Plz help me identify this species of wood

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Forum topic by sawdust4brainz posted 10-15-2015 01:46 AM 725 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 941 days

10-15-2015 01:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood beam species identification unknown wood barn find

Good evening LJ’ers worldwide. It’s been a very long time since i last posted; two deployments, one move across the country, and about 2 months of settling in later, I’m up and running again.

The question du jour: what on earth species of wood is this ? The CL ad claimed it was oak, but after planing off the old, greyed nastiness and seeing what’s underneath this isn’t any oak i’ve ever seen. That said, i’m somewhat of a novice.

Please excuse if the pics don’t do it full justice; they were taken with my phone and may not capture all the detail. The wood has a yellow tone that the phone just didn’t pick up on, which makes me wonder if it’s poplar. There’s a wee bit of spalting in the one beam i’ve planed thus far, and i suspect i’ll find the same in the others.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Separately, please forgive the state of the shop. It’s still in setup and i’ll post when complete. Right now it’s a disaster.

14 replies so far

View IHRedRules's profile


89 posts in 898 days

#1 posted 10-15-2015 02:40 AM

The pics don’t show a lot of detail, so I’m throwing out a wild guess, but it does appear to be poplar. Can you describe how hard and how heavy the wood is? Poplar is fairly light and while it is referred to as hardwood, scratches and dents quite easily.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21572 posts in 1760 days

#2 posted 10-15-2015 02:43 AM

It does look like poplar. Mine tends to have more color, but the poplar at the store looks a lot like that.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View johnstoneb's profile


2105 posts in 1595 days

#3 posted 10-15-2015 03:30 AM


-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View DonBoston's profile


75 posts in 884 days

#4 posted 10-15-2015 03:45 AM

Poplar indeed…

-- Don Boston RECreations by Don

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1057 posts in 1953 days

#5 posted 10-15-2015 06:13 AM

If the color in the pics is accurate, the light green is a dead giveaway that it is poplar. No other wood has that color.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Tennessee's profile


2410 posts in 1937 days

#6 posted 10-15-2015 11:44 AM

Agree with Mark. I was entertaining possibly maple or ash until I saw the green. Definitely poplar. Only species that I know of that has that light tinted green, which can also go to a rather dark green. I even used it one time inlaid into the back of a bass guitar for a bass player in a reggae band. He wanted green/yellow/red, a Pan-African look on the back of the bass. I had to help the green a little with some green tint, but the base color was there and made it easy. The body is African mahogany.

The other two colors are yellowheart and redheart, in their natural state.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View Underdog's profile


879 posts in 1458 days

#7 posted 10-15-2015 01:31 PM

I go with Poplar here too. That green streak is almost a dead giveaway. And it’s got the pale creamy color as well as some dark streaks.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View HokieKen's profile


1539 posts in 561 days

#8 posted 10-15-2015 07:00 PM

Y’all are crazy. That’s poplar. ;)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Bud_3's profile


663 posts in 646 days

#9 posted 10-15-2015 07:42 PM

I have once a linden wood who looks something like that.You can smell it,if it is poplar you will feel a pale bitter aroma.

View BurlyBob's profile


3484 posts in 1688 days

#10 posted 10-15-2015 07:53 PM

Yup, here’s another vote for popular.

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2606 days

#11 posted 10-15-2015 10:08 PM

Definitely agree, it’s poplar. The green streaking is unique.

-- Allen, Colorado

View sawdust4brainz's profile


5 posts in 941 days

#12 posted 10-15-2015 11:15 PM

Thanks for all the support and expertise gents. I dub this poplar, and will post some more pics when i get the other 10 beams planed out.

Working under the assumption that i had oak, i was going to use this for an office desktop, and any leftovers were going to benchtop surface in my shop. Poplar is probably too soft for that kind of duty, right ?

Any other uses for a mega butt-ton of poplar ??

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7717 posts in 1802 days

#13 posted 10-16-2015 12:48 AM

kidding, it’s poplar.


View Yonak's profile


979 posts in 943 days

#14 posted 10-16-2015 02:56 AM

i was going to use this for an office desktop, and any leftovers were going to benchtop surface in my shop. Poplar is probably too soft for that kind of duty, right ?

- sawdust4brainz

Poplar could be used for just about any other part of the desk except for the top. I believe it would be too easy to dent for that application.

I’m sure you know, poplar is a dream to work .. cuts easily and is easy on your tools. It’s pretty stable, it turns well, and it takes paint well. Some think it stains well also.

It would be good for any type of wooden item that (carefully put) you wouldn’t want to pass down as a family heirloom (except, it is often used as the undercarriage of some furniture .. just not furniture that would have to support weight, such as chairs, settees, etc. (except for, say, children’s furniture). It’s great for toys, molding, spindles, jigs, clocks, shelving, children’s furniture …

Thanks for your service.

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