When freshly cut, Alder is white but rapidly darkens to a light brown with a reddish/yellowish cast over it due to the exposure of oxygen. Likewise, it darkens over time due to UV light and oxygen exposure. With this in mind, it's best to purchase pieces such as tables and benches altogether rather than to purchase separately because they will have a different shade to them when built from separate batches.
Since Alder is generally dark, it stains quite well with dark stains. On the contrary, it is a bit difficult to stain lighter. Amongst the Alder, Red Oak, Maple, and White Oak, Alder is the darkest of the four.
In general, the grain of Alder is straight with a uniformed, even texture, making it prized in the woodworking world. In addition, Alder is known for having large aggregate rays and plenty of knots, hence the nickname "Knotty Alder." With the abundant amount of knots, its perfect for the rustic aesthetic appeal or even the farmhouse/ranch look people are looking for in furniture. In addition, it also has a resistance to moisture, which can be perfect for the outdoors.
Density & Durability
The density and durability of wood is often measured by the Janka Test which is a steel ball pressing against a block of wood to measure the amount of force for the steel ball to go halfway through the block.
Overall, Alder has a Janka of 590, making it pretty sturdy.
Works Done With Alder
Steel Alder Round Dining Table
60" Round Table
Alder RS Pedestal
42”D x 30” H