Question about Poplar wood

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
A friend of mine gave me a truck load of Poplar yesterday. I've been doing woodwork for the better part of 25 years but I can honestly say I have never used poplar. I have heard that it is easy to work with and machine's very well. I have also heard that it does not stain well, and it must be painted. What can ya'll tell me about it, and any ideas of what to build with it? Keep in mind I build rustic, antique looking stuff.


GONetwork Member
For stain, just got to leave it on a little longer or use some that is darker.

It does make a good box call. Also nice to burn.:cool: Try making some boxes or chests out of it.


Senior Member
I think you will find it to be the choice wood for furniture since it does stain well and can be stained to match about anything.I wish I had a truck load.Try a small piece and I think you will see I am correct about the stain.It is also a very close grain wood and very strong.Good luck with the poplar,you will really like it.


Senior Member
It turns well on a lathe, stains well and does make good turkey calls. I have a decent amount of it at home myself. I am not much into staining anything anymore, prefer natural coloring and a nice oil finish.
Thread starter #6


Senior Member
Thanks for the replys, OK, 3 of you said box calls. Do any of you have a sketch, tips or any advice on how to build one. I would love to try.
Poplar is all that previous posts have stated it to be, but it lacks one essential ingredient when compared with the finer furniture woods (Oak, Maple, Walnut, Cherry, etc).

All of the above have conspicious figure of grain which make them much sought after as fine (and expensive) woods.

It is true that you can stain Poplar and impart any color of choice. You can give it color, but you can not give beauty of texture and grain. It is for this reason that most items made of Poplar are painted.

If you are lucky enough to get heartwood of Poplar, it is a very durable and weather resistant wood. I have Bluebird Houses of heartwood (the dark wood) which have been out in the elements for ten years and are still sound.

Poplar is a fast growing tree, which means that it lacks density which is desirable for many uses. Unfortunately, if you find a tree with several annual rings per inch, it will always be a relatively small tree. By the way, box calls made from dense Poplar will always have a superior sound when compared to trees with widely spaced growth rings.


Senior Member
I have pistol display cabinet that is made of poplar, It has really cool purple,yellow and green streaks of grain in it. It isnt stained and I want it to stay like it is


Senior Member

Poplar and willow the wettest of all wood. Takes a long time to dry and feels like a feather. Rich Oh yes green with envy

RWK said:
"Poplar and willow the wettest of all wood".
RW: Have you ever had any dealings with Bald Cypress?? Often water will literally drip from a fresh cut log. Takes at least twice as long for it to air dry as does Southern Pine.
Did some work with Poplar

I did some work with some poplar plywood I made. I will post some pictures for you to see how it turned out.

The paneling had sanding sealer applied to it before it was finished with Minwax Ploy.

The cabnets had no sanding sealer, just min-wax.

Nothing was stained.

The color on the cabnets is staying the same. The paneling is getting darker and darker. Nothing drastic yet.

The first picture is before any finishing work was done.

This is my den.


I was in the Home Furnishing Manufacturing business for several years and we used alot of poplar. It is easy to work with and if you use clear pieces without the green you can finish it several stains. We had roller with wood grains from oak that we would emboss into the poplar and finish it like oak.


Senior Member
Its one of my favorite woods. I love the green, black and brown streaks in it. It stains simalar to pine in my opinion. I too do quite abit of rustic furniture. My father turns bowls and the popular ones look really good.