Help identifying this wood species

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Forum topic by ZiggyZ posted 05-26-2014 04:45 PM 1098 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 1989 days

05-26-2014 04:45 PM

Hi everyone.

This weekend I visited my parents in SE Pennsylvania and, while there, I stopped by a local sawmill and purchased some kiln dried lumber. Now, I am certainly not very good at identifying wood species by any means outside of the common domestic walnut, cherry, pine, oaks, and maples.

So, I purchased about 100BF of what I thought was rough cut, kiln dried, soft maple. I got back to Virginia and today I ran a board through my planer just to “skip plane” as I was somewhat suspicious if the wood really was soft maple. I figured it had been sitting outside a little while but, it planed up like nothing I am familiar with.

Does anyone here have any idea what wood this really is…I find it hard to believe it is from the maple realm but, please, help me out. I think I was duped! Especially when I had pulled a bunch of boards previous to these and, thinking it was poplar, stopped pulling and asked the owner. Indeed, that was poplar and he said these boards were all S. Maple. Having a little buyers remorse right now! Hope someone can shed some light.


9 replies so far

View Yonak's profile


981 posts in 1125 days

#1 posted 05-26-2014 06:22 PM

Noah, I can believe that’s soft maple. I’ve seen red maple that looks much like that. Soft maple can have many different looks.

View RogerM's profile


775 posts in 2003 days

#2 posted 05-26-2014 07:35 PM

I’m putting some soft maple up in my storage racks almost as we “speak.” It was cut at locally with a band mill and after some light planing it looks a lot like your first picture.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View ZiggyZ's profile


65 posts in 1989 days

#3 posted 05-26-2014 07:41 PM

Thanks for the replies! Sounds like it’s just not the typical “white” maple I’m used to getting. No sweat, I’ll save it for some paint grade built-ins.


View joeyinsouthaustin's profile


1294 posts in 1676 days

#4 posted 05-26-2014 09:16 PM

I concur.. it looks a lot like the soft maple I have used. IME it always has a lot of a pinkish hue.

-- Who is John Galt?

View DaleM's profile


954 posts in 2987 days

#5 posted 05-27-2014 12:25 AM

The soft maple we get here in Northern NY can vary a lot in appearance. Most of it is white, but we get some with a lot of gray and brown looking quite a bit like yours, pinkish and even green like poplar. We just use it for painted items, so it doesn’t really matter because by the time it’s ready for painting it has blue or green putty on it anyway.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2294 days

#6 posted 05-27-2014 12:37 AM

I saw a lot of that pinkish soft maple on my mill. Mine comes from standing dead Silver Maples. Most of my customers prefer it to the plainer white maple. To each his own :)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View firefighterontheside's profile


14886 posts in 1460 days

#7 posted 05-27-2014 12:44 AM

My thoughts too Andy. I like the look of that wood. I wouldn’t paint it.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 2729 days

#8 posted 05-28-2014 11:47 PM

YOU’D PAINT THAT!??.. sorry.. wood lover here.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View ZiggyZ's profile


65 posts in 1989 days

#9 posted 06-01-2014 10:38 AM

Haha, i bought it specifically for built-ins for my wife’s closet that were already set to be paint grade. Otherwise, yes it does look like it could stain up nicely.

Thanks for all of the replies helping me out.

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