carving with wet wood.

topic posted Sun, February 1, 2004 - 10:54 AM by  Bertie
One of my favourite carving media is wet wood, tends to carve so much better than the seasoned stuff, but there is quite a bit of knowledge reqd to be sucessful.
Another device i have recently been using is the arbotech, has anyone knowledge of this?
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United Kingdom
  • Bo
    offline 3

    Re: carving with wet wood.

    Mon, February 2, 2004 - 12:09 AM
    hi bertie,

    interested... which woods in particular do you carve wet? do you have any pics? what knowledge in particular is necessary to carve it? I ask as I have some wet logs, been waiting for them to dry, wondering what effects it would have to carve them wet...
    thanks for the interest,

    • Re: carving with wet wood.

      Mon, February 2, 2004 - 2:51 PM
      MMM, rightiho. Wood is a bundle of fibres that spit along the grain because of differential in drying. Take away the differential and wood dosent split. Several ways of doing this - slow the drying right down.. Many major carvers varnish their work every time they finish working, and or keep it in a plastic bag. Another method is to just make it very thin - take away the differential - The parts of the tree that are most likely to split are the centre and knots.
      I make a lot of wooden spoons and they never split because they are worked so fast - i mean the job is finished in maybe three hours.
      Bowls can be easily made using this method. Simply decide on your shape and get going with the only privisio that it is either quite thin and no centre, or covered with a plastic bag and the moisture regulated that way.
      Woods i have wet carved? Holly sycamore oak elm walnut sumac mmm, some 30 other specis.
      • Re: carving with wet wood.

        Tue, March 2, 2004 - 7:56 PM
        i wouldn't recomend carving wet for sculpture. as it dries, cracks are hard to avoid and the shape changes. the harder woods are more diffacult to carve when wet. i hate wet wood. well, hate's alittle harsh.
        • Re: carving with wet wood.

          Fri, March 12, 2004 - 3:03 PM
          Some of the best carvers use part seasoned wood, it dries as they work. I think it requires a lot of experience. Look up ian norbury at the white knight gallery - i think most of his work is done like this.
          By the way - love your work.
          • Re: carving with wet wood.

            Fri, March 12, 2004 - 6:16 PM
            thank you. i going to put up some better shots soon. photography is not my forte'.

            i had a bad experence with some big, beautiful and wet blocks of holly a few years back and have sworn off the stuff. wet wood that is.

            your pieces are quite nice also. your shop looks huge. do you do woodworking for a living? i dont have a wood shop now and i find myself limited on the size of my pieces. my bandsaw is in a room the size of most closets but somehow i make due. i enjoy the smaller, detail stuff anyway.

            • Re: carving with wet wood.

              Wed, March 17, 2004 - 2:36 PM
              Holly is a real killer as is apple and most of the really hard woods, you started with one of the most difficult. However holly is very easy to carve wet. I made a very pleasing(to me) three cornered bowl out of some very wet holly,(Atually come to think of it i made a load of very large spoons too. The whiteness of the wood makes it allmost like ivory) the secret was that it was very thin and no heart.
              Yes i make my living from woodwork - my site is My workshop isnt exactly huge but i have some incredable machinery - the biggest is an 18 foor pad sander - yeah i know what you mean about making small items - something very pleasing about small - you also get to finish it whilst you are still alive.
              By the way about photography, i often think that people are programmed to think only of the photograph, not what it is about, to my mind someone who looks at the photo only is not really interested in my work - yeah sure i take care but my aim is for people to see my work, im a woodworker not a photographer- its cost me.
              • Re: carving with wet wood.

                Mon, March 29, 2004 - 10:18 PM
                i like working with the hardwood. ebony, pink ebony and holly i have the most experence with. i've been carving mostly small pieces for about 11 years. i've shown in gallerys and in the ohio designer craftsman museum awhile back but now i'm in la and sometimes doing commissions out of my bungalow. i'm carving part-part time because of work and other art projects. i dont like carving holly when wet because it feels like plastic to me. i love it when my chisel rips through a dry piece of wood. when it 's wet the wood feels too bouncy, know what i mean?
                • Re: carving with wet wood.

                  Fri, April 2, 2004 - 12:03 PM
                  Must admit to being a bit out of the curve there "being a bit bouncy". Personaly i get quite a buzz out of wet wood, i guess cause ot works so easily.
                  Most impressed to hear about your galleried work. Id love to see some more.
                  Best wishes

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