WHND Soft Maple: (Acer rubrum) Ratings 1 to 5 (best):
4/4 through 12/4 #1 Com & Btr
Throughout Eastern U. S., and to a lesser extent on the West Coast (big leaf maple).
In most respects soft maple is very similar to hard maple. Generally the sapwood is greyish white, sometimes with darker colored pith flecks. The heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The wood is usually straight-grained. The lumber is generally sold unselected for color.
Abundant. Most widely used species.
Soft maple machines well and can be stained to an excellent finish. It flues, screws, and nails satisfactorily. It dries slowly with minimal degrade and there is little movement in performance.
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. It has good steam-bending properties.
Furniture, paneling and millwork, kitchen cabinets, mouldings, doors, musical instruments, and turnings. Soft maple is often used as a substitute for hard maple or stained to resemble other species such as cherry. Its physical and working properties also make it a possible substitute for beech.