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Wood for face frames to be painted

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seanf

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I'm again looking for advice from this fantastic forum. I am looking for recommendations for wood for building cabinet face frames that will eventually be painted. Looking around local places all seem to sell unspecified whitewood full of knots in nice banana shapes. I can also find redwood that is again full of knots, but with some careful sorting can hunt out something straighter. I've tried everything from small local suppliers to national ones and the DIY sheds. Watching YouTube I see the Americans using such perfect looking poplar, but can't find anything similar around here. Any suggestions for what wood I should use and is there any chance of buying something good enough to use without also investing in a planer thicknesser?

Many thanks

Sean
 

Doug71

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The Americans call it Poplar, we call it Tulipwood, perfect for painting but you will only get it from a proper timber merchant. I'm sure someone will recommend a local supplier to you if you tell us where you are.
 

recipio

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Yellow poplar or Tulipwood all the way. Time to buy yourself a P/T for Xmas ?
 

seanf

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Many thanks both. I will search for Tulipwood and see if I have better results. If anyone can recommend anywhere in the Shropshire region that would be great (I'm more than willing to travel to a decent supplier)

Time to buy yourself a P/T for Xmas ?
I'd love to, but have been investing in a number of new tools recently so it will have to wait. If I get desperate I could maybe pick up a cheapy combo, but would prefer to just do without for now if possible

Sean
 

eribaMotters

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I'm on Merseyside and I used Products | UK Timber & Decorative Panel Products | Latham Timber . They supplied my sawn poplar from the Leeds branch but have branches throughout the country. Only problems will be you having to machine rough saw boards and quantity as they do have a minimum order but this can be combined with sheet material. I bought sufficient to do the cabinetwork in our bungalow refurb, about 20 cubic feet and weighing in at 280kg. Every board was excellent.

Colin
 

Cabinetman

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You can buy any Nr of boards of Tulipwood, opposite side of the uk to you, Somerscales, N E Lincs, it’s a very inexpensive timber. Ian
Edit you could find local to you, a one off, kitchen manufacturer and see if they will sell you some, I’ve seen such makers in the above Yard from all over the place taking huge quantities of it.
 

seanf

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I would love to find a local supplier as I will only want fairly small amounts each time and it would be ideal to just pop somewhere and pick out what I want. I have found some more places that I will investigate

Sean
 

peter-harrison

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I used to use tulipwood but every time I had to make a tall (1.8m+) door I got problems with getting it straight. Every pass over the planer seemed to cause a little more bowing. I gave up on the tulip and now use colour no defect beech or maple, whichever is cheapest. Much better!
 

Cabinetman

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I used to use tulipwood but every time I had to make a tall (1.8m+) door I got problems with getting it straight. Every pass over the planer seemed to cause a little more bowing. I gave up on the tulip and now use colour no defect beech or maple, whichever is cheapest. Much better!
What is "colour no defect beech"? Pls I’ve used beech and steamed beech but not heard of this. Ian
 

Doug71

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What is "colour no defect beech"? Pls I’ve used beech and steamed beech but not heard of this. Ian

I made my painted kitchen from colour no defect maple.

Basically means there is nothing wrong with the wood but it can have some strong/strange colour to it which wouldn't really look right if used with a clear finish so it's a bit cheaper and ideal for painting.
 

doctor Bob

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I switched from tulipwood to beech and back to tulipwood.
I found beech was way more prone to twisting after fitting.
 

HOJ

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I ran out of tulipwood last year, picked up some sycamore instead, was cheaper too, absolutely fine to work with, took paint well, only down side it comes in wide & long waney edged boards.
 

murdoch

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It would be a good idea to speak to your local joiners shop or cabinet makers, we supply quite a bit of tulip/maple/oak etc to locals for there own projects ready planed up.
 

Oakay

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I switched from tulipwood to beech and back to tulipwood.
I found beech was way more prone to twisting after fitting.
Tulipwood sands much faster too being softer. We buy our tulipwood a few months before we use it and that helps. Apparently more northerly grown tulipwood is better, being slower grown and harder, available from Sykes. Best to machine the wood, leave overnight and any pieces which start to bend, replace and use the bent pieces for other, smaller purposes.
 

eezageeza

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I would love to find a local supplier as I will only want fairly small amounts each time and it would be ideal to just pop somewhere and pick out what I want. I have found some more places that I will investigate

Sean
I get all my timber from Potters of Nantwich. About 45 mins from here so not exactly convenient, but a terrific place with a huge range of timber. I always use their unsorted redwood for faceframes, but they do list tulipwood if you fancy trying that.
 

seanf

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Thank you again all for the very helpful advice

I get all my timber from Potters of Nantwich
Excellent, thank you. They are within travelling distance so I will add to my list

Sean
 

scholar

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Well, recognising that the OP is in the position I was many years ago, before I accumulated lots of machinery….

I now shudder to think that I made a large face-framed built in dresser using mdf panels, lipped plywood shelves, some old drawers and door fronts, and notably some white timber from B&Q (I guess it was spruce) for the (beaded) face frames . Anyway, you wouldn’t know and it has served very well for 20+ years - I don’t think it has any more dings than our tulipwood kitchen face frames. So there is a way, and so don’t be dispirited; but select your timber as much as you can and make sure it is all braced to prevent movement.

Really though, once you have a planer/thicknesser and at least a decent bandsaw for dimensioning, everything becomes much easier - but it does need investment and space. Tulipwood is the best option for the face frames, I agree. (I have a kitchen to do and I think I will make the doors (rails & stiles) from Accoya - this will seem OTT to many, and Accoya needs some careful treatment itself, but tulipwood is more prone to warping, which is a risk with the numerous tall doors I need to make).

Cheers
 

seanf

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So there is a way, and so don’t be dispirited
I really appreciate this post thank you. I've been a keen DIYer for years and building up tools and knowledge for that has been a fairly easy process, but trying to progress a woodworking hobby does seem harder. Every time you think you are all set to work on something new there always seems to be a big expensive requirement, but I should remember there are multiple ways to achieve things and not let perfection be the enemy of progress. YouTube is such a great visual resource for learning things, but you do get tired jealous of seeing “home workshops” (the American ones especially) that are 10 times the size of an average garage and with more machines than Axminster's warehouse! I shall reflect more on what I have achieved instead of just where I want to get to

Sean
 
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