Woodworking Plans & Tutorial

Should I Carve Freshly Cut Wood?

Nowadays, carpentry has become one of the most beautiful forms of art, and carving wood beside it makes it whole and complete.

If you pay close attention, you can see excellent works of art made from pure wood; these masterpieces are in homes, building views, and even in some traditional buildings.

A lot of people that are interested in arts and crafts adore this type of artistry. One of this artistry about wood is curving it.

As you may know, there are different kinds of woods that woodworkers or anyone interested in wood should know. In this case, one most asked question is should I carve freshly cut wood?

This essay wants to talk about carving on freshly cut wood. So if you are concerned about the answer to this question, be with us up to the end of the article.

Now, questions pop into our heads:

  • What even is freshly cut wood?
  • Are there different types of wood?
  • Can we carve into a freshly cut wood?
  • What is the diffidence between dry and wet wood?
  • Takeaway

Let’s read through this article to get the answer to all of your frequently asked questions.

Should I carve freshly cut wood?

What even is freshly cut wood?

So, imagine that you are on a jug in the depth of a rainy forest; you look around and see all kinds of trees, different heights, and different colors.

At this moment, you are walking in a gold mine in a place full of potential to become art, beauty, luxury, and so more.

Now, back to our question, “freshly cut wood.”

when cutting a tree to extract the wood used to make so many things:

  • The first step is taking down the tree; the moment that tree hits the ground, you have a stack of freshly cut or wet wood ready to get processed.
  • After taking down the tree, now is the time to chop the wood into smaller pieces, making it easy to transport.
  • After arriving in the woodshop, now you are in front of some freshly cut wood.

Are there different types of wood?

As we mentioned above, there are different kinds of wood that can be used in the carpentry field.

All of them have their characteristics and can be used in different projects.

If you happen to have an excellent black walnut, hickory, or maple tree in your hands, you have access to a mine of gold that can turn into anything.

So, yes, there are different types of wood, and every single one of them is different from one another and wildly variant.

To continue, we talk about the two most used ones:

  • With over 600 species, Oak is presented in almost every place in this modern world, from the most common areas to the most luxurious ones. With oaks appearing everywhere, it’s one of the most accessible trees; Oak is highly denned, and mightiness and hardness are so worldly known that many nations choose Oak as a symbol of power.
  • Of all the realities of wood, pine trees are the most industrially crucial for their crafts work. Fast-growing and durable, we would pick the best and lightest wood, with a wide range of applications indoors and out, such as wooden stairs, home appliances, and making wooden roofs. Pine can usually reach ages of 100 to 1000 years.

Remember that every type of wood has been used for some extraordinary things, and you have to find the right tree and wood to get the job done perfectly.

Should I carve freshly cut wood?

Should I carve freshly cut wood?

Carving is the art of seeing the beauty in the plane, meaning when you have a piece of wood in front of you, it’s only up to your imagination and your skill to make that wood look however you want and, in that time, there are infinite possibilities.

But there is a slight complication, and that’s the condition of the wood that you are carving,

Drying wood before carving is essential for woods like birch and cherry, which are much easier to carve when converted from raw green wood into dry wood.

Some people will use green wood for carving, although this wood still has a lot of water. It may feel soft, and there is a good chance it will shrink and even crack. Learning how to dry wood will save you a lot of aggravation in the long run.

But, there is a twist right here; after drying the wood, there is a good chance that as soon as you press the knife against the dry wood, it will break or crack, so what to do? We couldn’t carve wet wood, and now we cannot cut the dry ones?

So here is what our artists do, depending on the wood, they use some liquid, and they wet the surface layer of wood so they can easily carve it and it won’t break.

  1. Carving wet wood is more accessible than carving it dry as the moisture in the wood allows the knife to glide through the wood easier.
  2. If the wood is too dry, the wood can be complicated and brittle. Wetting the wood down before carving will make for a more enjoyable carving experience.

Now that we’ve established that wood is commonly accessible in both wet and dry forms and that each has its unique method of carving, we may go on.

Let’s have a look at the pros and downsides of each of the options in the following section:

Should I carve freshly cut wood

What is the diffidence between dry and wet wood?

Carving dry wood is very different from carving a dry one. So let’s see the competition between wet and dry wood.

It’s so much better to carve some woods dry. Although carving in dry wood is frustrating, dry wood is preferred for carving.

But, wet wood is used when the wood is too thick to carve, such as apple or alder.

Greenwood is also often used by beginners because it requires less strength and power, mainly when they use it for the soul porous of practice. Therefore, it is not that big of a deal if it cracks or breaks.

In the below chart we are going to demonstrate the pros and cons of each wood for carving:

Wet wood

Pros Cons
The carving process is easy If the wood has too much moisture, it will likely split
suitable for using the hand tools More suited for outdoor projects
Ideal for beginners to practice Not so good for final detail
Ability to get dry Shrinks when dries
Can be collected from any rainy and forest area It stains tools, and it’s tough to clean

Dry wood

Pros Cons
It won’t crack that easily Hard to cut than wet wood
Suitable for indoor Some wood left to dry may get stone hard and impossible to carve
Excellent for fine detailing Hard to season yourself without experience
Suitable for all kinds of experience Requires more tools

Should I carve freshly cut wood


Overall, judging from our article, we conclude that wet carving wood isn’t impossible, but it’s not easy either; it requires skill and exceptional preparation.

So, before getting started on the carving journey, we recommend that you study our guidance on wet and dry wood and analyze our pros and cons charts.

We wish this article helped you find everything you wanted about carving wood and the difference between wet and dry wood.

If you have any additional questions, ask them in the comment section, and we will be glad to answer them.

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