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First project

I just finished my first semi-serious project.  Mary's great tips on identifying the grain direction in the donut and simple flower projects were invaluable in helping me get the grapes kinda-sorta spherical 🙂   I guess the next thing to do to this project is to carefully sand it to clean up the tool marks but I kind of like it like this, so may just leave it as-is and go on to something else.  Anyway, thank you Mary for the excellent instruction and how you've made this content available.  Without your instructions I'd have had no idea where to even start on this project.



PS:  This piece of poplar had a greenish cast which I thought was attractive.  But I'm not quite sure what kind of finish to put on this.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Peter Pomposello has reacted to this post.
Peter Pomposello

Hi Douglas,

That looks great!

Wow! Poplar! Not for the faint hearted. If you have ever seen any of the videos where I carve poplar, I grumble and complain all the way through it. Compared to basswood, they are different worlds. So I would suggest carving something similar in basswood and see the difference in how these 2 seemingly similar wood carve so differently.

In regards to finishing, I would treat it the same as basswood - seal it with shellac, and then stain it if you wish, wiping off the surface and leaving the dark stain to settle into the deeper areas. You can always oil it with tung oil or boiled linseed oil.

Good luck!

Thanks for the help Mary.  I have tung oil on hand so may go with that.  The poplar was a challenge but once I got the gouges sharp enough it wasn't too bad to work.  Poplar is readily available here (central California) and I always have it on hand for making furniture and cabinets that will be painted.  Its difficult for me to compare since I've only been at this a few weeks now.

We're moving to the mid-west the end of next month and I'm looking forward to having a ready and affordable supply of basswood.  Gotta have some way to pass snowy winter evenings! 🙂  Again, thanks for the tips.  I'll try to post a follow-up pic when this project is finished off.