Hard maple sales take a back seat

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As a species of interest amongst consumers, hard maple is just about as vanilla as it gets right now, according to suppliers who spoke with Woodshop News recently. Readily available, this light whitish/blond hardwood with minimal graining is moving steadily at best.

“It’s about the middle of the road as far as I’m concerned. It probably had its heyday a couple of years ago. We’re doing a lot of staircases with it so it’s still moving. We’ve got plenty of it. We’re having a harder time getting figured stock, including the curly and bird’s-eye maple. I just can’t find much of that,” says Doug White of Doug White Lumber in Marissa, Ill.

Scott Roberts of Roberts Plywood in Deer Park, N.Y., describes hard maple sales are very mellow.

“Sales haven’t been up or down. Supply has been fairly good because there is no increase in demand and prices have come down a little bit. The quality has been good. It’s not used much in residential, but still you get that demand for it with institutional work like schools and hospitals where that’s the spec written in the plans,” says Roberts.

Demand is particularly high for pre-finished maple plywood, says Roberts. “I sell it day in and day out for kitchen interiors, bathroom vanities and closets. You just cut it and assemble it. There’s no need to spray.”

Matt Gilland of Superior Veneer & Plywood in New Albany, Ind. reports a slight drop in the production of hard maple veneer, but says it remains a versatile choice.

“It takes stain well,” says Gilland. “There are lots of options for whoever finishes it. Also, it’s affordable.” 

This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue.

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