Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Poplar lumber

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Frankfort, Ohio
    Posts
    851

    Default Poplar lumber

    Anyone use poplar for boxes that are lasting? I have access to poplar lumber cheap and was wondering if it would last.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Gordonsville,VA USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    If you properly prime and paint or seal the exterior of the wood, it will last a very long time. Poplar is considered a semi hard wood. I was in the construction industry for over 25 yrs. Poplar is used for ext. and interior trim, and it is a very good wood to work with. If you use a good clear to semi transparent coating, you will have some very attractive hives, as the grain can be very beautiful. Most of the hive boxes for sale are white (pondarosa) pine, very soft wood, but they last pretty well with a proper ext. coating.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Cookeville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    I have poplar wood hives. Painted they last as well as other woods. A lot of older barns built in the south are made from rough cut poplar lumber. They have stood the test of time for many years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    What is the source? If it is graded commercially milled and kiln dried lumber than it is a great choice... If it is sawn by a local guy on his mill and air dried steer clear of it.

    Properly sawn and dried it is very stable and a great choice. Haphazardly sawn and dried and it tends to be very unstable and will twist, crack and shrink... ruining your woodenware.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    oconto county, WI
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    What is the source? If it is graded commercially milled and kiln dried lumber than it is a great choice... If it is sawn by a local guy on his mill and air dried steer clear of it.

    Properly sawn and dried it is very stable and a great choice. Haphazardly sawn and dried and it tends to be very unstable and will twist, crack and shrink... ruining your woodenware.
    Isn't this true of any wood species?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Frankfort, Ohio
    Posts
    851

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    What is the source? If it is graded commercially milled and kiln dried lumber than it is a great choice... If it is sawn by a local guy on his mill and air dried steer clear of it.

    Properly sawn and dried it is very stable and a great choice. Haphazardly sawn and dried and it tends to be very unstable and will twist, crack and shrink... ruining your woodenware.
    Sawn by an amish man that does it for a living and air dried by me in a barn loft where I air dry the rest of my woodworking lumber. I'm not concerned by it being haphazardly done, I'm concerned about the longevity of the product.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    oconto county, WI
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by pine_ridge_farms View Post
    Sawn by an amish man that does it for a living and air dried by me in a barn loft where I air dry the rest of my woodworking lumber. I'm not concerned by it being haphazardly done, I'm concerned about the longevity of the product.
    With paint it will last for many years. With no paint it will deteriorate faster than most woods, and the life will be determined by your climate. As long as you plan to paint it, I would not hesitate to use it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    My barn which I built over 20 years ago was built using poplar lumber and is still standing strong. I have a couple of hive bodies I used poplar to make and no paint on them or the pine ones either. I use a rabbet and 3 screws on each side and if something rots, I'll just replace it. It may or may not last me long, but I may or may not outlast them!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    511

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Here it is sometimes used for fence boards.As others have said,it lasts a long time if painted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by JonD View Post
    Isn't this true of any wood species?
    Nope: Cedar and Cypress can be sawn in any direction and doesn't shrink or twist. Hemlock shrinks a lot, but stays flat. Most deciduous trees aren't very stable unless sawn properly. Tulip poplar is one of the worst offenders, it is very hard to saw properly and harder to dry properly. It was great for boxing in barns because they put it up green and nailed it down so well it couldn't move, does leave pretty wide gaps in the walls once dry though.

    Commercial sawyers saw to face... they turn the cant in order to saw the best grain. Portable sawmill operators tend to square off the log and then slab out the boards from whichever face they landed on last without regard to the grain.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Revisiting an old thread and asking a question about various woods. I have access to some old trees 30-50 years since cut, large nice trees on my families farm. I have a neighbor that has bought a bandsaw mill and offered to saw up anything I brought him if I help him. So my cost would be my time and effort to get some logs to him. I have helped cut and snake logs to a sawmill as a teenager so feel confident I could do that part. What species would be my best bet to make a few boxes from? We have a couple types of maples, several types of oak, poplar, hickory, gum, sycamore. Which of these would be easiest to work with and last the longest? I plan to dry the lumber in the barn and run it thru my neighbors planer depending on what the bansaw finish looks like. I'm not too concerned about these being showpiece boxes just some additional cheap, functional, long lasting boxes. Any thoughts on which of these types of wood would be best to work with. I leaning toward poplar because if I remember correctly it's a little lighter weight than oak. Thoughts?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    3,325

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Poplar is the only hardwood I would use to make boxes unless you have access to cottonwood that has been PROPERLY dried -- it twists and warps something horrible on the way to dry, but once dry is very stable and seems to be quite rot resistant when painted.

    Oak, hickory, pecan, and ash or sassafrass will be much too heavy and will split when nailed or screwed unless you drill pilot holes. Much to valuable to use for bee equipment to my way of thinking.

    Red maple will work, so will silver maple, but they are harder and will weigh more. Sweet gum (often sold as "whitewood" ) will work just fine but you have to keep it well painted, it rots faster than pine. Sycamore is notorious for very large movement with humidity changes, I'd not use it myself. Heavy too.

    Elm twists all over the place, the cambium changes direction every year so the fibers make a criss-cross pattern at about 20 degrees, won't split but warps like crazy.

    Hope that helps.

    One other note, check for powderpost beetles. They eat sapwood only, and will make a big mess of soft maple and poplar if you don't remove the bark as soon as the tree is felled. Dead standing trees are usually full of them, too. Painting completely (use some Titebond glue on the top and bottom of the boxes after nailing them up) will usually kill them, but once they get in they drill holes all over the place. Very annoying, although it will not make the boxes unsuitable.

    Peter

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Thanks Peter, appreciate the information.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    33,416

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by pine_ridge_farms View Post
    Anyone use poplar for boxes that are lasting? I have access to poplar lumber cheap and was wondering if it would last.

    Thanks
    Not very well or long. I would expect rot and warpage.
    "Beekeeping. It's a journey, not a destination." Mark Berninghausen

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,238

    Default Re: Poplar lumber

    Quote Originally Posted by pine_ridge_farms View Post
    I have access to poplar lumber cheap and was wondering if it would last.
    Thanks
    When ever I have to deal with woods that warp allot I rip the board in thirds turn the center piece over and glue the pieces back together. There is a whole lot of cheap furniture made out of popular. Much of it is veneered.
    Explain the word "last". How old are you or better yet how long do you expect to be a beekeeper? If you make your boxes out of the most pristine wood they are worth a mere pittens to another beekeeper 5 years later.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads