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Thread: 3D Wood Good / Bad

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Clayton, NC
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    Default 3D Wood Good / Bad

    I've only played with 3D carvings in HDU and PVC, but was going to pick up some wood to practice with.

    From your experience, what have you found to be good wood for 3D carving and what is bad wood for 3D carving?
    Daniel E.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Delray Beach, FL
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    Best woods are tight grain hardwoods like maple, cherry, walnut etc.
    Soft woods such as pine, fir have splitting issues in fine detail areas.
    Poplar works but isn't exactly pretty.
    The real "fun" is the finish sanding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Garland Tx
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    Tight dense woods like pear, Osage orange and mesquite carve beautifully… with experience you can get good results with softwoods like western red cedar… with cedar I use a wood hardener after the rough cut.

    Wood to avoid… Oak just doesn’t keep fine details.

    Large layups must be dry all the way through! Hot router air blowing on deep cuts will dry and shrink the wood causing movement during the cut!

    I’ve almost never been able to charge my full rate when doing 3D work… usually they land up as gifts!

    SG

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    I use a lot of white oak

  5. #5
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    Dec 2000
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    Thorp, WI
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    Bad...butternut, very bad!



    Red alder is as well, but does look good when done. While it generally takes longer to run your finish pass across the grain, you'll spend less time in clean up. Again, it takes longer, but 8% step over also leaves less clean up time.
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    Scott

    If guns kill people, I guess pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk and spoons make people fat.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Garland Tx
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    Add to the list wood to avoid… Cottonwood.
    As per the Purdue Dept. of Agriculture…

    “The wood is rated at or near the bottom of the list
    in regard to planning, shaping, turning, and boring.
    The wood tends to fuzz.”

    My experience exactly!
    SG

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Palm Coast, FL
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    191

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steve_g View Post
    Add to the list wood to avoid… Cottonwood.
    As per the Purdue Dept. of Agriculture…

    “The wood is rated at or near the bottom of the list
    in regard to planning, shaping, turning, and boring.
    The wood tends to fuzz.”

    My experience exactly!
    SG
    Agreed. I've turned some bowls from cotton wood. Very difficult to get a clean cut.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Kennebunkport, Maine
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    Probably Cherry or Black Walnut will give best results for your first cuts as far as availability and to make you want to do more
    Both woods like a finish toolpath against the grain for almost no fuzzie/sanding cuts(just a good stiff tooth/shoe brushing).
    Play with even lower stepovers maybe, as spending time on machine, can save hours sanding.
    All pics were low stepover and no sanding.
    Play with it and have fun
    scott
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    Scott Plaisted
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 9
    Maine

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Nice work, all have good clean look. I use linseed oil and tung oil a lot. Jerry

  10. #10
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    Apr 2013
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    Kennebunkport, Maine
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    Thanks Jerry....Earthpaint polymerized Linseed mixed 80/20 with beeswax usually(24 hour between coats, and doesn't gel...not in 2 yrs anyways).
    Playing with a different mix now(pine rosin/linseed/citrus) that seems to penetrate and really make grain pop...jury is still out, only 3 months so far.

    BAD....Ash for fine details, Lacewood for fuzzies.
    Denser, closer pored the wood, the better so far.
    LOVE Bloodwood, Bubinga...looking forward to trying Red Gum,Tas Blackwood a Desktopper from Oz brought me last summer.
    Claro Walnut cutting one of Michael M's models now...new bit, but hope it comes out as well as this Mount Desert Island one.
    scott
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    Scott Plaisted
    2013 Desktop/spindle/VCP 9
    Maine

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