Silver Maple any good?

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I have some land that has open space that I plan to plant trees on for eventual use in my shop. I enjoy working with maple and was wondering if silver maple is any good. It is the fastest growing of all maple trees but when I read up on them, their downfall as a tree is that they are brittle and limbs snap easily. Would this be a problem as well when working with it in the shop?
Thanks in advance Craig Orput Camas WA
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. wrote:

Dunno, but it's an interesting question, so I went googling.
http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/acesah/management_considerations.html
Sounds like the tree is a bit hard to manage for useful timber. You have to have stands large enough to keep sunlight from falling onto the boles in order to get clear lumber. When harvesting, you have to clear cut big stands to avoid the same sort of problems.
The trees are brittle and disease prone. They really want to be alive, so after you butcher one up for lumber, the stump will continue sprouting for years, wasting your space with weak, useless wood.
This site
http://www.cnr.vt.edu/dendro/LandownerFactsheets /
has some handy quick glance factsheets showing the relative merit of the species in its database for various purposes. The two maples listed (red and silver) both get a 4/5 for growth and a 2/5 for timber value.
Yellow birch gets a 3/5 for growth and a 3/5 for timber value.
White oak gets a 2/5 for growth, and 3/5 for timber value.
Black walnut gets a 4/5 for growth and a 5/5 for timber value.
Well, that lead to a lot of other interesting surfing, but I never quite found what I was looking for. I'm sure there are "so I have some land, what do I plant?" sites out there, but I didn't google one up.
Based on this little jaunt into googleland though, I don't think I'd bother with silver maple if I had a big hunk of land and wanted to plant some fast growing short term harvest timber trees to feed my own shop. Soft maple is the off brand vanilla ice cream of the wood scene in these parts. It's got better working qualities than poplar, and it can be pretty, but mostly it's about as exciting as a trip to the bedding department with SWMBO to pick out new pillowcases. If I were going to grow trees for slaughter, I think I'd look elsewhere.
YMMV.
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Silvan writes:

He might think about liquidamber (sweetgum) or sycamore, both fast growing hardwoods that produce great wood.
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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I have seen sweetgum mentioned as a valued wood. I do not value it on my property. Its limbs break and mess up the fences, the fruit is annoying, its leaves can be gorgeous in the fall. I do not recall ever seeing it in a woodstore, not Home Depot or 84 lumber but at a real wood store. So what makes it a valued hardwood besides the fact that it grows pretty fast?
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

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I've used it, and like it.
I was intrigued by a June 2000 article in FWW by Jon Arno, where he states: "Sweetgum deserves better than its reputation as a counterfeiter's favorite. True, it takes stain well enough to pass for cherry or walnut. But it also machines beautifully and often produces attractive figuring."
I had a log milled and air dried it myself. Some warped and checked terribly despite my best amaturish attempt to keep it properly stickered and weighted. But what I ended up with was some very beautiful wood that works very well and finishes really nicely. There is a big difference in the heartwood and sapwood. Most of my log, though large, was sapwood. I believe they also call the heartwood Redgum.
(Charlie Self) wrote:

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Silver Maple is also known as Soft Maple. Silver Maple is used for furniture, turning, veneer, musical instruments, and flooring. Silver Maple is softer and less dense than Hard Maple. You should not have any problems working it in the shop. Silver Maple trees are known for breaking up water pipes and they have many surface roots--not a good landscaping tree.

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I cut up some soft maple this weekend for the wife (she's into pyrography) and it seemed to work very nicely. It also burns really evenly and well (with a wood burner- not a stove, though it probably works just fine for that, too)

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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Well, more accurately, silver maple is _one_ of the soft maples.
Its tangential/radial shrinkage ratio is the worst among commercial maples, and its specific gravity of .44 is quite a bit lower than the most commonly used (eastern) "soft" maple - red maple - at .49.
Of course, it's about as good as it gets on the left coast.
wrote:

but
it
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Is silver maple also witch hazel
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No, two completely different things.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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A group of Vancouver (BC) woodbutchers got together over a couple of weekends, hired a fellow with an Alaskan mill and milled approx 1300 - 1500 bd ft of Silver maple. It was a downed tree that formerly lined the driveway to an original homestead in our area. Woods's currently in the kiln but we've found some fantastic figuring in it and are looking forward to using it. It's not as hard as "hard" maple, but it's a nice wood. Our total price, cut, milled (9/4) and dried will be less than $0.55 / bd ft. Hard to beat.
Rob
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Do you have your shop up and running again yet? From the sound of this gloat, you have about 24 months...
Patriarch
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I'm up and running again. Finally!! It's not as pretty as the last shop, but it's functional and getting more-so every time I use it.. Thanks for asking.
And no, I don't have 24 months! The wood's in the kiln and due out in a few weeks (can't wait!!). Seriously thinking about making a new 2" thick front door out of it...Craftsman style maybe??? Then I'd have to make a matching screen door and...and...and...
The URL (below) is of a couple of kids gifts I finished on Sunday. Worlds fastest toothbrushing stools :) (roller blade wheels)
http://www.robswoodworking.com/images/stools.jpg
Rob
patriarch < wrote:

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<snip>

What am I missing here?
Patriarch
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Why make a normal stool when you can make one that you can flip over and ride... :)
Rob
patriarch < wrote:

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Well, for one, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine the user stepping up without realizing the stool's upside down....

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I'm up and running again. Finally!! It's not as pretty as the last shop, but it's functional and getting more-so every time I use it.. Thanks for asking.
And no, I don't have 24 months! The wood's in the kiln and due out in a few weeks (can't wait!!). Seriously thinking about making a new 2" thick front door out of it...Craftsman style maybe??? Then I'd have to make a matching screen door and...and...and...
The URL (below) is of a couple of kids gifts I finished on Sunday. Worlds fastest toothbrushing stools :) (roller blade wheels)
http://www.robswoodworking.com/images/stools.jpg
Rob
patriarch < wrote:

--


http://www.robswoodworking.com

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I'm up and running again. Finally!! It's not as pretty as the last shop, but it's functional and getting more-so every time I use it.. Thanks for asking.
And no, I don't have 24 months! The wood's in the kiln and due out in a few weeks (can't wait!!). Seriously thinking about making a new 2" thick front door out of it...Craftsman style maybe??? Then I'd have to make a matching screen door and...and...and...
The URL (below) is of a couple of kids gifts I finished on Sunday. Worlds fastest toothbrushing stools :) (roller blade wheels)
http://www.robswoodworking.com/images/stools.jpg
Rob
patriarch < wrote:

--


http://www.robswoodworking.com

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I cut up some silver maple about 2 yrs ago. Air dried it and made a cutting board center, surrounded by an osage orange frame. Burned the rest in the fireplace, great firewood also. Excellent wood for a cutting board center, and easy on knives. Worked well, and is a nice tight grained wood. It is called soft maple, but it's up there with cherry, mahogany, and walnut in it's hardness.

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(todd the wood junkie) wrote:

"Great firewood" compared to what? Poplar? IME, silver maple burns rapidly to ashes, whereas sugar maple burns slowly to coals as oak, ash, and hickory do.

Cherry and mahogany, yes. Walnut, no. Silver maple is only about 2/3 as hard as walnut.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
Get a copy of my NEW AND IMPROVED TrollFilter for NewsProxy/Nfilter by sending email to autoresponder at filterinfo-at-milmac-dot-com You must use your REAL email address to get a response.
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