The heartwood is a delicate, very light reddish-brown or
very light tan, while the wide sapwood is nearly white. Sugar (hard) maple
has a fine uniform texture and is very strong and hard with close straight
grain. A small percentage of the trees produce special figures such as bird's
eye, blistered, curly or quilted.
Because of the strength and stiffness of this maple species,
it ranks as one of the more valuable hardwoods.
Hard maple is well suited to all types of turnery, works well with tools and finishes very smoothly. Glue adheres well and nail and screw holding properties are good.
Pre-boring is necessary on thin stock to prevent splitting. It takes stain readily and gives excellent results with paint or enamel.
The finest dance floors, bowling alleys and bowling pins are made of sugar maple. It is also important in piano manufacture for making the part into which the pins for
the strings are driven. A great deal of maple is used for furniture, paneling and cabinetry. Wood with figured grain is highly prized for stringed musical instruments.
It is a good timber for bending.