would you build your workbench base out of curly maple?

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Forum topic by martin007 posted 07-16-2008 03:21 AM 1665 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View martin007's profile


142 posts in 3980 days

07-16-2008 03:21 AM

Hi All

I started milling my 8/4 maple for the construction of the holtzapffel workbench. I was very suprised and quite baffled when I discovered that the lumber is all curly maple. I wonder If I should keep this wood for venering. If so I would have to build the base out of 4/4 lumber which would take some extra time. Is curly maple common or not?

the workbench project is posponed :0)

thanks for your comments

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

10 replies so far

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 4019 days

#1 posted 07-16-2008 03:27 AM

Not really common but I do find it in piles of Maple at my local hardwood supplier. Usually right after a new shipment (not picked through already)

-- Scott - Chico California

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 4100 days

#2 posted 07-16-2008 03:31 AM

Sure would be pretty.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View CelticDreamer's profile


35 posts in 3859 days

#3 posted 07-16-2008 01:09 PM

I guess my answer is a question – “why wouldn’t you use it?” If you have a project ready to be started and that is the wood you have available, go for it!

-- last night I played a blank tape at full volume - the mime next door went nuts!

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3971 days

#4 posted 07-16-2008 02:07 PM

You could always ship it to me and I will put it to good use. Curly Maple is one of my favorites. It certainly would make a beautiful bench.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4194 days

#5 posted 07-16-2008 02:39 PM

If you paid plane maple prices and got curly, you should display your find each and every day on the bench. It would remind you forever the role serendipity plays in woodworking or any other form of artistic expresion.

-- Jim

View JJackson's profile


104 posts in 4287 days

#6 posted 07-16-2008 06:46 PM


I read your story and I felt terrible on how you got cheated on your maple. I was so moved by the story I felt like I needed to help. Send me all that curly maple and I will send you back plain maple so your bench project can be started. Darn wood suppliers. I know, you are thinking what a great offer huh? : )

Build your bench out of curly maple. It will look amazing as long as you dye the maple to make it “pop”. Who knows, maybe the Lord just wanted you to have a curly maple bench?


-- Jeff, Indiana

View herc's profile


20 posts in 3808 days

#7 posted 07-16-2008 11:00 PM

Hi Martin-

Curly maple would make a lovely workbench base. However, it is most likely soft curl from red maple (acer rudrum). If it is nice curl I would save it for another project and buy hard maple for the bench base. I built a 7’ bench out of birdseye and I reallly like it. Birdseye is an anomoly found in hard maple (acer saccharum) and is more resistant to denting and fracture than soft maple.

You may have hard curl altough hard curl is not nearly as common as soft curl. Whatever you use for your new workbench; I am sure it will last for generations to come.


-- Denny, Upper Michigan

View martin007's profile


142 posts in 3980 days

#8 posted 07-17-2008 02:36 AM

I think it is hard maple, but How can I tell? any distinct differences

-- Martin, Gatineau, Québec

View JerrySats's profile


237 posts in 3814 days

#9 posted 07-24-2008 02:45 AM

What ever wood you decide to build it out of post pictures of it . Curly Maple sure would look pretty.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3927 days

#10 posted 07-24-2008 03:15 AM

Go ahead, but whatever you do, don’t paint it!

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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