I thought I watched a video where Skeeter said that squawbrush made good spoons Now I think that may have been a mistake. This may be preferable in pieces work that would get laminated or otherwise glued together, however if it is too dry, sometimes even the moisture from the glue can cause swelling and require extra drying time. The other wand had a natural twisting line up its length because of a vine that had grown into the wood. Kiln dried wood is typically prized for it’s stability and use in construction.
If there were some magic way to even out the moisture loss, it would be fairly easy to dry large blocks of wood. Chainsaw sculptures are, for the most part, carved from whole diameter logs rather than a slice of a log. Percent, and the stress created by this differential causes the wood on the surface to check (or crack) as it shrinks. There is nothing wrong with spraying the wood with water while you are working it to keep it wet, and to prevent surface drying. Wood changes color as it dries, so don’t be surprised when your walking stick looks different at the end of the year than it did at the beginning.
Wood is divided, according to its botanical origin, into two kinds: softwoods, from coniferous trees, and hardwoods, from broad-leaved trees. I do plan on sharing this whole carving experience too for the forum, so expect to see this whole progress. The fuzzing of basswood when sanding or power carving is not a problem with tupelo though the fuzzing of basswood can be taken care of with one or two extra steps. In summary, carving green hardwood is mainly about managing the release of moisture from your wood. Then I overspray the whole carving with transparent honey brown to give the wood a soft glow of gold.
It is very important to allow water to evaporate from the surface of wood and replace that water initially with a permeable finish. An important note, naturally anyone who works green wood will eventually have pieces that have cracked – keep them! For firewood, this is not an issue but for woodworking purposes, high stresses will cause the wood to crack and be unusable.
When splitting a log by hand, it is best to aim for the cracks (called checks), if there are any visible.4 Some types of wood are harder to split than others, including extremely hard woods, as well as types like gum which an axe will often bounce off of, and cherry, which is typically so twisted it’s near impossible to get a clean split, and elm. I am stumped on staining from stickers and what to type of wood to use for stickering.
Free water is not in the same thermodynamic state as liquid water: energy is required to overcome the capillary forces Furthermore, free water may contain chemicals, altering the drying characteristics of wood. As wood carvers, this moisture content is both a blessing and a curse, but it is imperative that you understand how and when to work with this moisture instead of trying to fight the forces of nature.
Mine is black cherry because I own a lot of it growing on my land and I love the detail I get with hardwoods. With regard to gluing up blocks – I don’t do it – I am able to buy large pieces of air dried wood. Heating is usually carried out by steam heat exchangers and pipes of various configurations (e.g. plain, or finned (transverse or longitudinal) tubes) or by large flue pipes through which hot gases from a wood burning furnace are passed.
Best is to keep a lot of wood on hand, start collecting and have it seperated by how long its been seasoned. A dough bowl may be carved from almost any fine textured, straight grained wood that is free from knots, shakes, and other defects, and which has no toxic characteristics. Work from both ends of the piece, carving away from yourself in all directions, with small movements. Let it dry tell you start to see enough cracks in it so you can read the wood as to where the cracks are going to happen. In addition to speed a vacuum kiln can also produce an improved quality in the wood.
By learning to carve green wood, the cost of buying kiln-dried wood can be avoided, the size of a project need not be confined by the size of the block, and the beauty of the wood grain can be utilized most effectively. Carving Tip: If the wood is very hard and difficult to carve, make a solution that’s part water and part denatured alcohol and spray onto the wood to soften it. The alcohol helps the water to penetrate the wood faster. Thinner areas will dry quicker than the thicker parts and the unequal drying rates is what causes cracking. Drying time varies in relation to temperature, humidity, type of wood and thickness.
In the process, deliberate control of temperature, relative humidity and air circulation is provided to give conditions at various stages (moisture contents or times) of drying the timber to achieve effective drying. It will result in rapid wood removal and smooth shaping, taking off light layers at a time. It is important to examine the carving annually to determine if additional coats are needed.