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Carving Wood & Materials

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  #1  
Old 03-15-2009, 12:27 PM
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Default Carving with aspen or poplar

The only good wood here to carve with is poplar trees .I live in Labrador Canada and the selection of wood is very limited.Has anyone here carved with poplar and what are pros/cons?
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

Hello, I've carved with both poplar and aspen. Of the two aspen is a favorite of mine--carves like basswood and I love the color variations. Poplar, for me I'd use my powercarver next time--it might have been just the wood but man it was hard! I used it for a small relief carving and cussed the whole time I was working on it. Now, after my comment hopefully someone will come along and give you a good report on their experiences with Poplar.
Kathy
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

Aspe and poplar are from the same family. Very similar characteristics.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

Thanks guys .I tried uploading a pic of the tree which i carving from but don't seem to be working.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:32 PM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

I've carved my share of poplar. Its sort of a soft hardwood if that makes any sense. Carves fine but I don't find it as stable as birch when it starts to dry out. You must have some birch in your parts. The other thing I find about poplar is that its grain doesn't take oil very well. Good luck.
Patrick
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

I too have carved Poplar and find it good to work with but I use only powertools ,this may make a difference, but I like it becauce of the whiteness in color it can have some lovely grains .I use water bourne poly for a finish andd again I like it because it does not yellow the wood,
I hope it helps.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

Sputnik, that is definitly ASPEN. Being in your northern region, I'd be willing to bet that "poplar" or "popple" is a local name for the aspen. These are in the Willow family and I find them (both quaking and big tooth aspen) fine carving woods.

The other "poplar" that is used quite often for carving is tulip or yellow poplar and is a member of the magnolia family. Mostly found along the US eastern areas but not much further north than New York.

For identification purposes I wish people would stop using the "poplar" term for aspen...it gets confused with true yellow poplar. Ourl local timber industry uses either "aspen" or "popple" so there isn't confuion with yellow poplar, but heck that stuff doesn't grow around here anyway.

Whatever you call it, it's a good wood to carve, fairly clean grained and just a tad harder than basswood and it holds detail well.

Al
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

That's Aspen. Poplar is totally different in the south.

Here's a previous discussion: Aspen??Popple??Poplar??

Emil Janel used Aspen for his carving.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

Here's a couple of photos of the stuff:

Liriodendron tulipifera Fact Sheet
This one is all over the place here in VA - the distinctive leaves identify it.

This one has bark that seems similar to yours:
Populus tremuloides Fact Sheet

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Old 03-20-2009, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: Carving with aspen or poplar

Thanks for feedback guys good information.I always was confused these similar trees.
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