Jump to content

Telling Soft & Hard Maples Apart?


Recommended Posts

I'm pretty familiar with the different species of maples but have not had a chance to work with them much. I went to the lumberyard today and picked up what little maple they had. I live in Arkansas so no-one has maple here. It seems pretty dense & tightly grained but everything is compared to pine (our state tree). Is there any easy way to differentiate the two main types? If I knew what species it was I could determine but I dont even know that. Any input would be helpful.

Thanks,

Anthony

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard maple and soft maple, which is called Plaine, are very similar visually. The main difference is the density. Plaine is a little bit softer than hard maple. But again, I've worked with some very dense Plaine, and some very light hard maples..

The plaine that my local lumber yard carry is more 'yellowish' in color. I can easily identify both of them at first sight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started sanding them and the more I sand the more curl that comes out. The last pic you can see all the dust and discoloration on them. Still wandering what people think about the type. Thanks! :D

DSCN3237.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/Awf...ld/DSCN3238.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/Awf...ld/DSCN3239.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/Awf...ld/DSCN3240.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/Awf...ld/DSCN3241.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably the most complicated part of distinguishing them is that there are not just two types. The hardest and heaviest is sugar maple, next would be Red Maple, Then Black and Silver, Finally the lightest and softest would be Big Leaf or Western Maple. The weight and texture of sugar vs Big leaf(western) Maple is a dead give away( big leaf weights much leass and is not nearly as hard). Red is fairly heavy and hard it is notably so compaired to big leaf. Silver Maple is a wild card, and probably my least favorite of all the maples(often mineral stained, heavy, but not very stiff relative to its weight).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Either way to look at it, soft or hard, you are still looking at a good grade of hardwood. As others have said each tree is different. Will it matter for guitar work; no. Just call it maple and be done with it. Looks good, its maple, I would have no problems using it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Soft Maples will work for necks(structurally). You may be more pleased with the neck if you add some stiffer laminates or carbon fiber. A Big Leaf Maple neck for example will be on the lower end of the stiffness spectrum as neck woods go on electrics, generally similar to Mahogany but slightly less stiff. Silver will be a bit stiffer, then red and so forth...

Peace,Rich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems harder than big leaf, I do have some of that laying around. It is going to go in a multi-piece neck with mahogany, laminates, & I will have carbon fiber reinforement bars as well. My guess is that it will be pretty strong. Thanks for the input guys.

Edited by Awfernald
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...