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I don't see wenge in the species list of the shrinkulator. Does anyone have suggestions for a comparable species to plug in?
Rock elm is closest
White ash is very close and so is yellow poplar.
Poplar and Wenge similar in something or anything?? I would've never imagined.
I never would have guessed poplar either. Knowing that does offer some mental relief because that's the secondary wood species in use for this project.
I've got another project coming up that will be shop made wenge veneer. I guess it would be safe to use poplar on the back to balance the panels? That would save a buck or two...
Although the species mentioned are very close, on the average, it is well to remember that wood shrinks and swells differently in its three directions- -lengthwise (called longitudinal) is very close to zero most of the time, tangentially (parallel to the growth rings or the width of a flatsawn piece) is usually almost twice the movement of radial (perpendicular to the rings or the width of a quartersawn piece). These differences are huge compared to the small differences between most species.
So, can yellow poplar (not aspen poplar or popple) be used? The answer is "Yes" but only if the two pieces of veneer are of similar grain. Quarter Wegenke and flat poplar are quite different.
It might also be worth repeating that wood only moves with changes in moisture content. So, if we can minimize moisture changes by proper drying and storage, and use a good finish on all sides (the finish SLOWS moisture changes, but does not prevent them), then shrinkage differences will be less important. Of course, with some products, even a small shrinkage difference is important.
This all make sense?
Yes, it all makes sense. I learned about designing for movement when building with solid wood many years ago, but I am relatively new to veneering, and will accept all the advice I can get. Thanks.
Personally, I would not use Poplar veneer as a balancing back to a Wenge veneer face. The two species are too different in most respects. It might seem like a good idea to "save some money" by going with Poplar backs, but I'm pretty sure you will "pay the price" for that decision.
In terms of shrinkage, I am shocked by the similarities. This is copied from the wood database. I had to look it up myself, I thought Dr. Wengert may have been mistaken...
Poplar: Radial: 4.6%, Tangential: 8.2%, Volumetric: 12.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.8
Wenge: Radial: 4.8%, Tangential: 8.1%, Volumetric: 12.9%, T/R Ratio: 1.7
I'm new at this veneer thing, and I need to hasten the learning process. The panels I will be making will be 1/8" wenge, flatsawn on front and edges, 1/2" mdf substrate and the back veneer could be anything suitable at the same 1/8" thickness. The backs will never be seen. Should I be looking at something other than shrinkage when choosing a veneer for the backs? Aside from the money, its sort of a waste of a valuable resource.
While resource conservation is wise and prudent, you need to have a panel you can trust. If these are moving (hinged, sliding), unrestrained panels, I would opt for Wenge just so I had a sure thing. If they are to go into a frame and will be held flat, then I'd go for the Poplar.
I am not a gambler, though I do own a woodshop.....
That's exactly what I was thinking. Panels will be held flat and restrained. I hadn't even considered anything but wenge until my original question was answered.