Even though it has a lower price tag, that doesn’t mean that soft maple is a bad choice for your furniture. They are hard and soft maple. All MFMA maple flooring is manufactured exclusively from Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum). These varieties are used to make all types of home furnishings from bed frames to cupboards, chairs, and luxurious dining room tables. 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. The lumber has many of the same qualities as hard maple, however it is much less dense. Maple (sugar maple): Maple is a strong, dense, attractive hardwood, used in furniture and for butcher blocks. Your email address will not be published. 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. Soft Maple (950 on the Janka Scale) gets its name because it is less dense than Hard Maple (1450 on the Janka Scale). 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. Red Maple is sometimes referred to as Soft Maple Lumber, because it is softer than Hard Maple. But why is soft maple considered to be the best over hard maple, and what is the difference between the two? I have no experience finishing or refinishing floors, but I have done plenty of pieces of furniture. Color and grain similarities make hard maples—sometimes called sugar, rock, sweet, or black maple—tough to distinguish from soft maples, which include red, silver, or swamp maple. 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. For additional detailed information, consult the following sources: If you have additional questions, please contact MFMA's Technical Director at 888-480-9138. It is still harder, stronger, and more durable than many other varieties of wood. 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 … 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. For companies that hope to use soft maple as their primary source of lumber, this can be a great benefit. ... easy” way that I know of. When it comes to having customized furniture made, there are many different types of material that you can choose from. Maple and ash are two different types of trees. 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. Soft Maple also exhibits mineral streaking in the wood. . On the Janka hardness scale, which ranks wood density, hard maple ranks 1,450. It also allows you to be more artistic and …, ​Nothing shreds wood quite like the different types of power saws. Taking the hardness data into consideration with other hardwoods, Brown Maple is slightly easier than Maple to work with when being shaped. by The Wood Craftsman | Oct 21, 2019 | Best Wood for Furniture | 0 comments. The hard as rock maple floors are proving difficult. Check Out Our Favorites, Best Wood Chisels: The Top Products You Can Buy Right Now, Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Power Saws. Soft maple can be sourced from many different types of maple trees. 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. Soft Maple is an excellent material to choose when purchasing custom furniture for your home or office. It has good steam-bending properties. This type of wood works very well with different stains so that you can use it with your current home furnishings. However, they are all overall less strong and hard than hard maple, which makes them more affordable and easily available. Hard Maple’s beauty and strength makes it a favorite for flooring, cabinetry, furniture, paneling and veneer. Maple is difficult to work with hand tools, and is usually expensive. 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 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. Your email address will not be published. 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. The acer saccharum to be most specific.. That species name, saccharum, is Latin for sugar. Its growth rings are barely visible, but light brown streaks are common along the grain. Comparing Norway Maple to Hard Maple Strictly speaking, Norway Maple is its own species, not classified as either Hard Maple or Soft Maple. Here are a few facts that you may not know about soft maple wood. These indispensable tools can make your job easier. Maple. Also, hard maple, while tough on tools, machines well while soft maple tears out and splinters. Along with being strong and durable, soft maple is also much less expensive than many other types of wood used to make customized furniture. The soft wood is commonly used in furniture and molding very resilient and hence it used for durable purposes, such as a butcher block. Because soft maple wood can be sourced from several different trees in the maple … Of course, this only applies as long the company you employ uses trees that have been harvested locally. Hard Maple turns well on a lathe and is resistant to abrasion. It's a logical technical progression …, If you work with wood, then you should have the best wood chisels. Harder woods create good, solid long-lasting joinery in furniture. The wood is given its name because it is soft in comparison to hard maple. Soft Maple is an excellent material to choose when purchasing custom furniture for your home or office. Range Cream white to reddish brown. 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. 888-480-9138 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. Ash is known to be one of the hardest hardwoods and has wide-ranging uses. All … Hard maple is harder and has more density than birch. What Is Maple Hard Or Soft Wood? A common measurement used to determine relative wood hardness is the Janka Hardness Test. It is used extensively in the box making industry, and often soft maple boxes are then covered with decorative wood veneers. Good soft maple lumber will bring almost as much as hard maple. This makes it softer and easier for furniture designers to work with. It is a beautiful wood for any woodworking project that has a soft and flowing figure. Using Maple in Design Quite often the wood is used for fine furniture and cabinetry. And it goes straight from small tables to cupboards to beds. It all comes from the same tree: hard maple, rock maple, sugar maple, brown maple, white maple. The soft maples are often used as a cheaper substitute for hard maple mouldings, or in applications where the trim is painted. 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. It may be shaped and cut to suit the custom design of your choosing. Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. This hardwood is the best type of maple for flooring due to the unique characteristics of this wood species. "Soft maple" is the common term for four species of maple trees: Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Red maple (Acer rebrum), Boxelder (Acer … Soft maple is versatile enough to be used in a broad range of furniture. They each come with their unique set of properties and characteristics as far as hardness, strength, and weight are concerned. As a flooring material, it’s one of the highest quality based on durability alone as it … 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). That is another reason for the price of soft maple to be much less than other wood varieties. Some woods make beautiful accents on furniture, but they do not stand up to the test of time like kiln-dried soft maple wood. 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. NEED A PDF? 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. Various species of maple can fall under the soft maple category. 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 fact that it is so readily available makes it cost less. 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. It is a very smooth wood providing an excellent surface for darker dye stains like Onyx. We do not mix Silver Leaf with this species, as is a common practice in the industry. The maple wood has a naturally creamy texture with attractive grain patterns. Hard Maple is also used for gunstocks, tool handles, plywood dies, cutting blocks, woodenware, novelty products, sporting goods, bowling pins, and musical instruments. The Maple comes in both soft … 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. For example, if you live in the eastern United States you’ll likely end up with furniture made of silver maple or red maple. Curly Maple has been a favorite among furniture makers in America since the early colonial days. 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. Maple is a white hardwood and is considered to have a very tight and even grain. Maple comes in two varieties: hard and soft. … 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. Silver maple is soft compared to sugar (hard) maple, but that isn’t saying much. Curly Maple is also referred to as sugar maple, rock maple, quilted maple, and hard rock maple. In addition to butcher blocks, hard maple wood is also used for making pool cue shafts, wooden baseball bats. Both are quite hard as compared to other woods and both are specifically used for certain applications. Natural resistance to decay and insects makes some types of wood especially well suited for use in patio furniture and other outdoor structures. 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. As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, this site may earn from qualifying purchases. This gray coloring makes Soft Maple a much better paint grade option than stain grade, … 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. What is a miter saw? 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. 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. And what are the things to know before deciding if you need one? This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Lastly, hard maple will hold up much better than soft and is at least twice the price. 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. What Is A Miter Saw? Other Names Carolina red maple, Drummond red maple, Maple, Red maple, Scarlet maple, Soft maple, Swamp maple, Water maple. 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. Soft maple is commonly used for railroad crossties, boxes, pallets, crates, furniture, veneer, wooden ware and novelties. Compared to sugar (hard) maple, cherry and walnut are softwoods too. 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. Required fields are marked *. Hello and thanks for the A2A. 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. 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. "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). Types of Lumber: Pine, Oak and Maple. This characteristic is a distinction derived from the foliage of the originating tree. Our Red Maple lumber is 100% Red Leaf Maple and comes from within about 100 mile radius (62 km) of our manufacturing facilities. "Hard maple" is the common term for two species of maple trees: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Black Maple (Acer nigrum). Soft is obviously easier to work and lighter. The terms are also used to indicate wood obtained from their respective trees. Additionally, hard maple will take a stain more evenly than soft maple. Soft maple, on the other hand, is relatively easy to work with. You can dent soft maple with your fingernail easily. Both are types of hardwoods. 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. Yellow birch ranks 1,260. If you're trying to achieve a very light and consistent color, Hard Maple would be an excellent choice. However, it can occasionally yield some nice wood.February 17, 2012 As I always say, “furniture” is a very big word. As far as for what you can buy, this varies based on your location and which species grow in your area. That makes it a highly sustainable material that is easy to access as needed by manufacturers. Soft maple works even more easily than hard maple. Brown maple comes from the center of various maple trees. 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. If you live out west, bigleaf maple is all the rage. Some of the maple species that are considered soft maple include box elder, bigleaf maple, red maple, striped maple, and silver maple. The uniqueness of maple’s patterns provides an opportunity to enhance interior design using a neutral backdrop. Here are the facts about why soft maple is the perfect wood for your custom furniture: It’s more sustainable. I am building kitchen cabinets using maple plywood and soft maple lumber for the raised panel doors. Because of their fine, straight grain, both varieties are more stable than many other woods. 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. Maple wood is available as hard and soft maple wood. 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. It glues, stains, and finishes well but doesn't take as high a polish as hard maple. We may also receive commissions on purchases from other retail websites. "Hard maple" is the common term for two species of maple trees: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Black Maple (Acer nigrum). 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. If they are both considered to be hard woods, then why is soft maple given its name? So, definitely, you should give more info about what kind of furniture you are talking about. 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". 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