Soft Maple is a group of three or four types of maple: red, silver, black etc.... somewhat dependent on what part of the country you live in.
It is relatively soft textured, closed pored, white, beige or medium brown, often light beige with darker coloured bands. It can be quite colour variable, and often used for paint or dark stained furniture components. It is a great substate for veneering.
The wood has a close fine texture and is generally straight grained, but it can also occur as "curly", "fiddleback" and "bird’s eye "figure. Hard Maple and soft maple are good in Machining, moderate at nailing and screwing but excellent at gluing and finishing activity.
Hard Maple: (Sugar Maple)
Hard Maple is one of the most common and widely used North American wood. It is widely available, but more expensive to get the pure white sap wood, although the less colour sorted wood is more reasonably priced.
It is a very dense wood, white to grey overtones, closed pored, tight grain wood. Best known as a great turning wood, and very common for flooring and other household millwork.
Uses: Furniture, and Cabinet making, high class joinery, kitchen cabinets, mouldings, panelling, flooring, doors, boat interiors, musical instruments, turning and carving.