Recommended Posts

Hi everyone!

So, I'm starting a viola using highly figured poplar for the back and sides, and probably a grafted pearwood scroll.

Never having used poplar like this before, I'm wondering if anyone here has any tips or suggestions on what to expect, or pitfalls to avoid,

or should I just proceed as usual.

I understand that Italian poplar, which this is, often has a high silica/"sand" content from growing along sandy banks near rivers, and can be very hard on sharp edges.

Beyond that, ???? :huh:

Thanks. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone!

So, I'm starting a viola using highly figured poplar for the back and sides, and probably a grafted pearwood scroll.

Never having used poplar like this before, I'm wondering if anyone here has any tips or suggestions on what to expect, or pitfalls to avoid,

or should I just proceed as usual.

I understand that Italian poplar, which this is, often has a high silica/"sand" content from growing along sandy banks near rivers, and can be very hard on sharp edges.

Beyond that, ???? :huh:

Thanks. :)

You should calculate exactly where you want your soundpost to be located on the back. If it is radial cut cypress poplar the flame is sometimes so wild that you have areas where the grain goes completely perpendicular to the arching surface. If the soundpost rests on one of these points you have a guaranteed soundpost crack in a short time after the instrument is made. You will be virtually resting the soundpost on end grain.

Bruce

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just varnishing a poplar cello. The back is quite plain, one piece, no flame at all - and for the most part quarter cut - except the lower wing goes on the slab. So hopefully no issues there on the weakness around the soundpost.

This was probably english ( came from David Dyke ) and it was terrible for tool edges. The grain raises a great deal if wetted. Its a very porous wood and needs sealing well. I didn't find it very inspiring to work with - but it seems to work well as a tonewood.

Geoff

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone!

So, I'm starting a viola using highly figured poplar for the back and sides, and probably a grafted pearwood scroll.

Never having used poplar like this before, I'm wondering if anyone here has any tips or suggestions on what to expect, or pitfalls to avoid,

or should I just proceed as usual.

I understand that Italian poplar, which this is, often has a high silica/"sand" content from growing along sandy banks near rivers, and can be very hard on sharp edges.

Beyond that, ???? :huh:

Thanks. :)

Be careful with your grads. Go for heavy first then check.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone!

So, I'm starting a viola using highly figured poplar for the back and sides, and probably a grafted pearwood scroll.

Never having used poplar like this before, I'm wondering if anyone here has any tips or suggestions on what to expect, or pitfalls to avoid,

or should I just proceed as usual.

I understand that Italian poplar, which this is, often has a high silica/"sand" content from growing along sandy banks near rivers, and can be very hard on sharp edges.

Beyond that, ???? :huh:

Thanks. :)

Poplar is less dense than maple so wouldn't the proper graduations be thicker than for maple? If so, how would you figure out how much thicker the graduations should be?

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several different species of wood being discussed in this thread. I'm sorry I don't know the botanical names. The wood Bruce refers to is also called 'Lombardy poplar' and his point about end grain is correct. Lombardy poplar is quite hard and sometimes a bit more dense than maple. The other poplar is often a very plain wood with a greenish tint, it is usually softer and lighter than maple.

how would you figure out how much thicker the graduations should be?

You could use a stiffness calculation like John Master's (frequency (mode 5) squared times mass) Match it to your previous instruments.

Oded

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.