Once furniture was made from a piece of wood without any joint to make it more robust. Because of the limited supply of wood, people then started to make furniture using wood joined in a row. Now the wood is getting scarce so the wood waste is utilized and processed into plywood, MDF, HDF, particle board and then made into furniture.
What type of wood used as raw material for the manufacture of furniture?
1. Solid wood
Solid wood is the strongest and most durable wood. However, due to the supply shortage, the price is very expensive. The workmanship process also requires special skills. The drying must be perfect to avoid any expansion and shrinkage. Solid woods used for furniture are teak wood and some other types of wood such as mahogany, pine, and cedar.
Teak wood is the most popular one because of its quality, resistance to weather conditions, resistance to termites, and the interesting fiber. This wood is the first class wood which is processed into classy furniture.
Plywood is formed of several sheets of wood glued together under high pressure. The thickness varies from 3 mm, 4 mm, 9 mm and 18 mm and the size is 244 x 122 cm. Plywood thickness determines the strength and stability.
This type of wood is the most widely used in making kitchen sets, cabinets, tables, and beds. The surface is plain and does not have the typical fiber so that it needs to be given additional coatings such as wood veneer (thin slices of wood) PVC or melamine. Plywood price is cheaper than solid wood, but is more expensive than other processed wood.
Blockboard is pieces of small boxes (about 2.5 – 5 cm) which are compacted by machine and given a veneer coating on both sides so the piece resembles the board. The thickness can be 12 mm, 15 mm and 18 mm with a size equal to multiplex.
Blockboard is usually made of soft wood that is not as strong as plywood. The price is slightly below the plywood. Blockboard type that is widely available is teakblok (the one with teak veneer layer). It is quite good to make a shelf, cabinet or kitchen set.
4. MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
MDF is made of fine wood dust and chemical resin bonded and compacted at high temperatures and pressures. The wood used is usually taken from unused wood or bamboo in a plantation. This makes it more environmentally friendly.
MDF is in a form of sheets which are ready to cut as needed. The denser and stronger version is known as HDF (High Density Fiberboard).
MDF is very flexible so that it is easy to set up. The size and strength is consistent. However, since it uses chemical resin, MDF is heavier than plywood and particle board. MDF has various finishes, ranging from wood paint, veneer, PVC, HPL, to paper laminate and also various color options.
5. Particle board
Particle board is made from wood particles such as sawdust, small wood chips and chemical resin bonded with high pressure and then dried. The process is more or less similar to the MDF, yet MDF is more softer and regular, while particleboard is more coarse and irregular.
In the finishing process, it cannot be painted or coated due to its rough texture. So, to cover the rough surface, it is given a layer of veneer, laminate or fancy paper laminate. Be careful because the particle board cannot be installed using nails or screws. Typically, manufacturers use special adhesive or screws to install the furniture made from particle board.
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