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Poplar slab pricing?

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Forum topic by Eddie posted 08-08-2013 08:27 PM 1054 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Eddie

212 posts in 605 days


08-08-2013 08:27 PM

Hey guys,

A friend of mine has asked if I would be able to make him a live edge coffee table for him.
He asked me for a price but this would be my first work someone has paid for.
I have never bought wood like this before and have no idea what prices would be for the slab.

I am not trying to make money, more looking to pay for materials & consumables, and presumably a little for my time.

I found a poplar slab for sale here locally that has been drying for 3 years and is said to be ready to be worked with.
I know poplar isnt a favorite on this site in terms of beauty, but this slab seems to have great color and a semi quilted figure.

The seller is asking $2.50/bf making this slab come to $45ish dollars.
It is 2.5” thick and 59” long. Between 21”-13” in width.

Is the price about right?
What do you think about using this for the coffee table?


21 replies so far

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mds2

241 posts in 599 days


#1 posted 08-08-2013 08:32 PM

How are you going to finish it? That is what I would ask myself first.

$45. Seems reasonable.

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richardwootton

1252 posts in 610 days


#2 posted 08-08-2013 08:36 PM

That is a good looking slab. I would go for it.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

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Eddie

212 posts in 605 days


#3 posted 08-08-2013 08:36 PM

I do not want the table to be glossy/reflective. I am aiming for a matte or satin finish. I will likely use ROS and planes to sand and flatten the top, then use BLO to bring out the grain. I dont know about the final finish to use. Maybe a BLO/Varnish mix?
Does that answer the question?

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mds2

241 posts in 599 days


#4 posted 08-08-2013 08:41 PM

The reason I ask is because in my experience poplar can be hard to finish, and have it look nice. I’d hate to put a lot of time and money into a slab and not have it turn out.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1222 days


#5 posted 08-08-2013 08:42 PM

Some poplar has some very interesting grain and colors. Poplar can take on greenish, purpleish and orangeish streaks depending on the minerals in the soil.

i think it’s a reasonable price.

a note about poplar. Its pretty soft. If your friend had kids and the table will see some rough use, poplar may not be the best choice.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3455 posts in 2615 days


#6 posted 08-08-2013 08:43 PM

Good for you on the soft finish.
BLO and wiping varnish with a wool/wax rub out.
In case ya didn’t get the hint, I don’t like/use gloss finishes. :))
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Eddie

212 posts in 605 days


#7 posted 08-08-2013 08:44 PM

For what Im planning would you reccomend using a wood condotioner?

Kids aren’t in his near future and it will take up residence in his man room. I don’t anticipate the table getting rough use

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Don W

15030 posts in 1222 days


#8 posted 08-08-2013 08:55 PM

BLO doesn’t tend to pop polar grain like it does other woods. Poplar is usually so white it tends to yellow it. I still use it on a lot of poplar, so they were just FYI comments, and not meant to be negative in any way. Just make sure it’s the look you want . I use dark Danish oil sometimes to give it color.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Eddie

212 posts in 605 days


#9 posted 08-08-2013 09:12 PM

Thanks for the advice Don- do you have a few pics of projects you have used BLO & dark Danish oil on poplar?

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1210 posts in 1091 days


#10 posted 08-08-2013 09:53 PM

What exactly are you trying to get color wise with the slab? For me whole reason in using a slab is to show off the wood. I personally like them left natural just for that reason.

I agree with Don W on the BLO not popping the grain on poplar. If you want to pop it or darken it I’ld use the Danish oil. If you use Watco, go with the Natural or Golden Oak. I wouldn’t go darker than Light Walnut. Just my opinion, it’s really up to you and your client. One of the great things about Danish oil is it will also harden up the wood as it’s absorbed into the pores. That helps solve the softness problem with poplar. A good poly on top helps harden it up some more.

Nice looking slab! I’ld pay that for it!

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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BigRedKnothead

4983 posts in 637 days


#11 posted 08-09-2013 12:52 AM

That’s a reasonable price.

IMO, you can get the color you want with danish oil- its my preferred method. But I can’t imagine on making a coffee table and not putting poly on it. Danish oil will leave a ring the first time someone doesn’t use a coaster. You can still us poly without making it shiny. Use satin poly, and rub it out even more with 0000 steel wool until you get the luster you like.

That slab is gonna make a sweet table.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

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WDHLT15

1130 posts in 1130 days


#12 posted 08-09-2013 03:00 AM

Good price. Would make an awesome table with lots of character. You won’t find that in the Furniture Store.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT15 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln

View Eddie's profile

Eddie

212 posts in 605 days


#13 posted 08-09-2013 03:58 AM

Another question, if I end up buying the slab and making the table. I’m planning to buy a set up hairpin legs for the table (probably just 3)
This would put my total costs somewhere under $100.

What would you guys consider a fair price for a friend?
I have never sold any of the work I’ve done and don’t really know what to suggest for a price.

I’m considering telling him the cost of everything that went into it and leaving the final payment amount up to him.
Have any of you tried that?

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BigRedKnothead

4983 posts in 637 days


#14 posted 08-09-2013 01:45 PM

I’ve never really made them (friends I’ve made stuff for) name the price for an item. Most people don’t realize how much time this kind of work takes. In situations where it’s kind of a gift, and I don’t care if I make much….I often ask if there’s a “budget” they have for the piece. And then we go from there.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View Don W's profile

Don W

15030 posts in 1222 days


#15 posted 08-09-2013 02:29 PM

I’m considering telling him the cost of everything that went into it and leaving the final payment amount up to him.

I work like that a lot for friends. Also $100 for what he’ll wind up with is pretty cheap. If it’s a friend, and you don’t care about making money, it sounds fine with me.

The sides of the extension on this tool chest is finished with dark walnut Danish oil. I used dark walnut because it was what I had. Lighter may be better, depending on your taste.

I made some doors for my daughter out of poplar and finished with just BLO, but can’t find the finished pictures.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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