Red Maple for cutting board?

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Forum topic by MikeinSC posted 12-16-2012 06:39 PM 2046 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 1984 days

12-16-2012 06:39 PM

I have a lot of red maple from a tree that blew over. I was going to originally use it for growing mushrooms but have decided otherwise.

Now, I know that it is considered a soft maple and have seen the janka scale for it. I’ve also spoken to the guys at a local hardwood sawmill and they say that the true difference between hard and soft maple isn’t really all that much.

So, can this giant red maple that I have be used for cutting boards? A guy down the road from me has a portable mill and agreed to mill it for me. Fyi, the tree is about 20-24” diameter and about 50’ length. About 20’ of the tree has been cut up into 2’ lengths so i can pick it up into the truck but about 30’ remains intact. I don’t want to waste it.


-- I am what they call a "rookie".

7 replies so far

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2229 days

#1 posted 12-16-2012 06:47 PM

Yep, you can use it. Not as hard as hard maple but it is harder than walnut. It will work fine, might show knife marks a little sooner than some other woods.
My favorite cutting board is a 2” thick single plank board that my grandfather made for my mom out of soft maple. It has a slight dish in the middle from over 50 years of use.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View MikeinSC's profile


63 posts in 1984 days

#2 posted 12-16-2012 07:08 PM

Thank you.

Your cutting board would be considered a long grain board or an edge grain? Or is that the same?

According to an online calculator I have close to 1000 board feet of maple. That should make plenty of sawdust.

-- I am what they call a "rookie".

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#3 posted 12-16-2012 08:06 PM

I’ve used a lot of it….no problems : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View MikeinSC's profile


63 posts in 1984 days

#4 posted 12-16-2012 09:43 PM

To what thickness should the logs be milled to? My guess is 1.5”-2”

-- I am what they call a "rookie".

View MikeinSC's profile


63 posts in 1984 days

#5 posted 12-16-2012 09:53 PM

A picture of two 4’ sections to look at. Heavy, heavy stuff

-- I am what they call a "rookie".

View WDHLT15's profile


1741 posts in 2472 days

#6 posted 12-17-2012 03:06 AM

Mill a range of thicknesses to allow for a variety of uses for various projects. I would cut some 1” (4/4), 1.5” (6/4), and 2” (8/4). The thick cuts need to come from the best quality part of the log. Those logs look very nice! I love to use red maple.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#7 posted 12-17-2012 03:13 AM

sounds good

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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