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SOFT MAPLE
Acer rubrum


Common Names

Red Maple, Silver Maple, Box Elder, Scarlet Maple, Swamp Maple, and Water Maple.


History

Soft Maple is the state tree of Rhode Island.


Did You Know?

Charcoal is often made from soft maple.


Distribution

Throughout Eastern U.S., and to a lesser extent on the West Coast Big Leaf Maple). Average tree height is 60 to 80 feet.


Main Uses

Furniture, paneling, flooring and millwork, kitchen cabinets, mouldings, doors, musical instruments, kitchen utensils, toys, sports goods, crates, pallets, furniture framing and turnings.

Soft maple is often used as a substitute for hard maple or stained to resemble other species such as cherry. It's physical and working properties also make it a possible substitute for beech.


Relative Abundance

4 percent of U.S. hardwoods commercially available.


General Description

In most respects soft maple is very similar to hard maple. Generally the sapwood is grayish white, sometimes with darker colored pith flecks. The heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown.

The wood is usually straight-grained. The lumber is generally sold unselected for color. Straight, close grain with a fine, even texture. Wide, creamy white sapwood and beige or tan-colored heartwood.

Ambrosia or Wormy Soft Maple has small pin holes created by the ambrosia beetle with an elongated grayish-brown fungi discolorations surrounding the hole.  Rest assured that the kiln drying process actually sterilizes the lumber from active fungi, mold and insects.

Ambrosia Maple is beautifully unique with scattered worm holes sometimes combed with curly figure. Soft Maple in our Ohio Valley is most often


Availability

Affordable and readily available.

 

Ash • Beech • Brazilian Cherry • Brazilian Walnut • Aromatic Cedar • Cherry • Coffeenut • Cypress • Hickory • Hard Maple • Poplar • Red Elm • Red Oak • Sassafras • Soft Maple • Walnut • White Oak • White Pine • Yellow Pine • Heart Pine

click the above images to view

Wood is a natural product. Some variation in color and grain pattern will occur between samples, images on this website, photographs and any specific installation.



Working Properties

Soft maple turns, planes, cuts, and otherwise machines well and can be stained to an excellent finish. It glues, screws, and nails satisfactorily. Soft Maple polishes well and is suitable for enamel finishes and brown tones. It dries slowly with minimal degrade and there is little movement in performance.

Soft Maple Working Properties Chart


PDF file on strength & mechanical properties

Get the FREE Adobe Reader


Physical Properties

Soft Maple is moderately heavy, hard, strong, and stiff with low shock resistance and decay resistance. The wood is about 25 percent softer than Hard or Sugar Maple, has medium bending and crushing strength.

950 Janka Hardness Rating

Soft Maple Estimated

Product Weights

Lbs

Green Rough Sawn

4.17 bf

KD Rough Sawn

3.03 bf

KD 15/16" HoM Planed

2.84 bf

KD 3/4" S4S & Flooring

2.46 sf

Listed weights are considered estimated averages only and do not include the additional weight of bolsters, packaging or crating.

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