From cdu.–(at)– Thu Dec 25 23:43:47 CST 1997
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From: Rev Chuck
Subject: Re: A/B ing of Alder and Poplar
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 00:20:04 -0800
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Melvyn Hiscock wrote:
> […]
> No one has yet mentioned what I consider to be the most annoying aspect of working with
> Poplar. It is so soft that it marks every time you breathe near it. It also takes longer to
> finish sand since it is very ‘wooly’. However, with care and patience and sharp tools it
> can produce very good guitars. It may look boring but you can always face it with veneer
> if you so chose and since it grows like a weed it should be pretty cheap. As for bleaching,
> it sometimes works but I always find the chemicals involved to be tiresome. There are
> plenty of things in the workshop to ruin your health without adding another poison!
> Regards,
> Melvyn
> Having said all the above I am just completing a poplar guitar which is in lime green. Even
> Poplar would look better than this colour! It is so bad I love it.–

And what better color for poplar than lime green? Zen in the art of
guitar making?

Poplar has been a first choice for “secondary wood” applications in fine
cabinetmaking since the tree was first felled. As you say, it’s widely
available, hence inexpensive. More important, it’s very dimensionally
stable. That means drawers and drawer slide rails made of the wood won’t
jam during humid months. For guitars, that also means your instrument is
very likely to stay together and stay in tune.

I’m surprised that the wood apparently has such good acoustic properties,
though. Might be great stuff for building experimental instruments.


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