Soft Maple

Soft maple

Introduction

This quick growing deciduous tree is one among the foremost unremarkably found maple tree within the hardwood forests of North America. The Soft maple or water maple because it is colloquially known is Native to the eastern and central United States and southeastern Canada. The soft maple trees are commonly found on waterways and in wetlands. hence it's typically known as water maple. although the soft maple tree is found in wetlands and close to waterways it grows fairly well in drier places as this tree is characterized by the need for high daylight.

As the expression goes, don't judge a book by its cover likewise don't underestimate this tree simply because it's named soft maple. Most species of soft maple have a hardness and density close to black walnut (Juglans nigra) or black cherry (Prunus serotina)—two extremely regarded hard woods in North America. Soft may be a relative term, and is just accustomed to differentiate it from arduous maple (Acer saccharum). it's 25th softer than arduous maple but it's still additional sturdy than douglas fir, Southern yellow pine, California redwood. for several applications, soft maple’s hardness is enough, and its reduced density typically suggests that it’s easier to figure with and machine than hard maple. Soft maple is one among the foremost prolific and property species, like hard maple however slightly softer in impact hardness. The wood is prone to decay with age and attack of insects and pests. The heartwood may be created moderately resistant by using preservative treatment. The wood is permeable.

Due to its fast rate it's not been listed within the CITES and therefore the IUCN. The soft maple has been the subject of research as a supply of biofuel due to this quick growing quality.

Specification

Common name

Soft maple,Scarlet Maple, Swamp Maple, Soft Maple, Carolina Red Maple, Drummond Red Maple, Water Maple.

Scientific name

Not a distinct species of maple. Soft maple is a commercial term meant to differentiate the wood of some types of maple from hard maple (Acer saccharum). Soft Maple, that springs from many differing types of maple trees like maple (Acer rebrum) and Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum).

Distribution

The soft maple tree could be an extremely adaptable tree and is tolerant to numerous atmospheric conditions. Temperate regions of North America american soft maples grow wide across the eastern USA in mixed hardwood forests with a lot of maple within the northeast and maple targeted within the middle and southern states. The name will be deceptive as soft maple isn't technically terribly soft. There are a big range of subspecies – all sold as soft maple. Several, as well as Pacific coast/big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), grow within the northwest USA, where there are specific grading rules that apply.

Dried weight

The average dry weight of this tree reaches about 30.2 to 38.0 lbs/ft3 (485 to 610 kg/m3) depending on species.

Color

Soft Maple is a lot of seemingly to be darker and embody red, brown or grey streaks inside it. Soft maples are somewhat like onerous maple, however rather more variable in color, particularly from one region to a different. The wood of soft maple is generally grey white however will be darker, with pith flecks as a natural characteristic. The wood of soft maple varies in color from lightweight to dark Venetian red. The distinction between sap and heartwood is larger than in hard maple.

Texture

Soft Maple is less dense than hard Maple with an identical grain and figure. The wood within the soft maples is significantly wider than that within the hard maples and encompasses a lighter wood color. The wood of soft maple is usually straight grained with fine texture, with a grain pattern kind of like american cherry, soft maple will be stained as a cherry substitute.

Odor

One of the most effective things regarding heating your house with firewood is the aroma that comes from the wood. Maple fuel encompasses a pleasant smell and isn't too overwhelming. Some folks say it smells like maple syrup.

Workability

Soft could be a relative term, and is merely accustomed to differentiate it from hard maple (Acer saccharum). for several applications, soft maple’s hardness is comfortable, and its reduced density usually suggests that it’s easier to figure with and machine than hard maple. Soft maple has sensible bending and crushing strength, however is low in stiffness and shock resistance. it's regarding 25th less hard than hard maple. consequently it's not suggested for flooring or work tops. Soft maple lumber is great to machine, bore, plane and end. It turns, glues, planes, drills and carves well however screwing and nailing is merely fair. It produces sensible mouldings. Soft maple will simply be sanded, stained and polished to a fine and swish end, and has sensible steam bending properties. it's thought to be a substitute for cherry once stained. Its mechanical properties and performance additionally build it a substitute for beech.

Availability

Soft maple from the USA is wide on the market as sawn lumber in a range of sizes and grades, however seldom as veneer. The lumber is generally sold random for color. West Coast production is typically sold surfaced and hierarchical from the higher aspect, during a departure from commonplace NHLA Grading Rules. Since these trees grow comparatively quicker these aren't presently listed in CITES or IUCN.

Uses

Soft maple is usually used for article of furniture, room cupboards, doors, musical instruments, turnings and woodwork. it's lower-priced than hard Maple and generally used as a substitute. Soft maple is additionally utilized in veneer, pallets, plywood, barrels, crates and flooring. it's utilized in creating joinery furthermore as for turning and mouldings. it's additionally been wont to build pulp for creating paper. On a historical note the Native Americans used the sap of these wild trees to make sugar, medicine, and in  bread making. The wood was used by them to make baskets and furniture. Additional to this it provides exceptional lumber products.


Frequently asked Questions


How will soft maple burn?

Technically, Soft Maple isn't [classified as] a softwood, it's a hardwood. That being aforementioned, yes it's a fine said – generally higher than hard maple because it dries quicker.

Soft maple weighs less by volume as hard maple, however dries quicker and splits easier. Maple firewood usually burns terribly clean with very little smoke and usually no sparks either. once properly seasoned it'll turn out long and steady burns.

How hard is soft maple?

Soft maple is 25% softer than hard maple however it's still more durable than Douglas fir, Southern yellow pine, California redwood.

How to stain soft maple?

With hardwoods like soft maple pigmented stains typically work best if one needs solely a lightweight to moderate shade. to urge darker stains one ought to begin with a dye. explore for a powdery water soluble dye. With dye, the intensity of the colour by the concentration of the dye resolution may be controlled. Wipe off excess thus it doesn't get puddled up. Flooded on all parts get saturated, instead of having a lot of porous areas settle for a lot of stain and turning darker. In bound cases some variation or bloching will occur to a limited extent however it'll be abundant less.Then, once the dye dries, seal the surface with a coat of one 1/2 to two avoirdupois units. cut of shellac and apply a pigment solely stain, like a gel stain, to feature depth. Since this can darken the surface a bit a lot of, the dye step ought to be done a bit on the sunshine aspect.

How to end soft maple?

Another ordinarily used finishing technique on maple is to use Chinese wood oil or flaxseed oil once the ultimate sanding. These oils tend to bring out the curled or tiger appearance of the maple. Follow the oil with a coat or 2 of shellac. For a sturdy end, top-coat over the shellac with a transparent lacquer or polymer.

What is soft maple?

Soft Maple, that springs from many differing types of maple trees like maple (Acer rebrum) and Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum).


What is soft maple wood used for?

Soft maple is employed for articles of furniture, room cupboards, doors, musical instruments, turnings and woodwork. it's lower-priced than exhausting Maple and generally used as a substitute. Soft maple is additionally employed in veneer, pallets, plywood, barrels, crates and flooring. On a historical note the Native Americans used the sap of these wild trees to make sugar, medicine, and in  bread making. The wood was used by them to make baskets and furniture.

Reference

https://www.wood-database.com/soft-maple/#:~:text=Soft%20maple%20is%20a%20commercial,4%2C230%20N)%20depending%20on%20species

https://www.baillie.com/hardwood-lumber-blog/item/353-hard-maple-vs-soft-maple

https://northwesthardwoods.com/products/glacial/soft-maple/

https://www.americanhardwood.org/en/american-hardwood/american-soft-maple

https://www.finewoodworking.com/forum/recipe-for-staining-soft-maple

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