Soft Maple, scientifically known as Acer rubrum and other Acer species, is a hardwood species native to North America. It is characterized by its moderate hardness, light color, and versatility in woodworking.
Appearance and Characteristics
Soft Maple wood varies in color from pale to light reddish-brown, often with a creamy white appearance. It typically features a fine, straight grain pattern that contributes to its clean and elegant look. Soft Maple is moderately heavy, typically weighing around 3.0 to 3.3 pounds per board foot (680 to 748 kilograms per cubic meter).
Soft Maple is known for its excellent workability. It is relatively easy to machine, cut, shape, and sand. The wood holds screws and nails well and glues effectively, allowing for a smooth and polished surface. Woodworkers appreciate Soft Maple for its ease of workability and versatility.
Uses in Woodworking
Soft Maple wood finds numerous applications in woodworking, including:
Furniture: Soft Maple is often used in crafting fine furniture, including tables, chairs, cabinets, and veneered surfaces. Its light color adds a bright and inviting touch to furniture designs.
Cabinetry: The wood's fine grain and light appearance make it suitable for cabinetry, particularly in kitchens, where it provides a fresh and welcoming ambiance.
Millwork and Trim: Soft Maple is used in millwork projects, including moldings, trim, and interior doors. Its uniform appearance adds a touch of sophistication to architectural elements.
Woodturning: Soft Maple is a preferred wood for woodturning. Its ease of workability and fine grain allow woodturners to create various turned items, such as bowls, platters, and spindles with precision.
Plywood and Veneer: Soft Maple is often used to produce plywood and veneer, which are then used in various woodworking and decorative applications.
Soft Maple wood exhibits moderate durability:
Indoor Use: Soft Maple is suitable for indoor applications, especially for furniture, cabinetry, and millwork. It can withstand normal wear and moisture fluctuations, making it an ideal choice for interior projects.
Outdoor Use: While Soft Maple is not typically recommended for outdoor use due to its limited natural resistance to the elements, it can be used for short-term or protected outdoor projects with proper finishing and maintenance.
Bug/Insect and Rot Resistance: Soft Maple is not inherently resistant to insects and decay, but its moderate durability and versatility make it suitable for a wide range of indoor applications.
Soft Maple is valued for its workability, versatility, and clean appearance, making it a preferred choice for various woodworking projects, particularly those where ease of machining and a light, consistent color are desired.
VARIATIONS AND OPTIONS
All lumber now ships surfaced on 2 sides, and ripped on 1 edge at a minimum. Surfacing is done to a 1/16th over nominal (+- .030). Also the option for a rip to width is now available for a premium price. Ripping is done on an industrial straight line/gang rip machine. While the rip will be consistent end to end, the fence may not always end up in the same spot between orders. Rip widths will be within 1/8th of an inch of stated widths.
4/4 will be surfaced to 13/16ths.
5/4 will be surfaced to 1 and 1/16th.
6/4 6/4 will be surfaced to 1 and 5/16ths.
8/4 will be surfaced to 1 and 13/16ths.
10/4 will be surfaced to 2 and 5/16ths.
16/4 will be surfaced to 2 and 13/16ths.