American Poplar relief carving test

American Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) – CNC Router carving test

American Poplar wood carved with clear cutting lines, fraying at places but retains detail during the CNC router test. Test was run on a number of reliefs with both 1/8′ and 1/4′ router bits. The rotation speed versus feed rate is very critical. The wood burns easily and test run should be done with your CNC router before doing any major project. This characteristic can be used to create a burned effect as the wood is light. The wood produced a clear surface with good developed shavings. Due to the carving lines, sanding was required starting at P120. Throughout the carving process the relief remain clear of any burs. The wood is suitable for all reliefs but remember it is soft.
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More carvings using various wood are available in our carving library and articles.

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Family – Magnoliaceae

Distribution: Eastern United States and Canada
Other Names: American Poplar, Poplar, Tulip Poplar, Yellow Poplar, Canadian Aspen, American whitewood, cottonwood
 Characteristics: American Poplar is pale yellow – white to light brown in colour, with no clear distinction between sapwood and heartwood. The grain is usually straight, the texture fine and even. The wood is odourless and tasteless when well seasoned. Being soft and light, poplar has a low strength rating, similar to basswood and spruce, but ranks comparatively high in toughness and resistance to shock and wears evenly under abrasion. It is unsuitable for steam bending. All species of poplar are non-curable under damp conditions.
Working Qualities: Tends to bind on the saw, and produces a woolly surface. Can be glued satisfactorily, and takes polish and varnish reasonably well.
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Uses: American Poplar is used in furniture for framing and drawers, for interior joinery, boxes and crates, and toys.

Technical Data: (Visit the Wood DataBase for explanation and details)


Tree Size: 130-160 ft (40-50 m) tall, 6-8 ft (1.8-2.5 m) trunk diameterpoplar planks

Average Dried Weight: 29 lbs/ft3 (455 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .40, .46

Janka Hardness: 540 lbf (2,400 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 10,100 lbf/in2 (69.7 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,580,000 lbf/in2 (10.90 GPa)american poplar boards

Crushing Strength: 5,540 lbf/in2 (38.2 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 8.2%, Volumetric: 12.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.8


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