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You could use it for that,  if it is Yellow Poplar that is the subject here.

It is closed pore and has a tight grain.  It is not brittle or fuzzy.

It is an excellent choice for solid and lift style hulls.  The mark

against it for POF framing is that it is light weight and for smaller

vessels below 1:48 in scale, I would be worried about the strength

of the frame. 

 

You offer no location information.  If you are eastern US,  check the

cost for Hard Maple.  It should be about $5 /bf.  It approaches what

passes for Boxwood these days in hardness and is much stronger than Yellow Poplar.

It will produce much more wear on saw blades however,  but the feel of working it

in these small scales, is I find, more satisfying.

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Poplar is an excellent wood for modeling.  Low cost, fairly hard (harder than basswood but not as hard as good quality soft maple) but easy to work.  turns, carves, saws and drills well.  Takes paint, stain and glue with no trouble.  Don't know about steam bending as I haven't done any with poplar.  If you can check the piece for hardness as there is some variation, get the hardest piece available with no or very few knots or other defects.   Wonder why kit manufactures don't use poplar instead of basswood.

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Thanks guys, Soft maple may be a better choice, but poplar is already milled to 1/4 thickness at Home Depot and is quite cheap, while I would have to mill the maple myself, and I don't have the equipment. Btw I live on the east coast 

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The poplar that Home Depot is offering may not be yellow poplar.  Aspen is also called poplar here in Minnesota and is sold in milled thicknesses in big box home improvement stores.  It is almost white, while the yellow poplar is darker, sometimes with a greenish cast. I tried using some of the Aspen/poplar and was unimpressed.

 

Our big box store also sells maple in milled thicknesses.  If you can find that it would be a much better choice.  Harold Hahn's first POF models were framed with maple.

 

Roger

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try Loews ! They carry poplar, maple, oak, pine, aspen in an aisle near their main lumber area - it's list under "craft lumber" and is cut in 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 3/4 and I think 1 " thickness and widths from 1 up to 6 inches and lengths of 2, 3, 4 ft. Don't know sub-species of Maple they have but it is nice looking wood. That's where I get my "craft" lumber fro various home projects.

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My store of choice is Menards and they stock maple.  My only objection is that I can't get used to buying lumber wrapped in plastic!

 

Another great source of maple is flooring- the kind that you nail down vs the free floating type.  Several years ago we had a maple floor installed in our family room and I made sure that I got all of the scrap.  First class stuff but you have to be able to mill it to size.

 

Roger

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I get some from Menards, as well. It is also known as tulip poplar. Woodcraft stores sometimes have it in a greater variety of sizes.  The Woodcraft stuff is also drier, and frequently on sale. Beware:  When you take the plastic wrap off the Menards stuff it can quickly warp or cup, depending on the ambient humidity. 

Id stay away from the Aspen. Much too soft, fuzzy ... I haven't found a good use for it (not even good kindling). 

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Good point regarding the plastic wrap.  Up here the local name for Aspen is "Popel" and it grows aggressively in areas cut over by loggers.  It doesn't get very big and is cut for pulpwood and is increasingly being used by the "engineered" lumber people.  We can expect to see more of it as it is sustainable.  I agree that although it has a good appearance it is a poor choice for modeling.

 

Roger

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Menard's specialty dimensioned lumber (plastic wrapped) goes under the name "Mastercraft". Not sure if that's their own brand, or if there is an independent company out there. They used to stock a variety of species, but now you have to special order walnut and cherry and mahogany. They seem to usually have poplar, hickory, maple and oak. 

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There are several kind of poplar, but stubbornes  found me that the Scandinavian core is the better one.

As it ages it will have a very light  greyish tone.

The grain is easy to work with and makes a very smooth surface. 

Poplar is very popular for fine detail wood working in Europe.

Poplar is a good source of wood for scratch building as for a solid hull.

I have the material waiting for such project.

 

Good luck

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