Silver Maple

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I have turnde a fair amount of Sillver Maple. It does seem to have a bit more luster when sanded to a fine grit, than most other woods. The color tends to be rather bland white, but it can spalt and mold rather spectacularly. It isn't too dense, so would make a better secondary wood. Here in western Oregon, a 30 year old Silver Maple will be 30 + inches in diameter. They grow very fast, then start to fall apart, due to rot in the centers. It can have some nice figure too. robo hippy
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CNT says...

Soft maple is a nice wood if you cut away the green and grey streaks. There isn't much grain, but a high percentage of it has some nice figure. I assume because of the very uneven quality, it is a very inexpensive wood. Your tree doesn't have much value unless there is a lot of figured wood in it, but that is a possibility. I loved working with it and I wish I had more access to it, but most hardwood dealers don't carry it because most people will pay the premium for hard maple that isn't cursed with the grey and green streaks.
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Remember the Chevy truck commercial? "That's character. Women _love_ character!"
The fact of the matter is that soft maple is often in the less premium section, but can be used in place of hard maple where the hardness isn't an issue, and the color is close. I use it all of the time for cases, frames, drawer sides & the like. I also use it, a lot, for my own furniture, because there is often great figure available at $3.15/bf. It blends well with cherry, particularly under shellac.
And for paint grade, it's more stable than birch, and harder than poplar, with a price premium (here) of less than $1/bf.
We're blessed with all kinds of wonderful wood species. They all have their roles and reasons.
Patriarch
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Why thank you sir, that sounds far better now... than before.
--
Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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Patriarch says...

I agree it is an underrated wood. Around 50% of the last batch I got had really noticeable figure once it was planed nicely. That was a heck of a bargain since it was one of the cheapest woods in the store. To my tastes, the working qualities were excellent too. Some references list it as moderately difficult to work, but I don't know why. The streaks aren't bad if they are compatible with the style of the project--OK if you are going for a rustic, close to the wood look, but I felt compelled to cut them out for a more elegant coffee table I was making for my mom at the time. I found enough figured wood to make the maple part of the top all figured. It wasn't a heavy quilted figure, but it was enough to be really eye catching under Rock Hard varnish. I'm pretty well disgusted with poplar and won't be buying much more of that. Soft maple is superior in every way. Now I just have to go through all the hardwood dealers to see if anyone sells it around here, which is actually kind of funny since the tree is literally like a weed around here.
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The neighbor has got a silver maple that overhangs my yard, and I'm about ready to sneak over and cut that sucker down myself. Everytime I mow the grass, I have to clean up downed branches from the thing. I'm worried that the sucker is going to fall on my roof one of these days when there's a strong wind- they get really big, and aren't very strong. I like working with maple, and I'd save the wood if I *were* cutting it down (but as noted above, it's the neighbor's- so I can't).
OTHO, the two in my yard are rock maple, and I wouldn't cut them down for anything- they're strong, heathy, provide good shade, and look nice. Ultimately it's up to you- but if the wife wants it gone, it's a good excuse to get yourself a chainsaw and a bunch of free wood- and you can always replant the spot with something of your own choice (I don't know about Milwaukee, but up here (near Rice Lake) maples are like weeds, and the one you've got was probably an accident in the first place!).

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