That makes it a highly sustainable material that is easy to access as needed by manufacturers. Soft maple is also often referred to as "tiger maple" for the tiger-like stripes in the wood, or curly maple, if the stripes are a bit more of the curly nature. Both categories of maple are extremely useful, but hard maple may require some extra effort as … Several woodworkers will go as far as to buy thick maple supply and resaw it on a band saw, lining up the cut … Hard maple is commonly used for butcher blocks, tool handles, visible portions of furniture, and even bowling alley lanes! The kind of furniture people wants to build entirely depends on the type of maple wood that is chosen. Working with sharp tools on hardwoods is not only going to produce better results, but it is safer than if they are a bit dull, simply because the tools will cut cleaner and be less prone to tearing through the wood. Maple sapwood has a clean, white appearance, is free from defects, and is typically 3" to 5" thick. Hard maple is a wonderful, expensive, nearly white wood used for almost every application imaginable both today and even prior to the colonization of the U.S. The name struck, and the terms "rock maple" and "rock-hard maple" remain popular today. First of all, soft maple and red maple are typically the same things. When applying a stain, be sure to use a ​pre-stain conditioner to try and even out the "blotchy" patches that tend to appear. The soft maples are often used as a cheaper substitute for hard maple mouldings, or in applications where the trim is painted. Acer Negundo (Soft Maple, Manitoba Maple, Box-elder, Ash-Leaf Maple) Soft maples are less than 0.54 density (Red, SIlver) Density -- .46 for Manitoba Maple (Ash Maple) Compared to Acer saccharum -- density .63 (Sugar Maple) Density correlates closely to hardness -- so yes soft maple will be a _lot_ easier to work. This is often referred to as "birds-eye maple." Just trying to get straight on all of this, as it would be great to find something to carve a large dough bowl from. Comment. Soft maple, although similar in appearance to hard maple, produces lighter wood with more pronounced grain. For years, maple was the wood of choice for building musical instruments. Super Moderator. Twenty-three species of maple grow in Canada and the U.S. Its color ranges from pale brown to almost white with brown streaks. Lightly wipe down the entire project before applying a pre-stain conditioner, followed shortly thereafter by the stain of your choice. It is one of the two major species (silver and red) that combine to the group called soft maple. Soft Maple grows in North America Weight 2.63 lbs /Bd. Hard maple takes a high polish and has substantial screw-holding power. Soft maple works even more easily than hard maple. Hard maple comes in average lengths of 6' to 12' and average widths of 6" to 10", while soft maple trees tend to produce somewhat wider boards. 745 posts in 2871 days #1 posted 12-18-2020 04:19 AM . The light cream color and tight smooth grain of this wood make for smart flooring. Please submit links to how-to pages and videos, pictures of beautiful and amazing pieces you made for us to admire, or help you finish. For a more durable finish, top-coat over the shellac with a clear lacquer or polyurethane. Maple is generally considered to be strong, durable, and pretty when properly finished. Ft.-26.54% lighter than red oak (3.58 /bd. The term soft maple is a bit of a comparative misnomer, as soft maple is harder than many other hardwoods (such as cherry). Compared to red maple, silver maple is a bit lower in density and therefore machines a bit more easily with a slight increase in tendency to fuzz. ft.) Hardness 950 Janka Rating -26.36% softer than red oak (1290 psi) Density 0.54 Specific Gravity -15.62% less dense than red oak (.64) General Workability. The Tree: Acer Family /r/woodworking is your home on reddit for furniture, toys, tools, wood, glue, and anything else that has to do with woodworking as a hobby or profession. Care should be taken to ensure that grain colors and patterns between neighboring boards should match as closely as possible. So far I've done two projects with pine from the big box store. Today we build a shop stool out of Walnut and Hard Maple. Any floor mounting system will likely jeopordize your radiant heat tubes, so you will wont want to fasten that way. home | projects | blog. Taking the hardness data within context of other hardwoods, soft maple may be used as a valid substitute for hard maple in most situations where a hardwood of moderate density is called for. Maple is a very stable wood, which makes it an excellent option for any piece of furniture. They also tend to be less expensive than other hardwoods. Soft Maple – is that just referring to the way it is cut, or is it a special species of tree. How can I keep my router bushing assembly in place? Grizzly H9687 Solid Maple Workbench Top. Soft maple, on the other hand, is relatively easy to work with. You won’t find maple at your local home center, but most lumberyards have a … I usually use either soft maple or hard maple. Soft maple is also often referred to as "tiger maple" for the tiger-like stripes in the wood, or curly maple if the stripes are a bit more of the curly nature. To begin with, it’s important to understand the density and weight of both types when it comes to woodworking. Fine 3/10 . Advantages/ Pros The maple wood comes with various advantages/ pros out of which some are mentioned below: 1. Non skid feet may help too. They form two broad commercial groups: soft maple and hard, or "sugar," maple—which is tapped each spring for its sap. Soft maple is also often referred to as "tiger maple" for the tiger-like stripes in the wood, or curly maple if the stripes are a bit more of the curly nature. As with other hardwoods such as cherry, maple can be a bit temperamental to finish, particularly when staining. The Maple comes in both soft and hardwood types. Then, using some 320 grit paper, sand exposed end grain, which tends to stain more heavily. For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! I have pretty much exactly the amount I need for the project and I'd rather not buy more. How to install metal slides on wood cabinets. Welcome to another WoodShaped video. This is often referred to as "birds-eye maple.". Red Oak . Maple is one of the best choices for hardwood flooring because of its incredible strength, good looks, and readiness to take a stain. and 2. what is this grey wood, and is is commonly found in Soft Maple? During the 1700s, a cabinetmaker named Rock manufactured "Rock's Hard Maple Furniture." Silverleaf maple is most commonly called silver maple. Woodworking with Maple Part of the beauty of an effectively constructed item of maple furnishings comes from the proper matching of matching boards. Common Names Red maple, silver maple, Pacific maple, Oregon maple, bigleaf maple Many woodworkers find the unique grain patterns of maple burl particularly appealing. Soft maple, although similar in appearance to hard maple, produces lighter wood with more pronounced grain. AlArchie. Stains tend to fill pores, cracks, and crevices in wood. Although not as tough, stiff, or heavy as hard maple, soft maple tends to … Hard maple varieties often will have more small knots that appear along the grain. Generally speaking maples are a great all round woodworking lumber. It is used extensively in the box making industry, and often soft maple boxes are then covered with decorative wood veneers. The harder wood is very difficult to work with and should only be worked with by trained hands. Because of their fine, straight grain, both varieties are more stable than many other woods. It also turns well and requires no filling before finishing. Another commonly used finishing technique on maple is to apply tung oil or linseed oil after the final sanding. This is particularly effective with tiger-striped maple used on drawer fronts and cabinet doors. Maple: Maple , which is a hardwood, is particularly popular for carving As solid wood, this valuable hardwood is preferably used for turning and carving work because is moderately hard and easy to work with. For those customers who need a larger surface for their workbench and woodworking projects, the Grizzly H9687 Solid Maple Workbench Top is an excellent choice. It can be temperamental, particularly when finishing, and is susceptible to shrinkage. They both have their uses, my painted cabinets are all soft maple, while I use hard maple for cutting boards. Hard maple flourishes west and south from southeastern Canada and Maine to Minnesota, Missouri, and Alabama. It glues, stains, and finishes well but doesn't take as high a polish as hard maple. Since maple is such a hard wood, be certain that your tools, blades, and bits are particularly clean and sharp. Soft maple can be sourced from many different types of maple trees. Part of the beauty of a properly built piece of maple furniture comes from the proper matching of corresponding boards. The Spruce Crafts uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Soft maple is slightly less dense and not as strong. Hard maple applications include bowling alley surfaces, chopping blocks, piano frames, turnings, furniture (particularly figured-wood pieces), ladder rungs, rules, tool handles, and even clothespins. Red Oak . Both types are widely available and can be bought as lumber, veneer, and turning blocks. Soft Maple is Highly Sustainable. I do like the color and figure that I can get locally in soft maple and have used it for legs on benches, but where strength is necessary, I stick with hard maple. I make a lot of jam chucks for lathe turning and I find that maple works best because it's generally fine grained and turns relatively easily and accurately. The key to evening out the stain is to sand the project thoroughly, using progressively finer sandpaper grits. Post Cancel. Probably our most useful domestic hardwood, maple produces syrup for pancakes, school desks to scribble on... and much more in between. I got some Soft Maple the other day and I'm going to make a small bookcase. TravisH. Chris is a freelance writer who specializes in woodworking, designs his own projects, and is experienced in commercial carpentry. It's also strong enough not to crack or deform. Making sure that your maple is well-seasoned and properly acclimatized to your environment will make a big difference in how your maple woodworking projects turn out and how they hold up over time. Hard maple varieties often will have more small knots that appear along the grain. Samples are milled on all sides to the standard size of 1/2'' X 3'' X 6'', as determined by The International Wood Collectors Society, and include the shipping cost within the 48 U.S. Each one is labeled with the botanical and common names. Hard maple is the perfect choice for sturdy furniture such as benches, butcher boards, … Maple does have its drawbacks. Wood Texture. Although not as tough, stiff, or heavy as hard maple, soft maple tends to resist warping and twisting better. Generally straight-grained with a consistent texture, maple also can have a bird's-eye or curly (also called fiddle back) pattern. © 2020 Meredith Corporation. Good 3/10 . Soft maple, used principally for lumber, paper pulp, and other industrial applications, continues to be suitable for cabinet frames, unseen parts of upholstered furniture, and jigs and forms used in woodworking shops. Both varieties are harder than many other woods; hard maple is so hard (a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5) that it’s difficult to work with. These qualities make it more valuable than heartwood, which is uniform in color and runs from light reddish brown to dark brown. Compared to sugar (hard) maple, cherry and walnut are softwoods too. Many woodworkers will go as far as to buy thick maple stock and resaw it on a band saw, aligning the cut sides together for a perfectly matched pair of panels. Follow the oil with a coat or two of shellac. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. Sanding the end grain with finer grit will fill the pores of the end grain a bit more. Try to evenly sand the entire project with this final sanding. Start with 120 grit before moving up to 180, and finally 220. Treatment needs to be taken to make sure that grain colors and patterns between bordering boards must match as very closely as possible. Maple has 2 varieties, a harder variety and a softer variety. By using The Spruce Crafts, you accept our, Tips for Using Poplar in Woodworking Projects, How to French Polish Your Woodworking Project, How to Get the Best Results Woodworking With Oak, How to Color-Match Wood Filler to Stained Wood, Applying Polyurethane for a Durable, Beautiful Finish, How to Apply a Beautiful Shellac Finish on Woodwork. The largest quantities of hard maple are found around the Great Lakes, and Michigan and New York produce the most trees in this country. This won't completely solve the problem, though. Maple is a relatively inexpensive hardwood, although bird's-eye, curly, and burl varieties can be expensive. Soft maple follows the same range, but grows in damper ground--lowlands, swamps, and stream banks. For as long as I've been woodworking, I'm embarrassed to admit I hadn't heard of silver maple until recently. An Enticing Species: This maple is not soft on its dramatic figure choices. I looked for box elder and can't find any reference but to a box elder bug. When buying maple from your lumber supplier, you may hear plenty of names for the wood: tiger maple, curly maple, birds-eye maple, fiddle back maple, red maple, soft maple, hard maple—the list goes on. Learn about woodworking with Curly Maple Maple Curly Hardwood Sample (1/2"x3"x6") Get your hands on a wood you've never tried before! These oils tend to bring out the curly or tiger looks of the maple. This is often referred to as "birds-eye maple." 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