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Thread: Brace wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Brace wood?

    Would Poplar make good wood for Bracing and linings?

  2. #2
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    Kekaha, Kauai
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    It may be OK for linings, I doubt it is anywhere near as good as spruce for braces.
    Brad
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  3. #3
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    Agreed. Best to use a quality 'split billet' spruce for bracing (no runout). It should be used with the grain lines perpendicular to the plates.
    For solid linings go for something that bends readily, but is not oily. Pretty much any wood of choice will suffice for kerfed linings or tentalones, but again, avoid oily species... and watch the orientation of the grain.

  4. #4

    Default poplar for linings

    Quote Originally Posted by Sawdust View Post
    Would Poplar make good wood for Bracing and linings?
    No for braces. Get some spruce.

    I used some for bent linings recently, and it worked well. I would do it again.

    IMG_20191016_160038482.jpg

  5. #5

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    I use it for linings all the time.

  6. #6
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    What is it about the poplar, that it would not make good bracing.

    Seems like quarter sawn poplar would be as strong as spruce, but I don't know everything either, I think poplar is considered a hardwood.

  7. #7
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    The important parameters are strength and stiffness per weight. They used to make airplanes out of spruce, you ever heard of a poplar goose lol.
    Bradford Donaldson
    Kekaha, HI and Cannon Beach OR
    bradfordj48@outlook.com

  8. #8
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    Actually, the "spruce goose" is made almost entirely of birch, mostly plywood.

    Using numbers from the wood database, for a couple of different woods, looking at the stiffness per unit weight
    ___________________ weight lbs/ft3__elastic modulus__stiffness/weight
    poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)___29___1580000________54,483
    sitka spruce__________________27___1600000________59,259
    European spruce______________25___1406000________56,240
    Port Orford cedar_____________29___1646000________ 56,759

    So poplar is stiffer than 2 of the spruces however it is not as stiff per unit weight. Port Orford cedar is the stiffest of the spruces, but because it is slightly heavier than sitka, it has a lower stiffness per unit weight. (that being said, I use Port Orford cedar for all my top braces to maximize stiffness with very good results)
    Last edited by jupiteruke; 11-21-2019 at 05:18 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jupiteruke View Post
    Actually, the "spruce goose" is made almost entirely of birch, mostly plywood.
    The skin of the spruce goose was birch plywood and the ribs were laminated sitka spruce. I purchased two 1/8" x 8" x 8' boards from Park's Hardwoods in Santa Barbara, CA in 1973 for my first guitar. He had a warehouse full of sequentially sliced boards from Howard Hughes' stash. It had very little cross grain stiffness which Park said was because of the way it was cut.

  10. #10
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    I have seen a bit written of the 'mythology' surrounding the qualities of Sitka Spruce bracing for guitar. Some think that the preference for bracing wood should be for stock with the largest number of growth rings per inch, and believe that the wood from trees grown in poor soils, on the leeward side of mountains or the shady side of valleys is of superior strength to faster grown wood... but even if we buy into this, I am not sure that it helps us much in real terms. Ukes are lightly stressed compared to guitars, so while the requirements are common, they are not as critical.

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