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Tulip Wood

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by mark beem, Sep 21, 2004.


  1. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    What the hell is it??? I just received the Elrick I ordered and it has a tulip wood body.. Some say it's poplar and that Michael Tobias starting using the moniker.. Is this true?
     
  2. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    To my understanding it's a member of the rosewood family, dalbergia frutescens.
    http://www.woodbin.com/ref/wood/tulipwood_brazilian.htm
     
  3. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Oops!!! Let me clarify.. "Domestic" tulip wood.. Actually a deeper delving into the MTD site provided my answer.. It is in fact poplar.. I wonder why Mike insists on calling it "domestic tulip wood"??

    :confused:
     
  4. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Because it sounds less.......pedestrian?
    I have a body in brazillian tulipwood on the way.
     
  5. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Because it's more correct?

    The wood from Liriodendron tulipifera, the tulip tree, is for some reason called "poplar". Liriodendrons are members of the magnoliaceae, whereas true poplars are members of the Salicaceae.
     
  6. mark beem

    mark beem Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    New Hope, Alabama
    Interesting!! Thanks!!
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Same reason G&L refers to their basswood as "American Tilia." Because it sounds better, plus the genus/species are Tilia Americana.

    To confuse matters, poplar or tulipwood (we call them tulip trees around here) is also sometimes referred to as basswood! Both species are also called whitewood or American Whitewood.
     
  8. tonrutoo

    tonrutoo

    Apr 18, 2003
    Yes,but is it that beautifull pink and red,like South American the Tulipwood I know?
    Hogue offers this wood in handgun grips and I always wanted a set for a revolver I've never purchased(old school 4" S&W 629).
    I didn't think the Tulip wood I'm describing came in sizes big enough for a body wood,but I'd love to see an example!
     
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    The South American stuff is entirely different. Not even close. It's beautiful, like you described. North American tulipwood is plain white, lightweight, and not particularly durable (like handgun grips).
     
  10. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Look what the postman just brought.
     
  11. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    This does not look like Dalbergia or North American Tulip Poplar to me. Looks like peroba rosa to me, but.... who knows? It looks nice, though.

    This bass has a Dalbergia (brazilian tulipwood) fingerboard:

    http://www.fbbcustom.com/basses/1059-02/1059-top.jpg
     
  12. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Hmmmm, you may be right about it being Peroba Rosa, based on some descriptions etc I've found online. A friend in Brazil sent it to me, and he was fairly sure it was Tulipwood / Jacaranda Rosa / Dalbergia Frutescens, but he could be wrong.

    Anyway, I like the look of it, and I'll have it routed and a neck made. The luthier who'll be doing the work here will be able to ID it for sure when I give it to him. It'll probably end up as a 30.75 5 string (EADGC) with a wenge neck as it's quite a small body.

    Further searching with google on peroba rosa indicates it can be polished highly, and with a clear coat and some black hardware it could look very good.
     
  13. My last build was poplar and, to date, is the bass with the best overall tone of any I've built. I'll be building with it more. The US domestic poplar is light weight with gray and green streaks sometimes tinting the board all the way green. It machines well without the stringiness of basswood - more like hard maple in how it routes. It has a nice tap tone. Dimensioned wood is easy to get - even Home Depot has 12" wide boards. Hey, I've even seen some flamey stuff! If you stain poplar, the green is absorbed and it takes on a nice tint matching the stain.
     
  14. A church I used to attend in Pennsylvania, back when I lived in America, was built in the early 60's. All the pews were poplar and the building was constructed with these really funky laminated beams made of poplar, as well. It had a really nice green tint and interesting grain to it all.