Re: mapled out

I just did a google search, try it sometime, you'll like it.
Anyway, just to be nice, here's what I found.
There are an estimated 200 species of maple trees, all in the family Aceraceae.
Here are the North American species:
amur maple Acer ginnala
bigleaf maple Acer macrophyllum
black maple Acer nigrum
boxelder Acer negundo
canyon maple Acer grandidentatum
chalk maple Acer leucoderme
Freeman maple Acer x freemanii
hedge maple Acer campestre
Japanese maple Acer palmatum
mountain maple Acer spicatum
Norway maple Acer platanoides
paperbark maple Acer griseum
red maple Acer rubrum
Rocky Mountain maple Acer glabrum
silver maple Acer saccharinum
southern sugar maple Acer barbatum
striped maple Acer pensylvanicum
sugar maple Acer saccharum
sycamore maple Acer pseudoplatanus
vine maple Acer circinatum
Of these, I've only used sugar maple, also known as hard maple or rock maple. It is a great wood to work with, very dense and stable and is used widely in furniture and many other things. I have also seen reference made (but never used myself) soft maple.
Probably of more interest is the FIGURE you can get with maple. Birdseye maple, quilted maple, fiddleback maple, etc. are very common and you can get some amazing looking wood.
So, depending on what you are planning to use the maple for (i.e. a workbench top would likely be made with hard maple, but a veneer for a table might be birdseye or quilted), you will have many options.
Mike
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There are dozens of species. The ones that grow large enough to have commercial uses are classified as hard maple (sometimes called rock maple, for a reason) and soft maple. Hard maple is either sugar maple or black maple. Soft maple is usually silver maple, but it can be red maple, or in western North America, bigleaf maple.
How do you tell the difference? By looking at the leaves and the bark. Get a copy of "The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees" or do a Google search to try to find some pictures on the Web. It's pretty hard to describe the differences in a text medium such as newsgroups, but here's a start: the maple leaf on the Canadian flag is sugar maple. The leaves of silver maple are much more deeply toothed and notched, and have a pronounced silvery-white color on the underside (hence the name silver maple).
If you're looking at the lumber, by weight and hardness. Sugar maple and silver maple wood look similar, but sugar maple is a *lot* harder and heavier.
Whether one is better than the other depends on the purpose to which it's being put. You probably wouldn't want to use soft maple for a workbench, nor hard maple for anything that needs to be carved.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Save the baby humans - stop partial-birth abortion NOW
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You want sugar/rock maple. I understand that it is the hardest.
On Fri, 01 Aug 2003 12:21:28 GMT, "DAN & CINDY"

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How can you say that, without knowing what he's going to use it for?

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Save the baby humans - stop partial-birth abortion NOW
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One species to be careful of that is in the maple family is boxelder. Depending on what you want to do with the wood, it may not be suitable as it is very weak wood (virtually every storm-damaged tree you see here in the Midwest is a boxelder). Now, if you're just carving something some people like its pinkish tinge and it is quite soft. Nobody likes the bugs it is famous for... (external, they don't bore)

maples.
tell
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Speaking of wood, have I missed the wooden boat show, or if not, do you know when it's being held this year?
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I thought there was one in Mystic each year.

know
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That is called the "John Gardner Small Craft Weekend". I didn't go, but it was June 7 and 8.
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it
Oh well. I'll carve one out of scrap and call it a wooden boat show. :-)
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For Wooden boat shows across the country http://www.woodenboat.com/fbb.htm Joe who hasn't finished his rowboat yet from May
Doug Kanter wrote:

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As far as the lumber goes, hard maple resists an imprint from a thumbnail. Soft maple will take one.
Hard maple of the Acer saccharum variety has almost no dark heartwood, which makes it a more valuable tree than most soft maples.

maples.
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+ + + A little over 120 species, actually. They are all in the same family, although you can get in a fight as to which family. + + +

maple. It is a great wood to work with, very dense and stable and is used widely in furniture and many other things. I have also seen reference made (but never used myself) soft maple.
+ + + Basically all decent maple wood is soft maple, except for sugar maple, Acer saccharum (incl Acer nigrum) which is hard maple + + +

+ + + c 120 spp (not counting cultivars) + + +

+ + + to be told apart by looking at the leaves and the size and angle of the keys. + + +
Last but not least, is one better than the other?
+ + + Depends on what you think important. Lots of people think Japanes maples are best since they stay small PvR
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