Help ID this wood

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Guys,
I noticed a local restaurant is remodeling and they have a dumpster full of old booths. Always on the lookout for free wood, I browsed it. The booths are mostly plywood construction with some cheap 2x6 pine trim but they are internally framed with plenty of this hardwood. I have no idea what it is. I snagged a few pieces and planed them to take a look. I'm giving links to pics for some help determining if it is worth the effort required to tear it all out and pull staples. The manager said I could have all I want.
It doesn't feel dense like oak, it is surprisingly light but still hard. It is very pretty when planed with long flowing soft grain and it varies from red to nearly white.
Here are the pics.
http://home.swbell.net/snaphook/Pics/wood1.jpg
http://home.swbell.net/snaphook/Pics/wood2.jpg
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Birch maybe..

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In rec.woodworking

That is what I was just thinking while looking at http://www.woodworkerssource.net/Merchant3/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=WS&Category_Code=Birch
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Looks like Alder to me

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doesn't quite hit home as birch. Alder is much more like it.
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Young Carpenter

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Looks like birch, or possibly poplar to me. You said it's hard, so I'd figure birch, but poplar is more commonly used inside stuff where it won't be seen.
Jim
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In rec.woodworking

I've worked with poplar and this is not as smooth or as lightly colored as the poplar I'm used to. I'm thinking birch. After someone said that, I looked at some birch plywood I have and it is pretty close.
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Bruce wrote:

Definitely not poplar. It looks like birch to me too, but the guy who said it was alder is probably right. I've never seen alder.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Alder has that darker look to it very similar to birch but birch is usually white and Alder is often a deeper umber look.
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Young Carpenter

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It looks like pecan to me, but pecan is a bit on the heavy side.
Tom
snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Bruce) wrote in message

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On 4 Oct 2003 20:20:20 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@juno.com (Tom M.) Crawled out of the shop and said. . .:

i donno bout Pecan,,, i would think pecan would be a bit on the spendy side to stuff into a restaurant booth. . .
Traves
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Tom M. wrote...

The appearance of face grain and the apparent color [1] is somewhat similar to pecan, but the end grain does not look nearly dense enough. Unless the sample is exceedingly hard, I'd rule out pecan.
The point about the weight is a good one. Bruce, what's it weigh and what are the sizes of the pieces? Pecan averages 3.9 lb/bf. Birch is around 3.6-3.8 lb/bf, and poplar typically weighs under 2.4 lb/bf.
[1] Digital images generally are not very accurate as to color, and the human eye sees color in relative, rather than absolute, terms. The background strongly influences perceived colors.
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In rec.woodworking

Well, the large piece is:
3-7/8 x 13/16 x 34-15/32 making it 108.5 CuIn and .75363 BdFt. It weighs 1.6375 lbs making it 2.17 lb/BdFt.
Told you it was light. That does sound more like poplar. It is also quite a bit lighter than birch or beech. I can't find a weight for alder. The only problem I have is that there seems to be way too much red and brown in it to look like the poplar I'm familiar with.
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Bruce wrote...

Alder is virtually identical to poplar in density, so that matches well with your sample.

That's another vote in favor of alder. I've seen a rather large variety of colors in "yellow" poplar, but they tend more toward the greens and sometimes even blues than the reds. Red alder is nearly white when cut, but it soon changes to reddish or yellowish light brown or tan.
As far as use goes, poplar and alder are in the same class. Alder is all the rage lately in local cabinetry, for the 'distressed' look. Maple is a lot harder to distress! (G)
Jim
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In rec.woodworking

OK, so it's alder. Is it worth salvaging?
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Bruce wrote...

Depends on how you value your time, how large the pieces are, and what it would take to put it to use. Around here (Tucson, AZ), alder is one of the least expensive woods, and that's despite that it has to be trucked in. Costs about $2/bf. I'd probably pass, unless I could put them to good use easily and soon.
Cheers!
Jim
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Bruce wrote:

Depends on *you*. If there were long, clear bits without staples, I'd salvage it for sure. If it's got lots and lots of staples every little bit, like the furniture box pallets I brought home, then you should probably pass. I wrecked a saw blade on a piece of staple I missed, and I removed a *lot* of staples. I ended up tossing that stuff.
Depends on how poor you are too. I exploit every source I can for free materials because it's the only way I can afford to continue making things. If there were fairly large clear sections, I would salvage those benches for *pine*.
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In rec.woodworking

Well, I'm not poor but I love FREE! I think I'll go back and get a select few pieces. The staples aren't too bad in the 1x2 stuff, worse in the 1x4 stuff, which is what I really wanted. I can always use it on small projects.
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Just my 2 cents.
1st cent. As I recollect, alder is a type of "cottonwood" as is poplar. The common name pretty much refers to the same tree, same wood in different parts of the country. Split up by scientific (latin) names the cottonwoods don't really differ that much as I remember.
2nd cent. I don't think it's birch. If you can't mark the surface with your fingernail, my guess would be beech.
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Larry responds:

Not so. Cottonwood and alder are the same genus. Tulip poplar is not. The woods are different, too, though not as much as red oak and white oak, which are the same genus.
Charlie Self
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