If you ever wondered how this great tree got it's common name this photo should explain it for you. this huge leaf floated into our yard from a nearby wood lot. It is photographed here beside a standard sized tenor. this wonderful tree grows throughout our Western Washington area and it's wonderful wood is exported world wide to make stellar musical instruments.
Big Leaf Maple is normally pretty plain wood but occasionally it develops wonderful figure, Tiger Stripe, Quilt, many variations. That rare wood is quite valuable and in my opinion, one of the most beautiful of woods. Here is a tenor I built a few years ago to demonstrate the beauty of this wood.
And if the maple log is left on the damp ground for a year, decay will begin. This is called spalting. Strange black lines and subtle discoloring begins. If you can catch it before it gets soft and rotten, Dry it and stop the decay, wonderful wood results. Here is the back of a tenor I built in 2014. Spalted Tiger stripe Big Leaf Maple. I love it.
George and Rich; Here are your backs, now with carefully carved Sitka Spruce braces. I chose especially fine grained quarter sawn spruce with the grain rising vertically through the brace to give the best strength and resonance.