The old saying is “Hard as H@#$!” I now use the new, more accurate saying, according to me, which is Hard as Maple!
I recently decided I needed to repair one of the maple glass doors (shown in photo). This was to be an easy task, simply to drill a couple holes in the maple (about an inch deep) with my ordinary electric drill motor. The part that wrinkled my plans was the fact that I was drilling into the end-grain of the maple.
I first tried one of my old antique drill bits. It came in a set of 40 year old Craftmen’s that I bought at an antique store some years ago. I thought they were pretty sharp bits, given their age. Unfortunately, ten minutes of hard drilling produced only about a quarter inch indent in the maple end-piece. The bit was hot as hell! Well, that’s another old saying.
So, I went to my toolbox and pulled out another bit. This one was newer, purchased within the last couple years from a big box home improvement store. I drilled and I drilled and I drilled. In about five minutes, with quite a bit of smoke, I had my hole. Maple end-grain is damned hard. I wonder how it compares to steel? There’s probably a reason they use it for the lanes of bowling alleys LOL.