Maple is a hardwood, Used for quality flooring, furniture, plywood, and veneers sheet. Hemlock is hard, heavy, and stable wood.
Maple is not rot-resistant, So it is suitable for indoor construction. It has a great dark brown appearance, which gives amazing results after finishing.
There are approximately 132 species of maple trees and scrub(some scrub are less than 10m tall ), most of which are native to Asia, the rest of the species belong to Europe, northern Africa, and North America.
The physical properties of each maple species differ from each other. Such as hardness, stability, and price. We can easily identify them by color and grain pattern.
Maple is a small to medium-sized tree. Some species of Maple are famous for lumber while some are known as shady trees. Maple trees can have a rounded or oval-shaped crown.
|Tree Height||80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1.0 m) trunk diameter|
|Wood color||Dark reddish brown|
|Rot-resistance||Medium decay resistance|
|Workability||Easy to work|
|Finishing||Difficult to finish|
|Uses||Flooring, veneer, paper, musical instruments, cutting boards, baseball bat, and decorative items.|
Common Uses of Maple Wood
Maple Wood color
Heartwood is a darker reddish brown, while sapwood’s color ranges from nearly white, or sometimes with a reddish or golden hue.
Although there are many species of maple, the color of the wood may differ slightly from each other.
Like most hardwoods, maple wood tends to darken over time and turns into a deep golden honey color. The light brown color of maple wood will slowly turn into dark color over 8 to 12 months.
Due to constant exposure to sunlight and oxygen, the process of changing the color happens rapidly.
How do you preserve the natural color of Maple Wood?
If you do not want to darken the color of maple wood or any other wood, then you should use a clear finish.
Clear finishes are a great way to prevent the color of the wood from changing over time. Clear finishes act as a protective layer and provide long-lasting natural color.
Maple Wood Advantages and Disadvantages
- Maple wood is available at an affordable price.
- Maple wood has a great dark brown appearance.
- Maple is a strong and hard wood.
- It requires low care and maintenance
- Maple wood is not rot-resistant and non-durable.
- Maple wood is prone to scratches and marks
- It is difficult to stain.
- The wood color fades over time.
Working with Maple Wood
Generally, it is easy to work with both hand and power tools. Maple is very hard and strong. Therefore wood has a tendency to burn when machined with a cutter.
So when you work with maple or other hard wood, keep your tools, blades, and bits sharp.
Maple wood is hard but can be easily carved and shaped. It holds nails and screws well, glues, and finishes well.
How to stain Maple Wood?
Maple wood is not easy to stain, staining maple wood can cause blotches stain. This common problem occurs in many kinds of wood.
The main reason for “spotty or blotches” patches is that the stain doesn’t get to fill the pores properly, while some do fill in properly.
In other words, the grains of maple wood is not uniform. Some areas accept the stain while others resist the stain completely, resulting in patchy stains.
There are some important steps to get rid of blotchy problems, which should be followed before starting to stain.
In the first step, do light sanding, it will open the pores and make it uniform. Start with 120 grit and go up to 220. Sanding also removes the small dents and scratches.
Do not apply sanding in one place for a long time, apply it uniformly on the entire surface.
After two coats of a pre-stain conditioner, you can apply your stain of choice to the maple wood. After the whole process of stain is completed, let the wood dry thoroughly.
To get a smooth and shiny finish, complete the staining process in a dust-free area.
Maple is not rot-resistant wood and is also susceptible to insect attack. If you want to use maple as outdoor furniture then it is not a good idea.
Although some hardwoods do well in outdoor environments, not all hardwoods do.
The heartwood (duramen, dead, central wood of trees) of some wood contains extractives that protect the wood from external elements. Extractives are the mixer of oils, resins, tannins, and polyphenols.
While some wood has tyloses, Which protect heartwood from decay.
Wood can be made suitable for the outdoor purpose by certain treatments. But these methods do not work for a long time.
Maple is a very beautiful wood, it would be a better idea to use it for indoor furniture.
Is Maple a Hard Wood?
Yes, Maple is a hard wood with relatively higher compressive strength than most woods. The Janka hardness of maple wood depends on its species.
Janka Hardness is a test to measure the hardness of wood. To calculate the Janka Hardness of any wood, It measures the force required to embed an 11.28-millimeter-diameter solid steel ball halfway into a sample of wood.
The Janka hardness values of some woods are as follows.
|Wood Name||Janka Hardness Value – lbf|
Is Maple Wood Good for Cooking?
Maple is an affordable hardwood, It is a great choice for cooking. Maple gives a sweet flavor to your food. Also, It burns clean and consistently.
Most Hardwoods are always a great choice for cooking because they add better flavor to meat and burn more easily over a longer period of time.
For better and hassle-free cooking, it is necessary to have the right moisture in the wood and the right side of the wood.
Avoid softwood for cooking because it burns a lot more quickly and does not generate enough heat.
According to experts Wood for cooking should be 2-3 inches square, 18-24 inches long and the wood should have less than 20% moisture.
Can you burn Maple Wood in a Fireplace?
Maple wood is a great choice for firewood after properly seasoned. Maple has a good BTU value, so it generates high heat.
But to get this better experience, it is necessary to choose the right species of maple. As maple can be divided into two parts. hard maple and soft maple.
Hard maple performs well because Hard maple is generally harder than soft maple. But that doesn’t mean soft maples are the softest. Soft maples can be harder than many other hardwood species.
The BTU value of Hard Maple wood is 25 Heat per Cord (Million BTUs). This high BTU value is responsible for generating high heat.
You can compare the BTU value of maple and other wood in the table given below.
|Wood Species||Weight (lbs./ Cord) Green||Heat per Cord (Million BTUs)|
How to bend maple wood?
Types of Maple
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Red Maple is a medium-hard, strong, and durable hardwood. This Red maple got its name due to the red color of its flowers, twigs, seeds, and autumn leaves.
The color of the heartwood is darker reddish brown and the sapwood is white, to a light golden or reddish brown. The wood of an older red maple tree may have curly or quilted grain patterns.
It is a large-sized (65-100 ft (30 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter), a deciduous tree native to Eastern North America.
Rot Resistance: Red maple wood is not rot-resistant and moderate-durable regarding decay resistance.
Hardness: The hardness of the Red Maple medium Janka hardness value is 950 lbf (4,230 N).
Workability: Generally easy to work with both hand and power tools, due to its high density, wood has a tendency to burn when machined with high-speed cutters. Turns glues, and finishes well.
Uses: Veneer, paper (pulpwood), boxes, crates/pallets, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.
Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum)
Silver maple is a soft wood. That’s why silver maple is counted in the group of soft maple. Silver maple is also known as creek maple, Silverleaf maple, large maple, water maple, swamp maple, or white maple.
The color of the heartwood is darker reddish brown and the sapwood is white. Growth rings may be present in the wood. Usually, wood has a straight grain but may be wavy.
Silver maple is a large-sized fast-growing deciduous tree. The tree can be up to 80–115 ft (25–35 m) tall and 2–3 ft (.6–1.0 m) trunk diameter. It is native to the Northeastern United States.
Rot Resistance: Silver maple is not rot resistant and not durable for outdoor applications.
Hardness: Its Janka hardness value is 700 lbf (3,110 N).
Workability: Due to its low density, it can be easy to work with hand and power tools. Turns glues, and finishes well. It might be a problem to stain, blotches can occur when staining.
Uses: Furniture, cabinets, veneer, pulp, boxes, and crates, flooring, making paper, and can be used for firewood.
Black Maple (Acer Nigrum)
Black maple wood is hard, stable, and affordable hardwood. It is considered to be in the grouping of hard maples. Black maple is also known as black sugar maple.
The color of the heartwood is light yellowish brown and the sapwood is nearly white. The growth rings tend to be slightly darker.
Black Maple is a large-sized fast growing deciduous tree. The tree height can be up to 80–115 ft (25–35 m) and 2–3 ft (.6–1.0 m) trunk diameter. Black Maple is native to the Northeastern United States.
Rot Resistance: Black maple is non-durable to perishable in regard to decay resistance.
Hardness: Its value on the Janka hardness scale is 1,180 lbf (5,250 N).
Workability: Generally easier to work with hand and machine tools. But due to it being a hard maple, it can be a bit difficult as compared to soft maple. There may be problems with blotches and unevenness during staining.
Uses: Flooring, veneer, paper, musical instruments, cutting boards, butcher blocks, workbenches, baseball bats, and other turned wood items.
Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)
Bigleaf maple is one of the famous maple species. It is moderately durable and strong. Bigleaf maple is widely used for wood-carving.
It is also known as Oregon maple. The bigleaf maple gets its name from the large leaves, 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm) in size.
The color of the heartwood is dark reddish brown and the sapwood is nearly white, to a reddish or golden hue.
Black Maple is a small-sized tree. The tree height can be up to 50–65 ft (15–20 m) tall and 2–3 ft (.6–1.0 m) trunk diameter. Bigleaf Maple is native to the Coastal regions of Pacific North America.
Rot Resistance: Bigleaf maple is not durable when used for outdoor applications and is also susceptible to insect attack.
Hardness: Its value on the Janka hardness scale is 850 lbf (3,780 N).
Workability: Easy to work with all types of machines and tools. But do not use a blunt blade otherwise wood has a high tendency to burn and smell. There may be problems with blotches during staining.
Uses: Veneer, paper industry, boxes, crates, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small decorative wooden items.
Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)
Sycamore maple is straight-grained, fine, and even texture hardwood. It is also called a European sycamore.
The color of the heartwood is dark to light reddish brown, while the sapwood is nearly white, to a light golden or reddish brown.
Sycamore maple is a large deciduous, broad-leaved tree that is native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The tree height can be up to 80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 3-4 ft (1.0-1.2 m) trunk diameter.
Rot Resistance: Sycamore maple wood is rated as non-durable and is also susceptible to insect attack.
Hardness: Its value on the Janka hardness scale is 1,050 lbf (4,680 N).
Workability: Easy to work with tools. Due to the high density, the wood has a tendency to burn when machined at high-speed. You should use a Pre-Stain Wood conditioner to avoid blotches and stain results.
Uses: Furniture, plywood, paper, boxes, crates, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.
Field Maple (Acer Campestre)
Field maple is strong, moderately durable, and affordable hardwood. It is also known as hedge maple. It is widely used for making indoor furniture.
The color of the heartwood is dark reddish brown and the sapwood is nearly white, to off-white cream. It has a straight grain, but may be wavy with a uniform texture.
Field maple is a small deciduous tree that can be up to 49–82 ft (15–25 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter.
Rot Resistance: Field maple wood is not rot-resistant and non-durable to perishable in regard to decay resistance.
Hardness: Its value on the Janka hardness scale is 1,150 lbf (5,110 N)*.
Workability: Usually, Field maple is easy to work with both hand and machine tools. But its density is higher than soft maple, So it is difficult to work with small tools.
Uses: Flooring, furniture, musical instruments, and parts, turned objects, and veneer.