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A distortion of the grain pattern in wood, typically running perpendicular to the grain. Figure is usually a result of the cut of the wood (e.g., flat sawing or quarter sawing), though it may result from growth properties in the tree. There are a variety of different types of figuring: curly, fiddleback, flame, quilt, spalt, and more. Figured woods are often used in the manufacture of musical instruments such as guitars and basses, where stains and other finishes are used to enhance the visual impact of the figuring.

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