Hard Versus Soft Maple – The Wood Database

It seems like people always put the word “Hard” before the word “Maple”. So when people tell me they have a nice “Hard Maple” log, I think it is really probably “Soft Maple”.  Because that is what I find when I cut into the log.

Real Hard Maple needs to be species Acer Saccharum. Which is commonly known as Hard, Rock or Sugar Maple. Soft Maple is Silver, Red, Striped, Bigleaf Maple or Box Elder.

I like the figure in Hard Maple. It makes nice spindle turnings. Soft Maple does not thrill me. But, In general, I don’t like Maple because it is to hard to sand and people always give me ugly Soft Maple.

I found a nice “Wood Database” article on the web that explains the difference.

“Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple”. Click here for web. Click here for PDF.

The Wood Database - Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple
The Wood Database – Differences Between Hard Maple and Soft Maple

The Wood Database has some other interesting articles here. Like “The Ten Best Woods You’ve Never Heard Of”.

Handy Sandpaper

I like to keep my sandpaper handy and organized. Here is how I do it.

Photo: Handy Sandpaper Handy Sandpaper

Here is how I keep my sandpaper handy. I attach it to 1/8" plywood boards and hang it up.

When I am ready to use the sandpaper I take the board over to the lathe and set it on the "ways" of the lathe.

Then all the grits are handy for quick changes.

I have one board for 2" disks and another board for 3" disks. I recently added a third board for chunks of my Stikit sandpaper.

Continue reading Handy Sandpaper