For additional detailed information, consult the following sources: If you have additional questions, please contact MFMA's Technical Director at 888-480-9138. It has good steam-bending properties. Many people prefer to use soft maple over hard maple for their customized furniture because hard maple doesn’t work well with stains and isn’t as versatile when it comes to creating customized pieces. Maple wood is available as hard and soft maple wood. In addition to butcher blocks, hard maple wood is also used for making pool cue shafts, wooden baseball bats. Maple. The acer saccharum to be most specific.. That species name, saccharum, is Latin for sugar. Some woods make beautiful accents on furniture, but they do not stand up to the test of time like kiln-dried soft maple wood. If you're trying to achieve a very light and consistent color, Hard Maple would be an excellent choice. It is still much stronger than many other types of lumber out there and can also help create some beautiful accents that hard maple cannot. Even though these two types are derived from different species, they are both hard woods and can be used to make long-lasting pieces of furniture. lol. We may also receive commissions on purchases from other retail websites. Soft is obviously easier to work and lighter. Being available from various sources of maple tree species allows soft maple wood to be available in larger quantities than other varieties such as hard maple. This type of wood is sought after by many furniture makers because it offers a wide range of benefits to both the designer and the customer. 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. Hard maple (1,450 lb f janka) is roughly twice as hard as soft maple (700-950 lb f janka)—primarily because it tends to grow about half as fast as most other soft maple species. Soft Maple also exhibits mineral streaking in the wood. In …, I'll wager good money that most woodworking enthusiasts have wondered how to burn letters into wood with the best wood burning tool at some point. This hardwood is the best type of maple for flooring due to the unique characteristics of this wood species. But why is soft maple considered to be the best over hard maple, and what is the difference between the two? Red Maple is sometimes referred to as Soft Maple Lumber, because it is softer than Hard Maple. They each come with their unique set of properties and characteristics as far as hardness, strength, and weight are concerned. Good soft maple lumber will bring almost as much as hard maple. Soft maple doesn't receive the spotlight that many domestic woods do, but for cabinetmakers and some furniture makers it is a popular alternative to the more expensive hard maple. If they are both considered to be hard woods, then why is soft maple given its name? Your email address will not be published. When it comes to choosing a durable yet beautiful and highly sustainable material for your new customized furniture, be sure to consider soft maple wood. As far as for what you can buy, this varies based on your location and which species grow in your area. When choosing the type of lumber, you want to use for a customized piece of wood furniture, there are usually two varieties of maple lumber available, hard maple and soft maple. It is used extensively in the box making industry, and often soft maple boxes are then covered with decorative wood veneers. Maple (sugar maple): Maple is a strong, dense, attractive hardwood, used in furniture and for butcher blocks. Brown maple comes from the center of various maple trees. Compared to sugar (hard) maple, cherry and walnut are softwoods too. A common measurement used to determine relative wood hardness is the Janka Hardness Test. For example, if you live in the eastern United States you’ll likely end up with furniture made of silver maple or red maple. However, it can occasionally yield some nice wood.February 17, 2012 Maple and ash are two different types of trees. "Hard maple" is the common term for two species of maple trees: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Black Maple (Acer nigrum). It also allows you to be more artistic and …, ​Nothing shreds wood quite like the different types of power saws. Because of their fine, straight grain, both varieties are more stable than many other woods. Various species of maple can fall under the soft maple category. Hard Maple, also known as 'clear Maple' is very common on kitchen cabinets with a Natural finish because of it's clarity and lack of grain imperfections. I am building kitchen cabinets using maple plywood and soft maple lumber for the raised panel doors. And once it has been kiln-dried, the wood is resilient against issues such as molding, cracking or warping, regardless of what type of humidity it is exposed to. The lumber has many of the same qualities as hard maple, however it is much less dense. So, definitely, you should give more info about what kind of furniture you are talking about. Natural resistance to decay and insects makes some types of wood especially well suited for use in patio furniture and other outdoor structures. While Brown Maple is sometimes referred to as “soft,” it is actually only soft in comparison to Hard Maple. For companies that hope to use soft maple as their primary source of lumber, this can be a great benefit. "Soft maple" is the common term for four species of maple trees: Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Red maple (Acer rebrum), Boxelder (Acer negundo) and Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). Lumber types are often classified as hard or soft. The sustainability of soft maple also means that customers receive customized furniture pieces that match well and have a consistent appearance, unlike tables and chairs that are made from different types of maple wood or other species. It glues, stains, and finishes well but doesn't take as high a polish as hard maple. However, they are all overall less strong and hard than hard maple, which makes them more affordable and easily available. NEED A PDF? It is still harder, stronger, and more durable than many other varieties of wood. Additionally, hard maple will take a stain more evenly than soft maple. Your email address will not be published. The main instances where you would want to stick with hard maple would be in applications where hardness and strength are important, such as: butcher blocks, flooring, workbench tops, etc. Plus, it grows twice as fast which means that a soft maple tree can be planted and harvested in half the time it takes to grow and harvest a hard maple tree. As I always say, “furniture” is a very big word. If you see a piece of just "maple" furniture in a store, chances are it is soft maple and that is legal as long as you do not advertise "hard maple". These varieties are used to make all types of home furnishings from bed frames to cupboards, chairs, and luxurious dining room tables. A year ago, Woodshop News wrote the following about the status of domestic wood markets: "Wood dealers have a 'wait-and-see' attitude when it comes to forecasting how wood markets will perform in 2010. Harder woods create good, solid long-lasting joinery in furniture. The flesh of soft maple trees -- in particular silver and red maple -- resembles that of hard maple, but is not as heavy, hard or strong. Silver maple is considered to be in the grouping of soft maples , and its wood is lighter, softer, and weaker than that of hard maple. The soft wood is commonly used in furniture and molding very resilient and hence it used for durable purposes, such as a butcher block. Range Cream white to reddish brown. And it goes straight from small tables to cupboards to beds. Here are the facts about why soft maple is the perfect wood for your custom furniture: It’s more sustainable. We do not mix Silver Leaf with this species, as is a common practice in the industry. Also, hard maple, while tough on tools, machines well while soft maple tears out and splinters. Both are types of hardwoods. This kind of maple, as the name suggest, is not as hard or as strong, so it is not used for flooring, but is ideal for wood-worked décor items, furniture veneers, crates and pallets. If you live out west, bigleaf maple is all the rage. Curly Maple is also referred to as sugar maple, rock maple, quilted maple, and hard rock maple. It all comes from the same tree: hard maple, rock maple, sugar maple, brown maple, white maple. Soft maple is commonly used for railroad crossties, boxes, pallets, crates, furniture, veneer, wooden ware and novelties. Soft Maple is an excellent material to choose when purchasing custom furniture for your home or office. QW staff favorites on Hard Maple include Natural, Michael's, Asbury and Rich Tobacco. … Silver maple is soft compared to sugar (hard) maple, but that isn’t saying much. It's a logical technical progression …, If you work with wood, then you should have the best wood chisels. What is a miter saw? Hard Maple is also used for gunstocks, tool handles, plywood dies, cutting blocks, woodenware, novelty products, sporting goods, bowling pins, and musical instruments. I have no experience finishing or refinishing floors, but I have done plenty of pieces of furniture. Hard maple is harder and has more density than birch. As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. Soft maple, on the other hand, is relatively easy to work with. Because soft maple wood can be sourced from several different trees in the maple … Required fields are marked *. 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. 847-450-0050, Procedures Removal of Infringing Material, Performance Standards in Sport Floor Project Specifications, Athletic Maple Floor Resurfacing Specification, Third and Third & Better Grade Descriptions, Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material; U.S.D.A., 1999, U.S.D.A. There is an ample number of the maple wood species but most commonly used maple for furniture manufacturing including Hard Maple. It is a beautiful wood for any woodworking project that has a soft and flowing figure. Along with being strong and durable, soft maple is also much less expensive than many other types of wood used to make customized furniture. It is a very smooth wood providing an excellent surface for darker dye stains like Onyx. Soft Maple (950 on the Janka Scale) gets its name because it is less dense than Hard Maple (1450 on the Janka Scale). It is preferred by many furniture creators because it is able to provide beautiful results that are less time consuming for the company and more affordable for the customer. When it comes to having customized furniture made, there are many different types of material that you can choose from. Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. Soft maple is versatile enough to be used in a broad range of furniture. The grain is very fine and uniform in appearance.Maple has the likeness of cherry, is about as hard as cherry, without carrying the cost of cherry wood. Soft maple is about 25 percent less hard than hard maple, has medium-bending and crushing strength, and is low in stiffness and shock resistance. No other cutting system gives us the control and accuracy that these motorized collections of sharp teeth do.I know …, https://www.facebook.com/The-Wood-Craftsman-1979629612302353/, https://www.pinterest.com/thewoodcraftsman/pins/. Here are a few facts that you may not know about soft maple wood. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. This type of wood works very well with different stains so that you can use it with your current home furnishings. Maple comes in two varieties: hard and soft. As a flooring material, it’s one of the highest quality based on durability alone as it … Curly Maple has been a favorite among furniture makers in America since the early colonial days. On the Janka hardness scale, which ranks wood density, hard maple ranks 1,450. Silver and big-leaf maple are softer and not as dense as the harder red or sugar maple and machine more easily, but are still harder than poplar. This gray coloring makes Soft Maple a much better paint grade option than stain grade, … CLICK HERE, mfma@maplefloor.org by The Wood Craftsman | Oct 21, 2019 | Best Wood for Furniture | 0 comments. The maple wood has a naturally creamy texture with attractive grain patterns. Forest Products Laboratory General Technical Report FPL-GTR-113, U.S. Forest Products Society Catalogue Number 7269, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin. This characteristic is a distinction derived from the foliage of the originating tree. Its growth rings are barely visible, but light brown streaks are common along the grain. Its color is light brown, with a reddish cast; the grain is usually straight, but also occurs in bird's-eye, curly, or wavy patterns. When you want something that is strong and durable, yet also provides you with a look of true elegance, you can’t go wrong by using quality maple lumber. At the end of the day though, the species isn’t that important – if it falls under soft maple, you’ll be able to enjoy all the advantages listed below. Hard Maple’s beauty and strength makes it a favorite for flooring, cabinetry, furniture, paneling and veneer. Hello and thanks for the A2A. Soft Maple is used to describe four other types of maple trees: Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Red maple (Acer rebrum), Boxelder (Acer negundo) and Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). Even though it has a lower price tag, that doesn’t mean that soft maple is a bad choice for your furniture. Of course, this only applies as long the company you employ uses trees that have been harvested locally. Soft Maple is an excellent material to choose when purchasing custom furniture for your home or office. That is another reason for the price of soft maple to be much less than other wood varieties. The wood is given its name because it is soft in comparison to hard maple. Some of the maple species that are considered soft maple include box elder, bigleaf maple, red maple, striped maple, and silver maple. These indispensable tools can make your job easier. All … Check Out Our Favorites, Best Wood Chisels: The Top Products You Can Buy Right Now, Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Power Saws. Ash is known to be one of the hardest hardwoods and has wide-ranging uses. And even though furniture experts will tell you that it’s one of the most durable types of lumber out there, it still doesn’t get the recognition that it deserves in terms of quality, making it a less desirable option for some customers simply based on that factor alone. Soft maple can be sourced from many different types of maple trees. They are hard and soft maple. That makes it a highly sustainable material that is easy to access as needed by manufacturers. For a simple test to tell the difference, Robert, mix two tablespoons of ferrous sulfate (iron sulfate) in one cup of water and shake until dissolved. The terms are also used to indicate wood obtained from their respective trees. And what are the things to know before deciding if you need one? The hard as rock maple floors are proving difficult. Other Names Carolina red maple, Drummond red maple, Maple, Red maple, Scarlet maple, Soft maple, Swamp maple, Water maple. There are two varieties of lumber that we can get from maple trees. Characteristics that make Acer saccharum perfect for MFMA flooring include fine and uniform texture, straight grain, resistance to shock, hardness and strength, resistance to dents and scratches, and stiffness. What Is Maple Hard Or Soft Wood? . It may be shaped and cut to suit the custom design of your choosing. This makes it softer and easier for furniture designers to work with. Maple is difficult to work with hand tools, and is usually expensive. Physical Characteristics: Soft maple is more likely than hard maple to be peppered with “pith flecks,” which are dark, irregular streaks or spots that usually result from insect attack on the growing tree. Using Maple in Design Quite often the wood is used for fine furniture and cabinetry. Soft maple works even more easily than hard maple. The uniqueness of maple’s patterns provides an opportunity to enhance interior design using a neutral backdrop. The Maple comes in both soft … It is readily distinguished from sugar maple (i.e., hard maple) as the leaves of silver maple have deep notches between the lobes, whereas sugar maple’s leaves have shallower notches. Types of Lumber: Pine, Oak and Maple. "Soft maple" is the common term for four species of maple trees: Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Red maple (Acer rebrum), Boxelder (Acer … Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. Yellow birch ranks 1,260. Lastly, hard maple will hold up much better than soft and is at least twice the price. The fact that it is so readily available makes it cost less. Unfortunately for lovers of maple wood, that natural resistance isn't a characteristic of maple, a hardwood that is otherwise an excellent choice for furniture … All MFMA maple flooring is manufactured exclusively from Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). Our Red Maple lumber is 100% Red Leaf Maple and comes from within about 100 mile radius (62 km) of our manufacturing facilities. While many of these tasks are also possible with other tools, few, if …, A hand saw is an important tool to have if you do a lot of handy jobs around the house or if you like to take on woodworking projects. Hard Maple turns well on a lathe and is resistant to abrasion. The soft maples are often used as a cheaper substitute for hard maple mouldings, or in applications where the trim is painted. 888-480-9138 Comparing Norway Maple to Hard Maple Strictly speaking, Norway Maple is its own species, not classified as either Hard Maple or Soft Maple. Both are quite hard as compared to other woods and both are specifically used for certain applications. "Hard maple" is the common term for two species of maple trees: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Black Maple (Acer nigrum). What Is A Miter Saw? Taking the hardness data into consideration with other hardwoods, Brown Maple is slightly easier than Maple to work with when being shaped. You can dent soft maple with your fingernail easily. Things You Should Know, What Type of Hand Saw Should You Buy? Maple is a white hardwood and is considered to have a very tight and even grain. 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