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Forum topic by Yonak posted 12-21-2014 07:59 PM 712 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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979 posts in 940 days

12-21-2014 07:59 PM

Hi Alll,

I m new to this site, the wife of a woodworker, and not quite sure yet how to navigate.:

I m searching for burled silver maple cutoffs with which to surprise my husband. He is new to wood turning, and has gotten into making pens! However, burled silver maple is his favorite, and he can t seem to find any. I m wondering where I might find some in the DuPage County, IL area (Western Chicago suburbs.) It seems to take such little pieces to make a pen, I m not sure why it s so hard to find an old peice of wood!! :-) Thanks for any ideas, advice or offers!

Merry Christmas to all!

- jmpurchase22

jm, silver maple is one of the maple sub-species collectively referred to as “soft maple”, including red maple, long leaf maple, box elder, and striped maple. Silver maple usually isn’t specifically identified. This is one reason you may be having a hard time finding it. Also, burl is highly prized and, often, even small pieces are hung onto by woodworkers.

I would suggest simply looking for maple burl and not trying refine your search more than that. Many woodworking stores and on line sources carry pen blanks and, often, they are maple burl. I believe you would have much better luck looking for pen blanks rather than cut offs with such specific species criteria.

3 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1771 days

#1 posted 12-21-2014 08:30 PM

Don’t overlook bigleaf maple, it has similar characteristics as silver maple and may be more available.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jmpurchase22's profile


3 posts in 672 days

#2 posted 12-21-2014 10:06 PM

Dear Yonak and Bondo Gaposis,

Thanks so very much for your replies! I have already learned so much from you guys! (Box elder is a soft maple?! I can’t believe it! One of my favorite possessions is a box elder bowl!) And I never knew about big leaf maple! Okay…. I won’t be as specific in my search for burled maple. I know a maple leaf when I see one, and I love the birdseye maple treasure box my husband made for me in order to lure me into marriage lo” so many years ago :-) ...but I’m determined to learn lots more!!

Again…many thanks to you guys….I’ll continue my treasure hunt….

Merry Christmas!


View Yonak's profile


979 posts in 940 days

#3 posted 12-22-2014 04:59 AM

Don t overlook bigleaf maple, it has similar characteristics as silver maple and may be more available.

- bondogaposis

Yes, you’re right, Bondo. I meant bigleaf not long leaf. (I guess I was thinking long leaf pine.) Thanks for the correction.

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