I bought two 8′ lengths of ambrosia maple, rough, to make a Stickley #79 bookstand from. One of the things I enjoy most about woodworking is starting with rough stock and surfacing it to find out just what it looks like underneath its fuzzy exterior. I trimmed them to rough length to help minimize the loss due to twist.
Ambrosia is cheap, and somewhat unpredictable. The “ambrosia” designation is strictly a marketing term— what it really means is infested and damaged wood, with stains and color from insect tracks. It’s the cheapest maple you can find, mostly because of the potential weakness from the damage, even though it is “figured”. I think it’s pretty. $67 for the 2 boards (10″ x 8′) didn’t seem bad to me. I think I can build the small Stickley bookcase with a little section of the most knotty/gnarled wood to spare for boxes or bowls.
The weirdness of maple, at least in my experience, is that it just loves to keep moving when it’s cut or surfaced. Currently these are just under an inch thick, even though I only need 3/4. I figure I’ll let it think things over for a while before I continue working on this project.