Goby stocks a large selection of Figured Maple including Curly Maple, Quilted Maple, Birsdeye Maple, Tiger Maple, and Spalted Maple. The primary species we carry is Pacific Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) and is found in the Pacific Northwest. Pacific Big Leaf Maple is also known as Oregon Maple. For centuries, Figured Maple has been sought after for its beauty and authentic qualities. Figured Maple means that the Maple hardwood contains a design, a pattern, or a destinctive mark on its surface.
Many studies have been done to try and determine why Maple and other hardwoods get these unique figures. Figures are a result of change in grain, texture, color and luster. After all these studies, it is still largely unknown how Figured Maple originates. They don't know if it is due to climate, soil, wind, or other anomolies that occur in nature. But one fact remains - many wood workers and instrument makers seek Figured Maple as a primary wood for making furniture such as dressers, bookshelves, and jewelry boxes for example. And the Luthiers (instrument makers) consider Figured Maple to be a perfect wood for the creation of their acoustic guitars, electric guitars, arch bass guitars, violins and mandolins.
Curly Maple is also known as Fiddleback Maple, Flame Maple, Tiger Maple, and Tigerstripe Maple. In the US, most use the term Fiddleback Maple and Curly Maple interchangably. The true difference is that Fiddleback Maple has more wavy lines per inch than the Curly Maple. These waves turn from dark to light and take sharp turns which cause a natural distortion to the eye. It makes the wood look alive when it is moved or viewed at a slightly different angle because of the differential light reflection or refraction that is caused by the stripes (it causes a natural illusion to the eye). Curly Maple is considered one of the world's most beautiful hardwoods and is sought after by wood aficianados around the world. Considering the time and effort that goes into creating a special piece of furniture or that highly prized stringed instrument that will last a lifetime, it is often worth the cost to purchase the best material for the job and you won't go wrong if you choose Curly Maple as your wood of choice for those special projects.
"Quilted" refers to a type of figured maple. The lumber must be flat sawn to produce the quilted figure found in Quilted Maple. The flat-sawn tangential plane produces a wavy effect similar to that of rippling water. The quilted effect is due to a distortion of the grain pattern itself. Many luthiers prefer Quilted Maple over other figured maples because of the deep wave effect it takes on after finishing the wood. Quilted Maple is quite the eye catcher and more pronounced usually than the Curly Maples (Curly Maple is a little more subtle while the quilted variation gives a real pop to the design). Quilted Maple is another figured maple that is highly sought after by luthiers and furniture makers all around the world.
Figured Maple as a Tonewood
Figured Maple (Curly Maple, Quilted Maple, Birsdeye Maple, Tiger Maple, and Spalted Maple) is considered a high quality tonewood (a wood that carries sound waves well). It is used in many musical instruments. Because Maple is denser than Mahogany it carries sound waves even better than Mahogany (another tonewood used in manufacturing instruments). It is said that the denseness of the Maple gives it a brighter sound than other hardwoods.
Many Luthiers use Figured Maple in the creation of their wooden instruments such as guitars, violins, cellos, double basses, and many other wooden instruments are made of Figured Maple Hardwood or have Maple Hardwood somewhere in the instrument.
Maple Hardwood is often used in Electric Guitar necks while the Figured Maple is sometimes reserved for the guitar body tops.
Figured Maple including Curly Maple, and Quilted Maple
In addition to our had picked figured maple boards which include Curly Maple, Quilted Maple, Birsdeye Maple, Tiger Maple, and Spalted Maple we also sell maple lumber in bulk. All of our Maple Lumber is Kiln Dried. We have the following Maple Lumber for sale in 1&2 Common and Select Grades which include A, AA, AAA, AAAA, AAAAA:
- 4/4 Select, 1&2 Common
- 5/4 Select, 1&2 Common
- 6/4 Select, Common
- 8/4 Select, 1&2 Common
- 12/4 Select, Common
- Burl Maple by the lb
- Figured Maple Shorts
- Clear Maple Shorts
Maple Lumber Pricing: please see our Price Sheet for further pricing details.