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View Charlie's profile

Brown maple?

by Charlie
posted 08-08-2013 12:56 PM


24 replies so far

View barlow's profile

barlow

129 posts in 4276 days


#1 posted 08-08-2013 01:24 PM

Brown Maple is from closer to the heart of the log, basically heart wood. The sap wood is the white which is the outside of the log. Brown maple is much harder to dry and tends to crack much more and much more easily. Otherwise it is exactly the same thing, as some would be from the same log as the white would be. Soil content can also affect the tree to where it may have very little sap wood and mostly brown if it is growing in a high iron content soil. Brown maple will come in all grades from 3A on up to Select, it is more common in the 2A and 3A grades do to being cut from the lower grade of the heart of the tree. Some mills will not pull the upper grades of brown and will just down grade it to a number 2 and ship it off to a flooring mill due to the lack of demand for the upper grades in brown opposed to white.

-- barlow

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2899 posts in 2784 days


#2 posted 08-08-2013 01:27 PM

I love brown maple. If you get the right piece it almost looks like marble

-- https://pinepointwoodworks.wordpress.com/

View mporter's profile

mporter

253 posts in 3114 days


#3 posted 08-08-2013 01:40 PM

The heartwood of maple is definantly not brown. Nor would the heartwood pf a tree crack more easily than the sapwood of the tree. It does have to do with the soil composition and tree species.

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1101 posts in 2822 days


#4 posted 08-08-2013 01:45 PM

The supplier is a custom millwork place. They have (so far) tended to have the higher grades of wood. The brown maple is $2.20/bd ft. The white maple is $2.75/bd ft (in 50 b ft quantities.. lower for 100 bd ft)

View treaterryan's profile

treaterryan

109 posts in 2823 days


#5 posted 08-08-2013 01:45 PM

I found this on the web, off of a furniture maker’s website:

Brown Maple
Brown Maple is the “heart wood” (wood towards the center of a tree) of various soft maple trees and not a specific species of tree. As it’s from the center of the tree, it tends to run a range of colors from light to beige to medium brown. Brown Maple is a smooth wood often used for painting or for darker dye stains such as Onyx. Brown Maple hardness varies, but it is in the same range as Cherry (2 on a scale of 1 to 5).

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

View barlow's profile

barlow

129 posts in 4276 days


#6 posted 08-08-2013 02:10 PM

Brown maple is any heartwood of either soft or hard. Hard maple brown is mostly brown and tan with mineral pockets scattered throughout. Soft maple brown ranges in color from pink to green to brown and tan. It is MUCH harder to dry than the sap wood and does crack a lot more than the sap wood. The hardness is still the same as either of the species it came from.

-- barlow

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 3494 days


#7 posted 08-08-2013 03:59 PM

I’ve sawn up thousands of board feet of “big leaf” maple, known to be a soft version; heartwood definitely colored anywhere from gold to nut brown as sawn, tends to turn all gold (varied colors) when drying. The sapwood will color too, but not as much. Really depends on how long it sits for, I like to get it coloring/spalting before I cut it. Heartwood will tend to split along the centers of the cut (pith), sapwood tends to split along the outer edge and down into the tree. Never heard it called “brown maple”, but it does make sense.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View mporter's profile

mporter

253 posts in 3114 days


#8 posted 08-09-2013 12:53 AM

Then someone tell me how I can buy a 12 inch wide pure white maple board??? If the white is the sapwood that mean that almost all of the tree is sapwood.
The way I learned it was that maple has a heartwood the same color as its sapwood. A Species like walnut has a heartwood much darker than its sapwood.

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1819 posts in 3012 days


#9 posted 08-09-2013 02:58 AM

Heartwood in maple is not the same color as sapwood. The heartwood is wood that is no longer functioning to transport water to the crown. It is also a place where the tree dumps stuff that it does not need like extractives and such. Since the heartwood forms in the center of the tree, and the center of the tree was when the tree was young, this wood is called juvenile wood and has shorter wood cells, the wood cell walls are thinner, there is less cellulose in the cell walls, the angle of the cellulose chains in the cell walls is different, and the wood near the center of the tree is less stable, prone to more shrinkage, and definitely cracks and splits more than the mature wood on the outside of the tree, especially at the pith.

We have mostly red maple around here in central GA, and it has a blue-greenish colored heartwood. Very pretty like has been previously described. I have sawn and dried an lot of it. One of my very favorite woods to work with. Although it is called “soft” maple, it is not “soft”, having about the same density as walnut and ash, even denser than cherry. It is in fact a “medium hard” hardwood. Sugar maple is denser, and is one of the “harder” hardwoods.

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

View mporter's profile

mporter

253 posts in 3114 days


#10 posted 08-09-2013 01:14 PM

WDHLT15,
OK, wood does not form in the center of the tree- It forms from the cambium in on the outside of the tree. The oldest wood in the tree in closest to the center. Juvenille wood is sapwood. I have a degree in forestry and have taken every wood chemistry and compisition class I could take and I believe everything you said in that first paragraph is wrong. But then again, what does it matter? It doesn’t, keep cutting done maples and think whatever you want. I will think what I believe and at the end of the day that maple will still end up in one of our projects.

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

933 posts in 2519 days


#11 posted 08-09-2013 01:27 PM

Mporter – I think you might want to read WDHLT15’s post a little closer…

wood does not form in the center of the treeSince the heartwood forms in the center of the tree

Juvenille wood is sapwoodand the center of the tree was when the tree was young, this wood is called juvenile wood and has shorter wood cells

Not trying to be a jerk, but instead of boasting about a forestry degree, try using some of those english electives and practice thorough reading before downing someone else’s comments.

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View barlow's profile

barlow

129 posts in 4276 days


#12 posted 08-09-2013 01:34 PM

Yes you can buy white maple 12” and wider (We have a package in the warehouse right now of number 1 white hard maple 10” and wider, being number 1 white it is white all 4 sides with only a very small amount of brown in the center of the backside allowed. This is not a case of how the trees go but one of the lumber grading/sorting aspect. Saw log grade maples especially the 4sc and veneer tend to have a heart the size of a golf ball. The bigger the log with the smaller the heart the more white that will be sawn which in turns means better money for the mill. On a log with a very tight pith/heart as previously described, the mill will send the cant on the resaw run around until nothing is left. On a lower grade saw log such as a 2sc or just 8’ saw bolts, the heart may be bigger/more brown, and the pith may wander more through the log yielding less of the desired white material and more lower grade and brown colored material from closer to the heart. In most cases in the mill the resaw will run around the cant until it reaches a determined sizes of usually 4×6 (pallet cant) or a 7×9 cross tie if all the faces have been sawn down to there last marketable value of grade lumber.

-- barlow

View mporter's profile

mporter

253 posts in 3114 days


#13 posted 08-09-2013 01:53 PM

Jesus Christ, I wasn’t trying to down someone comments. And I believe if you would read that post again, you would get confused on how he worded it too.

View UpstateNYdude's profile

UpstateNYdude

933 posts in 2519 days


#14 posted 08-09-2013 02:53 PM

I read it again and still makes sense, but regardless I’m not looking to battle with you especially over the internet I just thought you came in to troll like so many others enjoy doing.

I apologize if I came across as a dick…sorry

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View mporter's profile

mporter

253 posts in 3114 days


#15 posted 08-09-2013 04:26 PM

Oh I am not trying to battle with anyone either. I apologize to everyone on this thread. I am just a huge wood nerd trying to learn something new. If maple is almost all sapwood-then that is something that I didn’t know.

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1222 posts in 2973 days


#16 posted 08-09-2013 05:24 PM

WDHLT15 is right on the money. These will links back him up. Not trying to put anyone off, just trying to help get to the correct info.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/ICTQ1108_cameron.pdf/$file/ICTQ1108_cameron.pdf

http://legacy.forestprod.org/cdromdemo/jr/jr3.html

http://www.mapleinfo.org/htm/maplumprop.cfm

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 3494 days


#17 posted 08-09-2013 05:42 PM

“Maple” isn’t all sapwood, but some types do have more than others; also, any maple (or just about any type of tree) that is healthy will have more sapwood than another of the same type that is ill or dying. The thickness of the sapwood is a tool I use to determine the logs health. 12” boards are easy from a 20” tree, provided it was healthy. The same goes with almost all the trees I’ve had the pleasure to slice up. It seems typical that a buyer tends to prefer whiter maple; not that is a rule, just a typical preference. I prefer a more colorful wood, but that’s me and I can’t pay myself to cut wood yet.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1165 posts in 2555 days


#18 posted 08-09-2013 05:46 PM

So I no very little about wood/forestry, but am thoroughly enjoying the conversation. Nice to actually learn a few things!

what about Walnut? It seems to me that the sap wood is maybe only 20% of the diameter of the tree or so. Is that an outlier Nomad?

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 3226 days


#19 posted 08-10-2013 01:17 AM

All the Silver Maple I have sawed seems to be a very uniform white all the way through the diameter of the tree.

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

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1819 posts in 3012 days


#20 posted 08-10-2013 01:52 AM

mporter,

No offense taken. Imagine that you cut a disc off the butt end of a 50 year old log and examined the growth rings from the pith out to the edge of the disc. What I was trying to describe is that in the first 10 years or so (varies by species) of annual growth in most trees, the wood cells that are formed have characteristics that are a bit different than the wood cells that are formed after that 10th year (10 years here being used by example only). This first 10 years of growth is called the juvenile core. Once the tree has reached about 10 years of age at a single point on the stem, the wood being put down by the cambium in later years begins to change, having more stable characteristics from a woodworkers standpoint. This wood is called “mature” wood, even though it might have just been formed by the cambium in year 11. The first two links posted by tefinn do a good job in describing these different characteristics.

The terminology can certainly be confusing.

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

View mdennisusa1's profile

mdennisusa1

38 posts in 2689 days


#21 posted 08-28-2013 05:34 PM

Just did a serch here on LJ looking for info on brown hard maple. I’ve been cutting some sugar maple that has a very large amount of dark brown heartwood….It’s mostly dark brown with very little light colored sapwood and other trees have very little brown heartwood and mostly light colored sapwood. This is an eight acre plot with pine and mixed hardwoods. Really made no sense. I wonder if the amount of sunlight has anything to do with this. Slower growing trees (less sunlight) may have more heartwood with faster growing trees (more sunlight) have less heartwood. Anyone know or have an other opinion?

View Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 3494 days


#22 posted 08-28-2013 06:10 PM

Marcus, I have sawn black walnut at about 36” diameter with 4” sapwood on each side; have also sawn 36” with less than 2”, some brown already leaching thru to the bark. The first was a nice, healthy tree that came from the middle of a farmers field (it was coming down, couldn’t talk him out of it), the second from in front of a museum and that was diseased and dying. These are Claro, I am unfamiliar with East coast black walnut. In some cases the brown heartwood will mingle with the sapwood, making beautiful swirls and combinations; some wood processors (tho not me) will steam the wood to help the brown tannin leach thru the sapwood to color it, then try to sell it as heartwood or just not mention it. As a clarifier, I should state that my statements are from my experience, and may or may not reflect that of someone else. And I agree, this thread is informative and easy to read, I know of a few peeps that could use reading it… including myself a few years ago.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2901 posts in 3050 days


#23 posted 08-28-2013 06:20 PM

Where I live, when the maple has the brown or even some greenish streaks in it from the center of the tree, they usually call it “painter’s grade”, and charge less. Personally, to me it looks more like poplar than maple, but it seems to work about the same as cabinet grade or premium.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View WDHLT15's profile

WDHLT15

1819 posts in 3012 days


#24 posted 08-29-2013 12:58 AM

I suspect that heartwood formation might have to do with vigor. Very healthy and vigorous maple trees with more white wood versus slower growing, less vigorous maple trees with more brown heartwood.

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

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