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May 21, 2015

Protechwood – 3 Kinds Of Wood Used In Real Wood Furniture

Real wood furniture is the most popular furniture in

existence. It’s been around for hundreds of years and

probably existed when the cave people got tired of squatting

on the dirt floor of their caves and looked around for a

better way.

The woods that are fashioned into furniture fall into three

categories:

1. Hardwoods

2. Softwoods

3. Composites

Even the term ‘hardwood’ or ‘softwood’ is deceptive.

Hardwoods aren’t necessarily harder, denser material. For

example, balsa wood is one of the lightest, least dense

woods there is, and it’s considered a hardwood. Technically,

lumber is classified based on how the tree reproduces. As a

general rule, though, softwood trees are evergreen year

round while the hardwoods create the gorgeous autumn foliage

that we all love so much.

Hardwoods are considered the highest quality and are the

most expensive. Their natural colors vary from the darkest

woods to the lightest ones and and they can be stained or

painted for even more variety. Hardwood furniture is least

likely to warp or bend and is prized in all high quality

homes. The five woods most commonly used in furniture

production are cherry, walnut, oak, maple and mahogany.

Softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods, but they

require extra care. Because they are less durable, it’s much

easier to scratch or dent softwood furniture. In addition,

they often don’t have the beautiful grains of a hardwood,

and therefore don’t stain as beautifully.

Pine is an example of a softwood that is commonly used for

furniture. These woods are often used in construction as

well so the choicest pieces are reserved for furniture. In

construction, knots and splits are common. Lots of

construction lumber will not accept paint and this kind of

wood is used for shelves or packing crates.

The softwood used in furniture is designated as “Appearance”

lumber and includes most softwood lumber that has been

custom milled to a pattern or otherwise surfaced on all four

sides.

Composites are the cheapest form of wood and are literally

manufactured, rather than grown.

1. Plywood: multiple layers of thin wooden sheets are glued

together and pressed. Plywood is strong and resists

swelling, shrinking and warping. There is some furniture

made directly from plywood, but generally it is only used as

a support when incorporated into furniture.

2. Particle board: sawdust and small wood chips are mixed

with glue or resin which is then shaped and pressure

treated. When used for inexpensive furniture, particle board

is usually covered with laminate or veneer. This is

necessary because particle board splits easily and the

laminate prevents splitting. However, the downside is that

the laminate may separate from the wood because the particle

board responds to temperature and pressure changes by

swelling and shrinking.

3. Hardboard: is made like particle board but it’s placed

under higher pressure so it’s stronger.

4. MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard: wood particles are

bonded with resin and compressed. It is harder than particle

board or hardboard, and can be cut like plywood although it

isn’t as strong as plywood. Some MDF is covered with

melamine which is a durable plastic in a variety of colors.

The exposed edges of MDF are rough and need covering with

molding or some other decorative material.

Technically, furniture made from all of these wood products

is “real” wood furniture, even the composites. Prices and

quality range from the hardwoods down to the composites.

The higher you go up the spectrum, the more you can expect

to pay for your wood furniture. The good part, of course,

is that with proper care hardwood furniture will last for

decades or even generations. If you can afford it, always

choose hardwood furniture.

Source by Protechwood

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