What kind of maple is this ?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by RayTorvalds, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Just wondering. Not because it matters when playing it, but because I love wood and I want to learn more about it.
    Have a good one everyone :cheers2:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
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  2. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    flamed, curly, tiger, figured maple. These are all terms for this type of wood. It could be soft maple or hard maple. It's hard to tell from this angle but it doesn't looked book matched to me, which means it was one piece at one point cut down the center and opened like a book. The grain pattern should be mirrored but because a lot of wood is carved out it is sometimes hard to tell. A lot of guitars use slip matched, which means it is cut from the same plank and just moved down and lined up. It's a very nice top for sure.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  3. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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    Thank you for your reply. So would that be eastern rock or western leaf ?
     
  4. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    It's probably not western big leaf maple. Western bigf leaf maple is more commonly associated with quilted maple, which is another type of figure. It could be eastern rock maple, which is sugar maple. Sugar maple is the only hard maple, Acer saccharum, the rest is soft. It's not really that soft though. Flame like that is more common in soft maple, like red maple. Before it is finished it's easier to tell the difference, sometimes. I find hard maple is very white, so if it has a slightly yellow tone it could be soft maple. Maple will turn yellow as it oxidizes or ages.

    Here is a piece of Norway maple which I cut from my neighbour's property that had a very nice figure in it.

    [​IMG]

    It was very heavy but is definitely considered soft maple. There are some maple trees that have very soft wood and are consider weed trees. Manitoba maple is in that category, in my area anyway. Sugar maple, I believe, is the only maple tree that makes maple syrup.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  5. Skyjerk

    Skyjerk Meatbomb Silver Supporter

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    It looks book matched to me. Look at how the patterns figure falls away from each other towards the rear at the backend of the guitar but become more straight towards the front end

    It would be very difficult to match that other than a book match IMO
     
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  6. fatdaddypreacher

    fatdaddypreacher V.I.P. Member

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    i think the scientific name is 'muchas purdiess' as in, dude that's nice!!
     
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  7. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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  8. ramaglia375

    ramaglia375 Premium Member

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    Yup.
    What kind of maple? A type known as the "gorgous" kind
    Very nice and congrats
     
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  9. Ripthorn

    Ripthorn Senior Member

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    Eastern hard maple has a distinctive grain to it, which that piece appears to have, if you can ignore the pretty figure and stain. Eastern maple is considered the standard for guitar tops, but western has a much higher percentage in which figuring is found. Eastern will almost never be quilt, but western frequently has flame figuring. I've got a good amount of it.
     
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  10. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ 'Eastern maple' is commonly used to describe 3 different species which have all been used.
     
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  11. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Acer Saccharum. And it is bookmatched. Acer is often not quartersawn, because it doesn't grow as large in diameter as western maple. If the wood is perfectly quarter sawn then you have exact symmetry in the grain pattern.
     
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  12. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Most of the maple I have cut has had darker heart wood. I believe this to be typical and the whiter sap wood is more sought after in Maple, which is generally opposite to other woods where the heart wood is the better or more desireable wood, like black walnut for instance. Although the really big maple trees I have cut down have all been either distressed or dying trees, so that may have something to do with it.

    Cheers Peter.
     
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  13. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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    Thank you all for your replies. I love learning about this. :cheers2:
     
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  14. RayTorvalds

    RayTorvalds Senior Member

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    Wow, that looks like one lovely piece of maple !
     
  15. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    I have had a bit of flame maple from 2 different sources and I'd pretty much guarantee they are different trees. The general look is too different for them to be the same species.
     
  16. Jackangus

    Jackangus Senior Member

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    You guys are gods, when it comes to wood and all things guitar.
    How do I get there?
     
  17. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    Figure in wood is not related to a specific species. Nobody really knows why a wood becomes figured but it is not a genetic characteristic. I think the popular belief is that it is some sort of stressor to the tree. I have seen "curly" or "flame" in lots of different types of trees. Curly walnut, curly redwood, curly mahogany etc etc Thinking about it now I have not seen curly pine, but I'm sure it exists. ;-)

    Cheers Peter.
     
  18. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    ^ Yep, thats the precise reason why just saying 'its flamed in x way, so therefore its this species' is not the right leap to make.
     
  19. pshupe

    pshupe Senior Member

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    IMHO I don't believe that to be a correct statement. I believe someone with the right amount of experience can look at the flame of a top and say definitively that it "is" a certain species. That person is not me. Similarly to someone who can look at a guitar and say it's not a real burst instantly. Again that person is not me, some I can. It becomes a subconscious maybe intuitive ability. It's almost a feeling. I can look at a piece of maple for instance and say it has the ear marks of a certain species and I do not have that much experience. So taking that to a whole other level would not be that surprising.

    I have a friend that is a sommelier and she can tell you where the wine came from, sometimes just from the look and smell.

    Regards Peter.
     
  20. Open_Book

    Open_Book Senior Member

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    What wood is this?

    [​IMG]
     
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