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Good substitute for alder

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Forum topic by Oldtool posted 10-18-2017 10:53 PM 874 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Oldtool

2500 posts in 2002 days


10-18-2017 10:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question alder pine

I’m in the process of designing a new piece of furniture for a family member and the desired wood is Alder. Unfortately, Alder is not easily accessible to me here in western Pennsylvania, based upon searches on Woodfinder & Google.

My question to someone more knowledgeable than me is: what wood would make a fairly good substitute for Alder?

From what I see on the internet, pine should do the trick, with a very light brown dye job. The grain and appearance of pine seem to mimic alder, especially knotty alder.

Any experience you might offer will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Tom.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln


37 replies so far

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TheFridge

8133 posts in 1298 days


#1 posted 10-18-2017 11:02 PM

There is no good substitute for alder. How dare you even suggest it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Oldtool

2500 posts in 2002 days


#2 posted 10-18-2017 11:06 PM



There is no good substitute for alder. How dare you even suggest it.

- TheFridge


Not helpfull, unless you know where I can get some alder without driving 3000 miles.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1641 posts in 459 days


#3 posted 10-18-2017 11:16 PM

Tom, interestingly enough I used alder as a substitute for cherry on my William & Mary Prie Dieu. The trim around the top of the desk is alder. The face and edge grains are remarkably similar … end grain not so much. Perhaps you could use some plain Jane cherry for your project. I would imagine cherry in your neck of the woods costs what alder does in mine.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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bandit571

18428 posts in 2495 days


#4 posted 10-19-2017 01:22 AM

Was at my local Menard’s store, in Sidney, OH….full rack of Alder…...Right beside two racks of Maple…

I’d have to look and see what they want as to prices….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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AlaskaGuy

3530 posts in 2121 days


#5 posted 10-19-2017 01:32 AM

Just curious what are the qualities that make Alder wood desirable to you friend for this piece?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Oldtool

2500 posts in 2002 days


#6 posted 10-19-2017 01:40 AM


Tom, interestingly enough I used alder as a substitute for cherry on my William & Mary Prie Dieu. The trim around the top of the desk is alder. The face and edge grains are remarkably similar … end grain not so much. Perhaps you could use some plain Jane cherry for your project. I would imagine cherry in your neck of the woods costs what alder does in mine.

- Ron Aylor

Interesting but the cherry might darken too much with age, whereas this new piece needs to match two existing pieces.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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AlaskaGuy

3530 posts in 2121 days


#7 posted 10-19-2017 01:42 AM


Tom, interestingly enough I used alder as a substitute for cherry on my William & Mary Prie Dieu. The trim around the top of the desk is alder. The face and edge grains are remarkably similar … end grain not so much. Perhaps you could use some plain Jane cherry for your project. I would imagine cherry in your neck of the woods costs what alder does in mine.

- Ron Aylor

I remember reading an article in Wood Magazine that said Black Cherry and Red Alder what a good look alike.

Did a search
http://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/wood-look-alikes

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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Oldtool

2500 posts in 2002 days


#8 posted 10-19-2017 01:44 AM


Just curious what are the qualities that make Alder wood desirable to you friend for this piece?

- AlaskaGuy

AlaskaGuy,

Need to match an existing sideboard and coffee table, both have alder tops.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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ColonelTravis

1633 posts in 1706 days


#9 posted 10-19-2017 01:50 AM

I’m not saying you haven’t checked everywhere near you but I live in DFW Texas and can get alder out the yin yang at the lumber yards here, and it’s fairly cheap. Western PA has nothin? Even Pittsburgh?

Again, not accusing you of being lazy. Just askin.

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Oldtool

2500 posts in 2002 days


#10 posted 10-19-2017 02:00 AM



I m not saying you haven t checked everywhere near you but I live in DFW Texas and can get alder out the yin yang at the lumber yards here, and it s fairly cheap. Western PA has nothin? Even Pittsburgh?

Again, not accusing you of being lazy. Just askin.

- ColonelTravis

Colonel Travis
Pittsburgh and the surrounding county it is in (Allegheny County) has no sawmills, or lumber yards, except the big box stores. Now the surrounding counties have some sawmills, but the vast majority are in the eastern half of the state. The problem is, alder only grows on the northern west coast, up into Canada. Trucking logs across the country costs, appearantly too much for the mills to deal with it.

Cherry on the otherhand, is everywhere, but it will darken with age and this project is supposed to match existing pieces.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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ColonelTravis

1633 posts in 1706 days


#11 posted 10-19-2017 02:21 AM

Interesting, thanks. Agree pine could get you pretty darn close to knotty alder. If I were trying pine I’d get the conditioner from Charles Neil. I have used it on poplar and cherry, not pine, but it works wonders with blotchy wood.

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AlaskaGuy

3530 posts in 2121 days


#12 posted 10-19-2017 02:31 AM

Some times you just have to pay the freight.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View pontic's profile

pontic

476 posts in 420 days


#13 posted 10-19-2017 02:42 AM

How about Box elder?

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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Mr_Pink

16 posts in 183 days


#14 posted 10-19-2017 02:45 AM

Would poplar work for this?

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Oldtool

2500 posts in 2002 days


#15 posted 10-19-2017 02:49 AM



How about Box elder?

- pontic


Pontic,

Too much color, red, etc.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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