Basswood’s color ranges from a pale off-white to pale yellow, to a very light muted brown. The species is known for its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, although its lack of density can make it susceptible to damage if placed under excessive weight. While species from the Tilia genus are referred to as either “Lime” or “Linden” in Europe, in North America it is commonly called “Basswood.”
Straight grains and fine texture combined with its soft character — make Basswood exceptionally easy to work. It glues and finishes well, but does not bend well. Its consistency, light color, light density and hardness (bordering on that of a softwood) has made it a popular fine carving wood for centuries.
Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Why We Love This Wood
Basswood has come into vogue over the past three decades as an electric guitar body wood, given its lightweight, resonant quality. Its softness and light, rather nondescript appearance makes it a prime choice species for carvers. For use in any finished products, a hard, protective finish is recommended, as basswood is decidedly non-durable.