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Forum topic by drfixit posted 10-29-2009 04:57 AM 1292 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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318 posts in 3683 days

10-29-2009 04:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple

What is the difference between hard maple and soft maple?

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

6 replies so far

View danr's profile


154 posts in 3724 days

#1 posted 10-29-2009 05:09 AM


I have used soft maple for some of my early furniture projects (stained not painted). The lumber guys consider soft maple to be a “paint grade” wood. It is significanly cheaper than hard maple and is not as hard as hard maple (that seems to go without saying but I said it anyway). I would not recommend building furniture that will have any “hard” use over its life with soft maple. I made a child’s dresser from it and after about 10 years it is showing a few dings (agian, I stained / clear coated this item). I have been fairly satisfied with the final “look” of the items I have built with the soft maple but I don’t think I will ever use it again for furniture that I do not paint (and I don’t paint anything I make).

Hope this helps,

View hairyknuckler's profile


26 posts in 3671 days

#2 posted 10-29-2009 05:29 AM

Alot of people mistake soft maple for birch. Both have similar characteristics. I agree with DanR. It is a decent wood for interior framing of case goods but will not stand up like hard maple.


View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4116 days

#3 posted 10-29-2009 05:57 AM

I’ve built with it an had favorable results. Soft or large leaf maple in my area is still a pretty hard wood just not as hard as hard or rock maple. and it’s a lot less expensive.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18707 posts in 4215 days

#4 posted 10-29-2009 07:00 AM

Jim hit the nail on the head. Soft maple grows fast here on the west coast and is not as hard as eastern slow growing maple.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6688 posts in 3734 days

#5 posted 10-29-2009 07:37 AM

I’ve never used soft maple very much—just a couple of times. I ran out of plywood for some dust frames for a small dresser I made one time, but that’s about it. I’ve never used hard maple, cause it’s hard to get around here, and it cost a fortune. More mun for h.m. than oak or any other h.w. Don’t know why it’s so expensive? Surley it doesn’t cost that much more to harvest than any other h.w.

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 3683 days

#6 posted 10-29-2009 02:56 PM

Thanks for the responce guys!

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

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