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Am I being picky about my wood?

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Ives

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I ordered some poplar from our lumberyard. They have to order it from head office and it takes 2 weeks. I got it, finally, and made a piece out of it, something someone ordered from me. But there are streaks of dark grain it it that I tried to like and it just looks wrong. It's a dark grey colour, not like the other, nice lighter grainlines. Now I have to cut it out again, in a nice and light part of the wood, and not in a way that uses the wood economically.

Am I being picky, or can I say something to the lumberyard, that I need them to get me a piece that doesn't have dark grain lines in it? Or am I supposed to be happy with what I get, because that's what wood is like, and try to mention it next time I order? I'm not going to be able to use all of it, which is a waste of money.
 

doctor Bob

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That is poplar for you, it's a paint grade timber in my books.
If you need a cleaner wood you need to use a different timber.
 

Ives

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So what's another really light coloured wood that wouldn't have ugly dark lines?
 

deserter

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Poplar is normally streaked with colour from greens to purples to almost black. No way round it, just the way it is. If your looking for light coloured timbers then Ash and Maple are readily available.
 

Chems

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Ash is cheap, lovely and light, very nice to work with. I prefer the american ash to the euro ash:



You have to finish it with a water based lacquer over oils and such as they make it go pee yellow.
 

Digit

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Parana Pine or Beech perhaps. But personally I would never order timber unseen for that very reason Ives.

Roy.
 

Ives

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Digit":19qd08sd said:
Parana Pine or Beech perhaps. But personally I would never order timber unseen for that very reason Ives.

Roy.
Ugh. How am I supposed to get it? I think it's really lame they have to order it in and it takes 2 weeks. I wish I could go somewhere and buy it myself. I've called a few sawmills around and they don't have poplar. I really need a light colour for this particular thing I'm making. I do have some American ash right here, but it's too dark and has dark lines going through it. The last (and first) time I got this poplar, it was perfect, no dark lines. I'll try and specify next time I need it to be all light, and just deal with the fact that I can only use certain bits of this one. Annoying.
 

Digit

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If a decent sized timber yard doesn't stock a particular timber Ives there is usually a good reason. The two most likely are, it's rare and damned expensive, or, nobody wants it.

Roy.
 

Ives

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Digit":1au4w9kz said:
If a decent sized timber yard doesn't stock a particular timber Ives there is usually a good reason. The two most likely are, it's rare and damned expensive, or, nobody wants it.

Roy.
This place orders in everything I want: ash, oak, poplar, maple, I think they only sell pine! I think they do have some prepared oak, but I wanted sawn.
 

Midnight

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As a buyer, you're entitled to insist on getting high quality defect free timber if that's what you specify when you order. That said, the feature you're describing sounds like an unfortunate but natural feature of this particular species. Sycamore is the lightest coloured stock I have hands on experience with, but I fear the highlights in the grain may be too dark (rich honey colour against near blond) for your project. Are you limited to just the one supplier?
 

studders

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That's Poplar for you. Nothing wrong with the wood you've been given although the timber yard should have mentioned it if you asked for a clear timber for a project.
Actually, once stained it gives some stunning patterns, so I quite like it.
 

Eric The Viking

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Ives, you might want to adjust your profile to give us a better clue of where you are.

There are loads of timber merchants out there of varying interest to woodworkers. Many of our local ones only really do framing timber. Some cater for the building joinery trade, so only stock window frame stuff (Sapele, Idigbo, Iroko, Oak, mainly), and we've got one who has a marine business (bewildering choice, but nothing will be cheap!).

People can probably recommend an alternative supplier, and there are even timber merchants with an on-line business - not as risky as you might think.

Go on, give us a clue :)

E.
 

Jacob

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Try a different supplier. Many of them carry stuff long distances. I'd stick to ordering by phone though as it saves an enormous amount of time. You just have to make it clear what you want but ask advice from their sales people,
What are you making?


Ives":a374z89q said:
...This place orders in everything I want: ash, oak, poplar, maple, I think they only sell pine........
in which case you might as well order it in yourself and cut out the middleman.
 

Benchwayze

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Eric The Viking":2bws72ma said:
Ives, you might want to adjust your profile to give us a better clue of where you are.

There are loads of timber merchants out there of varying interest to woodworkers. Many of our local ones only really do framing timber. Some cater for the building joinery trade, so only stock window frame stuff (Sapele, Idigbo, Iroko, Oak, mainly), and we've got one who has a marine business (bewildering choice, but nothing will be cheap!).

People can probably recommend an alternative supplier, and there are even timber merchants with an on-line business - not as risky as you might think.

Go on, give us a clue :)

E.
+1

Knowledge is Power. Or something like that.
If we know where you are, we can often help with recommending our favourite suppliers. For instance, I happen to know of a company in Herefordshire, that specialises in Poplar. :D
 

jasonB

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As the others have said Poplar varies a lot in colour and there is no fault with what you have been given. be carefull about asking for "clear" timber as with poplar you will still get the colour change as clear refers to knot free rather than the look.

Digit Parana pine also has some characteristic red/orange streaks in it even if you could get the stuff these days.

If you ask for beech make sure you request "unsteamed" as that will be the whitest, if you don't you are likely to get steamed beech which is a pinky red.

J
 

Digit

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Digit Parana pine also has some characteristic red/orange streaks in it even if you could get the stuff these days.
Yep! Which is why I, and I suspect most of us, buy from timber yards where we can select our chosen timber. If my local place said that I had to stay in the office, and not make my own selection, I'm afraid they would be minus a customer!

Roy.
 

yetloh

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Forget poplar and find a supplier geared to the furniture business. Sycamore is as pale as it gets and also nice to work with, but you do need a reputable supplier who has kilned it properly or it may have grey streaks. If you give some clue as to the area you live, people will be glad to help.

Jim
 

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