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Using Poplar in basses

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Mar 2, 2005.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I am thinking about getting a big slab of rough poplar from a place that makes molding near me. It is about 9" wide 2.5" thick and 5 ' long. Considering it's size it is light. I am very used to working with Bubinga, Wenge and hard Maple. What do you all think of using it? Just center cores for bodies? Or?

    ....t
     
  2. Hey, it worked for my old Fender MIM Deluxe Jazz. That bass actually sounded really good. Most people don't like poplar around here, but I think it can be okay. You won't know until you try, right?
     
  3. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
    I wouldn't use a one-piece body myself, but poplar is a decent choice. One of the nicest four-string fretlesses I have ever heard, Les Claypool's newest Carl Thompson, has a stained poplar body. I'm going to use two pieces of poplar for my four-string body.

    I dunno why they're not cool with it 'round these parts, though.
     
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks for the responses. You got a photo or linkto the stained poplar body?
     
  5. Ask Superbassman2000 about the particular poplar model he has. I'm sure he'll give you a good report! ;)
     
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I was waiting to hear from you! Tell me all about your use of Poplar! You should see this chunk! :hyper: I think it will cost me a bit under $30 It is very rough but from what I can see it might be very even colored. What is the up side and the down side to this wood...t Can it be used in a neck?
     
  7. Nah, forget about the neck - it's too soft and don't plan on using a transparent/natural finish - usually. Most of what I've seen ain't pretty but if it does have a nice grain, albeit green, it will turn brown with any amber colored coating.

    It's very easy to work with sharp tools. Planes like maple but is soft enough to avoid bit chatter. Hand carves great. It will sand very, very smooth and has virtually no open grain. If you've ever planned something wild and intricate, this might be the wood to try it in for the first time. Great bass response while maintaining good definition. For that reason it would make the perfect P bass wood. But don't let that stop you. I used a mudbucker slammed against the neck and an MM on the tail for SB2000's and it rocks royally.

    I've got a neighbor that has a chunk about that size to sell me. Also very rough and for about the same price. I'm jumping on it. :D
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Great I hope to pick it up Friday..t Got photos of the bass you made?
     
  9. [​IMG]

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  10. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Can others see the photos ? I can't.t
     
  11. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    Poplar? Ask just about any MTD American owner about poplar. Same thing as Tulipwood. Isn't that what Mike T makes most of his bodies out of?


    dcr
     
  12. andvari7

    andvari7

    Aug 28, 2004
    Ennui
  13. Holy ca-rap do I love that body shape. That is exactly what I want. That and my non-reverse t-bird. Is this your design, and if so, how much to run one off for me?

    That looks sa-wheet!
     
  14. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    The Carl Thompson body is sharp! I guess I am the only computer that can't see the 'bones photos. I don't know why I am logged in what am I doing wrong? :scowl:
     
  15. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Great I just figured it out. I have to turn off Norton internet security. I didn't used to have to to see photos on this site? What is up with that?.........t
     
  16. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Nice bass interesting grain. Hambone!
     
  17. budman

    budman Commercial User

    Oct 7, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Formerly the owner/builder of LeCompte Electric Bass
    I've been using a lot of poplar lately. Painted bodies mostly, but I've got one that I've used with a bloodwood and osage orange top that's going to get clear coated. I also like the look of mineral stained poplar for tops. Some of the stains get purpley and very dark. Everything Hambone says is true.
     
  18. Fooled you with that huh? :D That's actually flame ash veneer on the top with tinting by shellac and TrueOil and a polyurethane clearcoat over all.
     
  19. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    AARGH curses Foiled again :D Pretty cool. I am home from "work" bass building today! HOO WEE! Cutting out bodies glueing up necks. Life don't get much mo bettah :hyper: