Materials Used in Ornamental Turning - Maple

Ornamentally Turned Objects

Hard Maple

Maple between Bloodwood
and African Blackwood

Picture courtesy Bill Ooms

This is a very good wood for ornamental turning, and can be used as a substitute for holly in multi-layered work.

The wood is fairly dense, and it holds shapes very well. But it is the lightness in color, and the relative plain-ness of the wood which is why it is often chosen for ornamental turning often.

It is highly available, and moderately priced.


This wood is highly available, and I've used it for prototyping.

Work Holding

(no notes at this time)

Ornamental Turning Notes

Care must be taken to not burn it with the cutters, especially when cutting into the end grain. You will need to decrease the contact time with the cutter. This can be achieved by slowing the cutter speed (i.e., slowing down the overhead drive), or by increasing the spindle drive speed (I typically run this 30-50% faster). When using fly cutters, I have also found that a very sharp cutter can make a big difference, having fewer problems with burning when sharp.


Finishing this may be necessary to bring out the beauty of the wood. I typically use Tried & True’s Original Wood Finish.

Other Notes

More information is in The Wood Database.

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Disclaimer: eMail comments to me at OTBookOfKnowledge @ The process of woodturning involves the use of tools, machinery and materials which could cause injury or be a health hazard unless proper precautions are taken, including the wearing of appropriate protective equipment.