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Thread: Red Alder?

  1. #1
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    Red Alder?

    Need some thoughts....

    Went to an auction over the weekend. Guy had a small saw mill and used it on whatever he came by. I was able to get quite the pile and need to better understand what he said was red alder

    20220724_165340.jpg

    20220724_165340.jpg


    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    A picture of the bark would help I would guess maple.

  3. #3
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    20220725_145600.jpg

    Bark pic....

  4. #4
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    According to this it definitely isn't native to this area. How well it would do in this climate is hard to say.
    https://www.wood-database.com/red-alder/

  5. #5
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    I'm with Mitch. It looks like spalted maple to me. I had over 400 board feet of alder and it looks nothing like that. I looks exactly like the wood database picture.
    Dave

    Nothing is idiot-proof for a sufficiently ingenious idiot!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the thoughts!

    Never had or seen alder before, just going by the fellow at the sale. It is big lumber, over 8 feet long and some over 20 inches wide. Total rough with bark on both sides.

  7. #7
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    Alder is often called the poor man's birch due t the similarity in figure and coloration. I have used it as a secondary wood with birch and once stained one would be hard to tell which was which.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Alder is often called the poor man's birch due t the similarity in figure and coloration. I have used it as a secondary wood with birch and once stained one would be hard to tell which was which.
    Alder can also do a fair imitation of cherry with the right stain. I bought a couple alder boards to match existing and cherry would have been cheaper. Of course I'm on the wrong coast for alder.

  9. #9
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    Alder is a western USA species for the most part and for a long time it was considered only suitable for firewood. Today alder is pretty valuable for laser engraving plaques so even small pieces are worth saving. I agree with Curt, the alder I have ordered in the past was similar to cherry in color and grain type but what I have used has been purchased as engraving wood and it was probably selected to be sold for that purpose.

  10. #10
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    So is the consensus it is maple then?

    Appreciate the help!

  11. #11
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    I agree, that's maple. The pic attached below is red alder.

    red alder.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
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    I'm having trouble calling it Maple based on the redness of the bark. But that may just be bad lighting.

  13. #13
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    The original pictures look to me like soft maple that's starting to spalt. I used thousands of b/f of red alder when I was teaching in Washington, and it all looked exactly like the stuff in Steve's picture. The fact that some of your stock is 20" wide is another give away. Alder is very seldom anywhere near that wide.

    I built all of the interior doors, casings, trim and molding out of alder in my present house, because I still had a lot of it on hand, and we had our cabinetmaker do the mud room and bath cabinets in alder as well.

  14. #14
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    Sounds like you might have been ordering lumber for the school also.

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