How to stain/dye/enhance figured Maple


I usually leave Maple alone and just produce white pieces with clear lac or slightly yellowed with NC lac. However, in a batch of 4/4 and 5/4 Maple that showed up for a project, one 8" x 8' 4/4 piece has nice curly figure on the whole board all the way through.
So I pulled this piece aside and I think I have a project in mind where this can provide a nice table top for a console/couch/hall table.
So what pointers can anyone give me for accentuating the figure? I'm willing to try a very subtle finish or even go dark if that's the best.
I plan on running some tests first of course but just looking for ideas. I suppose dye would be bad because it's to even and I want something that will provide more contrast... no?
BW
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Making_Curly_Maple_Pop.html
dave
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The wood will provide the contrast. What you're seeing is light returning to your eye at different angles. Dye won't change that, only the color. Pretty common technique to use something light yellowish brown or a dilute real brown. Just don't mess up that reflection with a satin finish that scatters the light randomly. Nice smooth transparent finish will do fine.
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Strange that this should come up again today. I'm putting the finishing touches on a bathroom vanity, in soft maple. There is such nice figure in the wood that I've gone with a dewaxed superblonde shellac, and will top coat it with a water-white finish, to provide a modicum of protection against bathroom chemicals.
Except for one part, where I'm using a burnt sienna dye stain, to provide some contrast. The quilter in the family suggested that we needed some definition there.
Where are you getting your maple? I'm in the East Bay, too, and finding another supplier never hurts.
Patriarch
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Thanks for the info.
This batch came from "Hardwoods" http://hardwoods-inc.com /, they have a Livermore location. I work out of a cabinet shop and the owner told me he was using these guys as his new supplier. I order through his business to get his discount and have it delivered with his shipments. He was really happy that these Hardwwods guys were beating everybody's prices... until he noticed the $35 freight charge on every order. They do have good prices. They had #1 Pine for the price I pay for #2 at Higgins. Their Baltic Birch was $18 something where everyone else is $21.
Now the owner tells me to go back to ordering from Higgins or PALS. Honestly, I like to go to PALS in Oakland and hand pick when I can but that means a Saturday for me and sometimes I can't wait, so I just order.
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First use a dilute black dye then lightly sand it when it's dry. Then use a brown dye (antique maple or something of the sort). Boiled linseed oil over that then rubbed out shellac or laquer. This may exaggerate the figure beyond what you want but for some projects it's very dramatic.
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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Tung oil will bring it to life.
Steve

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Have you seen this one? http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/htdocs/eamaple.htm
I have used variants on this several times with success. You can cut way down on the aniline and it still works well. Here's an example of one I made: http://home.earthlink.net/~nateperkins1/Woodworking/projects/mdaybox.htm
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