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Alder Wood

 Shop Specialty Wood 

Family: Birch family (Betulaceae)

Origin: The Pacific Northwest

Other Common Names: Black Alder, Red Alder, Gray Alder, Green Alder, White Alder

The Tree: Alder trees are generally 40-80 feet tall. The leaves are egg-shaped and veiny, with small, cone-shaped fruit. 

Appearance:  The wood has a straight, even grain that is consistent in its warm honey, color.

Density: Moderate density. Average reported specific gravity is 0.45 (ovendry weight/green volume), equivalent to an air-dried weight of 28 pcf. Janka hardness is 590 pounds of force.

Drying & Shrinkage: Alder wood should be properly seasoned to 6-7.5% moisture content. Average reported radial shrinking is 4.4%, and tangential shrinking is 7.3%.

Working Properties: Due to its density, Alder wood is easy to use with hand tools or machinery. It's a great wood to use to glue, stain or finish. 

Durability:  Alder wood is considered a hard wood, less hard than oak or maple. 

Uses: Great for hardwood furniture-making, electric guitars, veneer, and more. 

Availability: Abundantly available in the Pacific Northwest.