Lumber and Wood Products

Lumber and Wood Products
There are choices other than natural woods that often can be used, factors including cost and appearance allow choices that historically were not available.


Man-Made Woods


With softwoods and hardwoods becoming more expensive and rare it has been necessary to make man-made woods for use in some woodworking projects. As man-woods are manufactured they are made more durable then their natural equivalents. Man-made woods are cheaper and more easily available than natural timbers.



Engineered Lumber


LSL is made by reducing logs from fast-growing trees to thin strands up to 12 inches long which are bonded with adhesive to create a billet (large block). Smaller dimensional pieces such as rim boards, windows and door headers, mill-work core material, and framing material (e.g., studs) are cut from the billets.



How to Find the Right MDF Lumber Sizes


MDF lumber size are available in sheets up to 8 x 25 feet. The typical MDF lumber sizes of sheets sold to customers are 4x8 and 5x8 and the thickness of each sheet can be 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and 1 inch. The MDF lumber size that you buy depends upon the project that you need them.


Melamine Sheets


A sheet material, commonly used on inexpensive cabinets, and ready to assemble cabinets and furniture products. Melamine is a thermoset plastic resin applied to a substrate, typically particle board. The material is heated to cure or harden the resin. It contains formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogenic substance.


Medium Density Fiberboard


Medium density fiberboard, or better known as M.D.F., is a remarkable product. While it does has disadvantages, it's advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The bad news and initial concern to most clients, is the fact that it contains urea formaldehyde based resins. This is know as a probable carcinogen. The good news is that the manufacturers have responded to this concern, and have started finding alternative adhesives, or binders.



Plexiglas in a Woodworking Shop


I find it to be a valuable asset to us due to the fact that it is easily machined, with standard woodworking tools, and will stand up to repeated use. We often use it to guide a cutting blade such as a scalpel or exacto knife. Using a wood pattern would allow distortion, as it too can be cut. The Plexiglas stands up to the blade and actually guides it. Applying slight pressure to the blade, towards the jig will result in a perfect duplicate, without damage to the jig.



Types of Lumber


What you use for any given project depends on various factors: strength, hardness, grain characteristics, cost, stability, weight, color, durability and availability of lumber. Usually beginning woodworkers start out with a softwood such as pine. It's soft and easy to work so you don't need expensive tools to get good results.



Lumber and lumbering

The term lumber applies to boards, planks, timbers, and beams that have been cut from the tree. Boards are any pieces of wood measuring up to 1 1/2 inches thick. Planks range in size from 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches in thickness and at least 6 inches in width.



Man made boards
  • Man made boards often made use of waste materials. For example saw dust is use to make MDF and hardboard. The saw dust is held together with a glue.
  • Man made boards are often used as cheap alternatives to real woods.
  • Man made boards don't look as expensive as real woods.
  • Man made boards are often cover with a thin layer of real wood to improve their appearance (Veneered).


Types of Wood Products



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