American tulipwood vs humidity - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-12-2017, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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American tulipwood vs humidity

I need to make some doors which will be going into the bathroom. The doors will be sprayed with a primer and top coats as a finish. For a good finish to the paintwork I would use Tulipwood. Does the high humidity of a bathroom make Tulipwood a poor choice compared with a more resinous Southern Yellow pine? The resinous timber is more difficult to achieve a good finish as it has a course grain, but this is secondary if the stability is much better. Which would you use?
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-12-2017, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave H View Post
I need to make some doors which will be going into the bathroom. The doors will be sprayed with a primer and top coats as a finish. For a good finish to the paintwork I would use Tulipwood. Does the high humidity of a bathroom make Tulipwood a poor choice compared with a more resinous Southern Yellow pine? The resinous timber is more difficult to achieve a good finish as it has a course grain, but this is secondary if the stability is much better. Which would you use?
Poplar isn't very stable for something as large as doors and to put one in a bath I think you are asking for trouble. Yellow pine would be better but it's unpredictable. Unrelated to the humidity it might warp just because it wants to. I think you would be better off with the whitewood pine they sell at the box stores. You might have to check the moisture content and perhaps put it in a room with a dehumidifier for a while but it would be more stable. If you have access to soft maple that would be a little better choice. At least it won't have issues with sap around the knots bleeding through the paint. It takes extra effort to paint a pine door to seal in the sap.
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post #3 of 3 Old 04-13-2017, 06:35 PM
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Hello Dave,

Tulipwood (aka a Magnolia species: Liriodendron tulipifera) is simply an excellent wood all around, and an excellent choice for your application.

I have restored and built a number of timber frames with this species of wood and it is well known in traditional circles for its excellence in many applications from architectural sill beams (because it takes on different finishes so well and its natural resistance to termites) to all manner of trim work, cabinets, rustic flooring, furniture, and is also an excellent exterior siding material...

Tulipwood is one of the most stable species of woods out there of the commonly available species. Tulipwood is equal to (if not better) than White Pine.

As you have already noted, Yellow Pine is not nearly as stable and very resinous and requires a great deal of priming...especially if choosing to use only modern finishing materials and methods. I do not use or ever recommend modern finishes so this is not a challenge I need face with either species in the woodworking I do...

Good luck, and yes I would strongly recommend selecting Tulipwood over any other spices if your project is a painted finished product...
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