Sycamore or Poplar (or other)? The poll is open!

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Forum topic by DetroitReds posted 05-01-2015 01:49 AM 778 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 2275 days

05-01-2015 01:49 AM

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I recently picked up some 2×8s that were reclaimed from old housing, specifically from a house in SE Michigan built about 100 years ago. It was super grimy and the original plan was to use for a construction project, but after I started cleaning it up I found it’s a hardwood. I sanded a few pieces and planed some sections and think I’ve narrowed it down to sycamore or poplar. From my limited research it appears that both have ray flecks that you can hopefully see in the pictures below. Sycamore has more vote because of the ambrosia-looking piece, reddish color, and density, and general texture, but poplar is a possibility because of the greenish tinge. Photos are from a selection of different boards. I wiped a few with denatured alcohol for another look. What’s your take?

6 replies so far

View JAAune's profile


1617 posts in 1741 days

#1 posted 05-01-2015 01:59 AM

I don’t recall seeing ray flecking like that in any poplar board I’ve used.

-- See my work at and

View TheFridge's profile


5683 posts in 910 days

#2 posted 05-01-2015 02:09 AM

I’ve seen it but don’t know.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View IHRedRules's profile


89 posts in 900 days

#3 posted 05-01-2015 02:30 AM

My guess for the top two are cherry.

View bondogaposis's profile


3972 posts in 1775 days

#4 posted 05-01-2015 03:00 AM

I’d say the top 2 are quarter sawn cherry and the fifth picture is ambrosia maple.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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914 posts in 1517 days

#5 posted 05-01-2015 09:13 AM

Looks like quartersawn sycamore for the top two. I’ve got something here that’s made out of it and they look awfully similar. The fifth picture could be poplar but I doubt it.

I suspect you could get ray flecks in poplar but I don’t think I’ve ever seen poplar quartersawn.

View Wolfdaddy's profile


300 posts in 1259 days

#6 posted 05-03-2015 01:47 AM

I’d say poplar. I’ve seen ray flecking like that in the quartersawn face.

-- "MOM! I think there's something under our house! I'm gonna need a jackhammer, a fish bowl, some air tanks, and maybe a few pipes."

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