Red Alder is the largest species of Alder in North America and one of the largest in the world, reaching heights of 19 to 29 m (65 to 97 ft). The tallest red alder recorded stood (105 ft) tall.
The name is from the bright reddish color that develops on bruised or scraped bark. The wood is favored for cabinet makers and is also used for furniture. It has become popular due to its lower price when compared to other hardwoods. In the world of musical instrument construction, red alder is valued for bass and electric guitar bodies as it has good tonal qualities and is very light for its size. The lighter the guitar, the less tired the musician at the end of a concert. Alder is frequently used by Native Americans for making bowls, masks, handles, and other small articles. The wood has an oily smoke when it burns lending itself to smoking fish (primarily salmon) in the Pacific Northwest.
The wood in this special has been cut from specially harvested logs that have been allowed to dry for two years. The blanks have lost up to 80% of their original moisture but still have some residual moisture. They are completely wax sealed. These beautiful pieces have been allowed to spalt, bringing on the striking black lines visible in most pieces. The spalting process is the first stage of a decaying log, so the lightest colored wood is softer than the surrounding darker colors. Please expect to find some soft spots. For pens you can use a CA glue to harden the wood. These are amazing blanks with outrageous figure!