Over the last year, the pallet wood furniture trend has taken South Africa by storm. Builders, carpenters, and DIY enthusiasts are making everything out of pallet wood including cladding, couches, vertical gardens, photo frames, wine racks, etc. You name it, and someone has made it out of pallet wood.
However, in this craze and need for a rustic look, people have forgotten about the other types of wood that might work even better for specific projects.
There are various types of wood, and board, on the market each made for a specific purpose, and each with its own advantages.
Chipboard is a very affordable building option. You do not have to scavenge for old pallets to keep costs down! Chipboard, which is manufactured wood made by compressing wood chips and resin, comes in various forms and is easily available from hardware stores or wood stockists.
Chipboard can be used for cupboard carcasses or any DIY projects. Plain chipboard can be painted – its smooth surface makes it ideal for painting, but one can also purchase chipboard that is laminated with melamine, veneered, or covered in paper foils.
Chipboard is mostly used in shop fitting, kitchen manufacturing, and for domestic and office furniture.
Also known as particle board or BisonBord.
MDF, medium density fiberboard, is a manufactured wood board, similar to chipboard, but is a lot stronger and denser. MDF is a smooth-finish board, which allows for easy cutting and detailed designs.
One can make almost anything out of MDF from lamps to bookshelves and other furniture. MDF is ideal for gloss PVC wrap, as well as for spray painting. Its smooth surface makes it deeply routable, easy to cut, and easy to use.
Laminated, or melamine impreginated MDF is a great decorative board and most commonly used in kitchens.
MDF generally comes in many thicknesses from 3mm to 30mm.
Also known as SupaWood.
Plywood is another engineered wood product, but different again from chipboard and MDF. Plywood is made by pressing sheets of wood veneer together, instead of compressing sawdust together, which is very basically how MDF is manufactured.
Plywood comes not only in different thicknesses, but also in different grades – be careful because some plywood can be of extremely poor quality.
Plywood however is quite difficult to cut and doesn’t look good if the edges are showing – so it is best to finish off the edges somehow.