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MAPLE, BIGLEAF

Acer spp.


A NOTE ABOUT MAPLES IN THE USA



Acer spp. of the family Aceraceae. Generally Acer rubrum (more commonly called "red maple" rather than "bigleaf maple") or Acer macrophyllum (often called "Western maple" rather than "bigleaf maple", and in the US, often called Oregon maple or Oregon bigleaf maple). On this site, I have broken out Acer rubrum / "red maple" with its own page, because it is a widely used name and ONLY Acer rubrum is called that. Native to North America. It is possible that other species in the genus Acer are sold as bigleaf maple, but in the USA at least, it's generally one of these two and I don't know that they can even be told apart by the naked eye.

Some of the pics on this site were listed as Oregon bigleaf maple and Western bigleaf maple but I have not (usually) kept those designations.

The bigleaf maples are soft maples.

my samples:
NOTE: these pics were all taken in very bright incandescent lighting ("soft white" at 2700K)
colors will vary under other lighting conditions


sample plank and end grain, listed as Acer macrophyllum.


end grain closeup of the piece directly above (color is slightly too green)


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of blistered bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. The blister is so light as to be almost nonexistent.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of blistered bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. When looked at straight on, the blister does not show up at all; it's only evident when the piece is angeled considerably. You can see from the end grain how the undulations in the grain cause the pattern seen on the face.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above and also a side grain closeup, taken just 'cause it was a pretty-much quartersawn face with nice ray flakes


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR --- both faces of this sample have a light coat of clear paste wax
both sides of a sample plank of bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above and a side grain closeup of a quartersawn surface showing ray flakes


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR --- both faces of this sample have a light coat of clear paste wax
both sides of a sample plank of curly bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above and also a face grain closeup showing the ray flakes


both sides of a sample plank of fiddleback bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


curly bigleaf maple pic sent to me by Reid Schoonover, whom I thank. Reid tells me it has tung oil on it except for the whitish areas at the very left.


both sides and the end grain of a sample given to me as curly broadleaf maple


face grain closeup and HIGH GRIT END GRAIN CLOSEUP of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of burled bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


both sides of a sample plank of burled bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by David Clark whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


both sides of a sample plank of bigleaf maple burl / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site.


end grain and end grain closeup of the piece directly above


END GRAIN UPDATE from directly above


NOT A RAW WOOD COLOR --- both faces of this sample have a light coat of clear paste wax
both sides of a sample plank of bigleaf maple burl / Acer macrophyllum --- HUGE enlargements are present. This sample was loaned to me by Mark Peet whom I thank for this and other contributions to the site. I assume the difference in color is because the first side was freshly sanded before the paste wax was put on.


end grain of both ends of the piece directly above


a mix of figured veneers to show some color variety


curly veneer


crotch veneer


figured veneer


quilted veneer


burl veneer --- these are mostly burl clusters, and these sheets are not as strong a burl as is frequently found in bigleaf maple



The Wood Book pics


flat cut, quartersawn, end grain
bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum, also listed as Oregon maple, broad leaf maple and just "maple") from The Wood Book --- both levels of enlargement are available for each of the 3 views

web pics:


slab


slab with burls


plank and closeup


end grain and razor-cut end grain closeup of the piece directly above


planks


various planks, all from the same vendor and all listed as Oregon bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum and having varying degrees of figure


Oregon bigleaf maple, most with figure although none were so listed


quartersawn plank/slab


turning stock


burl turning stock


burl turning square


various pieces of curly bigleaf maple. Most of the curly maple on this site is on the curly maple page


planks, all from the same vendor and all listed as bigleaf maple. The last two were specifically listed as curly but they all look curly to me. One level of enlargement is present.


planks and turning stock from the same vendor and all listed as curly Western bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum


scales listed as "fiddleback" which is just flat dishonest. For maple, any reputable vendor would be embarrassed to even call these "curly", much less fiddleback, but this is from the BogusColorVendor, a company that does not limit their marketing hype just to misrepresented colors. To show exactly what I mean, I've put a pic of an ACTUAL piece of fiddleback next to it for comparison.


fiddleback planks


fiddleback veneer


figured --- note elements of curly, fiddleback, and mild quilting


curly


pics, submitted by a correspondent named Mark, of curly western bigleaf maple with a cluster burl and what appears to be mineral stain.



logs with burls. The first two were listed as bigleaf maple and big enlargements are present for them. The last two were listed as bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum and HUGE enlargements are present for them.


burls


burls listed as bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum


closeups of some slabs listed as bigleaf maple burl / Acer macrophyllum --- both levels of enlargement are present


burls listed as Oregon bigleaf maple


burl slabs --- the burls show more clearly in the enlargements


bigleaf maple burls all from the same lot --- both levels of enlargement are present.


spalted burl slabs listed as bigleaf maple --- both levels of enlargement are present and these are really cool looking


bigleaf maple burl pen blanks


quilted veneer listed as Oregon bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum --- the first pic is bookmatched


curly veneer


quilted ... note that most of the quilted bigleaf maple pics on this site are on the quilted maple page


quilted veneer


bookmatched burl veneer listed as Oregon bigleaf maple / Acer macrophyllum


burls --- this was not listed as veneer, but I believe it is --- all 3 of these pics are of the same sheets


figured veneer


spalted


advertised as spalted figured and I agree on the figured but I don't see much spalting (especailly for maple, which produces some stunning spalted wood --- see the "maple, spalted" page)


"coral figured" big leaf maple from the BogusColorVendor which means the colors are not to be believed


quilted bigleaf maple guitar back


burl pistol grips


bowls by Bryan Nelson (NelsonWood). Bryan fine-polishes his bowls with 1200 or even higher grit sandpaper while they are spinning at high speed on the lathe and then finishes them there with a friction polish of his own devising, thus achieving a shine and color vibrancy that is beautiful to behold.


bowls


quilted bigleaf maple bowls


quilted broadleaf maple platter and closeup


curly bigleaf maple bowls


fiddleback bigleaf maple bowls


curly and spalted bowl


bowl ... not listed as a burl but appears to be


bigleaf maple burl bowls