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Microphone Month 5

Birdseye

This refers to a specific pattern seen in several species of trees, most often maple. The reason behind the pattern still remains somewhat of a mystery, but the distinctive swirling pattern is so-named because it resembles tiny eyes that disrupt the normally smooth lines of the wood grain. Birdseye maple is most often found in timber from the sugar maple, but it is also found in red maple, white ash, American beech, black walnut, and yellow birch. It is also most often found in trees growing in and around the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. There is no way to tell if a specific tree will yield the birdseye pattern, so it is necessary to fell the tree and inspect it before being certain. Since it is a rare phenomenon, products constructed of birdseye maple tend to be more expensive than other types of figured maple. The first large scale useage of birdseye maple was in the dashboards of some Rolls Royce automobiles, though it has also been used for quite some time in the construction of jewelry boxes, furniture inlays and, of course, the carved tops and necks of some electric guitars. When the pattern is similar, but larger in scale, it is considered to be burl.

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