One of the most common species of wood used in a craftsman’s workshop is poplar. Poplar wood is used to build everything from furniture to wood turnings, as it is a very versatile wood. From cabinets in many of today’s homes to the base of the famous Mona Lisa panel painting, poplar wood is used in many different applications.
Unlike more finicky species of wood, Poplar lumber is known to be very easy to work with and is compatible with nails, screws, and glue. A native to the Northern Hemisphere, Poplar trees grow plentifully, making them a readily available source of lumber. Poplar trees are naturally beautiful and offer many benefits to the craftsman. Poplar can be readily obtained through the McIlvain Lumber Company, one of the nation’s oldest and most reputable lumber dealers.
Poplar lumber is a hardwood with a high sustainability rate because the trees grow very rapidly and in large sizes. The lumber is naturally a creamy white-colored wood with brown or gray streaks through the grain. Poplar is typically a softer hardwood (even softer than pine), yet it is very versatile.
With an exponential strength, poplar wood is very strong and durable, and it is known to be long-lasting. Since poplar is resistant to decay, it holds up well to the normal wear and tear inherent with many applications, and it provides consistency and reliability throughout its lifespan.
Some varieties of poplar lumber include yellow poplar, whitewood, European black poplar, cottonwood, and different types of aspen. With a range of qualities and characteristics, poplar is a staple wood for many craftsmen.
Tips for Working with Poplar
Poplar wood is known for being easy to work with for interior and exterior projects. With a low cost and high availability, poplar wood can be customized in a variety of widths and thicknesses. Poplar is hard enough to retain details, but it’s also soft enough to be gentle on cutting tools. Because of this, there’s no need to adjust for its hardness like you would with harder woods, like Ipe lumber, for example.
The lumber responds well to manipulation from a saw, lathe, or router, but because it is softer, it is advisable to use a fine grit sandpaper so as not to leave sanding marks on the wood. Poplar wood is naturally easy to work with and a common choice of lumber for many woodworkers.
Finishing a Poplar Project
With fine pores, poplar wood finishes well with a smooth coat of paint, primer, varnish, or shellac. Because of this property, poplar is one of the most well-favored choices for projects that will be painted. Stains are also commonly applied to bring out the grain of the poplar wood and show its natural beauty. Many craftsmen believe that when the final project is to be stained or painted, Poplar wood is the best choice for the job.
Poplar lumber is a useful and well-known lumber to many craftsmen. For more information on poplar or for help finding a different type of lumber for your next project, contact McIlvain Company, or visit their website at www.mcilvain.com.