Dont know why i never asked about this. Why is that alder lumber is never painted on the ends? Why is it that alder is the only lumber that comes sanded? I think they use a 36 or 60 grit. I buy all my stock at 15/16 how it comes from the mill (Cascade) The end checks on alder have always been horrible. All other lumber has painted ends from the mills.
From contributor Ca
I have no idea about the not painted ends. I never noticed that.
The sanded face is because Alder does not plain very well.
It can be done but some places will have plugs missing.
Years ago I worked for a small shop and we used Alder for about 90% and we turned boards side ways as much as we could. I have heard that the spiral plain will do a much better job.
It seems that I bought Alder once that has been run through a plain.
From contributor Da
Some observations about Alder:
It may not be painted on the ends due to precedent. In the 60's it was marketed as crate wood, at $.36 a b/f. It was considered waste wood, and grew in the way of future Hem/Fir 2x materials. Low cost woods did not warrant end seal lie the pricier hardwoods did.
Also, in the West, there is less endsealing on the softwoods that make up the bulk of the harvest, whereas hardwoods almost always are end sealed to help keep the quality.
Alder grew up in the clear cuts made by the harvest of more valuable timber like Pine, fir, etc. It was often sprayed to kill it, to help the more desirable saplings a chance to take dominance. The clear cuts and toxins created a runoff that contributed greatly to the loss of Salmon hatcheries in the streams of the American West, putting fishermen out of work, altering the ecology, and depressing the economy. Well, that part of the economy - lumber did well.
Once the alder was allowed to grow, the fast growing species was tried for paper, but did not pulp well. Then the lumber marketers did what they did after WW2 with knotty Pine. They made a series of kitchens and interior uses featuring Alder and placed them in leading interior design magazines. It was just a matter of time before housewives were begging for an Alder kitchen, the room of their dreams.
Alder has something like 12 proprietary grades, all devised by the marketers to "help the buyer determine which grade is the most beneficial for their use". It is often abrasive sanded to help graders determine which grade any board is.
From contributor Ca
David thanks for your comments. I have heard some of that as well.
Seems like a great marketing plan.
I recently built a rustic Alder kitchen.
I had only used one grade before and so I went about securing what I needed thinking maybe it would not be so easy and I was amazed at the amount available and the low cost as well. Made a very nice kitchen too.
The home owner did his own tile we even worked around existing to save him some money.
From contributor gu
About all i use anymore by it rough run it thru j/p with spiral head works great
mostly use the cabinet grade some knots use premium frame for more knots and superior for clear easy to work and finish
From contributor Mi
The alder I get has the ends painted black, the end checking is still bad, glad it's not to expensive.
From contributor te
I have a small sawmill and sawed alder often. When I'd cut the newly downed tree to length, I'd paint the ends with Anchorseal but green alder end-checks almost immediately. I used to use it for drawer sides and love the look of it but my problem was with powder-post beetles. Unless you kiln-dry the stuff, it gets infested with the beetles and ruins the wood. The mill should definitely seal the end of the log though.