Soft Maple

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Forum topic by SouthernBoy posted 12-10-2010 08:34 PM 2056 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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38 posts in 1801 days

12-10-2010 08:34 PM

Can anyone tell me if it a good idea to use soft maple for cutting boards?

11 replies so far

View childress's profile


841 posts in 2581 days

#1 posted 12-10-2010 09:25 PM

well, I don’t think it’s a bad idea….

-- Childress Woodworks

View dbray45's profile


2926 posts in 1816 days

#2 posted 12-10-2010 09:27 PM

Why not? The wood is not an irritant, cuts well, looks nice. I use it.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View SouthernBoy's profile


38 posts in 1801 days

#3 posted 12-10-2010 09:37 PM

Sounds good to me. Thanks for the information.

View Mark's profile


1801 posts in 2313 days

#4 posted 12-10-2010 10:40 PM

ive done it already…work great…maple is my fav

-- M.K.

View ToddTurner's profile


144 posts in 2363 days

#5 posted 12-11-2010 03:30 AM

believe me, the word soft, as in soft maple, has nothing to do with the actual hardness of the material! as compared to hard, or rock maple, it is a bit ‘softer’ but is far from being soft. its about all i use in my shop because it is very stable, but it is extremely hard and will hold up well as a cutting board. Plus, the grain has nice character unlike hard maple. Just my opinion, but hey, you asked.


View justinwdemoss's profile


146 posts in 1934 days

#6 posted 12-11-2010 09:42 PM

I just used some for a cutting board. I paired it with Red Gum. I am planning to pair it again with some ipe and some red oak. I agree with Todd, “Soft” can be misleading.

-- Justin in Loveland, OH

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 2090 days

#7 posted 12-12-2010 03:36 PM

Soft maple falls within the general “accepted woods” for cutting boards that are actually going to see use.
There are other species that go into true cutting boards, but you’ll typically see professional butcher blocks made of things like: soft maple (950), hard maple (1450), walnut (1010), cherry (850-950) and mahogany (1200). Woods that fall within the 850-1600 Janka hardness ratings are good choices, as long as they are not open-pored. Mahogany, for instance would do better as an end grain board. Cherry, at 850-950 on the Janka hardness scale (depending on your source), is as soft as I would choose to go for a board that will see use.

I know a lot of people use exotics in their boards, but I personally choose not to as most of them are quite hard, and some have a high mineral content, so they’ll be harder on your knives.

Here is a link to a listing of various species and their Janka hardness:

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View SouthernBoy's profile


38 posts in 1801 days

#8 posted 12-13-2010 07:53 PM

Thanks everyone this has been a huge help.

View nate22's profile


447 posts in 1915 days

#9 posted 12-13-2010 09:05 PM

like some of the others said it might be soft maple but it isn’t soft they just use the word soft to make it sound good. I am using some right now for a project. If I was you I would go ahead and use it.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 2094 days

#10 posted 12-19-2010 07:47 PM

It will work fine.

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 3366 days

#11 posted 12-20-2010 04:01 AM

like the others I like using soft maple. I typically pair mine with walnut.

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