I have been using Maple, Cherry, Oak and some Poplar though with Poplar if the bit is starting to dull the carving does not come out smooth, it will do this in soft woods before it will in the harder woods.
A lot of the wood I buy is 1/2" thick and 5" wide. I'm having a problem with carving on some of this because it almost never is totally flat - there is always a little curve to the wood and the bit (when the Z is set to just touching) will leave lines on the warped sections of the wood where I don't want it. Other than buying a planer, which I'll probably end up doing, does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle this? The wood often doesn't appear warped.
Last Edit: Dec 15, 2013 17:45:09 GMT -8 by Deleted
I often run my wood through my planer before cutting but then you get warp after cutting to fix a warped board cut or not I use a full ammo can and place it on the board especially if I cut it and it warped.
The trick is to seal it once it is straight so the moisture from the air does not warp it again. Oak works good.
Greg, how long do you put the ammo can on the wood - would just overnight do it? I've also heard that soaking the wood overnight and then placing something heavy on it will also straighten out the wood but your note about moisture makes me wonder if this would work in the long run.
It just depends on each board, knots, the rings on the board lots of things. Keep them as dry as possible until it gets a sealer, I have wet boards before when I wanted to bend them but I don't know about using that for this I guess it would work if you have bad warpage.
The size of the wood has something to do with it too, none of my cuts on scrap 2x8's ever warped if you cut out too much of the wood by going too deep it warps fast.
The planer apparently will straighten a 1/2" board out and then remove whatever material you set it for, but the board warps again as soon as it comes out. I tried the ammo can trick overnight, had zero effect on the board. I'm now soaking the board for a few hours and then will let it dry overnight underneath the ammo can to see if that does a better job.
Wood will always want warp or curve back towards the center of the tree when there is still moisture present. Some of the wood you get from lumber yards or the box stores like lowes is not dry enough to prevent this, I have made small boxes for jewelry and such in the past and after about a year all the wood shrank and caused bad fitting at all the joints. When I'm looking at a piece to carve I always put the side with the grow rings down, it seems to help with the warpage. I also have been using thicker wood as carving a 1/4" inch deep into 1/2" wood leaves less total wood. I have also left stuff I have carved clamped on the table for a couple of days and that seems to help also.
And that makes me think of using a small kiln like I keep my welding rods in, for that I use an old microwave. For the work I have already made I keep them in a glass display cabinet that I got from a closed restaurant and that works real good I have yet to pull out a piece hat warped while sitting in there.
I've had great luck with big box store wood that is 1" thick, and most of my cuts are .300" or smaller. I just thought I could save some money carving into 1/2" thick pieces but it appears to be a bad idea, my wood is stored in the garage on a shelf, maybe I should start storing it with weights on it to keep it flat.
Oak holds up well just on the shelf at least it has for me. You can use 1/2" for sure and your going to need test wood for cuts your not sure of boy I hate when i start to cut a $50 board and find I need to adjust something RATS!!
I usually use oak also, Menards usually has it in the sizes I need. This time I used a piece of bubinga - a specialty piece I got as a retirement gift package. Once I cut the design out I'd noticed that the 1013 had left a lot of scratches on the uncarved border - the wood was cupped and twisted and I hadn't noticed. I soaked the 1/2" thick wood for four hours, then placed it under the ammo can overnight. The twisting is gone,but still some cupping. I think I can get rid of the scratches with some careful sanding and save the piece.