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Stabilized Maple

Maple: genus Acer: Maple is a longtime favorite of many knife makers because it is incredibly easy to stabilize, work and dye. Maple can have an astounding variety of attributes, with some possessing significant curl, or “folds” that reflect light in unique ways, creating its iconic appearance. This is most often seen in quarter sawn pieces, “those cut radially to the grain” (often called figured). Bird’s eye comprises small circles in the grain resembling the eyes of a burl, though often they do not have the surrounding rings of grain normally found in burls. This almost only occurs in hard maple, while virtually all other types of figure are most prominent in soft maples. Tiger/flame and fiddleback maple both possess very tight curl patterns. Quilted maple has been described as having the appearance of rippling water that gives an overlapping, almost three-dimensional feel. The latter pattern is most often found in the big leaf maple of the Pacific West Coast and is best displayed when flat sawn. Maple also forms huge and sometimes extremely well figured burls. Some of my most unique offerings are sinker Burls. These are burls that have been underwater for many years and have thus formed an array of natural fungal colors. Workability, finishing and durability are excellent, with stabilization by K&G.