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

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