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
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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.

curly-tiger-maple

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

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Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?

Mahogany or Sapele with Maple?