hard maple vs soft maple - is one or the other preferred?

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You got a lot of good information in the replies to date, but one thing not mentioned is that soft maple can have a slight grey tinge to it when compared side by side with true hard maple. Don't get me wrong, both are nice and you can make really nice pieces from soft maple. For example, the "stock" kitchen cabinets in my house were made from soft maple, and they look and perform just fine, but when I duplicated the design for cabinets my laundry room in hard maple, the crisp whiteness of the hard maple in direct comparison is apparent, and frankly I prefer the crispy white.
Mutt
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

While we're on the topic, it's worth noting that (a) lots of hard maple does *not* have that crispy white color, and (b) the wood that does have it carries a premium price because of it.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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I guess I got a deal on my hard maple then, paid $3.20 or so a bd/ft and it is undoubtedly crispy white. I must admit I picked through about 1500 board feet to get my 600 bd ft. But the color was pretty consistent as I was checking with a block plane during the picking, I guess it depends on where its grown - this stuff was from central Pennsylvania around Williamsport. The soft was about $2.35.
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Hard maple is much more common in some locations because soft goes for hardwood pulp. Pulp goes by the pound, and soft maple, because it runs to larger darker heartwood than hard, and is heavier than aspen or conifers, is a better pulp load but worse sawlog.

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let me say this YOU SUCK!
soft maple costs me $5.15 and thats at the cheepest place in town. your getting soft maple at the same price I get poplur, the only thing I can get cheaper is fir/pine and that's not much cheaper
so a BIG YOU SUCK to all easterners, with your cheep hard wood. and no the Apolations are not real mountains so there! >:|
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Richard Clements wrote:

Maybe not, but they sure have your rocky crags licked for genetic diversity.
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Neither are the appellations. Now, the Appalachians, they are at least some tall hills (says someone who grew up in the Rocky Mountain state).
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On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 12:25:27 -0700, Richard Clements

Three years ago I had the chance to take a church in Ohio, right in the middle of hardwood forests. Thought about it seriously just because it was closer to lots of good wood. Ended up in Central Oregon. There is a reason this is called "high desert". Sagebrush and Juniper.
But the mountains *are* nice.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Tim Douglass responds:

I just finished writing an article about a vacation home in Amherst County, VA. Up a mountainside. It is steep enough that the road (dirt and winding) was kicking my S10's rear end out on the switchbacks. I'd liked to have been up there in the fall. Gorgeous area. Two pileated woodpeckers nearby as I drove back down. And, the real reward, I could still BREATHE when I got near the top!
Charlie Self "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Sir Winston Churchill
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