BunnyBass Library of Wood: Birdseye Maple

Birdseye maple (unfinished) - click here for a larger picture.

Birdseye Maple
In German: Vogelaugenahorn

Botanical names
Acer saccharum
Acer palmifolium
Acer saccharinum
Acer saccharophorum


Trading names
Birds eye maple, Vogelaugenahorn, Erable pique

Countries of origin
Maple tends to grow in the more Northerly regions of North America, Europe, and Asia.

70-120 feet high, 2-3 feet in diameter. Birdseye maple is typically Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) with the unsusual point-figure. Heartwood and sapwood are very similar. The sapwood is wide and nearly white. The Heartwood is pinkish, sometimes brown. Drying of birds eye maple is difficult because of a strong tendency to deform, color shift, and crack, but the wood does not degrade too much. The great density and fine and even structure gives the wood a very special resitance against wear. The irregular grain of this wood sometimes makes it hard to work with. Birdseye maple is similar in some ways to Japanese maple and rock maple - it is harder and up to 25% heavier than the nearly 100 different maple species.

In generel a medium weight wood
Weight by 15% huminity: 550 kg/cbm (968 pound/cubic yard)

(the above information from the reference monograph Nutzholzer: Aus Aller Welt by Edmondo Palutan)

As used in Guitar & Bass construction:

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Reference photographs:

...unfinished birdseye maple (print at 13.5x9mm for actual size).

...this 1976 Alembic has a pretty birdeye maple top with an amber tint finish on top.

...the variety and movement of the birdseye figure makes for a nice contrast to the understated simplicty of the satin black finish on this Kinal MK21.

...an unusual and stunning bass built by Ken Lawrence features a highly figured birdseye maple fingerboard with cocobolo block inlays.

...a closer look at the birdseye figure.

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