Color: Alder has a very consistent light reddish to tan color. Not as dark as Red Birch and not as pink/red as American Cherry.
Uses: Cabinetry and furniture making. Great substitute for Red Birch and American Cherry. Will not age like Cherry. The grain is very similar to American Cherry and Red Birch.
Workability: Has a slight tendency to "tear out" during surfacing or milling. Is a fairly stable wood that glues and finishes well. Also has medium density and strength.
Plywood: Alder plywood is only available as a special order item. Red or Natural Birch are both good substitutes. Cherry plywood can also sometimes be substituted.
Additional Info: Almost never comes in lengths longer than 10'. 4/4 and 8/4 are the most common thicknesses (sometimes available in 5/4 and 6/4). The in-stock inventory can be limited in quantities due to sporadic use.