However, basswood is also known as the woodcarver's favorite species.
Jim Dumas, president of Certainly Wood, described basswood as one of the less glamorous woods in the world.
The reason that basswood is so popular with carvers is that the wood works well with hand or machine tools and is "kind" to cutting tool surfaces as long as they are kept sharp.
In less glamorous applications, basswood is commonly used for making crates and boxes, charcoal, hatblocks and excelsior.
Basswood goes by several names around the world, including the commercial name, "American whitewood." However it should not be confused with the other whitewood, yellow poplar or Liriodendron tulipifera.
Basswood is called beetree in some areas because the flowers of Tilia trees draw bees in droves.
Basswood's natural range is the Northern United States and Canada.
Basswood is also used for matches, blind slats, woodenware and novelty items.
Basswood is a natural choice for carving and turnery because it cuts easily with and across the grain.
Basswood and lime do have a drawback as a carving wood: neither is very durable and both are susceptible to woodworm.
hophornbeam 1.7 0.6 1.0 Elm (red and American) 0.2(**) 1.5 3.1(**) Shagbark hickory 3.7(**) 0.7 0.4(**) American basswood 0.0(**) 7.3(**) 9.3(**) Crown position Suppressed 5.5(**) 0.4(**) 0.5(**) Intermediate 0.5(**) 1.5(*) 1.9(**) Co/dominant 0.5(**) 1.7(**) 1.1 Botanical nomenclature follows Little (1953).
Basswood was the most susceptible species, followed by American elm (Ulmus americana), sugar maple and northern red oak (Table 1).
The probabilities of basswood, northern red oak, and hophorn-beam [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE 3 OMITTED] being damaged increased steeply with diameter (P [less than] 0.01); in contrast, damage to white oaks was only weakly related to tree diameter (P = 0.10).
Of the tree saplings, basswood had the highest damage, 36%, but this was mostly in a single plot.
Although basswood was the most susceptible species overall, damage was usually restricted to smaller branches.