Red (Soft) Maple

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 08-02-2012 04:42 PM 1074 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 1476 days

08-02-2012 04:42 PM

Is This a decent wood for making anything? You hear a lot about hard Maple, but is soft maple a good wood for furniture? I have a Red Maple Tree in my yard that needs to come down. What would that wood be good for?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

5 replies so far

View JayT's profile


3887 posts in 1303 days

#1 posted 08-02-2012 04:54 PM

Soft is relative. Soft maple, while softer than hard maple, is still harder than many other furniture woods, so would work great for a wide variety of uses.

-- "My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right." Abraham Lincoln

View lumberjoe's profile


2883 posts in 1340 days

#2 posted 08-02-2012 05:06 PM

I love soft maple. It’s nice to work with and one of my favorites. It’s much easier on your tools than hard maple. It’s about as hard as domestic cherry, so while it is labeled as “soft” it is still a relatively hard wood (950 on the hardness scale, Cherry is 995, Walnut is 1010). It’s good for anything really.

Edit: Also of note, hard maple is one of my least favorite woods to work with. My tools hate it more than I do – especially my planer and chisels.

-- Unplugged Woodworkers -

View nwbusa's profile


1017 posts in 1378 days

#3 posted 08-02-2012 05:28 PM

Soft maple is abundant and cheap in my neck of the woods (no pun intended) so I work with it a lot. I like the whiter coloring of hard maple but as Joe said, it’s tougher to work with. And you never know, you might end up with a tree that has some nice figured grain lurking inside!

-- John, BC, Canada

View NiteWalker's profile


2728 posts in 1669 days

#4 posted 08-02-2012 07:05 PM

Soft maple is great.
It’s about as hard as cherry and works great for painted projects where a more dent resistant surface than poplar is desired.

Makes good drawer sides too.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2016 posts in 2014 days

#5 posted 08-04-2012 12:20 AM

I use soft maple as an inlay in cedar. Nice contrast and grain.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

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