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Author Topic: Figure in Maple?  (Read 4566 times)

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Offline Gary_C

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Figure in Maple?
« on: January 01, 2007, 09:37:53 PM »
I have been cutting a large job that had hard maple sawlogs and over 400 cords of maple pulp. The hard maple in Minnesota is not considered good quality and this job had a lot of junk trees. So I have been watching closely trying to identify logs with figured wood. I did read the booklet about identifying birdseye in maple and I think that I do have some in certain logs, but I have not sawed any yet, so I do not know for sure yet.

Some weeks ago I had a load of pulp ready but the large hollow log in the lower part of the bunk was too long and I had to cut some off. Please excuse the blur in the pictures as my camera needs some repair.



So I cut off about 4 inches and this is the piece.



When I cut the piece off, it split into two pieces.



I was shocked to see what I believe is a quilted figure in that log.

No, I did not unload that bunk to save that log and it is now just fiber in some paper somewhere.

Now I wonder just how much other figured maple that I sent to the chipper. :(

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2007, 09:58:03 PM »
Gary, if your looking for your own use you can find some gems in old stands of maple. If looking to sell, then hard maple has to be almost veneer quality except for the figure. Small heart, clear faces and such.

Keep in mind to, that often tiger grain, or curly grain and similar are often only near the stump end and may only go up four feet and peter out. Birds eye can be on one side or all sides and it might only be in the sapwood. You should easily see birds eye, just in the bark. Curly, you might find if you see a spiral seem in the log. Often it's a ripple effect and can only be seen with the bark removed. As you probably know, heartwood in hard maple is not stable, it moves, warps and splits. The big old ones I check for birds eye are the ones with a big lean and on North slopes.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2007, 10:03:20 PM »
Gary, wonder why MN hard maple is junk? Can't be any worst than here and they buy is from all over. But, I will say our hardwood is 75 % pulp or more. That's why it's so hard not to high grade it.  ::)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2007, 10:22:14 PM »
So, I wonder how pen turners would like that kind of grain? 

I don't run into too much hard maple.  I do get some curly soft maple, and I can usually spot it before it comes into the mill.  The curl seems to be on logs that look real bumpy.  The more bumps, the more curl.  I have a pile of curly Ambrosia maple that would normally go to the pallet company.  Ambrosia maple is also known as wormy maple and most soft maple goes as WHAD - worm hole a defect.  They don't like the stripes either.

Even if you have just short pieces, those guys on eBay would suck it up.  It might be worthwhile to see what you have by opening a few of them up.   
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Offline Daren

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2007, 10:27:22 PM »

Now I wonder just how much other figured maple that I sent to the chipper. :(


It happens, and plenty of figured wood gets split for firewood, made into pallets or worse yet piled up and burned just to clear a lot. Looks like you had the eye to save a little anyway. Can't really cry over spilt milk now, but I would for sure keep your eyes open for more of the same. I am a figured wood vulture, I just have a thing for it. Even that little piece of hollow tree tickles me when I come across them, they make great turning stock. I you are looking to sell, those hollow logs don't bring much per ton  :D, but cut into turning blanks they do abit better. A pen blank (3/4 x 4 1/2) like that will sell for $1.00, on average there are 10 blanks per pound. I guess you can do the math from there  :P. Don't know how much interest you have in that kinda market, there is some labor involved, but the market is there . Keep your eyes open and don't send any more to the pulp mill if you can help it.

I have tried to post 3 times, but the others have beat me to it... what we said.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2007, 10:32:57 PM »
Ron, I notice the bumps or ripples in the red maple as well, but not always. There is usually a piece of bark scuffed off that reveals the curl. Rock (hard) sugar maple curl is not as common as in red maple up here. We even get birds eye in yellow birch, but not real common. First I seen it was someone's firewood.  ::)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2007, 10:35:59 PM »
SD

I do not get a choice in trees, this was a MN DNR marked thinning job in the state forest.

There are two reasons for the junk tree label. I am told this land was pastured many many years ago before it was tax forfeted to the state. Hence there were many large poor quality trees. The second reason is general to northern MN in that most of the maple has large brown hearts. When you get north of Duluth, they will not even consider looking for any sawlogs, it is all considered pulp.

This is my stack of potential sawlogs.



This is the remaining pulp stack with the ones in front needing more trimming.




Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline farmerdoug

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2007, 10:49:02 PM »
Gary,

What is that white stuff in the pics? ???

The ground looks frozen abd no mud.  You lucky devil. :)

Farmerdoug
Doug
Truck Farmer/Greenhouse grower
2001 LT40HDD42 Super with Command Control and AccuSet, 42 hp Kubota diesel
Fargo, MI

Offline Daren

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2007, 10:52:06 PM »
Looks like like you have a decent pile to look through. :o Saw 6" off the end of the ones that look "different" and split them with an ax/maul. If they have curl, pull them off to the side. It's worth a couple hours to see if you have a $2000 log there, if not no biggy. If so, good for you. Especially if you have more than one.  8) I am betting with that many maples in a pile there is a goody, having seen your first post. $$$ in logs is not always nice flat/wide/clear lumber. I have made more money in the wood business with funky/odd grained little pieces. A guy can have both, sell the clear lumber for $2-$5 bft... and the funky for $20+.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2007, 11:02:48 PM »
farmerdoug

That white is foreign to us too, at least this year. I took the last two pictures about noon today. At noon yesterday it was raining steady and there was water running across that landing. We got about an inch of rain before it turned cold last night and we got an inch or two of that white stuff. It was back up to 38 deg today and it was melting already.   8)
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline WDH

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2007, 12:16:04 AM »
I am intrigued by the curly and quilted figure in maple.  Does that pattern occur in red maple in the Southern US?  Ae the bumps on the log the best indicator?  I want some!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2007, 05:54:31 AM »
Bumps don't always mean that there is curl.  But ones without bumps probably won't give you curl.  I usually find the best figured wood in the big uglies.

Depending on how big of piece of wood you want, there is curl in other species.  Curl usually turns up around a crotch.  I have some in walnut that looks like it will turn out pretty good.  I've also seen it in birch (black birch in my area), white oak, red oak and a little in ash. 

Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Daren

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2007, 06:21:45 AM »
  Does that pattern occur in red maple in the Southern US? 

It does in Illinois, look at the picture under my name, that is a curly red maple.
This is the lumber that came from it.



This is what it looked like with the bark off (it's a 3-way crotch I couldn't get on the mill, so I let it spalt and cut it up with the chainsaw) real bumpy.



But like Ron said, you can get small pieces around limbs and crotches. I dug this out of a guys firewood pile. A chunk of sugar maple from under a big limb.





Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

Offline WDH

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2007, 09:47:50 AM »
OK.  Now I am on the hunt for really ugly maple logs.....I cut about 1000 BF over the holidays, but the logs were too pretty......
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Offline oakiemac

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2007, 07:56:56 PM »
Gary all that maple looks like junk to me. you need to send all that stuff down here to southern MI. I'll take it off your hands and won't even charge you. ;D
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2007, 12:01:42 AM »
oakiemac, you sound like the log buyer for the large sawmill when he offered me practically nothing for this maple. Just after that he paid about 50 % more than he offered me for some similiar maple STUMPAGE.  ::)

Plus he expected me to deliver it to him.  :)

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Offline WDH

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2007, 12:50:58 AM »
Don't let Arkansawyer find out about this...................As good as ole Arkansawyer is about offering to help people out by taking worthless wood, he will want to relieve you of this problem too.  ;D
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Offline Engineer

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2007, 05:05:13 PM »
I just built stair treads for my house from hard maple, all local wood.  Some curly, some birdseye, some both, and also a bit of spalt and mineral streaking in the curly bits.  I will have to get some pictures.  Even one or two boards out of a log with that much curl will make it worth sawing.

Offline turningfool

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Re: Figure in Maple?
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2007, 12:42:04 PM »
gorgeous figure in those maples guys..keep the pics coming


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