Regular vs SAP Hard Maple, Differences?

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Forum topic by Chris posted 02-22-2015 12:00 AM 1238 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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80 posts in 1399 days

02-22-2015 12:00 AM

So here in western canada good wood is either hard to find or really expensive. I went into a local “wood shop” and saw they had two types of maple listed. Eastern Hard Maple, Regular $3.5/bf or Eastern Hard Maple, SAP $6/bf. Just wondering what the difference between these two are – am I to assume the regular is refering to the “heartwood”? The store was way to busy and I did not have time to ask them.

Thanks in advance -


-- designer by education, wood working hack by choice

10 replies so far

View jdh122's profile


1018 posts in 2844 days

#1 posted 02-22-2015 12:12 AM

This seems a bit odd – in maple, unlike many other hardwoods, it’s the sapwood that is desirable. The heartwood is rarely used in woodworking. I’d imagine that the regular, more expensive stuff is all uniform in color and the SAP contains some heartwood – maybe they keep the same terminology that they use for other woods where the heartwood is desirable and the sapwood is not.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2949 days

#2 posted 02-22-2015 12:45 AM

Canada? isn’t that we, in the USA, get our wood?

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View LiveEdge's profile


586 posts in 1647 days

#3 posted 02-22-2015 01:25 AM

Are you sure it wasn’t SAB? Select and better? A higher grade and, thus, more expensive.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5140 posts in 1748 days

#4 posted 02-22-2015 01:41 AM

That blows my mind that wood would be so hard to come by in western Canada of all places. I too would guess that one is a higher grade, thus commanding a higher price.

View Chris 's profile


80 posts in 1399 days

#5 posted 02-22-2015 01:41 AM

SAB would make sense, but i just check again and it was SAP… guess I may have to go back in and ask and let everyone know.

-- designer by education, wood working hack by choice

View WDHLT15's profile


1748 posts in 2503 days

#6 posted 02-22-2015 01:54 AM

Sap grade is a clear grade of pine lumber, at least here in the Southern US. Also used to describe clear, export grade pine lumber.

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

View bigblockyeti's profile


5140 posts in 1748 days

#7 posted 02-22-2015 02:14 AM

That’s the way it is here in Ohio too.

View josephf's profile


200 posts in 2123 days

#8 posted 02-22-2015 02:39 AM

well i do not know everything about wood but my wood dealer has both those grades also .I have used both .the regular maple is common and that is about what i pay also[what op stated] .It is a beautiful wood ,easy to work with .
Hard maple on the other hand is HARD .Harder to cut ,nail and screw then oak .

View Tony_S's profile


871 posts in 3110 days

#9 posted 02-22-2015 02:50 AM

I’ve bought tens of thousands of bdft of hardwood lumber and never heard the term before?...did some digging.
Apparently it’s not an ‘actual’ grading term, or at least a pretty lax grading term.

First link it’s near the bottom under color sorting.

It sounds like a pretty low grade. I guess it depends on what your looking for.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Chris 's profile


80 posts in 1399 days

#10 posted 02-23-2015 04:29 AM

very helpful. i was not sure as they had some examples of the the higher costs maple, but had none on the floor of the more reasonable stuff. I just need it to build a replacement top for a bench in a mudroom to match maple cabinets – one of these “hidden” jobs that I am going to stain with a dark color so looking at ways to save some $

thanks all

-- designer by education, wood working hack by choice

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