Curly Maple Lumber PRO TIPS for Woodworking

Curly Maple Lumber PRO TIPS for Woodworking

It’s time we gave you everything you need to know about building woodworking projects with curly maple. How to choose boards, what to be aware of as you cut it and work it, and how to give it its best finish in your project. HERE WE GO

00:00 Snazzy tunes
00:15 Why Is Curly Maple Special?
01:39 What About Oother Names?
03:15 How to Select Boards
04:00 Tips for Working with it
06:00 Best Finishes for Curly Maple
09:21 Benefits of Dye
11:08 Any questions?
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  1. Aaron Drossart on July 3, 2023 at 1:57 pm

    my drum sander gets a workout whenever I get anything that has any wild figure. the best(unfortunately expensive) tool for the job

  2. Moore Doing on July 3, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    I have yet to see a dyed piece of wood that looks better than natural. It’s a subjective opinion but that dyed piece at the end looks cheap and not attractive at all.

  3. Kranium31 on July 3, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    If you don’t have a card plain will you have the same results with a draw knife?

  4. Kieth Biasillo on July 3, 2023 at 2:00 pm

    What are you mixing 50/50 into that stain at the end. Mineral spirits?

  5. Scott Man60 on July 3, 2023 at 2:06 pm

    Mark great vid as usual, I need some 6/4 figured maple but I didn’t see any on your website?

  6. g1mpster on July 3, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    I found that Danish Oil really brought out the chatoyance of the wood when I was finishing a coat rack made from curly Maple.

  7. Hal Schmerer on July 3, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Super video, Mark as always. I like the shimmer that you get with curly maple when you use as little color as possible so I first apply the dewaxed shellac, then finish up with General Finishes H-performance semi-gloss. What do you think of this water based topcoat for the curly maple?

  8. Makin Newcounts on July 3, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    You blue eyed folks always trip me out. Like dude i get it, you are some kind of wise earthly strength but quit looking at me so intensely will ya?

  9. Dario Del Frate on July 3, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Great educational video! Thank you !!!!

  10. TJ Slick on July 3, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Why is it that your website tries to sell me twice the board feet when ordering a piece of wood by size? 1" x 9.5" x 2’6" is only 1.979 board feet but your site tries to sell me 4 board feet! What gives?

  11. lu jojo on July 3, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Great lesson. Thanks a lot.

  12. Karl Alan on July 3, 2023 at 2:18 pm

    Another finish i like to do for highly figured woods (although not cheap) is painting on a light coat of epoxy resin with a foam brush. It really makes the figure pop and because it is a thicker film finish, it adds some visual depth to the curl too.

    I found this out when I had a little left in a bottle of tabletop resin and decided to paint it on a piece I had just finished for the next project.

  13. William Golsan on July 3, 2023 at 2:22 pm

    Hey I just finished a project with curly maple and I’m looking for a lighter brown dye. As well as what should I do to get the wood feeling more shiny and soft feeling. Any suggestions? Thanks

  14. Lane A on July 3, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    Watching all of your wood comparison videos – getting a custom table soon and they use ash wood for the whole table including the top. I love the look of it, but have been seeing oak it better for durability and better moisture resistance. Please give me some advice – I have little ones and this table will be used a bunch and I don’t want to have it get super ruined. Thank you 🙂 Happy holidays!

  15. Jim Bryant on July 3, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    Question on Card Scrapers: I have never used one or even looked at getting one, but it sounds like I might want to do so. Are they all pretty much the same or is there a brand or two you would recommend? Thanks!

  16. sal35plus on July 3, 2023 at 2:25 pm

    First!! Love your videos, thanks for all the insight

  17. Rick Bratto on July 3, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    I always learn so much information from your video work! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Fiddleback… I never knew “why” it had that name. Have a really nice Thanksgiving! Detroit says hi.

  18. James Mason on July 3, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    What would be the best way to get that shiny red finish that is on the back of the violin at 3:05?

  19. Pancua on July 3, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    I really love your videos. Thank you so much. I really want to start moving into hardwoods and these make it a little less intimidating.

  20. Miller Custom Guitars on July 3, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    I love how you always keep us guitar-minded folk in mind

  21. Metalbass10000 on July 3, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    In modern guitar/bass building circles the terms, Quilt, Flame, Curly, Tiger Stripe, and Fiddle Back, describe certain very specific figuring patterns. According to one of my suppliers here in WI, we have become confused regarding three of the terms, most specifically Flame Maple, which was named because it resembled flames at a camp fire. It’s a figuring patterns that is closer to Quilted Maple, but longer line segments. Yet, somehow today it seems accepted by many that Flame Maple has narrow, and quite straight figuring, which I agree with you,, that’s Fiddleback Maple.. I’d tend to take my supplier’s word on it, and your view, just sounds more logical, almost obvious. Plus, he’s the fifth generation to own this family business, with all five generations carrying Figured Maple varieties from WI, MI, and Canada.

    His desk, made from several pieces of various Figured Maple varieties, was the first thing made for the business during its first year of operation, as a gift from the son-in-law to his father-in-law, the founder of the business (the business was passed to the founder’s two sons, though the son-in-law was eventually made a part owner as well). That desk is one of the most beautiful examples of fine woodworking I have ever seen in my life, it’s absolutely stunning.

  22. Darryl Crum on July 3, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    I just bought nine board feet (1"" X 12" X 9′). After watching this, I am wondering why I bought it. Neither my skills nor my woodshop can do the board justice. But thank you so much for this video. Whatever I end up with, I will at least know what mistakes are possible and probable and will try to avoid them.

  23. Metalbass10000 on July 3, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    One tip for jointing/planing highly figured woods of any type, using sharp helical carbide inserted cutter heads DO work significantly better. Far less chip out (I almost never get any chip out), far less waste, far smoother finish (less time cutting, less time sanding). A sharper, more positive rake angle, taking light cuts, no matter the cutter type, also helps.

  24. dbreardon on July 3, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    Would you use something like the dewaxed shellac (prestain conditioner) on curly maple, lightly sand it down and then use a dye on the wood to even out the dye? Or would the shellac tend to decrease dye uptake into the curly part of the maple?

  25. Robert Hahn on July 3, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    I’m a bit confused about your advice on hand planing. You mentioned that we should use a 50° bevel to reduce tear out, but you also recommend planing on an angle, which has the effect of reducing the effective angle of the blade to the wood, in the direction of the plane’s movement. So how is doing that better than keeping the plane bevel at 45° and planing with the grain, not at an angle?

  26. david lanier on July 3, 2023 at 2:37 pm

    I’m a drumner that wants to learn to build and finish my own drums. I want to dye mostly maple shells in a sunburst or faded color and add a top coat. Do I need a spray gun to do sunbust or fades? What is the best place to buy my finishing supplies?

  27. Joe M on July 3, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Really nicely done video and presentation bout curly maple. It’s all in the compression.
    Shellac is awesome, so versatile, especially when top coating with water based products.
    (nice lil rhythm guitar thing at the end)

  28. marcus cicero on July 3, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Doucette Furniture on Youtube works with this stuff with stunning results

  29. Brian Leabo on July 3, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    Ok I have a late 1920’s Colt 1911 hand ingraved . The box it came with is well about gone . So I want to make a display box for it that is really interesting . So any help on wood that I can pick up at the North Phoenix store would be great. Now I like to have a light dark wood mixed in with a light color wood

  30. grade8doublenut on July 3, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    not bad for low grade maple

  31. Scott Wiggins on July 3, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    I know the video is 2 years old Mark but you had exactly the answer I was looking for when it comes to finishes. I’m going to be making some keepsake boxes in the future and some of them will be walnut and curly maple. I was planning on dewaxed shellac for the finish and wasn’t 100% sure about using spray lacquer over top of it. I definitely will get a few more cans of Watco lacquer to use on them as well after watching this.

  32. Brad Alden on July 3, 2023 at 2:42 pm

    I’m using curly maple to accent a project I’m making for a Christmas gift, so this video hit at a perfect time! Great info, especially the tip to run it through the planer at an angle.

  33. James K on July 3, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Such a great and timely video! I just picked up a length of curly maple to make some gifts and have been eyeballing those dyes I bought a while ago. For bright, saturated dye colors like blue, purple, or red, I recommend checking out the videos done by people refinishing guitars. Curly maple seems to be the perfect wood for dye.

  34. Vivian Covington on July 3, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    It’s like hanging with a knowledgeable neighbor. Nice 😊

  35. Jeffrey Cunningtown on July 3, 2023 at 2:44 pm

    My adventure with woodworking started with Woodglut.

  36. Nelis on July 3, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    A torrent of knowledge as always, thanks for sharing!

  37. T K on July 3, 2023 at 2:47 pm

    I realize that this video is 2 years old but I’ve only now just come across it and am working with curly maple building small speaker cabinets. I was looking at finishing using shellac as you suggested but then came across Osmo PolyX and decide to use that instead. The finish is amazing and is slightly lighter than shellac and really easy to apply.

  38. Joey M. Delgado on July 3, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    Great information. Question: dye first, then shellac then clear finish? Is that the right order? To clarify, I want to use shellac as that’s what I have on hand but also want to try some color. Thanks in advance.

  39. robboster on July 3, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t actually work with wood much but I love the videos Mark!


  40. Mikey Gee on July 3, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    Love the channel guys. I always look forward to and enjoy what you are going to show. And the quality is top notch these days! Great host too!

  41. Don Esry on July 3, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Hey Mark, thank you for the video. I always benefit from your videos. I built a couple of boxes last year with curly maple and I was really pleased with how they turned out. The wood was spectacular and I finished it with general finishes water based poly rather than arm-r-seal. Anyway, it was the first time I used it, I think it is called high performance, and I was really pleased to avoid the amber effect of oil. First question is does applying shellac and then oil keep out the amber? Also, I my second upcoming project is to build a box for crayons and coloring books. I want to use curly maple and I want to dye each face a different color, like crayons but I want to look like a guitars with that bright color and perfect finish. Do you have suggestions on making those bright colors? I expect that I will have to dye and top coat before cutting the dovetails but I have never any fancy coloring before. / I built two tables last year with walnut and I took your advise and dyed them first with brown walnut and then put on a coat dark walnut danish oil before several layers of arm-r-seal and they look amazing (and so far no signs of going blond)

  42. Jon Lanier on July 3, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    I have found that in older trees at the trunk… up to about 5-8 feet if the tree is twisting, you’ll just about always get curly wood.