Types of Wood & Wood Peculiarities for You to be Aware of
Every carver knows that no matter what kind of wood he gets, it is suitable for handcrafting. Of course, there is a personal relation of the master to this or that kind of wood, but there are also favorite species.
Each textbook tells about the hardness, plasticity, grains, texture and typical defects of wood. A newcomer learns that the hardness of wood significantly depends on the humidity that it is at 15% moisture twice as hard as 30%.
There is a white acacia (tree) and a yellow (shrub). The white acacia almost doesn’t crack or warp; it has very good quality especially for turning works. The cross section of the wood has a yellow, yellow-greenish and even olive-green color with clear annual growth rings. The handcrafted item from this kind of tree darkens in its natural color, becoming very eye-catching. The shrub acacia has a beautiful bright yellow color, used for miniature crafts. It is well polished with the chips in paraffin wax.
Old trees of this kind get the reddish or reddish brown wood color, and young trees get yellowish color, it is rather hard and well-polished.
This wood has several varieties: white beech, or hornbeam, and red beech. The hornbeam is considered a hardwood of grayish-white color, very durable. After processing the red beech may get spots; becomes reddish or light brown. The hardwood is durable.
There is an old recipe that makes an imitation of ebony from hornbeam: dissolve 8 parts by weight of aniline sulfate in 10 parts of water and cover the craft with this solution. After drying, cover it with a solution of copper in hydrochloric acid (one part of copper for twenty-20-weight parts of hydrochloric acid). As a result, the product acquired a dull black color, resembling the ebony.
It has a slightly reddish color, easily accepts coloration. The carvers like to use it for small items. The ancient masters strengthened the natural color of cherries with a simple method: they diluted the lime with water to obtain a slurry and dipped the craft in it for a while. Then removed, wiped with a cloth and dried gently to prevent cracks.
The wild pear is the best wood for carving. The wood is dense, has a yellowish brown, occasionally white color. It is favorite among many woodcarvers. The furniture carved from pear is peerless. The wood is cut cleanly in all directions, polished well.
The color of the wood depends on the age of the tree. You can see yellow, light brown and ash gray colors of this wood. The material is hard, heavy and durable. Large items carved from the oak are especially good. In small areas usually, the large products from the oak are covered with relief carving or carvings with a tampered background. For example, Volegov V.I., who is an amateur carver from Yekaterinburg city, Russia has made interesting artworks from the oak.
The products from moraine or “black” oak are much appreciated. This is a wood of ordinary oak, which for several years was in a thick, muddy (stretched mud), stagnant water, which is why it is blackened to its full thickness, it is very durable.
It is better to wax the carved items from the oak. Ural masters (Russia), who worked with imported oak, used the old waxing recipe. Yellow beeswax was melted with turpentine; green and wooden oils were added in a very small amount. Then, with this composition, the product was rubbed with a piece of cork and then polished with baize to a matte shine.
This kind of wood is a great material for the carver. The birch wood is hard enough, but if it is improperly dried, it warps and cracks. Therefore, when cutting the birch crafts from fresh or undried wood, you need to have a plastic bag, not to leave the carved wood in the air. You have to put it in the bag, preventing the wood from drying out and jarring.
It resembles the structure and physical properties of a pear, but harder and swaggier, which complicates the carving process, and the subsequent decoration. The apple trees are processed according to the rules for working with the pear hardwood.
Its exceptional softness makes it difficult to process, allowing it only with ultra-sharp tools. The extreme fragility makes the poplar suitable for products in which the finesse overcomes strength.
It is very hard and dense, light wood with lots of wood threads: yellow, pink, reddish and brown.
If the plum is boiled in lime water or lye, the threads in its texture will only become apparent.
This kind of wood is pretty soft to process, but it is a durable material. Its finishing almost always requires removal of the surface. Almost all propyl carving in the Urals (Russia) is made from pine. The wooden buildings are often decorated with the pine.