Ever See This Type of Maple Grain/Pattern/Figure?

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Forum topic by SeaWitch posted 11-11-2011 06:24 AM 1682 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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149 posts in 1812 days

11-11-2011 06:24 AM

I had someone mill some big leaf maple for me today. They were some leftover pieces from when we cut down some trees. Pieces that were like 2.5’ diameter and 3’ long. Found some odd things:

Dark brown inside? (it’s not punky, just dark). And see the “sunrise” on top?

How odd is this?

There was some nice stuff too:

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

7 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2492 days

#1 posted 11-11-2011 03:40 PM

At the top of the first picture you have some burl.

Here is what I did with a couple pieces of maple burl that I had.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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13524 posts in 2759 days

#2 posted 11-11-2011 03:51 PM

#1 – burl #2 – early spalted (ambrosia) #3 – crotch

that is my quess

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2111 days

#3 posted 11-11-2011 03:58 PM

OMG, Rich’s big clock from the back is knee wobbling. I love the depth on the “sunrise” portion. What did you cut that with? The cut is very nice. I’m jealous.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 11-11-2011 05:58 PM

The top is color spalted, the sunrise is a rotton part. I can’t see any burl, but it may just be my screen. The second is pretty spalted, it will probably be somewhat soft so care will be needed, maybe even some hardener. The third is from a part of the tree that had 2 trunks next to each other that grew together, making unusual wood. I have about 4 tons of wood like that, it’s nice stuff.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View marcbousquet's profile


18 posts in 1833 days

#5 posted 11-13-2011 07:12 AM

The 2nd part is definately spalted. I have some pieces from some sections trees that we had cut down in my backyard so that they wouldn’t fall down when we put a fence up. Of course most of the sections I have are short pieces (maybe 12”) that came from small diameter logs I could saw on my bandsaw. I forgot to seal them so I ended up on some pieces losing maybe 25% from massive checking but drying in my basement cellar since april has them coming out nice once milled. I figured they would be stuff for small projects and I’m most likely going to turn most of the stock into pens at some point. I know what I have is maple but what type I have no clue and to be honest it isn’t really what I would consider furniture quality as my family refers to it as “swamp maple” as that’s where it comes from and most of the trees maybe hit 6”-12” in diameter and then die, mostly from the ground being like a swamp or bog and rotting the roots if not the whole tree.

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3155 days

#6 posted 11-13-2011 07:38 AM

All 3 types you have shown are very common in Big Leaf Maple. I once had a little over 12,000 Bf of Big Leaf and I can assure you it varies a lot. The pieces you have are all usable. You need to coat the ends with a heavy coat of sealer and make sure you sticker them flat. Or stand them vertical for air drying. I prefer air drying this type of wood because it really has a unique shimmer when later used.

Big Leaf Maple seems to have a tendency to pull up minerals into the tree while growing. This is one of the reasons why this type of maple varies so much in color.

I have some boards in quilted maple that are dark in the middle as well as a whole stack of quilted maple veneer that is the same way. I consider it special wood for special projects.

Enjoy it and use it.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View EPJartisan's profile


1116 posts in 2543 days

#7 posted 11-15-2011 07:13 PM

The only time I have seen this is when a tree survives a major forest fire. maple trees are full of sugars and intense fires actually caramelize the cells. IF the tree lives on, the heartwood is more susceptible to fungal growth causing splating. If this is the case with your tree the burl could be how the cambium layer deal with the damage. If I have time I can show you some pieces I have that match these. But then all mine are from silver and red maple trees.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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