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?s commonly called “Basswood.”
Its straight grains and fine texture — combined with its soft character — make Basswood decidedly easy to work. It glues and finishes well, but does not bend well. Its consistence, light color and light density and hardness (bordering on that of a softwood) makes it a popular wood for hand carvings.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Carvings, wagon boxes, musical instruments (electric guitar bodies), cheap furniture, veneer, plywood, utility wood and wood pulp and fiber products.
Comments: Basswood has come into vogue over the three decades as an electric guitar body wood, given its lightweight, resonant quality. Its softness and light, rather indescript appearance makes it a favorite among hand carvers, also. For use in any finished products, a hard, protective finish is recommended, as basswood is decidedly non-durable.