Working with Maple

IMG_2300I’m in the process of rough-turning several blocks of wood I’ve been given by friends. I should be able to finish those pieces in the next few months once they dry. In the meantime, I’ve been exploring different species of wood since woodturning is still a new hobby.

Another pastor asked me to turn a communion set for him. Since most of the wood I’ve found or been given is still drying, I looked to buy some kiln-dried wood I could use for the project. Earlier this week, I made trip to Case Wood Supply to see if they had something appropriate for the set. I found some Maple that looked promising for a nice communion set.

I discovered a couple different types of Maple while I was at Case and my curiosity the better of me.  I was able to spend the morning on the lathe and turned some of the wood.

I’ve been wanting to work with Ambrosia Maple for a while now. It appears to be a pretty popular wood among woodturners. After purchasing the Maple for the communion set, I noticed a stack of boards off to the side. The owner told me they were a stack of cut offs from a larger order of Ambrosia Maple. I decided to get an 11″ x 28″ board just to see how it would turn. The first piece I turned was this 11″ Lazy Susan.

The same boards also produced this 11″ cutting board/cheese plate. I was surprised by the amount of character in this particular section of the board. I used a cutting board conditioner, which combines bees wax and mineral oils, on both of the pieces, but a bit more was revealed in this piece.

I, also, came across a blank marked as “Select Maple.” I had never heard of Select Maple. I wanted to see the difference between this “Select Maple” and the Ambrosia Maple, as well as the Maple I would be using in the communion set. I discovered a crack in the wood when I began turning the piece, so that was certainly disappointing. Also, I fought with a lot of tear out on this one. I had to drop down to 60 Grit sanding paper and I was still not able to get the surface I wanted on it. But, the coloring is pretty cool on it!

All in all, it was a fun morning in the wood shop!

BTW, the other night I turned an extra piece of the Maple I purchased for the communion set. I wanted to get a feel for the wood and what to expect before I started turning. I kept it simple and turn a basic cutting board. And, I am pretty impressed by the difference in the three types of Maples.

4 thoughts on “Working with Maple

  1. Pingback: Maple Communion Set | Skipping Stones

  2. Pingback: Cedar of Lebanon & Ambrosia Maple | Skipping Stones

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