Tiger stripe is a feature of maple in which the growth of the wood fibers is distorted in an undulating chatoyant pattern, producing wavy lines known as "flames." This effect is called "figure," as the distortion is perpendicular to the grain direction. Prized for its beautiful appearance, it is used frequently in the manufacturing of musical instruments, such as violins and bassoons, and fine furniture. Awl Shaft: The awl's shaft is hand-forged and twisted from 01 steel with a Rockwell hardness of 62. The tip is sharpened for use in starting and boring holes which the square shank then widens through repeated twisting. The 1 3/4" handle is sized to fit comfortably in the user's hand and allow application of a generous amount of pressure when twisting the awl. The finger grip is positioned in precisely the right place to enable a firm grip in use.