I'm building a built-in bookcase in my 1940s house. I'd like to use
an inexpensive hardwood that is easy to work with but that will hold
up well over time. To match the decor, I'll (unfortunately) be
painting the bookcase so many of my usual considerations about color,
grain, etc. aren't relevant here. What wood do people suggest using
in this case? Thanks for any advice.
Agreed, with an additional comment.
Make any parts that are subject to lots of handling or abuse like
doors, face frames that have doors attached, drawer fronts, kick
plates, etc with maple. Maple will have a more solid feel and resist
dings and other damage better than soft poplar.
Since you're painting it, you can mix the woods at will.
thanks for jumping in, Leon! :) it's soft enough that the
for the rails of my second and third Delta mobile bases, I
used maple. The first one, made from poplar, was a little
less rigid than I'd hoped for, but due to the light duty I
put it to, it's irrelevant.
Like balsa, poplar is a hardwood.
OTOH, Foug Fir and Southern Yellow Pine both softwoods, are both
harder than poplar.
The defintions of hardwood and softwood are objective though
abitrary in the sense that neither depends on the hardness
of the wood:
If it had leaves on it when it was alive, it is a hardwood.
If it had needles on it when it was alive it is a softrwood.
I suggest he not use balsa.
On Sun, 4 Jul 2004 18:29:56 -0700, "Pounds on Wood"
|Kind of depends on where you are. East, Midwest = poplar. West coast |Alder. I love Alder.
I'm using some Alder right now. I'm not sure I'm in love yet and even
in AZ poplar is cheaper. Unpainted, it looks way nicer than poplar
(what doesn't) but it sure doesn't like dull tools.
On 4 Jul 2004 17:10:27 -0700, email@example.com (Bob) wrote:
The answer for painted projects is poplar.
It is very easy to work, is stable, and takes paint well.
The Mona Lisa was painted on poplar.
It has held up OK.
And thus, the problem between "tulip" and real poplar again. Real poplar
would work as well, but it is going to be fuzzier requiring one more
Depending on location, different woods will be available. I'd use bass or
aspen (Poplar) both of which barely return the cost of sawing up here, and
both of which work and take paint well, though aspen can do some moving if
you're ripping boards.
In the same vein, Aspen isn't real Poplar either. Real Poplar,
Aspen and Cottonwood can look quite a bit alike both
on the stump and by the board. I think Cottonwood is fuzzy too,
though the name comes form the cottony fluff that forms when it
'flowers' not the fibrousness of the wood.
The north American tulip tree is more closely related to magnolia
than to poplar and the one magnolia log I have seen looked a
lot like poplar (tulip).
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