Alder wood is a hardwood with a relative softness; this uniqueness makes the wood needed by people to build various kinds of needs.
The wood has a kinship with birch, and 35 species are scattered in multiple locations worldwide. If you compare the hardness with other woods, you can place alder on top of poplar and pine.
Alder wood characteristics/properties
Alder wood is a hardwood, but it’s one of the softest in its class.
Workshop Companion mentions flexibility reached 9,800 psi (red alder). Another characteristic of this wood is resistance to shock and low stiffness.
Alder also has qualified resistance against around. Whether it’s a wet or dry climate, the wood has a high chance of avoiding a rift. The hardness rating of the alder (red) wood species is 590 lb.
Alder wood pros and cons
Alder wood pros
Appearance: alder wood has a pattern with a unique and tiered pattern. This makes it look more attractive. Some types of wood have a gradation between the primary color and red. Especially after a few years of darkening, making it great for furniture and probably liked by many.
Cheap: it is low cost, and you don’t need to spend much money to redeem this wood. The low price of some woods, such as cherry and mahogany, is an advantage. Some even call alder a poor cherry.
Color: the presence of color gradations gives this wood a high value. You can see a mixture of one color with another. In addition, this wood has many species with different color.
Alder wood cons
Moisture: Alder wood has an excellent ability to absorb moisture. However, it will have a long-term effect on furniture made of alder.
Alder wood uses
Alder wood for furniture
The appearance and price of alder wood choose by many people.
In addition, its durability also makes the furniture an ideal age for home furniture.
This perfect combination is excellent for making various furniture, such as chairs, tables, cabinets, or other things that many people need.
Alder wood for kitchen cabinets/cabinetry
With its durability, alder wood is considered suitable for kitchen cabinets.
Its texture and grain give it a uniform look. In addition, the lower cost is another advantage.
Even so, it was no better than red oak, maple, and other woods.
Alder wood for doors
Alder wood is famous for making doors. Due to the uniform texture, the visible grains stand out.
Alder is a relatively soft hardwood. This wood makes it easy to dent and leaves marks if scratched.
Therefore, if it’s used as an exterior door, it’s not good because it lacks knowledge of harsh weather. Try using it as an interior door only.
Alder wood for shutters
Alder can be a good choice for shutters. However, some things might make it a wrong choice.
Instead of alder, you can choose another wood, such as Basswood. Its lightweight and flexible material makes it suitable for such a design. Even so, there is nothing wrong if you choosing alder wood for shutters.
Alder wood for molding
There seems to be little hope for molding from alder wood.
Softness and malleability are issues here, especially for baseboard moldings. We prefer other woods, such as poplar.
Its hardness, which is like alder, is ideal. In addition, this wood can also be painted well, and this wood gets dirty more quickly.
Alder wood for panels stock
Its prominent grain and uniform pattern give the panels a beautiful look.
It might be an excellent choice if you want to use this wood.
Unfortunately, the durability of alder wood may not be reliable. We recommend you choose another wood with long durability and a better hardness level than alder.
Alder wood for turning
It’s hard, but its soft nature makes this wood easier to shape.
The uniform pattern also gives beauty to this wood. You can make many things by turning this wood; of course, you will get a soft texture.
Using this wood will be great, especially for beginners who have only tried it a few times.
Alder wood for carving
You will find it easy to carve, especially the red alder.
We know that alder is one of the softest hardwoods. This can give convenience in the carving process.
The hardness will help prevent it from breaking easily, and the softness will make it easier for you to scratch. Moreover, the appearance of alder wood looks attractive.
Alder wood for kitchen utensils
Alder is a hardwood and the best wood for making kitchen utensils.
Its natural durability and density are two unavoidable reasons.
Alder, a type of hardwood, can be used as an option. A condition that the type of alder used must be resistant to heat, whether it’s when frying or when you make soup.
Alder wood for veneer
Alder veneer is excellent for making a variety of woodwork in your home.
Alder wood is soft hardwood, distinguishing it from woods such as ash and oak.
For example, you can see it on cherry. But of course, there are some differences. Alder veneer is good when used as a cabinet material.
Alder wood for plywood
Alder plywood is the right choice as a material to make several things.
This wood is easy to peel and is great for panel core stock.
In addition, using alder plywood for doors, interior furniture, and carvings is the right choice. Some properties of this wood, such as not being too strong, soft, etc., can support the work process.
Alder wood for millwork
As a type of hardwood, alder can also be used for millwork in several ways.
There seem to be some reasons alder is at the bottom in this regard, maybe durability or lower quality.
Alder wood for pallets
There is no good reason why alder wood is not good for pallets.
Because some manufacturers are proven to provide alder wood pallets in the list of hardwood pallets, it seems that the high demand is the most significant factor in the availability of alder wood pallets.
The reason may be that many people need it to make woodworking independently, such as furniture, carvings, or others.
Alder wood for musical instruments
Alder is widely used as a choice for making musical instruments, especially guitars.
This wooden guitar body features a robust and clear sound, a balanced entire sonic spectrum, and more.
Makers widely use alder wood in a single construction, such as ash wood. The appearance of this wood is also attractive, of course, with the proper finishing.
Alder wood for chips/pulpwood
Pulp is a material of wood used to make paper, made of hardwood or softwood.
Alder can also be used, although it’s not very popular.
Hemlock, pine, fir, larch, and spruce are widely used for their advantages. It’s not impossible that alder wood can also be made of quality paper if the correct technique is found.
Types of alder wood (related species)
Red Alder (Alnus Rubra)
Red alder grows widely in western North America, such as California, Washington, Alaska, and Montana.
Alder trees can reach 66-98 feet tall. To distinguish red alder from the others, look at its broad leaves and relatively taller height than other types of alder.
You can also compare the similarity of wood to birch. However, the color of birch is much lighter than red alder and harder.
Black Alder (Alnus Glutinosa)
Black alders can be up to 100 feet tall. You can find them in North Africa, Europe, and Southwest Asia.
This wood is widely grown in temperate and humid climates and tends to be used as water wood.
The softness of black alder when the first cut will become solid and durable when placed underwater.
Green Alder (Alnus Virnis)
Alder green is only about 20-40 feet tall. This tree can be found in south-eastern Europe and the Alps.
In addition, Asia and North America are also his home.
Green alder wood is widely praised for its physical properties as it’s useful in the construction of furniture, cabinets, and more.
Other types of alder wood
You can find other types of alder wood: white alder, seaside alder, Italian alder, grey alder, Nepalese alder, and others.
The diversity of alder species is an advantage for this wood. Moreover, each type of alder wood has its benefits.
In addition to wood, which is useful as a construction material, the oil from green alder wood can treat diarrhea, nausea, and muscle aches.
In addition to green alder, white alder wood is also used as a medicine by several small tribes in India. Alder is a tree with many benefits. You can even use the leaves.