Color/Appearance:Unlike most other hardwoods, thesapwoodof hard maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from nearly white, to an off-white cream color, sometimes with a reddish or golden hue. The heartwood tends to be a darker reddish brown.Birdseye mapleis a figure found most commonly in hard maple, though it’s also found less frequently in other species. Hard maple can also be seen withcurlyorquiltedgrain patterns.
Grain/Texture:Grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture.
Rot Resistance:Rated as non-durable to perishable, and susceptible to insect attack.
Workability:Fairly easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though slightly more difficult thansoft mapledue to hard maple’s higher density. Maple has a tendency to burn when being machined with high-speed cutters such as in a router. Turns, glues, and finishes well, though blotches can occur when staining, and a pre-conditioner, gel stain, or toner may be necessary to get an even color.
Pricing/Availability:Should be moderately priced, though slightly more expensive thansoft maple. Also, figured pieces such as birdseye, curl, or quilt are likely to be much more expensive.
Sustainability:This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses:Flooring (from basketball courts and dance-floors to bowling alleys and residential), veneer, paper (pulpwood), musical instruments, cutting boards, butcher blocks, workbenches, baseball bats, and other turned objects and specialty wood items.