Common Name: Maple
Scientific Name: Acer saccharum
Family: Aceraceae
Origin: North America

Curly Maple is not a wood species: it indicates a famous grain variation of the Maple heartwood that happens on an unpredictable basis in all Maple species. Anyway, the phenomenon happens rarely, only 1 in 25 logs. The name “curly” derives from the wood pattern which creates a three dimensional effect representing the grain getting “curled” along the length of the log. The origin of this pattern is still uncertain, but one of the most valuable hypotheses relates it to a distortion of the wood fibers during the growth process, consequently producing different types of figure with a wave-like effect. These remain independent from the wood grain itself. There are six official figures of Curly Maple: flame, tiger stripe, ribbon surl, pin stripe and fiddleback.

The wave-like effect of the wood can be enhanced through the proper cutting process: a quartersawn is the most efficient tool for processing maple lumber, while using a simple flatsaw could damage the pattern. Moreover, the real beauty of a great curly maple veneer can be seen without any special finish. A penetrating oil finish is usually enough to bring out the chatoyance though some prefer to use a dye stain to further enhance the grain.

Curly Maple is commonly used for luxury furniture, kitchen millwork and cabinets, doors, tables tops, Interior Design panels, decorative boxes and for the creation of musical instruments, such as violins and guitars.



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