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Common Name(s): Hard Maple, Maple
Botanical Name: Acer saccharum
Woodworking Qualities: This species of wood sands well, but because of its outright hardness, the machining process can be made excessively difficult. Unfortunately, because of Maples usually coloring, extra care must be taken, as sanding can leave unsightly scratches and imperfections on the surface of the wood.
Janka Rating: Maple shows a moderate level of hardness with its Janka rating at 1450.
Species Characteristics: Maple has a high crushing strength, going in tandem with its stiff and durable composition. Shock resistance and resistance to scuffs and scrapes commonly known as wear are qualities that Maple exhibits nicely, making it a more popular choice for flooring or high stress uses.
Appearance: Hard maple’s sapwood is a creamy white color that carries into the lighter ranges of the heartwood, which then reach into a light reddish brown color that can be desirable when teamed together. This species’ grain patterns are referred to as closed with a uniform texture.
Color Change: Maple undergoes a more slight change than most woods, altering from a white-cream color to a more golden coloring.
Uses: Hard Maple has a large spectrum of uses, ranging from hardwood flooring for high-traffic areas, such as basketball courts and other sports-related floors. Gymnasiums, bowling alleys, and dance floors, all areas that have scuffing of feet, as well as oft-traveled. The other uses of Maple make up a long list of practical wood applications: lumber, pulpwood, tool handles, cabinetry, and piano framing, just to name a few. This is, of course, all in addition to the well-known maple syrup produced from the sap.
Hard Maple Origin:
Throughout the northeast United States and into Canada, especially around the great lakes area.