who you are, keeping those mentioned things in mind is necessary for wood carving. 

Good luck buying the ideal basswood!