Soft Maple
(Red Maple, Silver Maple)

Scientific Name: Acer rubrum

General Description
In most respects soft maple is very similar to Hard Maple.  Generally the sapwood is greyish white, sometimes with darker colored pith flecks.  The heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown.  The wood is usually straight-grained.  The lumber is generally sold unselected for color.

Working Properties
Soft Maple machines well and can be stained to an excellent finish.  It glues, screws, and nails satisfactorily.  Polishes well and is suitable for enamel finishes and brown tones.  It dries slowly with minimal degrade and there is little movement in performance.

Physical Properties
Soft Maple is about 25% less hard than hard maple, has medium bending and crushing strength, and is low in stiffness and shock resistance.  It has good steam bending properties.

Specific Gravity: 0.54 (12% M.C.)
Average Weight: 609 kg/m3 (12% M.C.)
Average Volumetric Shrinkage: 10.5% (Green to 6% M.C.)
Modulus of Elasticity: 11,308 MPa
Hardness: 4226 N

Availability
Readily available, (4 percent of U.S.  hardwoods commercially available).

Main Uses
Furniture, paneling and millwork, kitchen cabinets, mouldings, doors, musical instruments, and turnings.  Soft Maple is often used as a substitute for hard maple or stained to resemble other species such as Cherry.  Its physical and working properties also make it a possible substitute for Beech.