Sycamore and tulip poplar for woodworking?

In a couple of weeks we are having a huge sycamore tree (platanus occidentalis) removed that is buckling the foundation of our barn, and also at the same time a tulip poplar (lirodendron tulipfera) that is aesthetically in the wrong spot. I'm wondering if any of the wood would be of use to woodworkers anywhere? I know it's not black walnut or cherry, and frankly, I just want the trees gone, but if the wood could be put to some good use, I'd like to try to recycle it beyond just firewood and wood chips for the garden.
And, since I also know nothing about firewood either, I was wondering if either wood was considered poor quality for burning, because if it can't be used for a woodworking project, I'd at least like to offer it to my neighbor across the street who heats with a woodburning stove. I'd hate to think these two trees demise was not of some use to someone.
Sunflower in Mississippi
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Sycamore, if quarter sawn, can have a "lacewood" look (third image - lower right on this page - watch the line wrap)
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/WoodStorageShelves.html
Sawn "through and through" it can be pretty boring - the grain being pretty fine and the wood pretty pale. Freshly felled and cut, the wood can look salmon colored all the way to flat out orange. Unfortunately most of that color goes away after drying.
It isn't the most stabile wood so wood movement accomodation must be made. The interlocking grain, which gives the lacewood look, can be a bit tricky to work without tear out. Sharp tools minimize tearout.
In the hands of a good sawyer, your sycamore can produce some really pretty boards that would make some nice stuff.
Now if you cut any elm ...
charlie b
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I thought the "lacewood look" was from the medullary rays.
http://www.ag.auburn.edu/aaes/communications/bulletins/figureinwood /

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"Ray flecks are present in all woods and reach their greatest development in sections that are quarter sawn or sliced. "
--

FF

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Yep, that'd be the same.

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Seems as though sycamnore is prized by marquetry folks & inlay people for it's very white & bland look. search the groups-- I think there may be a marquetry or carving group that would have interest in your wood. I have a steady supply from a friens whose sycamores shed limbs from time to time. Pretty stuff white to gray.-- JMO
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(Phil) wrote:

You may be thinking of something else, possibly holly. Flatsawn sycamore is indeed bland, but it has a noticeable grain, and it's definitely not white. The heartwood is a rich golden brown, and the sapwood is a light to medium tan, somewhat darker than maple.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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I think the sycamore has a lot more BTU value than tulip poplar. I've burned a few off cuts in the fireplace and the poplar is gone in a hurry. I haven't worked with sycamore but have seen some pretty examples in wood books. I'm sure you know what poplar looks like already. You don't say how big the trees are. If there's a guy with a woodmiser around and the trees are a foot or so in dia, they'd be worth hauling and sawing.
bob g.
Sunflower wrote:

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Sunflower wrote:

Sycamore is a nice wood for turning, poplar is good for peole who are just learning to turn. Try over on news:rec.crafts.woodturning If there's anyone from a local woodturning group, they'd probably be happy to help you with that "problem".
Dave in Fairfax
--
Dave Leader
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Quartersawn sycamore is beautiful. Plainsawn, it's pretty boring, but quartered sycamore has *stunning* grain.
Too bad you're in Mississippi. I'd love to have the sycamore, but it's probably not worth driving down from Indianapolis. Of course, you did say it's a "huge" tree. Would you perhaps be able to email me a photo (or post it at alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking)? If there's enough wood there, I might decide to make a road trip... seriously. I love working with the stuff, and it's hard to find -- not too many people bother milling it into lumber, and I think a lot of it winds up going to paper mills.
[snip]

They're both pretty poor firewood; neither one has a very high heat value, and they both burn to ashes instead of leaving good coals like oak or hickory. From your neighbor's perspective, though, if you're offering to *give* him the wood, it probably looks real good. Free firewood, even poplar or sycamore, is still a good deal!
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Sunflower asks:

Have the sycamore quartersawn. It is unstable as all get out flat sawn, but stable when QS...and it's gorgeous. Mildly soft for a hardwood, it finishes well and does most things well. Poplar (tulip poplar) is a fantastic secondary wood that some people like for a low cost primary wood.
Firewood: sycamore, IME, is a lousy firewood. It takes forever to dry enough to burn properly, then burns too quickly. Poplar dries quickly, burns much too fast for anything but quick heat.
Failing a chance to get the trees sawn into useful lumber, firewood is a secondary use that is better than the landfill.
Charlie Self "Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half." Gore Vidal
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Poplar makes great siding...used since colonial times. Easy to saw. Also a major secondary woor inside furniture. Makes great bookcases, etc and takes several stains well. Easy working and easy fastening. If you are willing to do the work, stack it covered and let it sit for a year or so. Think about your uses. If you need bookshelves, make them 5/4 or so. Sawing is fun too, so ask around for a local sawyer with a portable mill. Let your neighbor burn the slabs. I've never seen any wood not worth sawing! Wilson

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I have never had good luck staining poplar and no longer try to do it. It is a fine wood to use for painted furniture. It is my preferred wood to use for drawers.
Dick Durbin
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Ok, so both could be used for woodworking.
The sycamore is probably 60' and the tulip poplar is 30 at least. The sycamore is multitrunked with 3 trunks of at least 24" diameter each. The tulip poplar might be 18". The guys taking it down are just "tree guys" and not lumber guys. and I don't know if there's a difference in the removal methods or not. I'm not into woodworking, nor do I know of anyone else who is. So, is there anyone in the Memphis metro area that would be interested in the wood for a project? If not, how do you think I could find someone local to me that would be able to use this? Fell date is the first weekend in October, if the tree folks schedule stays together and the weather holds.
Thanks for the help to recycle guys!
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You're sure it's sycamore? I've seen lots of sycamores and do not recall ever seeing one that was multitrunked.

"Tree guys" will probably cut the trunks into firewood lengths without asking. Even if you tell them to keep the trunks whole, they might do so out of habit so it woudl be best to be present to remind them.
--

FF

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