Wood and its products can be seperated into 3 categories.
- MANUFACTURED BOARDS
All are produced from naturally growing trees but MANUFACTURED BOARDS ARE MAN-MADE using natural timber BUT THEY ARE NOT CLASSED AS WOOD.
- Warmer climates
- Hardwoods mainly grow in the southern hemisphere of the world, often tropical climate
- .Grow slowly, reaching maturity in about 70 years.
- Thousands of species Grown in places like Europe, New Zeland and Japan.
- Most lose their leaves each year
- Generally more durable than softwoods.
- Wider variety of colour and texture.
- Exotic woods made into veneers allowing greater use of limited supplies.
- Colder climates.
- Mainly grow in northern hemisphere.
- Grow quickly reaching maturity in around 30 years.
- Trees with needle like leaves.
- Straight trunks meaning less waste.
- Often grow in managed forests.
- Cheaper than hardwoods.
- Waste is used for manufactured boards and paper.
OAK : Hardwood. From Europe, Japan & USA. Very hard, tough, strong and durable. Little shrinkage. Contains acid that corrodes steel.Easy to work. Used for garden benches quality furniture.
MAHOGANY: Hardwood. From American and Africa. Durable, good finish, prone to warping, fairly easy to work. Used in window frames and interior furniture.
BEECH: Hardwood. From Europe. Hard, tough, very strong and straight. Good finish, turns well. Prone to warping. Used for workshop benches, toys and interior furiture.
ASH: Hardwood. From Europe. Tough, flexible (good elastic properties). Works and finshes well. Used for sports equiptment, ladders, tool handles and laminated furniture.
ELM: Hardwood. From Europe. Tough, durable,fairly strong. Turns well, prone to warping. Used for garden furniture, interior furniture and wood turning.
Timbers - Softwood
SCOTS PINE: Softwood. From North Europe. Knotty and prone to warping. Used for floorboards and toys.
PARANA PINE: Softwood. From S America.Hard, straight grain, durable, smooth finish. Easy to ork, usually knot free. Used for quality softwood joinery.
WHITEWOOD: Softwood. From N Europe, USA and Canada. Fairly strong but not durable. Easy to work, resistant to splitting. Used for general interior work.
Are man-made and often use unwanted products of woods. Sections of timber, thin veneers or wood particles glued together and compressed.
- Come in wide boards, wider than timber.
- Can cover large areas at a cheap cost.
- In plywood, alternating grains at 90degrees increases strength.
- A lot cheaper than natural timber.
- Veneers can be used to cover unplesent surfaces.
- Screws and nails find it hard to stay attatched.
- Edges and surfaces can be unplesant.
- Some split easily and absorb water and are hard to seal and finish.
- Dust from boards like MDF are dangerous to inhale.
Finishes - Painting
Involves the application of many coats. Before painting, wood should be sealed with shellac.
Painting is a time consuming finishing process.
- OIL BASED- known as glossy paints. Available in a wide range of colours. Durable and waterproof. Used on windows, doors and boats.
- EMULSION- Available in Vinyl or acrylic resin. Water based but not waterproof.
- POLYURETHANE- Tough and scratch resistant. Harden wghen exposed to air. Commonly used on childrens toys.
Finishes - Varnish
Varnishes are plastic type of paint made from synthetic resins. When dried, they provide a tough waterproof and heatproof finish to the wood or manufactured board surface.
- POLYURETHANE- Come in a wide variety of colours and different finishes (matt, gloss or satin.) Best applied in thin coats and rubbed down between each coat with glass paper.
- ACRYLIC - Relativly new in comparison to Polyurethane. Dry faster and have less odour. The brushes can be cleaned in water not solvent. More enviromentally friendly.