WOOD ID POSTER:
co-created by, and sponsored by, HobbitHouse


240 woods on a poster (24"x36")


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MAPLE, AMBROSIA

Acer app.

Acer spp. of the family Aceraceae. Native to North America.

"Ambrosia" is a term applied to maple when it has been infested by the ambrosia beetle. I do not know for sure if it is limited to any particular ones of the 60+ species of the genus Acer that are sold as various types of maple, but I do know that it occurs in big-leaf (aka red) maple (Acer rubrum) and that it is often listed as "wormy soft maple" (and A. rubrum is one of the two main maples listed as "soft maple", the other one being A. saccharinum) so generally I would expect ambrosia maple to be A. rubrum or A. saccharinum, but I doubt it is limited to those two species.

The fungus is eaten by the beetle and then gets into the tree sap when the beetle eats into the tree, and it spreads both through the worm-hole and up and down in the tree (carried along by the sap) and causes discoloring of the wood in streaks. It is these streaks which are so desirable to woodturners as it produces a beautiful pattern in the wood which is clearly seen when the wood is turned on a lathe.

This kind of insect attack / wood figure is not limited to maple, but that is the wood in which it is most well known.

The number of beetle holes will vary from very few up to what looks like a major infestation, as you can see from the pics on this page.



my samples:


plank and closeup


some small planks cut from the big one directly above. Note that these appear more white, but that's just because the large plank had a mild patina and was a little dirty. These are freshly sanded.


side grain of the same planks


end grain of the 3 small planks directly above


end grain closeups of the pieces directly above


andother end grain closeup and the associated END GRAIN UPDATE


side grain closeups of the 3 planks above


planks shot at a lumber yard


misc planks photographed at lumber yards --- really big enlargements are present


veneer sheet and closeup sold to me as wormy red maple veneer


sold to me as wormy red maple veneer



web pics:


flat cut, quartersawn, and end grain


log ends --- the last pics is a closeup of one of the ones in the pic before it.


cookies


A pair of large ambrosia maple slabs with a closeup of each slab and a closer closeup of the one on the right


slab and closeup of the wet part


slab and a closeup moistened for the pic


moistened closeup of a slab


slab


a particularly clean ambrosia maple plank and a closeup


planks


curly maple that has the ambrosia markings


bookmatched planks not identified as curly, but they clearly are


bookmatched planks listed as ambrosia soft maple


plank listed as wormy maple, which is actually a misnomer. Wormy maple is maple that has worm tracks in it. This is ambrosia maple, which has holes made by the ambrosia beetle.


slabs


turning blanks that I belive have been moistened or waxed --- at any rate, this is not the natural color of the wood, which is likely to be much less orange/golden


bowl blanks with some particularly dark streaks


bowl blanks


pen blanks that I believe have been moistened in some way --- these were listed as ambrosia, but I don't see it; I think they are spalted and the vendor is confused.



bowl blank (two views) that is listed as spalted although the spalting is quite weak, especially by the standards of maple, which spalts quite impressively


spalted ambrosia maple plank


bowl blank


bowl blank from curly maple that has the ambrosia markings ... very neat


turning blocks


turning stock


turning block with color that is not believeable --- could be due to a wax coating


veneer listed as curly wormy maple


listed as curly, but I can't see a hint of curl from this pic and the color is not believable


veneer listed as wormy red maple


veneer


veneer listed as wormy maple


curly maple with ambrosia markings


listed as figured ambrosia but doesn't even look like ambrosia of any kind to me, just a crappy spalt (but it IS curly)


bookmatched curly planks and closeup --- I find the orange color highly dubious but cannot say for sure that is has to be false.




door made from ambrosia maple
speaker encloser and a closeup of the rear of the left speaker --- this appears to be ambrosia planks, not veneer


belt buckle made from curly ambrosia maple


various bowls --- ambrosia maple is a favorite of turners because of the striking results such as these


a very nice wood find for the owner ... bowl of wood that is both curly and ambrosia


top and bottom of a bowl that is particularly heavy in streaks


hollow form and platter


vases


ambrosia maple vase that I shot at a craft show --- HUGE enlargments are present