Wood Grain (Growth Rings) and Sandcarving

Unlike many other materials, when sandcarving wood there is a strong interaction between the material and the process. The growth rings in the wood (otherwise called the grain) comprise alternating softer and harder material.   The softer material behaves more like a blast mask and resists etching.   The harder material is more easily removed.   As a consequence of this, after sandblasting, the surface of the wood can exhibit ridges, corresponding to the grain pattern. The images below show a design etched into the lid of a myrtle wood box.  The etched areas exhibit a relief resulting from the wood grain.  The blasted areas of this box lid were stained with a dark walnut stain prior to removing the blast mask.


While the ridges can in some cases be objectionable, they can also be used for effect.  How pronounced they are depends on the type of wood.  More on this in a subsequent blog …….