Manufactured or man made boards - are made from wood products and have new/different properties to the wood they were made from. Board sizes are 8ft x 4 ft (2440 x 1220 mm). The main types of manufactured boards are :-
MDF (medium density fibreboard) made by a process which glues wood fibres together using heat and pressure. The boards are smooth and stong. They are resistant to warping. They have a layered structure which makes fixing to the edges difficult. MDF is a board used industrially for the production of furniture (especially shelves and cupboards). Special fixings have been designed to enable MDF to be joined effectively. Dowel joints can be used. The router can be used to cut rebates and housing joints, which work well on MDF. Dust is a problem when working with MDF, dust extraction systems should be used when machining it. Face masks can also be used to reduce the problem.
MDF is available in a range of thicknesses, 3mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm, and 18mm.
Plywood is made from layers of thin wood glued together at 90 degrees to each other, this makes plywood very strong as it cannot split along the grain like solid timber. If waterproof glue is used the plywood can be used in damp or even wet conditions. Marine ply can withstand sea water. Aero ply is made from three thin layers of birch and is only one mm thick when bonded together, this ply was designed to be used on aeroplane wings as it can be curved so effectively. Available in a range 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, 9mm, 12mm, 15mm and 18mm.
Chipboard is made from softwood chips glued together. It is a very cheap material and is used to make kitchen worktops and carcases (cupboard shells) where it is laminated with a melamine layer to give it a decorative and hardwearing finish. Usually available as 18mm thick.
Hardboard (particle board) is also used in furniture making usually as a back to a shelving unit or cupboard. usually available as 4 or 6mm thick.
Blockboard is used to make strong shelves. It is made from pieces of softwood in a sandwich with a thin layer of wood top and bottom. Laminboard is similar but with thinner pieces of wood in the sandwich.