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Thread: Pine vs Poplar

  1. #1
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    Pine vs Poplar

    Hi gang, I am starting to build a medicine cabinet for my bathroom, and the plan I found (and am modifying to fit what I want) calls for using Poplar for a frame surrounding (and holding) the mirror, with one leaf of the hinges mounted to it, but they call for Pine for the faceframe that sits behind the mirror frame, against the wall, and which will have the larger leaf of the hinges mounted to it.

    The mirror frame is to be 3/4" x 2 3/4". The faceframe is to be 1 1/4" x 1 5/8". Overall dimensions of the cabinet will be 24"w x 31"h and be recessed into a 2"x 6" stud wall, giving me a depth inside of just over 5 1/2". One stud was trimmed down to 1" thick where it is right behind the cabinet, but there are two other untouched studs within 12" either side of the cut one, in a non-loadbearing wall.

    So, with all that impertinent info, can someone advise me if I can just use some clear, straight grained pine I already have for all of these parts? What would the purpose be of using the poplar anyway? I would have to go buy some poplar if I have to use that.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated. I hope to start cutting parts tomorrow.

    Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

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  2. #2
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    I don't know why they would call for both pine and poplar. Poplar paints better than pine and is a bit harder. Most poplar I see has a greenish tinge and looks unusual if stained.
    I wouldn't hesitate using all pine.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    My guess is that the guy that drew up the plans feel that the poplar is going to hold the screws for the hinges better than the pine.
    If I was to build it I go with all pine
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    My guess is that the guy that drew up the plans feel that the poplar is going to hold the screws for the hinges better than the pine.
    If I was to build it I go with all pine
    That's my take on it, too. All pine, or all poplar, or mix it up - pretty much use whatever you've got on hand.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    I would say since poplar is a little harder he's using it for the door since its a little more durable and will take more abuse than pine.

  6. #6
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    Pine vs Poplar

    Thanks people. I never thought about the paintability of the Poplar over Pine, but I don't think that will be an issue here.

    As for the holding of the screws, the hinges are to be mounted between these woods, and the weight of the whole door, mirror included, will be hanging on the Pine faceframe. And I don't think I have to worry about durability. My wife and I are pretty easy on our furnishings (no kids).

    I think I will be going with all Pine, as I have that on hand.

    I will try to get pictures of the project, but may not post until it's done.

    Thank you all for your advice.

    Aloha, Tony (Now I'll get to cutting)
    Last edited by Tony Baideme; 12-18-2010 at 05:08 PM.
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  7. #7
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    Go with pine. If yuo can get true yellow popler it is nice and can look alot like maple, but most places mix in other woods which include cucumber which is green and purple.

  8. #8
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    Pine vs Poplar

    A little late but here is an update on the original post, with pictures.

    I used the pine, and it turned out just fine. I even sprayed the latex finish on with my Binks #26 siphon feed gun. I had to thin the paint about 20% and it worked.

    Here are a couple pictures of the finished outside and the inside. Comments are always welcome.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails med cab 5 (760 x 570).jpg   med cab 7a (760 x 570).jpg  
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  9. #9
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    'Very' nice Tony
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  10. #10
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    That came out looking great, Tony.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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