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Thread: Poplar

  1. #1


    A friend of mine gave me several large chunks of Poplar. I started making a vase out of one of them yesterday. All that I finished so far is the outside. I planned on doing the inside today. Now that I am thinking about the grain of the wood I am not sure that it will stay together. Has anyone else turned an HF out of Poplar? If so what should I be expecting. I am turning it at about 500 RPM and the width of it is about 10" across the top.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    I haven't done this, l but I think I saw where someone wrapped their form with saran wrap to help prevent blowout. Might be worth a try!

  3. #3
    Shawn....I can't speak for the piece of wood you are turning but I've turned poplar without any abnormal difficulties. As stated Ed you might try wrapping it with plastic wrap or even binding it together with blue painters tape.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Shawn I have wrapped them in saran wrap with good success. Haven't had one blow yet. The last was a maple burl. It creaked and groaned the whole time.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  5. #5
    Thanks guys. I went wrapped it in some shrink wrap then heated the wrap up with a heat gun to shrink it. It worked. I posted pics. in the pics. area (sorry I forgot what the name was).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Shawn, having now seen the pics of the poplar vase, I don't think that one was in any danger of flying apart. Still, since you had the wrap available, it didn't hurt having it on there.

    Also, I'm finding that I get better finishing cuts if I increase the speed a bit. For something like your vase I'd have probably been running between 1000 and 1200 after I got it round. Of course at higher speeds, you have to be more careful with your tool presentation, because a small glitch can become a spectacular catch.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Ogden, Utah
    The only thing I've found different from poplar (cottonwood, aspen, willow are all about the same) is that it won't cut very clean or sand very smooth until it's good and dry. But then it's nice wood with a great caramel color to it.

  8. #8
    Wood Depend on what kind of Poplar you speak.... What the lumber yards call Poplar (which is a Magnolia) or Yellow Poplar... or true Poplar which is Aspin, Cotton wood, /silver poplar Lombardy poplar or a host of other woods . All them turn best when they are completely DRY , and then they turn quite well and I see no reason why they would not work for HF or Bowls or Billie Clubs or whatever you desire.

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