Alder: Domestic Hardwood

Alder, often referred to as Red Alder, is typically sourced from the Northwest region of the United States. The color of alder ranges from light red to brown and resembles cherry in color and grain. This material was often referred to as the poor man’s cherry when cherry prices were high and alder prices were more reasonable.

It is available in a superior grade, which has minimal knots, and a knotty version that is prized for its character. The superior grade tends to yield boards that are narrower than other hardwoods, typically in a 4-6 inch width range.

Alder can be used in any woodworking or cabinetmaking project and is often used in the musical instrument industry for solid body guitars. 

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Characteristics

Origin of Wood Type Northwest U.S.
Botanical Name Alnus Rubra
Specific Gravity .43
Avg. Weight Per BF 3.4 pounds
Color Range Light brown to light red
Rarity / Availability Readily available
Typical Avg. Width 4 – 6 inches for superior grade
Typical Avg. Length 8 – 12 feet long
Avg. Waste Factor 25 percent
Wood Uses Any woodworking application/guitars
Lumber Grades Superior and knotty most common
Other Trade Names Red Alder

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