But all three have their advantages: Sugar maple has a good reputation for burning with few sparks and less smoke than what’s produced by other woods. At the end of the day when it comes to maple firewood, it’s a good one. Hard maple dries slowly with high shrinkage, so it can be susceptible to movement in performance. The wood is difficult to split but produces a hot fire. Known primarily for its sugar production, the sugar maple grows throughout the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Wood that sparks heavily can create significant fire hazards, which can cause problems in both open-air (e.g. I'm also the son of a forester, and in the last few years, I've developed a newfound appreciation for the old-fashioned knowledge trapped in the heads of guys like Dad. The main instances where you would want to stick with hard maple would be in applications where hardness and strength are important, such as: butcher blocks, flooring, workbench tops, etc. Discusses placement from your home and how to build the perfect backyard fire. Hard maple or sugar maple trees produce a high quality timber and yield maple syrup. In addition, you should only ever burn wood that is thoroughly seasoned (dried), because wet wood produces more creosote. Soft maple is very similar to hard maple in most respects. And I’ll admit, this isn’t absolutely essential, but if you put your stack of firewood up on some pallets or perpendicular planks, it will increase airflow beneath the firewood stack and will accelerate your drying time. outdoor) and enclosed fireplaces. What are the differences in hardness, color, grain, cost, finishing considerations, between hard maple vs soft maple kitchen cabinet cabinet doors? The most common hard maple is the sugar or rock maple. … The wood is usually straight-grained. Poplar Wood Vs. So, I created BurlyBeaver to serve as a library of the skills, facts, and tricks that I've learned. Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'burlybeaver_com-leader-4','ezslot_20',117,'0','0'])); In the picture below, I’ve got a piece of Maple wood. The wood has a straight grain and is considered easier to machine than hard maple. The silver maple grows in a variety of soil conditions and has tolerance to a broad range of climates. Jump down to this section to learn more about seasoning. When it comes to firewood, hardwood simply refers to any wood that is hard and dense. live in an area with similar trees and forestland) than these factors should work well. Whether you have hard or soft maple, the “best finish” is just the one that suits your project and personal preferences. To bring out the pattern in bird’s-eye or curly maple while giving it a light amber color, … While there are several differences between the two species of maple, both of these woods are sturdy, hard, and make wonderful material to use for fretboards. Silver maple blossoms in a variety of soil forms and has tolerance to a wide range of climates. Explains how to season one, lists what you can burn inside of it and how to store it after use. There is little color variation between the heartwood and the sapwood. What Is Maple Hard Or Soft Wood? White ash, sugar maple and birch trees also produce excellent firewood, albeit not quite as good as oak and hickory. Pacific Coast Maple’s color is pale pinkish-brown to almost white. Hard Maple is moderately good firewood, and Soft Maple is poor firewood. The wood polishes well and is suitable for enamel finishes and brown tones. These maples don’t have as many BTU’s as hard maples but they still make good firewood. It is used extensively in the box making industry, and often soft maple boxes are then covered with decorative wood veneers. How to use a clay chiminea to create the perfect backyard fire. In order to expedite the process, and to get your firewood seasoned as quickly as possible, use the following tips for fast drying: firewood dries WAY faster when it is split into pieces, rather than sitting in log-form. "Soft maple" is the common term for four Pacific Coast Maple dries easily with little degrade and has good dimensional stability after drying. While certainly not a soft wood, it's definitely softer than those categorized as 'Hard Maple' with a Janka range of 1400-1500. I guess this explains why my display cabinet for my wife did not work out as well as I had hoped -- I used 3 1/2 nails for the joinery and had some splitting. In the North, during the cold nights and warm days of late winter, the sugar maple is tapped for its sucrose-containing sap, the source of maple syrup. The downside is that it is very susceptible to nicks and dents, at least more so than hard maple. "Soft maple" isn't a maple species. A lot are Norways, which have the leaves of a hard maple but grow very fast. The trees are tapped in the early spring and the sap is processed by cooking it to remove the excess moisture leaving behind maple syrup. The light-colored wood is used for furniture, flooring, cabinets, charcoal and firewood. Some woods make beautiful accents on furniture, but they do not stand up to the test of time like kiln-dried soft maple wood. A few facts about Hard Maple (acer saccharum) Always check provenance to ensure your supply is from a well managed source. Bar and chain oil should be stored in a dark, dry, cool... Hi there - I'm Jon Yarde, the guy behind BurlyBeaver. One question to ask on woodworking or home improvement projects is what species of wood to use. For example, Ash has big parallel ridges in its bark that almost looks like small wooden mountain ranges. All species’ of Maple fall in into two broad categories: Hard Maple and Soft Maple. Soft Maple has low heat output, a nice smell, and produces great coals. Typically, Hard Maple is most often known as Sugar Maple. I can tell when it's still a tree, when it's lumber and when it's a split piece of firewood but not the foggiest idea when it's still in log form. The spots are called pith flecks and are more characteristic of soft than hard or sugar maple, although they can develop in hard maple. Technically, Soft Maple is not [classified as] a softwood, it is a hardwood. The majority of builders and woodworkers refer to maple and oak generically because two types, red oak and hard maple, are the most commonly used. Speaking of Pine, it’s probably the worst type of wood when it comes to creosote build-up. The other factor is that there tends to be more color variation, so a lot depends on the look you are going for, and whether you plan to stain it a darker color. Also, sugar maple grows throughout the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Hard maple is brighter overall than soft maple, owing to its greater stiffness. For outdoor campfires, Pine or Cedar are better because they produce a pleasant fire that doesn’t burn too long. Hardness and Grain On the Janka hardness scale -- a scale that ranks wood for hardness, hickory is the hardest of all domestic hardwoods, ranking at 1,820. Softwoods refer to woods that are less dense and not as hard. Hard Maple is denser than Soft Maple and produces a higher heat output. Sugar Maple– The best of the soft maple, you’ll be happy burning sugar maple. All that said, remember that these tables represent _average_ characteristics and it is possible to get hard maple that actually has characteristics in the soft range and vis-versa. Although there are many different species of maple, the sugar maple (sometimes referred to as the hard maple) may be one of the best known. Likewise, it is not a soft maple. WORKING PROPERTIES The wood machines well and can be stained to an excellent finish. Its growth rings are barely visible, but light brown streaks are common along the grain. To preserve maple’s light color, apply a non-yellowing, water-based finish. However, Soft Maple is TERRIBLE when it comes to heating. There are over 100 species of Maple trees, and this can make it really tricky to know what to expect from Maple when you’re using it as firewood. This will allow both stacks of wood to dry better. Maple (Soft) Overview. Soft maple also works easily. To give you a clearer view of this, I compiled some side-by-side numbers. These maples, as you might guess from the name, are softer and less dense than hard maples. To optimize your drying time, you should stack your firewood neatly in a location that will maximize the amount of sunshine and airflow. Wholesome Gear, LLC may also participate in affiliate programs with other sites. Soft maple can develop a beautiful curl just like its hard maple counterpart. Let’s go! Hard Maple vs. Soft Maple "Hard maple" is the common term for two species of maple trees: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) and Black Maple (Acer nigrum). Just make sure that it doesn’t totally block airflow from the side of the stack, otherwise it will trap in moisture and make seasoning take longer. To fix this, remove the chain and bar from your chainsaw and clean the oil hole and oil outlet port. Hello and thanks for the A2A. Soft maple usually refers to red maple and sometimes silver maple, which is sometimes called swamp maple. But botanically, and in some forest product industries, it gets a little more complicated than that. However, realizing the hard maple seasons faster, that is usually why most prefer it. However, it can occasionally yield some nice wood.February 17, 2012. And it is very different than many of our other common firewoods. I like to split it into small splits and then take the chop saw and cut into little chunks. Poplar Wood Vs. Softwood trees are conifers, like Pine, which are evergreen and have needles instead of leaves. Cuts like hard maple, splits like soft, I dunno . Hard maple is defined as sugar maple and black maple only. All species’ of Maple fall in into two broad categories: Hard Maple and Soft Maple. Many people, including my family, completely avoid burning Pine in wood stoves as a result.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'burlybeaver_com-leader-3','ezslot_19',116,'0','0'])); Alright, now that we’ve covered the 6 most important burning qualities for Maple, let’s boil it down to the biggest highlights. Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. Home Forums > The Wood Shed > The Wood Pile > Soft or hard maple? Hard maple vs. silver maple fretboards. Thor, Backwoods … When any kind of firewood burns it produces coals, and the quality of the coals produced has a big impact on how long (and how well) the fire will continue burning.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'burlybeaver_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_17',110,'0','0'])); Firewood that is on the top of the list for BTU output, tend to have very good coaling properties, and Maple actually performs really well on coaling also. The wood is only soft in comparison to hard maple. It is a species unto itself. Both types of Maple are marked with bold text below. Other common types of maple trees found in North America are: Overall maple is one of my favorite firewood choices. Another big factor is the type of wood you’re burning. Think about it, when the wood is split more surface area is exposed to the wind and sunshine, which are the primary contributors to dry wood. The information in this image is based largely off of data from the following sources: Utah State University Forestry Extension, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, University of Illinois Extension, University of Missouri Extension, South Dakota State University Extension. It is still harder, stronger, and more durable than many other varieties of wood. Sugar maple has the most significant sugar content of any of the native maple species, and people commonly use it to produce maple … I do like the color and figure that I can get locally in soft maple and have used it for legs on benches, but where strength is necessary, I stick with hard maple. Joined: Sep 21, 2015 Messages: 2,510 Likes Received: 15,897 Location: Syracuse, NY. The tree is found everywhere in the eastern United States, and people use it as an ornamental tree due to its rapid growth rate. Everyone will agree, that the #1 easiest way to identify Maple, is by the leaf. Size: Maple trees usually grow to 50 to 75 feet high in the wild, but when they are used for home landscapes they stay around 20 to 30 f… Firewood cost is usually more stable than the cost of gas and fuel oils. One question to ask on woodworking or home improvement projects is what species of wood to use. Maples labeled "soft" are the fast-growing species that seem to shoot up overnight, including garden-friendly landscape trees such as bigleaf (Acer macrophyllum) in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, red maple (Acer rubrum) in zones 3 to 9, and silver maple (Acer saccarinum) in zones 4 to 9. 10 chiminea safety tips designed to increase safety around your chiminea. Is Maple Good Firewood? Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. Let’s dive-in, and we’ll start high-level:eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'burlybeaver_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_9',103,'0','0'])); Maple firewood ranges from poor to moderately good firewood. There are two different species of maple that are used in the creation of maple fretboards; silver maple and hard maple. Hard Maple also produces far more smoke than Soft Maple does. Owning A Clay Chiminea - A They Any Good? Creosote isn’t a problem in small quantities, but if it gets built up, it can be quite dangerous. If you want to have the best smelling campfire of your life, you should definitely check out our article on the 11 best smelling types of firewood. Woodsnwoods, May 11, 2019 #1 Top. In addition, where there was missing data (only a few occasions), I’ve used my own experience to round out the data.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'burlybeaver_com-banner-1','ezslot_12',106,'0','0'])); That gives you an idea of where Hard Maple and Soft Maple are in comparison to other types of firewood, and in the following section, we’ll highlight 6 important considerations for burning Maple firewood. Maple firewood is a great firewood choice. ft. of natural gas at today's prices. Many people choose to burn maple because it is readily available and it provides good heat. The soft wood is commonly used in furniture and molding very resilient and hence it used for durable purposes, such as a butcher block. Sugar maple will produce 24.0 million BTU's per cord. It's categorized as a 'soft' Maple with a Janka rage around 830 - 870. Both make excellent firewood. As demand and price for hard maple increased several years ago, soft maple followed. Maple wood is available as hard and soft maple wood. The lumber is generally sold unselected for color. ↓↓↓ Scroll down for more info ↓↓↓ Links ↓↓↓ Etc. This is a common trait for Maple trees, especially on the limbs and branches. But typically hard maple is from a Sugar Maple tree, and all the others are soft maple. The sugar maple is a large tree. A special thanks to Adam Cottrill for providing the turned photo of this wood species. Jon Yarde is a firewood enthusiast, an Eagle Scout, and an avid learner and teacher of outdoor skills. Norway maple sits ambiguously between hard and soft maple. ft. of natural gas at today's prices. The drawback to oaks is they take so long to season to get to the point of hard maple. Strictly speaking, Norway Maple is its own species, not classified as either Hard Maple or Soft Maple. Firewood Hoarders Club. Often hard maple lacks the character of the face grain of soft maple, and is obviously a denser wood. Advantages/ Pros The maple wood comes with various advantages/ pros out of which some are mentioned below: 1. link to Chainsaw Bar Not Getting Oil (Oiler Not Working). Firewood Measurements - 1 cord measures 8 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide or 128 cubic feet Think about the cost of 1 cord of firewood vs. the cost of fuel oil or the cu. So, if you have some leaves around, just go with that! Many common products like furniture, cabinets, and musical instruments are made using both Hard and Soft Maple. Firewood Guide to BTU Ratings. Silver maple can live up to 150 years and grow as high as 100 feet. the term "soft maple" always confuses me when I hear it as I/we consider all maple a hard wood around here and I never see a reference to it on any btu charts, so my question is what exactally is soft maple? And it goes straight from small tables to cupboards to beds. Return from Maple Firewood to Firewood Types. Jim: A few comments about the article discussing soft maple as a “softwood” firewood. The tree is found throughout the eastern United States and is commonly used as an ornamental tree due to its fast growth rate. If you’re using a fireplace or wood stove in your home, another important thing to consider is the maintenance of your chimney, and specifically preventing creosote build-up. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'burlybeaver_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_10',104,'0','0'])); Maple is a common type of wood, and both can still be good options, you will just want to know the details below before you throw it in the fire. Hard maple (1,450 lb f janka) is roughly twice as hard as soft maple (700-950 lb f janka)—primarily because it tends to grow about half as fast as most other soft maple species. And it goes straight from small tables to cupboards to beds. Firewood cost is usually more stable than the cost of gas and fuel oils. It’s not quite as good as Cherry, or Hickory, which have famously good fragrances. In general, firewood that is very sappy will produce much more creosote build-up than firewood that is not as sappy. Maple Wood. Wholesome Gear, LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Furniture Making: The wood has awesome endurance and strength that is the … If you're not sure about what type you're dealing with, refer to the wood's pricing. Next, let’s touch briefly on identifying Maple firewood. Douglas fir firewood is a popular firewood choice for many people. The soft maple category is separated into another seven varieties. Maple wood typically has a light-brown color, which separates it from Black Walnut (which is very dark), and Cherry which is red. This will be my first year buying logs and splitting myself and currently in our 5th winter of only heating with wood. There are a few other factors, that will affect how good the wood is for heating or for outdoor campfires. It will produce 27.0 million BTU’s per cord. All species’ of Maple fall in into two broad categories: Hard Maple and Soft Maple. For wood to be “seasoned” basically just means that it’s thoroughly dried, and you should always plan to burn firewood that is completely seasoned. Here are the facts about why soft maple is the perfect wood for your custom furniture: It’s more sustainable. They are beautiful in the fall as their leaves turn fiery red or blaze orange and its heating capabilities have never let me down in the winter. (And to a great extent, this also accounts for … This will be my first year buying logs and splitting myself and currently in our 5th winter of only heating with wood. The best type of firewood for heating a home with a wood stove, is Black Locust or Hickory, due to the high heat output and long-lasting coals. 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An avid learner and teacher of outdoor skills black maple only ” maple and softer “ hard maple... If both are the same dryness side-by-side, I hard maple vs soft maple firewood in the lid whether. Worst type of wood to help with identification enamel finishes and brown tones and as! Soft ” maple don ’ t burn too long is from a well source! S probably the worst type of wood to use seasoned ( dried ), produces. As sugar maple or soft maple store it after use leaves around, just go with that pleasing curl and! 27.0 million BTU 's per cord example, Ash has big parallel in. Site is owned and operated by wholesome Gear, LLC may also participate in affiliate programs with other sites sever... Develop an aesthetically pleasing curl should only ever burn wood that is thoroughly seasoned ( dried ) because... Very different than many of our other common firewoods facts about hard maple or maple... Has big parallel ridges in its bark that grows in thin “ plates ” that sometimes or... More so than hard maple is not [ classified as hard by at least a few comments about the sources. Preserve maple ’ s probably the most strategy-growing maple species and is commonly in! These maples, as you might guess from the name, are softer and less dense and not as maples... Firewood – sometimes better that hard maple when it is not [ classified as hard help identification. Look at this article the trees are conifers, like oak and both! Higher than red oak s a good choice for exterior projects very susceptible to nicks and dents, least... Softwood trees are very common on my property and the majority of the has... Interesting, because in this area, soft maple and sometimes silver maple grows in thin “ plates that...