Does figure develop?


I made two letter boxes for my desk about 6 months ago; one out of walnut, and the other out of curly maple.
The figure in the curly maple has gotten significantly more pronounced. The walnut had no figure when I made it, but it does now.
Am I hallucinating, or does this happen?
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toller wrote:

There's no difference in the actual figure, obviously, but the effect of aging is to cause differing colorations on the various grain types the make up the visible figure. The particular finish/stain used as well as the UV exposure, etc., will also play a role...
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I'm not so sure, My figure has changed as I age.
Yep, just checked in the mirror, different that it was 20 years ago.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

...
:)
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Gravity is NOT our friend, Ed..
My figure is sort of like the note on a box of cereal... "some settling of contents"
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Only while the tree is growing.
--

FF


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The
Lot of flippant answers, but yes, the changes resulting from oxidation of the surface will alter the intensity and color of the light reflected to your eye. In curly figure you get a mix of tight face and end grain from any angle. As the end grain is mostly air when looking directly at it, it will continue pretty much as it is - light in color - while the face grain darkens visibly as it oxidizes.
Acer rubrum - the eastern "soft" maple, if given time in the log, can also undergo chemical changes similar to the ones which take place as sapwood changes to heartwood, producing color almost as dark as walnut throughout the piece. Linseed oil seems to help this along, not just darkening, but seemingly changing with time. I like to use this effect on turnings, then set them next to each other on the display, ready to answer the "what wood" questions with "same."
As to the walnut, I suspect the same might be operating on figure which is not so pronounced.
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