View Full Version : How to cut curly Maple

Burl Source
05-21-2012, 02:22 PM
Yesterday I was walking from my office to my cutting area.
I glanced over and noticed this piece of wood that was being used as a piece of landscape decoration.
Not sure why I never noticed it before. It has been right outside my door for at least a year.


When you look closer you see a ridged surface. That is what you see on the exterior of a piece of wood that will have curly figure.
This piece also has a zig zag grain pattern which is an indicator that there will be good figure on all surfaces.


Here I cut a strip trying to follow the grain as closely as possible.


The cut surface that is at a right angle to the exterior surface of the wood is the quarter sawn surface.
That is what shows the curly figure best as well as the small flecks in the wood.


The cut surface that is parallel to the exterior surface of the wood is the flat sawn surface.
Normally that surface does not show as dramatic figure. But the zig zag grain caused the flat sawn surface to have good figure as well.


This wood is not for sale. It will be several months before it will be ready to get stabilized. I just wanted to give an idea how to cut curly wood.

I have also heard a lot of people ask how the make the curly figure stand out in the wood.
You can force lightly figured wood to make a better showing with brown leather dye.
But......if it is a really good figured piece, it stands out on it's own.
This piece was just sanded to 120 grit and sprayed with a light coat of lacquer. When it is sanded finer the intensity of the figure will multiply.

05-21-2012, 02:27 PM
That's really cool, Mark!

Dave Martell
05-24-2012, 12:24 PM
Thanks for posting this Mark, I love these threads you do. :thumbsup:

Eamon Burke
05-24-2012, 01:13 PM
This, to me, is the thing that makes your woods the woods to buy. But try explaining it to any layman. :dazed:

Burl Source
07-22-2012, 04:43 PM
The color in this wood was kind of bland,
but the figure was really good.
So.......I had it dyed blue and then stabilized.