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How to choose types of wood

DIY Projects - Types of wood and their uses

There are many types of wood and wood finishes that can be used throughout the home, some are natural and others are man made.

Safety AdviceWhen cutting, drilling or sanding Teak make sure you wear a dust mask as the dust may cause irritation to the lungs.

Beech
Beech

A pale cream to pinkish-brown hardwood, it is very strong and hard but is not durable. It can withstand shocks and polishes up well.

Common uses
General purpose, furniture, floors, toys.

Cedar
Cedar

A reddish brown softwood with a sweet odor, it has a uniform texture and is resistant to decay, once exposed it weathers to a beautiful silver colour.

Common uses
Its aromatic properties and moth repellant qualities make it an ideal choice for lining drawers, chests.

Mahogany
Mahogany

A reddish-brown hardwood with a straight grain, it is very durable and resists swelling and shrinking. It is easy to work with and polishes up beautifully.

Common uses
Furniture, floors, veneers, panelling.

Maole
Maple

A white to medium brown hardwood, it has fine textures and is very strong and hard. It is a dense wood and very good for wood turning.

Common uses
Flooring, furniture.

Oak
Oak

A light to dark brown hardwood, it is very strong and hard with good bending qualities. It has very little shrinkage and is probably the most widely used hardwood. It contains tannic acid which is corrosive to metals and may lead to blue stains on the surface of the wood.

Common uses
High class furniture, flooring, construction, panelling.

Pine
Pine

A pale white to yellow softwood, with age it becomes a golden colour. It has a uniform texture and is easy to work with. It resists shrinkage, swelling and warping.

Common uses
Furniture, construction, panelling.

Teak
Teak

A yellow to dark brown hardwood, it is extremely heavy, strong and durable but does have a severe blunting effect on cutting tools. Due to its oily nature it is resistant to moisture and rot.

Common uses
Outdoor furniture, doors, flooring, construction.

 


DIY Projects - Types of manufactured board and their uses

There are many types of wood and wood finishes that can be used throughout the home, some are natural and others are man made.

Safety AdviceWhen cutting, drilling or sanding MDF make sure you wear goggles and a face mask as the dust may cause irritation to the eyes and lungs.

Blockboard
Block board

Made by placing softwood strips edge to edge, sandwiched between hardwood veneers and glued under high pressure. When screwing or nailing make sure that contact is made with the softwood and not the gaps in between.

Common uses
Shelves, doors, panelling.

Chipboard
Chipboard

Made by glueing together wood particles under heat and pressure. This creates a relatively rigid board with relatively smooth surface which comes in different densities.

Common uses
Kitchen worktops (laminated with melamine), flat pack furniture.

Medium Density Fibreboard
Fibreboards (MDF)

A type of hardboard that is made from wood fibres and glued under heat and pressure. It is stiff, dense, flat has no knots and is easy to work with. Because MDF has no grain it can be cut drilled and machined without damage to the surface.

Common uses
Storage units, shelving.

Plywood
Plywood

Made by glueing together an odd number of veneers at right angles to each other. The more veneers used the stronger the plywood will be. The type of adhesive used determines the uses of the plywood.

Common uses
Internal ply for indoor use only such as panelling, flooring.
External ply has a water-resistant glue used for sheds, cladding.
Marine ply has a waterproof glue so that it can be used underwater.

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