TERRY r. Wolff
ARTIST•Sculptor•Woodcarver

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Carving Mediums

WOOD OR SYNTHETIC CARVING MEDIA,
which is best for you?


Featuring Signs, Appliqués, and carvings produced in an assortment of quality woods, hardwoods, exotic woods, and in synthetic carving media.  This carving media is made of high-density urethane boards (HDU) that is unlike any substrate on the market today.

For naturally finished signs wood is your only natural choice, however we have made several foam signs which have resembled both wood and driftwood.  The main advantage of a foam sign is that they are more durable then there wood counterparts. Most of the carved signs I have done over the years have been in wood.  In resent times, I have been working with both wood and synthetic carving media.

The wood most commonly used in my carved signs is Sugar Pine which comes from northern California and Oregon.  The only problem that I have encountered in resent years is that it is getting harder to find the quality of pine which I want to use for carving.  This is one of the main reasons why I prefer to use the high-density urethane when the situation warrants this.  Meaning, signs which are going to be painted. HDU gives me the same results as wood, the advantage is that it will not warp, crack, or check and unlike redwood (which I do not use) it will hold paint.

The synthetic medium (HDU) lends itself well to carved, sandblasted, as well as routed signs and is more resistant to the elements then wood is.  Here are some of the advantages...
 

  • Once Painted it looks no different from a wooden sign

  • Changing wording is easier then on a wood sign

  • Can be easily repaired if necessary

  • Less Weight then a wood sign
    means less shipping cost and easier to hang on structures

  • 100% waterproof

  • Will not wrap, split or crack

  • Unaffected by temperature

  • Will not rot or decompose

  • Is highly chemically resistant

  • Ten year manufacturers product warranty

As much as I like carving wood, when it comes to a nicely carved sign which is going to be covered by layers of paint, I prefer carving the HDU media.

When carving a sign or sculpture which is going to reflect the qualities of the material, then the use of wood is the overall champ.

The conclusion here, is that usually when your sign is going to be painted, I will use the carving media unless your sign is being left natural and the wood grain is important, or where you specify your desire to have wood used.  

If you do not specify wood, I will use either pine or the carving media.  Most of my signs are still being carved in pine since I have use for the wood chips.  

There are several manufactures of HDU but I prefer Sign•Foam3 as my carving media of choice.

Finally, no matter which media I use, you are going to be getting a Terry Wolff Creation which will provide you with many years of enjoyment. If it is made of wood, as long as you keep it protected from the elements it should last as well.

Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself,

This page designed and maintained by Terry R. Wolff
On the Web since 1996, Last up-dated on October 25, 2017