Jump to content

Close
Photo
- - - - -

Pacific Northwest Wood Types


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 conmcb25

conmcb25

    Newbie

  • Registered
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • LocationPacific Northwest

Posted 29 February 2016 - 05:24 AM

I moved out here (Seattle area) about 3 years ago from the Midwest. Ill probably have to leave in the next year or two. (Job transfers)

 

Id like to collect some locally available wood walking sticks

 

I am thinking:

 

Sitka Spruce

Western Red Cedar

Douglas fir

 

Does anyone have any experience with any of these. Is one better than the other? Are any of these not worth the effort?

 

Thanks!


Edited by conmcb25, 29 February 2016 - 05:34 AM.


#2 JJireh

JJireh

    Advanced Member

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 419 posts
  • LocationChristiana, Tn

Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:29 PM

No expert here, I work with saplings of hard woods mostly.

The wood types you are talking about are good woods from mature trees, that is smaller branches, nor sapling size trees are not always strong enough.

When I have seen these woods used it is usually something 10 to 12 inches in diameter carved down to stick size.

Hopefully some others here can give a more personal insite.



#3 gdenby

gdenby

    Advanced Member

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 969 posts
  • LocationNorthern Indiana, aka "Michiana"

Posted 29 February 2016 - 02:54 PM

I carved some of what i was told was douglas fir many years ago. Soft, and easy to get fine detail, but had long fibrous grain. It was sometimes hard to avoid pulling out long slivers. 

 

I was looking at some Western red cedar at a wood shop yesterday, and it doesn't look to different from the Eastern I've carved. Medium dense wood, can have fairly twisty grain, also somewhat prone to having splinters tear up. Mentioned I was carving some to a friend who is a cabinet maker, and he agreed that while beautiful, it can be difficult to get a refined edge.

 

You might try visiting local history nd/or art museums to view the Northwester tribal art. I believe that the carvings I've seen often mention fir as the medium. Might give you an idea of the level of detail the wood will take, and hint at the thickness needed for strength.



#4 LilysDad

LilysDad

    Advanced Member

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 334 posts
  • LocationDeKalb Co. IL

Posted 29 February 2016 - 11:25 PM

Are there any available hardwoods in your area?



#5 CV3

CV3

    Advanced Member

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,267 posts
  • LocationMobile Alabama (USA)

Posted 01 March 2016 - 02:05 AM

One of my favoret woods is Alaskan Yellow cedar. Nice to carve.

#6 conmcb25

conmcb25

    Newbie

  • Registered
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • LocationPacific Northwest

Posted 01 March 2016 - 05:38 AM

Are there any available hardwoods in your area?

I may try Red Alder, they are all over the place in this neck of the woods.

 

I'm looking for some local wood to work with, before I leave.



#7 conmcb25

conmcb25

    Newbie

  • Registered
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • LocationPacific Northwest

Posted 01 March 2016 - 05:45 AM

One of my favoret woods is Alaskan Yellow cedar. Nice to carve.

 

Thanks! It occurs at elevation out here so its going to be an effort for my old fat arse to collect some :)



#8 Rodney

Rodney

    Advanced Member

  • Registered
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,014 posts
  • LocationCentralia, Washington

Posted 02 March 2016 - 02:18 AM

I haven't used any of the softwoods you mentioned for sticks yet.  Of the three cedar might be your best bet.  The other two can be full of pitch.  I tend to prefer hardwoods.

There's a good selection of hardwoods available here.  Alder, maple, vine maple (if you can find a straight enough stick), hazel, birch, holly, cottonwood, cherry, Oregon white ash, willow, dogwood and Oregon white oak all grow wild here for starters.  Madrone might be interesting as well, but again, difficult to get a straight stick.  I'm sure there are more trees and shrubs that are suitable that I haven't mentioned.  There's also all the domesticated species available if you happen to see someone pruning their trees.

Given all the wind, it might not be a bad idea to take a walk through a local park and see what came down.

There are plenty of choices.

Rodney



#9 Sean

Sean

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 628 posts
  • LocationChilliwack, BC Canada

Posted 02 March 2016 - 05:01 PM

I assume you are talking about carving? Living a few hours north of you and not being a carver, I have enjoyed working with cedar and alder and both are very nice woods. Some of the cedar have some great beetle grooves bored through the wood and once peeled of its stringy bark color ages nicely. The alder is very nice as well.

#10 conmcb25

conmcb25

    Newbie

  • Registered
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • LocationPacific Northwest

Posted 02 March 2016 - 05:08 PM

To be honest, I really suck at carving. I am looking right now more for wood types that make a good stick. Although I must say I am intrigued by that Bear Head topper in the gallery.

 

So I think I am going to try to find some of that yellow cedar, let it dry for a while, and then maybe take a stab at it.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users