What are the differences between basswood, poplar and ramin wood?
Basswood and poplar grow in northern temperate areas and ramin grows in tropical areas. Weight in basswood is 26 lb./cu.ft., poplar is 31 lb./cu.ft. and ramin is 41 lb./cu.ft. Ramin slats can weigh from 58% to 32% more than the basswood or poplar slats. This added weight requires more effort in lifting the blind and adds more stress to the head rail. Stability of the wood to resist warping and bowing is related to the expertise used in drying the wood and how the wood is cut in relation to the grain of the tree. Ramin wood is imported and usually cost 20%-30% less than American hardwood which results in lower cost for a blind with ramin slats. It has been my experience that the ramin due to its weight and difficulty in producing a consistent stable slat is inferior to basswood or poplar and has an increased risk of needing to be repaired but does offer a lower priced wood blind on the market for those willing to take the risk.