Curly Maple is one of the best looking types of figured wood, and is also one of the least expensive. Higher grades will always cost more, but Maple with a decent amount of figure can be had for less than $10 a board foot, making this species one of the best values around for price and beauty.
I recommend looking in a woodworking store or a hardwood store that is close to where you live. Inside, you can often times find really good deals on wood just for popping in.
Curly Maple can be found at Woodcraft/Amazon, in hardwood stores locally, and is a common American wood species.
This is a ruler that I made for my son from a piece of Curly Maple, with the marking for inch and half inch done with a wood burning tool. The finish has not been applied yet, so the wood is still bare, but the figure can still easily be seen. Once the finish goes on, the grain will take on a deeper look, and the character will become far more pronounced than before. Oils are incredible at this because they penetrate the surface and bring out every last detail.
For another figured wood that is also not incredibly expensive, take at my post on making custom .45 Long Colt grips from Figured Walnut. This piece of wood was only a few dollars, but the look is amazing.
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