Help ID this wood

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On 05 Oct 2003 14:00:54 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) scribbled

Were you both thinking of aspen: "Populus tremuloides" and "P. grandidentata" instead of alder? "Alnus rubra", red alder, is used on the West coast and does not resemble poplar. (I was going to say Pacific Northwest, but British Columbia, Oregon & Washington are actually in the southeast. :-))
BTW, alder is in the birch family (Betulacaea) while true poplars are in the willow family (Salicacaea). Tulip poplar is a magnolia.
The OP's wood sort of looks like birch, so my vote would be for red alder, which is used as a cheap hardwood.
Luigi Who does not live in a place where local sawmills have prized hardwoods. Fire-killed aspen or poplar are as hard as local hardwoods gets.
Replace "no" with "yk" twice to get real email address. Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" twice in reply address for real email address
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<snip> Were you both thinking of aspen: "Populus tremuloides" and "P.grandidentata" instead of alder? <snip>
Guilty as charged - damn common names again.
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Charlie,
You wrote: <snip> Not so. Cottonwood and alder are the same genus. Tulip poplaris not.snip>
This is simply not correct. All cottonwoods, poplars, and alders are in the same family (Saliceae) AND the same genius (Populus). I don't know which species you are calling "tulip poplar" but that's the problem with common names. You could be correct that "tulip poplar" is in a seperate genus if it is really NOT a poplar and merely carries the (incorrect) poplar name because of some percieved, though not taxonomic, similarity.
You also wrote: <snip> The woods are different, too, though not as much as red oak andwhite oak <snip>
Less different than white vs red oak. In my book that's not far from the same.
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Larry responds:

OK. You think? Try "A Guide To Useful Woods of The World." Max Kline lists Lirodendron tulipifera as tulip poplar, as do I. Point out the "Populus" genus there.
AKA yellow poplar for the major color of the heartwood when fresh cut (greenish yellow, actually).

Forget it. If you don't know HOW damned different red oak and white oak, though they are the same genus, you should not be making comments about wood.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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On 06 Oct 2003 11:20:09 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

"...there is a great deal of inconsistency among common names. A single species may have several common names, especially in different localities. For example, Liriodendron Tulipifera is called tuliptree or tulip poplar; the preferred common name for its wood is yellow poplar, but locally it is known as whitewood, tulipwood, tulip poplar, hickory poplar, white poplar or simply poplar-and even popple. But poplar and popple commonly describe cottonwoods and aspens in the genus Populus, and whitewood is used for several other species."
Understanding Wood, Hoadley, Taunton, 1980, p 10.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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Tom Watson writes:

AFAIK, in the Southeast, poplar is tulip poplar. I've never heard it called "popple" but maybe I don't hang in the right circles.
And "whitewood" seems to me to fit lime or holly better than it does "yaller popular." But in the Borgs, it fits whatever they want it to fit at that particular point in selling time.
I've seen all poplars, white pine, ponderosa pine and several others listed as "whitewood" in various HD and Lowe's places, and in a couple 84 Lumber.
I left off the "i" in the midst of Liriodendron. Local names can drive you bats, especially when you're writing about wood...I mean, how MANY do you include.
William Lincoln (World Woods In Color) kicks off with American Whitewood for yellow poplar, then adds poplar, canary wood, canary whitewood, yellow poplar, hhickory poplar, tulip poplar, saddletree, popple, tulipwood (claims that is a USA use, but the only place I've seen it is in a Brit book), tulip tree, canary whitewood (second listing).
About like pecan and hickory, though both of those are Carya.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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On 06 Oct 2003 13:45:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

I've never heard it called "popple", either. I've only read it. Locally, I've heard guys call it "popular wood" for years but I'm figuring this to be a local mispronunciation.

AFAIK "whitewood" is a general shop term for woods that are light in color and are usually given an opaque finish or left raw, as a hidden secondary wood. I've also heard the term, "in the white" to describe any wood that has yet to be finished. The Brits sometimes refer to some whitewoods as "deal".

It gets even worse than that and I've been burned by misunderstanding trade nomenclature for face veneers on ply that describe color rather than species varieties: White Birch, Yellow Birch, Red Birch, Natural Birch, White Maple, Natural Maple, etc.
The problem is made even more confusing because there are a variety of trade organizations that confer names and they don't all agree. It would be an interesting exercise to gather up the various trade and local names and cross reference them - but it might just make you crazy.

Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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+ + + Yes, going by common name is a recipe for disaster. Common names work well within a small area, where they mean the same thing. The birches are a good example: in one area of North America, Red Birch, White Birch and Yellow Birch will refer to one and the same species, while in another area they refer to three different species. The whole mess has been indexed long ago, but this does not help.
For safety sake (Luigi got it mostly right?): Alder is Alnus (Betulaceae) Birch is Betula (Betulaceae) Yellow-poplar / Tulip-poplar is Liriodendron tulipifera (Magnoliaceae h.t.) Poplar (non-US) / Cottonwood / Aspen are Populus (Salicaceae)
If I should guess at the wood in the picture I would tend to go for Populus, but this has only a 25% degree of confidence. I am worried about the clear growth rings. PvR
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LOL ... Don't look now but that's _your_ own statement you're taking exception to, Charlie.
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Larry, you were absolutely correct in _everything_ that you stated below. And you correctly surmised that "tulip poplar" is a common name that is not in the genus populus. Anyone replying who was interested in enlightenment would have stated that upfront instead of introducing the term as an obfuscation and excuse to spout off a bit of knowledge.
Some folks are like the cock who thinks the sun rises just to hear him crow.
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<snip> OK. You think? Try "A Guide To Useful Woods of The World." MaxKline lists Lirodendron tulipifera as tulip poplar, as do I. Point out the "Populus" genus there. <snip>
Yeah, I think!!! If you had read what I wrote you would have realized that L. tulipifera aka. tulip poplar IS NOT A POPLAR IT'S A MAGNOLIA!!!
<snip> Forget it. If you don't know HOW damned different red oak andwhite oak, though they are the same genus, you should not be making comments about wood. <snip>
If you don't know what their common properties are than you shouldn't be working wood.
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Larry snarls:

Damn. I must have missed the joining of Liriodendron genus with Mangolia genus.

We were speaking of differences, not common properties. Look up tyloses, among other things.
For the hell of it, check durability ratings, too.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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Repeat from yesterday:

Alder is Alnus, family Betulaceae
Birch is Betula, family Betulaceae
Yellow-poplar / Tulip-poplar is Liriodendron tulipifera, family Magnoliaceae h.t.
Poplar (non-US) / Cottonwood / Aspen are Populus, family Salicaceae
PvR
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<snip>Damn. I must have missed the joining of Liriodendron genus withMangolia genus<snip>
Not genus, family. And what is Mangolia - something that produces mango's? :)
<snip>We were speaking of differences, not common properties.<snip> No. We were speaking of LOOKING at a piece of wood and identifying what it is.
<snip>Look up tyloses, among other things. For the hell of it, checkdurability ratings, too.<snip>
Give me a break. To check for tyloses you need a microscope or chemical tests. Durability is a matter of time and, more importantly, where it is. I wouldn't use red oak for a water bucket (durability & it would leak anyway). But for cabinets, jewelry boxes, i.e., unexposed things, durability is irrelevant & either oak machines about the same, is about the same density (by hand) and hardness (normal handling), and looks very similar.
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Larry limits:

Sorry. If you'd been on the NG for a bit, you'd know I had 2 dead fingers on my left hand, so typing isn't always perfect.

Finish 'em the same and then let's talk. Those tyloses make some difference then.
Charlie Self
"The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf." Will Rogers
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Charlie Self wrote:

the thumb). I never need to use more than one on either hand so I have many spares.

Hank
"I never had sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinski". Dan Quayle
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+ + + A hand lens is quite enough. Sometimes it is a naked eye phenomenon. I never heard of a chemical test for tyloses. How would you go about it? + + +

it would leak anyway). But for cabinets, jewelry boxes, i.e., unexposed things, durability is irrelevant & either oak machines about the same, is about the same density (by hand) and hardness (normal handling), and looks very similar.
+ + + It will only look the same if you paint it. As to "very similar" there are lots of people who think hardboard, plywood, osb and mdf look "very similar", so this covers a lot of ground. PvR
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In rec.woodworking snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Bruce) wrote:
Funny aside. I take the piece to work and ask a few of the guys that do woodworking about it. I toss it to one guy and say what's this and he says, "I don't know, balsa?" This stuff is very light but you couldn't break that 1x2 over your leg for anything.
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