what does everyone think of poplar

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  • #27559

    i want to know if anyone has made anything with poplar and if so what do they think because at least for me its cheaper than pine but i have never used it

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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  • #27569
    Dave Riendeau


    I’ve used a bit, basically 1/4 inch panels for bottoms of shelves and boxes because it was inexpensive. A lot of what I see has a green tinge to it but I have found some pure white. It’s harder than pine I think. I wouldn’t call it an attractive wood in its natural state but I think it might look good stained or painted with milk paint. If the price is right why not use it.




    The drawbacks I found to working with it (in my limited experience), is that it is light and fragile. On the other hand, it is super easy to cut and chop.



    I think it’s main drawback is the often unpleasant green color. Occasionally, I find a piece that I really like the looks of though.

    For learning woodwork skills, I like it as much or more than pine. It isn’t as soft as pine and has a more consistent density.

    i'd prefer to make it myself



    Tulip Poplar is heavier and stronger than pine. I personally like the green hues that occur in the wood. If you don’t like that aspect, it cuts, planes, sands and takes a paint finish extremely well and is virtually knot free. American colonists regularly employed it in furniture making and examples of it’s durability are still with us.

    If left to grow to maturity these trees top out at 200 foot tall with ten and twelve foot diameters. I know of one in Connecticut just this size.

    By all means be happy to get hold of some for projects.

    Joe B.

    Steve Follis


    I have used it several times, I like it. It will take a gel stain fairly well to dress it up. I have used it for drawer parts, and it is good for structural parts of cabinets. It doesn’t split like pine does when you nail it or screw it.

    Memphis, Tennessee



    It doesn’t make very good firewood.. I’m with Denise on the green though. Cured it’s pretty tough and it does work well. Drawers and structural parts for sure but I don’t know about using it in a really nice project unless I plan on painting it. But I guess there could be times when you might want that green color. kids furniture maybe?

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein



    I actually regularly see pieces with lots of black and dark greens and swirly-ness at my local home depot. I keep thinking behind the right finish (whatever that is) they’d look pretty distinct.

    Anthony Rich


    I read somewhere the green turns to brown after it dries out.

    Steve Giles


    I like to use poplar for items such as the switch-plate in the photo. Its lack of obvious grain becomes a plus on very small items, and it’s so nice to work with.

    Graham Haydon


    Very good utility timber for furniture making. Great for shop projects like workbenches and tool chests too. In my experience, Polar is more consistent and easier to work with than pine, slightly harder and more resistant to dents too.

    I’ve used it with clear finishes on country style pieces and it looks ok. The green heartwood slowly turns brown, sometimes quite dark, once exposed to UV light. I would not use it with clear finishes on something more fine in design.

    Great timber for a beginner.



    My issues is with finishing. It doesn’t take stain well and is prone to being “blotchy”. They say using gel stain works better, but I’ve been unhappy with my efforts. I stick to paint or as a secondary wood that isn’t seen.




    Ive worked with Lombardy and silver poplar before. All sourced directly from mobile forest mills. Once cured its a stable smooth wood that is easy to work as it does not have a very pronounced grain. It makes beautiful milky furniture. Ive also had great success using it for breadboards and other kitchen items. It is a soft wood, and I have found quite abit of variation according to source.


    Richard Earles


    Use it all the time, for secondary wood, and for setup and test peices

    David B


    I’m going to use it for my bench stool (at least for the legs) because it is quite difficult to find pine boards that are 1.5″ wide that aren’t twisted to hell and unusable. The poplar boards at Home Depot are nicely milled so I decided to use them for the legs.

    Also, for those who like woodturning, it does turn very easily. I prefer exotic woods for turning but I made this recently for some friends out of a piece of poplar scrap I pulled out of the cutoff bin that probably cost about $1.

    SmokyRick Crawford



    In the middle of Northern Illinois, USA

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