Butternut is a favorite of relief carvers because it takes fine details and finishes to a beautiful luster. But to avoid warp on large works, edge-join two or three pieces rather than use a single board. Also, keep these other tips in mind:
- In a relief carving, carve the sapwood side of the board to reduce any tendency for it to warp or cup. Look at the growth rings visible in the end to locate the sapwood side. The larger rings will be on what was the outside of the tree.
- Be cautious when taking deep cuts along the straight grain as the wood may pop or tear out.
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