Which Wood – Maple

Hard Maple

Did you know that the maple wood species are classified as hard or soft? However, the softer maples are still considered a hardwood – did that make sense? The softer option can almost always be a substitute for the hard or rock maple. So why do they differentiate?

Janka Hardness of Maple

  • Hard Maple – Acer Saccharum
    • AKA – Rock Maple or Sugar Maple, (yes, the Vermont State Tree)!!
  • Maple – Softer Maple?
    • Bigleaf
    • Box Elder
    • Red
    • Silver
    • Striped

Small Maple Cheese Board

The maple we receive is typically leftovers from a cabinet shop – quite a mixed variety, which is fine for cutting boards – cheese boards – cribbage boards, serving trays, etc.

Cabinet makers and furniture makers will usually offer maple, it’s a great option, although be careful when staining. Applying a stain to any hardwood, even with the softer maples can create a blotchy result. Wood toner is a good idea – trust me  – and ask for a sample.

Why isn’t Flame Maple in the above maple choices? Because the flame is grain character based on how the tree grows, not a wood species. Get it?

  • Flame Maple – Tiger Maple
    • AKA –  Flamed, Curly, Ripple, Fiddleback or Tiger Stripecropped-default-ehow-images-a04-ol-hp-what-tiger-maple-800x8001.jpg

As a fan of wood grain in general, maple doesn’t excite – Unless it’s it’s TIGER or Curly!! This curly – tiger flooring by Hull Forest Products would work for me – totally. It’s so pretty with just enough character, in my opinion.


Although, if the above was my flooring choice (maple is a wonderful flooring choice – hard wood remember), I wouldn’t want curly maple furniture in the same room – what about you?

Maple is also great for creating contrast, as my husband, the artisan who can’t keep it simple knows and these designs have been very popular.

Maple (with sap wood) and Walnut End Grain Cutting Board

Maple (with sap wood) and Walnut End Grain Cutting Board


Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?

Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?

Square is the New Small

Over this past year, the feedback we’ve received has been very helpful – thank you to everyone to has helped Creative Woodworking grow and learn. The handmade cutting boards – cheese boards, the designs, the wood species, the sizes and the shapes.

Mahogany - Maple Small Wooden Cutting Board

Mahogany – Maple Small Wooden Cutting Board

One thing we realized is that our small board, 7″ x 10″ x 1″ is a bit small. The new small will be square – 10 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ x 1″ – initial thoughts and comments have been favorable.

mahogany-maple-square-cutting-board (2)

Mahogany – Maple Small Square Wooden Cutting Board

Rustic Cherry Wooden Cutting Board 7" x 10" x 1"

Rustic Cherry Wooden Cutting Board 7″ x 10″ x 1″

Above is the orginial small size and below is the “new small” – try not to be distracted by the wood tone – isn’t crazy how much prettier cherry becomes as it ages? Same knife, what do you think?

Rustic Cherry Wooden Cutting Board 10 1/4" x 10 1/4" x 1"

Rustic Cherry Wooden Cutting Board 10 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ x 1″

Do you think we’ve made the right decision?

Mahogany - Maple Small Cutting Board

Mahogany – Maple Small Cutting Board

Small Cutting Board in Hickory

Thank you Atlantic Plywood!!

Guess who we purchase lumber from?


Where’s Sandy?


Sandy in Cherry – Maple with Putney Wine, What could go wrong?


Sandy in Walnut – Maple Skinny

This design, I (Sandy), can’t really take credit for as we had a similar Kitchen-aid….It’s an almost copy!

See what I mean?


Sandy in Sapele – Maple Equal and Maple – Walnut Skinny


Sandy in Mahogany – Maple


How cool is bamboo?


Sandy in Walnut

Bamboo is pretty cool, but Walnut is cooler – according to Sandy.