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Antique Table with Poplar?

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Forum topic by RickSanchez posted 08-10-2020 10:36 AM 518 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RickSanchez

8 posts in 47 days


08-10-2020 10:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: poplar french table dining wood species question

This table was purchased by my grandparents in the late 40’s. I sanded the shellac off of it today expecting to see Maple and instead I see green boards. I’m guessing this is Poplar. Anybody know anything about French provincial dining tables from this era and whether Poplar was a thing? Any insight would be appreciated!

-- Zak, AZ


18 replies so far

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3604 posts in 2347 days


#1 posted 08-10-2020 11:48 AM

Not surprising for me?
In first half of 20th century, furniture mfg often used solid hardwood core with 1/8 veneer top/bottom layer. Poplar, and various ‘gum’ woods were often used for core.
Most of the tables I have seen from the 50’s are dark mahogany stain and the end grain is so dark, can not tell what kind of wood is here. Believe the goal was to mimic a garnet shellac french polish look.

If you table had a true french polish shellac finish, then it was a better made table from the era. :-)

The freshly sanded green on poplar will oxidize to a light honey brown with UV/O2 exposure. Oxalic acid can also be used to accelerate the process.

Best Luck on restoration!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1734 posts in 3702 days


#2 posted 08-10-2020 12:36 PM

Yep, seen it before, always try to get a peek before I remove a finish, sometimes a cleaning and restoring is much better than a complete strip. That edge will be a challenge, best bet will likely be to get some dye stains to try to match up the ends and then apply a fairly dark stain to the whole thing.

Looks like you’ve spent some time around caterers, that pipe trick for the banquet tables is a total back saver.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

6276 posts in 1427 days


#3 posted 08-10-2020 03:52 PM

Grain looks a LOT more like Maple to me than Poplar. Not sure what the source of the green you speak of, pics to me look just like I’d expect stripped Maple to look like though. From the end grain it’s all rift, QS wood too. I think that was a better quality table. In better quality they wouldn’t use Poplar.

Back then Maple, Mahog, maybe Walnut, and a lot of Oak, usually white.

-- Think safe, be safe

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RickSanchez

8 posts in 47 days


#4 posted 08-12-2020 05:02 AM

Thanks for the info guys. I think I agree with Captain Klutz and appreciate your insight. TheRealSteven, I’ve never heard of green maple and this wood is very soft which brought me to Poplar. Thanks again everybody, the new stain and finish look great.

-- Zak, AZ

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1972 posts in 3646 days


#5 posted 08-12-2020 02:52 PM

I have removed damaged veneer on that era furniture and also found poplar core. Probably all poplar. Some had mitered corners and prime wood surrounding a poplar core, no end grain to soak up the stain.

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RickSanchez

8 posts in 47 days


#6 posted 08-13-2020 02:27 AM

IBeWJohn, that’s interesting. I’m sure you’re probably right but it looks like the top is a thick maple veneer but maybe it’s all Poplar. It’s all stained now and I’m waiting for the Arm R Seal to cure now.

-- Zak, AZ

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ibewjon

1972 posts in 3646 days


#7 posted 08-13-2020 12:29 PM

I didn’t mean the veneer was poplar, only the interior. Both the green and light wood are poplar. I have had oak veneer over the poplar interior.

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RickSanchez

8 posts in 47 days


#8 posted 08-13-2020 12:33 PM

I read it too fast. It’s interesting that Poplar cores were a thing back then. I would have never guessed it before I started this project.

-- Zak, AZ

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ibewjon

1972 posts in 3646 days


#9 posted 08-13-2020 01:25 PM

But at least they used thick veneer!

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RickSanchez

8 posts in 47 days


#10 posted 08-14-2020 02:28 AM

It’s all done.

-- Zak, AZ

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1972 posts in 3646 days


#11 posted 08-14-2020 12:54 PM

Nice. Better than new.

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RickSanchez

8 posts in 47 days


#12 posted 08-14-2020 01:14 PM

Thanks. I’m happy with it. Now my 20 month old twins can start the process of slowly destroying it.

-- Zak, AZ

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1734 posts in 3702 days


#13 posted 08-14-2020 01:49 PM

VERY NICE!

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1972 posts in 3646 days


#14 posted 08-14-2020 07:03 PM

Twins can do it in half the time!!

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3342 posts in 2651 days


#15 posted 08-14-2020 08:49 PM

Excellent work. That’s the truth about kids :)

-- Aj

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