Physical Properties • Soft maple is about 25 percent less hard than hard maple, has medium bending and crushing strength, and is low in stiffness and shock resistance. But which one to choose? Stained cabinets can be washed with soap and water, while painted cabinets should not be washed with water unless the paint used is considered “washable”, otherwise you could damage the finish. One is considered an … Hard maple refers to just one species, acer saccharum (aka rock or sugar maple), and it is the species from which we get maple syrup. Here are a couple of kitchens completed using TaylorCraft Cabinet Door Company’s Select Hard Maple cabinet doors for inspiration: Heide Osborn Wood color. Paint-review wood has a tendency to be of the more tightly grained assortments, for example, hard maple, soft maple, pine, and poplar, among others. Maple is a relatively inexpensive hardwood, although bird's-eye, curly, and burl varieties can be expensive. Finishing maple can be tricky, whether you are using hard or soft maple, because of the wide variability in the porousness of the finished surface. Maple vs. Alder Kitchen Doors. Cons: It’s a very soft wood, marks easily. Unfortunately, It’s also the most expensive of the paint-grade woods costing about 2 1/2 times the price of Soft Maple. Hard Maple grows more slowly than soft, so typically the grain is close together due to close growth rings, and the growth rings are more pronounced than on soft maple. Clear coat first with Magnamax, next do the thinned color coat, followed by another clear. Hard maple is a workable wood resistant to abrasion, with a uniform texture and fine grain. This gray coloring makes Soft Maple a much better paint grade option than stain grade, … One unscientific but simple way to test the hardness of a piece of maple is to push your fingernail into the back or hard edge of the lumber or cabinet door. Standard species include Cherry, Hard Maple, Soft Maple, Red Oak and Paint Grade/painted cabinetry. Paint Grade Hard Maple. Hard maple sands to a smoother finish than poplar. Open-grained wood has a rougher look and likely needs filler to look good when painted. A 10X hand lense helps to see this in the end grain. A few of the most common of the “soft maple” species are: Soft Maple: Scientific Name: Average Dried Weight (lbs/ft3) Bigleaf Maple: Acer macrophyllum. Question Soft maple in my opinion stains better than hard, but still blotches like crazy. As I always say, “furniture” is a very big word. Both are widely available in a variety of finishes, door styles and cabinet configurations, and both have unique selling points. Differences Between Hard and Soft Maple Find out exactly how each maple species stacks up—and how to tell most species of soft maple apart from hard maple. Normally a good clean cut with a sharp knife/razor helps this process. Hard maple dries slowly with high shrinkage, so it can be susceptible to movement in performance. Have you ever felt raw maple vs raw poplar? Poplar feels fuzzy to me. Compared to sugar (hard) maple, cherry and walnut are softwoods too. Soft maple can actually be one of several species of maple with big leaf the predominant species in the Northwest, and red or silver maple on the east coast. Hard maple is commonly used in the manufacture of flooring, furniture, cabinets, billiard cues and other finished wood products. First of all, soft maple and red maple are typically the same things. Natural Soft Maple will be clear of pronounced defects but will possess inherent characteristics of the species in which only the extremes will be removed. Buying ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets online can significantly reduce costs and time. Grain of sugar maple trees produce a high quality timber and yield syrup... 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