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Thread: Hard Maple

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,247

    Hard Maple

    Well i wanted a piece of maple to frame out my mini workbench. Was going to take the easy path given weather and need for speed and went local Lowes. That visit did not last long when i saw what they wanted for it and it was not even great wood.

    So i ended up at my lumber yard Century Mill lumber.
    And oh i was so lucky. Went for a single piece and came home with 16 bdft of one lot and 18 bdft of another.
    One lot called Hard Maple other soft Maple.
    If i had a bit more time to sort through the piles of shorts i could have filled my jeep.

    Got back and planed the Hard Maple and wow i have never had this kind of wood in my hand before.
    Its like white as snow almost. And i understand the hard part had to go easy on the feed rate.

    So my question to the lumber fundis is what is the difference between "rock maple" and hard maple. And anyone know why soft maple is softer.
    This wood was such a delight to feel after planing it really got me excited.
    Now i wish the weather would give me a couple more days of reasonable temps but it dont look like it.



    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    9,076
    Hard maple, sugar maple rock maple, etc. http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...nd-soft-maple/
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    All I know is that hard maple makes good mallets and soft maple makes other things. Just call me a "gee nuts."

    Enjoy your planing!!! Nothing like the feel of a plane when it is doing its job well.
    JimB

    By the way, I sure have been enjoying the medium, Veritas, rabbet* plane I got from Lee Valley.

    * And all this time I have been spelling it like a bunny.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Ma.
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    1,553
    Hard maple also tends to run a lot cleaner and clearer. Its great for furniture and cabinetry that is going to have clear finishes
    Soft maple (separating out the nicer curly maple) is great for pieces that will receive opaque finishes as soft maple tends to have mineral streaks and other cosmetic blemishes that are less desirable.
    I work a lot with soft maples and like any other species you get good with bad but for the most part its good. Relatively stable once jointed and planed, sands nicely and takes a finish well. Its my "go to" wood for painted cabinetry as well as drawer boxes.

    Hard maple I don't use as much as others due to its "vanilla" appearance when compared to other species like mahogany or quartersawn oak.
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Catalunya
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    4,632
    I like working with hard maple, I've made a couple of projects with it and the results have been always good. As far as I know we do not have soft maple available here, or maybe they call it with a different name. Wood names from country to country are always tricky, same as food names. LOL
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  6. #6
    I read where there are more different kinds of maples then any other type of tree. I use a lot of big leaf maple-quilt-curl and burl. It is quite a bit softer but not as soft as elder. I think hard maple and rock maple are one and the same. Sure can tell the difference in the planer or when you sand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
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    1,726
    around here hard maple/rock maple is sugar maple. Soft maple is mostly red maple.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,992
    Quote Originally Posted by michael stafford View Post
    I read where there are more different kinds of maples then any other type of tree. ...
    I dunno, Mike. There sure are a lot of varieties of PINE!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,247
    I know for many of you dealing with local hardwoods you have known your whole life may be boring, and you want to get your hands on the more elaborate exotic woods, but for me the local hardwoods available are one of the very reasons i got into woodworking on coming to Canada. I never forget i was shocked to learn you guys burn the stuff. But since then i came to learn how little of a tree is usable for lumber, its kinda sad in a way.
    But for me in my growing in this hobby, i feel fortunate i still get a great kick out of the simple things like discovering hard maple.
    I sure could hear the difference planing it on the DW735. Made sure to take light cuts. But man its such a nice looking wood, yeah some would say boring but hey i like it. So much so i am thinking of buying some more while the price is right and the stock available. I want enougb wood on hand that i can make a mistake and say.....Rob, its just wood and grows on trees, let it go and start again.
    I find if u I only have sufficient for my specifc needs i dilly dally way too much.
    Did the same with BB ply and it made a huge difference to me churning out some things i wanted done.
    Thanks for the info guys and Glenn thanks for the link, saved that one for future. Btw there is great info on that site about how to identify you got the real deal if you unsure.

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,825
    Quote Originally Posted by michael stafford View Post
    I read where there are more different kinds of maples then any other type of tree. I use a lot of big leaf maple-quilt-curl and burl. It is quite a bit softer but not as soft as elder. I think hard maple and rock maple are one and the same. Sure can tell the difference in the planer or when you sand.
    Not likely more names for maple than any other. South American trees are still being "discovered" by scientists and being named after themselves. This is often after many others have "discovere" and named the same species of tree.
    BTW, I believe Big Leaf Maple Burl is one of the most beautiful woods in the world. I've made several pens from it and they were knock-outs. Australian Amboyna Burl is a close second in my list of most beautiful woods.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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