View Full Version : Which wood for a Chamonix F1 is better ... Teak or Maple?

2-May-2016, 01:40
I have decided to buy a brand new Chamonix F1 camera from Hugo.

Which wood is better, Teak or Maple?


2-May-2016, 03:21
The photos from my Maple F1 is at least 10 times better than the teak model...

No seriously, what do you expect to hear? They are about the same weight, same hardness? So it's really a choice of colors?!!! I like mine, but god knows what color I ordered ;-) I don't remember!

2-May-2016, 04:27

2-May-2016, 05:31
Teak has coarser fibers but it's more water resistant. Maple has finer, smoother texture. If I had to guess, in this application I'd pick maple.

2-May-2016, 06:23
Maple is very dense, white, and hard. You won't scratch it easily, if ever.

2-May-2016, 08:05

Drew Wiley
2-May-2016, 08:33
Depends on what specific kind of "teak" or "maple" is involved, and also how correctly it was cured before fabrication, then sealed afterwards. Otherwise, I'd call
it more of an aesthetic decision. Same goes for "mahogany", which would be lighter weight but more easily damaged; but gosh knows how many different kinds of
wood goes under that name. There just isn't much real pattern grade Honduras mahogany left in the world.

2-May-2016, 09:53
We drifted into discussing mahogany, but the question was 'teak or maple'.

As mentioned, the figuring of the particular sample is most important (to me) when choosing between maple and teak. Ordering blind is a risk. Teak would be my favorite, all things equal. Maple would be great if I could see the wood pieces and choose. Maple Burl is great. Our local mill won't let any but guild members choose.

Dan O'Farrell
2-May-2016, 10:02
In general, teak is a more structurally stable wood than maple ( I'm assuming sugar maple).

Alan Gales
2-May-2016, 10:10
If I was buying a Chamonix I would buy the maple because my Ries tripod is maple. I think it would match better than the teak. Teak is pretty too though.

Drew Wiley
2-May-2016, 10:12
But it's all analogous. None of these terms are specific. While I wouldn't have a fit over it, since Chamonix seems to be finely crafted from what I've seen, it still would be of import to me personally if I were buying one. So yes, it is always better to see the final article in person, especially if you understand how wood interacts with weather. But let's take mahogany. There is a world of difference between the remnants of relatively dimensionally-stable pattern-grade that have been curing in dry storage over decades from just anything marketed as mahogany. Similarly, some very dense woods like teak or ebony are prone to end grain splitting if the sealant wears out. Maple can be more forgiving in that respect, but not all maple is the same. There's a lot of "barely-maple" out there, especially from Russian sources, just like a lot of pseudo-teak is around, now that real Burmese is restricted. I'm out in the weather a lot, so inspect my wooden folders every year, and re-seal any suspect nicks or wear areas. Nothing is perfect. Just intelligent choices.

2-May-2016, 10:15
Basically it doesn't matter. Mine is teak and I don't give it a second thought, especially as when they first came out only teak was available.

Drew Wiley
2-May-2016, 10:19
Sorry, Garrett. Maple gets more than its share of scars too. You should see my kitchen floor, only a few years old. All A-grade maple I set myself; but there are the inevitable beauty scars of dropped pots n' pans, etc. My beloved Ries tripods have whacked all kinds of branches off the trail, been dropped off cliffs a couple times, and wear their scars like proud symbols of life experience. I was out in the howling coastal wind this past weekend with a huge 6x7 telephoto (any view cameras would have been a kite in such circumstances), attached to my Ries with a solid block of maple which I carefully distressed with faux scars before I sealed it with marine epoxy tinted with rust - to match my weatherbeaten Ries. I'm starting to look weatherbeaten myself, so why not? Maybe I should shut up,
cause it's getting apparent I'd vote for a maple Chamonix just to match everything.

2-May-2016, 11:13
I just received an email reply from Hugo:


I plan to order a F1 in Maple about May 15, 2016. Will you have one in inventory at that time?

Thank you,
Terry Thomas
Atlanta, Georgia USA


Dear Mr. Thomas,

No, but we have them in teak in stock. We have sold out all 45F1 cameras in maple and run out of maple wood and won't use maple wood anymore.

Hugo Zhang

2-May-2016, 11:40
so yeah, go with mahogany for sure then:)

Mark Sawyer
2-May-2016, 12:34
Personally, I'd ask whether they could make one from bird's-eye maple if you sent the wood. But then, I'm weird...

2-May-2016, 13:11
Mark, I had the same thought but the OP probably isn't a wood expert. The wood has to be cut close to dimensions to see how birds eye will look.

2-May-2016, 13:42
The snag with bird's eye maple is that it inevitably brings this to mind: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-song-lyrics/Three_HaPence_a_Foot.htm

Not helping, I know... I'll go away now!


2-May-2016, 13:50
I'd go for the teak, due to its moisture resistance & dimensional stability.

2-May-2016, 13:57
My Chamonix 8x10 is teak, and the wood is beautiful and very high quality. Also have a 4x5 in walnut, which is equally nice. Chamonix has high standards for the wood they use.

Drew Wiley
2-May-2016, 13:59
Birdseye? Are you nuts? It would all have to be hand-scraped, and then not much would show anyway on small camera parts. It's fine if you want a personal
woodworking challenge, but hardly a cooperative manufacturing material. You can always get bird spots for free if you set up the tripod under a busy tree.

2-May-2016, 14:15
I know your question has been answered by Hugo, but I'll chime in anyway. I couldn't even tell you which one I got, but it was the one that I could get quicker. I think I have teak and sorta wanted the maple, but I'd have to track down my packing slip to confirm which I got. From pictures, I thought both were very pretty.

2-May-2016, 17:34
It's basically a color choice. Pick the color you like best. I picked walnut, because I like dark wood.

Kent in SD

2-May-2016, 19:02
I think a lot depends on what color hardware the wood will be matched with. I think the maple with black is a bit too contrasting for my taste. I have the teak with gun metal grey hardware; it's a very sharp looking bit of kit...as they say.