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Soft Maple (WHAD)

Soft Maple (WHAD)

Soft Maple (Worm Holes Are Defect) is a type of maple tree that is native to North America. It is a fast-growing tree that can reach heights of up to 100 feet. Soft maple wood is light in weight and has a straight, even grain. It is easy to work with and takes finishes well.

Soft maple lumber is a popular choice for a variety of woodworking projects. It is often used for furniture, cabinets, and doors because it is easy to work with and takes finishes well. Soft maple is also used for making flooring, musical instruments, and turned objects. It is a good choice for these applications because it is light in weight and has a straight, even grain.



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.


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.


Red Alder is a relatively soft hardwood of medium density that has low bending strength, shock resistance and stiffness. 


Machining: 5

Nailing: 4

Screwing: 4

Gluing: 4

Finishing: 5

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Value-Added Services


    Rough cut lumber comes straight from the mill through the dry kiln in the form of planks. This is a version of lumber that has been kiln dried with no further processing.


    Surfaced Two Sides (S2S) is rough lumber that has been dressed on the top and bottom of the board in order to meet the requested thickness. Associated Hardwoods has state-of-the-art planers that dress the boards to meet the customer's exact specifications.


    Rip-To-Width lumber is where both sides of the board are ripped to a customer's specified width after surfacing. Also available S3S, straight line ripped one edge after surfacing.


    Rip-To-Width/Cut-To-Length is where the board is manufactured and defected to a customer's unique specifications.


    Glued-To-Spec is where boards are ripped & cut and glued into a panels.

NHLA Grading Rules

The NHLA grades are based on the percentage of clear-defect free wood on a board. The measurements of this percentage are referred to as clear-cuttings.

Other than the FAS grades, the grade of the board is determined from the percentage of these clear cuttings and do not consider defects outside of the clear areas.

Learn more about NHLA Grading with this downloadable resource.