Maple or maple wood is one of the most polyvalent that exist, not only for the number of uses of a wood of this quality, but also because it is obtained from maple syrup or maple syrup, widely used in the Anglo-Saxon area. Also ashes to make soaps and is even part of the emblem of several American states.

It is one of the most abundant forests in the region, so much so that it is not uncommon to find roads that cross the maple forests for hundreds of kilometers. Furthermore, because it is a quality wood with a much appreciated color has a significant demand for all types of use.

It is not difficult to find it in different formats: sawn, cardboard or veneer. It is relatively cheap wood in places where transport costs do not make it more expensive, although there are some species that increase its price significantly.

Types

There are more than 20 different species of this tree, the vast majority located in North America, so it is difficult to make a generalization. We will basically talk about two types of maple wood with very different characteristics and which include several species with different variants.

Hard board, which we find especially in the northern United States and southern Canada and the soft board which grows a little further south and needs more favorable land near rivers or lakes. The hard maple, from which maple syrup is actually made, is denser and stronger and is used for the most demanding uses.

Characteristics of hard maple wood

Within the denomination of Hard Maple we find several species with very similar characteristics: Acer saccharum Y Acer nigrum

Color: Pale red heartwood and lighter sapwood, almost white with reddish tones.

Fiber: Straight, sometimes wavy.

Grain: From very good to good.

Density: Semi-heavy wood, with a density of approximately 700 kg / m3 at 12% humidity.

Toughness: It is a semi-hard wood with 4.5 in the Monnin test.

Durability: Moderate. Durable against fungi, susceptible to insect attack.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: 0.49% of wood between slightly and moderately nervous.

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 540 kg / cm2
  • Static flexural strength: 1,090 kg / cm2
  • Modulus of elasticity: 126,000 kg / cm2

Impregnation: Impregnable sapwood, heartwood slightly impregnable.

Workability:

  • Sawn. No problems beyond its resistance, which requires power.
  • Drying. Slow, at risk of collapse and stuck.
  • Brushed. Repelling and normal problem derived from hard wood.
  • Glued. No problems.
  • Nailed and screwed. Requires knockouts.
  • Finish. No problems.

Characteristics of soft maple wood

In the name of Soft Maple we find several species with very similar characteristics: Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, Acer negundo or Acer macrophyllumm.

Color: Pale red heartwood and whitish sapwood.

Fiber: Straight, occasionally wavy.

Grain: Good.

Density: Light wood with a density of approximately 590 kg / m3 at 12% humidity.

Toughness: It is a semi-hard wood with 3.2 in the Monnin test.

Durability: Moderate. Durable against fungi, susceptible to insect attack.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: 0.41% slightly edgy wood.

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 450 kg / cm2
  • Static flexural strength: 920 kg / cm2
  • Modulus of elasticity: 113,000 kg / cm2

Impregnation: Impregnable sapwood, heartwood slightly impregnable.

Workability:

  • Sawn. No problems.
  • Drying. Fast, with risk of damage.
  • Brushed. No problems.
  • Glued. No problems.
  • Nailed and screwed. No problems.
  • Finish. No problems.

Uses of maple wood

The soft board is commonly used for chipboard, cellulose, interior furniture frames, finishes, doors and some other industrial uses.

Hard maple wood has its main uses in the manufacture of quality furniture, parquets, stairs, musical instruments and a wide variety of tools, among others.

maple wood

The hard maple, with an appropriate treatment, can be used for the manufacture of furniture for bathrooms and kitchens, even for countertops. It is also common to find it in structural elements.

Its good characteristics for wood steam bending stand out.

A common practice to obtain lighter shades is to use hydrogen peroxide to whiten the maple wood, but it should be noted that the characteristic color of the maple will turn yellow.