How to Carve Basswood


Basswood grows primarily in northern states and is used in making furniture, musical instruments, and craft projects. Basswood is ideal for machine or hand carving. It can be nailed, glued, painted, and stained. It's a fairly soft wood but still durable enough for craft projects you want to last. Here are some of the best methods for carving your crafts from this versatile wood.

Step 1

Decide on a project. The size of your carving will dictate the tools you use for your basswood project. Use a carving knife if you're cutting a small wooden figure or wooden knickknacks. The carving process is simple. Hold your basswood block in one hand and use your knife to carve away strips of the wood to fashion the general shape of your project. You can use a smaller knife and a metal file to cut and define more detail.

Step 2

Use a mallet and chisel for large basswood projects. You can cut away the overall shape of your craft project by hammering away big slices of basswood, and then use a Dremel-type power carver to refine the details. The Dremel tool can use a variety of cutting, engraving, and sanding attachments for raised designs and other decorative embellishments on your projects.

Step 3

Use a wood lathe or band saw to cut and shape furniture from basswood. Since basswood is a rather soft wood, a cheap, portable lathe or a tabletop band saw will do.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use standard safety equipment when using power tools. Keep sharp tools away from children.

Things You'll Need

  • basswood
  • mallet
  • chisel
  • wood lathe
  • band saw
  • metal file
  • carving knife
  • Dremel or similar power carver
  • knife
  • sandpaper


  • Basswood Properties
  • American Basswood Carving

Who Can Help

  • Basswood Carving Blocks
  • Basswood Carving Supplies
  • Dremel Power Carvers
Keywords: carve, cut, craft, basswood, wood, Dremel

About this Author

Carl Hose has been writing since high school. His work appears in the zombie anthology Cold Storage, which he co-edited. His work also appears in Champagne Shivers, DeathGrip: It Came from the Cinema, DeathGrip: Exit Laughing, the horror anthology Loving the Undead, the erotic ghost anthology Beyond Desire, and issues of Lighthouse Digest. Hose's nonfiction appears in Blue Review and Writer's Journal.

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