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post #1 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Recently purchased some very nice soft maple for an extremely good price. I got it for it's clean, white color and thought it would work well to add contrast to darker woods in segmented turnings and cutting boards. I have used hard maple many times but never soft maple. My question is this: do you think hard maple is suitable for end-grain cutting boards? I am not worried about using it for segmented turnings but am a little leery about cutting boards. If anyone has experience with this wood I would be interested in hearing from you.

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post #2 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 02:59 PM
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Recently purchased some very nice soft maple for an extremely good price. I got it for it's clean, white color and thought it would work well to add contrast to darker woods in segmented turnings and cutting boards. I have used hard maple many times but never soft maple. My question is this: do you think hard maple is suitable for end-grain cutting boards? I am not worried about using it for segmented turnings but am a little leery about cutting boards. If anyone has experience with this wood I would be interested in hearing from you.
I think you meant to say is SOFT maple good for cutting boards.

Just the other day I found the Wood Database site which has a very informative article on the differences between hard maple and soft maple.

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...nd-soft-maple/

I did not appreciate the number of species grouped in the "soft maple" category.

I think soft maple will hold up as good as other hard woods in an end grain cutting board.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 09:08 PM
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The soft maple that I know is not as hard as hard maple: what a shock. I would not use if for other than secondary wood like drawer sides and the interior of case pieces.
I'm not a fan of the end grain cutting boards but there are a lot showing up at craft shows. I like the good old side grain and cutting boards are a way to use up scraps.
I can't see why you couldn't cut it up and use it for cutting boards. I'd make a prototype and see how it looks and if it was tough enough. Titebond III is the best value for it in glues but you could use epoxy or resorcinol(though they leave dark lines).
I've read a study that showed maple was more hygienic than plastic or stainless steel. The exposed cellulose apparently inhibits or kills bacteria.
I'm sure there will be some interesting replies.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 09:12 PM
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I've read a study that showed maple was more hygienic than plastic or stainless steel. The exposed cellulose apparently inhibits or kills bacteria.
I'm sure there will be some interesting replies.
It was a US Government study and not a specific species. I do not have the link handy, but something about the wood did inhibit bacterial growth - as long as the wood was able to dry out.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-27-2012, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all who replied to my post yesterday. Looks like the opinion is generally the soft maple will work fine. I am lucky enough to live in a town that has a wood mill where they run all types of base board, casing, etc. out of all kinds of wood species. Most moulding is 10' or longer. When they have 4' and 6' pieces they really cannot use them much and they sell them at a very good price, I buy what they have at the time in whatever species they are running that day. The wood needs to be clear to use for moulding so it is great wood, just short.


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post #6 of 8 Old 11-27-2012, 10:09 AM
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I found the USDA link, but it has been changed from a PDF report of the testing of wood and plastic, to a single page Fact Sheet. Bummer.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...fety/index.asp
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-27-2012, 10:26 AM
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Wood in general isn't hospitable to bacteria when it can dry, and plant cellular structure is difficult for bacteria to deal with. This is why most plant pathogens are fungi.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-27-2012, 05:48 PM
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If it were me....I wouldn't use soft maple for a cutting board. My hard maple cutting board is almost scratch free after a year......and thats a year of pretty heavy use. Soft maple on the other hand.....i can leave a mark in it by just dragging a tool over it lightly......
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