Tiger Maple?!

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http://www.hessney.com/est052505/est052505.html
Check out the 2 drawer stand; the first item on the left.
Does wood like that still exist, or is it some special finishing method?
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You should still be able to find wood like that, it might require a bit of a search though, and a fat wallet! Looks like thay have used a slightly darker tinted finish to make it stand out more, and perhaps that item has also aged a little and darkened for added effect?
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Yes, it still exists, and no, it's not a finishing method. You've just got to look in the right place, and be willing to dig through stacks of lumber. I've got a bit of it on my router table, so I can look at it whenever I'm working.
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Sure, but you will pay a huge premium.
http://www.kensmithbasses.com/woodpages/westernmaple.htm
http://www.curlywoods.com/quilted_maple_rocker.html
http://www.curlywoods.com/customer_projects/wilson/string_bass.html

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It's not cheap and you've gotta start with the right board, but I seem to recall some fellas mentioning that tung oil and torching the wood lightly with flame will "pop" the figure out better. Luthiers will prolly be the best source of info on this sort of thing though. SS
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Stephen M wrote:

If you live in a region where Home Depot stocks maple, you can search through their stacks and find curly maple. It is not often that one finds a wide board, but they do show up once in a while. Curly maple 1x2 is pretty common. All of the maple at Home Depot is priced a bit higher than rough cut curly maple is at a mill, but a lot lower than curly maple is at a hardwood lumber dealer.
Last I checked the local Home Depot was asking about $4.50/bf for maple, Doll lumber (Ohio) had rough cut curly maple for $3.50/bf and a hardwood lumber place up in Balmore, MD has s4s curly maple for $13.95/bf.
It has been a while since I visited Doll.
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Yeah, I've noticed that too...I was amazed. "They have curly maple? Wow."
I myself have picked up some nice QS red oak there of late - just last week I picked up 4" and 8" QS boards (1 each). Pretty cheap, really.

I've noticed of late a lot of the wide maple and oak that HD is stocking are actually finger-jointed and/or edge-glued bits that are veneered with wider stuff.
Jason
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Try Sandy Pond Hardwoods (among other places you can find on the internet). I've bought curly maple from them before and been quite happy with the wood they shipped. http://www.figuredhardwoods.com /
Gary in KC

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toller wrote:

It still exists, but a lot of it gets used by the musical instrument industry. I was walking around one of the places I get wood and found a nice little peice about 2'X3"X3" sitting in a corner. I wanted to pick it up for bowls but they were sending it to Europe for violins. I ended up with a 12" round about 2 1/2" thick that has just slightly less figure that I use as a trivet. I haven't gotten around to making a bowl out of it and it's too pretty to sit in a corner.
Dave in Fairfax
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Dave Leader
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Yes available. This is in the category of "Figured" wood. Various figures include "Curly", "Tiger", "Stripped", "Birds Eye", "Qulited" and "Fiddleback". Some of these names are redundant or a bit arbitrary. Curly, Tiger, and Fiddleback are all pretty much the same thing.
You'll find all of these in Mapleand some of them in Cherry, Mrytle, and others. It is essentially just some wierd grain patterns that happen somewhat randomly. You can sometimes find figured wood in the standard wood rack at a supplier. However, most commonly the highly figured pieces are sorted out and sold at multiple times the price of standard.
If you want to see lots of pretty pictures try ebay for "Curly Maple" or "Curly Cherry" (pretty rare and one of my favs).
BW
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toller wrote:

If I'm lucky, I'll get some tiger and/or quilted maple out of the trees I'm milling up next weekend. I can't wait to see what's inside.
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I've always wondered if the figuring can be attributed to any specifc condition of the tree. I always though maybe some burl like growth might signal quilting or a very wind blown/bent tree might have some tigerring. Let us know if you "figure" anything out.
One nice aspect about Maple is that the figure tends to be deep within each board so you should be able to find it pretty easily. I know with QS White Oak you can plane a 1/4" off and lose all the figure. I've resawn nice looking boards only to find no figure in the middle.
I wonder if it matters the direction of the cut through the log. Maybe you take a slice first and try splitting it in different directions looking for a figure pattern. Sorta cut it like a pizza.
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wrote:

I was roughing out a birch blank on the lathe tonight after work, and noted that there was a pretty good tiger figure beneith the crotch where a good sided branch had been. It appeared to me like the weight of the branch had somehow compressed the grain underneith, and caused the pattern by buckling the fibers slightly. I don't know if that was the case, but it was something to wonder about anyhow!

The only one that doesn't seem to go all that deep in maple is bird's eye. I found that out the hard way when I made a lamp out of some, and ended up with regular old maple where a lot of excellent figure used to be. Curly figure usually seems to go all the way through.

I imagine it would- look at the difference between flat-sawn and quarter-sawn. I don't believe I've ever seen flecks in flat-sawn oak.
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Prometheus wrote:

specifc
weight
was
Indeed it looks like that and there is ample folklore to that effect. However if you find a long section of trunk that is curly it will be curly all around, not just on one side, for the reasons explained below.

within
with
If you lost the ray flecks you most have sawn off the grain that was perpendicular to the face of the board. Keep in mind that ray flecks and curl are entirely different figure.

Maybe
Casual observation indicates that bird's eye shows up best on a flat- sawn face. Quarter sawn bird's eye looks like curl, though true curly wood is curly no matter how you slice it.

oak.
Curly figure in maple is not related to flecks. You can see flecks in flat sawn oak, they are very very thin dark streaks in between the grain boundaries. In Oak and beech flecks are also prominent in the end-grain. You can also see flecks in maple and cherry, but only if it is very precisely quarter sawn, that is with the grain very close to perpendicular to the wood surface. The flecks in maple and cherry look rather like fish scales. They are very small and numerous.
All wood has ray flecks, they are cellular structures that grow perpendicular to the growth rings and knit the layers of wood together. In most woods they are very small and so hard to see. In oak, beech, sycamore, lacewood (Australian silky oak) they stand out in quarter sawn wood, most of all in oak.
Curly figure in wood is caused by irritation of the cambrium by a fungus resulting in an abnormal growth pattern. It is most common in and near stumps and crotches, places where moisture accumulates and encourages the fungal growth.
Where curly figure occurs in a trunk the grain does not run vertically up and down the trunk as in normal growth for most trees, but spirals around the trunk. For that reason, any curly maple boards you see that were cut symetrically with respect to the centerline of the trunk will have approximately equally curly left and right margins and the outermost margins will have a 'curlier' figure than the heartwood. That is not a quartersawn vs.flatsaw effect as can eb demonstrated by observing that edge (arris) of a quartersawn curly board (which is a flatsawn face) is as culry as the quartersawn face.
Because curly wood grows in a spiral around the trunk all boards cut parallel to the axis of the tree, whether flat, rift, or sawn will be short grained. This makes curly wood unsuitable for things like drumsticks, hammer handles and the uprights on frame saws. Curly boards easily break when laoded in bending. It is commonly said that the curls run perpendicular to the grain. This is not true. The curls run perpendicular to the apparent grain direction, but the apparent grain is skewed with respect to the true grain. If you bend a piece of curly wood until it breaks and observe how it breaks you will see that the grain runs at about a thirty degree angle with respect to the apparent grain direction.
The same fungus is supposed to be responsible for curl, quilting, and bird's eye. I _think_ that bird's eyes form where tiny leaves grow out directly from the trunk and are analogous to needle scars in softwoods.
--

FF


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Hey, excellent post! Thanks for the food for thought.

Is the snake-like growth that I often seen on red maples that spirals around the trunk an indicator of curly figure then?

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snipped-for-privacy@business.org says...

Yes it is. I often refer to this as "fat rolls" that can be seen once the bark has been peeled back to expose the skin of the tree. Maples are one of the few that exhibit this feature. Walnuts and other figured trunks show no apparent outward signs of what lies under the surface :-)
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My recommendation is: Birdseye Maple & Curly "Tiger" Maple - Bell Forest Products Address:http://www.bellforestproducts.com/warehouse.htm Changed:2:17 PM on Thursday, May 19, 2005
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On Tue, 24 May 2005 18:39:49 -0400, Nortwoods wrote:

very excellent link ... thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Quarter sawing will typically produce the best and most uniform effect if a log holds figure(curl). The exception to this is quilted Maple, as it shows its best, if flat sawn.
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