This is the first time I've had the pleasure of working with maple. It's reputation for being hard is well deserved, I can't keep my plane irons sharp while working it. This was a very small part of my order, so I received a single piece of 6" x 24" piece of 4/4 just to try it out. The piece I received was beautiful, not a single major defect, only some very faint washboard marks on the surface. Only problem I really had with it is not something that can be controlled. As I was cutting it to thickness in my band saw, it was releasing stress inside the wood and it started warping, closing the cut and binding my saw. I just used the washer trick to keep the cut open and it stopped binding. Really a testament to the strength of this wood.
Familiarity: I've used it once or twice