Is Mulberry Wood Good for Carving? (And 5 Tips to Make it Easier)

Mulberry wood is good for carving. It is soft for hardwood, making it easy to shape but also strong and durable. Mulberry is not as easy to carve as softwoods but is one of the easier hardwoods. Additionally, Mulberry is rot-resistant, making it ideal for outdoor sculptures. 

There are endless possibilities to carve beautiful things with Mulberry wood. Below we will get into the advantages & disadvantages of carving with Mulberry. Plus some tips to get you started. 

 Why Choose Mulberry Wood for Carving?

Mulberry wood has several qualities that make it a popular choice for the creation of sculptures and carvings:

No Odor

When carving a work of art, using only quality wood that won’t produce a foul smell is essential. Mulberry is the best choice for you.

Easy and simple to shape

Mulberry is a hardwood that makes beautiful desktops, mantles, and cabinets. It has more natural ridges and grooves in its grain than the more commonly found softwoods, making carving with it very easy.

And because of these natural ridges and grooves, there is extra support for your carving tool.

Can carve precise, detailed designs

The straight, fine-grained wood of the mulberry tree is ideal for carving Netsuke. The wood has a medium weight so that it can be engraved with care and precision for relief carvings or pyrography.

Durable

It is durable, clean, and golden-brown, with a creamy yellow to reddish brown coloring.

Less Blade Wear

Mulberry wood is prized because of its hardness and low elasticity, which reduce blade wear in woodturning. This allows the blade to slide along the workpiece smoothly, minimizing friction and heat build-up. 

Good choice for Carving bowls

Mulberry also contains less sapwood than other woods, an added benefit if you are turning bowls or bowls with handles.

Non- Toxic/ not allergic

The main health risks of cutting wood are dust mites and bacteria that can cause wood-related diseases. Besides these general risks, no further health reactions have been associated with Mulberry. 

Great for outdoor molding (Chainsaw Carving)

The beauty of Mulberry is its ability to resist rot, with a natural ability to hold tight color even in extreme weather conditions. The product is durable, easy to handle, and resistant to shrinkage.

Mulberry Uniqueness

This deep amber-ish brown color is created by sunlight, turning the heartwood (the non-translucent wood part) of the Mulberry into this rustic, brown color. 

It makes it feel more like natural wood for carving and adds a beautiful contrast to any decorative project. 

Related: Is Maple Good for Carving?

Challenges of carving mulberry 

Mulberry wood is suitable for carving, but it is not as popular as some other types of wood due to the following cons:

Mulberry is Expensive

The classically styled Mulberry is gorgeous, but it comes with a price. A variety of Mulberry found in a small mountainous area of Japan is the most expensive wood on the planet. 

Your garden variety Mulberry isn’t anything like that but is still among the more expensive woods to carve with. 

Knowledge of special finishing

When you choose Mulberry wood for carving projects, you can be confident that it’s the best choice for your project. But achieving a quality look with your Mulberry requires an extra step: you’ll have to finish it yourself or have it completed by someone else.

How to start carving with mulberry wood

If you’re thinking about carving mulberry wood, the first step is to be aware of some common mistakes and their best practices. Once you have your bearings, you need a little prep work before you start.

This brief guide has everything you need to get started on your path to becoming an expert Mulberry wood carver. 

Prepare Your Mulberry Wood

Making carving projects easier is as simple as taking a few simple steps. First, and most importantly, soaking your mulberry wood in a 50/50 rubbing alcohol mixture will make it easier to carve without buying new tools or supplies.

Once the wood has been soaked for a couple of days, it’s time to spray with paint or varnish to protect your decorated wood project from moisture damage before sharpening your tools and getting started!

Tips For Carving Mulberry Wood

1. Don’t use too much pressure when carving Mulberry wood

Applying too much pressure when cutting Mulberry wood can lead to your wood splitting. Applying moderate pressure will result in an edge that is good for dabbling with detailed work.

2. Whenever possible, carve straight down the grain.

If you are carving across the grain, drawing a line perpendicular to the grain direction is recommended before making your first cut. It helps you avoid tearing the wood as you carve.

3. Sight the Edge

Whether carving with a tool or carving with your hands, it is essential always to have the sight edge. Never lose sight of it – even when cutting away from it. 

Even if your knife has a beautiful advantage, it will be useless if you give up proper sharpening routines. Keep your edge sharp, and you get a big slice out of life!

4. Use power tools.

Don’t be fooled by its size; the Mulberry’s hardiness doesn’t stop at its appearance. 

This wood is tough and can take a great deal of abuse. Use it in your next project for an exciting look since the grain tends to be tight and easily carved with power tools.

FAQs

Is Mulberry suitable for beginner carvers?

Yes! Mulberry is a very light and soft wood perfect for making bowls, spoons, and other small objects. It has a bland color, but it won’t dull your tools, making it great for beginners.

How long should I dry Mulberry wood for carving?

You should dry Mulberry for 5 – 8 weeks before you begin carving it.

Final Thoughts

Mulberry is a great wood to carve with. It is a hard wood and doesn’t crack, split or splinter easily. You should go with soft wood such as pine or cedar if you’ve never carved before. But Mulberry is a great place to start when you are ready to graduate into hardwood carving. 

Sources: 

https://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Drying_and_Processing_Mulberry.html

https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/

Similar Posts