|Botanical Name: Acer Saccharum
Common Names: Maple
Where it Grows: Eastern U.S., principally Mid-Atlantic and Lake states. A cold weather tree favoring a more northerly climate, its average height is 130 feet.
Main Uses: Flooring, furniture, paneling, ballroom and gymnasium floors, kitchen cabinets, worktops, table tops, butchers blocks, toys, kitchenware and millwork: stairs, handrails, mouldings, and doors.
General Description: The sapwood is creamy white with a slight reddish brown tinge and the heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The amount of darker brown heartwood can vary significantly according to growing region. Both sapwood and heartwood can contain pith fleck. The wood has a close fine, uniform texture and is generally straight-grained, but it can also occur as “curly,” “fiddleback,” and “birds-eye” figure.
Working Properties: Hard maple dries slowly with high shrinkage, so it can be susceptible to movement in performance. Pre-boring is recommended when nailing and screwing. With care it machines well, turns well, glues satisfactorily, and can be stained to an outstanding finish. Polishes well and is suitable for enamel finishes and brown tones.
Physical Properties: The wood is hard and heavy with good strength properties, in particular its high resistance to abrasion and wear. It also has good steam-bending properties.
Availability: Widely available. The higher quality grades of lumber are available selected for white color (sapwood) although this can limit availability. Figured maple (birds-eye, curly, fiddleback) is generally only available in commercial volumes as veneer.