Notes From the 'Net
By Mike Bloomquist, with Doug Evans and Loren Woodard
Email Mike at m.bloomquistATverizonDOTnet or visit his web, Wooden Dreams Woodcarving


It's an abbreviated version of NFTN, but I promise to make it up to you in the next issue... honest.

Bleaching Wood

Denis asks....

I am currently carving a snowman.  The wood is butternut.  Can I bleach the wood white and will the grain still be present?  If so is there a special bleach for wood?  Thank you for your assistance.
Denis Johansen

Mush (AKA Marcia) leads off...

Hi, Denis,

I have bleached wood but not butternut, so I can't help you there.  But I would recommend the 2-part wood bleaches.  (I bought it at Rockler's) I don't know that it will actually bleach butternut to a white but I imagine it would lighten it.

Marcia (aka Mush)
South China, Maine

Then Joe Dillet

Hi Denis,
My experience with bleaching butternut, even with the two part bleach made for wood, is that it turns out black. Butternut will not bleach out except for long exposure to UV light.

Joe Dillett
The Carving Shop
645 E. LaSalle St. Suite 3
Somonauk, IL. 60552

Donna chimed in and added my favorite advice for ANY wood finish...

I bleached out some walnut scrap once using household bleach. Came out white- on the surface only, of course. I thought butternut was a variety of walnut. Just try it out on a piece of scrap and you will have your answer.

Donna Menke
Author: The Ultimate Band Saw Box Book

try it out on a piece of scrap" first... <It's worth repeating>

Then Clive snuck one in at the last minute... a great alternative to bleaching...

Hi all,
While visiting a wood supplier locally, I seen some Holly wood, it was pure white, the whitest wood I have ever seen, maybe you could use this and if so avoid the bleaching.
All the best.

Toxic Wood

Marcel Asks...

Please help.  Does anyone know if Zebra Wood can be used for a food use bowl and spoon.  I am in the midst of making a requested bowl and spoon out of Zebra wood and was advised to check if it's ok to eat out of.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

...And there was a single, and very adequate answer from Arthur.

Health & Safety in the Arts: Woodworking Toxic Woods  has an excellent table on toxic woods.  I also did a google search for Zebra wood bowls and a lot showed up for sale.  I have turned Zebra wood, make sure you wear dust mask when sanding.
Carving in Oregon
...And here's a couple of more for good measure.  for you carvers from "down under"

OK, Gang, until next issue, keep them edges keen, the chips piled high... and we'll see you next issue. 

Keep on Carvin'
-Mike Bloomquist->

Please take some time and check out the wood carving lists on the Internet. There is a lot of knowledge free for the asking on all of the list serves.

For information regarding the various email lists for woodcarvers, visit The Carvers' Companion Resource Files, or click the links below.


Woodcarver's List - Woodcarvers' Porch - American Stickmaker's - Knotholes List - Fishcarving List2


Editor's Note: Disclaimers and Cautions