Scientific name: Acer pseudoplatanus
Other names: Sycamore Maple, Sicomoro
Average density: 38lbs/ft3 – 615kg/m3
Uses: Guitar and violin back and sides, necks, electric guitar tops and bodies
Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. European maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns. The grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. It has a fine, even texture and is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. Maple has a tendency to burn when being machined with high-speed cutters such as in a router. Turns, glues and finishes well.
Maple is well known for its use in carved back instruments, such those of the violin family or archtop guitars, as well as flat back instruments. Figured pieces are highly prized, particularly curly or flamed wood exhibiting tight even curls, as well as those presenting birdseye and quilted figure