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Favorite Wood Answered

For woodcarvers and whittler's, what's your favorite type of wood to use? Personally, I like using Mahogany for it's nice reddish coloring, but I also use Basswood quite often.


I am lucky to live in the north central valley of CA. I do NOT have to pay high prices for cherry, walnut, maple, magnolia..ect. I have patience and cure the wood I slab out for two years dipped in wax. Anyway i love black walnut burl. It has so many interesting patterns in it. It carves well, makes great furniture and takes an incredibly deep lustre finish. Also i like birds eye maple and currly maple for the three dee effect and golden color. When you consider you have to pay near 40 dollars for a very thin veneer peice of birds eye maple I think 16 by 16 and I can use solid peices. Same goes with the walnut and cherry.

i think oak because it's easy to make into sculptures....correct me if i am wrong

I don't know much about it..

on other wood. most millwork shope around here are more than glad to give cuts to woodcarvers so it doesnt go to landfills.

I've been carving for about ten years. My favorite type of carving is making canes for other disabled vets at local VA. My favorite wood is Diamond Willow, the natives called it medicine wood. A fungus makes diamond shaped pieces in the wood and then migrates to the center/sap wood. The outer wood is pure white and the fungus created diamonds red. Almost a spiritual effort in carving it; but wear a resp. and goggles. Im a newcomer to this group.

 I'd like to try some of the fancier stuff but you only get pine, red oak, poplar and maple at the home center.  All the old growth cool stuff that is felled in the big city is ground up for mulch - has to be destroyed  because of the asian longhorn beetle invasion.   Mahogany, cherry, walnut is nice.  Real exotic stuff only comes in veneers or just enough for a pen blank and pretty pricey.

Yeah, that's too bad. Unfortuanetly, though I like Mahogany it's kind of hard to find a good block of it for woodcarving unless it's ordered online.

found some at a pattern shop years ago have a few pieces left  ..hard wood to carve but finishes very nice .....Caitlinsdad  look on the bag they sell at Michales craft store they use to do mail order on black walnut and butternut ( maybe Walnut hollow ) But the cost is bad ...I had friends that had a tree service and they use to give me any of the fruit trees they cut ..now I am working on mastering dremel and other tools Royobi power carver ...old neck injury along with a new one as well as arthritis have left me unable to do the oak and Osage oranges  hard woods ...use to love working with Osage and Cherry for the fine finish go down to a 6000 grit on a few of the carvings and no oil or anything needed now bass or jelutong about as soft as balsa but holds detail better


That's cool, I have a carving of a howling wolf done in Cherry wood, looks great.

Do us a slideshow of your wood?


You mean a slideshow of the wood blocks I have laying around for carving? I don't have a whole lot laying around, I don't have a lot of money so I usually only buy wood when I need it ... so not a whole lot extra, I think I have only three unused blocks right now, all basswood.

I meant, the stuff you carved.


Oh ok, that makes more sense :)

I don't whittle or carve, but chinquapin oak makes lovely pens.