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Particle Board Buying Guide

Particle Board Buying Guide

Trying to figure out the differences between plywood can be confusing enough. But, deciding which reconstituted wood product (like OSB, MDF and particleboard) to use can be a nightmare if you are not familiar with them. Use the information below to help plan the materials for your next project. Reconstituted woods products are made by mixing leftover wood parts with glue or resin at high heat and pressure. Since they do not have a grain pattern, they do not bow or warp like traditional plywood.


Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

MDF is a waste-wood product that is made with fine wood fiber.

 

Material

MDF
UsesFurniture, Shelving, Cabinetry,  Moulding
Cutting and ShapingEasily milled with all power tools. Resists tear-out.
FinishesLaminate, Veneer, Paint
AvailabilityPanels 49 in. x 97 in., 1/2 in. to 3/4 in.  thick. Precut shelving 4 ft. to 8 ft. lengths,  various depths, 3/4 in. thick, finished and  unfinished. Moulding 8 ft. to 16 ft. lengths



Particleboard

Particleboard

Particleboard is a waste-wood product that is made by mixing sawdust with adhesives. Although it will not bow or warp like plywood, it can swell and become unstable when exposed to water.

Material

Particleboard

Uses
Furniture,  Underlayment,  Substrate for countertop.
Cutting and Shaping
Can be milled with all  power tools. Moderate  tear-out.
Finishes
Laminate, Veneer
Availability

Panels 4 ft. x 8 ft., 1/2 in. to 1 in.  thick.  Pre-cut shelving  boards of various  sizes.



Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

Oriented Strand Board (OSB)

OSB is an engineered wood product that is made with flakes or large chips of wood. The panels are formed from layers glued together with their strands at ninety-degree angles to one another. The cross orientation of the layers adds strength to the panels and makes OSB well-suited for use as a structure board.

Material

OSB
Uses
Sheathing, Underlayment
Cutting and Shaping

Can be cut with all power  saws. Since this product is a structure  board, it  is not suited to shaping, sanding, or  other milling operations.

Finishes
Paints and primers will adhere  to OSB;  however, the board is  designed for  use  as an underlayment or sheathing and shouldn't require finishing.
Availability
Panels 4 ft.x8 ft., 1/4 in. to 3/4 in. thick. Also available in tongue and groove panels.