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Blunting Effect
Boring
Carving
Certified Source
Comments
Common Names
Common Uses
Countries of Distribution
Cutting Resistance
Distribution Overview
Drying Defects
Ease of Drying
Environmental Profile
Family Name
Gluing
Grain
Heartwood Color
Kiln Drying Rate
Kiln Schedules
Mortising
Moulding
Movement in Service
Nailing
Natural Durability
Natural Growth Defects
Numerical Data
Odor
Painting
Planing
Polishing
Product Sources
References
Regions of Distribution
Resistance to Impregnation
Response to Hand Tools
Sanding
Sapwood Color
Scientific Name
Screwing
Staining
Steam Bending
Strength Properties
Substitutes
Texture
Trade Name
Tree Size
Turning
Veneering Qualities

Scientific Name
Acer saccharum

Trade Name
Sugar maple

Family Name
Aceraceae

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Common Names
Bird's eye maple, Black maple, Blister maple, Canadian maple, Curly maple, Fiddleback maple, Hard maple, Maple, Rock maple, Sugar maple, White maple

Regions of Distribution
North America

Countries of Distribution [VIEW MAP]
Canada, United States

Common Uses
Agricultural implements, Bedroom suites, Billiard-cue butts, Boat building, Boxes and crates, Building materials, Cabinetmaking, Canoes, Casks, Chairs, Chests, Concealed parts (Furniture), Desks, Dining-room furniture, Dowell pins, Dowells, Drawer sides, Excelsior, Fine furniture, Floor lamps, Flooring, Flooring: commercial heavy traffic, Flooring: industrial heavy traffic, Furniture , Furniture components, Furniture squares or stock, Furniture, Handles: general, Hatracks, Instrument cases, Interior construction, Interior trim, Joinery, Kitchen cabinets, Lifeboats, Living-room suites, Millwork, Moldings, Musical instruments, Musical instruments: piano, Musical instruments: strings, Office furniture, Packing cases, Paneling , Paneling, Plywood, Pulp/Paper products, Radio - stereo - TV cabinets, Railroad ties, Rustic furniture, Shade rollers, Shipbuilding, Sporting Goods, Stools, Tables , Tables, Textile equipment, Tool handles, Toys, Trimming, Turnery, Vehicle parts, Veneer, Veneer: decorative, Woodenware

Environmental Profile
Abundant/Secure
Status has not been officially assessed


Distribution Overview
Sugar maple grows from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick westward to Ontario and Manitoba, southward through Minnesota, and eastern Kansas into northeastern Texas. It extends eastward to Georgia and northward through the Appalachian Mountains into New England. Local populations occur in northwestern South Carolina, northern Georgia, and northeastern South Dakota. Disjunct populations are known from the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma.

Sugar maple grows in a wide variety of plant communities throughout eastern North America, where it prefers moist soils of uplands and valleys, but may be found in pure stands. It is a dominant or codominant in many northern hardwood and mixed mesophytic communities. Common codominants include beech (Fagus grandifolia), birch (Betula spp.), and American basswood (Tilia americana).

Heartwood Color
Brown
Red
White
Purple
Black
Tan
Pink
Reddish brown
White to cream
Red
Pale brown
Dark brown
Pale red to pink
Light tan
Brown

Bird's eye maple, a form of white or sugar maple, usually exhibits a whitish background with brownish dots, which are rarely solid, at irregular intervals. The dots form "eyes" by having a circular rim which is of different color than the center. The dots are believed to be the starting points of new side branches growing from the trunk of the tree

Sapwood Color
White
Yellow
Red
Pink
Green/Grey
Brown
White to yellow
Pinkish
Whitish
Reddish tinge
Paler than heartwood
Color not distinct from heartwood


Grain
Figure
Straight
Wavy
Distinct (figure)
Other (figure)
Growth rings (figure)
Closed
Even
Variable (figure)
Fiddleback (figure)
Stripe (figure)
Mottled (figure)
Birds-eye (figure)

Generally straight, but not always
Wavy
Other figure
Clear growth rings (figure)
Distinct figure
Distinct and very fine figure
Variable figure
Other figure
Striped figure
Mottled figure
May be wavy or curly
Fiddleback figure
Closed

Decorative figuring includes bird's eye, maple burl, blistered, leaf, and fiddleback.

Texture
Fine
Even or uniform
Uniform
Very fine
Fine
Very fine
Even textured


Natural Growth Defects
Bird's-Eye figure is characteristic for the hard maples and appears as attractive patterns on veneer manufactured. Flecks caused by insects may also be present. Boards containing this are often culled during grading and sold at a premium.

Natural Durability
Non-durable
Perishable
Non-resistant to powder post beetles
Susceptible to insect attack
Non durable
Perishable
Very little natural resistance
Susceptible to attack from powder post (Lyctid & Bostrychid) beetles


A hard maple rated as more durable than other maples.
Fire resistant properties higher than average timber

Odor
No specific smell or taste


Kiln Schedules
Dry at a slow speed


Drying Defects
Distortion
Collapse
Discoloration
Internal Honeycombing Possible
Warping can be expected
Sapwood discoloration possible due to extractives.
Moderate twist/warp
Collapse and honeycomb in heartwood is possible due to mineral stains and wetwood.


Ease of Drying
Fairly Easy
Slowly
Medium to High Shrinkage
Moderately Difficult to Difficult
Thick Stock Requires Care
Little degrade
Easy
Moderate
Little degrade if dried properly
High tangential shrinkage can result from lack of care during drying.
Dries slowly


Kiln Drying Rate
Naturally dries slowly


Tree Size
Tree height is 20-30 m
Bole length is 20-30 m
Trunk diameter is 100-150 cm
Tree height is 30-40 m
Sapwood width is 5-10 cm
Tree height is 40-50 m
Sapwood width is 10-15 cm
Sapwood width is 15-20 cm


Product Sources
Plain maple is readily available in both lumber and veneer forms, but figured maple veneers are limited in availability and are considerably more expensive.

Sugar maple derives its name from one of its by-products, maple sugar. A single Sugar maple tree is capable of producing twelve gallons of maple sap a year. About forty gallons of maple sap is required to produce one gallon of pure maple syrup.

Certified Source
Certified Source


Substitutes
Japanese maple (Acer palmatum )

African celtis (Celtis mildbraedii )

Comments
General finishing qualities are rated as good

Blunting Effect
Moderate
High to severe
Blunting effect on machining is moderate
High effect from irregular grain


Boring
Very good to excellent results
Fairly easy to very easy
Excellent (95+ pieces out of 100 will yield excellent results)


Carving
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Hard maple responds well to carving, and works without tear-outs or chipping.

Cutting Resistance
Moderate to saw
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult to saw
Easy to saw
Cutting Resistance with dry wood is moderate
Moderate to fairly difficult to saw
Cutting Resistance with green wood is moderate


Gluing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Moderate gluing properties
Easy to glue
Satisfactory gluing properties


Mortising
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Good mortising properties

Expected number of pieces out of one hundred producing fair to excellent mortising results = 95

Moulding
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy


Number of shaped pieces out of one hundred producing good to excellent results = 72

Timber is relatively easy to shape without chipping and splintering.

Movement in Service
Fair to Good Stability - Medium Movement
Medium


Nailing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Fair to Good Results
Pre-Boring Recommended
Poor to Very Poor Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Holds nails well
Difficult to nail
Possible if prebored
Tends to split during nailing
Pre-boring recommended
Poor nailing properties

Percent of nailed pieces expected to be free from complete splits = 27

Planing
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Poor to Very Poor Results
Moderately easy to plane
Ease of planing is moderate
Difficult to plane

Expected number of planed pieces out of one hundred without any machining defects = 54

Resistance to Impregnation
Resistant heartwood
Permeable sapwood
Resistant sapwood
Heartwood is resistant
Sapwood is permeable
Heartwood is moderately resistant
Difficult to treat with preservatives

Heartwood is fairly difficult to treat with chemical preservatives.

Response to Hand Tools
Easy to Work
Fairly Difficult to Difficult to Work
Difficult to machine
Moderate working qualities
Easy to machine
Variable qualities


Sanding
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Poor to Very Poor Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fair to Good Results
Good sanding finish
Difficult to sand (expect < 50 out of 100 good to excellent results)

Extra care is recommended since sanding marks are rather difficult to cover because of the wood's density and light color

Screwing
Fairly Difficult to Very Difficult
Fair to Good Results
Pre-boring recommended
Very Good to Excellent Results
Screwing yields good results
Difficult to screw
Possible if prebored
Pre-boring recommended

Expected number out of one hundred of screwed pieces free from complete splits = 52

Turning
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Good results
Good results
Good results

Expected number out of one hundred with fair to excellent results in turning = 82

Veneering Qualities
Veneers easily
Suitable for slicing
Veneers moderately easy
Difficult to veneer
Suitable for peeling
Various figures can yield decorative veneers
There is slight to moderate drying degrade and the potential for buckles and splits
Moderately easy to veneer
Good gluing qualities
Burl
Birds-eye

Birds-Eye is common in veneer of sugar maple, but can also be found in yellow birch, white ash, and other maples

Steam Bending
Fair to Good Results
Good
Moderate
Fair/moderate (,50% of pieces are unbroken during steam bending)


Painting
Fair to Good Results
Very Good to Excellent Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Good results
Satisfactory results
Excellent results


Polishing
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Satisfactory results


Staining
Fair to Good Results
Fairly Easy to Very Easy
Surface Preparation
Very Good to Excellent Results
Finish is generally satisfactory
Finish is generally good
Stains satisfactorily but unevenly


Strength Properties
Density (dry weight) = 46-52 lbs/cu. ft.
Max. crushing strength = medium
Bending strength (MOR) = medium
Work to Maximum Load = very low
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = medium
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = medium
Hardness (side grain) = soft
Shrinkage, Tangential = large
Shrinkage, Radial = small
Shrinkage, Radial = moderate
Bending strength (MOR) = high
Modulus of Elasticity (stiffness) = low
Hardness (side grain) = medium
Density (dry weight) = 38-45 lbs/cu. ft.
Toughness-Hammer drop (Impact strength) = medium
Shrinkage, Tangential = small
Shrinkage, Tangential = moderate
Shrinkage, Tangential = fairly large
Shrinkage, Radial = very small
Shrinkage, Radial = fairly large
Shearing strength (parallel to grain) = low
Resists denting and marring
Max. crushing strength = low
Max. crushing strength = high
Heavy
Hardness = medium
Density (dry weight) = 31-37 lbs/cu. ft.
Compression strength (parallel to grain) = high
Bending strength (MOR) = low


Numerical Data
ItemGreenDryEnglish
Bending Strength1068816904psi
Crushing Strength6271441psi
Density45lbs/ft3
Hardness1359lbs
Impact Strength3940inches
Maximum Crushing Strength40697233psi
Shearing Strength2235psi
Stiffness156618281000 psi
Toughness358inch-lbs
Work to Maximum Load1114inch-lbs/in3
Specific Gravity0.490.55
Weight4644lbs/ft3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage9%
Volumetric Shrinkage14%
ItemGreenDryMetric
Bending Strength7511188kg/cm2
Crushing Strength44101kg/cm2
Density721kg/m3
Hardness616kg
Impact Strength98101cm
Maximum Crushing Strength286508kg/cm2
Shearing Strength157kg/cm2
Stiffness1101281000 kg/cm2
Toughness412cm-kg
Work to Maximum Load0.770.98cm-kg/cm3
Specific Gravity0.490.55
Weight737705kg/m3
Radial Shrinkage3%
Tangential Shrinkage9%

References
Betts, H.S.,1959,American Woods- Maple,USDA Forest Service, American woods

Boone, R.S., C.J. Kozlik, P.J. Bois and E.M. Wengert. 1988. Dry Kiln Schedules for Commercial Woods: Temperate and Tropical. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report FPL-GTR-57, Madison, Wisconsin

Brown, H.P. and Panshin, A.J.,1940,Commercial Timbers of the United States Their structure, identification,,properties and uses,McGraw-Hill, London

Brown, W.H.,1978,Timbers of the World: - No.7 North America,TRADA

Canadian Forestry Service. 1981. Canadian Woods - Their Properties and Uses. Third Edition. E.J. Mullins and T.S. McKnight, Editors. Published by University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada.

Clifford, N.,1957,Timber Identification for the Builder and Architect,Leonard Hill (Books) LTD. London

Edlin, H.L. 1969. What Wood is That?: A Manual of Wood Identification. A Studio Book, The VIking Press, New York.

Farmer, R.H.,1972,Handbook of Hardwoods,HMSO

Fiji Forestry Department,1971,The Properties and Potential Uses of Vuga (Metrosideros collina) A Summary,of C.S.I.R.O. Investigations,Fiji Timbers and their Uses No.52, Department of Forestry, Suva, Fiji

Findlay, W.P.K.,1975,Timber: Properties and Uses,Crosby Lockwood Staples London,224PP

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1945,A Handbook of Empire Timbers,Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Forest Products Research

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1954,Hardwoods for Industrial Flooring,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Leaflet, No.48

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1957,Timbers for Flooring,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Bulletin, No.40

Forest Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1969,The Movement of Timbers,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough Technical Note,No.38

Forests Products Research Laboratory, U.K.,1956,A Handbook of Hardwoods,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Department of,Science and Industrial Research, Building Research Establishment

Harrar, E.S.,1942,Some Physical Properties of Modern Cabinet Woods 3. Directional and Volume,Shrinkage,Tropical Woods,9(71, pp26-32

HMSO, 1981. Handbook of Hardwoods, 2nd Edition. Revised by R.H. Farmer. Department of the Environment, Building Research Establishment, Princes Risborough Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

Howard, A.L.,1948,A Manual of Timbers of the World.,Macmillan & Co. Ltd. London 3rd ed.

I.U.F.R.O.,1973,Veneer Species of the World,Assembled at F.P.L. Madison on behalf of I.U.F.R.O. Working Party on,Slicing and Veneer Cutting

Jackson, A. and D. Day. 1991. Good Wood Handbook - The Woodworker's Guide to Identifying, Selecting and Using the Right Wood. Betterway Publications, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kaiser, J. Wood of the Month: Hard Maple - The Most Popular Maple. Wood and Wood Products, February, 1991. Page 38.

Kaiser, J. 1989. Wood of the Month - Maple: The Star of Autumn, the Sweetness of April. Wood of the Month Annual, Volume 1, Supplement to Wood and Wood Products, Pages 37-38.

Kline, M. 1979. Acer saccharum - Sugar maple. In A Guide to Useful Woods of the World, Flynn Jr., J.H., Editor. King Philip Publishing Co., Portland, Maine. 1994. Pages 21-22.

Kloot, N.H., Bolza, E.,1961,Properties of Timbers Imported into Australia,C.S.I.R.O. Forest Products Division Technological Paper,No.12

Kukachka, B.F.,1962,Characters of Some Imported Woods,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison,,Foreign Wood Series,No.2242

Lincoln, W.A. 1986. World Woods in Color. Linden Publishing Co. Inc. Fresno, California.

Little, E.L. 1980. The Audubon Society Guide to North American Trees - Eastern Region. Published by Arthur A. Knopf, New York.

Markwardt, L.J., Wilson, T.R.C.,1935,Strength and related properties of woods grown in the United States,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin,No.479

Mullins, E.J. and McKnight, T.S.,1981,Canadian Woods Their Properties and Uses,University of Toronto Press 3rd Edition

NWFA. 1994. Wood Species Used in Wood Flooring. Technical Publication No. A200. National Wood Flooring Association, Manchester, MO.

Panshin, A.J. and C. deZeeuw. Textbook of Wood Technology. McGraw-Hill Series in Forest Resources. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Patterson, D.,1988,Commercial Timbers of the World, 5th Edition,Gower Technical Press

Record, S.J., Hess, R.W.,1943,Timbers of the New World,Yale University Press

Redding, L.W.,1971,Resistance of Timbers to Impregnation with Creosote,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Bulletin No.54 pp.43

Rijsdijk, L.F. and Laming, P.B.,1994,Physical and Related Properties of 145 Timbers, Information for,Practice,TNO Building and Construction Research Centre for Timber Research Kluwer,Academic Publishers

Skolmen, R.G.,1963,Robusta Eucalyptus Wood: Its Properties and Uses,US. Forest Service Research Paper, No. PSW-9, Pacific Southwest Forest,Range Experimental Station

Smith, D.N.,1959,The Natural Durability of Timber,Forest Products Research Laboratory, Princes Risborough, Building Research,Establishment Record,No.30

Stone, H.,1924,The Timbers of Commerce and their Identification,William Rider & Sons Ltd. London

Timber Development Association Ltd.,1955,World Timbers (3 Vols.,Timber Development Association Ltd.

Titmuss, F.H.,1965,Commercial Timbers of the World,Technical Press Ltd., London, 3rd edition

U.S.D.A. Forest Service,1974,Wood Handbook,U.S.A. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Handbook,72

USDA. 1988. Dry Kiln Operators Manual, Preliminary Copy. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin.

Wood, A.D.,1963,Plywoods of the World: Their Development, Manufacture and,Application,Johnston & Bacon Ltd. Edinburgh & London








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