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Soft Maple

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Forum topic by SouthernBoy posted 12-10-2010 08:34 PM 1650 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SouthernBoy

38 posts in 1414 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

childress

841 posts in 2194 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

dbray45

2500 posts in 1428 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

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SouthernBoy

38 posts in 1414 days


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

Sounds good to me. Thanks for the information.

View Mark's profile

Mark

1787 posts in 1926 days


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

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

-- My purpose in life: Making sawdust

View ToddTurner's profile

ToddTurner

144 posts in 1975 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.

todd

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justinwdemoss

146 posts in 1547 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

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1702 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:
http://www.advantagelumber.com/janka.htm

-- 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

SouthernBoy

38 posts in 1414 days


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

Thanks everyone this has been a huge help.

View nate22's profile

nate22

424 posts in 1527 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.

-- K & N Furniture Middlebury, In.

View Sawmillnc's profile

Sawmillnc

150 posts in 1706 days


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

It will work fine.

-- Kyle Edwards, http://www.sawmillnc.com, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View darryl's profile

darryl

1792 posts in 2978 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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