Alder – it sounds just right

Alder (Alnus Glutinosa) - Ruokangas Guitars


Land filled with lakes and forests
When you sit in an aeroplane and see the aerial view over Finland, you quickly understand what our country is made of. We are 5.5 million people living on this relatively large piece of land, filled with lakes and forests. The density of our population tells its story – on average we have only 16 persons living on each square kilometre of our country. That is not very much people!

Especially the Finnish countryside, such as our little Harviala village, is a good place to be for a guitar maker who needs great materials for his instruments and appreciates peace and quiet to get the job done.

Alder (Alnus Glutinosa) - Ruokangas Guitars


Open voiced tone
I love to use alder as the body material in our bolt-on guitars and basses cause it sounds right, has a comfy weight and it looks great under a transparent finish. Alder gives our guitars and basses a classic, open voiced and ringing tone that most players would define as “vintage”.

As a nice little bonus for us, this wonderful tonewood grows locally, right here on our backyard. The carbon footprint can’t really get smaller than that!

Thermally aged alder
Alder is one of the most common deciduous trees growing in Finland. Regarding tone and weight, the species (Alnus Glutinosa) we use is similar to its relative species growing in North America. The Finnish alder seems however to have slightly stronger coloured grain structure, especially when thermally aged, as we do to all our alder.

Alder (Alnus Glutinosa) - Ruokangas Guitars


Beautiful shimmer under glossy finish
Alder grain has a warm, yellowish to brownish natural color, and when skillfully finished, the grain has a beautiful shimmer to it.

Does flamed alder exist?
Flamed alder is rare, but occasionally we do find a piece or two – so please ask for availability if this sentence caught your attention.

All of our transparent coloured and most solid coloured alder bodies are 2-piece, glue seam on the centerline of the body. Occasionally we use also 3-piece bodies for solid colored bodies. This detail does not have a tonal effect to the instrument.

The alder we use originates from sustainable local sources in our home country Finland. The use of alder does not require CITES or other certification.