Soft Maple

Soft Maple (or "Red Maple") is not "soft", as its name would imply. On the contrary, Soft Maple is twice as hard as Poplar, putting it at the same hardness level as Cherry. Soft Maple is valued for its bright white sapwood and reddish-brown heartwood, and readily receives stains or clear-coat to enhance its natural beauty.

The term “Soft Maple” does not refer to any specific species of maple, but rather, it’s a broad term which includes several different species of maple. The term “Soft Maple” is merely used to differentiate these species from Hard Maple. Hard Maple, on the other hand, typically refers to one specific type of maple species: Acer saccharum. Hard Maple is also known as Rock Maple or Sugar Maple, (this is the same tree which is tapped to get maple syrup).


Other Common Names: American Soft Maple, Red Maple, Silver Maple, Latin name: Acer rubric

Sourcing Region: United States

Color, Pattern, Texture: Its color ranges from almost white, to a light golden or reddish brown, while the heartwood is a darker reddish brown. Red Maple can also be seen with curly or quilted grain patterns. 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.

Common Uses and Applications: Furniture, panelling, interior joinery, kitchen cabinets, mouldings, doors, musical instruments, and turning.

Working Properties: Soft maple machines well and can be stained and polished to an excellent finish. It glues, screws, and nails satisfactorily. It dries slowly with minimal degrade and has good stability which means there is little movement in performance.

Soft Maple FAS, or Select and Better

The FAS grade, which derives from an original grade "First and Seconds", will provide the user with long, clear cuttings- best suited for high quality furniture, interior joinery and solid wood moldings.

We grade after drying and surfacing, and against all natural drying or surfacing defects (pin knot no defect).

Grades: FAS
Length and Width: Minimum board size is 6" and wider and 8' and longer. The FAS grade includes a range of boards that yield from 831⁄3% (10⁄12ths) to 100% clear-wood cuttings over the entire surface of the board. The clear cuttings must be a minimum size of 3" wide by 7' long or 4" wide by 5' long. The number of these cuttings permitted depends on the size of the board with most boards permitting one to two. The minimum width and length will vary, depending on species and whether the board is green or kiln dried. Both faces of the board must meet the minimum requirement for FAS.
How to care for it: We offer a wide selection of products to care for your projects, visit our ‘Decking’ section.

Soft Maple #1 Com

The Number 1 Common grade is often referred to as the Cabinet grade in the USA because of its adaptability to the standard sizes of kitchen cabinet doors used throughout the United States. 

We grade after drying and surfacing, and against all natural drying or surfacing defects (pin knot no defect).

Applications: Number 1 Common is widely used in the manufacture of furniture parts as well for this same reason. 
Grades: #1 Com
Length and Width: #1 Com grade includes boards that are a minimum of 3" wide and 4' long and will yield clear face cuttings from 662⁄3% (8⁄12ths) up to, but not including, the minimum requirement for FAS (831⁄3%). The smallest clear cuttings allowed are 3" by 3' and 4" by 2'. The number of these clear cuttings is determined by the size of the board. Both faces of the board must meet the minimum requirement for #1 Common.
How to care for it: We offer a wide selection of products to care for your projects, visit our ‘Decking’ section.

Soft Maple #2 Com

#2 Com grade is often referred to as the Economy grade because of its price and suitability for a wide range of furniture parts. It is also the grade of choice for the US hardwood flooring industry.

We grade after drying and surfacing, and against all natural drying or surfacing defects (pin knot no defect).

Grades: #2 Com
Length and Width: #2 Common grade includes boards that are a minimum of 3" wide and 4' long that yield from 50% (6⁄12ths) up to, but not including, the minimum requirement for #1 Com (662⁄3%). The smallest clear cutting allowed is 3" by 2' and the number of these cuttings depends on the size of the board.
How to care for it: We offer a wide selection of products to care for your projects, visit our ‘Decking’ section.

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© Bennett Crone Lumber & Plywood, Inc.
1202 Piper Ranch Rd, San Diego, CA 92154 
(619) 661 0667

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