I am planning a woodworking project and intend to build this project
(work table) with maple. I understand that there are both hard and
soft maples. How would you know hard maple from soft maple? My options
for purchasing lumber include purchasing rough-sawn from a hardwood
dealer or buying S4S from a lumber yard or my local big-box building
supply company which recently began carrying maple 1X stock.
While I am sure that the maple at the hardwood deal is in fact hard -
how might I tell if the maple at the lumber yard (S4S) is hard rather
Thanks in advance,
You must have some pretty strong fingernails. IME, even "soft" maple
is pretty hard. There's no way that I can dig a fingernail into it.
I don't know is this is universal, but the soft maple I've seen has a
bit more color and a more pronounced grain, while hard maple is very
light and has almost no noticeable grain. (But when you're looking at
them rough, it's pretty hard to judge the color and grain.)
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 18:25:48 GMT, "Leon"
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Welll... ;~) I keep my nails pretty short and the don't bend easily... and
you may have a "harder" soft maple in your neck of the woods that what I
see. My supplier keeps them both next to each other.....I don't know why,
and they get mixed..
At my supplier I have to pick my way past the cowpats and I'm expected
to help swing the engine on the tractor-powered sawbench if I want any
big ripping done. They're not big on barcodes or shelf labels.
The density is probably the best guide. Hard maples have a specific
gravity over 0.55, soft maples below this (total range is about 0.45 -
0.65). Although there's a correlation with species, there are no
single "hard maple" or "soft maple" species. Sugar maples are hard,
red maples soft. The rest are variable.
Variable?...never heard that one before. It's one or the other...
Hard maple: black, sugar
Soft maple: red, silver
(from the "Wood Handbook...Wood as an Engineering Material", US Dept
of Agriculture, Forestry Products Laboratory)
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And this should be valuable in practice because ...?
Also you forgot to specify OD or green.
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Actually it is simpler:
Acer saccharum yields hard maple (also Acer nigrum if this is acknowledged
as separate from Acer saccharum)
Acer rubrum and Acer saccharinum yield soft maple
All other maples yield maple (with or without a specifier)
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