Commercial maples grow throughout the eastern U. S.
and southeastern Canada, with the exception of bigleaf maple, which grows on the West Coast. The wood of maples is often divided into two classes- hardmaple and soft maple. Hard maple includes sugar maple and black maple. Soft maple is made up largely of silver maple and red maple with a very small proportion of boxelder. Bigleaf maple is used as such in the regions where it grows.
Maple is a consistently popular wood for furniture and cabinetry. As much as 90 percent of the maple lumber produced is further manufactured into a variety of products such as furniture, kitchen cabinets, architectural woodwork, and flooring.
Maple is heavy, strong, stiff, and hard; has a high resistance to shock; and ranks high in nail-holding ability. The wood turns well on a lathe and is markedly resistant to abrasive wear. It takes stain satisfactorily and is capable of a high polish. In ease of gluing, it has an intermediate rank. The wood of soft maples is not as heavy, as hard, or as strong as that of the hard maples. Kiln drying 1-inch soft maple lumber from green to 6 percent moisture content requires 7-13 days and 11-15 days for hard maple.
(RS Boone, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry)
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Below are examples of different finishes