Is apple wood good for carving?

Is apple wood good for carving?
The first step in wood carving is choosing of the wood. And in this blog we want to share with you about is apple wood good for carving.
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Is apple wood good for carving?

Apple wood is one of the most versatile woods you can use to carve. It will carve well with almost any knife, and it holds up well to carving and has a natural grain that makes it look old and natural. But you need to pick the best.

Apple wood is probably one of the most stunning hardwoods on the market.

Between its uniformly mesmerizing straight grained texture, to its heavy strong density, this wood type would be a great choice for crafts such as chip carving and woodturning.

So why isn’t apple wood a more popular crowd favorite among woodworkers?

And is apple wood good for woodworking?

Apple wood is a dense durable hardwood that is heavier than other types of hardwood lumber, such as cherry.

As a result, it is used to make fine wood pieces such as furniture, musical instruments, and tool handles.

Yet, despite being a good wood type for a wide range of items, apple wood still tends to be more of a novelty choice for woodworking.

Features of apple wood

Before working with applewood it is good to know what to expect of it. Here are the top things you will find useful to know about applewood.

1. Moisture content In apple wood

Moisture content is quite important when approaching fruit trees. If you are carving applewood that is too wet it will end up discoloring which is what you want to avoid.

What you want to do with applewood is to make sure you let it out to dry for a good day or two. With that said, letting it dry for too long will make it nearly impossible to carve.

2. Apple wood color

Green apple has a very appealing caramel color. It is not always even with some areas having random brighter spots and others looking significantly darker.

The color of applewood is one of the main reasons why people like to carve it. Even though it is not too pleasurable to carve, the color of the wood is making the process worth it.


3. Apple wood weathers really well

In fruit trees you often find the grain to be quite tight. If you allow applewood to dry for some time after you carved it you will end up with a nice shiny finish which reminds you of a glass-like surface.

4. Possible damage from woodpeckers

Woodpeckers love apple trees and it is very difficult to keep them away from causing damage to the wood.

Keep it in mind when you are buying or harvesting your applewood. Try to be attentive and inspect for possible damage in the wood.

If you happen to come across a damaged grain from a woodpecker when carving, you will most likely split the wood and your carving will end up with an uneven surface in that area.

5. Color difference between the branches and the trunk

This is not unique to only applewood, however, it is important to remember. As mentioned earlier, green apple wood has a nice caramel color, but that is not the case in the branches as the beautiful color is only a trait of the trunk.

The branches of applewood have a brighter basswood-like color which does not seem as appealing as expected. Therefore try to get your hands on the wood from the trunk of the tree.

6. Apple is tiring to carve

Applewood is by far not the easiest to carve. You need some physical power and endurance to carve apple for a long time.

The grain of apple is very similar to cherry, and if you carved cherry you will agree with the fact that it is not at all times simple.

7. High chance of splitting

Be ready to encounter some issues with the wood splitting as applewood is very prone to this happening. If you want to avoid splitting then we recommend some ways that will help you to get almost Zero spilling with perfect edges.. If you want to avoid splitting then we recommend some ways that will help you to get almost Zero spilling with perfect edges..

With a little creativity, you can always work around it, and implement the areas that are split in your carving. If that is impossible simply cut it off and as long as it’s not in the most important area of the carving you will still have a decent result in the end.
As much as carving applewood is hard, that is the answer to the dense wood when dry. Do not allow applewood to dry for years because it becomes tough to carve. Carve the wood when it is still fresh and keep it under good conditions to seasons and dries well.

The result is impressive, although that is not the standard way of wood carving. You end up with sturdy wood carving and try not to waste your time trying to revive it.

Steps of carving

  • Gather your material and tools.
  • Put on protective wear, including a dust mask.
  • Mix distilled water and alcohol with a 40/60 proportion in a bottle
  • Spray the wood in the solution
  • Allow the wood to absorb the water so that it does not splinter and becomes easier to carve. The wood contains alcohol that helps the wood to stay moist for longer and makes the carving knife cuts through the dry wood better.

Tools needed to carve applewood

  • Carving Knife
  • Wood Carving Mallet
  • Chisels
  • Gouges
  • Bench Knives

What to do with the wood after carving

  • Seal it with wax.
  • Add paint for color.
  • Treat the wood carving if necessary.

The difference between an apple and other wood types

Applewood is more difficult to carve than some wood types. It requires woodcarving before drying, unlike other wood types.