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Maple, Soft

In most respects Soft Maple is very similar to Hard Maple. Generally the sapwood is grayish white, sometimes with darker coloured pith flecks. The heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The wood is usually straight grained. Note that Red Maple (Acer Rubrum) & Silver Maple (Acer Saccharinum) can both be referred to as Soft Maple.

Thicknesses

Subject to availability

4/4
5/4
6/4
7/4
8/4
9/4
10/4
12/4
16/4
20/4
1/2"
3/4"
1"

Distribution

Eastern North America

Scientific Name

Acer rubrum, Acer Saccharinum

Specific Gravity: Basic

0.49

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.61

Janka Hardness

950

Colour/Appearance

Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood colour ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Red Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns.

Grain/Texture

Grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture. The growth rings tend to be lighter and less distinct in Soft Maples than in Hard Maple.

Rot Resistance

Rated as non-durable to perishable in regard to decay resistance.

Workability

Fairly easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though maple has a tendency to burn when being machined with high-speed cutters such as in a router. Turns, glues, and finishes well, though blotches can occur when staining, and a pre-conditioner, gel stain, or toner may be necessary to get an even colour.

Odor

No characteristic odor.

Allergies/Toxicity

Maples in the Acer genus, have been reported to cause skin irritation, runny nose, and asthma-like respiratory effects.

Pricing/Availability

Should be very moderately priced, though figured pieces such as curly or quilted grain patterns are likely to be much more expensive.

Sustainability

This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
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