Easy Whittling Projects – What Materials Should You Start with?
When we are talking about easy whittling projects, most of the people think about patterns: what is the easiest thing to carve, how to find the most simple pattern to carfe, so on and so forth. But rarely do we remember: the simplicity of the project depends on what you’re making it from significantly. So not only it’s important to have sharp tools, that seems kind of obvious already, but it’s also immensely important to choose a nice and soft piece of wood to work with (or a proper hard one, if that’s your preference, but then you have to prepare yourself for the harder project as it is).
Knowing which softwoods for carving are the best will improve your carving experience greatly. They will also help you out with being inspired since softwood is so much easier to carve and, therefore, you’ll spend less time on one project and will enjoy doing it more. So now that you probably can’t wait for the wood discussion already, we’ll go further and lay it out on the table.
We’ve talked about the importance of choosing the correct wooden material. Thankfully, there is not the only option about it - can you imagine the competition on the market while trying to get it? No, there are various kinds of softwood usable and functional for carving. The choice depends on your location, budget and all other little details. However, it’s a known fact that the best, the easiest and the most suitable wood for carving beginners is basswood.
The best wood for carving beginners
It has a very easy to work with structure, is quite soft and pale so it’s great for the projects that you plan to paint afterwards. Softwood and basswood in particular are not known as the best options for no reason - hard woods would be a lot more difficult to enjoy, especially if you are only starting.
There are some alternatives if you don’t have basswood in your country, of course. Other softwoods good for carving are linden or poplar - also quite soft and very nice for whittling projects. Depending on location there will be some differences in approach. For example, in warm countries it’s hard to find soft wood. In warm conditions the trees grow differently and their structure is mostly quite unstable. So sometimes you won’t have such an opportunity as to carve soft types of wood. There are some pros in that, of course: if you start learning from hardwood because you don’t have another choice, carving with a foreign softwood will be like a breeze to you.
You may choose a lot of various options when it comes to how to get your wood. If you’ve got a nice forest nearby or enjoy going for long walks, you might like to find your own branches to carve. You can have a friend working at a furniture factory letting you pick up the waste from production. You can turn to the local lumber yard or buy the wood in carving stores. And, of course, you can order wood for carving Amazon.
Finding or buying softwoods for carving
The choice is yours, but remember: there will also be some rules (more like factors to pay attention to) depending on your approach. When finding branches yourself, try to look for dry wood without a lot of end grain and as straight cuts as possible so you don’t have to deal with more difficulties than you’ll already have to. If you prefer carving with greenwood, read some information on keeping it green longer as you store it and preventing cracking after carving, of course.
Picking up the waste from production can be tricky because mostly there will be used hard types of wood and it’s not a very gratifying feeling to suffer while working with it. It can also be quite difficult to work with dried compressed wood, so make sure you avoid that. Local lumber yards are a nice option, but don’t rush into buying a whole batch from them - try out one piece and then get more if it’s good enough. You might save some funds on shipping and packing, but it’s not a good idea to lose the quality of wood.
Of course, getting wood for carving for sale is the easiest alternative you have. Find a proper supplier, try out a small bunch and if it’s nice - order more. No extra effort, no worrying, simple and enjoyable. Especially if you find the suppliers for carving wood in particular - then you’re golden. A lot of people enjoy online shopping for the exact same reason: it’s not as exhausting as a real-life one, quite easy to find what you need (won’t get lost in a store) and a lot of options to choose from.