Alder Products

Alder (Alnus rubra)

Tilo makes a number of products from alder hardwood, including:
  • doors
  • furniture
  • kitchen cabinets
  • mouldings
  • panel stock
  • shutters
  • turnings
Browse our catalog of Standard Profiles, or talk to us about a Custom Profile using alder hardwood.

General Description of Alder

A relative of birch, red alder is almost white when freshly cut, but changes when exposed to air, becoming light brown with a tinge or red or yellow. Heartwood is formed in trees only of advanced age, and it shows no visible boundary between sap and heartwood. Lumber from alder is fairly straight-grained with a uniform texture.

Relative Abundance

2.9 percent of total U.S. hardwoods commercially available. Available in dimension stock and lumber.

Working Properties of Alder

  • machines well and is an excellent species for turning
  • can be sanded, painted, or stained to a pleasing finish and nails, screws and glues well
  • when finished, alder blends with walnut, mahogany or cherry
  • dries easily with little degrade and has good dimensional stability after drying
Machining  1 Star
Nailing 2 Star
Screwing 3 Star
Gluing 3 Star  
Finishing 5 Star

Physical Properties of Alder

Red alder is a relatively soft hardwood, medium density with low bending strength, shock resistance and stiffness.

Strength And Mechanical Properties (inch-pound) (a)
Moisture content 12%
Specific Gravity (b)
0.37-0.41
Static Bending Modulus of Rupture (lbf/in2)
6,50-9,800
Static Bending Modulus of Elasticity (c) (106 lbf/in2) 1.17-138
Static Bending Work to Maximum Load (in-lbf/in3) 8.0-8.4
Impact Bending to Grain (in) 20-22
Compression Parallel to Grain (lbf/in2) 2,960-5,820
Compression Perpendicular to Grain (lbf/in2)250-440
Shear Parallel to Grain (lbf/in2)770-1,080
Tension Perpendicular to Grain (lbf/in2)390-420
Side Hardness (lbf)440-590

a) Results of tests on small clear specimens in the green and air-dried conditions. Definition of properties; impact bending is height of drop that causes complete failure, using 0.71-kg (50 lb.) hammer; compression parallel to grain is also called maximum crushing strength; compression perpendicular to grain is fiber stress at proportional limit; shear is maximum shearing strength; tension is maximum tensile strength; and side hardness is hardness measured when load is perpendicular to grain.

b) Specific gravity is based on weight when oven dry and volume when green or at 12% moisture contentt

c) Modulus of elasticity measured from a simply supported, center-loaded beam, on a span depth ratio of 14/1. To correct for shear reflection, the modulus can be increased by 10%.

Reprinted with permission from Hardwood Manufacturers Association

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