Hard Maples | Janka Hardness: 1450lbf
One of our favorite domestic wood, Hard Maples (Acer saccharum) is strong, has a smooth, even texture that finishes with a sheen and has a light cream color that is a great compliment to just about every other species of wood when laminated. Fast growing with a native range from Wisconsin to Maine, hard maple is one of the more sustainable domestic wood species, helping reduce the size of that carbon footprint. Though the clean, light hue is great alone, two figured versions of this wood is what really catches our eye.
Curly Maple—also known as Tiger or Flame Maple—is not actually a species of wood but a description of the figure and appearance. Occurring in both soft and hard maple species, we primarily use hard maple because of its strength, texture and color. Light in appearance with straight grain, the chatoyant appearance (the curly pattern) comes from a distortion in the fiber of the wood, creating a three-dimensional look. The curls can range from tight and compact, to spaced out and wide, with different levels of intensity—the closer to the edge of the tree, the more pronounced the curl will be. When finished, the extra fine texture of the maple allows for a brilliant luster and very unique look that really pops on our boards.
As in Curly Maple, Birdseye Maple is a distortion in the fiber of the wood resulting in small figures that resemble birds' eyes. Thought to be caused by unfavorable growing conditions, where the stunted tree attempts to grow new buds to capture sunlight, the birds' eye figure creates a swirling motion in the wood with a smooth texture that finishes with some of the most movement in any wood we use. Though beautiful, the more 'eyes' present, the weaker the wood becomes.