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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Test lumber for Alder

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by pwhite, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. pwhite

    pwhite TDPRI Member

    56
    May 3, 2011
    Liberty, SC
    Which wood is a good test bed for Alder as far as testing stains and finishes? What has a close grain and fiber density close to Alder ?
     

  2. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Meister

    I know a little bit about wood and working with it, but I've still got a lot to learn about finishing it!
    Every type of wood, and every individual piece of wood is unique. That's what makes it such a thing of beauty. So, it's going to be a compromise if you use something other than alder. Keeping that in mind, poplar is pretty widely available now and will get you somewhat into the ballpark, but the color isn't the same. I'd use the white sapwood, not the dark heartwood. I'm still at the point with my finishing work (coatings) where every piece I finish still seems like a "test piece" :). I do like having the leftovers from cutting out a blank to experiment and practice on.

    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     

  3. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)

  4. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Dec 29, 2010
    Illinois
    Alder.

    If you're buying a body ready-made, just ask the seller if he has any scraps he can send along with the body.
     

  5. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    61
    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Alder takes stain blotchy. I would use tinted clear instead of stain.
     

  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    65
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Just use something with simple grain like pine or fir (test the moisture level first!) - make sure to apply a couple coats of sanding sealer and do a light sanding.

    It will normally get you in the ballpark as well as anything except alder or another plain hardwood. Nothing will get extremely close except a closely-matching cut of alder from the same tree - it varies that much.

    Edited to add - this works - normally - unless you are trying to achieve significant grain "pop". That's very hard to do with any alder. I recommend only subtle stains - lacquer tones are usually much more effective but nothing provides really significant grain contrast on common cuts of alder.
     

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