Poplar, 1 Common

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Poplar, scientifically known as the Populus genus, is a versatile and commonly used hardwood species native to various regions in North America, Europe, and Asia. It is highly regarded for its light color, workability, and wide range of applications in woodworking.

Appearance and Characteristics

Poplar wood typically has a pale to light yellowish-white color. It may feature a subtle greenish or brownish tint in the heartwood. Poplar has a straight, fine grain pattern and a uniform texture. It is moderately lightweight, typically weighing around 2.3 to 2.8 pounds per board foot (522 to 635 kilograms per cubic meter).


Poplar is known for its excellent workability. It is one of the easiest woods to machine, cut, shape, and sand. The wood takes finishes, paints, and stains exceptionally well, allowing for a smooth and polished surface. Its workability and versatility make it a favored choice for a wide range of woodworking applications.

Uses in Woodworking

Poplar wood finds numerous applications in woodworking, including:

  • Cabinetry: Poplar is frequently used in cabinetry, particularly for painted cabinet interiors and hidden structural components due to its ease of workability and cost-effectiveness.

  • Millwork and Trim: It is employed in millwork projects, including moldings, trim, and interior doors, adding a clean and consistent appearance to architectural elements.

  • Furniture: While not as common for fine furniture as some hardwoods, Poplar is used for less expensive furniture pieces where ease of machining and painting are essential.

  • Turning: Poplar is suitable for woodturning projects, including items like bowls, spindles, and other turned components due to its ease of workability.

  • Paneling: Poplar is sometimes used for interior paneling and beadboard, especially when a paintable surface is desired.


Poplar wood offers good durability for indoor use:

  • Indoor Use: Poplar is suitable for indoor applications, particularly when it will not be exposed to excessive moisture or wear. It is often chosen for its cost-effectiveness and ease of painting.

  • Outdoor Use: Poplar is not recommended for outdoor use due to its limited resistance to moisture and weather conditions. It is primarily chosen for indoor projects.

  • Bug/Insect and Rot Resistance: Poplar is not inherently resistant to insects and decay, so it is generally better suited for indoor use or well-protected outdoor applications.

Poplar's workability and versatility make it a widely used wood in various woodworking projects, particularly in applications where easy machining and a paintable surface are important considerations.

All lumber now ships surfaced on 2 sides, and ripped on 1 edge at a minimum. Surfacing is done to a 1/16th over nominal (+- .030). Also the option for a rip to width is now available for a premium price. Ripping is done on an industrial straight line/gang rip machine. While the rip will be consistent end to end, the fence may not always end up in the same spot between orders. Rip widths will be within 1/8th of an inch of stated widths.

4/4  will be surfaced to 13/16ths.

5/4  will be surfaced to 1 and 1/16th.

6/4  6/4 will be surfaced to 1 and 5/16ths.

8/4  will be surfaced to 1 and 13/16ths.

10/4  will be surfaced to 2 and 5/16ths.

16/4  will be surfaced to 2 and 13/16ths.