Latin Name: Acer macrophyllum
Common Name(s): Bigleaf Maple
Sources: Coastal regions of Pacific North America

Characteristics

Unlike most other hardwoods, the sapwood of maple lumber is most commonly used rather than its heartwood. Sapwood color ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Silver Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns.

Grain/ Texture

Grain is generally straight, but may be wavy. Has a fine, even texture. The growth rings tend to be lighter and less distinct in Soft Maples than in Hard Maple.

Workability

Fairly easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though maple has a tendency to burn when being machined with high-speed cutters such as in a router. Turns, glues, and finishes well, though blotches can occur when staining, and a pre-conditioner, gel stain, or toner may be necessary to get an even color.

Uses

Veneer, paper (pulpwood), boxes, crates/pallets, musical instruments, turned objects, and other small specialty wood items.

Availability

Should be very moderately priced, though figured pieces such as curly or quilted grain patterns are likely to be much more expensive.