Back again.. is this maple or poplar?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Geniustoogs, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Geniustoogs

    Geniustoogs Tele-Meister

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    hello! :)

    Just curious if this piece is maple or poplar (or something else? Lol) I received it with some other unidentified woods so I have no clue.
    The piece I’m referring to is on the right, to the left of it is a piece which I know is maple for comparison.

    Thanks!
    https://imgur.com/gallery/kbyBWZT
     
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  2. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    It could be poplar. My experience with poplar comes from refinishing kitchen cabinets. The cabinets were constructed on a maple frame with veneered doors and drawers. I was looking for trim to fill space above the cabinets. The only prerouted wood I could find for the molding was poplar. Your piece on the right looks just like it. The Poplar I bought was somewhat darker than maple and it had a very slight greenish cast. The grain will look similar to maple but it will stain a little darker. Finishing was almost exactly like maple. It gave a nice satin finish with a poly stain when hand rubbed with 0000 steel wool after each coat. It took 5 coats to get what I wanted.
     
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  3. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    Looks more like cherry to me.
     
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  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Not poplar...if it is hard and heavy I'd almost vote for pecan in terms of color. It's more apt to be maple that had UV exposure though. It could be some non traditional wood too.
     
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  5. Knowcaster

    Knowcaster Tele-Holic

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    My vote is cherry as well.
     
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  6. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Looks like Cherry or poor mans cherry Alder. How hard is it
     
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  7. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

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    You should be able to tell by the hardness. Maple has a janka hardness rating of about 1,450, compared to 540 for poplar (about like pine). You should be able to dent poplar with your fingernail... not maple.
     
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  8. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Meister

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    Edit: read the OP incorrectly, but sticking with maple.
     
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  9. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Looks like cherry, could be poplar. If you cut it or plane it, poplar will have a green hue, cherry will be a lighter color than the surface.
     
  10. Geniustoogs

    Geniustoogs Tele-Meister

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    I’m not home right now, but I will definitely check the hardness! It doesn’t seem heavy at all, but it’s about 1/2-3/4 inch thick so it’s not really a substantial piece

    Also thank you for the help so far!
     
  11. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    Not poplar. Not maple. The face grain and color looks like cherry to me, though not sure about the end grain.
     
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  12. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    Actually it could be maple...
     
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  13. Geniustoogs

    Geniustoogs Tele-Meister

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    Lol! That made me laugh, it seems like I'm not alone in my uncertainty. Is there any way to truly identify it other than looks? Perhaps a way to get a quantified measurement of the hardness to determine which wood it is?
     
  14. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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  15. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Meister

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    The two dark marks on the face - are they planer scorch or pitch?
     
  16. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Nice PJs.
     
  17. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    :)

    I've found that end grain is a good way to help identify wood. Some magnified pictures of maple and cherry end grain here:

    https://www.wood-database.com/hard-maple/

    https://www.wood-database.com/black-cherry/
     
  18. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    Sometimes, through working experience and familiarity with particular wood species, it's pretty easy to make a clear and accurate assessment from a picture.

    A while back, there was a similar question about poplar and I was certain enough in my identification to bet my right nut ;).

    This particular case is entirely different.

    There are some characteristics of what could be poplar with the contrast and shading between the sapwood and heartwood, but you'll find those same characteristics in plenty of other woods, including the fruit and nut woods.

    I've seen similar grain pattern in poplar wood taken from higher up in the tree where there is considerable branching, but . . . .

    I don't think it is poplar, and I don't think it's maple either. Based on that single picture, I'm not sure what it is.

    I'm going to hold on to the family jewels for a bit longer :).




    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
  19. printer2

    printer2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maple.
     
  20. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    I would not have normally voted for maple, but there is an interesting clue - there is a small hole that was bored by an ambrosia beetle with the resultant discoloring of the wood from the fungal colony these beetles create. I have no idea what other woods these beetles infect besides maple, but they are common in maple. It could well be another type of wood, even poplar, but I can believe maple. Check the closeup end grain pics on the wood database and compare to what you have with a loupe, as ppg677 suggested, and use a thumbnail to gauge how hard the wood is. Let us know what you discover.
    Cheers,
    Rex
     
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