Brown maple comes from the heart, or center, of the soft maple trees. It is brown in appearance, but may also have a red tint, and some white. Brown maple comes in a select and better grade (3.5” wide and wider). It is a good choice for solid wood jobs that get painted, and is often found where smaller cuttings are needed. Because it comes from the heart of the tree, it will be denser and more prone to cracks and checks while being kiln dried.
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|Common Name(s): Soft maple
Botanical Designation: Not a distinct species of maple. Soft maple is a commercial term meant to differentiate the wood of some types of maple from hard maple (Acer saccharum).
Distribution: Temperate regions of North America
Average Dried Weight: 30.2 to 38.0 lbs/ft3 (485 to 610 kg/m3) depending on species
Janka Hardness: 700 to 950 lbf (4,230 N) depending on species
Comments: Don’t be fooled by the name, most species of soft maple have a hardness and density near black walnut (Juglans nigra) or black cherry (Prunus serotina)—two highly regarded cabinet woods in North America. Soft is a relative term, and is only used to differentiate it from hard maple (Acer saccharum). For many applications, soft maple’s hardness is sufficient, and its reduced density generally means it’s easier to work with and machine than hard maple.