A Rustic Feeling Wood

Despite looking tough, as if scarred from battle with all of its knots, knotty alder is actually one of the softest hardwoods. The Janka rating for alder comes in at 590. To put that into perspective, hard maple comes in with a score of 1450. This softness makes it a favorite among woodworkers. Its relative softness makes it great for all kinds of projects, such as refining with hand or machine tools, or even framing due to its lack of splitting when having a nail driven through it. Some uses for knotty alder include doors, cabinetry, furniture, veneers, plywood, and even musical instruments. Knotty alder comes from the alder tree, which is in the birch family. Not every cut of wood that comes from an alder tree can be classified as knotty alder. To be classified as knotty alder, the alder has to be, well, knotty.

knotty alder cross sections

Knotty Alder Rings

What Does Knotty Alder Look Like?

Knotty alder is typically used in cases where a client wants a rustic feel to their home. Knotty alder will carry with it a pale yellow to reddish brown color range, with dark knots throughout. The color of alder is very similar to that of cherry’s. The wood’s knots are its defining feature, with some knots hollow enough to be seen through, while others perfectly tight and dense. Knotty alder is susceptible to burling, meaning a deformed growth pattern. This adds to its rustic aesthetic. Burling can cause stains applied to appear darker, as the stain absorbs more deeply in burled sections.

what knotty alder looks like

Natural Knotty Alder With A Flat Sheen

sample of knotty alder

Stained Knotty Alder

knotty alder with tight knot

Stained Knotty Alder

knotty alder sample

Stained Knotty Alder

We recommend considering the wear and tear that your finished project will endure prior to deciding upon knotty alder. While it is a very aesthetically pleasing wood, it is prone to dents and dings due to its softness. We hope that we have answered some of your questions, and if you live in the Greater Saint Louis Area, we would love it if you reached out to us. We would be more than happy to discuss your project with you, give you guidance, and potentially be partners in remodeling your home.

Home | Contact Us | Our Services | Gallery