Vcarving Basswood

Hey everyone - I have been asked to carve a small Boy Scout shield into 1 of these

This is my first time working with basswood - I typically vCarve hardwoods or mdf. Made 2 attempts so far (back and front) and it comes out very fuzzy. The carving is too small to pick or sand out the fuzzy parts. I plan on picking up a second piece and making another attempt. Any suggestions? What feeds/speeds and dewalt rpm settings would be appropriate?

I’d start with what the wiki has. Though it looks like the information was based on the dremel/shapeoko 2.
I’d maybe go with 4 on the dewalt? Not sure what your speeds/feeds were previously.


  • Depth Increment: 1mm
  • Cut Feedrate: 710mm/min (conservative)
  • End mill: 2 flute .125 end mill
  • Speed: 25,000 r.p.m.
  • Stepover: 30%
  • Spindle: Dremel 4000

These measurements work for other soft hardwoods too, like Alder and may be a good starting point for softwoods.


It might also be worth checking the defaults of softwood in Carbide Create and use that as a good starting point.

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I’m using aspire - I’ll have to check out carbide create settings

Bit I’m using is a 60 degree whiteside

1st attempt
Feed 75ipm
Plunge 40ipm
Dewalt 3.5

2nd attempt
Feed 100ipm
Plunge 50ipm
Dewalt 6

Both look about the same.

The problem is, basswood, while good for carving by hand, isn’t well-suited to carving with a router which isn’t aware of the grain structure.

  • simplify the design as much as you can
  • use the most acute / longest V endmill the stock thickness allows for
  • consider leaving a roughing clearance and spraying with a finish which will harden the fibers and hold them in place for a finishing pass

If it’s at all possible, use a harder, finer-grained hardwood — rock maple works well.

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I have had luck with fuzzier woods by doing similar to what will I will run the toolpath, leaving the part place put a coat of poly/shellac/varnish (I use poly) let it dry then run the path again.

all the fuzz usually cuts when it’s hardened


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