soft maple

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Forum topic by watcher posted 06-12-2010 08:27 AM 2723 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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34 posts in 2909 days

06-12-2010 08:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple

hello i am having a soft maple cut down next week and was wanting to know if it is good for much like does it turn well on a lathe can it be carved using hand chisels or just anything ? i just hate to see wood being burned if it can be usefull and i havent worked with this before so i am asking the great woodworkers here on lumberjocks to give me some input on the subject.

-- in wood working there is no need for perfection as inperfections just go to show that the project was done by hand with love and care

13 replies so far

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 06-12-2010 11:40 AM

I like the so-called soft maples, especially silver maple and box elder.

-- 温故知新

View a1Jim's profile


115934 posts in 3300 days

#2 posted 06-12-2010 05:12 PM

Don’t burn it mill it.

-- Custom furniture

View Canadian Woodworks's profile

Canadian Woodworks

702 posts in 2793 days

#3 posted 06-12-2010 05:40 PM

I decided to build my first hal taylor rocking chair out of wormy soft maple check it out I have a blog on it.

Mill it and build some beautiful projects you won’t regret it

-- Paul Lemiski, Ontario Canada, Custom Wooden Rocking chairs and tables

View Shopsmithtom's profile


788 posts in 3918 days

#4 posted 06-12-2010 05:42 PM

I made an end table with some & the results were great. I think it works well, although I haven’t carved or turned it… just cut, glued, planed, routered & finished. I certainly wouldn’t burn it.-SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View John's Woodshop's profile

John's Woodshop

349 posts in 3740 days

#5 posted 06-12-2010 06:32 PM

I bought a bunch of Soft Maple for .45 cents a board foot. Here is a little table I made from it.

Mom's Table

And here is the top:

Table Top

I agree…...Mill it and use it.

-- John -- Racine, WI -- Woodworking..."It's not just a Hobby, it's an Adventure"

View Timberwerks's profile


360 posts in 2884 days

#6 posted 06-12-2010 06:45 PM

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1881 posts in 3395 days

#7 posted 06-12-2010 07:13 PM

It’s free wood, mill it up, and gloat about it!!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2741 days

#8 posted 06-12-2010 08:24 PM

I agree with the rest to mill it but if you have a lathe save some chunks to turn and if the grains are “plain” slap some dye “ala Trifern” and have a go at it! Just keep your chisels sharp to reduce tear outs. If you come to a place in the tree where the stem splits into 2 branches be darn sure to save that section for the lathe as that area will usually have the prettiest, most unusual grains due to stress factors from the 2 branches.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2798 days

#9 posted 06-12-2010 09:38 PM

Soft maple (aka silver maple) is a great wood to work with. I have never turned it, but my intuition is that it would turn well. It has a Janka hardness index of about 700, about half of what hard (sugar) maple is. It is harder than poplar, cedar, pine, aspen and other softer woods. It is just a little softer than sycamore.

More importantly – it’s easy to work with and easy to stain and finish.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4023 days

#10 posted 06-12-2010 09:52 PM

Silver maple is great turning wood.

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-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Roper's profile


1374 posts in 3436 days

#11 posted 06-13-2010 03:22 AM

turning freshly cut silver maple is about as good as it gets. let us know if you need a hand using that wood.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

784 posts in 3556 days

#12 posted 06-13-2010 03:30 AM

It is a wonderful wood. Easier to work than hard maple but very strong. Finishes well. Great stuff. If you air dry it be sure to stick it well and paint the ends.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View TheWoodsmith's profile


108 posts in 2643 days

#13 posted 06-14-2010 01:37 PM

USE IT!! i got “talked into” buying 100 BF of the stuff at rock bottom price from this small mill i go to and it was a great buy! it machines really well, but i disagree on the “ease of finish” it didn’t stain up very well but dont take my word for it as this was my first foryer into soft maple

-- I know its around here somewhere...

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