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Forum topic by Wstein posted 10-09-2015 04:21 AM 826 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wstein

35 posts in 1225 days


10-09-2015 04:21 AM

Hey everyone,

I am in the initial design/vison quest for a new dining room table and buffet/side board thing-a-bob. I am deciding on the woods and colors for them. The wife unit has said she wants a light top/ dark base. I have decided on ribbon sapele for my top and am leaning towards a espresso/black colored base for both. The sapele has a nice golden/reddish color when finished with some Danish oil and a top coat. The base I am considering what type of wood and how it is going to be finished. I am thinking just using poplar with a good stain or a coat of paint.

Do you guys think poplar is ok, or should I look at another wood. I did consider pine, but I want something harder to help resist dents and dings. I don’t feel oak is justified if I am going to stain/paint it black. Maybe maple if I can find some cheap enough.

All so, I ordered the sapele from woodworkers source and it is being shipped to me from Az. How long should I let it sit to acclimate to the humidity her in Fl? I was going to set it aside for at least a month.

Any who thanks in advance.
Paul

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005


8 replies so far

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

303 posts in 1515 days


#1 posted 10-09-2015 08:30 AM

When I was planning my dining table I priced out hard maple legs and was shocked how much it would cost me to buy 10/4 rough stock hard maple.

My solution was to use soft maple. It worked out ok hard enough for table legs. Poplar is similarly hard and should work ok.

You will need to paint the poplar, however. It stains poorly. So does maple. Maybe you could go for the flat milk paint look?

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

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Wstein

35 posts in 1225 days


#2 posted 10-09-2015 01:56 PM

I didn’t think about the flat milk paint. Good option

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6578 posts in 1617 days


#3 posted 10-09-2015 02:49 PM

Poplar is just about as soft as pine. I would use something else harder that doesn’t have very open pores. Beech, Birch, or Maple. Soft maple is twice as hard as poplar is.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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Wstein

35 posts in 1225 days


#4 posted 10-09-2015 04:45 PM

I found where I can get soft maple for pretty much cheaper then poplar. So I am probably going to use that and see how it stains/paints

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2534 days


#5 posted 10-09-2015 06:40 PM

IMO painting poplar is very nice and good to work with. If dying (I hate stain) and a top coat, Maple would be the choice (of what you mentioned). Maple colors great and can be made to look like most hardwoods. A lot of commercial furniture that looks like cherry is in fact maple colored (dyed) to look like cherry.

I use a lot of soft maple (and there’s nothing soft about it) in drawer material and it holds up well. I’ve used it in painted pieces as well all around good wood and will be slightly cheaper than hard maple.

Good luck and post pictures once you are done.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

303 posts in 1515 days


#6 posted 10-09-2015 09:50 PM

If you have the option try to get Red Maple if going with “soft” maple. It’s as hard as cherry which we all know makes respectable furniture.

I found a cool reference. See page 5-7 of
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fpl_gtr190.pdf

These numbers back up everything all the guys above said. And they make sense to me having made something with them.

Species….. Hardness (lbf)
HY….........1880 hickory
HM…........1450 hard maple (sugar)
WO….......1360 white oak
RO….........1290 red oak
WAL …......1010 walnut
CH ….........950 cherry
SM ….........700-950 soft maple
Doug Fir…...710
YP…..........540 yellow poplar
EWP…...... 380 eastern white pine

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

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AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1724 days


#7 posted 10-10-2015 12:17 AM

Paul, you have gotten good answers so far, but nobody has addressed the time for moisture content equalization. There will be a dramatic difference in the ambient humidity in AZ and FL. Ideally, you would purchase a moisture meter and check the wood weekly until it remains at a relatively constant moisture content. The meter doesn’t need to be expensive if you are only using it on the sapele because you are only looking for a consistent reading. You can determine the actual moisture content by drying a sapele scrap in your oven until it maintains a constant weight and comparing that to the initial weight. HTH

-- Art

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Wstein

35 posts in 1225 days


#8 posted 11-09-2015 09:51 PM

Well I have started the construction of my dining set. Figured I would practice on the side board aka, the side barfirst. I got the top and base completed and dry fitted together today. I went with ash for the base, I figured if it is used to make base ball bats, it should be hard enough to resist dents and dings. Another thing, I found a lumber supplier local that cares sapele and ash, and the ash was cheaper per board ft then soft maple. I don’t really have to worry to much about acclimation to the local humity now.

I worked over the weekend milling and cutting the ash. I did all my loose tenon joins this morning and dry fitted to see how it looks.

Somehow I didn’t envision the 42 in tall side board to be as tall as it is, yes I measured and even cut a sample piece to see how tall it was going to be. I had to make it tall as it was going in front of my a/c’s return vent. After looking at it, I have decided i am changing it from a side board to a side bar.

Now I am going to spend the next two weeks sanding and finishing it. Off to practice and do some sample finishes.

-- I would offer moral support, but I have questionable morals - Me, 2005

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