Hard Maple (Acer saccharum)


Hard maple is widespread and common across eastern North America. Also known a sugar maple, it is probably best known for the production of Maple syrup that is produced from the sap harvested from this tree in late winter.

The sapwood wood of hard maple is usually quite broad and very light beige in colour with some samples appearing to be almost white. The heartwood of hard maple is usually clearly demarcated from the sapwood and somewhat darker shades of beige or light brown. Hard maple is normally straight grained, although several distinct grain patterns are not uncommon and highly desirable. Curly, birds-eye and blister figure are regularly found in Hard maple.

As the name implies, the wood of hard maple is fairly hard and close grained, but it works, sands, and finishes well. The grain is too close for pigment stains to work well, but dyes can be effective and when applied properly can emphasize existing figure. Maple has long been a stable in North American cabinet work, hardwood floors and durable wooden products intended for indoor use. Bowling allies and butcher blocks are two uses where hard maple is used almost exclusively and are likely to be instantly recognizable to many people.

When exposed to the appropriate environmental conditions, hard maple will spalt (rot induced by fungus). If the spalting is caught before the wood becomes too soft to work, spalting can result in spectacular web-like patterns on the wood surface.

Also known as:
  • Sugar Maple
  • Rock Maple

For further information see:
Additional Images:
Some recent projects made from Hard Maple:

    Workshop Yarn Bowl Trio

    Sea Green Textured Yarn Bowl

    Dimpled Blue Yarn Bowl

    Textured Blue-Grey Yarn Bowl

    Texture Sample Platter

    Hard Maple Yarn Bowl

    Iridescent Pulled Paint Platter

    Iridescent Wide Rim Bowl

    Blue-Violet-Copper Pulled Paint Platter

    Honey Maple Hollow Form

    Pair Striped Blistered Maple and Cherry BFB

    Walnut Yarn Bowl with Curly Maple Rim

    Maple Bowl in a Burl

    Pair Nested Maple Burl Bowls

    Maple Bell Shaped Box with Curly Mallee inlay

    Huron Sunset Decorative Platter

    Stabilized Spalted Maple Collectors Box

    Spalted Maple Calibash Bowl - 2

    Dyed Blue Ash Urn

    Spalted Maple Twins

    Black Walnut hourglass with curly maple inlay

    Spalted and Figured Maple Spherical Trinket Box

    Spherical Maple Box

    Apple Wood Spherical Box

    Cherry Hourglass Box with Maple Inlay

    10.5" Black Walnut and Curly Maple Striped Bowl

    13" Black Walnut and Curly Maple Striped Bowl

    Striped Cherry Bowl From a Board

    Cherry and Maple Striped Bowl From a Board

    Walnut and Maple Cresents Bowl From A Board

    Cherry Bowl with Maple Cresents

    Curly Maple and Cherry Checkered BFB

    Cherry and Maple Checkered Hollow Form

    Maple Bowl from a board

    Spalted Maple Calibash Bowl 2

    Cherry Platter with Curly Maple Rim

    Classic Box in Stablized Spalted Maple

    Stabilized Spalted Maple Bell Shaped Box

    Maple Bell with alumilite inlay

    Maple Bell Shaped Box with Threads

    Spalted Maple Calibash Bowl

    Classic Box in Curly Maple with Beaded Lid

    Cherry Plate with Curly Maple Rim

    Spalted Maple Snack Bowl - 1

    Spalted Maple Snack Bowl - 2

    Spalted Maple Snack Bowl - 3

    Christmas 2019

    Maple Ogee Platter - II

    Maple Round Bottom with Black Palm Inlay

    Maple Ogee Platter

    Maple Serving Platter

    Maple Platter

    Round Bottom Walnut Box with Curly Maple Inlay

    Spherical Walnut Box

    Maple with Burl Inlay

    Spalted Maple Sphere

    Maple Box with Blue Inlay

    Maple hourglass with hybrid inlay

    Maple and Aussie Burl

    Maple Box with Inset Hybrid Lid

    Maple Ribbon Platter

    Maple Offset with Black Palm Inlay

    Christmas 2018

    Figured Maple Ogee Bowl - 2

    Maple Ringbox with Burmese Rosewood Inlay - 2

    Maple Ringbox with Burmese Rosewood Inlay

    Maple with chechen inlay

    Figured Maple Ogee Bowl

    Maple with Black Palm Inlay

    Walnut with curly maple inlay

    Curly Maple Classic Box

    Maple and Walnut Coolie Box

    Spalted Curly Maple Box

    Traditional Box Stabilized Spalted Maple

    Traditional box in Stabilized Maple and Alumilite

    Christmas 2017

    Traditional Stabilized Maple Box

    Hybrid Classic Box

    Christmas Bells - 2016