When it comes to woodwork, you have a variety of wood you can choose as the base of your work. You want material that is strong and will last. For that reason, man has been for ages engineering wood by binding fibers and strands of wood together so that they can provide a strong foundation for your work.
Within the category of man-made wood, you will find numerous different types of wood. These are:
Plywood is one of the most common manmade wood you will find. It is made with hardwood or softwood, at times a combination of thin veneers of both. To provide plywood its sturdiness, an odd number of veneers in its makeup while the veneer direction runs alternately. The strength of the plywood is determined by the amount of veneer used, strong plywood has more veneers used. The quality of plywood differs greatly and you can find some with attractive grains while others with knots.
Within plywood, you will find different types:
- Internal plywood – used mostly for furniture, flooring, and wall paneling.
- Shuttering plywood – used mostly in construction, for creating a box around concrete.
- Marine plywood – used mostly for underwater work.
- Exterior grade plywood – used for outdoor construction mostly like sheds.
Chipboard is another common type of man-made wood you can find. Used a lot in furniture, it is made through a process in which wood particles are bonded together under heat and pressure with an adhesive. The end result is a board with a smooth surface. You can find different qualities of chipboard which is determined by its density ranging from normal to high-density. Normal density chipboards are not very durable while high-density are quite durable and typically used for fire doors and other tough furniture.
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Mostly used for sheathing around the house in walls and floors, OSB is made by the compression of layers of wood strands and adhesives. 95% of the content in OSB is wood whereas the remaining 5% is of resin and wax. There are no gaps or voids in OSB and it is water-resistant. It is also cheaper than plywood and slightly more uniform. OSB makes a great material for a shed roof.
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
MDF is created using sawdust. Sawdust is bonded together at high temperature to form MDF. Which makes it fairly easy to make, from a manufacturing perspective. MDF has no wood grain since it is made from sawdust and since it is pressed and joined together, you will not find any void on the board, giving it a smooth surface. Like OSB, MDF is cheaper than plywood and an alternative. You need to take care not to breath in the dust generated by working or sanding MDF and don’t let it get wet or it will deteriate rapidly.
Man-made wood is utilized more often than you think. If woodwork is a hobby of yours then it is important that you know the difference between the varieties of man-made wood. You can find this and a lot more on woodwork at Wood Working Fuel. So fuel the woodworker in you and get the knowledge you need on woodwork.
Alina is a fan of both real and man-made wood materials, she enjoys both working with them and writing about them.