White poplar

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by axlstrat, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. axlstrat

    axlstrat TDPRI Member

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    I have a Guitarfettish XGP body Lake Placid Blue Strat body partscaster with a Warmoth roasted maple neck.it sounds great. the white poplar body is fine. but I did think I was getting the same as regular poplar.they weigh about the same but regular yellow poplar is harder. white polar is about the same hardness as basswood.410 vs 540 for yellow tulip poplar on the janka hardness scale.I mention this because there our "poplar bodies" on ebay and you should know what you are getting.I seen a gold 2 piece poplar body.To the seller,s credit he told me it was white poplar.my white poplar body. I have had over a year and it is fine. my guitar tech did a great job with the setup.I have nothing against basswood. but the Guitarfettish ad said no basswood bodies here. lt lead me to think.I was getting a form of tulip poplar.my fault because. I did not do the research.has anyone here made a comparison between white poplar.yellow poplar,alder, basswood. I know setup and neck and pickups make the biggest difference and playing also. Thank you Ron Kirn your comments on body woods made me feel better about my white poplar body.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
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  2. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    Really not any difference I can tell.
     
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  3. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    uh... that was a lot. Are you warning us off of poplar bodies on the internet (from GFS in particular) , because they might be white poplar and a little softer than yellow or tulip poplar?

    Is white poplar the same thing as Basswood?
     
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  4. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Holic

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    I have an xgp poplar strat body in Daphne Blue.

    The neck pocket and the back spring cavity look like heartwood and have lots of color. I don't notice it being soft. It doesn't feel/sound much different from my MIA Alder Strat.

    I have an aftermarket Tele body in poplar. Painted it Dakota Red. It doesn't feel/sound any different than my MIA Alder Fender Performer body. 20190910_185434.jpg 20180622_174229.jpg
     
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  5. axlstrat

    axlstrat TDPRI Member

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    Yes I am letting you know.and they are not the same. white polar weighs more like alder and tulip polar but has the same hardness as basswood. my worries were screws stripping so far so good but I don,t do or plan to do a lot of mods. sorry for being so long with my post. my post comes down to this not all poplars are the same.
     
  6. axlstrat

    axlstrat TDPRI Member

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    Thx good to know
     
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  7. axlstrat

    axlstrat TDPRI Member

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    Thx for the feedback
     
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  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Wood density varies within species and even in lumber from the same tree. I wouldn't worry too much about one poplar over another. In the old days people didn't know what the guitar was made from and were just happy to have one to play. The internet created this tonewood monster.

    As far as screws stripping, holes with properly drilled pilot holes followed by screw driver usage with normal torque, well screws and holes don't strip out by themselves. There's not that much string pull. See an engineer's manual on the holding power of various screw sizes.

    Strap buttons will loosen because end grain doesn't hold screws too well. I've never had a screw strip out without me or somebody else having done something wrong in the installation process.


    https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/wood-screws-allowable-withdrawal-load-d_1815.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  9. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    "White poplar" (at least in North America) is a true poplar in the Aspen family. Yellow poplar is a Magnolia family member and is a big part of the furniture industry, particularly in the east...the poplar trees in my back yard are massive and provide very clear lumber because most branching is "up top" where there is more light. Yellow poplar is definitely heavier and harder than white poplar in my experience.

    Now, it's important to remember that the "actual" species in a guitar body that's likely produced somewhere else in the world may be some local species that's similar to the name they use. It doesn't matter much as long as it has the properties desired.
     
  10. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I do remember in the late 80s early 90s when basswood guitar bodies were all the rage, sometimes you would hear about floyd rose posts stripping out of the body.

    I have a cheap Hamer with tune-omatic and a stop tailpiece, the tailpiece studs seem to slipping out a little, it's made of some mahoganyish wood or the other, I should do something about that come to thing about it, I sould at least look at it a little more closely, I love the guitar.

    I've never heard of a tele bridge stripping out, but maybe a toploader could? I dunno.

    I personally have always liked basswood guitars. I'm making pine guitars now...That wood is soft to be sure.

    I also have seen some emperess-wood guitar bodies being sold that are plugged with hardwood at the screw locations.
     
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  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    That wood on the left doesn't look like any poplar I've seen. But I guess I've only seen the big normal poplar type. White yellow with some greenish striping in it. I built a bookcase out of it a couple years back.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    What you show and describe is Yellow Poplar, AKA, Tulip Poplar, AKA Liriodendron tulipifera. I've used thousands of board feet of the stuff, mostly milled off our property when the new septic system went in back in 2000 after we bought the property in late 1999.
     
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  13. axlstrat

    axlstrat TDPRI Member

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    Thx for the info. my tech did a great job on my partscaster.
     
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  14. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, we have a few of those up here too. Huge tall trees with a rather multiple trunk shape at the bottom. The farmers plant them along fields as wind breaks I guess.. or used to I should say. We had 4 at our previous house. A friend kept his horse in the field for a short time and it ate the bark off the bottom of one. That tree surprisingly died from that and eventually fell down in a wind storm.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It would be nice if all online retailers at least posted the weight of each body along with decent pics, but when shopping for the really cheap products, part of the cheapness is that we get less of that kind of SERVICE.

    Since I can go to a retailer like Tauro Woodworks on ebay, and get a basic Strat or Tele body for $80, made to order and allowing for spec changes if desired, I find no attraction in saving something like $40 on the total cost of a guitar, if that means taking a gamble on milling and lumber quality.

    As far as poplar, yeah it's worth understanding that there are varieties of woods all known by that name.
    Same issue with maple, pine, ash, ebony, RW etc.

    While the myths around tonewood in solid body electrics really are harmful to buyer/ players trying to learn about gear choices, in the big scheme of things it matters less that even the $40 savings choosing el cheapo guitar parts while hoping for great guitars.

    If I buy a part and it adds something I don't like to every guitar I assemble it to, I put it in the parts bin.
    Really heavy ash bodies and really soft or really light basswood bodies tend to end up in the parts bin.
    Maybe I'm fickle but I like some very light alder bodies a lot, and knowing the soft pithy qualities of light weight basswood may influence my hearing and feeling the response of a basswood bodied guitar. But one of my faves was a MIJ PP that I struggled getting the snappy crisp attack out of that I wanted to hear and feel, then eventually I learned that under all the wallpaper was basswood, niot alder. Not a light body either, so soft and heavy with a slightly mushy attack and less than crisp bass just turned me off to basswood.

    I'm not using locking trems mounted on posts, but if I was I'd stay away from lighter weight poplar and basswood, and certainly light pines. I have a pile of Southern yellow pine I took out of a 170yo barn that I hoped to make a big table out of.
    That pine is almost as heavy as typical red oak, and very hard too.

    Other unexpected names of wood include stuff like "Spanish cedar", which is heavy and hard as iron.
    Odd that presumably species names are often not a species at all.

    Look at the debates around "Brazil wood" possibly AKA "Pernambuco" which is a state in Northeast Brazil as well as the name of the "best" wood for violin bows, a wood that AFAIK is no longer harvested.
    Funny stuff but deadly serious to fiddle bow shoppers!
     
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  16. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity

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    Pine and Cedar are pretty soft, but with age they get harder. Also prone to crack with age.

    Maple and Mahogany are my favorite wood choices, but the price points are a problem.

    I've used a couple types of Oak with good results. Just have to watch for tearout with a router and it will warp as it dries out so you need to choose pieces after they dry out completely(always a good idea with any wood).

    I've bought wood products from Guitarfetish before and it will never happen again. It's less work to cut and sand your own blank than to have to fix someone else's screw ups.
     
  17. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's really hard to look at building your own when there's so many cheap guitars on the market or stuffed in pawnshops that can be bought for cheap and require little work to turn into that guitar you want.
     
  18. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Didn't know there was a White Poplar, only being familiar with Yellow and Blue Poplar. I like Poplar for everything except where machine wear is needed - its just not hard enough to last at bearing points. The old man was big on Poplar, we've still got a few attractive pieces. I've got a bay window seat that's made out of a single piece, over 18" wide. He was proud of that piece that came out of a barn. Fittingly, he was buried in a Poplar coffin, lol. Not to be morbid, but when we saw it, and in a dark brown, his favorite color, we knew that would be the coffin for him!

    Back to the OP, I've got a thinline style made of basswood (cottonwood?) with a thin veneer of maple. When I converted it to string thru, the core basswood was like drilling thru styrofoam - about one twist carved thru an inch! I'm confident it will work just fine, but you'll have to be careful working with it, and it might be a good idea to drill and plug screw points with something harder like birch dowel stock?
     
  19. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The dozens of them on our property exhibit no multi-trunk type thing with the exception of one that likely grew from 3 or four saplings that joined together many many decades ago. The rest are straight as an arrow and very tall. They are also well loved by our honeybee colonies when they are in bloom. Sadly, we humans don't really get to see the blooms since they are 60-80' up unless one falls off during a storm. They are beautiful tulip-like booms with greens and oranges.
     
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  20. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I guess ours are Lombardy Poplar, grow up to 160 feet. Here's the "multi" looking trunk.

    [​IMG]
     
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