Man Made Boards – Part One

Today there are several alternatives to natural wood. This article will tell you a bit about a variety of boards, their advantages and disadvantages, and also some suggested uses.

First of all, we will have a general discussion about these man-made boards. Some people refer to them as “timber” or “timber”, but that is incorrect since they are actually composite materials, just like concrete and glass-reinforced plastic (commonly called “fiberglass”).

What are its general advantages?

Man-made boards are sold in standard 2440 x 1220mm sheets, that’s about eight feet by four for our American friends. Natural wood does not come in sheets as wide, as it has to be the same maximum size as a piece of sawn tree trunk. The larger size of man-made boards means they are useful for making large panels like doors and cabinet sides without joining.

Composite boards do not have an actual grain pattern. That means they are equally strong in all directions. Natural wood can be weak along the grain; this is what causes the shelves to sag in the middle.

The boards are made in factories from scrap wood and sawdust that would otherwise be thrown away. Certain types can sometimes cost less than many natural woods.

What about the cons?

They are generally not as attractive as natural wood, since they do not have a grain. This means they have less character and look less natural.

Certain types of resins that bind some particles are believed to be carcinogenic if inhaled.

Most boards are relatively heavy.

The stock size of these plates is quite large and you may have to pay a premium to reduce them for easier transportation.

In the second part, we will look at several specific handmade boards available for furniture making.