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Maple – Ambrosia

Acer spp.
Also known as |
Ambrosia|Ambrosia Maple|Wormy Maple
Maple - Ambrosia Lumber @ Rare Woods USA

Ambrosia Maple is a general term attached to a variety of Acer (true maple) species whose boards included colorful bug “trails” — caused by a fungus carried by the Ambrosia Beetle which penetrates the tree sap as 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. The two primary species which draw the beetle’s attention are Acer Rubrum (Red Maple) and Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple), although — with there reputedly being more than sixty different Acer species indigienous to North America — this unusual phenomenon is certainly not confined to just the two. Weight and density can vary greatly — depending upon the actual species — the typical varieties of maple figuring can also be present, often creating some very unique, visually spectacular specimens.

Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Why We Love This Wood

Like any other maple, it is easily worked; generally cooperative through all phases. It's not much of a stretch to imagine -- since bugs have, quite obviously, already penetrated the wood's surface -- that the wood is decidedly non-durable, although it is generally stable enough for use in furniture and guitars. It's surface is typically darker than most sap maple (often featuring secondary / additional discolorations and other long streaks), although it retains the same high degree of natural luster.

The scientific explanation is that the impregnated Ambrosia Beetle burrows into the maple tree (presumably for a safe place to deposit larvae), carrying fungi on its feet into the wood -- which serves as food for the insect's offspring, when they hatch. The fungal residue left behind as it digs into the maple can cause discoloration throughout the wood, via the tree's sap, in addition to the dramatically contrasting (mostly) blue and (sometimes) green trails which surround the small tunnels they chew. The beetles prefer wood that is not soaking wet, but that is in the beginning stages of drying. Once kiln dried, they will not reinfest.

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    Maple - Ambrosia Lumber @ Rare Woods USA
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    Vital Statistics
    Main Color GroupVariegated
    Grain Pattern Pronounced
    Avg Dry Weight - LB/BF3.4
    Avg Dry Weight - KG/M3660
    Janka Hardness - LBF1200
    Janka Hardness - N5300
    PRICING

    Description

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    Price

    Maple-Ambrosia-Standard-4/4Lumber
    4/4 Lumber
    Standard
    bf
    5.2
    bf
    no

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    Maple – Ambrosia

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    Maple – Ambrosia

    Bark.

    MAPAMB1028
    36.88 × 6.5 × 0.84 in

    Bark.

    $15.62

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Bark.

    MAPAMB1028
    36.88 × 6.5 × 0.84 in

    $15.62

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1028
    36.88 × 6.5 × 0.84 in

    $15.62

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Defect on edge.

    MAPAMB1027
    37.38 × 8.56 × 0.88 in

    Defect on edge.

    $17.05

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Defect on edge.

    MAPAMB1027
    37.38 × 8.56 × 0.88 in

    $17.05

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1027
    37.38 × 8.56 × 0.88 in

    $17.05

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Worm holes. Defect on edge.

    MAPAMB1025
    40.06 × 8 × 0.94 in

    Worm holes. Defect on edge.

    $18.98

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Worm holes. Defect on edge.

    MAPAMB1025
    40.06 × 8 × 0.94 in

    $18.98

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1025
    40.06 × 8 × 0.94 in

    $18.98

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Worm holes.

    MAPAMB1024
    41.06 × 8 × 0.94 in

    Worm holes.

    $19.45

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Worm holes.

    MAPAMB1024
    41.06 × 8 × 0.94 in

    $19.45

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1024
    41.06 × 8 × 0.94 in

    $19.45

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Knot.

    MAPAMB1022
    49.94 × 6.5 × 0.94 in

    Knot.

    $21.15

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Knot.

    MAPAMB1022
    49.94 × 6.5 × 0.94 in

    $21.15

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1022
    49.94 × 6.5 × 0.94 in

    $21.15

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Clear.

    MAPAMB1021
    49.63 × 6.5 × 0.88 in

    Clear.

    $21.02

    Maple – Ambrosia

    Clear.

    MAPAMB1021
    49.63 × 6.5 × 0.88 in

    $21.02

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1021
    49.63 × 6.5 × 0.88 in

    $21.02

    Maple – Ambrosia
    Knot
    MAPAMB1016
    39.88 × 8.06 × 0.81 in

    Knot

    $19.04

    Maple – Ambrosia
    Knot
    MAPAMB1016
    39.88 × 8.06 × 0.81 in

    $19.04

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1016
    39.88 × 8.06 × 0.81 in

    $19.04

    Maple – Ambrosia
    Few kots
    MAPAMB1011
    46.25 × 8.25 × 0.88 in

    Few kots

    $22.60

    Maple – Ambrosia
    Few kots
    MAPAMB1011
    46.25 × 8.25 × 0.88 in

    $22.60

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1011
    46.25 × 8.25 × 0.88 in

    $22.60

    Maple – Ambrosia
    Small defect
    MAPAMB1009
    33.75 × 8.38 × 0.81 in

    Small defect

    $18.42

    Maple – Ambrosia
    Small defect
    MAPAMB1009
    33.75 × 8.38 × 0.81 in

    $18.42

    Maple – Ambrosia
    MAPAMB1009
    33.75 × 8.38 × 0.81 in

    $18.42

    Other Species

    Osage Orange - Argentine

    This South American species is closely related to the domestic Osage Orange.  The lumber it yields is typically a bit cleaner with less defects.  It is pretty hard and dense making it tough on tools, but it turns and finishes well.

    Common Uses:
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    Tamarind - Spalted

    Spalted Tamarind comes from South East Asia.   The decay/spalting gives the wood awesome spiderweb type patterns that add character and excitement to its appearance.  The spalting is most prevalent in the sapwood which is prone to attack from bugs and fungus which cause it.

    It is moderately difficult to work, but turns and finishes well.  Sometimes the rot is more endemic than is obvious from looking at the surface of the lumber result in some wastage (lost pieces).

    Take care to use good dust collection and a dust mask, as the fungal spores add more to the air than dust alone.

    Common Uses:
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    Detail
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    Chakte Viga

    This vibrant Central America wood can features primary colors ranging from orange to golden brown (with gold, red and sometimes even green accent coloration). It is thought to be the closest relative to Brazilwood (famous for its use in stringed-instrument bows), and Chakte Viga shares many of the same acoustic properties. Grains are straight, but sometimes interlocked — otherwise, this wood works easily, and finishes well. It has a fine texture and excellent natural luster. Sap is a pale off-white to pale yellow.

    Chakte Viga is a wood that has been starting to emerge from relative obscurity over the last decade or so, being one of the lesser-known and -demanded woods from the tropical Central America region. We feel it has a huge untapped potential as a guitar tonewood, as well as in fine furniture production in the US. The wood has some very subtle aesthetics, sometimes exhibiting a 3D-like shimmering chatoyance after being finished with clear lacquer.

    Common Uses:
    fine furniture, furniture, inlay, turnings
    Detail
    Common Uses
    chakte-viga
    Longhi

    Longhi is an African wood with similar working properties to its more well-known cousin, Anegre. Its color varies from a greyish-white to beige to pinkish-brown color, which slightly darkens with age and UV-ray exposure. Its generally light appearance makes sapwood difficult to distinguish. Its grains are typical straight (though occasionally interlocked) and its texture ranges between fine and medium-fine. It can sometimes possess mottled or subtle tiger-striped figuring.

    The wood must be carefully dried, as it is susceptible to fungus. It is considered to be moderately durable, and moderately stable. Longhi has a solid strength-to-weight ratio, which makes it a popular choice for flooring and decking.

    Common Uses:
    cabinetry, decking, flooring, furniture
    Detail
    Common Uses
    longhi
    Birch - Yellow

    Heartwood can vary from pale yellow to a light, muted reddish brown; sapwood is grayish-white. There are many species of Birch, worldwide; it is one of the most popular woods, ironically, for both veneer and utility applications. Figured pieces are the more desirable for veneer, with wide, dramatic curly figuring (similar to Cherry) decorating the surface.

    American Birch works easily — it turns, glues and finishes well — although most boards have very little natural luster. It’s a versatile wood that can be used for a number of different applications, but it needs to be protected, as the wood will decay when exposed to the elements. (… and if left unprotected will rot.)

    Common Uses:
    boxmaking, cabinetry, crafting, flooring, furniture
    Detail
    Common Uses
    birch-yellow
    Alder

    Considered to be the most abundant hardwood in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, Red Alder has long been used in the region for furniture and cabinetry production — as well as being a popular choice for electric guitar bodies dating back to when the instrument first went into mass production, in the 1950’s. Ranging in color from a light tan to reddish brown, Alder has a soft, lightweight stature — which makes the wood very easy to work, and it finishes and glues well.

    Red Alder is usually sold in two different grades: knotty, and clear. Clear grades are most desired by cabinet and furniture crafters. Many such tradesmen compare the wood’s cooperative disposition to that of Black Cherry.

    Although technically a hardwood, care must be taken with Alder until finished as its surface can be rather soft (thus, denting easily). The wood is decidedly non-durable, so confining its use to indoor applications and treating the wood with some type of hardening finish (such as lacquer) is recommended.

    Common Uses:
    cabinetry, lutherie, millwork, musical Instruments
    Detail
    Common Uses
    alder
    maple-ambrosia
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