Our February wood of the month is curly soft maple. A highly acclaimed wood, curly soft maple delivers stunning looks for furniture and musical instruments. Curly soft maple isn’t a separate species of maple; it’s actually just regular soft maple with a unique, curly grain pattern. This pattern is also known as tiger, rippled, and fiddleback.
Soft maple has creamy white sapwood, and light beige or tannish-brown heartwood, sometimes with a grayish-green hue. Soft maple is a fine textured, diffuse-porous wood, and its grain is normally straight and close, but it can be wavy or curly. The different grain pattern generates special figures like, ‘Curly Soft Maple’ (shown above) and ‘Ambrosia Maple.’ The figuring of Ambrosia Maple has a distinctive wormy pattern.
With a Janka hardness of 950, soft maple is actually 25% softer than hard maple. The wood of soft maple resembles that of hard maple, but it is not nearly as heavy, hard, or strong. However, the better grades of soft maple are used as a substitute for hard maple in some projects. This is because soft maple has good steam bending, and medium crushing and bending strengths. It works well with hand and machine tools, and nails, screws, planes, and bores satisfactorily. It is reliably stable, which also makes it easy to work with. It can be stained and polished to an excellent glass smooth finish.
Soft maple is used for turnery, cabinetry, furniture framing, domestic flooring, internal joinery, kitchen utensils, veneer, plywood, crates, toys, and musical instruments.
Take a look at how soft maple was even used during the Civil War in 1864. This interesting relic of the war was made by George M. Colt , and will forever be known as the Civil War fiddle.
When it comes to a great domestic wood, maple has the qualities you look for in lumber, including the range of figuring present in the different species. Go to our website for additional information on Soft Maple, Curly Soft Maple, and Ambrosia Maple wood. There you can also find Soft Maple, Curly Soft Maple, and Ambrosia Maple lumber. We also offer Maple thinwood.