Author Topic: Sugar ? pine carving blocks  (Read 4450 times)

klkirkman

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Sugar ? pine carving blocks
« on: March 27, 2012, 12:05:36 PM »
I am seeking a suppplier of relatively thick pine for carving a wood pattern.  12/4 would be fine, and I was taught to call the material we used locally- Mid-Atlantic states - sugar pine, but I am not sure that would be recognized .

It had a very uniform grain and was soft to carve while not crushing like, say, balsa wood

Karl Kirkman
Karl

Jeff L Headley

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Re: Sugar ? pine carving blocks
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 06:37:16 PM »
Karl, Another recommendation might be basswood for carving blanks.

klkirkman

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Re: Sugar ? pine carving blocks
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 07:11:42 PM »
Jeff,

You raise an interesting option. I served my "apprenticeship" of a sort, carving patterns an like objects from old fashioned sugar pine with hand tools. I  know we were aware of basswood as an alternative - and we always used it for model airplane parts requiring greater tensile strength that balsa - but my personal experience back then was that while the grain was uniform in basswood it seemed noticeably harder, the pine seemed to carve more "like butter"; homogeneous and almost slippery to the tool,  and the basswood always seemed to have a more fiberous stringhy grain and be more resistive to the tool.  Any relative comparisons of the two especially in cross grain paring with hand tools ?


Karl
Karl

chrisstorb

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Re: Sugar ? pine carving blocks
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 12:28:25 PM »
Sugar pine is one the the three principle soft pines. It's a western tree, but, like you, I remember seeing 12/4 boards over 12 inches wide and up to 20 feet long available as old stock in lumber yards in the late 1970's. It's typically described as slightly coarser than what I think is the most beautiful pine for carving, Eastern White Pine. All the 18th century carved work from Philadelphia that was to be painted or gilt that I have had microscopically identified is Eastern White pine, others have found this to be true in the New England states. When you can find straight, slow trees it's fabulous to work. Soft and carves like butter yet can hold a crisp edge without crumbling. Sugar pine is a pretty good substitute if it is readily available and works well for other joinery but I have never sought out another pine for carving other than Eastern White Pine, P. strobus.

klkirkman

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Re: Sugar ? pine carving blocks
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 08:15:24 PM »
Chris ?

Thank you for providing the latin name ; it enabled me to locate and purchase some 12/4 stock as I had hoped. As a "heads up", there are sellers out there who advertise other species as Eastern White Pine - I learned that you have to specify the proper name to get precisely what you want. I am not trying to imply that they are trying to mislead - I suspect there may be widespread misunderstanding/confusion much like mine about this issue.

Karl
Karl