Hard, or rock Maple is a light colored wood that is much harder than cherry. Often referred to as maple, this wood has a Janka hardness scale of 1450, and is second in hardness to Hickory. Fig 3 shows a maple boards black growth rings and distinct light color.
Found in the forests and meadows throughout all of Ohio’s Amish Country, but flourishing in the cooler climates and more acidic soils of northeastern Ohio and Appalachia. It is valued for its hard, dense, fine-grained and difficult-to-split wood, which is utilized for floors, Amish furniture, veneer, musical instruments, and railroad ties.
Nearly all Amish furniture built with maple is not stained. Amish finishing shops spray clear conversion varnish on the maple to protect it.
Consumer Note: Many recognize maple by it’s color when sprayed clear, not by it’s grain pattern.