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Basswood

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Machining methods

Machining methods

  • Basswood's low-hardness rating makes it ideal for hand tools.
  • Power planing basswood poses no problems. You'll find jointing effortless, too.
  • Because the wood is dense, ripping requires a rip-set blade with 24 teeth or less to avoid burning. In crosscutting, it won't tear out or chip.
  • Use sharp bits and don't rush the router when shaping basswood, as its tight grain and density does tend to burn (although burns easily sand off).
  • Unlike some other lightweight, straight-grained woods (such as redwood), basswood fastens well with nails or screws. And it's not necessary to predrill.
  • Sanding basswood proves to be a soothing, smoothing task. But when it comes to staining, blotching can result. If uneven staining appears on a test piece, apply wood conditioner before staining. Remember, though, even wood conditioner won't subdue discolored streaks in the wood.

Continued on page 6:  Carving comments

 

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