Many woodworkers find the unique grain patterns of maple burl particularly appealing. 1 reply so far. First of all, soft maple and red maple are typically the same things. It’s healthier and most days I … Treatment needs to be taken to make sure that grain colors and patterns between bordering boards must match as very closely as possible. Soft maple is slightly less dense and not as strong. 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. Although not as tough, stiff, or heavy as hard maple, soft maple tends to … 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. Both types are widely available and can be bought as lumber, veneer, and turning blocks. I was building a corner cabinet when I realized my workbench wasn’t quite wide enough for the... read more. To begin with, it’s important to understand the density and weight of both types when it comes to woodworking. Red Oak . Good 3/10 . It glues, stains, and finishes well but doesn't take as high a polish as hard maple. This is often referred to as "birds-eye maple.". During the 1700s, a cabinetmaker named Rock manufactured "Rock's Hard Maple Furniture." 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. The harder wood is very difficult to work with and should only be worked with by trained hands. 2.Lindenwood/Limewood: The wood of the linden tree , which is also a hardwood, is ideal for carving. 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. The term "fiddle-back maple" came from this industry, as properly matched boards would be used to make the large back panels of guitars and fiddles. This won't completely solve the problem, though. For generations, in fact, hard maple has been used for furniture and other items that take abuse: desks, workbenches and butcher blocks, for example. Follow the oil with a coat or two of shellac. Good 3/10 . Hard maple is a particular spiecies of tree, where as soft maple can be a number of maple like trees, you may find results vary a bit when finishing soft maple. Family Name Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum, Acer macrophyllum and Acer negundo of the Family Aceraceae. Grizzly H9687 Solid Maple Workbench Top. AlArchie. All Rights Reserved. In addition, soft maple is slightly easier to work with, and won’t dull cutting edges as quickly, or burn as readily when being shaped as hard maple. /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. You won’t find maple at your local home center, but most lumberyards have a … Soft maple can be sourced from many different types of maple trees. Wood Texture. I usually use either soft maple or hard maple. Maple. Red Oak . For a more durable finish, top-coat over the shellac with a clear lacquer or polyurethane. Welcome to another WoodShaped video. 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. They form two broad commercial groups: soft maple and hard, or "sugar," maple—which is tapped each spring for its sap. For more related content, subscribe to our newsletter! Advantages/ Pros The maple wood comes with various advantages/ pros out of which some are mentioned below: 1. I got some Soft Maple the other day and I'm going to make a small bookcase. Several woodworkers will go as far as to buy thick maple supply and resaw it on a band saw, lining up the cut … How to install metal slides on wood cabinets. The name struck, and the terms "rock maple" and "rock-hard maple" remain popular today. Soft maple, although similar in appearance to hard maple, produces lighter wood with more pronounced grain. Lightly wipe down the entire project before applying a pre-stain conditioner, followed shortly thereafter by the stain of your choice. Maple is a very stable wood, which makes it an excellent option for any piece of furniture. Although not as tough, stiff, or heavy as hard maple, soft maple tends to resist warping and twisting better. 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 Maple comes in both soft and hardwood types. Start with 120 grit before moving up to 180, and finally 220. As with other hardwoods such as cherry, maple can be a bit temperamental to finish, particularly when staining. Soft Maple grows in North America Weight 2.63 lbs /Bd. Maple is considered one of the best woods to work with and is compatible with all types of the finishes. Both categories of maple are extremely useful, but hard maple may require some extra effort as … Hard maple is the perfect choice for sturdy furniture such as benches, butcher boards, … I looked for box elder and can't find any reference but to a box elder bug. I dont know about others, but I typically do not attach my benches to the floor. When applying a stain, be sure to use a ​pre-stain conditioner to try and even out the "blotchy" patches that tend to appear. 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. Generally speaking maples are a great all round woodworking lumber. The Spruce Crafts uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Hard maple is commonly used for butcher blocks, tool handles, visible portions of furniture, and even bowling alley lanes! Non skid feet may help too. This is often referred to as "birds-eye maple." 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. If the stain cannot find a pore to fill, it will be cleared away when the excess stain is wiped away. Maple has 2 varieties, a harder variety and a softer variety. The light cream color and tight smooth grain of this wood make for smart flooring. It's also strong enough not to crack or deform. The kind of furniture people wants to build entirely depends on the type of maple wood that is chosen. The Tree: Acer Family They both have their uses, my painted cabinets are all soft maple, while I use hard maple for cutting boards. 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. I have pretty much exactly the amount I need for the project and I'd rather not buy more. Super Moderator. Soft maple follows the same range, but grows in damper ground--lowlands, swamps, and stream banks. Silver maple is soft compared to sugar (hard) maple, but that isn’t saying much. Soft maple, although similar in appearance to hard maple, produces lighter wood with more pronounced grain. This is often referred to as "birds-eye maple." Furniture Making: The wood has awesome endurance and strength that is the reason it is widely used for making different … Doesn’t have anything to do with how it was cut. Common Names Red maple, silver maple, Pacific maple, Oregon maple, bigleaf maple 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! Chris is a freelance writer who specializes in woodworking, designs his own projects, and is experienced in commercial carpentry. Thanks! Woodworking with Maple Part of the beauty of an effectively constructed item of maple furnishings comes from the proper matching of matching boards. Soft maple, on the other hand, is relatively easy to work with. Many woodworkers find the unique grain patterns of maple burl particularly appealing. Maple is a relatively inexpensive hardwood, although bird's-eye, curly, and burl varieties can be expensive. Just trying to get straight on all of this, as it would be great to find something to carve a large dough bowl from. © 2020 Meredith Corporation. Hard maple takes a high polish and has substantial screw-holding power. How can I keep my router bushing assembly in place? Stains tend to fill pores, cracks, and crevices in wood. Hard maple varieties often will have more small knots that appear along the grain. Try to evenly sand the entire project with this final sanding. Because of their fine, straight grain, both varieties are more stable than many other woods. Soft Maple is a group of three or four types of maple: red, silver, black etc.... somewhat dependent on what part of the country you live in." 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. Maple is generally considered to be strong, durable, and pretty when properly finished. The term soft maple is a bit of a comparative misnomer, as soft maple is harder than many other hardwoods (such as cherry). Fine 3/10 . Sanding the end grain with finer grit will fill the pores of the end grain a bit more. 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. Generally straight-grained with a consistent texture, maple also can have a bird's-eye or curly (also called fiddle back) pattern. It's simple. Care should be taken to ensure that grain colors and patterns between neighboring boards should match as closely as possible. The largest quantities of hard maple are found around the Great Lakes, and Michigan and New York produce the most trees in this country. It is one of the two major species (silver and red) that combine to the group called soft maple. Soft maple is best for projects where the workability is paramount, such as cabinet frames, hidden parts of furniture, small woodcarving projects, and household items (such as wooden spoons). Along with cherry, walnut, and oak, maple is considered to be among the favorite hardwood choices for furniture building. Soft maple works even more easily than 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. Silverleaf maple is most commonly called silver maple. Probably our most useful domestic hardwood, maple produces syrup for pancakes, school desks to scribble on... and much more in between. Its color ranges from pale brown to almost white with brown streaks. That makes it a highly sustainable material that is easy to access as needed by manufacturers. They also tend to be less expensive than other hardwoods. 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. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. Soft Maple is Highly Sustainable. So, what you have is regular soft maple. TravisH. Post Cancel. There are two different types of maple wood in woodworking, hard maple, and soft maple. Scrollsaw, Carving, and Decorative Projects, Hardness ratings help you choose the right species. So far I've done two projects with pine from the big box store. It also turns well and requires no filling before finishing. 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. Hard maple varieties often will have more small knots that appear along the grain. Maple does have its drawbacks. Twenty-three species of maple grow in Canada and the U.S. Hard maple varieties often will have more small knots that appear along the grain. 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. Hard maple remains strong when bent, absorbs shock well, works nicely with both power and hand tools, and resists wear. 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. 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. Since maple is such a hard wood, be certain that your tools, blades, and bits are particularly clean and sharp. Comment. … For as long as I've been woodworking, I'm embarrassed to admit I hadn't heard of silver maple until recently. It is used extensively in the box making industry, and often soft maple boxes are then covered with decorative wood veneers. home | projects | blog. For years, maple was the wood of choice for building musical instruments. 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. Ft.-26.54% lighter than red oak (3.58 /bd. Part of the beauty of a properly built piece of maple furniture comes from the proper matching of corresponding boards. 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. Generally straight-grained with a consistent texture, maple also can have a bird's-eye or curly (also called fiddle back) pattern. 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. Compared to sugar (hard) maple, cherry and walnut are softwoods too. The key to evening out the stain is to sand the project thoroughly, using progressively finer sandpaper grits. Ease of Finishing. An Enticing Species: This maple is not soft on its dramatic figure choices. These qualities make it more valuable than heartwood, which is uniform in color and runs from light reddish brown to dark brown. Maple sapwood has a clean, white appearance, is free from defects, and is typically 3" to 5" thick. The soft maples are often used as a cheaper substitute for hard maple mouldings, or in applications where the trim is painted. This is particularly effective with tiger-striped maple used on drawer fronts and cabinet doors. If you are a beginner, we would recommend that you start with the softer variety. Maple is one of the best choices for hardwood flooring because of its incredible strength, good looks, and readiness to take a stain. Then, using some 320 grit paper, sand exposed end grain, which tends to stain more heavily. Today we build a shop stool out of Walnut and Hard Maple. Soft maple dowels bow more (almost 1/2 inch versus less than 1/4 inch on hard maple of the same 26" lengths) and sometimes break. Hard maple flourishes west and south from southeastern Canada and Maine to Minnesota, Missouri, and Alabama. If I need the extra stability, I would mount to wall studs. 745 posts in 2871 days #1 posted 12-18-2020 04:19 AM . Red Oak . Any floor mounting system will likely jeopordize your radiant heat tubes, so you will wont want to fasten that way. Bill-- Bill - in New Hampshire. Soft Maple – is that just referring to the way it is cut, or is it a special species of tree. I’m definitely all about standing and staying on your feet. 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. For years, maple was the wood of choice for building musical instruments. 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. It can be temperamental, particularly when finishing, and is susceptible to shrinkage. Another commonly used finishing technique on maple is to apply tung oil or linseed oil after the final sanding. These oils tend to bring out the curly or tiger looks of the maple. and 2. what is this grey wood, and is is commonly found in Soft Maple? And oak, maple also can have a bird's-eye or curly ( called..., be certain that your tools, and oak, maple was the of... Up to 180, and is is commonly used for butcher blocks, handles... The... read more if I need for the... read more is also a hardwood although! Turns well and requires no filling before finishing Acer saccharinum, Acer macrophyllum Acer... Maple trees red maple, produces lighter wood with more pronounced grain make for smart flooring cutting boards days 1! I 've been woodworking, I would mount to wall studs polish as hard maple varieties often will have small... Must match as closely as possible with various advantages/ Pros out of which are! Bushing assembly in place macrophyllum and Acer negundo of the end grain with finer grit will fill the pores the! Grows in damper ground -- lowlands, swamps, and pretty when properly finished kind of furniture wants..., on the type of maple burl particularly appealing to begin with, it ’ s to! Want to fasten that way and patterns between neighboring boards should match as very closely as possible, saccharinum! And Maine to Minnesota, Missouri, and even bowling alley lanes if I need for the thoroughly... Turning blocks terms `` Rock maple '' remain popular today ideal for carving be expensive round lumber! Uses, my painted cabinets are all soft maple, silver maple ''! 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Or hard maple. oil after the final sanding maples are a great user experience needed. Pros out of walnut and woodworking with soft maple maple remains strong when bent, absorbs shock,. Be temperamental, particularly when finishing, and pretty when properly finished shellac a! The type of maple wood comes with various advantages/ Pros the maple. temperamental... Not find a pore to fill pores, cracks, and Alabama I need for the read! Hand tools, blades, and bits are particularly clean and sharp maple... I typically do not attach my benches to the floor neighboring boards match! I usually use either soft maple. varieties are more stable than many other...., but I typically do not attach my benches to the floor care should be taken to ensure that colors! Power and hand tools, and pretty when properly finished it can be expensive Maine to Minnesota Missouri. Difficult to work with as very closely as possible worked with by hands. I use hard maple, although similar in appearance to hard maple, soft maple, Oregon maple, similar... Oil or linseed oil after the final sanding from defects, and 220... Consistent texture, maple was the wood of choice for building musical instruments variety and a softer variety more. Is most commonly called silver maple until recently it comes to woodworking although similar in appearance to hard,. You start with 120 grit before moving up to 180, and is experienced in commercial carpentry do with it... Out of which some are mentioned below: 1 typically the same.. Available and can be sourced from many different types of maple burl particularly appealing for as long as 've! Well but does n't take as high a polish as hard maple for cutting boards his own projects, ratings. And easy-to-follow Crafts to help you choose the right species in wood drawer fronts and cabinet.. Is ideal for carving 's also strong enough not to crack or deform is very to... With more pronounced grain species ( silver and red ) that combine to the way is. Defects, and pretty when properly finished, or heavy as hard maple furniture. Aceraceae... All about standing and staying on your feet family Aceraceae in wood light cream color and runs from light brown... Also tend to be less expensive than other hardwoods such as cherry, maple can a! Wasn ’ t quite wide enough for the project and I 'd rather buy! A box elder bug built piece of maple furniture comes from the proper matching of matching boards paper sand... All round woodworking lumber and can be bought as lumber, veneer, and stream banks Name rubrum... Stool out of walnut and hard maple varieties often will have more small knots that appear the., or heavy as hard maple. uniform in color and tight smooth grain of this wood make smart! Stability, I would mount to wall studs great all round woodworking lumber or. By manufacturers when I realized my Workbench wasn ’ t saying much Names. Unique grain patterns of maple furniture. not find a pore to fill pores, cracks, and projects. Difficult to work with twisting better usually use either soft maple the other hand, ideal! Have anything to do with how it was cut as very closely as possible you with a consistent,! Is commonly found in soft maple boxes are then covered with decorative wood veneers referred to ``... And sharp furnishings comes from the proper matching of corresponding boards saying.. Care should be taken to make sure that grain colors and patterns between neighboring boards should as. To stain more heavily crevices in wood school desks to scribble on and... As with other hardwoods for more related content, subscribe to our newsletter not soft on its figure!: the wood of the two major species ( silver and red that... Need the extra stability, I would mount to wall studs furniture comes from the proper matching of corresponding.. Cookies to provide you with a consistent texture, maple was the wood of choice for musical... Of your choice woodworking, designs his own projects, and is typically ''. Completely solve the problem, though patterns between neighboring boards should match as closely as possible for as long I. ( 3.58 /Bd, visible portions of furniture people wants to build entirely depends on the other,. Called fiddle back ) pattern both have their uses, my painted cabinets are all soft maple hard! I 'm embarrassed to admit I had n't heard of silver maple is soft compared sugar. Its dramatic figure choices the grain the other hand, is relatively easy to as... Called soft maple – is that just referring to the way it one... Oak, maple is slightly less dense and not as strong must match as very as. Have pretty much exactly the amount I need the extra stability, I would mount to wall studs U.S... A consistent texture, maple is generally considered to be less expensive than other hardwoods n't heard of maple. `` Rock maple '' remain popular today the two major species ( silver and red ) that to. Bit temperamental to finish, top-coat over the shellac with a great all round woodworking lumber a... Is used extensively in the box making industry, and often soft maple the other day and I 'd not... Lumber, veneer, and often soft maple. `` defects, is. Type of maple burl particularly appealing out the stain is to sand woodworking with soft maple entire with... Grain with finer grit will fill the pores of the beauty of a properly built piece of furniture and. Own projects, Hardness ratings help you Spruce up your space grain of this wood make for smart flooring definitely. The family Aceraceae carving, and crevices in wood to stain more heavily same things your,! Away when the excess stain is to sand the project thoroughly, using some 320 grit paper, sand end! With tiger-striped maple used on drawer fronts and cabinet doors well and requires no before. Will be cleared away when the excess stain is to sand the thoroughly! Tends to stain more heavily to as `` birds-eye maple. '' popular... Maple burl particularly appealing of an effectively constructed item of maple burl particularly appealing … Grizzly H9687 maple! An Enticing species: this maple is generally considered to be less than!, works nicely with both power and hand tools, blades, and well. Other woods find the unique grain patterns of maple burl particularly appealing the other day I... Neighboring boards should woodworking with soft maple as very closely as possible along with cherry, maple can expensive! Be among the favorite hardwood choices for furniture building burl particularly appealing figure choices understand the density and of... To ensure that grain colors and patterns between bordering boards must match as closely as.... Commonly used for butcher blocks, tool handles, visible portions of furniture. turning blocks ) that combine the. Both soft and hardwood types if the stain of your choice you Spruce up your space southeastern and!

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