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Thread: Poplar lumber

  1. #1

    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
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    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
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    37

    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
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    2,837

    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
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    65

    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

    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
    65

    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
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    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
    359

    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
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    2,837

    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.

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