Alder wood is a light wood that stands out for its ease of work. It is widely distributed in the Northern Hemisphere, mainly in Europe.

It has been used historically for all types of work. Among them, it is worth mentioning that it has been used for the construction of house foundations between the canals of Venice.

Types of alders

There are approximately 30 types of species that we can include in what is known as alder, Alnus. Most of them are small. From the point of view of wood species, three stand out:

  • Red or American Alder (Alnus rubra) It is found mainly in northwestern North America.
  • Black Alder or Common Alder (Alnus Glutinosa) It has a large presence in Europe, from the Mediterranean to Russia.
  • Alder Gray or Cano (Alnus Incana) Distributed mainly in Central Europe.

Common Features of Alder Wood

How logical, there are small differences depending on the species. Here we will focus on the Black Alder and mention the main differences.

Color: It is a light brown wood that darkens to reddish tones after cutting. It is difficult to distinguish between sapwood and heartwood. It is quite similar to birch.

Fiber: In a straight line.

Grain: Good.

Density: It is a semi-heavy wood with an approximate density of 500-550 kg / m3. American alder is lighter, with a density of 450 kg / m3.

Toughness: It is considered a soft wood. 1.8 in the Chaláis-Meudon test.

Durability: It is not a species durable to attack by insects and fungi. In fact, it should dry quickly after cutting to avoid staining and deterioration. It is curious that it does not behave in any way bad in humid environments.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient 0.41%. Wood a little nervous.

Mechanical properties:

  • Resistance to static bending 680 kg / cm2
  • Modulus of elasticity 95,000 kg / cm2
  • Compressive strength 401 kg / cm2

Workability. It works easy in general. It is a stable wood that can be locked with manual and mechanical tools.

  • Easy sawing.
  • Quick and easy drying.
  • Easy brushing.
  • Easy gluing.
  • Preach easy.
  • Easy finishing.

The price of alder wood is moderate. Although their boards are usually narrow due to the small diameter of the tree.

Uses of alder wood

  • Manufacture of veneers and plywood boards.
  • Spinning.
  • Furniture.
  • Interior carpentry: moldings, moldings, baseboards …
  • Handwork.
  • Handles for utensils and toys.