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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Green Carving Wood-Yaupon

Back in the middle of November I was clearing some of the brush and small trees from around the property. I took down the largest yaupon holly tree, Ilex vomitoria, I have yet seen. It was 20 feet tall and had a diameter at the base of 5 inches. I decided to cut it into 2 foot sections and seal the ends with latex paint for future carving material.  The reason for sealing it is the habit of all holly trees to check and crack like crazy if they dry too fast. Its such a dense and beautiful wood and I don't want to waste an inch.
Yaupon isn't scarce here. I can count 100 of his cousins in 10 minutes within 20 feet of the stump. I have a few other holly trees in line for harvesting and I believe they are American holly, Ilex opaca. None of them are as large as the yaupon tree I took down, most being at the most 3 inches in diameter. These, too, will get the same treatment as the yaupon. I let the yaupon log air out and dry a little in the shade for about a month before I cut it and sealed it. I then moved the wood to our aviary to keep it out of the weather and give it a cool, shady place to dry. This wood is used for turning, inlay and carving. I plan to make a lot of spoons and utensils with some of this wood. A search for green wood carving has show quite a few pages and a lot of info on the subject. Looks promising. Here's a link that mentions yaupon holly in a wood working forum. Its the last post at the bottom:

Here are some photo's.

2 foot sections fresh cut & ready to treat

3 1/4" should be plenty big enough to get some good carvings. This wood will yield a lot of spoons and kitchen utensils as well as other good things!
Nice clean wood with a lot of potential.
I weighed each one to see how much they will loose after a month or so. It will probably take a few years to completely season and dry. I intend to sell them green as well as seasoned.
Another nice log.

Even the small stuff has some potential.
Sealed and ready to be put up.

In the aviary drying and waiting for sales.

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