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Didn't Forrest Gump say "Curly is as curly does?"

It is all grain. But what it looks like is where the name comes from. Search for "Birds eye" whatever (maple) and you will see little dots that look like . . . wait for it. . . Birds eyes!

On DIY David Marks made a table out of "quilted" something a while back and after the finish it looked like satin had been draped over the top of the table. Really beautiful. ( By the way met him at a wood working club in Sacramento a while back. Great guy.)

Mostly the names are descriptions of what it looks like but you have to be careful because somethings they are "commercial" names or "brand" names for something and can be confusing. And the same piece of wood can be called many different things depending on who you are asking.

Hey! A 2 X 4 isn't 2" X 4" so what do you expect. :laughing::laughing::laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Curly Maple.I used to call the stripes figure and the "grain" curly because the "grain" is curly and the stripes aren't,DUH!But then I findout that the stripes are called curly.Ok,then what is the grain called.You can't call it curly because that's what the stripes are.Youcan't call it grain because they are both grain.SO WHAT IS IT CALLED!!:censored:
 

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Here's my guess when it comes to this stuff:

The direction of the wood fibers is the grain, the "figure" is the curly (or quilt, birdseye, etc.).

In other words, "figure" is that part of the grain which causes a plank of wood to go from $3/BF to $12/BF.

Go figure! :laughing:

On a similar note, here's a question I've been meaning to ask about purchase etiquette:

I have a mill nearby that stocks curly maple, but it's all rough sawn, of course... and obviously, each board varies in its curl. You can barely see it, but it's there, to varying degrees.

The mill will do an S2S for just a few bucks extra, which is worth it to me because I don't have a planer.

The problem for me is that I've discovered that it's a crapshoot. I've selected boards that I thought would be killer, only to find that that they're kind of plain and ho-hum after they've been planed.

And then one day, assuming I'd get more "ho-hum" and being in a hurry, I just grabbed a board simply because it was the length I was looking for. The guy planed it, and the mill literally shut down for the next 20 minutes because he had everyone else in the shop come over to see the killer curl that existed on this board. (and yeah, it was the best I've seen, outside of antiques).

So what's the rule on picking the best curl?

I thought about bringing in a rag and a bucket of water and wiping down each piece to try to enhance the curl to see its potential, though I don't know if that's kosher, or even if it'd help.

Otherwise, I'd need to get a number of boards planed down, and then pick and choose from there... but that won't work, I get the feeling that in this mill, once they plane it for you, you've bought it.

Would the water routine help pick the best curl? I think they'd be cool with that if I asked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
A water bottle a rag and a hand plane.Ask first,but they shouldn't have a problem with that.It's also easier to see the curl on the edge of the board.By the way,just incase anyone hasn't experienced it yet,planning and jointing curly maple is a pain in the butt with a fair amount of tearout.I was jointing some last night and it was jumping off the bed!:eek:Can you post a picture of that curly maple?Oh by the way,the curly,curly question is still out there.
 

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Stripes are flame or tiger. Quilt or curly look like bubbles and dots are birds eye...

Quilted...or curly...



Flamed...



...and birds eye.




All maple BTW. Hope that helps.
 

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Curly is the grain. It is rising and falling across the face of a flat sawn board, when it is cut it is a mixture of end grain and straight grain (and the transition between the 2, the waves).

Check out my gallery here or my website, there may be some pictures of curly woods ;). As far as not seeing it in rough sawn...I can see curly wood through the bark, I have sawed enough to know what to look for.
 

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You teased us all with that one before!!!:laughing:
I don't think I showed this here. Some rough sawn curly walnut (with water splashed on it) 12" wide, super curly...and not mine :huh:. I milled it for some guy, it was growing in his front yard and in the way of a new driveway.
Man did I ever want to keep that stack, 200 bft. I milled and kiln dried it for him for $150 ($.35 bft to mill, $.35 to dry) and off he was. The dude did not even know what he had, I tried to explain it to him. "So this is special?" he said :censored:. Yea it is special. I would not have sold it out of my sawmill shed if it was mine for less than $15 bft (it was truly killer, the picture sucks) That comes to about $3000, he paid $150 and it is stacked in his basement, he is not a woodworker, and really kind of a jerk so I did not offer to buy it.
 

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Of course you can have curl and birdseye. Here is a little bookmatch with curly heartwood and the sap is full of birdeyes.
 

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:eek: What's his address.....:shifty: I'LL convince him....
I will tell a little secret. I have a mental list I call "widow wood". I know where the real good stuff has gone I milled that I know guys just stuck up some place because they where afraid to use it, and to hard headed to sell it. (this may be sick/morbid). But I joke with them and say I will come haul it off for their widow once they croak.
 

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I hate you.....did you know that???:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :no: :no:
 

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I hate you.....did you know that???:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :no: :no:
You wouldn't if you lived closer, in fact I think we would get along chummy:laughing:. One more picture. The slabs that where in the desk and table pictures, they where 25" wide and 6'6" long, all highly figured. This picture is 1/4 (I had to cut the log in half for length, then rip it in 1/2 to make it fit the mill, 1/4 the log) 25% of the FULL 25" wide slabs, 13 in this picture, 50+ slabs all sawn into bookmatches from one tree. Of course there was another 300-400 bft of narrower stuff :huh:.
 

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I'm with C-Dog...! :laughing:


Makes me think of a Craigslist deal I ran into a few months ago...

This guy literally had about 600 BF of 35 year old birdseye maple that's been sitting in an old estate-sale garage... he wanted to trade for a used enclosed trailer.

I didn't have an enclosed trailer, but I could've procured one with half a day's worth of effort... for that matter, I could've given him the money to buy his own trailer....

Should'a, could'a, would'a... I dropped the ball, and look at me now.... ain't no Birdseye sitting around the house....

F Me, I LOST that game, but I learned, and I gotta laugh about it... :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Daren Daren Daren.Have you ever seen the movie Single White Female?Unfriggin' believable,that fig.walnut is amazing.Thanks! for the pictures you guys!:eek: :eek:
 

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Daren-That's just mean buddy, tortuous for those poor guys.

I just bought 900 feet of old growth, curled rock maple logs, 200 feet of birdseye and the logger threw in a big ol' burl he cut on the slasher while making logs. The weekend before, one of my other logger suppliers called me to come to the landing to check a log.

Flame birch. 20+ inches. Very grrrr......
 
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