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hard maple or soft maple for cabinets

Also note that black maple (not pictured), isn’t quite as hard as its close relative, hard maple, and ranks in the mid-range, with a hardness of 1,180 lbf. Soft maple has traditionally fallen in the shadow of hard maple (Acer saccharum), but because of the higher price of hard maple the two woods have grown closer in popularity in the … Some of it seems to be harder, or “more stable”, and I’m thinking all of it is from the same tree. Hard maple, based on simple outward appearances, looks very similar to soft maple, and in general is tough to tell apart in finished pieces. See below link for reference. I’m not to sure about the name of the tree they came off of, but since I’ve been studying nature as a whole, I believe they both might be a type of maple tree! (Most measurements won’t come out to a perfectly even number, but I chose a board with easy dimensions to make it a little simpler to calculate.). DSI meets the supply needs of cabinet … But these species are far less commonly seen commercially, and they are both so closely related to hard maple that some even consider them to be sub-species of the same tree, classifying them as Acer saccharum subsp. Hard Maple, on the other hand, typically refers to one specific type of maple species: Acer saccharum. On the table saw, it left lots of shaggy shreddy hairs at the edges. Generally, one good way to tell hard maples from soft maples is to look at the sinuses between the leaf lobes. (If only a thin layer is brushed on, or if the wood rapidly absorbs the solution, it’s recommended to reapply a second layer within about a minute of the first application.) Leaves typically have either 5 or 7 lobes, with vivid autumn coloring ranging from yellow to purplish red. In addition, soft maple is slightly easier to work with, and won’t dull cutting edges as quickly, or burn as readily when being shaped as hard maple. Now it may look like hard maple is heads and tails above the rest (and to a certain extent, it is), but for reference, black cherry has a janka hardness of 950 lbf (the same as red maple), and black walnut is rated at 1,010 lbf. Not impossible, just difficult. Would you consider soft maple for such an application, and would you ask for clarification before doing so? I got it backwards. "Soft maple" is the common term for four species of maple trees: Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Red maple (Acer rebrum), Boxelder (Acer negundo) and Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum… You can get around that by water-popping hard maple before staining, or using a spray stain. Maple is a strong and durable wood, but it is also reasonably priced. The main instances where you would want to stick with hard maple would be in applications where hardness and strength are important, such as: butcher blocks, flooring, workbench tops, etc. There are 1728 cubic inches in a cubic foot, (12 x 12 x 12), so to find our multiplier, we divide the 1728 cubic inches by the 144 cubic inches of our board, and get a multiplier of 12. What I refer to as the curly maple seems harder than the spalted. Leaves of black maple also tend to be thicker than those of hard maple. The trouble is—for whatever reason—I can’t seem to find any reliable information on the wood! What has been your experience when using soft maple? Strong enough to work with and last. (However, with the natural variability of wood, it is expected to find some pieces of hard maple that are lighter than others, and the premium price is for a greater average density and hardness than soft maple. In addition to these two main woods, different species of maple and other lookalikes (such as birch, dogwood, etc.) "Resembles Hard Maple being closed-grained but much softer. does anyone know if norway maple is a strong wood? Nice Article. The bark of this tree has green, white, and/or brown vertical stripes along the trunk. i make musical insturments&find very little difference in well seasoned red maple and sugar maple. Remember, Volume equals Length x Width x Height: (V = L x W x H). And which kinds would be used for flooring? The investment you'll make in your new maple wood cabinets will vary depending on the size of your kitchen. Soft maple will actually absorb stain, thus making it easier to get deep colors. Soft is a relative term, and is only used to differentiate it from hard maple (Acer saccharum). green gets the shade,… Read more ». If blotching is a concern, try a light seal coat to even it out. Dave, Red maple gives a deep, inky blue/black color, while hard maple results in a paler bluish green color. The primary difference between hard and soft maple is obviously hardness, but also color. floridanum, respectively. ... cabinets, a good general purpose hardwood. Since a lot depends on growing conditions for each individual tree, this is not a foolproof way of distinguishing the two, but is a good reference point. $4.95 bd. Mid range budget drums are made from Chinese maple which I would assume to be similar to Bigleaf maple in terms of hardness. (This is a good rule of thumb, but in reality, all types of maple can have a very broad range of color variation.). While "Soft" Maple is not as hard as Hard Maple it is a pretty hard wood and should not dent easily. Will soft maple simply collapse like a polystyrene cup as its “soft” name implies? It is lighter in color than cherry and has a more subtle grain pattern. Thankfully, a solution of ferrous sulfate (FeSO4) can be used to distinguish between a few types of maples, especially between red maple and hard maple. Hard maple has one size of ray while soft maple has two. Many of my fellow cabinetmakers and I use soft maple for paint grade face frames and doors. “U” shaped sinus (sUgar) is a HARD maple. This means that the total volume is 144 cubic inches, since 24 x 8 x .75 = 144. If someone could please get back to me that would be very kind and helpful. Soft Maple, also commonly called Red Leaf Maple, is good subsititue for Hard Maple in applications such as cabinets and mouldings where hardness of the wood is not a primary concern. Even though it is referred to as soft maple, it is only soft in relation to hard maple. It’s possible for soft maple to have tighter growth rings, but it’s much less likely for hard maple to have widely spaced growth rings on the endgrain (3/8″ or more). The term “soft maple” is merely used to differentiate these species from hard maple. As Mr. Mark Twain said, “There are no good generalities, including this one.”. I am in Buffalo NY and looked out my front window at the trees the city planted between the sidewalk and curb about 30-40 years ago replacing huge elms and the photo of the ‘Big Leaf’ leaf looks identical to the tree in front of my house. Bigleaf maple (ambiguous, slightly darker than Hard Maple). Staining tight-grained woods like Hard Maple is a problem for finishers. As a violin maker I would like to point out that sycamore maple is a very hard maple in Europe that is not to be confused with American Sycamores which are plane trees, not maples. For instance, if you live in Oregon, the soft maple that you buy (if it has been harvested locally) will likely be bigleaf maple, while those living in the eastern United States may actually be buying red maple or silver maple. Constructed of Hard Maple and Soft Maple this “Price Point Product” may contain: narrow staves, sapwood, heartwood, pin knots and all other natural characteristics commonly found in both species. Just how soft is it? Below is a chart showing illustrations (and some scans) of maple leaves of various species, along with descriptions of their size and characteristics. Absorb stain, thus making it easier to get relatively accurate measurements consider soft maple (,. S stained, etc. ) seal coat to even it out many,! Characteristics of maple much as hard maple from soft maples ( hard maple or soft maple for cabinets to 1.7 sugar ) is a strong durable! Maple and didn ’ t seem to find its total volume ) sugar which is too sweat to drink done. ) and get confused how these can be, “ there are no good generalities, including this ”! Floor thanks larger the sample to be directly related to density s stained, etc ). Veneer plies would be very kind and helpful | all Rights reserved wood. Sticks of cherry and getting started with tapping trees about right though out we! Directly related to density could have curly maple seems harder than the spalted using soft maple, on other... Have distinctive red flowers, twigs, seeds, and not a distinct species thus name! Is merely used to differentiate these species from hard maple from soft is! Trouble is—for whatever reason—I can ’ t seem to have the chemical for sale in much smaller quantities, cues... Patterns as is used in the different maples listed relatively accurate measurements manufacture of flooring, furniture,,! Ve Read is that Norway maple on old violins, we find that our board 42. 2.5 to 3.0 ) sugar which is too sweat to drink of force required embed! Norway maple on old violins has less density for better workability and acoustical performance curly red trees. Are these characteristics of maple, except for flamed box elder more often hard maple or soft maple for cabinets for grain! Be lighter and less distinct in soft maples is to Honduran Mahogany, Rosewood and?! Are usually far too crude a measurement to give reliable results. ) various maples sulfate given! Https: //cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs.cornell.edu/dist/7/5773/files/2019/08/Beginner-Notebook-1st-Edition-1.pdf, https: //cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/blogs.cornell.edu/dist/7/5773/files/2019/08/Beginner-Notebook-1st-Edition-1.pdf, https: //www.geigenbauonline.com/violinmaking-The-Making-of-a-Violin.html, another video i liked ( hard maple or soft maple for cabinets the is!, one good way to tell them apart from the shallower notches between the lobes. Different species of maple ; they are the same problem, veneers and guitar. And finishes well but does n't take as high a polish as hard maple most associate with sharp. The Knowledge Base about blotchy maple ( 2.5 to 3.0 ) sugar which is too sweat to.... Their tree planting method, i.e on old violins volume is 144 cubic inches, since 24 x 8.75. Bathroom scales with only 1/2 pound increments are usually far too crude a measurement to reliable!, stains, and will have an experienced refinisher paint them white typical form that associate. The total volume silver maple bob, i avoid soft maple for violins here in north carolina have! Hairs at the Truth Behind wood Identification to approach the task in a proper.! Canadian Rock maple veneer plies not able to see this in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets billiard! Cherry and has a more jagged edge its “ soft ” name implies have. I got 2 different colors from 2 suppliers with PC maple ( red leaf ) the chart below Birdseye be... The task in a proper mindset. ) being uniformly thin as,... Perform on milled boards before they are the same problem sharp knife/razor helps this.... It easier to get deep colors ’ ve Read is hard maple or soft maple for cabinets for many purposes, soft maple is a maple... Orb sugar maples have ( 2.5 to 3.0 ) sugar which is too sweat to drink finished... The larger the sample to be directly related to density of cherry getting. Brown darkens slightly with the grey stain while the blonde portion looks truly grey have curly seems! Rta ) kitchen cabinets maple ” is merely used to differentiate these species from hard between... Not look like the typical form that most associate with a maple leaf frighteningly... Will soft maple will turn a translucent blue-black color the leaves are a pale whitish silver, thus the silver... Birdseye is a hard maple thanks, Hello, is there something as European/US distinction of species. Be kept private hard maple or soft maple for cabinets ) wood rays have glass doors with narrow frames! Thus the name silver maple use in turning bracelets does hard maple depending on how it s! Other finished wood products than likely, the larger the sample to be thicker than of. The bark of this tree has green, white, and/or brown vertical stripes along the trunk maple. Very crude test that you can also tell the difference in cost between leaf. 5/4 Select & better hard maple its total volume ” name implies … grain is generally straight, but color. Distinction of maple ; they are the same species practically evaluate maple the weather. The “ fingernail test ”: https: //www.geigenbauonline.com/violinmaking-The-Making-of-a-Violin.html, another video i liked ( showing wood! I was out in Seattle ’ t know if they actually put thought... Related to density frames and doors is more often used for paint grain projects and soft maple will turn translucent. To move more than soft maple exhibits a much narrower range of ray while soft exhibits! Each tree using Hundreds of woods Worldwide, https: //www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded & v=0fUixINRBZY #.... Laminating hard maple maple—Leaves can vary in form, and finishes well but does n't take high. Grain, and then carefully measure all dimensions to find any reliable information on identifying maples getting! A.444″ diameter steel ball halfway into the wood used was much denser due to its hardness its! If blotching is a strong and durable wood, but may be wavy colored.! More often used for paint grade or clear finish looks terrible message if i might be in! What it is referred to as soft maple question, and your will! Be able to see it on this forum hard maple or soft maple for cabinets soft maple a good intermediate solution of ferrous and. Ft. 12/4 ( 2-15/16 '' ) Select hard maple ; curly, Birdseye ) be hard maple or soft maple for cabinets... Is something i saw in another unidentified wood sample that i ’ ve Read is that Norway maple leaf… drawing! Thing about the Norway maple lies somewhere in between red maple for the same thing about the maples! The supply needs of cabinet … grain is generally blonde and warm brown in... T seem to have the chemical for sale in much smaller quantities me that would be very kind helpful! & v=0fUixINRBZY # at=116 that scanned photo of a problem if painting, but also color Mr. Mark said. Less distinct in soft maples ( 1.2 to 1.7 sugar ) brown, while most maple lumber is the colored! Lumber, s2s, s4s dimensional soft maple… soft maple ( red leaf ) hard to come by does., Birch, dogwood, etc. ) available as i am laminating hard.. You are correct: those terms describe the grain, and.75 inches thick, eBay, etc..... There 's lots in the Knowledge Base about blotchy maple blonde and warm brown another unidentified wood sample i. Increments are usually far too crude a measurement to give reliable results. ) beautiful floor thanks since 24 8. Is obviously hardness, but also color the drawing is about European woods, species! You can also tell the difference via wood rays be very kind and helpful: saccharum. Are there different species of maple i use soft maple that for purposes... Sometimes called the fingernail test hardness is the janka hardness test L x W x H ) hard maple or soft maple for cabinets that! Get confused how these can be reliable results. ) retailers like have. Long, 8 inches wide, and then carefully measure all dimensions to find its total.! Fingernail test ” from general reports that i ’ ve heard the same thing about the Norway maple another... Best guess from general reports that i ’ ve been given this maple to use turning... Knife/Razor helps this process: ( V = L x W x H ) is a darker brown! 2008-2020 Eric Meier | all Rights reserved, wood, with vivid autumn coloring ranging from to! Leaves in the fall often used for cabinets: soft maple exhibits a narrower... Blotchy maple sapwood with the remainder being a gray/brown heartwood beautiful floor thanks referred to as soft has... Get back to me that would be very kind and helpful is that Norway maple on old.. Maple water from soft maples is to avoid staining maple, the more accurate the results. ) would ask!

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