May 6, 2021

Carving Aspen | What You Should Know About The Wood


Thinking of Carving Aspen? You will find a wide range of options available across the globe regarding the different strains of Aspen wood. Scientifically it is referred to as “Populus tremuloides.” This complicated name arises from the definition of trembling or quaking.

Commonly referred to as The Big Tooth Aspen, large-tooth Aspen (Populus grandidentata).

Aspen Tree

Therefore, when you look at aspen trees, their leaves will appear to be shaking all the time, and this is a well-studied phenomenon that occurs due to flexible petioles. This is since the plant is always looking for a way to maximize its photosynthesis.

The tree is found in large quantities throughout North America. They are by nature often medium-size trees, and they have a maximum height range of around 80 feet.

It is a tree with an extensive amount of longevity in terms of its lifespan to reach about 150 years. You will find the wood on this tree is a light brown heartwood color. It comes with quite a lot of grain. Therefore, you will notice that it has a consistent texture. 

Properties of Aspen Trees and Wood

This is one of the more substantial types of wood that can survive splitting. Therefore, you will be able to carve this quickly without gaining unnecessary splinters and accidentally messing up the shape of the wood. It is an excellent thing to consider for people looking to get wood that is readily machinable. 

By this, I mean that you can easily sand and paint this kind of wood without experiencing a high level of shrinkage. The dimensional stability of this product is also something worth mentioning because it allows for straight and accurate designs. 

It is a very light type of wood that cannot survive excessive bending. The medium shock resistance it offers makes it a bit of a disadvantage for people who want to build structures with this. It is, however, great for carving because it can maintain its complete integrity. You will find this at the lowest bending classification levels, and for this, it is often limited and difficult to find. 

What type of wood is Aspen?

Aspen has been declared as a hardwood. This type of wood does not cost a tremendous amount of money and therefore is preferred due to the exquisite price margins available when manufacturing furniture. 

You can expect only to have to repaint any furniture or sculptures after about five years. This is only if you choose to use high-quality paint. You will find an excellent paint-holding ability that puts it above many other trees in the same market. Once you have finished carving, You can turn the other pieces of the wood into a functional product such as wood wool. You can use wood wool to pack away packaged items safely.

Things to carve out of Aspen wood

Non-resinous is a term used to describe Aspen wood because it makes it a more convenient option to carve with. Even the simplest and most common chiseling tools will work very well because of their softness. 

It is 100% splinter-free. Therefore you can use it as a professional wood to produce items such as handmade children’s toys. The only issue with this is that it will require consistent, consistent, high-quality polishing to avoid fray and fuzz. 

Serving bowls are a great option to consider carving out because of how simple and easy they are to carve out. It is also good because this type of wood glues well; therefore, it works best for usable items.

What not to use Aspen wood for

You must avoid using Aspen wood for making products that require exposure to damp conditions. It is not one of the types of Woods that can absorb water quickly and begin to rot and mold quite soon. 

It would help if you didn’t use this for items such as rafts or outdoor sculptures. It is also highly flammable wood, and therefore you should avoid using this if you want to build a roof. It has a gorgeous and natural color; however, it is not worth it in the end. 

How does Aspen compare to other types of wood for carving?

Compared to other woods that are used for carving, Aspen ranks highly. You will find that it is relatively superior to woods such as Basswood, one of the most popular options for carving. It can survive a carver’s tools well without providing a large amount of fuzz. Its nature is straight grain and very fine; therefore, it has very soft properties. 

Tips for Aspen Carving

Taking a day every once a month or when your devices will allow you to get the best out of carving Aspen wood. To get the best carving out of the wood, you will need to ensure that your tools are fully sharpened. This is because it is a very soft wood that provides a heavy level of resistance; therefore, if you attempt to cut it with a tool that is not sharp, you may end up cutting yourself.

You will also need to know how to create the proportions of wood you require. Given that it is a highly resistant material, you will then struggle to cut off extra pieces that are unnecessary on the sculpture. In this regard, there may be damage down to the original structure if you must take off a large section of it. 

The procedure for varnishing wood will also have to be familiar to you because this will deal with the fuzz and fray. If you do not excuse your wood correctly, then you will have to consider painting it. This is because this wood is highly prone to rot and molding; therefore, you must take steps to preserve it efficiently.  

Need a power carving tool? See our review of the Best Power Carving Tool.

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