Poplar is one of the most abundantly used hardwoods found in north America. It features a light cream to yellow brown heartwood, with a lighter near white sapwood. Green streaks can be seen throughout, and on occasion, dark patches of purple, black, or red (known as rainbow poplar) in the form of mineral stains. Poplar has been used for cabinet face frames, trim, countertops, shelves, and furniture frames. It also sees extensive used in the pallet and crating industry. Poplar grain is straight and uniform, and machines well with nearly every type of woodworking tool. It has a Janka rating of 540 and weighs 2.5 pounds per board foot.
Poplar is sold as 2 common, FAS, and thermally modified. 2 common being more rustic with a fair number of knots while FAS will be relatively clear. Thermally modified poplar shares all the same characteristics of the original species but has been heated to 400 degrees in a vacuum kiln to further reduce its moisture content. Thermo poplar trades a bit of its elasticity when it goes through this process but gains a high level of durability with regards to rot and darkens to a beautiful brown color. This form is an excellent replacement for more traditional and expensive decking materials and is a chemical free process.
VARIATIONS AND OPTIONS
4/4 refers to lumber that was cut at 1 inch thickness
15/16ths has been skip planed (a majority of the surfacing work has been done, there may be a few spots that are still rough, but the grain of the particular piece of wood should be visible)
13/16ths is commonly called finish planed. This should be ready for sanding and finish
Ripped 1 edge is lumber that has been run through a straight-line rip saw. This allows for easy squaring on a table saw.
Sanded refers to a select few lumber options that have been run through a belt sander and are 100% finish ready.
5/4 lumber was sawn at 1.25 inches in thickness.
6/4 lumber was sawn at 1.5 inches in thickness.
8/4 lumber was sawn at 2 inches in thickness.
10/4 lumber was sawn at 2.5 inches in thickness.
12/4 lumber was sawn at 3 inches in thickness.