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The sapwood of Basswood is usually quite large and creamy white in color, merging into the pale to reddish brown heartwood. It sometimes contains darker streaks. The wood has a fine uniform texture and indistinct grain that is straight.
Basswood machines well. It is easy to work with using hand tools making it a premier carving wood. It nails, screws, and glues fairly well and can be sanded and stained to a good smooth finish. It dries fairly rapidly with little distortion. It has fairly high shrinkage but good dimensional stability when dry.