Hard Maple, Sugar Maple
Sycamore (European), Maple (European), Swiss Pear, Alder, Sliced Birch
Eastern area of North America, from Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico. Exploited commercially mainly in the north of the USA. Apart from its use as wood also significant as the source of maple syrup.
Special forms of Hard Maple are the Curly Maple, Quilted Maple, Fiddleback Maple and the Birdseye Maple.
Hard Maple is one of the most used furniture woods in the USA. Over the last two years Hard Maple has established itself in Europe as a furniture wood, above all as a “substitute” for Pear, Alder or European Sycamore in unsteamed white or steamed pink color shades. Due to its resistance to friction it is also suitable as hard-wearing parquet in gymnasiums, etc. Turned into bobbins, loom shuttles and billiard cues.
So-called “sugar” occurs in Hard Maple veneer – small, brown stains spread over the surface. These can be diminished by steaming or staining.
More power is required for machining Hard Maple wood but smooth surfaces and profiles can be produced by using hard metal-tipped tools. There is a risk of burns when using dull tools.
Kiln drying in particular must be carried out very slowly and carefully because the wood tends to easily check or warp.
Hard Maple can easily be stained and can be surface-treated with any finish with no difficulty.
Glue joints hold well and pre-drilled screw joints are preferred over nail joints.