uses for basswood?

Hi all I have a good size (20-24" dia) basswood tree that got blown partially over, about 45 degrees, last spring. It's still alive but I'm going to take it down because it just look weird like that and is kinda dangerous. I know lots of folk use basswood for turning and carving but I *don't do that*. I am thinking of sawing it into planks with my chainsaw mill. Does anyone use basswood for anything in board form? Does it air dry well - flat, no cracks? I suppose I could cut it into chunks and keep them around till I develop a hankerin for turning ;) dean s afton mn dschwalm a t earthlink d o t net
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I use basswood for plantation shutter slats. Lightweight so they don't sag under their own weight, stable, and takes paint well.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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Seems like most people paint basswood, it must have unattractive grain.
http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /
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More a case of having no grain at all.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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Insides, underneaths, and painteds. Anything that tulip "poplar" is used for. You want to get it sawn and stickered quickly, because it goes brown in the log without trying. Those who decry its "grainlessness" haven't worked much with it. Open-grown bass, with its abundance of limbs can produce some wonderfully figured reaction wood. Close-grown bass spends its energy fighting for light. Those straight-grained pieces make bass one of the most cooperative and stable woods you can get.
Problem is, there's so much of it, and no demand. I can still get it from the mills for <$200MBF.

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cracks?
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Slab it into 4" planks, leave them as long as you can handle and sticker them carefully. It's an easy timber to season, even in thick sections like this. It also means that you can resaw them to boards in the future, or sell them as useful carving blocks.
You may also find an urge to carve it. I'm no artist carver, but I do sometimes need to do mouldings. Lime is a lovely wood for this, just the right hardness and no perceptible grain. Stains well too, so it's quite easy to blend into other work.

I use it for Japanese-style cabinetry, as a substitute for some of their timbers that I can't get hold of; paulownia or zelkova.
There's about 60' of 4" lime board floating around here. I scored a stack of it just before Xmas 8-)
-- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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A lot of folks will use basswood planks stacked up to build ship models. It's called the bread and butter method. Of course, that's probably more a result of being unable to get thick enough planks more than wanting to glue up existing ones. Although a glued up pile might be a bit more stable - I'm not sure about that.

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wrote:

Bread and butter is a way of shaping hulls. You have profiles of the hull at various heights (effectively a "contour map") and it's then easy to scrollsaw to these outlines, stack and glue.
You can also carve a hull from solid, and basswood is stable enough that you could do this for quite a large hull without warping or splitting problems. However it's an awkward bit of carving (lots of templates) if you're aiming for an accurate shape, or even a symmetrical one.
Another use for basswood is for kids' woodworking. It's the ideal timber in many ways, easy to work, strong enough to be useful in thin sections (better than balsa) and it doesn't show those annoying tree-like behaviours that cause us so much trouble with moisture movement etc.
-- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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Thanks for all the ideas and input. I am going to go ahead and drop and plank it. A neighbor wants the butt for a woodturner friend of his. Next I have to get to the dozens of big white oaks that are down. dean s

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: Hi all : I have a good size (20-24" dia) basswood tree that got blown partially over, : about 45 degrees, last spring. It's still alive but I'm going to take it : down because it just look weird like that and is kinda dangerous. I know : lots of folk use basswood for turning and carving but I *don't do that*. I : am thinking of sawing it into planks with my chainsaw mill. Does anyone use : basswood for anything in board form? Does it air dry well - flat, no cracks? : I suppose I could cut it into chunks and keep them around till I develop a : hankerin for turning ;) : dean s : afton mn : dschwalm a t earthlink d o t net
Basswood is often used in carving. It holds edges very well. I've seen lots of figurinnes done in basswood.
--- Gregg
My woodworking projects:
Replicas of 15th-19th century nautical navigational instruments:
http://home.comcast.net/~saville/backstaffhome.html
Restoration of my 82 year old Herreshoff S-Boat sailboat:
http://home.comcast.net/~saville/SBOATrestore.htm
Steambending FAQ with photos:
http://home.comcast.net/~saville/Steambend.htm
"Improvise, adapt, overcome." snipped-for-privacy@head-cfa.harvard.edu Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Phone: (617) 496-1558
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Most of the old drafting boards were made of basswood. It seems to be a VERY stable wood.
On 13 Jan 2004 12:52:00 -0500, Gregg Germain

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