I'm planning on building a desk soon and I am going to make the top of it out of 1x6 planks that I am going to join together. Would poplar or alder be strong enough for a lot of writing with something like a poly finish or maybe an epoxy top? My other option would be spending more and get some red oak.
I want the top to look nice too I don't just want cheap wood that won't look good stained.
I was going to get the wood form a local Lowes or Home Depot so I'm kind of limited to oak, spruce, pine, fir, alder and poplar but I know there are some local lumber yards that I could shop at too.