Maple Veneered Panels & Jointed Veneer
Hard Maple is also called Rock Maple, Sugar Maple & White Maple. It is sourced principally from Canada and the Middle Atlantic and Great Lake States of the US, which together account for about two-thirds of production. This species is used to produce the plain maple veneers along with Birdseye Maple and Figured Maple.
Hard Maple sapwood is commonly white with a light reddish-brown tinge, while the heartwood is usually light reddish brown but sometimes considerably darker.
The grain of Hard Maple veneer is generally straight and flecks caused by insects may also be present. It has a fine, uniform texture, and birdseye maple, fiddleback maple, and other forms of figured maple grain are often selected for furniture or novelty items. It finishes well and steaming the wood darkens it, resulting in a weathered appearance that enhances the grain and figuring.
Cooking the maple logs before slicing gives the veneer a lustrous pink or golden colour and also enhances the grain appearance & figuring. Veneers treated in this manner are described as 'steamed maple' or 'weathered maple'
The Birdseye figure is due to small conical depressions in the outer annual rings of the Maple tree, so that the latter growth follows the same contour probably for many years. This distortion of the fibre alignments appears on rotary cut and plain cut veneer as a series of small concentric circles like a bird's eye.
There are several doubtful explanations for the cause of the grain disturbance. Embryo bugs, birds in search of sap, insects and fungi retarding growth in small localised areas are all claimed by different authorities to be the cause.