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Wood Carving for Beginners

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Old 03-10-2010, 09:27 AM
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Default Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

Hello and thank you for reading.
I decided to leave work and pick up some tools at Michael's Craft store along with a block of basswood.
I've never carved before and found this forum from a google search.
My problem is that when I carve the wood, it doesn't carve "smooth". instead, it looks all hairy, or fuzzy.
I tried the hillbilly project listed here and I simply cannot reproduce the detail that is seen in the project.
Do I have bad wood?
Thanks for your comments and sorry if I posted this in an incorrect area.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

Your tools might be dull. A dull tool will sometimes make a fuzzy cut. Could also be an awfully soft/dry piece of basswood. Try a boxcutter with a new blade (or some other knife KNOWN to be sharpe i.e. new xacto) in it and see if that makes a difference. If it cuts better then I would suspect dull tools.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

You probably have southern basswood. It tends to be "fuzzy" when carved. Northern basswood grows slower and the grain is tighter and it carves smother. you can get it from Heinecke Wood Products.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

Where did you get your tools if from Michaels i would say definitely the tools are not sharp but the wood could be to dry also Mike
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

Tools are probly dull. Don't give up, I'm sure with some learning you to can do great carvings. I was browsing through michaels and saw the price of bass wood and found it to be priced for a lot more than good wood cost elsewhere.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

Thanks for the replies. It looks like I'm going to return the tools and order something online. You guys are right about the wood being dry. A sticker on it stated that it is kiln dried. I'll check out the link above for Heinecke products as well. You guys are great!
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

carving tools from Michael's are geared for folks who don't know any better and I am glad you are returning them. They probably wouldn't hold an edge if you could get one on them..... their wood might or might not be good wood but it is most certainly over priced..... I'm so glad you found us here. Ask questions first and someone on here will steer you right.

One more thing about basswood, it fuzzes when you put a finish on it, no matter how good it is. You will have to do some knocking down of the fuzzies most of the time with it but the better the basswood, the easier time you will have both carving and finishing it.

Glad you found us....hope you keep coming back.
susieq: older but no wiser....
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Newbie here, my wood looks "furry"!

If you purchased the basswood , you can use it , but you need to get it out of the plastic and let it normalize in the open air , or wet a sponge and place it with the wood in a plastic bag for a couple of days it will add moisture. Kiln dried is a good thing, but the problem with Michales , Walmart, ect , is the wood can be years old. Also it is way overpriced . You can also add water by misting the wood, spray it and let it dry . It takes a little practice , but it will teach you a lot about the wood.

The tools , well they can be sharpened , but being new to carving , learning what sharp is , is part of the learning curve. I suggest Rick Ferry at Little Shavers, they are only slight more expensive but they will be sharp.

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