MAPLE



Hard Maple is also known as Rock Maple or Sugar Maple, and as one of its names implies, it is very hard for a domestic wood. Hard Maple is widely used in cabinetry and flooring, and its light blond color makes it a great species for matching any decor. Hard Maple is a fine-pored wood with a very tight grain. The sapwood is almost white, and Maple is one of the only trees for which the sapwood is almost as highly prized as the heartwood.

The wood’s high density and hardness mean that Hard Maple can be harsh on tools’ cutting edges, but Hard Maple will maintain a hard, crisp edge for moldings. The wood is quite stable, thereby making it perfect for flooring applications. Because of the tight grain, however, stains, dyes, and wax will not penetrate very deeply; therefore, surface film finishing options like varnish and lacquer are the preferred finishing methods.

Soft Maple also known as Red Maple is very misleading in name. While the wood is softer than Hard Maple, this is true by only a very small margin. The heartwood of Soft Maple is slightly darker than Hard Maple’s, with reddish-brown latewood lines that can give the lumber a pinkish hue overall. The flat sawn lumber of Soft Maple has wonderful wandering grain lines that contrast with the straight and orderly grain of Hard Maple.

Soft Maple grows in a more limited region mainly on the US eastern seaboard, but it is still readily available and also tends to be cheaper than Hard Maple. The wood’s slightly softer nature does make Soft Maple easier on tools than Hard Maple, yet it still machines and holds details very well. It also finishes nicely, although it does not have the polished luster of Hard Maple.


SPECIES DETAILS

  • Botanical Name: Acer saccharum (Hard Maple, Acer rubrum (Soft Maple)
  • Color: Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of Hard Maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from nearly white, to an off-white cream color, sometimes with reddish or golden hue. The heartwood tends to be a darker reddish brown. Birdseye Maple is a figure found most commonly in Hard Maple, though it’s also found less frequently in other species. Hard Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns.
  • Origin:
  • Grain/Texture: Grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture.
  • Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable to perishable, and susceptible to insect attack.
  • Workability: Fairly easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though slightly more difficult than Soft Maple due to Hard Maple’s higher density. Maple has a tendency to burn when being machined with high-speed cutters such as in a router. Turns, glues, and finishes well, though blotches can occur when staining, and a pre-conditioner, gel stain, or toner may be necessary to get an even color.
  • Availability: Readily available
  • Uses: Flooring from basketball courts and dance-floors to bowling alleys and residential, veneer, paper, musical instruments, cutting boards, butcher blocks, workbenches, baseball bats, and other turned objects and specialty wood items.

STOCK AVAILABILITY

  • Quarter Sawn Lumber:
  • Quarter sawn Beams:
  • Sawn Teak lumber
  • Grading: FEQ, S2S, S3S, S4S
  • Round logs
  • Rough squares
  • Wider Boards
  • Drying: KD, AD



SPECIFICATIONS

HARD MAPLE

Character

Green

Dry

Units

Bending Strength
9400
15800
psi
Crushing Strength
640
1470
psi
Max Crushing Strength
4020
7830
psi
Impact Strength
40
39
inches
Stiffness
1550
1830
1000 psi
Work to Maximum Load
13
16
in-lbs/in3
Hardness
-
1450
lbs
Shearing Strength
-
2330
psi
Specific Gravity
0.56
0.68
-
Radial Shrinkage
-
5
%
Tangential Shrinkage
-
10
%
Volumetric Shrinkage
-
15
%

SOFT MAPLE

Character

Green

Dry

Units

Bending Strength
7700
13400
psi
Crushing Strength
400
1000
psi
Max Crushing Strength
3280
6541
psi
Impact Strength
32
32
inches
Stiffness
1390
1640
1000 psi
Work to Maximum Load
11
12
in-lbs/in3
Hardness
-
950
lbs
Shearing Strength
-
1850
psi
Specific Gravity
0.49
0.54
-
Radial Shrinkage
-
4
%
Tangential Shrinkage
-
8
%
Volumetric Shrinkage
-
13
%