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Thread: Basswood?

  1. #1
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    Basswood?

    Anyone worked with it? I am looking for something that will go with Birch plywood and read this on Wall Lumber.

    Light, Straight-grained and of fine texture. Easy to work. Excellent for carving, molding and toys. Used often to trim cabinets made of birch plywood.

    I have never used it but I do seem to remember that it was used in the house my Dad built when I was a kid. My local lumber yard stocks it. And I can search through it and pick what I want if it would work.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  2. #2
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    The good stuff comes from 'up nawth'.
    Used by carvers almost exculsively. Soft, almost balsa-like.
    Some use it for building stuff. Doesn't weather well.

  3. #3
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    Waiting on Tod for an unlikely use.....

    Waiting........

  4. #4
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    Jeff,

    Yup, I've used it. It's more popularly known as linden or lime. Has a pretty rich history. I got mine by felling a tree on my BIL's land in Vermont. I use it for bowls... turns pretty nice.

    It's fairly soft and stable, so carvers like it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilia

    As I mentioned, the history is really interesting:

    The tilia was also a highly symbolic and hallowed tree to the Germanic peoples in their native pre-Christian Germanic mythology.

    Originally, local communities not only assembled to celebrate and dance under the lime-tree to hold their judicial thing meetings there in order to restore justice and peace. It was believed that the tree would help unearth the truth. Thus the tree became associated with jurisprudence even after Christianization, such as in the case of the Gerichtslinde, and verdicts in rural Germany were frequently returned sub tilia (under the lime-tree) until the Age of Enlightenment.

    In the Nibelungenlied, a medieval German work ultimately based on oral tradition recounting events amongst the Germanic tribes in the 5th and 6th centuries, Siegfried gains his invulnerability by bathing in the blood of a dragon. While he did so, a single linden tree leaf sticks to him, leaving a spot on his body untouched by the blood and he thus has a single point of vulnerability.

    Greek mythology

    Homer, Horace, Virgil, and Pliny mention the lime-tree and mention its virtues. As Ovid tells the old story of Baucis and Philemon, she was changed into a linden and he into an oak when the time came for them both to die.

    Herodotus says:

    The Scythian diviners take also the leaf of the lime-tree, which, dividing into three parts, they twine round their fingers; they then unbind it and exercise the art to which they pretend.


    I've got a picture of the bowl I made from it somewhere on the site, I'll look for it as time allows...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  5. #5
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    jeff use tulip popular instead of basswood...you will be glad you did..basswood was used for barn siding up here a far amount it grows tall and straight and fast..left out of the water it holds up ok but isnt good for hard use at all.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  6. #6
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    I cut 700+ board feet on my sawmill last summer - mostly 4/4, some 6/4, and a lot of carving blocks. It is very nice to work with, but as was already said it's quite soft. As panels in a rail and stile door or for non-contact decorative trim it would be ideal. I'm not sure I'd use it for the rails and stiles if I had Poplar available (which I do), but once painted it would probably be about the same as Pine for dent resistance. Once dry it doesn't seem to move much and it dries very fast. It's easy to carve and easy to sand to a nice smooth paint grade surface. My Dad has told me that in my Grandmothers early married years (1920's and 30's) when they couldn't afford kitchen doors and extra cabinets, my great Grandfather cut and milled a Basswood on his farm, machined it to suit and built a full set of kitchen cabinets with doors for her. Those cabinets were still doing full duty in the late 1950's when they retired from the farm and moved into town. It can't be all bad....

    cheers eh?

    John

  7. #7
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    Kind of what I expected. Since the local Lumberyard stocks it, it must be used by the cabinet shops a good bit. Thats why I asked. The only have that and oak in stock. Popular wouldn't work in this application.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  8. #8
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    What are you working on? I know cabinet shops that uses it for panels on paint grade stuff that is going to a lower end job.

  9. #9
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    I've not worked with it, but it must be a fairly stable wood, as it seems to be the wood of choice for high end mfrs of "Plantation Shutters". It was the recommended wood at one or more online sites with plans &/or Tutorials for those shutters, and mentioned it being straight grained, stable and easy to work and was a popular choice for wood carvers.

  10. #10
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    "go with birch plywood".......yup, colorwise it`ll match just fine. my bench top is 4" basswood just `cause i had it on hand.
    it`ll dent with your thumbnail but so will soft maple or alder, without knowing the application it`s hard to make a call as to it`s suitability.....i`m guessing faceframes-n-doors? it`ll be fine if that`s the plan.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

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